5 years ago I found a weird looking board on Ebay. The wacky truck configuration and the fact that it was a promotional board for an auto parts manufacturer made me save the pictures. I just recently found an ad for Hooker Headers in the May, 1976 issue of Hot Rod that had a order form for the Hooker Headers skateboard, and amazingly enough, I was able to find those old pictures among the flotsam on my hard drive. It’s got a metal plate between the trucks, similar to the Flex-trol, but it also adds the ability to change your wheelbase on the fly. Hooker was positioning this as the “ultimate suspension system” for skateboards. Was it a way to build brand loyalty for kids to young to drive yet? I can’t imagine they had a longterm business model that involved skateboarding. Still, it was too expensive of a setup (manufacturing wise) to be purely promotional, especially considering that they offered three boards in two colors as well as the suspension system in two different configurations. Maybe someone at Hooker had a kid who skated. The brand is still around but it looks like it has been absorbed by Holley. You have to wonder if drag racer Bill Jenkins was pleased with having to share his ad space with a child’s toy. He received the nickname “The Grump” from his comrades on the track due to his no-nonsense attitude and general avoidance of chit-chatting with fellow racers.
UPDATE: Thanks to reader zeno01 and some scans from Matthijs we have a little more info on the origins of this board. See the Concrete Wave interview with Steve Alba after the advert.
UPDATE: Reader pics of a Hooker skateboard here.
If I didn’t know better I’d think this was a gag from GVK. The ad copy is absurd. “The ol’ Mersedes Bends Skatboard Factory?” Seriously? Even if “skateboard” wasn’t misspelled, that would still be a bit much. Twenty dollars will buy you the hottest skateboard you’ve ever seen. Star wheels designed by freestyle champ Ed Nadalin normally sell for $79.95 each (yes, each) but through this ad you can get a complete set for only $12. That’s an amazing 97% discount! Pre-designed configural CAMBER-FLEX? They make a big deal about including sealed bearings, so you know it must be 1976, and it is. Volume 3, Number 1, which is the October 1976 issue of Skateboarder Magazine. My best friend in grade school nada plastic board with a Mercedes logo relief on top, but no name visible anywhere. It always impressed me as a kid. We all called it the Mercedes Benz board. I’m surprised Skateboarder agreed to print this advertisement, it would be the same thing as Thrasher running an ad for Nash…. Oh wait, they actually did that all the time.