Posts Tagged ‘hot rod’

GALLERY> Celebrating HotRod Culture w/ Mooneyes

Los Angeles is a melting pot of many cultures, so the car culture in Southern California is diverse as well - this place is ground zero for modified cars! Los Angeles has automotive heritage that spans from the first hot rodders and dry lakebed racers in the 1940s and 1950s to the evolution of the European and Japanese car scenes on US shores that began in the late 1960s and continues strong until today. People complain about all the smog and traffic and crappy roads in LA, but we're lucky - as far as I'm concerned, we have it all.

As Southern California car culture evolved from traditional handcrafted V8 powered hot rods to include the modification of small bore, high power output Japanese cars, our car scene truly has come full circle. It may be difficult for some to grasp this, but today, one of the most popular events in Southern California celebrating hot rods and the culture behind them is actually run by a group of hardcore hot rodders from Japan! The event I speak of is the annual Mooneyes Christmas Party at Irwindale Speedway, and year after year, it captivates me like it was my very first car show. Year after year, the Mooneyes Christmas Party remains paramount in my mind as the very best hot rod event I've ever attended.   Read more...

CENTER STAGE> Rusty 1937 Ford Pilsner Pickup

A while back, I attended the world’s biggest one-day charity car show, Cruisin' For A Cure, in Costa Mesa, CA. It was a great way to get the word out on the prevention of Prostate Cancer. While mandatory digital rectal exams (finger up-the-butt in layman’s terms for those who may have been thinking there was an app for that) were not part of the admission, the chance to view hundreds of classic, customized vehicles were. This was my first time attending this show and I’ve got to say, it was THE largest car show I’ve attended. Many cars caught my attention and, as I was leaving, I spotted this 1937 Ford Truck owned by Tom and Linda Chorbagian. So I hurriedly grabbed my strobes in the trunk and took a few shots during the festivities.

Its rat-rod look reminded me of a Japanese aesthetic called Wabi-Sabi (no, not the green stuff complementing your sushi). Essentially, from an artistic point-of-view, wabi-sabi is defined as “flawed beauty.” It refers to beauty as a result of age, wear and tear and any anomalies which add uniqueness. It's a growing trend in rat-rodding and it seeks beauty in the simple and imperfect. Tom's truck is a good example of the embodiment of this principle and has that perfect combination of burned paint, rust, and look acquired from age and weather--it's hardly an eyesore.   Read more...

VIDEO> Rancho Deluxe Hot Rods in Australia

Hot rods are slowly becoming a new obsession of mine. A crackling V8 through short exhaust coming out the side of a small roadster and wire wheels wrapped in skinny tires has got to be the coolest form of transportation on the road, hands down.  Ben Thomas builds hot rods full time at his shop, Rancho Deluxe, in Melbourne Australia. While the rest of the world progresses with new technologies and methods for making cars faster, safer, and the like; Ben has been working his way backwards. He apprenticed with Porsche for four years at age 18 and since then has stuck with the classics. By classics, I mean 30′s and 40′s era cars. I think that makes the jump from ‘classic’ to ‘OG.’  His pristine 1932 Ford is the perfect example of what hot rods are all about – small car, big engine, and a driver’s seat. (more…)


VIDEO> The Wrecked Metals Hot Rods in Idaho

We don’t always get to see as many hot rods and customs as we should on Motor Mavens, but cars like these are an important part of car culture’s history as well as its future. So to follow up with the post we did of the Farm Boys Car Club and Wrecked Metals Hot Rod and Chopper Shop during Bonneville Speedweek last year, we present this video shot by Josh Clason on their home turf of Boise, Idaho.

The vid shows off some of Matt Whitlock‘s handiwork including his 1930 Chrysler chop top coupe and some Ford roadsters. The video also includes a short interview about what Wrecked Metals and the Farm Boys are all about. Matt even gets his hot rod sideways (probably not called drifting, haha) in the dirt, which is pretty cool to see! (more…)


COVERAGE> More Mooneyes Lifestyle at Irwindale

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!   Read more...

