Tag Archives: flames

  • The 2014 The Race of Gentlemen Report

    The Race of Gentlemen or "TROG" has by far become my favorite automotive event of the year and this year was no exception. TROG is a perfect example of a small low-key event that's kept true to their roots. Even with all of the exposure and hype surrounding this year, Mel and the Oilers CC/MC did a great job keeping the race feeling as low-key and laid back as the first. This year the guys really worked hard to turn this event into a full fledged weekend event, with things to do all weekend. I decided to stay the entire weekend and see and do as much as I could.

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    As early as Wednesday or Thursday cars and people from out of town were rolling in with cars coming from as far as SoCal, and people from as far as Europe! The crew began assembling the "race arena" by putting up timing towers, signs, tents, and barriers to keep the crowd safe. From the buzz surrounding the event and the sponsor hotels selling out in hours after the dates being announced, the Oilers knew they were in for a good turnout.

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    Previous years most people ended up hanging out Friday night at the Stardust and neighboring hotels where the majority of the race cars were parked, so this year Mel and co. decided to put on a proper Pre-Party with a Chopper show, a couple bands and a DJ spinning vinyl for good measure too! The city was nice enough to partition off the block surrounding these hotels and let cars and bikes park on the street and the party spilled into the streets where everyone could talk about the passion we all share.

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    The chopper show followed the same ideals as the race in which all of the bikes featured were true vintage and "traditionally" styled choppers from their heyday. I throughly enjoyed the bikes in this show because every single one was different and pretty much hand built and! The way it should be, not brand new bikes with navigation, tv's, heat, and whatever other gadgets put on bikes to make them closer to a car than a bike these days!

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    Ahem.. sorry struck a nerve there.. anyways! To sum it up, the bikes show had no shortage of flake, flames, lace, pearl, and custom metal work. The cars in the street were some of the cars to race later in the weekend, and even some killer spectator cars that were cruised down for the race. Even though the party only stretched a block down the strip, there was so much to see, and so many cool people to meet, we easily burned the good portion of our evening here and the party went into the wee hours of the morning!

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    The next morning we woke up early to try and get down to the sand to get good a good spot next to the track. The weather looked dismal but that didn't stop hundreds of other people to line up to get into the gates early. The setup this year was changed a little bit for the safety of the crowd so the pits and staging area were sectioned off for just the racers and their crew. The only other changes were concrete barriers put in place down the track to keep everyone safe in case a car or bike went out of control, a necessary evil for sure, but didn't obstruct the spectators view of the track too much.

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    Even with rain lightly coming and going, the races started and the cars and bikes alternated going down the track. These guys didn't let the dreary weather bother them one bit with their throttles wide open and exhausts roaring. The weather really made for some dramatic shots with the rough surf crashing down and the dark clouds in the background. This of course brought everyones techno-gadget out to shoot photos and video of every pass.

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    After watching the races for a few hours the clouds began to break and the sun came out and we decided to book it across town to see our friends from the Kustomrama website that were putting on the 1st annual Customs by the Sea show for the traditional custom fans that wanted to show off their lead sled, tail dragger, lowrider, or otherwise traditionally styled custom car or truck. The styling of the vehicles varied widely with everything from mild historic 40-50's customs to over the top Kustoms like a recreation of the Barris "Copper Cart" and paneled, laced, and metal flaked 60's style cars that just screamed for your attention. It was really cool to see some of the historic cars that came out of the woodwork for the event that were actually built in the 50's, 60's, and early 70's and read about their history on their window plaques. I'd definitely say that seeing all of these great cars really gave me some inspiration to get Project Pilehouse roadworthy so maybe I could cruise it to the show next year! For the first year the show was pretty well attended both days and was a great addition to the TROG weekend.

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    Saturday night after everyone grabbed some dinner the vendor area by the race track turned into a beach party with some killer rock bands playing all night and a huge bonfire burning hot. It brought everyone together to talk and mingle and shake it on the dance floor in the sand. The beach party is really surreal with the cars parked all around you on the beach, people dressed in period correct attire, and some good ol' fashioned rock and roll playing, you felt like you were in the scene of an old movie! I couldn't ask for a better way to round the night out after a day of watching cars race!

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    Sunday morning we (like I'm sure many others) woke up a bit later then we'd like and got up a little slower than the morning before, but we were greeted by sunny skies and a near perfect cool fall-like day. We headed back to the beach and the crowd for Sunday was significantly larger than Saturday. Either the word spread that this event rules, or the nice weather brought out some more folks.. I'd say it was a combination of the two! Some new cars entered the races on Sunday with some vehicles taking "exhibition" runs like some Hemi powered Fords, but I doubt anyone was complaining about the lovely sound of some vintage Hemi engines singing at WOT!

