West Coast Eastwood

  • West Coast Report 13th Edition: By John Gilbert

    Happy Father’s Day — Fellow Mothers of Invention

     

    The third time’s a charm. The following Father’s Day tribute originally appeared in an editorial during my editor-in-chief stint at Custom Classic Trucks. Some years later, last Mother’s Day actually, I did a rewrite as an entry into a contest Bobby Likis at www.CarClinicNetwork.com was running. If you get on Bobby’s website it’s not the contest for $500.00 worth of free gasoline, but the one where the winner scores a radar detector, it’s called Car Story With Dad. Probably more fun than watching chrome rust; Here’s the third version, if you have a lot of time on your hands why not Google all three versions, and see if you can detect the changes. The winner will receive an autographed booklet on FIF (Feline Idiopathic Flatulence). *  This is not a real contest, so please disregard reading the contest rules that do not appear anywhere — Not even in my weirdest dreams, and trust me brothers I have a lot of weird dreams. I think my nightmares might be caused by the cabbage burritos I like to chase down with a big bag of Fiery Cheetos dipped in organic asparagus juice. Ah, but that’s yet another story.

    Test Drives With The Old Man

    When I was a kid growing up in Southern California during the 50s and 60s I really enjoyed going to the gas station with my dad in our ’58 Chevy pickup with a Corvette mill. Pop, always seemed to know where there was a gas war going on, and that would be the station that we headed off to. Sometimes it was the Hudson station across the street from Reynolds Buick in Covina with Premium at 29.9 cents, or maybe the Martin station in West Covina had the best prices around. My dad would often tell my mom we had to go get some Purple Martin in the pickup, and then maybe we might go look at some new cars. Looking at new cars with the old man was always fun, because that usually meant we were going to take Detroit’s latest and greatest offering out for a test drive.

    I think if I had to narrow it down to my all-time favorite test drive story with the old man it would have to have been when the '66 Oldsmobile Toronado first came out. After checking out the new '66 Rivieras at Reynolds Buick we jumped back in the '58 and drove over to Mandy Williams Oldsmobile in West Covina. Back then there didn't seem to be any kind of real procedure when it came to test drives, sometimes the salesman went with you, and sometimes he didn't. In the case of the new Toronado for whatever reason the salesman was insistent that he tag along.

    I was bummed-out the salesman came with us because it meant I had to ride in the back seat like a 13-year-old kid, instead of being cool and riding shotgun up front. I don't think my dad really cared one-way or the other if the salesman was there because he had a mission to accomplish. Not in the sense of flying a brand-new Boeing bomber underneath a bridge during World War II, but it was a mission nevertheless. The ultimate goal was to see how fast the new Olds Toronado could go up Kellogg Hill. Our family car, a dual-glasspacked '61 Buick Invicta could hit a 100 up Kellogg and that was always the benchmark that my dad held other cars up to. I could tell right from the moment when we first pulled onto the east-bound San Bernardino Freeway that the big 'ol gold Oldsmobile with the chrome wheels was going to make a good run. Everything was perfect, traffic was light and we got a good clear lane with nothing up ahead. The Toro hit a hundred and just kept climbing, but then suddenly at 105 mph the salesman who had started to clench his fists at 80 was now tilting his head way back and screaming like a girl.

    Not because the poor salesman was having a tearful bout with extreme incontinence, but because the Olds had peaked the top of Kellogg the old man backed off the gas. Back at the Olds dealership the salesman was still quite shaken, and the last thing on his mind was selling my dad a new car.

    After serving in WWII, and Korea, my dad was first a plumber, and then a steamfitter by trade. In June of 1967 at 200-feet high into the air a drunken crane operator at the Texaco oil refinery in Long Beach, California, snagged a 30-foot long by 3-foot diameter cement-steel pipe my dad was guiding into place. The snagged pipe slingshot into my dad and broke his spine, feet, and every rib leaving him a high-level, almost quadriplegic, paraplegic.

    From his very first car a hot-rodded Model T Ford, automobiles were always a source of freedom for my dad. After he lost the ability to walk being able to throw his wheelchair behind the seat and drive off to anywhere he wanted was the ultimate freedom.

