Posts Tagged ‘Kustom’

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> Behind The Scenes with Barris Kustom

As the reach of our automotive website continues to expand, the MotorMavens Crew and I have been fortunate enough to attract tons of new and exciting opportunities – they seem to just fall into our laps! You can only imagine how shocked I was when I received an email from the good people at SPEED Channel, saying “we’d love to chat with you.”

As the biggest cable network with automotive programming, SPEED is obviously huge – I’ve been watching various forms of racing on SPEED Channel for years. I had no idea that they were even aware of MotorMavens! I was definitely excited to speak to them on the phone.

Although SPEED Channel is headquartered in Charlotte NC, they are constantly filming shows in Southern California. During our phone call, I discovered that they were actually filming their newest TV program, Car Warriors, only 10 minutes away from where I live! They suggested that we come out and visit, so I invited our lovely Motormavenette Samantha Totem to come out and spend the day hanging out on set with me while they were filming – cool! When the cameras stopped rolling, the very first person we were introduced to was none other than George Barris.

Even if you’re too young to recognize the name ‘George Barris,’ you’ve undoubtedly seen the cars he has created. As the automotive legend behind Barris Kustom Industries in North Hollywood, George Barris has created some of the most iconic cars in movie and television history – the original Batmobile from the Batman TV show with Adam West and Burt Ward; the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard; KITT from Knight Rider; the original A-Team van; the DeLorean time machine from Back To The Future; the Munsters hot rod; and many many more.

As we got ourselves acquainted in between filming, Mr Barris invited us to visit him at his shop, which is like a museum of famous movie cars, toys, and Hollywood memorabilia. How could we pass that up?! (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> 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...