Archive for the ‘West Coast Eastwood’ Category

SEMA 2013 Final Recap

The last days of SEMA 2013 were a blur and we were so swamped at our booth I realized I left everyone hanging with my last batch of photos! In previous years late Thursday and Friday the show is winding down and SEMA becomes a ghost town. I’ve normally “seen everything” and I find myself wandering the furtherest corners of the show looking for interesting vehicles hiding that I may have missed. This year the show itself spread out into the adjacent parking lot to the south hall. This lot was full of more feature vehicles and some of them were pretty dang cool! It seems every square inch of the show space surrounding areas was full of exhibitors, show cars, and people. This year ended being the largest SEMA yet and by far the best for us at The Eastwood Company.

We are still digging through photos and video and we promise to get out all the great content we took ASAP. For now enjoy my last batch of photos we shot Thursday and Friday.

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West Coast Report — 32nd Edition by John Gilbert

The Bucket— Chuck-it ­— Truck-it List

Banzai! the Chadly coupe in St Augustine Beach, Florida, I left the next day for Tennessee.

It was the “Psychedelic 60s” and my friends, and I were active members of America’s disaffected mobile youth. I’ve been heading out on the road since before I had a drivers license. I didn’t drive illegally, a group of three, or four of us would all pile in with whoever had a drivers license, owned wheels, and we’d get out on the highway. Sometimes the vehicle of choice would blowup only a few miles out of town, and we’d have to commandeer a plan B mode of transportation.

Still in Fl. A gooey mix of Royal Purple and Valvoline gear oil.

Specifically I remember the time a ’53 Chevy Suburban blew up so hard a rod severed the camshaft on its way out through the side of the block. The old Chevy hemorrhaged a trail of black oil right into a spot behind the Shell station on Baldwin Park Boulevard where we abandoned the truck. A “dipper-rod” 216-inch Chevy 6 didn’t carry a lot of oil-pressure in the best of times, and this one had just met with its last time.

Damn, I spent the entire day driving up through Georgia, and didn’t take one photo. Too bad, the rest stops had cold A/C, and the residents in Georgia, including the State Troopers were good people… that’s 60’s talk.

Our Buddy Gary didn’t want to do it, but he caved-in to driving his ’68 Roadrunner with a 383, and a 4-speed.

Chattanooga, Tennessee. Stone tired, with a beat-up camera that seems to have gone out to lunch… Won’t focus, can’t focus, out of focus. I’m telling you, it was focused up.

That brand-new Plymouth was the fast way to travel in style. For meals on the go we tore up a giant round loaf of La Puente made sourdough bread, and during the course of 1,000 hard-driven miles, destroyed the interior of Gary’s Roadrunner.

This is on the outskirts of Cadiz, Kentucky, overlooking a bunch of buried dead people that were roaming the earth when this Model A was brand-new. Hey, who knows this Model could have been driven to Cadiz, back when all the other cars looked almost just like it. 

The spilled Tuna with macaroni and melted cheese might have been what pounded the last nail into the Roadrunner’s coffin. It couldn’t have been the goat brain burritos.

If I remember right I was on Route 24. This is the first rest stop in Illinois, after crossing the bridge from Kentucky. “Two span tied-arch bridge on Interstate 24 over the Ohio River between Paducah, Kentucky, and Metropolis, Illinois.”

I’ll never forget Columbia, Missouri. The little gastardo motel clerk didn’t give me back, my drivers license, and I was too tired to remember it.

The Great Race. It rained the night I spent in Columbia, MO. Thanks to Corky Coker for insisting I had something to keep the rain out. 

Today, I’m in my 60s, and it’s a rare occasion when any of my lifelong friends and I can get together to take a road trip. That said, it doesn’t stop us from calling one another from wherever they end up on a solo journey.

Early morning it was still wet when I got up. Went and ate the crappiest motel breakfast ever, short of eating genuine feces.

This morning I got a call from my friend Herman, he lives about a mile from me here in Orange County. Herman was in Cadiz, Kentucky, at the gas station I’d called him from Summer before last while I was driving the Chadly coupe across country.

Here’s the Chadly coupe ready to roll towards St Louis. I ate at a Golden Coral in East St. Louis, was almost too fat to fit back into the coupe. Left the A/C back to heat and carbon monoxide poisoning. My brain hurts just thinking about it.

After catching up on Herman’s tour the day before at the Corvette museum in Bowling Green, KY. we talked about his uncle’s new Corvette that had just finished being built at the Bowling Green plant.

I ventured off the highway towards Blackwater, Missouri.

We said how cool it would have been if Herman could have gotten a photo of it at the end of the assembly line.

Downtown Blackwater, MO. Had the coupe ever been here back before it got its top chopped, and Chrysler Hemi steroids?

From there we started talking about Corvettes we had both owned back in the day, and that got Herman to telling me about his list of cars he still wants to get before he kicks the bucket.

On the road again, only now with a gut full of down home food, and leaving some good looking tourist ladies with a picture of me and my coupe. I probably reminded them of their crazy granddad.

I said yeah, I’ve got a chuck-it list going right now. I have a bunch of old cars and trucks I want to get rid of before I consider acquiring anything else.

Look at the old junk Japanese car in the background. No one’s going to be chopping its top in 50 years.

And of course I have only about a month left before I need to finish off the Hot Rod to Hell, and head for Hell, Michigan.

Overlooking the Kansas City Chief’s stadium whatever its called. I’m too lazy to Google it. The Arrowhead Pond, or Something?

Please refer to the 31st West Coast Report if this doesn’t make sense. I haven’t heard back from that nice girl at Infiniti about a test vehicle, so I might have to drive the Hot Rod to Hell to SEMA.

  —John Gilbert

Speedy Bill on the phone right after we took a few shots with us both standing next to the car. It was good thing Damon Lee was there to suggest it, otherwise the photos would never exist.

Have a cold one on Speedy Bill. Thanks to Jessica for feeding me vegetables and fruit, and packing a case of Speedy Bill’s ice-cold drinking water.

The Chadly coupe spent the night in this South Lake Tahoe, garage. I slept in the coupe the two nights before. Cheyenne, Wyoming just at dusk, by the time I got to Laramie, it was too dark to see. Drove all night, slept in the coupe at the Macdonald’s parking lot in Rock Springs, Wyoming. I almost drove all the way back to Columbia, MO to choke out the motel clerk, and get my drivers license back.