    In 1968 my dad bought a brand-new Oldsmobile 98 2-door hardtop, and I installed hand-controls so he could drive it. The Olds was optioned with a Highway Patrol suspension package, standard 455-inch engine, and 2.56:1 rearend gears. The old man said on Montana highways the car could top the speedo at 127mph, maybe more. The next Olds, he bought was a 1973 Toronado. It was a good car that he traded in for a 1976 Cadillac Eldorado. The Cadillac was a real pile of junk, and made him miss the Toro. There were a few more new cars, but the last car my dad owned was a black 1994 Z-28 Camaro. The magazines reported a ’94 Z-28 could top 156mph. My dad said he got his Z-28 up to 150 before he ran out of clear highway.

    After six months of confinement to a hospital bed with constant suffering my dad passed away on January 27, 2003 from complications related directly to paraplegia.

    I wonder what memories future generations of fathers and sons will share— Video games I imagine. A fierce battle with opposing space alien armies, or perhaps a leg-wetting drive behind the joy stick of a virtual Z-28 Camaro.

    Outlaw Rodder

    Miranda Lambert is Real Pretty

    Here’s a quick update on the Hot Rod to Hell build. As you can see these are the early shots of Jim Rizzo and I loading up Candy’s Car for what I hope is its one and only trailer ride.

    Of course come to think about it I might have to load it up on a trailer to handle some of the many things that will need to be done in a very short time. I set the track T’s completion date as June 29, 2013, but that date’s coming way too fast. The drop dead deadline is August 10. I’m leaving right from the Donut Derelicts early Saturday morning, and then heading to Tucson for the first night’s stay.

    Oh, and the name Candy’s Car comes from the car’s buildup in Street Rodder by Candy, Riz’s wife. There must be half a dozen tech features archived on Street Rodder’s web. A Google search Street Rodder Hot Rod Girl will bring up a raft full of tech features on the car. I’ll probably be referring to Candy’s tech features when I start to put the car back together.

    The first thing I’m going to do after I fry up a big pot of coffee at around five AM tomorrow morning is fire off a product order to Eastwood. It won’t be in the next West Coast Eastwood, but the one after WCE 15 I’ll run some progress shots. Here’s how its looking under the hood right now. Yeah, I know there’s no hood. I’m looking forward to painting the body Rat Rod Black, the frame with 2K Ceramic Chassis Black, and the engine with Chevy orange Ceramic Engine Paint.

    Any girl that sings about burning rubber in a song like Miranda does in Famous in a Small Town just has to be about as cool as they come… Oh, and did I mention she’s real pretty?

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • West Coast Report 12th Edition: By John Gilbert

    Missing Digits

    There’s nothing quite like a forced two-week hiatus from work to inspire a safety related West Coast Report. No, nothing really bad happened, I just managed to re-injure my back. It was in 2008 that I twisted my back holding a camera in one hand while yanking a heavy front spindle / brake assembly up from the floor with the other. One minute I was in an advertiser’s R&D shop shooting a tech, and in the next my boss was driving my bent carcass to the doctor’s office.

    Fast forward to two weeks ago: It’s amazing how distracting pain can be. Not only was I unable to move about freely I couldn’t stream words together good enough to write anything worth reading, hence West Coast Eastwood’s two-week absence from posting fresh content.

    Industrial accidents happen in a split-second. I divide them into two categories. The first kind are the accidents that catch one completely by surprise and leave you floating in the air looking down at your lifeless corpse. The second type are of the “I knew that was going to happen” variety. Think of celebrity welder Jesse James, and his recently departed pinkie finger. I’ll bet any amount of money Mr. James thought to himself he shouldn’t be placing his fingers quite so close to the blade when suddenly he had new content for his Twitter account. Maybe Jesse, doesn’t Tweet, I’m just using that as an example. On a personal level I’ve got my scars. Almost every injured eyeball, near-severed appendage, or deafened eardrum could have been avoided if I had just taken an extra minute to don safety gear, or use equipment properly. Have you ever noticed how the gearhead types on TV that don’t wear safety equipment seem to be prone to premature hair loss, pocked complexions, stress-induced constipation, and marital grief, just to mention a few. It’s ironic how an initial quest for vanity can translate into a lifetime of enduring a freakish appearance. For more information on treating Idiopathic Constipation please visit www.Metamucil.com tell them the “Metamucil Kid” sent you.

    So, the next time before you fire up that trusty welder, or climb underneath your car and start grinding on something, please take a moment to ponder the tragic consequences of an industrial accident. The bloodier you imagine it the better, because that makes for a great mnemonic devise.

