Born in 1935, Raymal “Rocky” Childs grew up in Burbank, where his parents owned a family market. Rocky graduated from San Fernando High School where he was classmates and friends with the late “Dandy” Dick Landy. In 1959, Rocky married Sharon Lindsay, and together they had a son Gregg and a daughter Jewele.
Throughout his life, Rocky’s greatest passion was cars – especially fast cars. One of his first race cars was a ’37 Chevy in partnership with Ronnie Winkle in R&R Engines.
In the early 1960s, he teamed up with Jimmy Albert and the two founded Childs & Albert, manufacturing high-performance racing parts. Their original product line included rocker arms, remote starters, and a ” pig ” device for warming a car up on alky and switching to nitro. They soon gravitated into connecting-rods and expanded the line to include piston rings, bearings, and other internal engine components.
The Childs & Albert team fielded a variety of its own race cars and fuel-dragsters, driven by the likes of Pat Foster, Walt Stevens, Richard Tharp, Tom Toler, Dwight Salisbury, and Bruce Walker. One of the most remembered was their 1965-1967 165″ chassis built by Ronnie Scrima, Pat Foster, and Rocky Childs. The power came via a 470″ hemi on 85%, which propelled the car to run in the 7.60s with speeds approaching 220 MPH. A consistent winner at the San Fernando Raceway, it also held the track elapsed-time record in 1967, at 7.89 with regular driver Tom Toler at the helm. Rocky was inducted into the National Hot Rod Association Hall of Fame in 2008.
After 35 years, Jimmy Albert decided to retire. Rocky Childs thought to do the same but then connected with Ray Akerly, and the two went on to form Akerly & Childs, a supplier of bearings and rings.
Rocky Childs passed away on February 15, 2010, at 74. He was surrounded by family and holding the hand of the love of his life of 50 years, Sharon. Rocky left a long legacy of high-performance race cars, including the Addict Cackler, and a successful business.