West Coast Eastwood

    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • West Coast Report — Eighth Edition: By John Gilbert

      Nothing can stop the Duke of Earl. Why are donut boxes pink? Hang on friends, its early, early morning and I’ve been drinking coffee that’s blacker than the tires on my black Harley-Davidson. Blacker than the cat that keeps trying to cross my path. This coffee is so black I could use it to guide coat a fender on Satan’s Buick and not even find the dents — whatever that means. No sense wasting a good coffee buzz, I’m going to use it to create. The first thing that comes to mind is I’m going do this week’s West Coast Report a little different and see how you all respond. I do welcome comments even if its just to ask if all the people in California are as weird as I am. That said, of course I’m going to invoke the Starbucks defense. I mean did any of you ever notice there wasn’t any such thing as road rage until Starbucks started popping up everywhere? Will coffee be banned like Twinkies were? — Quick, email California, US Senator Barbara Boxer, and express how much you like the underwear she invented, and to please keep coffee beans legal. For medicinal use only of course.

      And now a serious note from our friends at SEMA SAN. Okay, I’m not going to copy and paste what was sent, but I will give a quick overview and include a hyperlink. You guys might remember that no sooner than I had started my campaign to help bring a little awareness to the SEMA SAN model for a Pro-Hobbyist Inoperative Bill here in the West Coast Report, a war with the city I live in broke out in my own front yard. Notice of Violation followed by Second Notice of Violation followed by Notice of Invoice. Bloodsucking … uh, sorry it’s a subject rawer than my dog’s butt during flea season. Check it out, Washington state almost got a reasonable law enacted, and then it went south. Of course that expression isn’t a good one because the lucky folks in Kentucky already have a Pro-Hobbyist Inoperative Vehicle law on the books.

      Things were headed north in Nevada (that means bad) when working with Nevada lawmakers SEMA SAN amended legislation (A.B. 363) and that’s good. Please follow this link for more information www.SEMASAN.org  A longtime friend of mine is the Commander of DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Chapter 23 here in Orange County, and has a great working relationship with Senator Lou Correa regarding veteran’s rights. In the near future I’d like to meet with Senator Correa, and find out what the possibility is of him introducing a Pro-Hobbyist Inoperative Bill for California might be. Updates to follow. After all who wants to come home to a country that hates collectible automobiles. Have you ever seen a politician in a parade riding in anything other than a classic car? … Oh yeah, maybe on top of a pooping horse.

      One of the nicest guys in the automobile industry is Chip Foose. Here’s some shots of the Eastwood gang visiting Chip’s shop in Huntington Beach while they were out here last month. It didn’t take any kind of big time connection to meet up with Chip. All anyone has to do is drop by Chip’s shop during lunchtime, and if he’s in town you’ll get to meet him. No matter what there’s always an open house at lunchtime, so if you’re in the neighborhood drop by. There’s a little sandwich shop next door, that’s a good place to eat. We wandered into the sandwich shop after everyone got to meet Chip.

      I met Chip Foose in the early 90’s through my friend Jonny Anderson. Jonny along with another friend Simo Simensen worked with Chip at Hot Rods by Boyd in Stanton, California. Way back then and to this very day I have to say Chip is one of the most talented, and nicest guys in the automobile industry. He won’t bite your face off like…

      A good example was the time “Boss” Bob took a couple of teenaged neighbor kids to a car show, and they got a chance to meet and talk with Chip. The conversation soon moved to Chip asking the two young fellers what kind of cars they liked best. After one kid said a specific year of Ford Mustang, Chip sketched a quick concept illustration of the kid’s dream car on the back of a flyer, autographed it, and then gave it to him. The other kid’s dream car was a ’57 Chevy, and Chip did the same thing for him. Notice there was no mention of money changing hands, that’s because there wasn’t. Chip drew those concept drawings for those two kids just because he’s a great guy, and it was something those kids will never forget. Maybe they’ll even build those dream cars one day.

      ‘MERICAN MUSCLE

      “Boss” Bob’s M-code ’62 Ford Galaxie 500

      “There’s nobody meaner than the little old lady from Pasadena, she’s the terror of Colorado Boulevard.” In case anyone ever wondered the inspiration for Jan and Dean’s lyrics were inspired by the favorite lie Southern California used car salesmen always liked to tell prospective buyers. “It was owned by a little old lady from Pasadena that only drove it to Church on Sunday.” There were some low-mileage cars to be found in So Cal back in those days. They only got driven a quarter-mile at a time. Here’s a good example, a friend of mine, “Boss” Bob owns this M-code ’62 Ford Galaxie. I shot and wrote a tech story about installing a Gearvendors Overdrive into the ’62 for Muscle Car Review. You can Google “Hot Rod Gearvendors John Gilbert” and the story will come up archived on Hot Rod magazine’s web.

