Cue the Dave Alvin and Stoke the Flathead: The Pea Soup Andersen's Dragster!

Illustration for article titled Cue the Dave Alvin and Stoke the Flathead: The Pea Soup Andersen's Dragster!

We have an argument with the significant other. While we agree on the greatness of Californiana and think that genuine California writing is dismissed and underserved despite the fact that the majority of the way the world views the United States is often filtered through the poppy-littered, mountains-to-the-sea, Tulare-dusted property, she can't get behind the apparent grammatical incorrectness of Pea Soup Andersen's, insisting that it couldn't be anything but "Andersen's Pea Soup." When internet research proved her wrong, she then decided that the only resolution is that the new name for the San Pedran Jalopnik must be "Pea Soup Andersen's." She is a maddening and giggle-inducing woman with a twisted sense of logic, retardedly beautiful handwriting and a rack that has been known to inspire fights between men at college radio stations.

Flying in the face of the aforementioned charms, as Californiana should not be allowed to bow to any woman, despite the fact that distaff gender is an inextricable part of the state's myth, we fired back that Pea Soup Andersen's is a classic example of roadside California; a relic from an age of road travel that is rapidly giving way to doltish interlopers like Applebee's. Avoiding the imparitive to eat good in the neighborhood and instead enjoy a bit of localized weirdness aside, Pea Soup Andersen's also sponsored a front-engined dragster in the day. Fronting on Pea Soup Andersen's due to odd grammar from an earlier time is akin to Wert's dissing of Canter's because it's not kosher. It misses the point. Especially if the pot denigrating the Fairfax-district kettle has a fondness for cheeseburgers.


Maintained and occasionally shown by Bob Andersen, the grandson of Pea Soup Andersen's founders Anton and Juliette Andersen (the original restaurant once bore the obscenely rad moniker of Andersen's Electric Cafe), the old digger began life with a hotted-up Ford Flathead between the rails sometime in the early stages of the Atomic Age. Eventually, the flattie gave way to a whomped-up four-hundred-inch Cad mill, putting the rudimentary slingshot solidly into the nines. In '96, a refreshed flatmotor was swapped back in; since then, Bob and his wife Sherry have toured the car and handed out cans of Andersen's pea soup.

For los lone Pedran Jalop, Pea Soup Andersen's was a favored stop in Santa Nella between Sacramento or the East Bay and SoCal. To our girlfriend, it's the Danish-looking place with the windmill, or simply "Andersen's," so disturbed is she by the protocalicultural grammar hack. We told her we were going to get a tat of Hap-Pea and Pea-Wee, which she thought was fine. So simply to spite her, we're thinking of getting a well-armed hovercraft inked across our chest that reads "S.S. Pea Soup Andersen's" along the length of the air cushion.

Maybe we should just give up and build that 2CV Fuel Altered we've been talking about for the last half-decade.

More Photos of Bob's 1951

Yesterday Rules: Bumbeck on Nostalgia Drag Racing [Internal]

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IIRC, the Pea Soup Andersen's dragster was one of the first (if not the first) race car with a non-automotive-related sponsor.