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Tom Medley, Stroker McGurk Creator, Loses '40 Ford in Garage Fire

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Fund Established for Rebuild Effort


BURBANK, Calif. -- Tom Medley, creator of the "Stroker McGurk" cartoon character that appeared in Hot Rod magazine in the 1950s, once joked he would have liked to own a flamed '40 Coupe.

But this isn't what he had in mind.

In mid-October, Medley suffered a hot rodder's most feared nightmare – a fire that destroyed nearly all the contents of his garage – tools, welders, sewing machines, car parts, memorabilia, etc.

Medley escaped injury but his beloved 1940 Ford Deluxe coupe wasn’t so lucky. It was heavily damaged, a near total loss. In response, Medley's friends and family have joined together to rebuild the car and get the 91-year-old hot rod legend behind the wheel again.

News of Medley's misfortune quickly spread through the hot rod community, triggering an outpouring of support that has been remarkable. Currently, the car is being rebuilt by car-builder Randy Clark and his talented staff at Hot Rods & Custom Stuff in Escondido, Calif.


Considering the resources required to complete the project, help is needed. For those hot rodders interested in helping Stroker rebuild his '40, a fund has been established to donate additional support. Regardless of the amount, everyone who pitches in will receive a gift from Medley himself.


Interested in helping? If so, please visit one of two websites,, or . A click on the DONATE button will lead to PayPal, where a debit or credit card can be used to pledge support. Being a PayPal member is NOT required. Checks can also be sent to the The Stroker McGurk 40 Ford Trust, 2710 Vista Crest Road, Orange, CA 92867

The following is the newspaper report on the fire incident sent to us from Jim Clark


Fire Destroys Garage and Classic Car

Burbank Firefighters had their hands full when they arrived on scene at 3316 W. Verdugo Avenue, Thursday afternoon as they had a garage well involved with fire. A 91 year-old occupant was knocked to the ground after attempting to start the car and it backfired and caught fire. Firefighters made a quick knock down but were unable to save the garage or any of it's contents which included a 1940 Ford Coupe and a mobile trailer sitting near the garage.  Firefighter/Paramedics treated the resident, Tom Medley, the owner of both the home and of the car, who was knocked to the ground after the fire started. Medley declined any further medical treatment. Burbank Fire sent three engines, two truck companies, a paramedic unit and Battalion Chief, Assistant Chief Tom Lenahan. The damage was listed at $30,000 to the garage and $60,000 to it's contents with no injuries to firefighters and the cause is being listed as an accidental backfire from the cars engine.