West Coast Report 36th Edition by John Gilbert

    Street Rodder Shoebox in Person - Irwindale Horseless Carriage Rally


    Welcome to the slightly overdue 36th edition of the West Coast Report. Here’s a quick overview of the events that have occurred since the 35th edition appeared. On November 11, 2013 I went on staff at Classic Trucks as the magazine’s tech editor. On November 12, I stayed at home and worked on a tech feature that will appear in the May issue.

    WCE-36-REPORT-01Here’s me setting up my trusty Canon 50D to do a shot with me in it… as you can guess this is an outtake. I washed my hair and brushed my teeth before the actual photo we used was taken.

    I had to laugh because I heard one the guys said “gee John has only worked for one day, and then didn’t show up for the second. It was a fellow tech editor, so I’m sure he knew I was working in the field. I remember one time telling Ryan Manson, editor for Custom Classic Trucks in an email that I was working in the field that day, and he replied, “Gee, I didn’t know that you were a farmer.”

    WCE-36-REPORT-02Here’s another outtake. Its not clear from this angle that I’m using I’m Aerosol Injected Lubricator to help break a hose loose. I also like using it to lubricate deep into air tools before use.

    Recently I published the news Eastwood, and Source Interlink Media have partnered with Eastwood to supply the latest and greatest in fabrication tools for SIM tech centers. For those of you that didn’t know, Source Interlink Media is the parent company of the most iconic automotive magazines there’s ever been including Hot Rod, Motor Trend, and of course most recently Hardcore Prius Hellions. Look for upcoming articles in Hardcore Prius Hellions on how to avoid road rage freeway brawls while hypermiling, and  handy tips on how to turn your Radio Shack solar cell into a nifty roof-mounted spoiler.

    WCE-36-REPORT-03More outtakes from the May issue of Classic Trucks. Eastwood blue sure goes good with the color of my ’76 Ford F-250.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist I made up Hardcore Prius Hellions, there’s no such magazine published anywhere in the world. Classic Trucks is part of SIM’s Performance Automotive Group which includes Street Rodder, Rod & Custom,  Custom Classic Trucks. Right now we’re in the process of setting up the Irvine Tech Center. Out in the main area the steel wall cabinets are being finished in genuine Eastwood Blue, with separate work stations being created for the different groups. As one would expect the SIM Tech Center is a state-of-the-art facility with special ducting in place to extract automobile exhaust, and two brand name microwave ovens to heat frozen burritos in mere seconds. One of the features that I really appreciate is we have air-conditioning and heat. It wasn’t all that long ago our tech center was located further inland, and it wasn’t unusual to endure temperatures exceeding 100-degrees.

    WCE-36-REPORT-04There’s more than one name to call this tool. From my youngest days the old pair of Champion DeArment diagonal pliers my dad owned were only known as dykes. I still have that pair of dykes in my rollaway, and recently added this pair of Eastwood dykes to my tool arsenal. People that live in higher altitudes with less oxygen call them side-cutters. No matter what you call them this fine pair of wire chompers are made in USA, and work like a champ. In 1963 Champion DeArment changed its name to Channellock.

    It’s a good thing Champion DeArment did or the brand would have ended up as a generic term like aspirin, thermos, yo-yo or zipper. Bizzare as it may sound heroin was also a brand-name owned by Bayer. Bayer discontinued heroin production in 1913. Next week we’ll discuss the origins of Coca-Cola… on second thought maybe not.

    WCE-36-REPORT-05This has been my dog Ruby’s favorite chair ever since she was a tiny puppy. We just don’t have the heart to tell her she doesn’t fit in it anymore.

    WCE-36-REPORT-06Temporarily I’ve been using the avocado green cushions off my vintage 1969 Riviera sofa for the Hot Rod to Hell’s interior.

    WCE-36-REPORT-07The color has really grown on me, and I was sure no one else would use such a hue for a hot rod interior.

    WCE-36-REPORT-08That was until I spotted this roadster at the horseless carriage rally in Irwindale right before New Year’s day.