Stripping Powder Coat

I was talking with Patrick Meurs one Sunday at the monthly Enderle cruise about how nice the chrome work on his ’57 Chevy 2-door coupe was. That led us to talking about what Patrick does for a living, and the next I knew I was touring Patrick’s business operation Linco Industries in Anaheim, California. I couldn’t find a shot of Patrick’s silver ’57 Chevy coupe, so here’s another ’57 Chevy that shows up at the Enderle Center show in Tustin, CA. the last Sunday of every month, and the first Sunday of the following month.

Here’s Patrick with a cold-stripped Harley-Davidson inner primary cover that came from the factory in a thick black wrinkle finish powder coat. Anyone that’s ever tried to strip parts down to the bare metal that have been powder coated will tell you that its next to impossible to get that stuff off. Sandblasting, aircraft strippers, grinders, beavers with really sharp teeth, nothing seems to work very well. Then one day wouldn’t you know it I stumbled onto the answer while I working on a story about something completely different. Well, not completely different, but it wasn’t about how to strip powder coating, at least not at first that is.

Here’s a proverbial passel of powder coated black winkle finished Harley-

Davidson primary covers, and wheels lined up for the cold-dip strip tank.

A little light from the camera flash on the subject reveals which areas are bare, and which are powder coated.

Here’s the before shot of a Harley wheel headed to the stripper. At this I’ll not make any off-color jokes about heading to the strip club, or pander to organizations hell bent on bringing attention to the objectification of Harley-Davidson parts. Be Politically Correct, Strive for blandness! It’s the new World Order and that’s an order from the oppressive anonymous bland people that celebrate in closets while mass indulging in hypocrisy and try to force their evil will on the free for personal profit, and fame… whatever that means.

OK, that’s enough coffee for me, here’s what the black wrinkle wheels, and rear pulley look like fresh out of the cold-dip strip tank. Request a cold-dip strip tank be installed at your local Peppermint Rhino, or Cheetah’s.

These Harley-Davidson aluminum lower fork legs (sliders) come powder coated in clear. After a very short time ugly badness in the form of white powdery oxidation appears under the factory clear powder coat.

Its hard to imagine these Evo cases were once black wrinkle finished.

Evo heads, and cases with some weird looking aluminum tubes. Oh, well.

These  car wheels were sent to Linco from a wheel manufacturer that screwed up the first time it tried to powder coat these wheels. Its far cheaper to have Linco strip the wheels and re-powder coat than it is to scrap the wheels.

Patrick Meurs operation, Linco is in Anaheim, California and specialize in chemical stripping only. Patrick tracked down a monstrous used Kolene molten salt tank in Ontario, Canada, and had it shipped to Anaheim, California. After spending $50,000 to have the behemoth delivered, and his new industrial property upgraded to accept it, Patrick was in business.

Here’s a pallet of wheels at the very stage in the salt tank.

Here’s how they look at the very end after having the salty brine flushed off.

To demonstrate plus its fun to do, Patrick wadded up a newspaper page to demonstrate to how hot the salt tank is.

Quick like a bunny, Patrick tossed the wadded newspaper into the tank.

It took only a second for the newspaper to burst into flames.

Here’s the last of the flames, and then it was time to wad up another newspaper. This continued until we ran out of newspaper. In lieu of newspaper pages, do not throw the Internet into a Kolene salt tank as the Internet is invisible, and not half as much fun.

California has boQue air-quality regulations that are placed on chemical operations. Here’s the stack to the afterburner that must run at all times. The folks at CARB should mandate restaurants that throw dead fish into the trash do something about the stench. I suggest Mesquite charcoal be used in afterburners similar to this.

Three-headed fish are cute, but water quality is also an issue. Nothing harmful is allowed to go into the sewer.  These big special plastic vats are filled with contaminated water and are shipped to another state. Maybe even Japan, compared to the contaminated water at the Fukushima, Nuclear Plant this stuff would be like drinking Perrier.

Vic Herrman’s Coupe

 Here’s a story I wrote that never got published. It has never appeared anywhere until now. No sense wasting it, I found some photos cameraman extraordinaire Ryan Manson, shot of the car, and here’s the story for you guys to read.

Leave it to Herrmann

Vic’s Chopped ’34 Coupe – By John Gilbert

Photography: Ryan Manson

For those that grew up in Southern California during the 1950s, 1957 was an exceptionally good year. The first episode of Leave it to Beaver aired on CBS, the Russians successfully launched Sputnik, and Wham-O introduced the Pluto-Platter. For Vic Herrmann owner of the chopped ’34 Ford 3-window coupe pictured here, 1957 was the year he turned 13, found a derelict ’31 Model A coupe for $75.00, and was looking forward to a promising career as a hot-rodder. Vic lived in West Hollywood, California, at the time, and there was nothing he and his local buddies enjoyed more than “tearing down, cleaning, repairing, painting and re-assembling” an old Ford in their parents driveway. With the arrival of 1958 the United States had joined the space race, the Pluto-Platter was renamed the Frisbee, and young Vic Herrmann was a common sight learning all he could at the early Ford parts shop on Hollywood Boulevard. In the years to follow, Vic’s Model A gave way to a mild custom ’52 Ford, a ’41 Mercury woody, and Vic was definitely considered an active member of So Cal’s booming custom car culture. The dawn of 1963 brought dark change; Leave it to Beaver was in its last season, LBJ made the world unsafe for Beagle ears, and Vic Herrmann forsake hot-rods to get a college degree. In 1969, Vic with his new bride moved to Mill Valley, California where he became a banker, bought a house, and raised a family. It was 1997 before Vic would build another rod. His first post retirement project was a ’34 Ford pickup painted by Dennis Moitozo, and upholstered by Howdy Ledbetter that went on to win first in its class at the 2001 Grand National Roadster Show. Vic told us the stock ’34 chassis he had left over from building the pickup was like the ’39 Chevy steering wheel he had as a kid that egged him on to complete a wooden go-kart. With the ’34 pickup frame as a founding part the search was on to find a ’34 coupe body. Looking to Nor Cal’s network of street rodders Vic learned from Vern Tardell that Mike DeVriendt up in Colorado Springs, Colorado had a chopped coupe shell. Vic and Mike came to terms, and then Mike hauled the body down to the bay area during the 2002 Grand Nationals. Using the skills Dennis Moitozo, and Bob Bromell helped Vic to hone during the pickup build came in handy when it was time for Vic to tear into the coupe body. From the beltline down the coupe’s bare steel looked not bad, but the roof was another story. Bob Bromell convinced Vic the crude filled top with bad welds needed to be torn out, and redone. Since the original tack strips located underneath were left in place Bob advised it would be best to restore the top to original — This cast the die to build a traditional styled car. Vic’s first parts order was to Bob Drake for the coach wadding and extruded piece needed to do the roof insert. “A very good craftsman, and hands-on” as described by the pro builders involved in the ’34 project, Vic devised a tool to form the bends needed to shape the extruded stick. This is just one of many examples where Vic opted to do as much work himself as possible on the coupe. The rear fenders came from Gaslight and were bobbed by Vic while the front cycle fenders are actually early Ford spare tire covers; Vic chopped the tire covers down, and then Marco Mennucci of San Anselmo, California rolled the beads. Completing the ’34 pickup established bonds; once again the body, and paint work was handled by Moitozo’s. Using Dupont products from start to finish, Dennis finessed the ‘34’s sheetmetal until it was ready for a slick single stage coating of 99A Pitch Black Centauri acrylic enamel catalyzed with a polyurethane cross-linker. The interior was another unique situation where a pro allowed Vic into his shop to work alongside on the car. Howdy Ledbetter started with a Glide seat, re-shaped and added foam, and then finished it off in super soft black glove leather. Behind the seat is a hidden Alpine sound system covered with an upholstered panel Howdy perforated over the speakers to let the music out. The door panels are in black vinyl, and the carpet is tight woven black wool. Traditional means the way things used to be done, and the 355-inch Chevy engine under the ‘34’s hood is no exception. Vic inherited an oil-burning ’79 Chevy 4-bolt 350 truck motor from a friend, and had it custom built from scratch by Marty Amon of Petaluma, California. Marty is also the guy who rebuilt the 4-speed Borg-Warner T-10 transmission.  It was an interesting experience writing about Vic’s 34, and talking with the professionals that allowed Vic to work side-by-side with them. By the time the project was all said and done the pros concurred that Vic really missed his calling back in 1963.