    One last thing, in choosing Eastwood you’ve come to the right place for the finest products available in safety equipment and gear. So think about your favorite body part, and then order something that will help you to keep it.

    One more last thing… I wonder what would bring more money on eBay. Jesse James’ severed pinkie, or Alfred E. Newman’s brain pickled in a sandwich bag?

    —   John Gilbert

    WILD CARD

    Druid Hills By John Gilbert

    “It’s a nice patio for entertaining” Yeah, even better for storing a ’72 Ford pickup I’d say. I really love HGTV, but I’ve got to stop watching it so much. It’s not the moronic idiots that think a fake stainless steel panel plastered on the front of a Korean made refrigerator means it’s really made out of stainless steel that’s starting to bug me. Nope, it’s the network’s total disregard towards the needs, and sensitivities of gearheads. How many times do they show the garage on one of those house hunter shows… not very many. Maybe if the poor guy got a chance to mention he wanted a decent garage in between the wife’s militant demands for a walk-in closet, island in the kitchen, plus whatever non-essentials today’s modern woman figures she can’t live without.

    If I had a walk-in closet that’s where I’d store one of my motorcycles. Wait, I do have a walk-in closet. The only problem is the turn to get the Harley into it is too tight. I’ll bet if I knocked out the wall between the entryway closet and the master bedroom, I could ride the hog straight in.

    Druid Hills, ain’t that a cool name? It’s a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.— And that brings up it was world renown custom painter Pete Santini that restored the paint on Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s Druid Princess. Can you imagine being married to a Druid Princess in search of a new bigger, better, home on HGTV? That’s my definition of Hell.

    RUSTIN’ GOLD

    Atwater F-1s

    By John Gilbert

    It’s been a few years since I took these photos, so this pair of old F-1 Ford pickups might be gone. As I remember it there might have been a feisty canine involved so, if you’re greeted by a big ugly dog don’t say I didn’t warn you. Oh yeah, the location was somewhere in the old downtown section of Atwater, California. For those of you that are European residents fly Trans-Love Airlines it will be worth it… Thanks, Eric.

    SHOW & GO

    The C10 King’s Annual Reunion

    By John Gilbert

    While we’re in the Atwater, California area we might as well drop in on my friend Rene Martinez’s annual C10 Club family reunion. These are a few misc. shots, but you’ll get the idea. And don’t feel left out if you’re driving another brand because everyone is welcome.

    Here’s copy from an article I ran in Street Trucks, or it might have been in Custom Classic Trucks. I remember now it was in CCT. Some of the photos were shot by my good friend Bob Ryder, former Truckin’ senior technical editor for 16 years, and now he’s the current editor of Drive!

    Without a doubt one of the most unique truck shows around is the annual C10 Get-Together hosted by the C10 Club based in California’s Central Valley. It’s the great trucks, beautiful weather, and lip-smackin’ Bar-B-Q all wrapped up in a family reunion vibe that makes it one of my favorite events. As in years past the fun took place at Rene “The C10 King” Martinez’s gigantic homestead in Atwater, California. For 2010, the 5th Annual fell on October 2nd and I asked my friend Bob Ryder from Truckin’ magazine if he’d like to ride along. Because of the heat wave California was experiencing that week we chickened out from driving one of our old trucks, and took my black ‘05 GMC with ice-cold air. A lot braver than Bob, and I were some fellow forum members from www.67-72chevytrucks.com that drove up from the So Cal area in their customized classics.

    In all we counted about 65 trucks present. The bulk of vehicles there were ’67-72 models with the following board members accounted for. Barcobear, Coletrickle, SuburbanAce, RattlecanJoe, JohnOro, JesseH13, AceX, Jerry Jones, Ext56, Newtz67, El Jay, Evans67, CheyenneSuperKing, SactoJim, 67chevy1series, magwakeenercew2jh, Sixty8Lou, PipsC10, Kev’s Classics, and of course the C/10King. Rene asked me to make sure I mentioned that anyone who would like to attend next year’s C10 Get-Together knows they are welcome. Also a big thanks goes out to Classic Performance Products (CPP) for donating a power brake booster complete with a master cylinder that was awarded to a lucky raffle winner. A not so lucky raffle winner got to sit next to “Stinky” Chavez after he consumed one-dozen pickled eggs supplied by Sulphur Specialties of Gustine, California. So there you have it, I want the folks I met at the Mid-West All Truck Nationals, Carlisle, and Texas Heat Wave among other shows across country to know you’re invited, so we expect to see you all there at the C10 Get-Together next year!

