santa maria 2013

My mom always said it's important in life to focus on something. The Santa Maria show, or Santa Robles or Paso Maria like some people call it, is doing it right as it focuses on custom cars. There are no bikes, no vans, no random classic cars and almost no hot rods. And that's what makes this show a great show. Especially if you're into custom cars. Or kustoms, to be more exact. If you like to see more pics, you'll find them here. Or how about a convenient slideshow?

Nice and simple shoebox.

This Chevy was one of my favorites.

Gilbert and Esther Robles' Plymouth made it to the show under its own power. Congratulations to them and to the builders Arnold and Mark Garza.

I like the crisp lines of those early 1960s Pontiacs.

This creation was way cool: Probably based on a 1959 El Camino, it had 1960 Caddy rear quarters and fins and a 1961 Caddy front. To me it felt like a barn find, or a desert find kustom.

Crazy paintjob on a 1949 Chevy finished just in time for the show.

I don't know why but I just have a soft spot for well-proportioned early 1950s Chevy kustoms.

More photos...


friday night in santa maria

There couldn't be a better kick-off to a kustom car show than a friday night cruising. To me it is even one of the highlights of the West Coast Kustoms Cruisin' Nationals, Santa Maria. And more than that: Seeing mild to wild customs, bombs and lowriders roll by on a four lane boulevard before hitting the bar or the bowling alley really brings to life an essential part of california car culture. Click here for more pictures.

to the gallery...


guadalupe again

There's something about this place. I don't know why but everytime I happen to be in Guadalupe, I meet great hot rod and kustom people. Remember when we came across Henry and his 1966 El Camino? Or that night when I took some pictures of Mark Garza's old 1957 Wagon? And I even had the opportunity to shoot his current ride, a beautiful 1946 Ford? This time we were on our way home from Paso Maria when we met Josh Carrillo having lunch in front of this great old brick wall. He's from Los Osos where he runs Carrillo Customs. So, I wonder who I'm gonna meet next time.


cruisin' broadway tonight

Friday Night at the Cruisin' Nationals, Santa Maria CA.


paso alamos

On a sunny afternoon in Los Alamos. Good times!


el mirage, may 2013

After my first visit to El Mirage two years ago, I was so excited to be back at this magic place on earth. And even better, this time I wouldn't have to drive and sleep in a rental car since my better half insisted on driving her El Camino to the dry lake. So here's my first selection of pictures from Saturday, May 18 at El Mirage Dry Lake. Find some more photos here in the slideshow.


Fresh from the season opener at El Mirage. More to come soon!


cruisin' grand

How many car shows and cruises can one bear per week? As with so many things in life, it depends on where you grew up. Being born and raised in Europe where it feels like old car season lasts only for a couple of days a year, it's hard to believe how much car-related stuff is going in Southern California. Thus, it is also hard not to give in the urge to attend as many gatherings as possible while actually being in SoCal. This is why I spontaneously decided to drive to Escondido for the Cruisin' Grand, a traditional town center cruise which is held every Friday night in summer. Here's what I saw.



People can go to great lengths discussing how a traditional car has to look like and almost forget about what tradition really means. And then there's a moment like this that sums it all up.