A ’79 355 built by Marty Amon, Moon finned aluminum valve covers on GM 487 cast-iron heads flank an Edelbrock Performer carb and intake combo. The ignition is from MSD of El Paso, TX with headers from Sanderson, and the dipstick looks like a Lokar. Greg Walsh did the final tuning.

Hot Rod Hall of Fame upholster, Howdy Ledbetter sculpted numerous densities of special foam before he covered the Glide seat frame in super-soft black glove leather. Behind the seat Alpine speakers are housed in cabinets built by Vic, and hidden with a perfed panel Howdy made.

Howdy covered the door panels in black vinyl. The minimal green tinted window glass was done by Rick’s Glass in Fremont, CA.

A genuine Ford polished stainless steel locking gas cap tops a Bob Drake11 gallon ’34 tank. The perfect touch was added when pinstripper Randy Bergerson of Hayward, CA pulled red stripes on the headlights and taillights.

F A C T S  & F I G U R E S

Name Vic Herrmann

City, State Mill Valley, California

Year, Make, Model 1934 Ford 3-window coupe

CHASSIS

Frame / Manufacturer Ford

Wheelbase       106”

Modifications  modified K-member to accommodate ’39 Ford brake master

Chassis plumbing hand-formed stainless

Rearend / Ratio Ford 9-inch / 3.50:1

Rear suspension Pete and Jakes (Peculiar, MO)  ’40 Ford style buggy spring

Rear brakes Ford late model 11” drums

Front suspension Magnum 4” drop axle (Oakhurst, CA)

Front brakes ’39 Lincoln 12” drum

Master cylinder ’39 Ford

Steering box ’56 Ford F-100

Wheel covers ’35 Ford

Front wheel make, size ’35 Ford 16×4” wire

Rear wheel make, size Wheel Vintique 16×7” wire (Fresno, CA)

Front tire make, size Coker Classic radial 185/R16

Rear tire make, size Michelin LTX P 265/75-R16

Gas tank ’34 Ford 14-gallon Bob Drake Reproductions (Grants Pass, OR)

ENGINE

Make  Chevrolet

Displacement  355 ci

Machining / Assembly Marty Amon (Petaluma, CA (707) 338-5419)

Pistons Silv-o-lite 9.0:1 (Carson City, NV)

Camshaft Comp Cams 270H (Memphis, TN)

Radiator Walker (Memphis, TN)

Manifold / Induction Edelbrock Performer intake and carb (Torrance, CA)

Headers Sanderson (So. San Francsico, CA)

Exhaust / Mufflers custom double-cone stainless (Jerry Burak, Los Angeles, CA)

TRANSMISSION

Make Borg-Warner T-10 rebuilt by Marty Amon

Clutch disc Centerforce II (Prescott, AZ)

Pressure plate Centerforce II

Shifter Hurst (Chatsworth, CA)

Driveshaft  steel Driveline Services, (San Leandro, CA)

BODY

Body style / Material 3-window coupe / steel

Body manufacturer Ford

Body mods 2 5/8” chop, artist unknown

Hood Ford

Grille Ford

Bodywork Dennis Moitozo, Bob Brommel, Vic Herrmann

Paint type / Color Dupont acrylic enamel / Pitch Black

Painter Moitozo’s (Hayward, CA (510) 276-9064)

Headlights / Taillights GLC from the 40s / ’37 Ford

INTERIOR

Dashboard stock

Insert / Gauges stock / Haneline (Omega, GA)

Stereo / Speakers Alpine / Alpine SPX-177R

Insulation Dyanmat (Hamilton, OH)

Wiring Enos (San Luis Obispo, CA)

Steering wheel Juliano’s Banjo (Ellington, CT)

Steering column ’34 Ford with modified shaft

Outside mirror Bob Drake

Seats Glide reworked by Howdy Ledbetter

Upholsterer Howdy Ledbetter (Hayward, CA (510) 657-6683)

Material / Color leather and vinyl / dark black

Carpet black German wool

Seatbelts Juliano’s 3-point

Rustin’ Gold

What’s Hupp?

OK, so I couldn’t resist a corny title, but what’s new. This I think is a 1925 Hupp RRS Special Roadster.

Should this be incorrect information, Hupp fanatics please address all hate mail to my satellite office in Juneau, Alaska.

I haven’t checked my mail there since 1972, but you never know I might make it back there before I die. This car is in Placentia, California, stored out in public view in a nicely landscaped arrearage with a little brown dog named Whitey.

