Sometimes it ain't easy being a car guy during the european winter... on the one hand, you got more time to work in the garage. But sometimes you just feel like jumpin into your rod or custom and going for a spin, if there wouldn't be that white stuff outside... That's when DVDs come in handy, just like the Vintage Torque series. I just watched their second release which is a double DVD set with over 3 hours running time, covering shows like the Lonestar Round-Up, Billetproof Florida, Viva Las Vegas and so on. I was blown away by the sheer amount of stuff featured, while the concept reminded me of other famous DVD series, even if the focus is more on showing currently homebuilt rides than on tracking down historically important cars. The man behind Vintage Torque, John Wells is working his ass off for providing us with the best of traditional rod & custom stuff and in the meantime, he already published issue #3, so check it out.
During our California trip, we stayed at our friends Kyle and Mia's house in La Mesa, a San Diego suburb. One evening, Kyle who's a member of the Deacons car club, took me to another member's place. John Bade welcomed us in his garage so I could check out a car I was especially looking forward to see it "in the flesh": a model a roadster, built by the Barris shop in the early 1950s. John's garage was already open when we arrived, and there it was, in all its glory. An unrestored roadster from the 50s, with a track nose, a bronze and green paintjob mimicking the paint scheme of a WW2 fighter plane, a true survivor. Unfortunately, it was already dark outside, so some of the pics got a little blurry. But here they are for you to enjoy...
Originally, the roadster didn't have front brakes. But as John likes his cars to drive and to stop, too (the previous owner used to drive the roadster on the road for years without front brakes or even lights...), he added a set of brakes to the Franklin front end.
Sorry that I didn't remove the old slot race box from the trunklid. But in a way, it kinda pays tribute to the day when John saw the roadster for the first time in 1996, in a garage, covered with boxes...
The dashboard remained almost untouched to this day.
With the aluminium hood removed, you can take a look at the rebuilt flathead. If you want more info about this car, there's a great story in HOP UP Magazine issue four (2002), written by John himself.
Next to the roadster was sitting another very interesting car, a 1932 five-window coupe, built in the mid 1950s. It still wears the original 50s black lacquer paintjob...
...as well as the gorgeous tuck'n roll interior. Ain't that beautiful? Many thanks to Kyle and John.
They got some bitchin' rides, you can be sure to meet them at car shows all across Europe and they're a bunch of really nice guys... the Crazy Cruisers from Geneva. They just updated their website with a lot of pics from the years 2007-2008, they introduce some new members from Italy and let us catch a glimpse of some of their latest projects. Now go and check it out.
It was on one of the first days of our california trip... We'd just been to Pasadena, checking out the famous Rose Bowl stadium and had some mighty fine beer downtown at Barney's Beanery, when we felt like seeing some car stuff. So, we walked over to Johnson Motors, checked out some books and swag, before driving down to Hollywood Hot Rods. The whole crew was busy working on several projects. One of the cars was the black widow, a 1:1 "monogram model" that needed some finishing work to be done before GNRS 2009. In spite of the tons of work waiting, Bobby, one of their employees, guided us around the shop and let us take pics. Thank you guys! Wanna see some of the stuff they're doing? Just check it out.
Do you like customs? I do. I do a lot, and for custom afficionados like we are, GNRS had it all. From mild to wild, from early Westergard style to the freshest flavors, from graceful 40s taildraggers to extravagant 50s coupes. Here's just a small selection of the stuff I liked most. But check it out for yourself in the LOWTECH gallery from the 60th annual Grand National Roadster Show.
Yep, that's how they call the Grand National Roadster Show. And in fact, it is probably the longest running indoor car show worldwide as it celebrated its 60th birthday in 2009. For me, it was the first time at that show and the display of cars was quite impressive, or let's say overwhelming. I'm not the biggest fan of indoor events, as they're kinda static by nature. But the quality of the cars was just mindblowing. And a personal highlight for me was to see so many famous custom cars and hot rods I only knew from books or mags, as the Barris built Ala Kart. In order to celebrate the 60 years, they had one building that was packed with cars that made history at the GNRS during the show's first six decades... so, by playing a bit with photoshop and putting a little too much yellow in it, it almost looks like the two pics were taken in the late 1950s... Well, almost.
Howdy... um, well sorry for the lack of updates the last weeks as this wasn't my initial intention (see previous posts...). But due to the lack of internet connections while cruising down Big Sur and having too much fun in San Diego, I didn't find any time to post some new stuff. This is gonna change now, as I'm currently digging through the 2000+ photos I took during our california trip. And I came up with some pretty cool stuff. In the meantime, I got some teasers for you from the Grand National Roadster show... See ya soon.