COVERAGE> The 2010 Mooneyes Christmas Party

One of my favorite Southern California-based automotive events to attend every year is definitely the Mooneyes Christmas Party at Irwindale. Most of the people in my demographic only think of drifting when they hear about Irwindale Speedway, but in fact, the track is a pretty versatile venue that attracts all sorts of automotive walks of life.

Last weekend, the MotorMavens Crew traveled to Irwindale to hold our first-ever MotorMavens Mass Appeal Car Show and the Ken Block Gymkhana Grid Invitational. During Mass Appeal and the Ken Block Invitational, Irwindale was filled with a mixture of professional drivers, action sports athletes, and owners of modified streetcars. This weekend's festivities at Mooneyes were very different. Several of the people in attendance at Mooneyes were of roughly the same age as most of the drifting/gymkhana fans, but the cars, culture, and people that the Mooneyes Christmas Party attracted definitely were of a different style altogether.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't know as much about traditional hot rods and lead sleds as I'd like to, so I'll keep my captions very short, so I don't embarrass myself too much!   Read more...

COVERAGE> MotorMavens Mass Appeal Experience!

When most people think of the term car culture, they immediately (and possibly unconsciously) picture particular types of cars in their minds - cars that fit their own personal spectrum of interest. That is car culture’s dirty little secret – it can be extremely balkanized, or broken up into little niches and peer groups.

If you’re into muscle cars, then screw those four bangers. If you're into rotary powered vehicles, then screw those pistons! If you're into road racing and time attack, then screw drifting. If you’re into Formula One, well, screw everybody. If you’ve been around car culture for any length of time, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You also probably know that not everyone feels this way. As we get a bit older and experience some of the great aspects of other car cultures, more and more of us are discovering that we’re all the same under the hood – we're all just car guys.

In the middle of 2009 when we started MotorMavens, we established the site on a basic principle – that everyone’s voice is validated by their passion for the cars and car culture because the one thing that brings the entire spectrum of car culture together is passion. We call it the “passion principle.” Wherever you find some mind blowing interpretation of the automobile and the lifestyle that revolves around it, you also find some passionate person wrenching away – usually with a ton of pride and satisfaction in his/her accomplishments but very little money to show for it. That’s exactly what the MotorMavens Crew searches for; we look for that passion in every possible niche of car culture so that we can broadcast it loud and clear to everyone when we find it.

So, what does all of this have to do with the Mass Appeal Show? It’s simple. When Ken Block and the Gymkhana Grid team approached us to produce a car show at their Ken Block Invitational, we already knew that it would need to be different than what most people might expect. We knew our car show would need to represent the driving principles of MotorMavens... the car show would have to be multi-car-cultural; reflecting the wide spectrum of car culture that we love so much. It would have to have mass appeal - get it?   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Farm Boys CC & Wrecked Metals

I arrived at the Bonneville Salt Flats around noon on Friday, August 13th (huh, Friday the 13th - my lucky day). Friday is considered a Tech Inspection day where teams arrive early to get their cars inspected by the SCTA Officials before racing begins on Saturday. I picked up my Media Pass from JoAnne at the SCTA trailer (one of them anyway - there are like four). Even though there was no racing going on, there was plenty to see, so I immediately headed over to the pit area on my 1959 J.C. Higgins beach cruiser pit bike to have a look around. To look legit out on the salt, you've gotta bring a beach cruiser. LOL! As the day was coming to an end and I was ready to head over to the Nugget Casino Cruise-In, I spotted a group of hot rods parked outside the pit area. It was the Farm Boys Car Club from Boise, Idaho having an impromptu photo shoot of their own. I put the pedal to the metal on my Higgins bike and hustled on over to get some shots.   Read more...

VIDEO> Ode to Salt: Bonneville Speedweek 2010

Ode to Salt – Speed Week 2010 from Josh Clason on Vimeo.

