West Coast Eastwood

  • West Coast Report 26th Edition by John Gilbert

    Arlen Ness B-day at The Petersen — Dream Garage in Fallon 

    I really dig it when an un-plan comes together. I decide what I’m going to run in each week’s West Coast Report by searching through image archives I’ve been collecting for upcoming articles, and then rely on a spur of last minute cosmic synchronicity to bring it all together. Sometimes it can take years for all of the story elements to materialize and then suddenly one day everything falls into place. As this is being written its September 9, 2013. Had he lived, today would have been my dog, Bongo’s 14th birthday. That’s Bongo on his 9th birthday sitting in between two editorial assistants while I at Custom Classic Trucks.

    WCE-26-ARLEN-02

    The Petersen Museum threw Arlen Ness a big birthday bash for his 74th celebration. I remember Arlen’s birthday is on July 12, because I called him on July 12, 2009 on his 70th birthday. I didn’t intend to bug Arlen on his birthday, but I needed some help writing an article about Jon Kosmosky and House of Kolor. Bongo died later that afternoon, and that’s why I’ll never forget the date for Arlen’s birthday.

    The photo credits for Arlen’s birthday bash go to the Petersen Museum.

     

    A close up of Arlen’s logo on the screen while the food line starts to pick up traffic in the background. It cost $95.00 to get in and the proceeds went to charity.

     

    I wasn’t there, but I’m pretty sure it was interesting hearing what Bruce Myer had to say.

     

    I’m guessing that’s Arlen’s wife at left. Arlen and Barry Weiss are both Hamsters. I don’t know about the rest of the cars, but that’s Arlen’s chopped ’56 Ford F-100 in front of his Victory shop in Dublin, CA. Arlen sold the truck years ago, and then discovered it recently on eBay.

     

    Always my favorite, the food line. I know the food is really good at Petersen Museum events, I ate there when Arlen helped debut the new Victory motorcycles one year.

     

    Here’s Barry giving Arlen a birthday kiss, it must be a Hamster tradition.

     

    Arlen signed it “to Lorenzo” Although I can’t recognize if that’s Lorenzo Lamas receiving the autograph. Gary Wood played Edward Furman on Air America.

     

    I’d say wearing a Hamster shirt means this guy is probably one of the Hamsters. In fact I’m surprised not to see a lot of Hamster shirts in the background of these photos.

     

    I really like the intricate patterns on her dress, it looks ornately metallic and silky smooth. Even blowing it up to the max I couldn’t make out her name.

     

    OK, now were getting into the photos I took of Art on Two Wheels. At rear right is the 2005 3-headed Monster. From Petersen text

    Called the 3-Headed Monster because of the number of cylinders in its unique engine, this custom by Cory Ness is powered by a 180-horsepower, three cylinder engine called a Fueling W3. The “W” refers to the arrangement of the cylinder banks, which resemble the letter W. Like radial aircraft engines it has a master connecting rod to which the other two rods attach. Ness converted the Ness Y2K Dyna frame into a rigid frame, handcrafted the gas tank and fenders, and added Evil-7 Ness wheels to complete the sinister theme. This chopper went on to win a 2005 episode of the reality television show Biker Build-Off.   

     

    The “Untouchable”

    Arlen Ness bought his first motorcycle, a slightly used Knucklehead, in 1963 for $300. Seeking greater distinction, he immediately began work on the bike, giving it a new look with a stretched gas tank and custom paint. A crowd pleaser from the start, Untouchable drew the attention of the media and led to Ness receiving orders for paint jobs on other motorcycles. But since Ness reinvested the money he made from custom paint jobs into his business, he could not afford to purchase a new motorcycle and reworked the 1947 Knucklehead often. Between 1963 and 1977, Untouchable took on various looks that included both Sportster and Tombstone gas tanks, high bars and drag bars, and purple, yellow and blue paint. The 74-cubic inch engine was replaced by a 100-cubic inch unit with a Magnuson supercharger and the stock transmission replaced by a unit-construction transmission from a Sportster.

     

    “Mach Ness”

    Arlen Ness began building his jet bike after seeing Jay Leno ride a similar version. He fit a turbine jet engine into an old Ness frame and used a single chain to deliver power to the rear wheel. An electric motor was mounted on the front wheel for starting the turbine engine and a clutch was installed to disengage it as needed. While most jet-powered motorcycles are built as sport bikes, this one was kept long and low to retain the jet theme. The all-aluminum body was hand fabricated by Bob Munroe and Carl Brouhard hand-painted the detailed graphics, including the rust and rivets. Keeping with the theme, the bike is equipped with afterburners which shoot flames a distance of up to ten feet.

     

    “Half & Half”

    A fan of the look of antique bikes, Arlen Ness modified an antique Sportster kit in order to create the light and nimble Half & Half. To build the bike, Ness chose a Harley-Davidson Shovelhead engine for an older look and borrowed the drive and transmission from a stock Harley-Davidson FXR. When completed, Half & Half was taken on a tour around the country, which included the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota and Daytona Bike Week in Florida. Ness admires the look of these antique kits so much that he keeps one mounted in his living room at home.

     

    “Top Banana”

    Top Banana was constructed in a mere 10 days as part of a competition for the reality television series Biker Build-Off in which two motorcycle builders compete to build the better bike. The motorcycle features a one-off frame, 145-cubic inch S&S supercharged engine, and dual custom-made front perimeter brakes with dual six-piston calipers on the rear. To retain a long and low appearance, the top of the bike’s frame was split into two bars so the engine could be fitted between them. Top Banana lived up to its name having been designated the winner of the build-off in Puerto Rico in December 2004.

     

    “Aluminum Victory”

    In 2003, Arlen and Cory Ness partnered with American motorcycle manufacturer Victory Motorcycles to build limited-edition models under the Ness Signature Series name. The bikes featured Ness aftermarket Billet aluminum accessories, custom paint schemes, and signatures on the side panels. This chromed custom has an all-aluminum frame and swing arm that together weigh an incredibly light 17 pounds. To further reduce weight, the gas tank and fenders were fabricated of aluminum. Victory Aluminum is powered by 106 cubic inch V-Twin engine and equipped with a front dual disc brake and inverted fork for better strength and rigidity.

     

    Here’s another view of “Half & Half”

    A ¾-view of Arlen breeding a Shovel FXR with vintage cues.

     

    “Sick Ness”

    The grandson of Arlen and son of Cory, Zach Ness has become the third generation to carry on the tradition of building radical custom motorcycles. Constructing his first bike before finishing high school, Ness has already become well-respected in the custom motorcycle builder community even as he continues to discover and develop his own individual style. Zach’s creations have been featured in many of the nation’s top motorcycle publications. To create this custom, Ness started with a Ness Y2K Softail chopper frame with an altered rear section and powered it with a 124-inch S&S engine. He completed the look of SickNess with features such as a custom Billet rear swing arm, custom pointed front frame scoop, and handmade gas tank and fenders.

