COVERAGE> More Mooneyes Lifestyle at Irwindale

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

It’s no secret that one of my favorite car events to attend every year is the annual Mooneyes Christmas Party at Irwindale Speedway. When I first began posting up stories and photos from Mooneyes and related hot rod events on MotorMavens in the past, and I think some of our readers were sort of confused. I know, I know… this isn’t the sort of content that people might normally expect from a media outlet that normally covers things related to Japanese car culture and motorsports. However, we’re making efforts to expand out of our normal comfort zones… because from drifting to road racing to hot rods to European cars to exotics… there’s a common denominator that binds all of us as car guys together… we are passionate about cars!

We’ve lightly touched on the MotorMavens passion principle in previous stories, but we’ll be seeing more of this in the future, as we spotlight cars that people are passionate about! I know I’m intensely passionate about the cars in my collection, and you are too. Although some of us might not come from hot rod or kustom car backgrounds, we can definitely appreciate and respect the automotive passion that the owners of these cars have put into their cars; it seeps into and affects every bit of a person’s life. It really IS a lifestyle – a person’s love for cars and the culture that surrounds them really does affect every bit of their lives, if they do it right. This goes out to the real gearheads! This goes out to the people that live this stuff day in and day out, because THAT is what it’s all about. This isn’t just a hobby for us – this is what we build our lives around, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Anyway, enough of my rambling… on to the photos!

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

In my previous post from this year’s Mooneyes Christmas Party, I thought this Impala was a six-fo… but I stand corrected. This is a 1963 Impala from the Devils car crew! Someone please school me on the differences between 1963 and 1964 models, because I don’t have an issue of Lowrider Magazine handy, and I haven’t watched Boyz N The Hood in a long time!

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

I have no idea what kind of car this is. All I know is it’s green and it’s LOWWWWWW.

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

One thing that’s cool about the Mooneyes Christmas Party is the fact that it’s very chill and very casual. It’s kind of like a big tailgate party with interesting cars and a bunch of homies chillin out and taking photos. See, I even caught a group of friends taking a classic “with the homies” photo!

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

The back seat of cars is sometimes more interesting than the front! This is Sonja from Sunbelt Customs, getting something from the back of her car… that she built. Respect!

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

Again, I don’t know a damn thing about this ridiculously low hot rod… but it looks like it won’t even clear the orange road reflectors on the road! Where on Earth can one drive this thing?! Who cares! We love low cars of all sorts!

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

Here’s a closer look at the slammed hot rod, with a steering wheel that looks very similar to an OEM American version of a Nardi Classic 360. Check out the super tall shifter though! Oh, and it has a rosary hanging from the rearview mirror… I wonder if this thing gets driven to church? I’m guessing… probably not.

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

A closer inspection of the engine bay will reveal that the car is Chrysler powered. Check out these backward facing air horns for the carbs! I suppose there would be too much air pressure if the air horns were turned around? Does anyone have a clue as to why the air horns are facing backwards like this? Is it just a style thing or what?

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

Speaking of style, I love the look of these old kinds of trucks and vans. Again, not a clue as to what it is. I just dig the body lines of it. Is it possibly and old Ford or an old Dodge? Looks somewhat similar to those A100 vans. It would be even cooler once it’s painted and has wider wheels!

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

Check out the back of the truck… just looking at this, I’m honestly not sure what’s customized and what’s original. It looks interesting though… I wish I got a closer look at it, but I had to get through the entire show to shoot photos, as the sunlight was fading quickly!

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

One interesting thing about Mooneyes that you probably won’t see at drift days or racetrack events… there were plenty of dressed up women buying high heel shoes! Pretty cool packaging, and the ladies seemed to love this booth.

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

I walked up a bit closer, so it wouldn’t be like I was taking “rearview creeper” style photos of unsuspecting women, and the pinup girl in the red dress came up and gave me a hug! Turns out it was none other than Yolee, a new friend who I met through my boy Brian. She gets props from us because she has proven to be super down… more than most girls you meet. She has even come to visit the apartment more times than some of the girls I’ve been very close with for years! I won’t name any names, though… *cough*Falken*girls*Joyce*Eri*Liz*cough*cough*

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

I’m not sure what’s more rare about this photo… the amazing colors of the Southern Cali sunset, as captured through my Canon 5DMK2; or maybe it’s the super clean, right-hand-drive 1964 Toyopet Crown Masterline (truck) from Mooneyes Yokohama that’s parked in the background; or maybe it’s the fact that my boy Brian is wearing an old school original print run Joyce Lex “Sinful Things” rifle shirt with super down-ass Yolee right next to him. She brings hardcover art books with naked chicks in them over to the crib, and she’s even into the same type of hip hop as we are! Dope.