Someone should call the city of Placentia, and complain, so a Starbucks can go up on that corner. We need more urban blight, there needs to be a Starbucks on every corner, and a Chucky Cheese in every garage. Also two chickens in every pot.

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West Coast Report 33rd Edition by John Gilbert

Hell Can Wait — The Hot Rod to Hell is headed to SEMA

Wow, finishing up the Hot Rod to Hell in time to leave for the SEMA show in Las Vegas, November 4, and maintaining a punctual publishing schedule for the West Coast Report has been just a little tough. Of course those are not the only things I’ve had to deal with during this period of time. There’s been a ton of magazine features to write for American Truck, Classic Trucks, and Custom Classic Trucks. Did I ever mention that I work for a few different truck magazines? Speaking of mentioned, did I in past reports bring up the maiden run for the ’27 Ford track T has been switched from Hell, Michigan to Las Vegas, Nevada?  I still intend to drive the car to Hell, but the SEMA show is something I can’t miss. I’ve been going to SEMA since it was held in Anaheim, California, and its offices were in a bank building in El Monte, CA. Gee, that was a long time ago.

Anyway, at first I was just going to jump in one of my old pickup trucks and go, but then it came to me the 600-mile round trip to Las Vegas would be a perfect shakedown run for the ’27 Ford track T. Not only a good shakedown to sort the car out, but it has given me a deadline to have the car done. “Done”, gee what a nice word that’s going to be able to say. Here’s a quick pictorial review of the Hot Rod to Hell from when I first got it last summer until 10/29/13 a week away, from having to leave for Vegas. If you like your healthcare plan you can marry it in the states where its now the law. Welcome New Jersey, its now legal to marry your healthcare plan. Just don’t try to go online and register, the website has a few glitches. It might be better to phone (please expect hours of waiting) or find a vintage Elvis stamp and mail in your requests. Myself, I’d like hear Caravan with a drum solo while I wait to speak with my favorite blonde weather girl. Phew… here we go its time to snap out of it, and get serious. You didn’t really read this far did you?

Alright, the first photos are of the Track T known to loyal Street Rodder readers as Candy’s Car, or more specifically, Hot Rod Girl. You can Google Street Rodder Hot Rod Girl to see about six different tech stories featured in print archived online.

There’s 200 photos here, so the captions are eventually going to fade away into pictures that worth a thousand words. Don’t expect to keep your current medical plan. And if you’ve been going without healthcare like I have, don’t worry you still will, but now you’ll have one bill that you won’t be able to pay. Just like Santa Claus, the US government knows when you’ve been naughty, or nice. Yep, you guessed it, you can expect a big lump of coal for Xmas. Notice I took the Christ out of Christmas? I’m just trying to be one step ahead of the curve. That’s not the blonde weather girl curve either.

I drove the car now known as the Hot Rod to Hell around town, and then jumped on Highway 39 and headed out to Coker Tire’s new City of Industry facility. that’s the T in front of Coker without any signage on the building yet.

Once I got a good idea of the mechanical improvements that needed to be made, I blew the T apart, and went to town.

I kind of had to tear the car apart, things were already starting to break. The generic gas pedal, an inferior design that relied on two cheesy little spot welds broke. Compounded with a really crappy bushing that caused the gas pedal to snag I knew I needed to save up all my nickels and dimes and buy a brand-new 409. No wait, make that a Lokar gas pedal.

In one of those photos you’ll see the chrome Lokar brake pedal has been mounted in place of the square rubber unit the T came with. After SEMA I’ll run some comparison images of the cheesy crap imitation pedal, and the really super bitchin’ Lokar pedal. The Lokar gas pedal is TIG welded, and has a really slick bushing that makes it operate silky smooth like a blonde weather girl’s silky dress… Silll-kee.

Sorry where were we? Ah yes, take a look at the fiberglass repairs, and modifications I undertook. Man, I love fiberglass, its so fast to work with. Not to mention fiberglass creates a pleasant itch, that I like to associate with breathing the fumes of nostalgia. You steel guys know what I’m talking about. Its like when you open up a fresh can of Bondo, or even better yet a big jug of Eastwood Contour. Ah, better than the smell of fresh coffee are the fumes of polyester putty wafting through a heated shop in winter rain. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Its like a NAPA store with a dry floor. The RCMP are waiting. Fernie, BC. Olds’ engine, Buick body… Simpson. Who has the weather girl’s dog?

Like sand through the hourglass, so are the fumes of our lives… whatever that means. Alright, you guys should be OK on your own with these images, I have to get out to the garage.

Thanks a lot, I’ll see you after SEMA… who knows maybe at SEMA!

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West Coast Report 31st Edition by John Gilbert

From Here to Infiniti — A Royal Flush — Want to Get on TV?

The phone rang and there was a pretty little female voice at the other end — “Hi are you John Gilbert, this is Christy from Infiniti, and we have your QX50 ready for a test drive.”

Huh… this is John Gilbert, what’s a X-250, and did you say you’re from Infinity speakers? — “No, this is Christy, at Infiniti automobiles, you contacted us a while back with a request to checkout a QX50 from the press fleet to do a road test article.”

I did? — “Yes, you did… is this John Gilbert, the automotive journalist?” Yes, I’m John Gilbert, and I’m an automotive journalist. “This is Christy at Infiniti automobiles, and you requested an Infiniti QX50 to conduct a road test?”

OK, I think I know what’s happening here. There’s a motor-journalist up in Minnesota named John Gilbert that writes for a newspaper, and does some web stuff www.newcarpicks.com . How did you get my cell number, was it through SEMA? www.sema.org  I don’t remember Christy’s reply, but I could tell by her voice she was anxious to get off the phone, and call the other guy.

Now, all of sudden my brain starts to work. Gee, it’d be really cool to get my hands on a new Infiniti test car. Christy, I do road tests how’s about giving me one of those X-250s and I run it up to the Valley of Fire and then over to Death Valley? Hey, the SEMA show is coming up real soon, I could piggyback in an article about that too.

I wasn’t sure I was making a strong enough impression with Christy, so I laid on a little more steam. Christy, I’ve been a magazine editor five times, and have contributed to over 20 automotive titles.

I’ve worked with Ford, Honda, Harley-Davidson, and Victory many times.

I’m sure I’ve got as big an audience as that guy in Minnesota has.

