Wheels In Motion

November 3rd, 2009

Drive-0911-Wheels-1For years, St. James Davis and his ’32 Koncept Koupe were a familiar sight on the streets of the east San Gabriel Valley especially when “Moe,” his pet chimp, was riding shotgun. St. James has owned the car for more than 50 years, and the chopped and channeled three-window coupe you see on this page is just the latest iteration in a long line of renditions. Unfortunately, the project came to a halt on March 3, 2005, when two large chimpanzees mauled Davis at a birthday party gone awry for his beloved Moe. The devastating story received worldwide attention and does so even to this day.


Davis has endured more than 60 surgeries over the past four years, and even came close to death several times. But thanks to the doctors at Loma Linda Hospital and the total devotion of his wife LaDonna, he is on the road to a long but successful recovery.

Part of his recovery included the restoration and finishing the dream of getting his coupe back on the road. The plight of the car’s condition surfaced in 2007. It had been stored somewhat undercover, and while St. James paint job was intact, the rest of the car was in poor shape. Enter members of the Cal-Rods who are not only the resident car club supporting the NHRA Museum but take on philanthropic projects, as well. They decided to restore the coupe for St. James and LaDonna to give them the boost they so rightfully deserve.

As you can see, it’s a stunning piece. The boys did a great job restoring the coupe, which took more than a year and thousands of hours to complete. The car is a sensation, and I can assure you the role that the following individuals and companies played has made a positive change in the lives of this great couple.

Thanks to all for a first-class job!

  • Cal Rods Restoration Volunteers: Don Baker, Bob Bayles, Dan Callahan, Ken Campbell, John Ciauri, Vic Cunnyngham, Don Ford, John Hampton, Connie LaMarche, Bill Lathrop, Roger Burckel, Ed Lyons, Jerry Masson, Rick Rabuse, Joe Rode, Fred Simola and Bill Willis.
  • Gabe’s Street Rods Custom Interiors 24215 Ward St. San Bernardino, Ca 92410 909.884.5150

The Lopez family: Gabe Sr., Gabe Jr., Jesus, Carlos, Daniel and Robert Flores.

Interior Materials sponsored by: J & J Fabrics 247 S. Riverside Ave. Rialto, Ca 92376 909.874.3040 The Flores family: Joe Sr., Joe Jr., Helen, Bobby, Luis and Jerry.

Connie & Rick’s Resto • Mattson Radiators • Rodesway Boats • Isky Cams

Crown Printers • The-Fan-Man • Street Rodder Magazine • Hilborn Fuel Injection • NO LIMIT

Superior Shine • Glass House • Interstate Batteries-Upland • Painless Performance

Best Way Stamping • G&A Metal Polishing • DR Design • Alumi-Art Plating • Eddie Marine

Fineline Signs • Poliet Automotive • SO-CAL Speed Shop & Volunteer SO-CAL Crew


Check out the dual 671 blown and Hilborn injected iron HEMI.)

The St. James volunteers being honored
at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports


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