     

    “Thin Twin”

    Blue Digger Son of the “King of Choppers,” Cory Ness followed in his father’s footsteps building and customizing motorcycles and created his own line of custom bikes. Thin Twin features a five-inch stretch Digger frame, a signature Ness design that sparked the trend toward longer and lower choppers during the 1970s. Its two custom gas tanks are bolted together by a ribbed seam in the middle and the 23-inch Ness Billet Bone wheels are powder coated and diamond cut. Steel triple trees connect the hand crafted fork tubes to the frame. Thin Twin is equipped with a kick start, magneto ignition, and custom front and rear perimeter brake rotors.     

     

    “Smooth-Ness”

    Inspiration for the motorcycle’s art deco design came from a sculpture of a 1932 Bugatti roadster sitting on Arlen Ness’s coffee table. Following the elegant lines of the Bugatti, Carl Brouhard drew the initial sketches and Craig Naff hand formed the curvaceous aluminum body which wraps around an experimental Ness rubber mount Softail frame. It is powered by a stock 80-cubic inch Harley-Davidson Evolution engine with a stock FXR transmission. To show off its high level of craftsmanship, the bike was ridden to several runs unpainted, but eventually completed to participate in the 1995 Oakland Roadster Show.

    Outlaw Rodder

    Patching Holes in the Hot Rod to Hell’s Nose

    People can say whatever they want about a fiberglass bodied car, but I gotta say fiberglass sure is fast and easy to work with. In an earlier West Coast Report I showed what the new Headwinds headlights with custom grilles are basically going to look like. So now in this week’s edition I’m going to demonstrate how to repair the big ugly holes left in the nose by the old headlights. There’s at least three different ways to repair minor holes and imperfections in fiberglass. The first which is a bad idea, is to use a polyester filler (bondo). Crack City, you can get away with filling imperfections, coarse sanding scratches, etc. with a polyester filler, but watch out when you use it where there needs to be structural strength. The next two methods using fiberglass mat soaked with resin, or Evercoat Everglass Filler are a much better way to go.

     

    For the four holes in the nose I determined Everglass would fit the bill just fine. A quick description of Everglass; it’s a Short strand, fiberglass reinforced body filler. High strength, high build and waterproof which makes it excellent for repairing holes, rusted metal, body seams and shattered fiberglass. Contains ZNX-7T for superior adhesion and corrosion resistance to bare steel, galvanized steel and aluminum.

     

    The inside view before starting.

     

    I used 36-grit sandpaper to rough up the outer surface to promote adhesion. Everglass filling in the deep sanding scratches adds strength to the repair.

     

    Ditto for the inside, I used 36-grit to rough the area up.

     

    Just about any kind of tape, masking, foil, or Scotch, can be used to make a barrier to retain the Everglass from squirting out.

     

    I mixed up the Everglass with the included Blue hardener.

     

    As soon as the Everglass was mixed I applied it to the inside of the nose.

     

    While the Everglass was still tacky I removed the foil tape.

     

    Notice there’s only a couple of small pinholes appearing after the first application.

     

    Here’s inside the other side. Notice there’s a heavy buildup of Everglass to add strength to the repair. To make sanding easy, start sanding the Everglass with 36-grit while its still tacky.

     

    To fill the pinholes on the outside I spread on Everglass and then block sanded it with 36-grit to get the basic shape. Remember, do it while still tacky.

     

    Once the Everglass cured hard, I block sanded the surface with 220, and 320 grit paper. You can use wet or dry paper, I wet-sanded.

     

    36-grit on a sanding block

     

    Work the block in a circular motion, and criss-cross. Also use a straight-line motion, but keep and eye open for how its turning out.

     

    After finishing in 220 or 320 I always use PRE to make sure the surface is contaminant free, so the primer will not fisheye.

     

    One of my favorite products, Eastwood’s High-Build Self-Etching primer works just as good as primer from a gun, and with much less hassle.

     

    You can tell from this shot the spraycan lays down a serious high-build coating of primer.

     

    Its amazing how fast Eastwood’s High-Build primer dries. After a couple of hours in the sun I was able to start block sanding. All primers shrink to some degree. After two days of curing longer I re-sprayed the area and block sanded again.

     

    On the way home from Hot August Nights in Reno one year I stopped by Marvin Sanders home in Fallon, Nevada to shoot his ’56 Ford for a feature in Custom Classic Trucks.

    While I was at Marvin’s I noticed there was a brand-new pole barn next door on a big lot with a for sale sign. Although I imagine I’ll live my life out in Orange County, CA. I’ve always had a dream about moving out to the country and living on an acreage with a shop big enough to store, and work on all of my cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

    And of course the big lot would come in handy for driving an old 9N Ford tractor around with a herd of dogs running behind it. I’m not sure how many wives they’ll let you have in Nevada… Just saying, its in the middle of nowhere you know. Did I say wives, I meant dogs… how many dogs?

    Here’s the view out behind Marvin’s green oasis. I had to really look to see through the greenery to next door.

    Here’s how far the pole barn sits back from the road.

    Here’s the front complete with a truck door.

    Here’s the backside.

    Here’s inside up front. I’m sorry I can’t remember how much they were asking for the property.

     

    This is Marvin standing ¾ ways to towards the rear of the barn.

     

    Notice the floors are still dirt. First thing I would have poured a cement slab.

     

    That’s looking into the rising morning sun. This is the view looking from the rear. It’s a long way to the next property.

     

    That dirt patch at right of the road is where the driveway was, or should I call it a dirt way?

     Rustin’ Gold

    “66 Chevy C10 in Fallon, NV.

    After I left from shooting Marvin’s ’56 Ford, I drove around the neighborhood in Fallon, and searched for stuff for sale. This ½-ton ’66 Chevy didn’t have a price, but it couldn’t have been much.

     

    It’s a dirty shame the truck is so rusty because its an original paint example with all the stock trimmings still in place. First year 327 V8 with 3-speed Overdrive, and Factory tach!

     

    Look under the visor, I guarantee this roof is ready to rust-through completely and turn this C10 into a roadster. I called the ph. number no one answered.

     

    This baby is a Big-Window, and that’s old truck gold! Notice the flush rear camper style bumper, never seen one like that. I think all ’66 Chevy’s came with backup lights.

     

    ‘Ol Loren bought her brand-new I’ll bet; On the side of the bed LOREN HARRISON Atlanta, MO. GVW 6,000 FARM is still legible.

     

    Notice this thing is so rusty the front fenders have big holes clean through. My guess is someone bought in Missouri and moved to Nevada, and then put it up for sale. Nevada trucks are usually rust-free for the most part.