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    All in all this weekend was the best yet and shows no signs of getting smaller and we can't wait for next year. If anything go to this event to get yourself inspired to go work on your project car or bike and bring it out to cruise with everyone next year! Thanks to Mel and the rest of the Oilers for putting on another great year of TROG, the classic car and bike community thanks you!

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  • Meet Keith Paine our Help on the Horizon Contest Winner

    During the end of 2012 we ran a contest called "Help on the Horizon" where we asked customers that had a tough time, or a rough year to send us a story about themselves and their project car. Out of the piles of submissions we narrowed the entries down to 10 individuals/stories that touched us the most. We published them on www.eastwood.com/blog for everyone to nominate their choice for the winner of $2500 of Eastwood credit.

    After the dust settled (it was a close one!), our winner was clear. Keith Paine is a NY State Trooper that had some bad luck when he was struck on the side of the highway while helping a disabled vehicle. You can read the full story and Keith's entry here. We decided to get in touch with Keith and get a little more on himself, his background in classic cars, and his '57 Chevy Truck project.

    "My father is a great mechanic so we've always tinkered with cars. He does the mechanical side and I've tried to do the interior and bodywork. My first car was a 55 dodge royal 4dr when I was 15. It started as a pink and white basket case. Other than being mostly solid, it had nothing else going for it. It had the 270 red ram V8 (not the super red ram hemi) which meant I was getting 8-9 mpg and most bicycles were faster. By the time I was 16 my dad had it running nicely and we shot it with red laquer and left the white top. What more could a 16 year old kid ask for other than a cool old car that could fit you and 19 of your closest friends in?! 
We've had other projects over the years, nothing real fancy, but the time spent together is worth more than any car could bring."

    We wanted to hear more about how Keith found his Chevy truck and where he's at with it currently. His story starts like many we've heard before.

    "I found a great looking truck advertised (by a dealership) on eBay that was a solid CA truck with new paint. It had a "new crate engine" 350 with "all new front suspension". Well, we found you don't always get the truth on eBay!"

    "When I got it home it was a ten footer. The paint was old laquer and had cracks in it. It looked like it was stripped to bare metal and they didn't use the correct primer since it was peeling off with the paint. The "new crate 350" was not new or a crate engine and didn't start. They had a quadrajet carb on it that looked like it was fresh from the junkyard. Changing it out with a new one got it started."

    "I had registered the truck for a small local car show the day it arrived, and after a quick clean we headed to the show. We quickly found that the gauges didn't work, the gas tank was leaking, the suspension was really loose and the steering would turn right correctly, but only half a turn left. The truck ended up taking third place (out of three trucks!) and with my fathers help, we got it back home in one piece safely."

    "Once home, we found that the truck had been thrown together and most of the suspension hardware (nuts and bolts) were loose and missing from the trip to the show. The steering column was stamped Toyota and jammed in place to fit between the headers. Turning left was locking it against the header. As funny as it sounds, we turned it upside down and it cleared the header! The "new" front suspension was the original 1957 suspension with lowering blocks on the FRONT leaf springs. The "new crate engine" turned out be a tired 350, but I drove the truck for three summers like this while I saved up to redo it correctly."

    "The winter of 2009/2010 I had had enough money to start the restoration. I ordered an IFS kit for the front and we stripped the front of the truck to bare bones. The new suspension went in next and the firewall was shaved, then the front section of the frame was boxed in and painted with Eastwood 2K Ceramic Chassis Black."

    "The engine was made into a 383 stroker and retrofitted with 92 firebird fuel injection. I used sticky mickey's and drew out a punisher skull on the intake.
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    "The summer of 2010 barely existed with a newborn in the mix. All of the work so far (including the paint) was done in my two car garage. The 57 was getting a little further, but nothing like the year before. We then started on the interior. I welded in sheet metal to close off the cab where the gas tank used to be and welded in a console to hide the fuel injection harness. The dash needed a lot of work and was mostly filler. The wiring was trash with new bits and pieces tied in with old wires, burned wires, and a rats nest of wires that didn't go to anything. Lastly the top corners where the sunvisors connected looked like they were hammered in and redrilled a few dozen times."

    This isn't my first paint job, but it was my first successful paint job. We decided to add some ghost flames with the help of more Sticky Mickey's. To apply the flames we used copper flake in a clear base.

    "It was around this point that I was in the accident. Since then, the interior was put back together but unfinished and the truck is together and running. It needs the doors and fenders to be hung correctly, the paint needs to be buffed and touched up. Wiring needs to be finished. The exhaust is on but needs work. The windows are now electric, but need attention. A new windshield was put it in, but the wipers are not connected. Sound deadening (Thermo-Coustic??)will be one of my first steps.


    With the motivation and dedication I have now for the 57 I know I will be driving it when the snow is gone this year. For a guy like me, that eats and breaths cars this is truly a dream come true. Again, Thank you Eastwood!"

    We thank you for your service Keith and we hope you can put the Eastwood products to good use on the '57 or your '69 Mustang Coupe project! Congrats!

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