      Here’s an excerpt from the Muscle Car Review story I wrote. For Bob Wells of Laguna Beach, California, and his mint ’62 Ford M-code Galaxie optioned with 4.56:1 gears the challenge was on to seek out a means to bring down the RPM for street use without destroying the car’s legendary dragstrip acceleration. For those unfamiliar, an M-coded VIN means the car is one of just a few early ’62 Galaxies built by the Ford factory especially for drag racing. Bob’s car in particular was race prepped by the late Les Ritchey, and competed from ‘62 until 1964. Bob holds a special affection for this car since it was Les Ritchey who was his first boss. In addition to preserving instantaneous acceleration Bob’s concern was to keep the M-code’s original personality. The answer wasn’t to slap in a late model 5-speed, because the gear-spacing is incorrect, plus attempting to shift one fast feels like trying to churn broken glass into butter. The name of Les’s shop was Performance Associates.

      SHOW & GO

      Donut Derelicts, Caffeine Cannibals and Everyone is Welcome!

      Men, boys, and maniacs. Ain’t it funny how the best examples of bad journalism can be found in stories written about the Donut Derelicts? For an event that saw its earliest attendees composed of an inordinately high ratio of automotive journalists the Huntington Beach event’s history sure is clouded in a bunch of unsolved mysteries. The reason is “the donut shop” as authentic veteran Derelicts refer to it was off limits for any of us magazine types to publicize and screw-up. We didn’t want hordes of moronic idiots, and squirrels showing up and ruining it. The best photographers in the business showed up without cameras, and the most gifted writers remained silent. That all changed when one day the square press showed up and interviewed some guy wearing a buffalo hat coming out of Ace Hardware, and asked him how the Donut Derelicts got started. Needless to say the buffalo hat didn’t have a clue about anything much less how he was going to unplug his sink. The newspaper article hit, and the parking lot was covered with a Heinz 57 mix of automotive history. That was in 1984, or maybe it was ’82. No, it could have been 1985. There’s folks that claim they started showing up at the donut shop in hot rods much earlier than that, but of course they don’t have the photo documentation to prove it. Here’s what I do know.  A high school buddy named Rick Finn invited me to show up in my ’60 Rambler American 2-door wagon, to checkout a few of his friends cars, and the artwork he’d created. Now deceased, Rick Finn was the voice of the Donut Derelicts, and did a great job explaining the donut shop scene on a segment that aired on the Travel Channel.


      RUSTIN’ GOLD

      The 1st  Coupe de Ville

      The year 1921 was the first year for a Cadillac coupe, so I guess one could say this was the very first Cadillac Coupe de Ville. This car was offered by Chris Unger he’s one of the donut shop’s faithful, and really has a reputation as being the King of Barn Finds in the So Cal area. I checked out past auction results, and it looks like it wouldn’t be too hard to find a pretty cherry 1921 Cadillac for under 20-grand. This one had a stock ’21 Cadillac V8 engine under its hood, and checkout the Cadillac crest on its hubcaps.

       

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    • West Coast Report - Seventh Edition: By John Gilbert

      Dirt on the Bottle

      It’s the wine bottle theory, some things must stay as they are. I was listening to Merry Go ‘Round a song by Kacey Musgraves that kind of reminded me of Robert Earl Keen’s lyrics and that made me think of a guitar that I didn’t used to own. It was a candy apple red Teisco Del Rey with a candy striped aluminum pickguard, four pickups, and a string-stretcher. That was in 1965, and the music store wanted $49.00. Instead I ended up with a Daphne blue Fender Mustang that was from the first batch of Mustangs, Fender made with a full-scale neck. And now that you’re starting to wonder where all of this is going.