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

Check this one out! What catches your eye first?

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

Look at the detailed interior under this choptop… having a cover for the back seats is actually very cool! I’ve seen this done on roadsters before (obviously), but never on a choptop such as this. Very cool! I hope this gives people some ideas!

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

Now that’s what I’m sayin! Check out this traditional Ford hot rod from the Cavaliers car crew out of Long Beach CA. The Cavaliers are an old school car crew with a lot of history. Keep an eye on MotorMavens for more from the Cavaliers!

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

Here’s a closer detail shot of the cool front emblem on the Ford, with one of my favorite traditional hot rods EVER in the background…

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

Here it is. This, in my opinion, is one of the coolest looking traditional hot rods I’ve ever laid eyes on. This car was at our first-ever Mass Appeal car show, and was parked right next to the MotorMavens booth, attracting A TON of attention!

This super sick slammed 1934 “Border Patrol” roadster is owned by Tony of the Cavaliers. We’ll see a lot more of this car on the site in the near future!

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

Check out this quick shot of Tony’s interior – it has been fashionably painted olive green, just like the exterior… and I think the tan soft top looks PERFECT on it!

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

Here’s a rear shot of the Border Patrol roadster. Super, super dope! Look at how the top of the fenders are actually lower than the tops of the wheels!!! I LOVE THIS CAR!!!

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

Here’s a shot of Tony, the owner of the car. I’ll be honest and tell the truth real quick, even if it means pissing some people off. Before I was enlightened on the subject, I used to think hot rods were something that were driven by old, white-haired war veterans with cargo shorts, long white socks, New Balance sneakers, Hawaiian shirts, and USS Enterprise trucker caps. Sheesh… was I ever wrong about that.

Mooneyes Christmas Party Xmas Irwindale Speedway hot rod rat rod kustom culture merc

As the sun set over Irwindale, I found the head of Mooneyes Japan (Shige) and his staff gathered around his transporter, loading up one of their cars.

It might be surprising to some… but many people don’t know that one of the coolest hot rod lifestyle events in Southern California is actually run by… Japanese people?!

Click here for more photos and stories related to Mooneyes and Hot Rods on MOTORMAVENS!

:: Antonio Alvendia

MotorMavens Readers' Blog

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34 Responses to “COVERAGE> More Mooneyes Lifestyle at Irwindale”

  1. Will says:

    great coverage like always

  2. John P says:

    Wow. So the lesson we learned from this article. Antonio doesn’t know anything about a single car in this article, and he’s too lazy to look it up. Some “real gearhead” you are.

    If you care that little, why even attend the event?

  3. Brian Urbano says:

    thanks for the love bro as always!

    you got big shoes! you superman!

  4. Yo G! why didn’t you hit me up!

  5. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by NissanPacific, thesquidd. thesquidd said: You guys need to take Journalsim 101. @MOTORMAVENS: Even more slammed hot rods and kustoms from Mooneyes! Now up!… http://fb.me/LGU91NYA [...]

  6. @John P: Thanks for reading the text, but I’d like to address your comment directly.

    I can’t “look it up” if I don’t know what kinda car it is. ALOT of these cars were super customized and hand-built. It’s not like I could look up “S14 Silvia” and spit out some useless facts.

    It’s REALLY unfortunate that I had limited time at the event, because I had multiple places that I had to be that day. I don’t think anyone who actually knows me can really accuse me of being ‘lazy’ when it comes to this automotive hobby/lifestyle. If you think so, then it’s unfortunate, but oh well.

    This is not about ME knowing about every single car out there. Nobody does. The entire point of this website is to share what we think is COOL… not necessarily to drop knowledge on every single post. I know a lot about certain types of cars… but I’m not afraid to admit when I don’t know something. Nobody can know everything! Life is a continual learning process… for everyone! Me included!

    If you know something about some of the cars in this post, please share some of your knowledge. I’m sure that the readers (and I) would be grateful for it.

