Alex Xydias is a first-generation hot rodder with a hard-to-pronounce last name (just say "X-hideous") who was literally there when and where it all began. Xydias grew up in Los Angeles and raced a ‘34 Ford on the dry lakes near Muroc and El Mirage before serving on a B-17 during WWII. He returned home to launch So-Cal Speed Shop in Burbank, CA during 1946.
Xydias worked for Petersen Publishing as the publisher of Car Craft and then Hot Rod Industry News. He was among the founders of the SEMA Show. In the ‘90s, the So-Cal brand was revamped with partner Pete Chapouris, and Xydias joined the board of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum. And of course, Alex and Wally Parks were life-long friends who met in the days of dry lakes racing, and whose legacies’ are both celebrated on the hallowed grounds of the Fairplex in Pomona— Wally with the NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by Automobile Club of Southern California., and Alex with the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts.
On March 22, 2022, Xydias turned 100 years old, but we caught up with him a few weeks earlier when the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts celebrated him at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by Automobile Club of Southern California.
After hearing a room of his friends and admirers pontificate about how great he is, Xydias took the mic and laughingly proclaimed that he was responsible for creating everything good in the world. Happy birthday Alex.