In the attempt to spread Salt Fever to all Motor Mavens, we bring this short video shot by Josh Clason from Salt Lake City, UT.  This was his first visit to the Bonneville Salt FlatsThat in itself, once you watch the video, and then hit repeat, will blow you away.

The scenes he captured, together with the music excerpts by Pablo Neruda, Ode to Salt makes for the perfect combination, like sodium and chloride.  Josh tells us that he’s heading back for more in October; he’s officially hooked.  We’re happy to report that Josh is also a Motor Mavens reader and real car guy, with a Honda S2000 daily driver and a BMW 2002 project car that’s getting ever so close to completion! (more…)


CARSPOTTING> 1965 Type II Volkswagen Bus

Many of us are dreamers, striving toward our dreams and goals, stopping at nothing to reach that finish line. Rolando Alvarado’s 1965 Type II Volkswagen Bus took 30+ years to cross the metaphorical finish line - but what a great finish line to cross!

Growing up, Rolando was always a fan of the air-cooled Volkswagen scene and it quickly became a personal goal of his to acquire one. It was his father’s 1954 European oval window VW Bug that got his heart pumping and started his love for the air-cooled engines. Despite that, it took a while for Rolando to realize his dream. It wasn’t until 1980 that he finally got his very first VW. Of course, being the die-hard VW head that he is, it ended up being a 69’ VW Bug.

The first time I laid eyes on this Bus, I just knew that there had to be a story behind it. To many, a Bus may just be another form of transportation, but to me this iconic Bus was a moment in a time when life was a lot simpler - the time of Wood Stock, hippies running through Haight and Ashbury in San Francisco, Jefferson Airplane...good times. During the photo shoot, this Bus almost became a time capsule to channel what life was like back then - an icon to remind us how things used to be.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Rod&Kulture Nostalgic Dragfest, Pt.1

When I was growing up and first became interested in cars, Japanese cars were the focus of my automotive interests. My grandfather and all my uncles drove Toyotas, so that might have something to do with it. In college, I hung out with mostly Asian kids that were "fixing up" their import cars (although in reality, most of them didn't know what the hell they were doing at the time; they were ruining the reliability of their street cars in hopes of looking cool at the illegal street races), so American domestic cars were definitely not on my radar at the time.

Even though I've always admired and respected cars like 1968 Camaros and Shelby Daytona coupes, I'll honestly admit that when I was younger, I was never really interested in musclecars or hot rodding either - probably because I completely misunderstood what hot rod culture was all about! I used to think that hot rods were only for old guys that wore unfashionable Hawaiian print shirts with their cargo shorts, long white socks, and military trucker hats bearing the name of some sort of Navy vessel they worked on back in the day. I just didn't get it. The whole hot rod scene just didn't connect for me - possibly because most of the muscle car owners from my high school were always at odds with the import car crowd. Their high-and-mighty attitudes and constant disparagement of the 4-cylinder cars I loved created a social barrier that made it hard for Japanese car enthusiasts like me to connect to and learn about the cooler aspects of hot rodding.

It actually wasn't until I began building and restoring my 1973 Corolla 1600SR that I began seeing a lot of parallels between the Japanese nostalgic car culture that I love and the whole hot rod and scene. I don't want to get too deep into this subject (at least not in this story), but let's just say I'm a big fan of traditional hot rods, retro funny cars, and diggers now! This being said, I obviously couldn't miss Rod&Kulture Magazine's annual Dragfest at Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, CA this weekend!   Read more...

CARSPOTTING> Gingerbread Hot Rod for Christmas

Hey everyone! We got these photos from our good friend Chris “Hechtspeed” Hecht from the My Ride Is Me website. We think it’s a hell of a lot cooler than building a gingerbread man or gingerbread house! Maybe we should do some sort of gingerbread car building competition next year???

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE!

Thank you so much for all your loyal support of our website! It’s hard to believe that the MotorMavens website is still less than a year old! We officially launched the site in May of this year, and it’s already ranked pretty damn high because of all your site visits and comments and linkbacks!!! You guys are the best! Thank you so much – we appreciate all your awesome comments! From the entire Motor Mavens Family, best wishes to you and your families during this holiday season!