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  • West Coast Report 24th Edition: by John Gilbert

    Fun with Poison - Garage Surrealisim - The New Peterson

    Nothing gets the dirt off like a good meteor shower… Because I drank just the right amount of coffee this morning I’m thinking this might not be a good time to mess with electricity. Nevertheless I’m going to hook my Altec Lansing ACS48 amp with speakers, and sub back up to my Mac. My girlfriend unplugged the Altec amp just because there was a loud buzzing sound coming out of it. I don’t worry about loud buzzing sounds until they’re accompanied by a bad smell, with flickering white lights penetrating through gray elastic smoke… anything short of an actual fire is OK. So catch me if you can, I’m going back. Anyone reading this ever play a Rickenbacker 12-string electric? Pinto beans are the backbone for my everyday diet. A Santa Ana, California, company Rickenbacker introduced the electric 12-string in 1963.

    For good eating it’s pretty hard to beat a good old fashioned cheeseburger, but I have to say my favorite gourmet fare is Mexican food. I’d like to begin the 24th edition of the West Coast Report with a DIY cooking tech. Let’s call it the DIY guy’s guide to cooking Mexican food at home. My parents, and I went on a lot of cross-country road trips during the 50s and 60s. When I was a kid growing up in California I always thought it was strange Mid-West and Eastern states didn’t have Mexican food. We ate Lobster in Nova Scotia. Lobster is an incredible ingredient to use in Mexican food, especially burritos, and enchiladas.

    In the 21st Century its hard to find a can opener that works well on 1-gallon bean cans.

    OK, I can see where this is going I better move on before I write myself into the unemployment line. After opening the can as far as possible with a can opener peel the lid back with a pair pliers. Normally I use this Craftsman pair of pliers, but when special guests arrive I bring out the good stuff, and use Eastwood pliers.

    Not related to either former President, I prefer Bush beans, over the generic brands that add too much salt. Believe it or not, not all pinto beans taste the same. There’s a specific authentic flavor to refried beans that I’d really like to know the secret recipe for. The Little Caboose in Anaheim, serve the best refried beans. That’s where the Eastwood crew goes to eat legit Mexican food while they’re here in California. Ask Matt about the original location, he’ll tell ya.

    After rinsing the beans in a strainer, pour them into a pan and repeat the process. Don’t do this at home, but I like to leave vintage cans of pre-banned DDT formulated Raid bug poison in the kitchen for that legit Mexican restaurant flavor of old. Pork lard tastes better than olive oil, plus its good for congesting arteries, and heart valves. Although there are theories the Capsaicin prevalent in hot sauce burns the grease and grime out of one’s veins like Roto-Rooter does to tree roots in a sewer pipe.

    I’m sorry I couldn’t wait, I should have taken a picture of what I cooked before I ate it. I’ve heard Tapatio isn’t available in Mexico, it really tastes great on fish. Adding Endorphin Rush works swell for people that don’t like to use caffeinated products to get alert.

    Hotter hot sauces such as Endorphin Rush can be added to hop-up tamer hot sauces.

    After ingesting hot sauce, I like to create abstract paintings, or go for a motorcycle ride.

    Before the Petersen Museum opened in Los Angeles a person had to drive to Sparks, Nevada to visit a good car museum, that was Bill Harrah’s collection. Uh, that’s not true depending on what years we’re talking about a person could drive 35 miles south of LA to Costa Mesa, and visit the Briggs Cunningham museum. Today, both Harrah’s and the Briggs Cunningham museums are long gone, but fortunately the Petersen is still around, and looks like things in LA are really starting to move to the next level. Some folks got their shorts in a knot over the Petersen selling off some cars to help finance the renovation, but I’m not worried. Bruce Myer is involved, and he’s done a ton of things in years past to help preserve the history of hot-rodding, there’s no way in hell any of this is a bad thing. Of course they did auction off a mini-Winnie, that’s a baby Winnebago motorhome. So the Good Sam club might have a few irate members over that move, but what are you going to do. And yes, there was the “Bojangles” Dusenberg.

    Here’s a link to a tour I did of the Petersen while I was editing Custom Classic Truckshttp://www.customclassictrucks.com/eventcoverage/0908cct_the_petersen_automotive_museum/

    Images courtesy of Petersen Museum. And now for the canned press release…

    THE NEW PETERSEN

    Iconic Southern California museum unveils plans for a stunning, sculptured metal exterior and cutting-edge interior with interactive displays, transforming it into the world’s finest automotive museum. The L.A. cultural landmark will showcase Southern California’s rich automotive heritage and will serve as a gateway to the city’s “Museum Row.”

    Los Angeles, Calif. (Aug. 18, 2013) – The Petersen Automotive Museum announced today that it will mark its 20th anniversary in 2014 by commencing a complete exterior transformation and a dynamic redesign of the interior, resulting in a world class museum that will showcase the art, experience, culture and heritage of the automobile.  Displays will feature the prominence of the automobile in Southern California, as well as cars, trucks and motorcycles from around the world. In addition to the facility upgrade, the new Petersen will feature a refined and upgraded permanent collection and an expansion of rotating displays, galleries, technology and story-telling, providing visitors with fresh, new experiences throughout the year.

    The exterior design by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates will transform the Petersen building into one of the most significant and unforgettable structures in Los Angeles.  Long ribbons of stainless steel will wrap around three sides and over the top of the deep red building, making a visceral statement that evokes the imagery of speed and the organic curves of a coach-built automobile.  At night, the color and forms will be lit from within to accentuate the steel sculpture and act as a beacon in the neighborhood known as The Miracle Mile.

    “As we approach the Petersen Automotive Museum’s 20th anniversary, our goal is to design and build an exterior as stunning as the vehicles and displays housed inside,” said Peter Mullin, the Petersen’s Chairman of the Board. “For two decades this museum has charmed visitors with its fantastic collection and its focus on education and entertainment. Our plan is to work with the best and brightest minds in architecture, automotive history and interactive design to give the people of Los Angeles and the world a place where they can be immersed in the culture, sights and sounds of the greatest vehicles ever built.”

    The transformation will extend to the museum’s interior as well, with a proposed additional 15,000 square feet of display space. Redesigned galleries will feature state-of-the-art lighting, digital displays and immersive learning stations that will tell the stories of the people and machines that changed the world over the past century. Education programs will showcase a restored and upgraded permanent collection that includes historically significant American and European classics, hot rods, groundbreaking race cars, the latest in alternative fuel technology, cars with Hollywood heritage and even vehicles designed and built in Los Angeles itself.

    The Petersen will continue the mission set forth by its founder, Robert E. Petersen (editor’s note: Yea, Bob!) to showcase the automobile’s role in art and culture, both locally and globally, while celebrating Southern California’s place as the epicenter of the automotive landscape.

    The museum will immediately begin a capital campaign to raise funds needed for the exterior renovations. For more information on the new Petersen, visit www.Petersen.org

    Anyone ever go to the Hoppin’ Grape in Calgary, circa ‘73?

    Tech Tricks

    Hot Rod to Hell; Fabricating Shock Mounts

    Cutting a short chunk of steel, tubing or pipe in a cutoff wheel (saw) can be a major hassle. The problem is trying to keep the little bugger straight in the cutoff wheel’s vice without it moving sideways. Using your fingers to hold the piece still is a bad idea… Duh.

