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!

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