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • West Coast Report — 11th Edition: By John Gilbert

    Sons of Anarchy — Game of Clones

    I’ve never hidden the fact that I love watching TV, and in particular I really enjoy watching the Sons Of Anarchy. That’s if those guys aren’t doing real time in prison and the show is off the air for nine months at a whack. It’s an interesting touch sending everyone off to prison in real time, kind of like James Stewart in the movie High Noon. Back here at the ranch. The Ranch, that’s what I call my Southern California weed farm — terra-scape not pot, there’s all kinds of neat SOA facts that only West Coast Report readers are going to read about. I think my inside track for this kind of gossip type stuff is thanks to having worked for Easyriders as the editor of Tailgate. The experience gave me the chance to apprentice under Dave Nichols, Easyriders’ editor and learn the magazine trade from the best. Not to mention mooch bike show tickets, and magazines from my friends that still work there.

    And what more appropriate way to pay tribute to the Sons of Anarchy TV show than to highlight it with bullets?

    • Dateline Los Angeles, 1/8/11: Easyriders bike show comes to the City of Angels. Easyriders’ promo flyers proclaim headlining celebrity guests include Charlie Hunnam “Jax” from the Sons of Anarchy. I didn’t get a chance to meet Charlie, but Dave said Charlie rode to the show on his own bike, and was a pretty good guy. I’ll say a good guy, Charlie was scheduled to sign autographs for only two hours, but stayed for hours afterwards, and signed autographs right up until the show closed.
    • Thanks to Brenda Fox, a friend, and former ad-rep for Tailgate I was introduced to Andy McPhee, the actor that played Keith McGee, president of Sons of Anarchy, Belfast. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll remember McGee did a really good swan dive / belly flop in his final appearance. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to tell Andy I really enjoyed watching the show because I was too dumbfounded. You see I was fully expecting an Irish accent, and didn’t know quite what to say when Andy spoke to me with an Australian accent. Babbling “good show” as Andy walked away would have been lame.

    More along the lines of what Eastwood products are all about, but still connected to SOA I’ve got some pretty neat news about a friend of mine that’s a custom painter and fabricator. Kenny Morris at Hot Rods ‘N Hogs in Stanton, California, has been doing custom paint and fabrication for Bartel’s Harley-Davidson in Marina Del Rey, California for over the last 20 years. The latest project Kenny is involved with Bartel’s is helping to produce a limited run of 100 Sons of Anarchy customized motorcycles. I’m not sure if Kenny is using Eastwood’s Rat Rod Black, but I can say Rat Rod Black is a perfect match for what Bartel’s calls Matte Black. To handle producing the concaved gas tanks on the SOA bikes, Kenny developed a template to produce perfect results every time. There’s metal-finishing involved, but no welding pieces back in place that might cause gas leaks.

    And of course what mention of Hollywood  is complete without a little gossip. After Bartel’s builds a 100 SOA clone bikes, Harley-Davidson, the motor company itself is going to take a crack at it. And of course there’s always the show cancellation rumors… Yeah, like that’d really happen. I can just see it now, four Rat Rod Black hogs pull up in front of the moronic idiot’s house that cancelled the show, kick down the door and make the poor slob watch a continuous loop of Honda Rebel TV commercials. Ultimately the errant TV executive’s head is placed into a vice and popped like so much bloated road kill.  Okay a little late breaking news reveals the cancellation rumors are bogus. Charlie had to cancel some guest appearances, and get back to LA, muy pronto to start filming Sons of Anarchy’s new season.

    The Bijan sample rendering Kenny painted hangs in the office at Boyd’s that Chip Foose occupied in the Boyd years. Chip’s drafting table is still in there. Google Bijan Buggatti and the Veyron Kenny painted for Bijan appears. Kenny also painted Bijan’s McLaren Mercedes-Benz. One might not care for the style of the design work Bijan commissioned Kenny to do, but there’s no arguing with quality.

    Kenny Morris’ Hot Rods ‘N Hogs has been located in Boyd Coddingiton’s old billet steering wheel factory since Boyd left for his Cerritos location 20 years ago. Kenny can be reached at www.hotrods-n-hogs.com

    The phone number is (714) 229-9076.