    Here’s what a shorty anything does, it cocks sideways.

    The head on a ½-inch 20 bolt is the same diameter as ¾-inch OD x ½-inch ID. Clamp it down…

    Make sure it’s lined up and tightened down snug.

    Then make a perfectly square cut. Beautiful, huh?

    This method also works great to cut bolt ends off as clean, and squarely as possible.

    Here’s a slightly different view.

    I slosh cutting oil liberally when I drill holes. Leaving the parts oily when the next step is to weld is a good way to produce ugly contaminated welds if not start a fire. PRE works great, an additional use for Eastwood PRE is as a degreaser before welding.

    After flushing with Eastwood PRE, I used compressed-air to rid the area of any un-dispersed PRE. Note I used the drill press table as a welding table. Hey, it works swell in a pinch.

    Here’s the friction shocks beefed-up with a pair of Speedway chrome telescopic shocks linked in.

    Here’s a face on view of the front upgraded suspension along with Speedway’s polished stainless steel Shotgun headers. In addition to looking great the Shotgun headers route extreme heat further away from the oil filter, and most important of all the brake master-cylinder.

    I started prepping the body for paint last night. I’m loving the convenience of Eastwood’s high-build primer in a spray can. I hate cleaning a spray gun after I’ve worked all day.

    Oil Do’s, Don’ts and Dids

    Its almost like its a government, or new car manufacturer’s plot to accelerate getting older vehicles off the road. In California, there’s no doubt legislators want cars off the road, but this is a national issue. There was no warning when the oil manufacturers took the ZDDP completely out of the oil was what a Comp Cams rep told me at MPMC, SEMA’s media trade conference in 2012. The discussion came up when I’d mentioned around 2006 we started having new engines blow up on the dyno with bad cams before we figured out what was happening. In short ZDDP is an anti-wear additive essential for use in post WWII engines with higher compression and higher valve spring rates up to around 1989. Naturally I’m going to mention Eastwood sells a ZDDP additive that can be added to any motor oil. Its especially a good idea to have ZDDP in the crankcase of any flat-tappet OHV, SOHC, DOHC engine that’s new and needs to be broken in right. From there on out the correct level of ZDDP needs to be maintained. Its been said ZDDP attacks catalytic converters, but what good is perfectly good cat if you’re engine blows up? One needs to know if their engine has flat or roller tappets (valve lifters). From memory, catalytic converters appeared on US made cars in 1975. Some pickup trucks like the Ford F-150 and Chevy C10 Big 10’s (Heavy Chevy) were cat free until 1978. Enough of the vintage stuff.

    The type, or brand of oil one pours in their modern engine with roller lifters, and all of that other complicated features like cylinders that shut down from 8-6-4, and variable valve timing is equally important. There’s some modern engines that love to blow up when the wrong oil, or dirty oil is left in the engine too long. That old adage “oil is cheap insurance” is as true today as it ever was. In the old days a little sludge helped to cushion some engine parts. Ford Y-block engines with too much sludge (coking) plugged oil galleys to the top end, and stopped oil flow. Early small-block Chevy engines oiled too-much to the top end and partially choked passages in hollow pushrod tubes actually helped the problem. In today’s engines any trace of sludge and passages plug-up and premature death is inevitable.

    Two GMC trucks and two different types of motor oil required. I bought the black ’05 GMC brand-new, and oil-consumption wise its been a real disappointment ever since. I drove the ’05 to the Colorado border and back to break it in right, and it was all for nothing.

    After I dumped the manufacturer’s break-in oil, I’ve only used premium brand synthetic oils in the 5.3 L59 Flex-Fuel engine. Always use jackstands and shake the vehicle to make sure it doesn’t rock before climbing underneath.

    This is the oil change station in my home garage. Notice the air nozzle hanging from my Eastwood retractable hose reel. Everything related to changing engine oil should be clean. I use the air nozzle and a clean rag to make sure the funnel is clean before pouring the oil in.

    Removing a poorly accessible oil filter can be a real bear. I’ve got almost every type of oil filter removal tool made. Installing a spin-on filter should only be tightened by hand. Get it as tight as you can by hand.

    Since day one I’ve used a 6 point 15mm box end wrench to remove the drain plug on the ‘05. Be careful not to over-tighten the drain plug. Real snug will do.

    You don’t have to, but I like to prime the oil filter before installing. I change the oil filter every time the oil is changed.

    You should lubricate the oil filter gasket (square edged O-ring) with fresh engine oil.

    Since new I’ve used Mobil 1, Royal Purple, Pennzoil Platinum all complying with the manufacturers recommended viscosity on the oil filler cap. My ‘05 GMC has a little over 80,000 original miles on it. It doesn’t matter which brand, this pig guzzles two quarts of oil in between recommended mileage intervals.

    Choosing which engine oil to use is all about having faith in the brand. This is a subject that will really get the Internet wizards to spring into keyboard action. I just started using Quaker State in the ’05, I’ll report back on oil consumption. I can say the L59 sounds really good running quiet with this oil in it.

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  • West Coast Eastwood 22nd Edition: by John Gilbert

    Semantic Drift — Her Favorite Color Isn’t Chrome

    What’s worse than discovering Bolivian fecal hornets have built a nest hidden deep inside your toilet bowl, or how about getting hired and fired from a great job all in the same day?

    Get ready, this one is really bad news. The creative young professional nerds responsible for transforming some of your favorite words into meaning modern gibberish just got their fiendish little fingers on chrome. That’s right, chrome.

    Can you just imagine Trace Adkins singing about some lady that’s all crazy with elevating moisture levels over a fast free browser that unifies her toaster with her Magnavox hi-fi, and that helps turn on her Malibu lights?

    What’s next renaming bum wad, synchromesh rings? Have you noticed there’s a lot of exuberantly styled houses on this street. Alright, I’m warmed up, lets get onto some tech, and maybe even a few event highlights.

    Oh, and further into this report I’ve got a couple of quick peeks at the Tribute T Rod & Custom’s tech editor Kev Elliot built in an astonishingly brief amount of time for you. I’m not quite sure how Kev was able to keep up with all of his magazine deadlines, traveling, and front lawn mowing and still be able to pull it off. Must be those fast-drying paints from Eastwood.

     —John Gilbert

    Outlaw Rodder

    Friction Gets Tubular

    Here’s a shot of the T before I added Speedway Motors’ chrome telescopic shocks. As covered previously I’m swapping out the bug-eyed Model A headlamps for some reworked Headwinds headlights with machined aluminum grille bars that match the Track T grille bars.

    Last week I described there was a need to beef up the Hot Rod to Hell’s front suspension, but at that point I didn’t know exactly what I needed to do. I used Speedway Motors combination shock tower headlight mounting kit as a starting point to figure it out. That’s just how it is, its easier to start with a physical example to imagine what needs to be. The Speedway kit makes for an quick and easy way to handle the job on a conventional set of T rails, but the presence of the rounded front crossmember and trying to work around the track nose created  problems.

