first time on the moon

During his lifetime, every european hot rodder undertakes at least one pilgrimage to the holy land of automotive culture. The travel itinerary usually consists of a similar list of sacred sites like speed shops, drag strips and burger joints. One of the most popular places to be visited by the european hot rod community is Mooneyes in Santa Fe Springs. Since I was a sinner for way too long and after living in southern California for more than half a year, I decided it was about time to do my duty.

Mooneyes is one of the most famous brands in traditional car culture. And it's one of the most widely accepted. The two iconic moon eyes have been seen on almost every imaginable or buildable kind of vehicle, like dragsters, lakesters, hot rods, volkswagens, stockers, hell even bicycles and boats.

It's hard to determine where this credibility has its roots. Of course there's the history of the company, but I think it's a combination of this with several other aspects, like the design or the fact that all of the signature Mooneyes parts like the tanks or the wheel discs are still being produced in the USA. And just like they wanted to prove their belief in virtues of reliability, quality and consistency they're still located at the same address since back in the 1950s.

In case you've never been to the Mooneyes shop on 10820 South Norwalk Boulevard, you're missing out on something. On the left hand side you find the store with all the merchandise stuff Mooneyes also is (in)famous for. Ratfink key chains, door pins, it's all there if you want to give your car and/or your lifestyle that kustom kulture twist... But there's also the machine shop. And if you ask politely you might get a tour.

Boxes of blanks, freshly finished parts, lots of impressive machinery: it's all there.

Manny Flores showed us the process how the spun aluminium discs are being made. Here you see him with the Mooneyes Starburst wheelcover.

The ever popular Moon foot pedal.

Wandering through this machine shop is an amazing lesson in hot rod history.

Some corners probably haven't changed during the last decades.

We also got to learn first hand how the spun aluminum tanks are manufactured. Thanks for the fantastic tour and keep up the good work, Mooneyes!

Click here for the slideshow with 45 full color pictures!


irwindale swap meet

The older I get the more I like getting up early. And it seems like this development goes hand in hand with my growing interest in swap meets. Irwindale is one of the newer swap meets in Southern California.


the studebomber

Tradition wants hot rods to be built from Ford parts. There might be an early nailhead or a hemi sitting between the frame rails. But everything around it should have been designed once upon a time in Dearborn, Michigan.

LOWTECH is all about traditional hot rods and customs.

And I hardly ever saw a hot rod that was appealing to my eyes and senses but wasn't a Ford.

Luckily there are geniuses like Roy of San Clemente, California who are capable of opening my stubborn, narrow-minded view. To my defense I must say he had to bring some pretty heavy machinery. And he had to piece it together from dozens of different car makes and models. But he did good. He did god damn good.

This is the story of Roy's 1934 Studebaker.

eat dirt

This is a public announcement for our european readers: Some friends of ours are inviting you guys to race your jalopies around the old Schenkenhorst dirt track in Potsdam, Germany. So if you like it dirty click here.


hippy killer hoedown #5

While it was overcast and gloomy along the coast we were glad we had to head inland for the 5th annual Hippy Killer Hoedown.


mercury saturday

Seen today at the Hippy Killer Hoedown. More to come soon.


a night at the broiler

I easily get bored at car shows. What I enjoy most about them is getting there but during the first one or two hours the excitement rapidly starts wearing off. Besides that, the overpriced food usually sucks. It's too crowded. And it's a pain to get any decent pictures. That's why I like early morning get togethers and, sometimes – even cruise nights.


the road to austin

Some people say it's the best hot rod show in the world. Well, I couldn't make it to the Lonestar Round Up yet so I'm not the one to judge. But what I can say is that the road trip of Shawn and his family looks like it was the best family vacation in the world. (via Stylish Kustoms)


the homecoming (part II)

As you may have guessed, I took a lot more pictures at the HOT ROD Homecoming Show. Here they are, all in one slideshow. Or you can check them out in the gallery.


the homecoming

»Where it all began« is what they say at Hot Rod Magazine. Looking at its latest issues it sometimes feels hard to believe that this saying is true. But it is. Let's just face the fact that Hot Rod Magazine is 65 years old. And with 12 issues a year, you end up with – well just do the math – like yeah, a whole fuckin' bunch of paper filled with hot rod and custom history.