    SHOP TOUR

    Chopit Kustom, Stanton, CA.

    Twenty years ago I used to drive up to Hot Rods by Boyd to visit friends that worked there and soak up a little inspiration, a lot actually. Boyd’s original location was at 8400 Monroe in Stanton, just a few miles from my home. Dick Vale’s custom paint shop was full of off-shore boats, with an occasional Pepsi helicopter. Boyd was a rotund guy that always wearing a bright colored Hawaiian shirt, and Jesse James still had all of his fingers… talk about giving someone the finger, anyways.

    Its almost like Déjà vu, these days when I’m running low on inspiration I head up just one block north of Boyd’s old shop and visit Chopit Kustom. Chopit’s shop is a family run concern complete with an East Coast style atmosphere straight from the good old days, and one-stop shop services that are near impossible to find in California. Everything is done in house with the exception of upholstery work.

    It might be a corny way to look at things, but I think of Eastwood’s restoration supplies and tools like seasoning is to food. Just like salt, pepper, and spices can be added to season anything from Mexican food to Polish dishes, Eastwood paints and primers, tools, and sandpaper work on any vehicle no matter what it is.

    As seen on Storage Wars, here’s the Beatnik, a ’55 Ford Crown Victoria Gary Chopit re-skinned with all new body panels he formed from scratch. Scratch means Chopit started with a stack of 4x8 sheets of steel. Amazingly, even the Beatnik’s bubble top Gary made from scratch: A little known fact; the Beatnik is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most conspicuous car to drink Guinness beer in and drive. It is also has the world’s largest bubble top on a custom car.

    Talk about the apple not falling far from the tree, here’s Gary Chopit’s 23 year-old son Nick “Chopit Jr.” working out on an Eastwood Shrinker and Stretcher. Checkout the Track T nose, hood, and side panels Nick formed from scratch.

    Next, Nick demonstrated the clean work Eastwood Supercoup NR1 Nibbler Shears (#28191) produce. Nibblers create less distortion of the material being cut, and leave an accurate edge.

    OUTLAW RODDER

    Hot Rod to Hell

    Beginning last August with the Chadly Coupe, doing a suicide run in a hot rod has turned into a late Summer tradition for me. For those unfamiliar with the Chadly coupe adventure please refer back to the 5th edition of West Coast Eastwood, or dig up a May 2013 edition of Street Rodder.

    For 2013 the story title for an upcoming road trip feature in Street Rodder is called the Hot Rod to Hell. My destination is Hell, Michigan a small town only 12-miles from my family’s ancestral farm in Stockbridge.

    Here’s a shot of the 1927 Ford Track T I’m going to be driving. I’m in the process of blowing the car down to the bare frame to make sure its ready for a 6,000 mile round trip, and bring the cosmetics up to magazine feature quality.

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • West Coast Report — 10th Edition: By John Gilbert

    Have Coffee –Will Travel

    Welcome to the 10th edition of West Coast Eastwood’s West Coast Report. Gee, it seems like only nine editions ago that I first started writing this report. Wow how time really flies when you’re trying to get something done before the next week rolls around. Take for example the chopper project that I’m building in my home living room that I’ve ingeniously converted into the working set for House of Choppers. I’m not sure why, but ingenious isn’t exactly the word my girlfriend uses, its something more like idiotic. Anyways, you say you haven’t seen any progress from the House of Choppers? Well, that’s kind of because I’ve been doing some other things. Some of the things are fun stuff, and the others are just the same crap we all have to do to survive in 21st Century civilization.

    Give two good reasons: There is a movement originating in the Middle East to move society back into the 18th Century, but I wouldn’t touch that subject with Salman Rushdie’s Smith-Corona typewriter turret-mounted in the bunk section of a ‘72 Winnebago Warrior… although I wouldn’t mind owning a mint condition Mini-Winnebago Warrior. I’d drink lots of coffee, and drive cross-country.

      — John Gilbert

    SHOW & GO

    2013 Fabulous Fords Forever!

    There’s an annual tradition around “Boss” Bob’s Garage every April, and that’s rolling up to Knott’s Berry Farm for Fabulous Fords Forever! Now in its 28th year the event is the largest, and absolute best Ford family reunion on the West Coast, maybe in the whole world. Good vibes, as one can tell the demographics of FFF! are as diverse as a an event can be, and everyone is welcome. Here’s some flicks of us getting 14 of Bob’s Fords all lined up and heading to Buena Park for the day.