  7. Jonathan McWhorter says:

    The fact that he doesn’t know as much about a form of car culture than he does about your normal dosage of Japanese motorsport doesn’t make Antonio less of a gearhead. If anything, caring enoug to go outside of the daily routine of Nissans and Toyotas into a world where he might not be as fluent as you’re used to should make him more of a gear head. There’s nothing wrong with admitting faults and encouraging discussion amongst enthusiasts so that we all can benefit from each other’s knowledge.

  8. Jonathan McWhorter says:

    On the other hand, Antonio, awesome coverage like always. I especially love the shot of Tony’s interior via the rear-view. I think a neighbor of mine is building a hot rod in his garage, I’ll try and see if I can catch him one day for a possible feature.

  9. Jover says:

    I’m digging these stories and these cars more and more there Antonio. Good job! I dig that photo of Brian, his Joyce Lex shirt, and the Toyopet in the background. Awesome.

  10. Tamer Omran says:

    POST BUMP!.. loving it.

  11. efcivicman says:

    Great coverage antonio and i respect you for going out of your comfort zone.And even thought you didn’t know what the cars where the cars you choise to show us where so full of win.

  12. Have to say the girls butt caught my eye in that pic Antonio :S :)

    Excellent pics and i really love this style of car culture – so very cool.

  13. Magdizzle says:

    Cool photos and variety! It’s great to see the willingness to go out of the “norm” and explore various genres of the automotive world. Cool is Cool and cars (of ALL types) are COOL!!

    @John P – Thanks for your positive contribution and informative post. I know soooo much more about the specifics of these cars now….NOT! Dude chill… if you wanna add something go for it but if your just going to hate then save the space for someone who actually likes to look at cars.

  14. Hecht says:

    Love these photos. So diggin that Hemi powered low sedan chop top. Is that an Essex sedan tudor maybe? I don’t think its a model A Ford.

  15. Edward Uche says:

    What captures my eyes first when looking at that one shot? I’ll say it’s that girls hips…

  16. P1erre says:

    Back on the Impala for those interested.
    The ’62, ’63 and ’64 are super hard to identify. The whole body has been change each year, but with super subtle differences.
    On the pic of that ’63, you can see a stall between the lights, wich is non-existent on the ’64 (as you can see here = http://www.classiccarauto.com/impala/4_door_ss/images/rear-view-closeup.JPG).
    The front lights of the ’64 are a little bigger than the ’63, and are separate front the grill. On the ’63, the lights are integrated in the grill.
    And to make things harder, the ’62 has a front wich look like the ’62, as the rear looks more like the ’63… Crazy ass designers back then !!!

    I hope i’m understable, as english is not my natural langage (I can explain all this stuff better in french ^^).

    Like I said previously, good coverage and keep up bringing various styles ont the site !

  17. P1erre says:

    Sorry, the link is broke…
    Just google “Rear 64 impala” ^^

  18. chris says:

    The truck in the 9th picture is corvair sideramp truck rare..

    a http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1963-chevrolet-corvair-95-rampside-pickup.htm

  19. Cody says:

    Air intakes like the ones you questioned are turned backwards as an attempt to keep out dirt, dust, bugs, birds or salt when run on the Bonneville Flats. The idea is that if they aren’t facing into “dirty air”, they can’t suck the bad stuff in.

  20. P1erre says:

    And the green super slammed thing in the 3rd picture is a ’53/’54 Chevy Bel Air.
    Sharing knowledges at is best !

  21. Rolo says:

    Man i have to agreed with you, Antonio. I know nothing about these cars either, but you can see that there’s a lot of work put in to, pretty amazing stuff. Great coverage once again!

  22. Nick from New Zealand says:

    Hey Antonio
    Fantastic coverage mate!!
    I don’t know shit about these kind of cars and from the article I’m guessing your on the same ish level! its great to see a report like this cause it feels more like I could of been there and just loving the vibe instead of looking at all the facts and figures!
    Keep up the great work!! FUCK THE HATERS!!

  23. Hey Antonio Fantastic coverage mate!! I don’t know shit about these kind of cars and from the article I’m guessing your on the same ish level! its great to see a report like this cause it feels more like I could of been there and just loving the vibe instead of looking at all the facts and figures! Keep up the great work!! FUCK THE HATERS!!

