Artists have been shaping the automotive world for decades. Manufacturer artists like Harely Earl helped to set the stage and media artists like Tom Medley took it and ran it home. Medley was one of Hot Rod Magazine’s original staff team members back in 1948. He joined the team in time for their second ever issue. Medley was a cartoonist and photographer. He had an amazing talent for drawing out just the right emotion from the viewer to really make a statement.
Tom Medley is the creator of the iconic “Stroker McGurk” cartoon. He also made sure he was at pretty much all of the major events through the 50s and 60s; Bonneville Salt Flats and the Indy 500 are just a couple. Medley also helped in the Rod & Custom Magazine and was the brain trust behind the first ever Street Rod Nationals, effectively building the future of the hot rod world into what we know it as today.
Recently, a website devoted to Medley went live – www.StrokerByMedley.com. The website “has been developed to showcase the artwork, books, apparel and memorabilia created by famed early Hot Rod Magazine cartoonist and photographer Tom Medley.” Says Gary Medley, creator and keeper of the website. “StrokerbyMedley will offer select books (signed by Medley), rare decals, prints of cartoon strips and photos, and apparel featuring Medley’s unique vision and crazy sense of humor.”
Unfortunately, a large portion of Medley’s art and collection was destroyed in a fire a few years back. Three boxes made it through. Original roughs drawn on napkins, art school sketches and hundreds of black and white pictures were some that were saved. If you like hot rod history, head on over to the website and check it out.