    “Boss” Bob got his nickname because he has a habit of collecting not only factory equipped Boss motored cars, but likes to stuff Boss motors into subjects like this ’56 Ford Big-Window pickup. Google Custom Classic Trucks Boss Window 56 Ford Bob Wells to view the complete Custom Classic Trucks article.

    Man, who doesn’t love an old Buick laid out low and in jet black? The only non Ford in Bob’s collection is this ’56 Buick Century powered by a ’65 Riviera 425-inch nailhead with a TH400. Watch for an upcoming WCE exclusive feature. This car has never been featured in any magazine. Not Street Rodder, not Rod & Custom, Hot Rod, or any of the other great car mags. There was a ’55 Buick with a Chevy engine, and Chrysler taillights in Street Rodder once. I think it had seats out of a Lexus. The interior in Bob’s ’56 Century is from the ’65 Riviera the engine came out of… Hence its nickname the ’65-56.

    Bob’s 14 cars in line, and Knott’s Berry Farm rides in the background.

    This ’57 Ford retractable top in red and white kind of looks a giant Marlboro pack, huh?

    Checkout how nice this Raven Black ’62 T-bird looks. Note the fiberglass tonneau cover effectively turns this four-seater into a two-seat roadster.

    This 1956 Ford “Glass-top” Crown Victoria was the top of the line for enclosed cars that year. Note the giant stainless steel spats fore and aft of the wheel wells. Standard ’56 Ford spats were much smaller. Note the T-bird emblem on the front fenders indicates the 312-inch T-bird engine option is under this hood.

    54 Glass-top Vicky

    ’64 Lincoln Regal Turquoise

    The tall feller with his arms crossed is Steve Dragus. Steve, and I were good friends during Jr. high, and high school. We’ve just recently met up again. Steve was a hardcore Ford guy way back then, and is to this very day. The guy in the blue shirt hanging onto the pole is Steve’s friend Larry Knapp.

    Larry Knapp has owned, and raced this Raven Black A/FX Mustang since it was brand-new.

    Look closely, in the next photo there’s going to be a dog.

    See, I told you there’d be a dog.

    See that bright Ford blue umbrella? Those umbrellas were given to each and every person that entered their car into the show. I gave mine to my girlfriend, she loves it. And what’s funny is it rained like crazy just a few weeks later in So Cal.

    The image of this Lambo-doored late F-series blown up to full screen takes on the appearance of an abstract-expressionist painting… Try it, I’m not kidding.

    Some speculated the wheels on this Lincoln Continental convert were taken from an 1889 Studebaker stagecoach, and then chrome plated.

    It’s not often one sees as ’60 Merc wagon, let alone a tasty customized version.

    This was the 3rd year I drove Bob’s ’70 Torino to FFF!. It’s powered by a super-strong running 351-Cleveland backed with a 5-speed tranny. As one gets closer to Hollywood, the word tranny takes on a whole new meaning. In Canada the expression is gearbox.

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • West Coast Report — Ninth Edition: By John Gilbert

    You Ain’t Nothing but a Hoon Dog

    I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I like to drink a little coffee, and watch TV while I write. After chugging down two big cups of extra strong Yuban spiced with Vietnamese  cinnamon I turned on the TV, and sat down to watch The Hurricane. It’s a pretty good movie about Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, and his trials and tribulations with the law. At the same time I was also trying to come up with a subject to write about for this week’s West Coast Report a police car they were hauling Rubin off to jail in drove past on the screen. It got my attention right away, it was a’56 Chevrolet 4-door sedan, with a 6-cylinder emblem on the hood, and wide whitewall tires. Now wait a minute I doubt any police department ever chose a 6-banger over a V8, but I’m positive no ’56 Chevy fuzz car ever came equipped with Bel-Air hubcaps and wide whitewalls. You’d think with all the money a Hollywood movie has in budget they’d hire to someone to authenticate the accuracy of the picture cars they rent.

    One might wonder how it is I have such an insight into how ludicrous  it would be for the cops to be driving a 4-door ’56 Chevy Bel-Air  with a 6-automatic. My first car was a 1957 Chevrolet 4-door Bel-Air with a 235-inch 6-cylinder stovebolt and 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission. Yes, it even had full Bel-Air wheel discs, and whitewall tires. What I’m saying is the only thing slower than a 6-Powerglide Tri-five Chevy is a stop sign, OR maybe a snail climbing uphill.