Oh, and let’s not forget the specs:
-Ford Model A Pickup, genuine Graham Cracker, Bonneville rat rod
-Licorice slicks in the rear, with licorice wide whites skinnies on the front (Notice the mad camber yo)
-Engine is a Buick GN topped with a 6-71 Gummi Blower and angle cut candy cane straight pipes a la rat style
-Green Jello Roof with high mounted candy cane side mirror
-Bright yellow Gumdrop headlights with icing trim
-Classic Mike-N-Ike grille

:: MotorMavens


COVERAGE> Rainy Day Rodding at Mooneyes

With December in full swing and Christmas-time near, tis the season for parties and holiday cheer. With hot rods on the freeway, plus an onslaught of rain, I had to yell at times, "stupid ass, stay in your lane!!!"

This past weekend, I attended the Annual Mooneyes Christmas Party at Irwindale Speedway. I can't believe it's already been a full year since the last time I visited the show. I have to admit... cold, rainy weather makes me feel pretty lazy. Living in Southern Cali, I think I've gotten used to the weather being 73 degrees all year round, so when it dips below 55 degrees outside, it's pretty hard for me to convince myself to leave the comfort of my baffled goose down comforter behind and trudge through the rain with 30+lbs of camera gear and flyers on my back. This Saturday, it was especially difficult because I was out with my friends at a house party and didn't get back until 4:30am on the day of the show.

However, I'm really glad I did make it to Mooneyes this year. Speaking to my friend Shige (the man behind Mooneyes and Crown Classics in Yokohama Japan), we both agreed that the rain did put a bit of a damper on the event's attendance, but it was good in a way. It weeded out most of the "trying to be down" scenesters and showed everyone who the real hardcore hot rodders were. Most of the guys who came to this year's Mooneyes Christmas Party actually drove their period correct traditional hot rods with vintage whitewall tires on the 605 freeway IN THE RAIN to and from the show. Now that's dedication! Much respect!   Read more...

SHOPAHOLIC> Walden Speed Shop

Earlier this week we stopped by Walden Speed Shop to observe what makes these world-class metalcrafters tick. Greeting us at the entrance were a beautiful '27 T-Bucket with a Buick Nailhead 425 and a partially built '36 Ford smuggling an L92 crate motor between its bulging fenders. A gorgeous collection of vintage gas station signs hung like tapestries of automotive art signaled good things in store.   Read more...

COVERAGE> El Mirage and Land Speed Racing

About an hour and a half north of Los Angeles lies El Mirage, a historic dry lake bed that has been a home to land speed racing and the organization that hosts these land speed racing events, the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) for over 60 years. Just think about it - sixty years! That's a long time. Even though it is only about 1.5 hours from where I live and I've known about El Mirage for years, I had never actually been to El Mirage until this past weekend.

For me, the journey to El Mirage was something like a time warp. We had to drive through the high desert of the Antelope Valley, and eventually began noticing lots of old homes and old buildings... not to mention ghost-town looking businesses that look like they haven't seen a customer walk through their doors in a decade.

On Sunday, Travis and I decided to drive our Nissan Cube press vehicle up to El Mirage to check out the scene and see what it was all about. On the way to the legendary dry lake bed, we stopped off at this liquor store/gas station for drinks, and were happy to find an old Ford hot rod parked outside at the gas pump. I approached the owner of the car, a gentleman named Dave, and said hello while he was refueling his hot rod with a funnel, as the gas station's modern style gas nozzles wouldn't be long or slender enough to get the entire neck of the fuel nozzle into the vintage gas tank without spilling onto the side of his old Ford.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Retro Choppers at Ink n Iron

Motor Mavens is a photographic blog site that focuses on all aspects of car culture. This being said, we don't dip into motorcycle culture too much because we aren't too familiar with them. However, sometimes we're at events where certain motorcycles just catch our attention and we can't help but stare and admire them. This was the case at the Ink and Iron show in Long Beach, which melds tattoos, hot rods, kustoms, and custom choppers from all over.