I wish I recorded my phone calls, I’d like to review Christy’s reply, and confirm if I got the bum’s rush, or who knows maybe I’ll be getting an Infiniti QX50 to conduct a road test. I don’t usually get cocky, but my final words to Christy were if you decide you want to do something with the real John Gilbert, give me a call.

I can just hear “Minnesota” John Gilbert when Infiniti reaches him, and imagine if they mentioned they got a hold of me first. “Oh yeah-you betcha, that guy out in California is like an evil twin, a doppleganger to say the least. He’d probably drive your car through the Valley of Fire, over to Death Valley, and then end up in Las Vegas at the SEMA show.”

If anyone thinks once things get archived on the Internet they live forever, guess again “Little” Bubba. A year ago I found Zabriskie Point the movie in its entirety, and watched it all the way through. Today I did a search and all that came up was a crapper full of Part 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10…

Uh, in the interest of journalistic integrity I’ll try the search again, only this time use Google, instead of Bing. Bing-bang, wang-dang, the Klu-Klux-clang. OK, here it is you can find Zabriskie Point in its entirety using Google, yahoo!

Never referred to as a pointy-nosed stink-waffle, or any other derogatory nicknames, “Old Dinah” the steam tractor replaced the 20-Mule wagon train. TV show narrator Ronald Reagan went on to become the Governor of California, later President of the United States, and “Shut Down” was a song performed by the Beach Boys.

Gotta go, I think I hear Christy pulling up with my Infiniti — see y’all in Vegas!

—   John Gilbert

*As a sidebar, I’d like to mention I can’t recall the name of the young lady that called me from Inifniti, so I named her Christy. Also I have a tremendous amount of respect for the other John Gilbert’s work, and I hope he sees the humor in this. Infiniti really did call me first.*

 A Royal Flush

Tips for before Sandblasting

Its not on the newsstand yet, but I wrote a tech article recently for Street Rodder that features the Eastwood Master Blaster Dual-Blaster. The article Blast With Both Barrels was more about informing the DIY guy how to media blast on-the-quick, than it was about how to get your equipment prepared before you start. So, please follow along as I drink lots of coffee, watch TV, and crank out the following story about… Aw crap, where’s the “God stick” I can’t watch TV unless I have my “God stick.”

OK, I’m going to go brew up a big pot, and then we’ll get started. If you ever get a chance go sniff the air around the Folgers Coffee plant in KCMO while they’re roasting coffee. The only that smells better is riding a motorcycle, or driving an open car past a brewery while they’re brewing beer. Those are some of the good smells in life.

Speaking of smells, should I do a stain resistance test on the Infiniti seats by spilling Souvlaki sauce from the Mad Greek in Baker, CA? It’ll be on my way to Pahrump, to pickup a small-block Chevy motor, and throw it in the trunk. Dang it Skip, you said you drained the oil out of that motor. OK, no problem. Procedure #3812S, stain removal from an Infiniti trunk mat, adjacent carpet, and check for conspicuous absence of drain holes. Can you soda-blast carpet to get it clean, we’re gonna find out. (Mad Greek Baker, CA. Skip’s ’36 Plymouth behind my ’05 GMC)

I’ve been using this air-compressor to run a bead-blasting cabinet since it was new. The most voracious consumer of compressed-air amongst pneumatic tools is media blasting. So that means you have to make sure your air-compressor is up to the task, or you’re going to blow it up. Blowup means either you’ll burnout the electric motor, or cook the air pump because the air-compressor is undersized, or it hasn’t been properly maintained. If the air-compressor you have doesn’t meet the minimum output requirements specified by the blaster you intend to use get ready for some aggravation. The V-Twin direct-drive air-compressor shown here I’ve owned since 1983. I attribute achieving 30-years of trouble free performance to proper maintenance… most of the time.

Its not a good idea to put just any lubircating oil into the sump of an air-compressor pump. Back before the age of Internet searches I figured Mobil 1 10W-30W synthetic would work fine as a lubricating oil. I always kept clean oil within the Red Bullseye, and things worked great. In preparation for the Street Rodder article, and my recent acquisition of the Eastwood Master-Blaster I knew I was going to push things to the limit. I found the oil specifications for Campbell Hausfeld compressors online, and was pleased to discover that either Mobil 1, or Royal Purple was recommended by Campbell Hausfeld. Automotive oils that are not synthetic are not recommended. Royal Purple advertises its products reduce operating temperatures, so I dug out my Craftsman digital thermometer to see if I could prove, or disprove its claim. This photo shows the cylinder head at room temperature.

Here’s the cylinder head temperature at its highest point before the oil change.

My compressor is set to shutoff at a touch over 150-psig. Just before the compressor shutoff I took the temperature reading shown above.

There are lots of good reasons to drain the moisture (bilge water) from the air-compressor tank (receiver) every day that it is used. Tank corrosion (rust), and the increased odds of contaminated air are two reasons.

All that’s needed to change compressor oil is a tool to remove the crankcase drain plug, and a funnel to pour the oil back in.

As things go this is not a lot of moisture to be drained from a properly maintained air-compressor. Get ready for a flood if its been awhile since you drained your compressor. Have a bath towel ready to mop it up.

Why guess at it if the oil you chose will be sufficient? Royal Purple refines a lubricating oil formulated exclusively for air-compressors.

It looks easy here, but its a royal pain to pour oil into a Campbell Hausfeld Freedom II compressor. Draining it wasn’t a lot of fun either.

Overfilling the crankcase of an air-compressor pump results in excess oil being pumped into the air tank thusly contaminating the air. Thusly, I like that word, it sounds like Something a guy named Sylvester would say.

Not exactly a UL Lab, I’m not sure my test methods were as controlled as they should have been, but here’s my highest temperature with Royal Purple in the crankcase. Higher cylinder head temperatures generate more condensation in the air supply. When it cools off it turns into water, and that’s where the water you drain out comes from.

I’d owned this Webster regulator / moisture trap since I bought it new at Silver Automotive Ltd. in Calgary in 1973. In my attempt to overdrive the Master Blaster, and see what happened to cylinder head temperatures I blew the poor thing up, RIP. It whistled like a bloated roadkill cow gut-shot with a Savage 30-30. I disassembled it, and discovered a ruptured diaphragm. I checked with Grainger if they sold replacements. No chancee Nancy, the sales guy offered me the most expensive SOB I could have ever imagined, and I damn near plunged through the glass door running out of the joint.