    I really like how clean the friction shocks appear, but I’m not too keen on hitting potholes on the Interstate without beefier shocks.

    After studying several front shock setups on other people’s track Ts I decided to devise a cantilever setup that would tuck inside the track nose. The idea was to bolt the US made, chrome-plated Speedway telescopic shocks out of sight. I know, it’s a sin to hide chrome.

    I flunked algebra, and didn’t take geometry, but I was familiar with the term suspension geometry. First I marked the friction shock arm with a Sharpie dot to observe the arc the dot traveled in.

    I needed to establish a point where the dot traveled as far front to rear as possible without moving up and down. Note the best spot was on an angled area.

    I drilled a 5/16-inch hole in the arm at the same angle as the arm’s pickup points. Then made a mount to temporarily hold the shock absorber in place to test if the concept worked.

    If the location was wrong the 5/16 hole was small and easy to weld up. In the next three photos note the angled wedges used to hold the bolt parallel.

    Next was to establish the angle the shock should be positioned at. The wood block is the same width as the frame rail. Its faster and cheaper to use wood in the mockup stages than steel.

    Top view: I viewed all angles and moved the friction shock arm up and down to ensure this would be the right location for the tubular shock to mount.

    With the front of the shock bolted in place, I determined the top mount location by placing the shock in the middle of its travel.

    The T off the wheel dollies and resting at ride height notice how good the Shotgun headers look close to the ground.

    Satisfied the shock mount bolt on the friction shock arm was located in the right place I drilled the hole out to ½-inch to accept the shock bolt.

    You never know when you might need something to help mock something up. This wedge I’ve had in my goodie drawer for at least 30 years.

    To drill the wedge out to the correct bolt hole angle I used the drill vise to hold the flat side up flush with the flat deck of the drill vise.

    I installed the ½-inch 20 shock bolt exactly as it would be when the job was done.

    I used heavy gauge flat strap C-clamped to the block of wood as a fixture to simulate a completed upper shock mount.

    With the T’s full curb weight on the ground I checked to make sure there was clearance between the shock and the frame.

    Next I lifted the T into the air to see what happened when the front axle dropped.

    Here’s another view.

    It was important to ensure there was enough shock travel up and down. Here the front axle is hanging as far as it will drop. With the Heim joint bolt out the shock travels further indicting more than enough shock travel downward.

    Here the shock arm is fully collapsed upward with the T on the ground. Note at ride height the Heim joint shows there is a lot of upward travel before the should would bottom out.

    Fully-collapsed this angle shows the shock clears the frame.

    With the axle dropped. Look how much further the shock arm travels than needed.

    I’m hoping by next week I’ve picked up the steel needed to fabricate the upper shock mounts and show how the job came out. I’m liking this shock mounting configuration because it totally conceals the tubular shocks while providing heavy-shocks for serious road work.

    One Rare Bird

    Kelly Owens’ ‘42 Mercury Station Wagon… plus a little Ford woody history

    This 1942 Mercury “Woody” wagon is a rare bird for several reasons. First a 1942 anything is rare for American made vehicles. December 7, 1941 marked the official beginning of the United States entering World War II and civilian production of cars, trucks, and motorcycles came to an abrupt halt. Mercury ceased production February 10, 1942.

    There were 897 1942 Mercury wagons built and half of that number were sold to the US government for military use. In 2013 there are only 10 ’42 Mercury wagons known to exist.

    This particular Merc wagon is the rarest of all ’42 Mercs because it is the only ’42 wagon that was custom built with Birdseye maple. An exotic wood, Birdseye maple wasn’t an available option. Henry Ford specified Birdseye for 10 cars custom made for dignitaries.

    In other words this ole lumber wagon was a “brass hat” car. Henry Ford believed strongly in owning and controlling all of the natural resources FOMOCO used in manufacturing. And a lot of the natural resources came from within Michigan.

    Kelly Owens’ Mercury won Best Wood at Wavecrest the annual woody meet held in Encinitas, California.

    Here’s an amazing find considering woody wagons are subject to termites and wood rot. This ’36 Ford woody still has its original paint and short of an early Corvette engine under the hood is a true survivor.

    Ford created the village of Alberta, Michigan, and opened its Alberta, sawmill in 1936. No doubt this ’36 Ford wagon is a product of first year production. Ford donated the town of Alberta to the state of Michigan in 1954. The ’51 shoebox Ford woody was the last real wood wagon Ford built. The Iron Mountain, Michigan plant built woody wagons, and ceased wagon production in 1951. If I’m wrong on any these facts please feel free to complain.

    Rod & Custom’s Tribute T

    In the Home Stretch

    Eastwood products galore — Loyal Rod & Custom readers should be familiar with the Tribute T project, tech editor Kev Elliot has building in the pages of R&C, its based on a Speedway Motors T-bucket kit. I’ve swung by the Source Interlink tech center a few times and have watched the T’s progress in person, and I have to tell you Kev does really clean work. It’s always neat to see how Kev solves some of the problems that always come up in a ground-up build… did I mention he does clean work? That’s Jeff Styles stripping the T, Kev Elliot armed with 12-inch Snap-on crescent wrench, and Jason Scudellari pouring oil into the Wimbledon White engine.

    For the Hot Rod to Hell, I chose Speedway Motors’ 4 into 2 polished stainless steel Shotgun style. The Tribute T is getting a set of Speedway’s chrome-plated 4 into 1 headers that dump into a collector.

    What’s looks like an octopus eating an air-conditioner is Kev wiring the engine up to run. Ultimately the Tribute T debuted at the 2013 Louisville Street Nats with shortened plug wires and lookin’ good. That sounded pretty dumb, huh?

    The Tribute T’s ultra deep gloss Boulevard Black urethane paint is from Eastwood. Stripes by Jeff Styles.

    Its funny how many guys like to use these 6-foot long folding tables for a portable workbench. I’ve got one myself… In fact I need to clean the thing off, so I can load it up again.

    Rustin’ Gold

    ’56 Ford F-600 in a Colorado field

    An easy low-buck route to building a classic pickup on the cheap is to find a bigger truck like this field find ’56 Ford F-600 and pare it down into an F-100. All it takes is a new aftermarket chassis, or a used donor F-100 frame, and you’ve got the makings of a pickup. Take a look at the louvers on the cowl an area that’s really prone to rust on ’53-56 F-100 and it doesn’t look bad at all. Other areas that rust are higher from the road and don’t get subjected to as much rain water and mud like the pickups do. Notice the F-600 running boards are abbreviated in comparison to a ’53-56 F-100 pickup.

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  • West Coast Report 21st Edition by John Gilbert

    When Bubble Tops Attack — Benign Politics Produce Gaseous

    Results & Mood Food… Neutered Brains Rein

    Do you understand your role in the spectacle? These babies may hold the answer. I started thinking (with the help of watching TV) about the human condition focusing on the World’s mentality and the next thing I knew — ](%Martians are —robbing**my­­­____ 1234— brain… salty rich basting butter, help, help Mr. Nixon. That’s it no more organic strawberries from Yorba Linda for me. Starbucks arrives in Southern California, road rage ensues. Did you ever notice road rage didn’t exist on a grand scale before then? When they outlaw coffee, only outlaws with have coffee.