Since we don't have too much information on these choppers themselves, we thought we'd just present them on the site as a photo gallery, so everyone can enjoy the hard work and craftsmanship that goes into creating one of these two-wheeled works of art.   Read more...

COVERAGE> 2009 Woodward Dream Cruise

Detroit's annual Woodward Dream Cruise rolled into town this weekend along with droves of visitors looking to get in on the fun and Cruise Woodward. The estimated attendance was to the tune of just over 1 million visitors, which is said to be a few hundred thousand less than last year, although I'm not sure exactly how you'd go about counting everyone. Despite the Los Angeles-style traffic that comes with so many visitors, the boost in the economy is more than welcome around these parts. I even saw a few nuns, of all people, hustling visitors for their prime parking spots at a church parking lot. Well done sisters!

For Detroiters, it was a pleasant surprise to see the American automakers on hand and still showing their support for the event. Ford went as far as shutting down a portion of 9 mile Rd. in Ferndale,MI to turn it into Mustang Alley, lining both sides of the street with Mustangs from all generations and styles. It was pretty impressive such a variety of Mustangs including the original Shelby's from the mid-60's.   Read more...

VIDEO> Hot Rods and Pin Up Girls

Antonio has just gotten back from Seattle Formula D, and I’m sure many of you are waiting to see the photos from the event. He is currently preparing photos and stories to post up, but while he’s doing that, we thought we would change the pace just a little bit.

Many of you I’m sure have seen some of Antonio’s stories and photos from the 2009 Ink and Iron festival. (There are A LOT more photos by the way… we just thought we’d spread out the postings in case not everyone was feeling the style.) While we were at the show, we decided to get some video footage of the event. This time we only used Antonio’s Canon 5D Mark II digital SLR camera in video mode. He’s just starting out with trying his hand at shooting video… it’s a really different skill than shooting still photos, as there are different techniques that make both disciplines challenging.

Many of you may not be aware of this, but the 5D Mark II is becoming a huge favorite of the independent filmmaker. The 5D’s insane depth of field, color quality and low light capabilies make it ideal. There’s no high speed or time lapse capability, it simply has amazing picture quality.

Along with video footage we got from the 5D Mark II, we integrated some of Antonio’s still shots. See if you can tell which shots are stills. Enjoy the new video and let us know what you think.

:: Travis Hodges

More Ink N Iron Festival on MOTORMAVENS


POINT&SHOOT > Camera Testing at Ink n Iron Festival 2009

Ink and Iron brought out some amazing hot rod crews and tattoo artists. One of the first traditional hot rods that got our attention was this Ford pictured above. The huge rear white walls, and the low and wide stance really set this Ford apart from the other cars. Not to mention that old school lock hanging on the trunk.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Ink n Iron Festival 2009

If you've been paying attention to what I've been writing on Motor Mavens and other automotive websites at all, you may have noticed that I've recently become a fan of hot rods and kustoms. While I'm certainly no expert when it comes to these cars, there definitely are particular aspects about this whole car culture that I personally identify with and have fallen in love with.

Travis Hodges and I recently paid a visit to the Ink n Iron Festival at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. While the show was certainly expensive at $40 each for 'media passes' and $15 each for parking (at that point, we realized we haven't paid to get in to any car related event in YEARS), it's okay because the event had tons of cool looking cars and other elements of hot rod culture that made for some interesting photos.   Read more...

COVERAGE> So-Cal Speed Shop Open House

For my first post on MotorMavens, I thought I'd write on a subject you don't normally associate me with - hot rods. Those who are familiar with my work in books, magazines or other websites like Speedhunters.com normally associate my name with drifting, old school Toyotas and other aspects of Japanese car culture.

However, because of my experiences this past year producing content for Speedhunters, I've come to realize I really admire many aspects of hot rod culture, especially traditional hot rods and kustoms.   Read more...