Hot RodAugust 2020
Jerry Breznicky followed a hot-rodding trail that led him to his first job right after high school. “I attended vocational school, majoring in auto mechanics, and at that time I was driving my brother’s hand-me-down Road Runner,” he says. “I luckily landed a job at my local Plymouth dealership right after graduation. It was a dream come true.”
At the dealership, Jerry got the chance to work alongside Ted Robinson, a longtime Plymouth employee who oozed Pentastar knowledge. “From the start, Ted taught me the right way to work on these cars,” Jerry says. “Though he was a great teacher, Ted was quiet and didn’t talk about himself much.”
One day, when Jerry decided to add some new gears to his Road Runner for drag racing, Ted gave the young gun a taste of his expertise with Plymouth products. “When I told Ted what I was doing, he looked at me and said, ‘Why are you putting in 4.10 gears when it came with 3.91s?’ I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ He replied, ‘You have a 26-inch radiator and power-steering cooler, so this car has the factory Track Pak option.’ I crawled under the car and found the tag and the HD leaf springs. He was right.”
From there, Ted started opening up about his life, and even brought a scrapbook in to show Jerry what he had been up to back in the day of unbridled performance. In that book were pictures of track cars that Ted had owned and driven back in the early 1970s. “There was a Bronze Fire ’69 Hemi Road Runner all painted up with a goofy dragon on the side, along with an A12 Road Runner with Cotton Candy callouts, and then a purple-ish ’70 Hemi ’Cuda, decked out with a ’68 style scoop and ‘Lil Ole’ WhineMaker’ painted on the rear quarters.”
After hearing the stories, Jerry asked where the cars were. To his amazement, Ted told him that the two Road Runners were in back of his house slowing getting eaten by the elements. The ’Cuda was in better shape, kept in a block storage garage. Jerry was amazed that they were still in his possession, as Ted had never mentioned the cars during the time they worked together.
The two became good friends and remained buddies even after they went their separate ways. “A few years later Ted started working for Chrysler as a training technician, and I opened up Jerry’s Hot Rods performing restoration work on muscle cars,” says Jerry. Ted remarried, and though he never had his own children, his second wife had a daughter, Carlajean Robinson-Dill. “He told me he was the luckiest man in the world because he got to pick his daughter!
His second wife was a real Mopar lover, and together they bought a 1968 Road Runner and 1970 Superbird,” Jerry says.
Over the years, Ted’s wife became ill, and he spent all his time caring for her. She passed away in 2014, and Ted followed three years later. “When I heard he had passed away, I contacted Carlajean,” Jerry says. “She asked if I could go over the ’Cuda to make it drivable for her. She also offered up the two needy Road Runners as payment for the work the ’Cuda needed.”
Carlajean was excited about getting the ’Cuda back on the road. “I wanted Lil Ole’ WhineMaker for more than 30 years, and several times I tried to convince Mom and Daddy to let me have the car and I would restore it,” she says. “Daddy’s answer was always the same: ‘You’ll get it when I die.’”
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