    Fast-forward three hours. I’m back, I had to step away from the keyboard and present a bountiful present to the Metamucil gods. Notice there’s more than one Metamucil god. I wrote it that way, so my new California religious cult could attract more followers than mainstream religions with only one deity. And we’re not going any further with this… a guy can get killed talking about religion.

    ­California is really starting to fall behind on producing good controversial religious cults, so I’ve personally appointed myself to see if I can do something about it. First I need people to send me money, and then a place where we can all gather in a building on prime real estate and enjoy a tax-free status… Argh, I’ve allowed my designer Salmon oil Omega 3 capsules I bought from Uncle Sam’s Club to marinate a little bit too long.

    I have a yearning in my brain to arrange for a prostrate scan. On second thought, I’m going to wait until the Cruise For a Cure comes to the Orange County Fairgrounds. Now, I realize there’s six different states that have an Orange County, including Minnesota, so I better specify California. Holy crap, I don’t know what any of this all meant, but it sure was fun to write.

    On to more serious things. I don’t want to bum anybody out, but we’re living in a postindustrial age with an ever increasing presence of the service sector displacing agriculture, and manufacturing.

    Gary Chopit, with sons, Nicholas, and Fabian are building some incredible creations at their Stanton, California shop.

    I predict this fall there’s going to be a new show on TV called “When Bubble Tops Attack.” The premise is a shameless knockoff of that dorky bespeckled guy that writes all those really good science fiction stories. Under the Dome, ring a bell?

    Stefano Kink sells plots to the US government to be resold to the American public.

    I love the smell of burning tortillas in the morning. Every tattoo I have means something. This one here means I was drunk. Sometimes a burnt cornflake can look like a fly floating in milk amongst properly baked cornflakes.

    All I started out to do this morning was ask whatever happened to Mr. Potato Head. A rare look inside the hermit kingdom. What did happen to Mr. Potato Head? Listen to the rhythm of the falling rein.

    I have to go now. Passenger carrying drones are flying in California’s air space. WTF auto-pilot trains and planes? People are nervous, I think I’m losing it. I’m going out into my garage and work on the Hot Rod to Hell. Don’t worry the rest of the 21st edition of the West Coast Report will be completely serious. Yeah, like anyone read this far. Drone automobiles are already legal in California. Don’t believe me, Google it. There’s another name for it, but nevertheless they’re drones. Have you ever noticed clone rhymes with drone? My brain hurts. Don’t forget to send money to my new California cul… er, religion. Yes, it’s a religion. Red Mountain Kool-Aid straight from California’s

    Shop Tour

    Buchanan’s Spoke & Rim

    Here’s an example of a California grown family business that’s sticking it out in the “stick it to business state”. The first time I spoke with Jim Buchanan was in 1971 at Buchanan’s Frame shop in Monterrey Park, California. Jim’s shop was up the street from Laidlaw’s Harley-Davidson in Rosemead. I used to lace up the wheels for the Harley’s I was chopping, and then take the wheels to Buchanan’s and pay $10 to have them trued.

    Ask anyone that’s ever had to figure out how to lace a non stock wheel to a Harley-Davidson hub, and it won’t be long before the name Buchanan’s Spoke & Rim enters the conversation.  Founded in 1958, the same year Harley-Davidson introduced rear suspension on big twins, Jim Buchanan opened the doors to Buchanan’s Frame & Wheel Shop in Monterey Park, California.

    At first the shop was located in an old tin sided gas station, but it was all Jim needed to tweak a frame, or lace up a new set of chrome spokes on a sixteen to help a customer beautify his full-dresser. In 1961, Jim and wife Vernice had saved up enough money to buy property on which to build a new shop. The cement block building was erected at 629 East Garvey just a little north of Laidlaw’s Harley-Davidson in neighboring Rosemead, California.

    The additional work space helped to handle the ever increasing demand for crash repair, and custom frame work on Harley-Davidsons as well as numerous other motorcycle brands.

    The stretched wheelbase produced by Jim Buchanan’s neck raking took to the mainstream in 1969 when Easy Rider premiered at the movies. Although choppers with a kicked neck had been around for years it was the Captain America, and Billy bike built by Buchanan’s customer Cliff Vaughs that put the style in the mass public’s eye.

    Focusing on his role as the associate producer of Easy Rider, Cliff asked mentor Ben Hardy to construct a pair of Easy Rider crash doubles with Buchanan’s yet again responsible for the frame work, and wheel building.

    By 1970 the customizing trend to fit everything from a 750 Honda to an 18-inch Sportster rear wheel with a 16-inch hog rim was in full swing. Unfortunately as the demand for spokes was increasing Buchanan’s supplier in England was gearing up to get out of the business. Fortunately for Buchanan’s they were made aware of the situation and were able to buy the equipment, and have it shipped from England to California. The Dayton swaging machines originally manufactured in Torrington, Connecticut, by the Torrington Company and shipped in the 20s to Coventry Swaging, Torrington’s subsidiary in England. were now housed under Buchanan’s roof.

    Interestingly not one piece of Buchanan’s manufacturing equipment is as it left the factory. A good example is the two Dayton swaging machines Buchanan’s modified in the 70s to work more efficiently utilizing an electro-hydraulic unit sourced from a B-17 ball turret. To manufacture nipples that are free from rough edges on both ends the Buchanan family scratch built an intricate, and extremely costly machine.

    In the 21st century Buchanan’s is the only wire wheel builder in the United States that manufactures its own spokes, nipples, and rims in-house. Every phase of Buchanan’s manufacturing is a process that forges a part into shape rather than grind, or take away material to produce. Instead of cutting spoke threads, threads are rolled into specs that produce a precise fit. In addition to offering Sun wheels, Buchanan’s own brand they offer numerous other brands to choose from including Akront, Spin Werkes, and Excel.

    Beyond traditional appearance wire wheels offer low un-sprung weight, and the ability to adjust the offset after the wheel has been manufactured.  Now in its 54th year, and continuing to manufacture successfully in the de-industrialized state of California, the Buchanan family is to be commended for keeping a lost art alive.

      John Gilbert

    California grown and family owned Buchanan’s Frame shop, dropping frame work from its services offered to the public became known as Buchanan’s Spoke & Wheel. The original frame table several of my Harley rigid frames were raked on in ’71 is still in use for family projects.

    All the raw materials, stainless steel, carbon steel, and aluminum Buchanan’s manufactures with comes from the United States. In the shop working since he was 6 years old, here’s Kennie Buchanan standing next to stainless steel wire headed to the straightening machine.

    Pulled into the Lewis straightening machine (founded 1911) the stainless steel wire is drawn straight, and cut into eight foot lengths destined to become spokes.

