It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I have to inform you that my dad, Steve Rhoades passed away on Thursday, January 4th. He suffered a stroke and had to undergo immediate emergency surgery. Unfortunately, he never regained consciousness post surgery. I along with the rest of our family were able to be by his side when he passed. My father started his race car building career working for Byron Blair’s chassis shop during the late 60’s, early 70’s. During that time, he honed his tremendous fabrication skills while working on the top drag race cars of the time. My Dad is credited for building the hand formed body on Don Garlits’ first rear motor dragster. Easy to say, that car is one of the most famous cars in Drag Racing history. In 1972, he ventured out on his own and started our family business, The Frame Works which until 1984 was located in the San Diego area. In 1984, my family packed up and moved to Phoenix, Arizona. Throughout the years my father was responsible for building just over 400 race cars, a majority of which were dragsters. He never liked building the same thing over and over again so those cars varied from VW powered sand dragsters, to Top Fuel Funny Cars and everything in between. Cory McClenathan, Chuck Beal, Mark Niver, John Geyer, Tom Haner, Bill Kent, Tate Branch, Brian Hyerstay, Dennis Smiley, Terry Gordon, Jack Jones, Joe Mozeris and hundreds of others were not only valued customers, but long lasting friends of my dad. During the late 80’s I joined him at The Frame Works, working alongside each other. Together, we built a couple different Comp cars that we also raced together. The first car was an AA/A with a 302ci blown gas engine that we later ran as an A/EA for a couple of races too. The last car we raced together was an F/D that was powered by DOHC 122ci Dodge Neon engine. Most of the time it was just him and I traveling around the country together to the races. Those were some of the best times of my life! My dad retired from our business somewhere around 2004. Being retired did not slow him down. He hit another one of his passions full steam ahead. That passion was guns. In a short amount of time, he made a name for himself in the black powder cartridge Buffalo style rifle community. He shot in competitive matches and was responsible for putting on shooting matches at the local Phoenix shooting range. In his “spare” time he just liked making things. From custom motorcycles to furniture for his grandkids. He even restored a late 1800’s chuck wagon and competed in chuck wagon cook off competitions. He later sold that wagon and it’s now a center piece in a wagon museum! His latest creation was a 1/4 scale (12ft wingspan!) replica of the Spirt of St Louis with a 7 cylinder radial engine! As soon as he finished the plane and it flew, he was already planning the next project. This trait along with his knowledge and incredible talent is something I will always strive for. My dad was the person I looked up to the most. He taught me the value of hard work and instilled a zest for adventure in me which I will work hard to pass on to my children. He was my best friend... life just won’t be the same without him!