  24. Sonja @ Dame Customs says:

    Hey Guys & Girls! I’m Sonja Serventi (girl in back seat of 1940 Merc, blk old car lol)I met Antonio at show & I think he’s rad! I’m like the same way with imports, excotics, pretty much what I can’t afford lol. I don’t know much about em but I do respect the craftsmanship, time, and dedication to the cars. I own a shop Dame Customs, formerly SunBelt Customs in S.El Monte. I build/ customize Hot Rods, customs, etc. From little things like changing taillights to chopping roofs, (I dont chop em myself, my friend is the metal master from rust to serious cutting stuff) our shop does some cool stuff. We’ve built to worked on about 100 cars in 5 years, always based in the S.G.V.. Thats a very cool pic of me, I’ll buy it, I need a rad pic for my new shop, I actually got keys to my new shop today!! So yah, I’ll be busy for next week moving from one shop to another (bigger space cheaper rent lol). Hey,Old green car is 54, I can tell by tailights. “Homies” in pic, my car club Black Widows, except the dude. we’re all girl cc lol.
    See ya, Sonja!!

  25. @P1erre and Chris: Thanks for sharing info and links! That’s what I’M talking about! Sharing info within the community is awesome – the MotorMavens staff is not always out to drop knowledge on people… we have just has much to learn from our readers! THANK YOU for contributing to the site!

    @Hecht: We missed ya on the site man!

    @Cody: GREAT explanation man! So I’m guessing the carbs are always unfiltered? A lot of friends trip out that I always run my twin sidedraft carbs on my 1973 Corolla unfiltered, but I think the full curl funnel air horns just look bad ass. I’m guessing these reverse-stack air horns on the hot rod are pre K&N style, hehe…

    @Rolo: EXACTLY! Thanks for commenting!

    @Nick from NZ: EXACTLY! The Mooneyes show has an incredible vibe! I highly suggest you check it out some day! Super fun!

    @Sonja: HEY! YOU FOUND ME!!! Glad to meet you that day! I’ll have to check out your shop sometime soon! Let’s link up after the holidays!

  26. PS: Sonja, thanks for droppin the added info on the pics! Let’s meet up!

  27. Cody says:

    Antonio, I’d say most of the rods simply have a screen over the intakes tubes. I also run the twin Delorto side-draft carbs on my Hatchi un-filtered. I’m really thinking about filters because I really want to start driving it more. The 350z slammed on Tanabe Sustec DDs (the one’s that used to be on Forsberg’s 350z) may be an amazing daily, but how can you not want to drive a Hatchi?

  28. Rewclues @ Hecht says:

    Good eye Hecht it does look like an Essex. Same long rear hunges on the suicide doors as mine. I’d put it within one or two years of mine. I’d say it’s a bit older then my 27 Essex. Prolly a 25 Essex.

  29. Jason Valenzuela says:

    Thanks for the great shot of my 1923 model T. Alot of people don’t appreciate this cars history or stlye. This is a true hot rod from 1963. I just keep it on the road with little to no changes to the car to keep it period correct. Thanks again, Tbucketj from the Cavaliers.

  30. henry deleon says:

    hey theres my 63 again nice!!!! lol well the green slammed chevy is a 54. i kno that guy his names alex carlos, super cool guy n sick car. thanx again for postin my car and better yet for puttin up my clubs name. u kick ass!!

  31. DeNean Card says:

    Regarding the Corvair in the 9th picture. We actually own one of these. There were only 651 of these made in 1964. It’s an awesome little pickup, and really fun to drive. It is in great shape, just needs a bit of cleaning up. BTW it is for sale. We aren’t into the restoration and showing of cars. This really needs someone to love it and fix it up proper. Do you know how we can get it out there to be seen?

  32. Frank says:

    @picture of sonja….actually I built that merc for johhny urias about four years ago..sonja’ s mom bought it a few months back just to flip it……sunbeltcustoms is not dame customs..completely two different shops…..we actually build Cars at sunbeltcustoms not just a front…….

  33. Black Bunny Customs says:

    That Truck your wondering about the one you said was possibly an old Ford Or Dodge,That is a Chevrolet Corvair pickup. It has a rear mounted Air cooled 6cyl engine. If you look at the picture of the back end of the bed, you will see the engine access door or, hood if you like the term better..

  34. Frank says:

    @Sonja, don’t you need to finish paying off that car? Don’t you own like $5,000 on it still? lol

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