Slow-forward two days, and here’s the cheapest thing I could buy locally. I got the thing from Harbor Freight, appearance wise its crap compared to my old Webster, but its rated to 160 Psi.

It doesn’t matter how much trust you have in your air-regulator there should always be a shutoff valve in place to relieve air pressure from the regulator diaphragm. Notice I installed a quick-connect that bypasses the regulator to deliver full-pressure.

Capable of mixing, or switching from soda to abrasive media merely by opening and closing valves the Eastwood Master Blaster comes standard with a built-in moisture separator. Moisture from any source in the air supply causes clumping of the media. Think of clumped media as you would constipation.

Eastwood offers a selection of funnels with built-in screens to filter media before as its poured. This 8-inch top funnel works great for pouring media into the blaster.

Larger top and bottom opening; this funnel works perfect for pouring media into storage containers at a faster rate than the 8-inch funnel featured above. Please note it is important to store media properly so as not to attract moisture, or other foreign elements that will diminish the enjoyment of Eastwood abrasive blasters.

Want to Be on New Gearhead Reality TV Show?

Auto Designers here’s your chance to compete on a new reality TV show, and follow in the footsteps of famous designers like Chip Foose, Harley Earl, and Homer Simpson, creator of the Homer. The producers of the show “Project Runway” and creators of “The Real World” and “Keeping up with Kardashians” are currently casting for a new show with the working title of “Revved Up.”
 Revved Up will feature approximately 10 skilled auto designers as they compete to impress one of the country’s leading car manufacturers. The winning auto designer will receive a six-month consultancy with a specialty-vehicle manufacturer, a new car and a $100,000 consultancy payment. 
 
Please note: you must be at least 21 to enter this competition.

Want to Be on New Gearhead Reality TV Show?

If you wish to enter, e-mail autocasting@bunim-murray.com, along with your name, phone number and city in which you live. To be considered, all submissions should include several recent photos showcasing your auto design work and a short bio. E-mail submissions must include “CITY” in the subject line.

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West Coast Report 30th Edition by John Gilbert

Johnny Chop — 2K Freezing — Pre-Winter Wheezing

For a healthier and happier life stay away from airline companies that have names beginning with the letter A. Aeroflot, Allegheny, Air Poland, Air Force 1, just to name a few. Also, stick to name brands when it comes to dehydrated seafood products such as Blowfish lips, or Tilapia, which is known as “Bacon of the Sea” in health conscious families. Alright we’ve got the public service announcement out of the way lets get down to business. While I was fabricating the exhaust mounts yesterday for the Speedway Shotgun stainless steel headers I’m installing on the Hot Rod to Hell it got me to thinking about how different builders each have their own style. By style, I mean a distinctive way of engineering all the little things that it takes to put a custom car, truck, or motorcycle together. These are the details that the general public doesn’t recognize, but folks that do this kind of work really appreciate.

—John Gilbert 

This is the last photo I took of Johnny Chop. Johnny had just moved into a new shop building in Huntington Beach, and recently got this puppy he named Louie. The last time I saw Johnny was about two weeks before he’d passed away. We were at Top Shelf Customs in Huntington Beach, out back in the shop area discussing the way a builder had engineered his rear brake setup. It was very interesting to observe Johnny analyzing how the guy had configured it, and said what he could have done to make it a better setup. The three of us, Alan, Johnny, and I looked the rest of the bike over and pointed out its strong and weak points. That’s the fun part of fabricating, figuring out a cleaner way to do something, and exhibiting mind-blowing craftsmanship in the process.

I don’t know if any of you guys have noticed this yet, but the Hot to Hell is strictly a low-budget project. It illustrates how effective restoration products like specialty paints can be to make something look every bit as good as the deep-pockets approach. For some reason I got fanatical about having a deep gloss on the engine. In addition to what I showed in a tech in West Coast Report 28 I used 2K clear to make the VHT Chevy Orange as deep as possible. Also notice at this point the chassis has been coated in 2K gloss Chassis. Please scroll down for more info on painting the chassis.

This is the starter that came with the car, notice I painted the solenoid black to gain a vintage look. The engine mount bolts are Grade 8 gold cad I’ve kept for a time when I’d need them. I reused the ½-inch 20 engine mount bolts spraying lightly with Silver Argent to regain a new look.

Here’s Ruby taking it easy in the sun. If it’s really important she might bark. The Santa Ana winds were blowing, and the heat associated with the phenomenon was great for making paint dry too fast. The Chinooks in Calgary, and thereabouts are of the same phenomena.

Getting back to a fabricator’s particular style I look to utilizing existing car parts to come up with special parts that I need. I concepted the rear hangers for the Speedway headers with a used OEM Chevy S-10, and a Harley-Davidson case bolt. I liked the S-10 mount because it was incased in steel.

I needed two mounts and had only one, so I went online and found a pair of aftermarket replacements at O’Reilly’s Auto Parts. I checked with Pep Boys, and Autozone, also, but discovered it was a part none of the three auto parts stores kept in stock. I call it the 7 + 7 plan O’Reilly’s took seven days to get the parts for me, and charged seven dollars for shipping.

Alright get ready here it comes the rant where I go off on de-engineered aftermarket parts. A lot of aftermarket parts are good quality, but when they’re crap, they’re really crap. Unlike the original GM engineered S-10 exhaust hanger the feller in India that redesigned the S-10 exhaust hangar I bought decided it wasn’t necessary to use steel in manufacturing. So, instead of something with a backbone, these things are flimsy, and who knows what the quality of the rubber is. Let the buyer beware, right?

To constantly check fitment I had the headers on and off five times before I completed the new mounts. The roll of blue tape is all that’s left of the tape I used to cover areas that I didn’t want to scratch.

I’m a little low on bucks right now, so I had to work with nuts and bolts and stuff that I’ve accumulated through the years. Always keep an eye open for salvaging special hardware off of something before you toss it. Who knows where that big gold cad-plated washer came from, but it worked perfect to clamp the flimsy aftermarket exhaust hanger.

I used 3/8-inch rod, and tapped it with 3/8 coarse threads for the frame mounts and fine threads for the nuts that are visible here. To beef the mount up and make it nicer to look at I’m going slide 9/16-inch ID stainless steel tubing on top.

One can’t assume one side will match the other. I only made parts for the driver side, and it paid off because the passenger side bracket needed to be shorter. Yeah, the big washer doesn’t match the other side exactly, and I learned its slightly larger diameter worked better to strengthen the flimsy rubber mount.