    The eight foot lengths are then loaded into the Dayton swaging machine where a taper is cold forged into the semi-formed spoke that increases the strength of the spoke. This very machine made spokes in England from 1920 until 1970 when it was then sold to Buchanan’s.

    Now company president here’s Robert Buchanan he’s been working at the family business for 33 years. The machine Robert is standing next to cuts heavy stainless, or carbon steel into stubs that are forged into nipples.

    Here’s a look at more nipples than a lifetime subscription to Playboy. Note the nipple centers are as of yet un-drilled.

    At this stage the machine pictured performs numerous operations leaving the nipples readied for completion in one last machine. The last machine the nipples enter is a one-off piece of equipment Buchanan’s custom built in-house to smooth both ends of the nipples.

    Buchanan’s Sun wheels start with a 30 foot length of extruded virgin aluminum, clipped to a specified length, and then rolled into a hoop.

    The Sun wheel hoop is then straightened, and fused together seamlessly with 440-volts of electricity.

    Next the Sun wheel hoop is placed into this machine, and cold forged with extreme pressure into a near exact wheel shape.

    The final step for the Sun wheel blank is a quick spin in the CNC Haas horizontal machining center. The result is a wheel hoop that conforms to tighter tolerances than possible in past years.

    Here’s how spoke holes are punched in low volume. Not pictured is an automated wheel drilling machine Buchanan’s built in-house at a cost exceeding $100,000.

    One of the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet, here’s Jim Buchanan lacing and truing a pre-war WL wheel. If you’ve got the hub, Buchanan’s can make the spokes and wheel to make it roll.

    Buchanan’s Spoke & Rim
    www.Buchananspokes.net
    (626) 969-4655

    Outlaw Rodder

    Shocking! The Nose Knows

    There’s a few things that I need to get thoroughly mocked up on the Hot Rod to Hell Track T before I can blow it all apart and repaint. As I’ve mentioned in previous WCE editions the friction front shocks are fine for in-town cruising, but not exactly what I need for hitting potholes at 80mph on the Interstate. When you’re mocking something up you have to start somewhere. Here’s the steps I took to figure out what I need to do to add tubular shocks. Install an exhaust system that won’t boil the engine oil, and fry the brake master-cylinder. Speedway Motors T-Bucket catalog is the T-Bucket builder’s bible when it comes to locating all the trick goodies, both vintage style and the latest stuff.

    The bubbling black wrinkle paint on the orange Fram oil filter doesn’t show in this photo, but you can see how close the exhaust pipe runs past it.

    The last bolt at the rear of the exhaust manifold barely clears the steering box. The manifold baring against the steering box transmits heat, and engine vibration to the steering.

    Left bank: In plain view, but hard to reach describes the stock style Dorman ram horns. I’m glad I’m not putting them back on.

    Right bank: This isn’t the firing order marked on the plug wires, but in a quick pinch it works to ID the wires.

    The mockup process involves trying different parts to see what works best. These Speedway Motors stainless-steel ram horns look a thousand times better than stock, and get exhaust heat away the heads, plus allow more room to route plug wires.

    The downside to any ram horn type header for my application is the exhaust pipes run inside the frame. To add a great competition look to the car and to cure heat related problems I opted for Speedway Motors Shotgun pipes.

    The Speedway Shotgun pipes are made from stainless steel, and then highly polished. This is a key chain magnet used for testing steel. A magnet will not stick to stainless steel.

    Working alone can be a problem when a third hand is needed. I used the Speedway box to prop the Shotgun pipes and hold into place while I screwed the bolts in.

    The mockup stages establish if an idea will work, and how something is going to look. From this angle the Shotgun pipes look badass.

    Chrome shocks add a 50’s custom touch like the cars that used to show at the Oakland Roadster Show. The chrome shocks I’m using are from Speedway, and are made in the USA. Georgia to be exact.

     

    Cats are hard to train for use as a helper.

    The only way to avoid cutting the track nose severely for clearance was to convert the existing friction shocks into cantilever tubular shocks. Not a conventional way of doing things, but that’s how hot rods are.

    Sometimes new parts can be parted out to fabricate a new part. I used the Speedway shock studs as basis to make new shock uprights. The upright will run vertical alongside the radiator.

    The lower shock stud goes through the friction shock arm.

    I’ve mentioned it before, the Model A headlights are too big and heavy to be mounted into the fiberglass track nose.

    I’m hoping to use the Speedway shock/headlight bracket to mount the headlights.

    Here’s how the stock ’27 Model T headlights mount. Notice the connector bar the ’26 Model T lacked.

    I’m going to cut the headlight visor back to flush with the headlight grille. The headlight grille will be polished to match the rounded edges of the grille.

    From this angle the “look” of the car is really starting to shape up. I’ll be using Eastwood 2K Aero-Spray Chassis Black for the main color. Haven’t decided how aluminum to leave bare.

    After taxidermy cats are easier to train.

    I’ve tried different mounting positions for the headlights. They’re 44,000 candlepower, so I might want to keep them low out of oncoming traffic’s eyes. I can hardly wait to get this thing blacked-out, and going back together.

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  • West Coast Report — Kustom Kulture II by John Gilbert

    Kustom Kulture II gurgles up at the Huntington Beach Art Center — Stick Your Face In It!

    Hey, I have to tell you all time is hauling ass. Please translate that into time really flies. It seems like only yesterday I was at my Westminster, California custom paint shop laying flames on a set of fat bobs when a guy named Greg Escalante walked up, and told me about an art show he was putting together for the Laguna Beach Art Museum. That was in early 1993, and the exhibit was to be called Kustom Kulture. It wasn’t like Greg was going door-to-door pitching the show, he spotted me while picking up his board from Surfix my buddy Steve’s surfboard repair shop across the alley. Looking through my So Cal raised eyes Kustom Kulture is all about the really neat icons and idols that came along with hot-rods, chopped Harley-Davidsons, surfing, rock ‘n roll music, girl’s bicycle seats, drag racing, mini-bikes, go-karts, steel-wheeled Roller Derby skateboards, customized cars, guitars, and everything else us little dorks couldn’t keep stock if it was to save our souls. In ’93 when I talked with Greg, I told him about the late 60s and early 70s while I was in art school and the professors telling me custom painting wasn’t art. I’ve hated the square art world ever since. I was excited to hear about Kustom Kulture being set to appear at the Laguna Beach Art Museum. As it turned out Kustom Kulture was the museums most successful exhibit ever. Time warp to now, I don’t care if the square art world calls what gearheads do pulled pork with roasted maggots, its clear to see this stuff has carved out a niche in art history. Who knows maybe Janson will add a chapter. If there’s any chance you can make it to the Huntington Beach Art Center before Kustom Kulture II closes on August 24, 2013 you gotta do it. The admission is free, there is a donation box. I rolled in early Tuesday afternoon, and there was plenty of free parking inside the HBAC lot adjacent the building. This art has to be viewed live, these photographs just don’t do it justice.

