Ron and Vanessa Main / Background
According to Team Manager and wife Vanessa, 46, husband Ron Main doesn't walk through life, he thunders through it. Married in 1985, Vanessa recognized early on that "fighting the force" is futile, and sometimes it is just best to follow behind him and close the cupboard doors.
"It gives me something to do, and I always know where be has been," she said with mischievous, lighthearted laugh. "I'm a "stand by your man" and besides, that way I'm sure he's off the streets and what he's doing."
Ron and Vanessa Main of Chatsworth, California, take a fair share of pleasure from a hobby that traces its roots nearly a half-century in the past. Ron Main, 59, is the owner and driver of Flatfire the world's fastest flathead that recently set two new land speed records on the famed Bonneville Salt Flats. Powered by a 1946 Ford Flathead engine, Main was clocked exiting the timing eyes at 295mph -- Impressive for an engine more than half-century old.
Main operates Canoga Rebar, Inc., which he owns in partnership with his twin brother, Bob, in Chatsworth, California. The company furnishes, fabricates and installs reinforcing steel and wire mesh for the construction industry. Commercial projects include earthquake retrofit, flood control, movie studios, public works, universities, industrial complexes, amusement parks and military installations.
"Wait until they see this," could be Ron Main's battle cry. A Visalia, California native, Ron Main has an all-consuming, to-the-limits personality that includes a flair for the extravagant but without an arrogant attitude. He wants others to enjoy themselves as much he does, so if you're part of a "Main Attraction," be prepared to have a great time. He is the epitome of the "American Graffiti" genre, possessed of high-performance, hot-rod puberty that has yet to peak.
For example, Main idolizes the 50's era and his memorabilia doesn't fit in one room, it takes up the whole house. A dozen pinball machines, sofas made from '57 Plymouth, '59 Cadillac and '57 Chevy Bel Air, pedal cars, even a complete soda fountain with spinning stools, Main immersed himself with the 50's car culture. His penchant for period films led to a collection turned business venture that boasts of one of the largest collection of hot rod films in the world.
Then consider what happened when Vanessa asked for a shed to store her gardening supplies. Main bought a custom playhouse with a garage that had to be craned into the backyard. Vanessa now has the most stylishly kept mulch and pots in the county.
"I love him and what he does," explained Vanessa who was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, "I support what he does, including working behind-the-scenes with the Flatfire team to make sure everything is taken care of -- think about it -- me and all those guys -- what else could be better?
Admitting to a slight case of "salt fever," Vanessa finds the salt flats beautiful and was relieved when Ron's struggle to get the car running well ended with not only speed records, but also membership in the esteemed 200MPH Club this year.
"I have great confidence in him," she points out, "I trust him to surround himself with competent, talented people that will keep him safe when driving Flatfire." Nevertheless, everytime he takes off, "my stomach sinks."
Vanessa believes Flatfire is a work of art on wheels, and is impressed by the design even though she knows nothing about engineering. Main refers to his wife as his "Teen Angel," and while she may not be adept at spinning wrenches, she certainly likes speed. Her magnetic red 2001 Chevrolet Corvette, flamed by one of racing's paint celebrities is a step-up from her previously flamed VW Beetle.
They both chortle in delight pointing out her license plate frame that reads, "Men are pigs and I married their king!" even though she has since taught him to use the hamper.
In addition to owning a variety of street rods, Ron also ran a high-tech, flathead roadster out on the dry lakes called "The Phantom" and set a dozen or so land speed records, including a stint at Bonneville where they broke a new record every day for a week. In 1989, the car won the Southern California timing Association's (SCTA) prestigious Howard Johanson Memorial Trophy for Automotive Innovation and then picked up "Best Engineered Vehicle at the celebrated Oakland Roadster Show.
Main currently drives a black 1932 Ford five-window coupe with six Stromberg Carburetors and BSA "Gold Star" motorcycle which he rarely rides but likes to look at in the garage. It's great functional art if nothing else," Ron observed.
Surrounded by happy memorabilia of fleeting adolescence, Vanessa and Ron Main have found, an elixir of youth taken with a high-speed chaser.