07 March 2011
It's really hard to put to words how much this past weekend meant to me. I joined the Los Boulevardos Message Board in 2007 as a total stranger. I knew only one or two people from the board in real life, and I really had no idea what I was in for. For me, this club/forum was a collection of my favorite cars from the HAMB; these cars were the coolest of the cool, yet so abstract, far away, and hopelessly intangible. I was amazed when I registered for the board at how friendly everyone was, I felt honored to be so welcomed into the community that I had such respect for even though I brought so little to the table. As time went on, I got to know a lot more of the local LBCC crew, and made it down to a few shows down south. What I found there, behind all the witty banter and phenomenal build threads on the LBCC board, was a group of the most solid, stand-up, and downright "cool" people I've ever met. Where I once felt alone in my oddball obsession, I now felt surrounded by people who thought like I did, who built cars like I did, and finished cars to a level that I could only dream of. I was honored to be asked to prospect for the club last September, and I hope that I can represent the LBCC up North in a way that's on level with the high bar that's already been set. I don't know what it is about our specific sub-set of the custom car world, but I love it; it draws in the best, the brightest, and the funniest people from all around the world. When I saw that the LBCC's annual Cruise to the Lake in Southern California was coming up again this year, I knew that I needed to go. I couldn't sit this one out and just look at pictures; I had to be a part of it.
Mike LaVella agreed to run the Berkeley shop for us for the day, which was incredibly generous considering that Sunday was the Scarlett Fever show in San Francisco that he sponsors. Thanks so much Mike, it means the world to have someone like you in our lives. If ANYONE is unfamiliar with Gearhead Magazine, please stop right now and click the link in the sidebar; your life will be richer for it. Cars, Art, Punk Rock, and writing with heart and soul, is there anything better?
I took a half-day at the shop on Friday to get the 57 ready. The day before I had remembered that this was a pretty tough drive, and it had been at least four years since we'd made a trip down south, and about eight years since we had taken the car all the way into Los Angeles. I caught and fixed a horrifying fuel line leak, filled up all the fluids, tightened down a couple of things that had rattled loose, and threw the interior together the best I could. Daily driving a car certainly takes a toll on it.
I headed down to the Shop and loaded up a sweet set of Rocket wheels for Eryk, because if we're heading down, we might as well go with some sense of purpose. And of course, if you're in temporary possession of someone else's stuff, you need to take gratuitous pictures of you abusing it.
Seven O'clock couldn't come soon enough. We closed up in a hurry, and rushed home to pack our stuff. We ended up heading out later that I had hoped, so we had to miss the Royal Jokers Cruise a couple blocks away. We hopped on 880 around nine-o'clock, and drove on towards Southern California. It's been cold, foggy, and rainy here and I couldn't wait to see some sun and Palm trees.
The car ran great, and we kept a pretty steady pace, stopping every couple hours to fill up on fuel and coffee along 101.
After the long and grueling drive, roughing out the fog outside of Santa Barbara, we finally pulled off the 101 to 405, and on to the Hotel. We pulled up to the front door around four AM to find our friends parked VIP style on the sidewalk in front of the lobby. We followed suit; us Nor-Cal kids park wherever the fuck we want. Apparently.
We checked in, and I could hardly sleep. I took a quick walk around the parking lot and saw the Arizona caravan parked it the back lot:
I couldn't believe I was standing in front of Ryan's Cadillac; this car was so important to me, without seeing pictures of it years ago I hesitate to say I would be here today. This was one of the first "60's style" cars I remember seeing on the HAMB in the early days, and here it was
We slept for a few hours, then packed it up and rolled into the show around noon. I would have liked that have made it in earlier, but I don't think my body would have let me. I parked the car, and made the rounds. I can't believe what an impressive turnout there was at this show, and how perfect the location and weather was.
This Riviera was awesome. I love the wheels & bullet caps, Keystones I believe. I want to run down pedestrians in it:
I assume this is another brilliant Starlight Customs creation. I really like the endless line on this, and the quality of finish was really impressive:
This car has a cool "Summer Madness" vibe:
This Oldsmobile was really impressive. Excellent execution, great line work, I'm in love:
There was a hell of a trophy for club pick. It looked a little strange at first glance:
The inside was a special "surprise", I'm sure the winner's wife appreciated it:
It went to this car, which absolutely deserved it. This car was really impressive. No trendy bullshit, nothing fake. A little restraint goes a long way; it looked like a photo-chop come to life:
One of my all-time favorite 56 Chevys was there:
I was really happy to finally see Sperry's Chrysler in person, this was another really important car for me autobiographically; it really changed the way I thought about what makes a good start for a custom. You don't see a lot of Mopars finished in this way, and it's really a shame.
Note: Be careful when parking under Palm Trees. Seconds after this picture a big-ass branch fell and landed on top of this beautiful Caddy.
So Josie and i NEVER go to shows without working. Josie was there for about five minutes before she was helping out in the Deadend booth. She just can't turn it off!
Luckily, she took a few minutes off to snap some killer pictures:
So all this: an awesome show, beautiful weather, amazing cars, all for free. If that's not enough, on top of that you've got the LBCC serving FREE FOOD!
More gratuitous T-bird love. Expect to see a LOT of this car in magazines this year:
Bob's 1962 Buick is coming along really well. I'm excited to see it's custom-evolution. Nice to see it on the road again, plus it's on Star Wires now. Bonus cool:
So perfect in it's simplicity. Seeing this car meant a lot to me:
I like fins.
This was the winner for me this weekend. Simple, elegant, classy. Thanks for rolling it out, it made my day:
Big open sky. Hard to believe there's still places like this in Van Nuys.
Another favorite from Gilroy:
I'm looking forward to the next Deadend update, this is what it looks like in the making:
Very cool 1955 Chevy, you don't see a lot like this:
I love the interior of the Starliner. Endless line stitched into the seats, a really clever move.
And after a long day in the sun with the best people on the planet, Josie and I said our goodbyes and headed out into the sunset. So long for now, Southern California. Thanks for being an amazing host.