    —   John Gilbert

    I guess it’s the bike painter in me. This surfboard by Damian Fulton was hands down my absolute favorite at KKII. In custom painter terms its got bitchin’ graphics under a heavy coat of slicked clear.

    I’m as unhip as the squares I often refer to, if not more. I wasn’t familiar with Damian’s work until I went to Kustom Kulture II. Google his name and you’ll find a ton of mouth watering subject matter he’s portrayed.

    As with custom paint, or maybe its all art, you really gotta shove your face into it and then move your head around to catch the light hitting the paint right.

    My guess is the board was based in silver as a lot of candies are, and then shot with a candy gold. I was digging the texture of the fiberglass mat under a perfectly smooth surface. Right from shaping the foam this thing is a work of art. FU square art instructor PhD types.

    I don’t know if you’d call it Wild Orchid, Lavender, or what, but that purplely color looked really good against the Ipana toothpaste green. For some reason it kinda reminds me of Craig Fraser’s bubbletop ’61 Buick. Google, Kal Koncepts.

    Years after Kustom Kulture I, and much in advance of Kustom Kulture III to be held in 2033, Damian painted this board in 2005. It’s a good thing I don’t have to review art for a living, I’d be toast. “Uh, its really neat to look at, and uh, I like it, its real shiny.”

    Richard Chang of the Orange County Register said, “The group show glorifies cars, surfing, motorcycles and skateboarding. And it occasionally objectifies women.” Carlos Danger wonders what’s happening to the naked dude seen here?

    From the pages of Surfer Murphy by Rick Griffin was a god-like pagan deity to all us Roller Derby, riding junior high-school kids. Not that it means anything except to add a little obscure history. I remember thinking Rick Griffin used to date Bob Ramirez’ sister back in 1968. I can’t even come close to covering how amazing Rick Griffin’s body of work is. I promise in a future West Coast Report, I’ll dig a lot deeper. Meanwhile Google Rick Griffin, it will blow your mind!

    The neat part about creating art versus custom painting some big greasy biker’s motorcycle is you can get runs and not get killed. Here on a 48x48-inch canvas Coop used acrylic enamel in spray cans to create this thing. Stuff your face in it, and its just a bunch of random dots.

    Step back farther and there’s a creepy skull.

    Way back further, and you can’t tell it’s a bunch of dots.

    The first time I saw a photo of this painting by Anthony Ausgang, I hate to admit it, but I didn’t really care too much for it. Then seeing Salome  live at Kustom Kulture II completely changed my mind. Stuff your face in it and the effects Anthony uses to create asphalt are really neat. In fact judging by craftsmanship alone this guy is a pretty good painter. Go see it, I’m not kidding.

    The first time I saw a photo of this painting by Anthony Ausgang, I hate to admit it, but I didn’t really care too much for it. Then seeing Salome  live at Kustom Kulture II completely changed my mind. Stuff your face in it and the effects Anthony uses to create asphalt are really neat. In fact judging by craftsmanship alone this guy is a pretty good painter. Go see it, I’m not kidding.

    In particular I liked how Todd outlined the guys (if indeed they’re men) with red to look just like fire light hitting from in front. How’s that for a lame description… Eh, I’ve read worse.

    In particular I liked how Todd outlined the guys (if indeed they’re men) with red to look just like fire light hitting from in front. How’s that for a lame description… Eh, I’ve read worse.

    Rick Rietveld, Road Queen done in mixed media 2005. I’m burning out on writing captions. Please do a search on Rick’s work and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Better yet, buy something Rick’s work is for sale.

    I guess this is as good a point as any to mention the influence of Robert Williams work on (insert scholarly observations here).

    Stan Betz used to have an automotive paint supply store on Katella, in Anaheim. I’ve still got paint Stan mixed for me. Anyways, Stan had Von Dutch paint the signage and graphics on his delivery trucks. We used to see them all the time in town. Way smarter than the average bear, as the trucks sustained damage Stan would mount the hoods, fenders, or tailgates Von Dutch had painted up on the walls.

    Stunning detail from the pinstripping scene in Japan. Magic of Pinstripping & Kustom Kulture, 2013. This thing had so much intricate work it hurt my eyes trying to take it all in. The artist is Makoto Kobayashi.

    Pipa Garner, should have been in charge at GM when the company was trying downsize stuff. Here a Nissan truck could have been used to economize leftover inventory of mid-50s Cadillac Fleetwood sedans with a nose clip.

    Extreme Retro Steam powered 1769 French Cugnot: Here’s proof Pipa Garner was way ahead of the curve with the Resto-Mod movement, not to mention alternative propulsion.

    A diptych, two panels: Stick your face as tight as you can into Mr G’s (Minoru Goto) work. Incredible mind blowing precision like some kind of out of control robot commissioned by wealthy patrons to...

    Sorry, I’m really trying to write like the other reviews I read about Kustom Kulture II. Have you ever written captions, it’s a time consuming deal that will make your eyes bleed.

    Look at this thing, its hard to believe a human could paint something so perfect. Now go pay two mil for painting of a dot by a square artist with a famous brand name. Have I ever mentioned the square art world sucks?

    There’s a glass case full of knives Von Dutch made, plus these keen-o decals a kid could have stuck on his bike back in the day of Driftwood cow decals. Doll-up Stripes were for decals older guys with cars.

    I forgot to shoot the descriptive tag, so I’ll have to wing it. Dodo bird, a compilation of Robert Williams art transformed into the 3rd dimension by bronze sculptor Jeff Decker.

    One look at this pre-WWII illustration by Basil Wolverton, and I’d have to say Basil was responsible for inspiring all the creepy monster shirts that “Big” Daddy Roth used to crank out at the car shows… its just a guess.

    Walt Disney’s Donald Duck in Der Fuehrer’s Face from Jeff Decker’s collection.

    Humor in a Jugular Vein: Beautiful Girl of the Month Reads Mad. From the 11th cover of Mad magazine.

    I’ve still got the Kustom Kulture poster (flyer) Greg gave me in ’93. Alright at this point I guess I better give credit to the folks that did a really great of job of mounting Kustom Kulture II ( I don’t mean they screwed it, that’s art show jargon).

    Curated by C.R. Stecyk, Greg Escalante and Paul Frank. For more information www.huntingtonbeachartcenter.org

    El Forastero New Years Party in the Kansas City caves by David Mann for Roth Studios courtesy of Jeff Decker: I remember talking with David Mann about this painting while I was in KCMO writing the Juxtapoz cover story on David’s surreal art. In fact we drove Dave’s El Camino over to caves while we talking about the early days at Roth. David was an El Forastero  and it was fellow member Tiny that set it up with Roth to buy Hollywood Run for $85.00, and consequently Roth hired David to crank out ten more paintings as I remember it. Notice the names scribed on the wall, all these were Dave’s friends names. David had a habit of incorporating his friends names written on the wall in several of his paintings.

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