    And that my friends is what got me to Google whitewalls on a police car. The results weren’t exactly what I was hoping for. I was counting on ONE of those websites popping up that cites screw-ups in movies, and mentioned the ’56 Chevy… but, nada, zilch, nothing. Instead some weirdness from Australia about “hooning laws.” And when I say weird, man I mean real weird. What do Australian police classify as hooning?

    • Participating in unauthorized street races and speed trials
    • Burnouts
    • Damaging the surface of a road or public place
    • Poo-pooning: Excessive use of bum wad in a public restroom resulting in toilet eruptus the most horrific of all public waste management crimes.

    Okay, so I made the last one up, but could you really tell?

    Are you a hoon? Not to be confused with cooning, pruning, babooning,  special tuning, or even the time-honored tradition of mooning (exposed buttocks in public) our friends in Australia seem to be having a problem.

    “Hooning

    The Northern Territory Government is getting hoons off our streets. New anti-hooning laws mean  that if you’re caught in hooning on Territory roads and in public places you could lose your car and your cash.”

    Hoontang: So, it all it takes in Australia to lose your car, and your cash is one misguided neighbor to turn you in for doing burnouts on your street and your life is going to be a whole lot less fun. Here’s an interesting situation. See this little minor burnout that’s smack dab in front of my house? I didn’t do it, but I think all it takes in Australia is someone to accuse you of doing it, and that’s good enough for the fuzz to take your car. Now, the next question is can the same THING happen in the United States?

      — John Gilbert

    SHOW & GO

    Hot Rod’s Homecoming 65th Anniversary

    I have to admit that for some reason I wasn’t really all that fired up about going to Hot Rod’s 65th Anniversary show, but looking back I’m really glad that I did. It was an incredible show and I have over 500 photos to document the occasion. That said West Coast Eastwood reader’s can look forward to numerous features with a ton of historical facts and insights generated from the event.

    The show took place at the Fairplex in Pomona, California, home of the Pomona drag strip, and a million great memories for all of us gearhead types that grew up in the San Gabriel Valley. Oh yeah, and the reason the place is called the Fairplex is it’s also home to the Los Angeles County Fair.

    WILD CARD

    RCC Students Finish the Dodge

    Maybe RCC students refinish the Dodge would be a better title. My ’86 Dodge Ram shortbed pickup is a project I started back around 2006 while I was editing Custom Classic Trucks. The Dodge project was titled in several CCT articles as the High School Custom, but it was a very short matter of time before the truck found itself going to college. Riverside City College to be exact. The college opened in 1916, and the campus is nestled in the hills surrounded by Victorian and Craftsman style homes. The campus is an idyllic setting for students to work toward individual achievement, intellectual curiosity, and life-long learning. I stole that last part from RCC’s home page. But all that jazz about what an incredibly nice campus RCC has is all true, I love that place.

    Epoxy primed, guide-coated and blocked straight RCC students under instructor Jerry Sievers had the Dodge ready to go black. Black by the way is the ultimate test where its either pass or fail. There is no in between when it comes to getting a vehicle ready for black paint. Now that the Dodge is back in my hands I’m going to drive through the Eastwood catalog with a magnet, and get every spray can product needed to finish the truck off for an upcoming magazine feature. I think I’d better start with the frame.

    Oh man here it comes, lame excuse number 42-B. I had a list with all of the students names that were involved on the Dodge project, but it blew out my GMC window on the Riverside freeway on the way home. So if there’s any RCC students reading this that would take the time to point themselves out it would be appreciated. Also never use the dog ate my homework. Bart pretty much ruined that one.

    We used Auto Air Colors for the sealer and black paint. It’s 100-percent water based and VOC free. Auto Air Colors are available from Eastwood here on this very website.

    Here’s the big meats going on the Dodge. Toyo Proxes, my favorite tire for handling and longevity… they look badass too. There’ll be more to come on the Dodge and the students at RCC. The bitchin’ black bench seat that’s going in the Dodge was done by RCC’s upholstery class. In there near future I’m heading back out to do a story on them as well. Maybe the students should wear name tags just in case.

      Click Here To Read Full Post...