I heard a weird squeak while shaking the exhaust to test for strength, but was relieved to discover it came from my cat when she woke up. I used two slightly different configurations to make the header hangers. it’ll be interesting to see if they each work as well.

Outlaw Rodder

Full Gloss 2K Chassis Black

There’s a big gap in quality between ordinary aerosol spray paints, and the results one obtains with professional equipment and materials intended for professional use. The only advantage an ordinary spray can has over the professional route is convenience. If it wasn’t for Eastwood 2K Aero Spray finishes the Hot Rod to Hell was either going to have to look like it was spray-bombed, or I was going to have to turn the painting portion into a full blown project.

This brings us back to the particular style a builder likes to adhere to. Some builders prefer to lay everything out and paint it all at once, and then there’s others like me that prefer to prepare and paint parts as they go along.

The driveshaft was the first part I painted. I degreased it with Chassis Kleen, sanded it smooth with 320-wet, and then did the final prep with PRE. I masked and capped off everything that shouldn’t be painted.

Don’t forget 2K Aero Spray paints are full-on German made professional quality urethane paints that contain isocyanates and require a spray mask, or respirator. For painting the driveshaft in lieu of a good respirator, and spraying indoors, I used a simple particle mask, and painted the driveshaft outdoors. Keep the fumes out of your face as much as possible.

Spray on a good heavy wet coating of 2K Aero Spray gloss black chassis paint and I defy anyone to tell the difference between it and powder coating. Weigh the advantages; with 2K Aero Spray paints parts don’t need to be completely disassembled to paint. On the other hand powder coating is electrostatic and goes around corners.

If you slip up using PRE and miss a greasy spot, consequently getting a bunch of fisheyes don’t sweat it, its an easy fix.

Wet sand the area that looks like a cheese pizza with 320, or 400 wet, smooth and re-spray.

There’s easily eight coats of 2K Aero Spray gloss black chassis on this driveshaft. After using PRE, I used compressed-air to blow off any dust that was present. 2K Aero Spray dries quickly, leaving little chance of dust or dirt settling in.

I’m curious if 2K Aero Spray can last for periods of months at a time. I haven’t done long-term testing yet, but I’ve proven to myself extending the shelf life of 2K Aero Spray paints can be accomplished by storing the mixed (catalyzed) contents in the freezer. That’s freezer as in an everyday common kitchen appliance. This can of 2K Aero Spray was punctured 9/23/13, partially emptied on the 23rd and then thawed-out 9/30/13 and worked with perfect results.

Whether it be pet food, or for human consumption don’t leave food where it can be contaminated by overspray.

Because of overspray I really didn’t want to paint the chassis in the garage, but there’s three derelict old trucks stuck under the patio where I like to paint large objects. I used two large window box fans, and opened all the doors to keep the overspray down. Also cardboard on the floor. Black overspray makes the biggest mess. Anything you don’t overspray on wrap it up 100-percent Like I did with the engine, and trans.

Use blue masking tape for easy removal up to long term, and the cheap yellow crepe if you’re going to remove the tape as soon as you’re done painting.

Gloss black chassis paint shows every little imperfection. I used a sharp file to knock down rough castings on the axle and spindles.

Also to round off the edges of the shock brackets I fabricated.

A good coating of High-Build Self-Etching primer works great to prepare the surface underneath.

Shoot the primer wet, like you would a topcoat. Shooting the primer dry leaves a coarse surface that has to be sanded out, and dry primer doesn’t.

For an area like this holding folded 320-wet ‘n dry sandpaper flat works about the same as a sanding block. Notice the high spots appear, indicating the surface is flattening out.

Deeper pits in cast pieces requires more coats of primer. Lay it heavy, and sand them out.

Removing the brake drums was the best way to do a first class job. Using HBSE primer on the backing plates, and axle housings and sanding smooth left a perfect substrate for the high-gloss 2K chassis paint. Wear a good mask and use lots of compressed-air to blow off the brake dust before painting, otherwise you’ll have a ton of dirt in the finish.

Shoot a tack coat moving fast enough to avoid runs, but slow enough to ensure good coverage. For the second coat start spraying as soon as the tack coat is almost dry to the touch. Some paints have a window and starting too soon, or too late will cause the paint to attack itself and wrinkle. So far I’ve never had this problem with 2K Aero Sprays. Also I haven’t encountered any problems recoating the next day with up to five more coats. It’s the heavy coats that give this axle assembly the look of powder coating.

Contrasts in black. The frame got the glossy treatment, and the body will get the semi-gloss treatment next. I hope to have the body undercoated, and painted ready to put back on the car by early October.

A good heavy coating of 2K Aero Spray makes the drums look powder coated

Joe’s 2nd Annual Mini-Bike Reunion

Saturday, September 21st 2013, my friend Herman, and I made a banzai run out to La Crescenta, California for Joe Sebergandio’s mini-bike reunion, or as its officially known, Joe’s Minibike Reunion. The event is held in a really nice area up in the foothills at Crescenta Valley Park.

A lot of people don’t realize this, but the safest form of two-wheeled transportation for a fully grown man to ride is a mini-bike. The reason being a person with any kind of height at all has to curl up in a fetal ball position to ride one of the things. Along comes something that stops the mini-bike dead in its tracks, and the rider launches over the handlebars and safely rolls to a pill bug configured stop.

This is a Chris Cycle. I’ve got a real soft spot in my brain for all of the nostalgia attached to these things. Before I got my minibike in 1964, I had a friend named Robert Mench that used to let me ride his Chris Cycle. Robert lived up in the San Jose Hills above West Covina, and sometimes the rich people that lived up there would call the cops… And that’s how I learned to ride a two-wheeler very fast in on and off-road situations. Who knows, were Robert and I the original Motard racers?

I could be wrong, but I remember the Candy Green being a little darker than this. Maybe it was the fog created by 2-stroke oil that made it look darker. These things went pretty good for a 50cc motor, and made a distinctive two-stroke carb, and muffler moaning sound.

You’ll see at the end of this article that this minibike is pretty darn close to being the minibike I got as a 12-year old kid in ’64.

I’m not a big fan of plastering stickers all over something unless it came that way. The SMS Trailmaster sticker is the only one that might have been on this bike originally.

As in sold, this bike changed hands early in the morning. The milk crate makes a pretty good impromptu stand.

White tires make this old Simplex look older than it is. Simplex was started in 1935 in New Orleans, Louisiana, by a Harley-Davidson dealer.