    WCE-36-REPORT-09This interior shot reveals avocado green to be tasty color to use in a hot rod, or as a dipping sauce for gourmet Mexican food.

    WCE-36-REPORT-10The badge on the lower cowl reveals this incredibly detailed car was built by So Cal in Pomona, CA. — I should have known.WCE-36-REPORT-11At Irwindale raceway. That’s the San Gabriel mountains in the background. Back in the 50s and 60s while I was growing up there the smog would be so bad the mountains weren’t visible. At grammar school air raid drills were held regularly in the advent of a nuclear attack. We were instructed to climb under our desks roll up into a fetal position and kiss our ass goodbye.  I love the shape of mushroom clouds — they say one mushroom cloud can ruin your whole day.

    WCE-36-REPORT-12I don’t know about you guys, but I think this super clean ’31 Ford Model A two-door sedan done as a mild custom looks like a lot of fun to drive. I’d say by the looks of the square turn-signal lights, and velour high-back bucket seats the owner is at least 20 years older than me… I’m 61.

    WCE-36-REPORT-13I looked real close at this Model A, and my money says its mostly original paint. In fact everything about the car indicated it was an unmolested survivor. That’s because it’s a four-door.

    WCE-36-REPORT-14This cutaway Model A, or maybe it’s a B engine appeared to be running. An electrical motor in the place of the starter spun it fast enough for it to make all of the mechanical sounds one would burning gasoline.

    WCE-36-REPORT-15If you can believe the emblem on the grille this racecar is a Chrysler.

    WCE-36-REPORT-16It darn near looks street-legal.

    WCE-36-REPORT-18Checkout the aluminum coachwork on this what I’m guessing is late 20’s Lincoln. I believe a ’32 Lincoln grille shell looks like a big ’32 Ford shell. There were numerous coach builders for these cars. Too bad there wasn’t some kind of signage.

    WCE-36-REPORT-19Sorry it was a little hard to get a good shot of this car there was too many old guys drooling on it, and saying look at the shiny car.

    WCE-36-REPORT-20Good ‘ol worthless Google. I tried to research the car, but nothing came up but aluminum boats for sale in Orange County. Remember when Google used to be a great research tool.

    WCE-36-REPORT-21This Glacier Park touring bus was in the Rose Parade right behind Grand Marshall Vin Scully riding in a Palm Green 1950 Oldsmobile 98 convertible.

    WCE-36-REPORT-22Its rumored the owner turned down Jay Leno’s request to drive the car. Hey, like I said its just a rumor. Whatta ya say Jay is it true? Expiring minds want to know.

    WCE-36-REPORT-23I’ve ridden in veteran era cars in years past at this event. The drive through back roads and neighborhoods I didn’t know existed was incredible. The really fun part is when the day concludes at a hosting members house. Oh yeah, that’s a really nice chopped Model A huh?

    WCE-36-REPORT-24For the rally only pre ’33 stock configured cars are allowed, but that doesn’t stop a ton of any kind of cars showing up at the parking lot before they leave.

    WCE-36-REPORT-25Here’s a photo I took of Corky Coker in August 2012 standing next to the very beginnings of the Street Rodder Road Tour shoebox Ford built by Honest Charley’s Garage. Look at how rusty the body is.

    WCE-36-REPORT-27Here’s a shot of the shoebox taken in the SIM Irvine tech center about a 100 feet from my office. It’s a cubicle actually. I sit next to Ryan Manson at CCT. Eric Geisert at Street Rodder, Kev Elliot at Rod & Custom, and my good friend Tim Bernsau that works for CCT and Street Rodder. Its hard to believe it’s the same car the bodywork is flawless, and that’s after this car has been driven many miles.

    WCE-36-REPORT-28Alongside the driver side of the Road Tour shoebox notice the pallets of Eastwood hand tools. In this photo the Eastwood English wheel is just waiting to get rolled into our metal fab room. and yes, the big boxes behind contain more Eastwood essentials. It shouldn’t be long before readers get to these tools in action.

      —John Gilbert

    Leave a Comment