Walk of Fame View
By Chris Murphy

Modesto USA is famous around the world as the Home of American Graffiti and the Home of George Lucas. We celebrate this history during Graffiti Summer and all year long. The Modesto Historic Cruise route is where it all happened. This is a 25 marker walking tour on the legendary 10th and 11th Streets celebrating the people, places and things that created the Graffiti spirit. In 10th St Plaza, there is a Walk of Fame celebrating the people and the car clubs that were the inspiration of the American Graffiti story. These folks are the real deal. We celebrated the induction of the 2018 Walk Of Fame Legends on June 6. Hundreds of fans were on hand to see the new Walk of Fame sidewalk markers unveiled, that were crafted and donated by Mat Rogers and the team at Flying Turtle Concrete and sponsored by ModestoView and Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group.

This year, we were pleased to present the honors to Don Wood, the Grand Marshal of the N Modesto Kiwanis American Graffiti Festival Cruise Parade. In addition to his cruising years, Don has played a major role in the creating the event and car shows that have become part of our local culture.

Allen Grant was a racer that inspired a young George Lucas. Allen was one of the fastest drivers around, raced Shelby Cobras and even won Monza, the first American car and driver to do so. It is said that Allen was the inspiration for the character John Milner in the movie. Allen is still driving fast today and brought his race team crew to the induction ceremony.

The Ecurie Awol Racing club was inducted in the 2018 class. These were the kids who raced foreign cars, such as the Fiat that Lucas raced, the AC Bristols that Allen Grant raced, and the Porsches and the Ferraris. Many of the original E Curies attended the event and it was one of the first reunions since the early 90s.

Paul Corgiat was one of those kids in highschool that loved to race and all of the other general hot-rodding that happened in the 50s and 60s. Paul was behind many of the famous pranks and played a key role in the cruising culture. His son Steve is carrying on the tradition too.

Some of our inductees have passed on, and it was still very special to recognize their important contributions to our Graffiti cruising legacy. Jack McCoy was one of the fastest drivers ever from our region and was a top winning racer for a couple of decades with his McCoy Tire cars. He also had a racing team that set land speed records in the Spirit of Modesto with fellow cruise legends Don Monaco and the late Chuck Billington. Jack’s wife Peggy accepted the award on behalf of her late husband.

Roy Farriester ran the wrecking yard that most all of the Modesto car enthusiasts shopped at and we was at the center of the cruise experience for years. Besides working with all the car guys, he was an enthusiast himself and passed the love of classic cars on to his son Mark and his family, who accepted the award on behalf of his late father.

The ceremony was a festive event, emceed by Cruise Route Founder Chris Murphy, surrounded by the inductees classic cars and the Mid Valley Chevy Club Park and Shine event. Each inductee received a ceremonial award plaque and letters of recognition from the City of Modesto, Senator Galgiani, Congressman Denham, Senator Anthony Canella, and the Modesto Chamber of Commerce. Third Party Band rocked the crowd into the evening with a light show by Laser Voodoo. Special thanks go out to Jack Hunt and the City of Modesto Street crew for the installation.

The Legends of the Cruise committee is chaired by Pete Hischier and Dennis Wilson. The Modesto Historic Cruise Route committee is: Chris Murphy, Laurie Smith, Margaret James, Nancy Young, Jennifer Mullen and Middagh Goodwin.
For more info on the walking tour and interviews with the Legends, please visit www.modestocruiseroute.com

Read more about the Legends of the Cruise and other Graffiti Stories at www.modestoview.com/category/graffiti-modesto/



Posted in: Graffiti, news

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.