      Yes, its true Eastwood has restoration tools and supplies for just about anything a person might want to restore, but that doesn’t mean everything should be restored. Take for instance a vintage guitar. The most idiotic moronic thing a person can do is to refinish an old guitar. It will destroy the guitar’s sound qualities, and money wise make it not even worth putting back in the case. Not even in one of those useless plastic guitar bags. Don’t say it, I know there’s been more than one popular TV show where some feller finds and old guitar and the whole show is all about how he stripped it down and made it look just like new again. Of course now that I think about it, it would be kind of dumb to do a TV show that’s all about restoring things, and then warn people not to do it because it will destroy the guitar’s value.

      It’s okay little shavers, go out there and find yourself a ’65 Strat, or a honeyburst ’59 Les Paul, and then grind the original finish down until the wood smells like a smoked ham. Once you have all of that original Fender Dupont acrylic lacquer, or Gibson’s special varnish in a pile of dust, pick out a really hideous color, and… Okay, sorry folks. What we have here is a good example of why its not a good idea to write the West Coast Report at 3AM while listening to alternative country music, and drinking really strong coffee. Shoot, I’m not even sure what country that music was from. Did Buck Owens ever play a pedal Sitar?

      By the way I threw a slightly incorrect fact into WCE-6’s West Coast Report, did any of you catch it?

       —John Gilbert

      Show & Go

      World’s Fastest Amphibious Car: By John Gilbert

      The other morning around 100 of us Gray Panther types met at the local Applebee’s in Fountain Valley, California with our hot rods, plus some other cool cars and trucks. It was for a little breakfast get together in support of a car show that’s coming up this Summer. Its called the Fountain Valley Classic Car & Truck Show www.fvcarshow.com held next June 29, 2013 at Mile Square Regional Park. Oddly enough Mile Square Park is named so because it is exactly one square mile in configuration. During World War II it was the Santa Ana Marine Corps Air Base facility with a training field where Corsairs landed on a regular basis. For any of you that remember Baa Baa Black Sheep the TV show about WWII Marine fighter pilot Pappy Boyington, and his crew, it was F4U Corsairs they were flying.

      After breakfast at Applebee’s we all piled as many people that could fit into each car, and then headed over to Fountain Valley Body Works. Frankly I wasn’t real excited to look at a bunch of smashed up foreign imports that I couldn’t identify. But on the other hand I have a lot of respect for anyone that knows how to unglue all of those plastic parts, and make it look it was never wrecked. The new cars innards look like a bunch of mechanical bug guts. Something like an octopus eating an air-conditioner. I mean that new stuff goes together so different than the way an older American car does it isn’t funny. The thing that’s really amazing is how many more miles you can rack up on those new cars. The sad truth is there’s no way someone is going to be able to restore a 2013 car 20 years from now. That is unless of course one will be able to go to local Walmart and buy a program for a 3-D printer to spit out replacement parts.

      The best part of the day was to get a behind the scenes look at how FV Body Works owner Dave March reacted to how underpowered his vintage Amphicar was. Dave didn’t stop at trying to figure out how many more hamsters needed to be added to the Amphicar’s hamster wheel, he engineered an entire new amphibious vehicle, and ended up with the world’s fastest amphibious car. Here’s a few flicks.

      Rustin’ Gold

      My ’88 Built to Lay and Play… its For Sale: By John Gilbert

      Well, here we have it yet another week, and not a rusted old hulk that someone might rescue. Instead I’m running some flicks of my 1988 Chevrolet C/K 1500 that I’ve owned for 20 years. I really don’t want to sell it, but the city of Garden Grove’s big push to make me fit in with its vision for a perfect world is kicking in, I just got a $70.00 fine. As soon as I get my home conforming to where I know I have a leg to stand on, I’m fighting back. Updates to follow. Meanwhile this truck is for sale, $4,500. Some of you might recognize it, its been in Tailgate, American Truck, Street Trucks, and Custom Classic Trucks. I hauled the ’88 up to a friend’s property in the high desert. The background is Mormon Rocks, I love that place. Please buy my ’88 before it rusts to death… Will deliver.

      Here’s a news flash the state of California just announced there’s more tax hikes on the docket. Assembly Bill 8 (Perea & Skinner) will extend for an additional eight years vehicle registration surcharges, tire fees and fees on vehicle identification plates to fund alternative fuel and vehicle technologies – particularly hydrogen fueling stations.

      Personally I think it would be smarter for the state of California to put outhouses on every corner and then harvest the public’s fecal matter to be turned into methane pellets. Take my word, methane pellet technology will surpass hydrogen propelled cars by the end of this year, and that’s no s#*t.

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