I’m guessing this later model Simplex is no newer than a ’75 since the company folded in 1975… duh.

A relative of the Tote Gote I found this Mini Gote in the swapmeet area.

Two Tacos with a Briggs motored Bonanza at the end. Maybe it’s a Tecumseh motor, I never was into the lawnmower-powered stuff.

Here’s a dog in a chair.

Now the dog is getting ready to look me in the eye like I owe him money.

You can tell there was a really good mix of the different brands produced. It seems like almost every state had a minibike manufactured within its border. In The early 60 to the 70s California was stuffed to the gills with companies building minibikes.

They’re selling Taco minibikes brand-new again, and here’s one now… or is it?

Notice this Chopper style minibike has a kickstarter just like the old Harley’s did. The OD of the sissybar is larger than you’d find on an old chopped Harley.

This Bonanza is really nice, and its quite similar to the one “Hoss” Cartwright was riding on the cover of Rod & Custom.

Based on the bolt-together frame, I’m guessing this is an early Taco. The bolt-together frame made the Taco kits cheaper to ship. The 3 horse Briggs & Stratton was most common engine to be found.

Near zero rake (steering head angle) means this minibike turned faster than it went.

Here’s a homebrew if I ever saw one… or should I say, saw two?

I don’t know what make this bike is. I do remember Clinton motors, and my friend, Billy Evans that raced Bug karts with West Bend motors used to bag on Clintons for being big-time slow.

Built in Washington state, this is a Tule Trooper, they were in the same genre as a Tote Gote. I like the word genre, its not a big word, but people that like to use big words, like to use genre in their vocabulary.

Here’s my all time favorite minibike its called a Flexo. There always used be a Flexo ad in the car magazines, and I dreamt of having a Flexo with a West Bend motor.

This is a Bug Trail Scout with a Hodaka Ace 90, or it could be Ace 100 motor.

I’ll bet it has a lot of chain noise, probably sounds like an old Ironhead Sportster running without any oil in it.

This thing has the most rudimentary of brakes, notice it’s a friction brake that rubs against the rear tire. Emergency auxiliary brakes were usually outsourced from Keds, or Converse, not Raybestos.

No, Miss Minibike wasn’t a dog. Remember when Dobermans were the media’s favorite dog to malign? In some cultures Dobermans are really liked when they are seasoned properly. Does this minibike meat objectify dogs?

Me thinks the early Honda minibikes were knock-offs of American made minibikes. That said, most of the minibikes made in America were pretty rustic in comparison to the factory engineered and built Japanese stuff.

I never cared for the look of Honda’s stamped sheetmetal frames. Those silly Japanese, anyone knows a proper anything is fabricated from steel tubing.

Unless the tube frame looks like it came from a lawn chair. Here comes the hate mail from the Honda guys.

Notice how the exhaust header is cleverly engineered to act as a sump guard.

Bare metal always looks cool.

I would have mounted the gas tank transverse behind the seat, that’s the look I liked back in the early 60s.

It’s a one-off special: This Mini-Rat to the untrained observer just looks like a shrunken Hodaka that maybe the factory built. Look at the photos and it almost comes up to the owner’s kneecap.

Cole Foster fabricated the gas tank. The spec sheet said Cole spent over 30-hours building the tank. It would take me 30-hours to fabricate a flat number plate.

See the beauty of building your bike is you can mount stuff wherever you want it. I would have hung the tank under or on top of the backbone (top tubes) and mounted the gas cap Frisco style.

This bike is either owned by an old person that built an onboard breathing apparatus, or some super trick thing the minibike dragsters like to do… Here comes some more irate hate mail.

OK, so that’s not a heart-rate monitor on the gas tank. The bike is an HPE Cat Eliminator.

There was a miniature Army guy running around near this thing. I think it might have been a little kid.

Another serious drag bike. OK now I get it, all those tubes are lines to a puke tank with a breather.

A Bonanza MX with a hopped-up Briggs & Stratton running what looks to be a Mikuni carb.

This was a really clean little custom with nice paint and the tank mounted in the perfect spot to recreate mass levels of nostalgia, and the other jazz more better writers than me would write. *For more information on how you can become a famous magazine writer making big money fill out this matchbook cover, and send it to Carlos Danger, PO box 44, NY, NY.

This is a Rupp L100. Mickey Rupp started Rupp Manufacturing in Mansfield, Ohio in 1960, and built a proverbial crapper full of minibikes and go-karts during the Golden Age.

Here’s the minibike I’ve owned since my dad bought it brand-new in 1964. We looked at all kinds of trail bikes in ’64. I still have the sales brochure for the ’64 Triumph Mountain Cub we almost bought. The Triumph was my favorite, I wouldn’t mind still owning a ’64 Mountain Cub.

As pictured this is the third paintjob for the bike. I hated the Mickey Mouse clamped on handlebars it came with, so in 1965 I made these riser-less bars. The next set of handlebars I made in that style, were on my ’68 XLCH that made the August ’76 cover of Easyriders.

Recently I stumbled onto an October 1964 edition of Karting World with a road test on a SMS Trailmaster 80 minibike that was almost exactly like my bike was when new. I didn’t do the burnouts, those were done by the neighbor kid.

 

As seen here the side cases are in bare aluminum, my next project is to use Eastwood Detail Gray to paint the cases. Detail Gray is a perfect match for early Honda, and Hodaka motors. Maybe some other Japanese brands too, it’s a bitchin’ color. Note the original ID tag on this motor is in mint condition.

Color it Nostalgic

A low-cost plastic Lazy Susan makes a great easel for painting both sides of a motorcycle gas tank, or any round object without having to move from side to side. The double-decker plastic Lazy Susan shown here I’ve had for at least three decades. I just dug it out of my paint cabinet the other day while I was looking for something to paint the brake drums for the Hot Rod to Hell on.

Distinctive colors trigger memory — One look at the yellow overspray left on top, and I slipped into nostalgic memories of the last time I used the Lazy Susan for an easel. The Hamster yellow overspray was leftover after I painted the heads and barrels (that’s cylinders for non-Harley folk) for my friend Gene Koch’s ‘85 FXR. As I remember it the year was 1990 and Gene was getting ready for Sturgis’ 50th birthday celebration. If any of you have a collection of Thunder Custom Motorcycle Cards Gene Koch’s bike is card number 64. The caption reads “A paint job to match his Hamster T-shirt.”

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