Tag Archives: car customizer

Art Cars Are Part of Houston’s Day of the Dead

Art Cars Come AliveSugar Skull

Day of the Dead, or Dia de Muertos, has been a long standing Hispanic tradition. It comes the day after Halloween, which in the Catholic faith is All Saints Day. Generally it extends for the two days after Halloween, concluding on November 2nd. In Mexico it is an actual official government holiday. It became a day for remembering loved ones that had passed away. Often it included the opportunity to clean the gravesite of family members.

Houston’s Art CarsArt Car

In recent years it has morphed into more of a festive celebration but still focused on remembering those who have passed away. This year Houston, Texas held a celebration at night at Discovery Green in downtown, not far from Minute Maid Park. Yep that place where the Astro’s lost game seven of the World Series.

Art Cars

Beyond a wide variety of music and vendor booths were several touted “art cars”. One even had been painted with chalk paint so that people could use the provided paint to “write” on the car. Pretty cool use of chalk and the art cars were always attracting crowds of folks. Always nice seeing how the love of automobiles extends into other events.Art Car Skulls

How did you celebrate the Day of the Dead?

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Lowrider Guadalupe Style Down and Low

A while back the Intimidators Car Club sponsored the Guadalupe Car Show. The dusty streets of Guadalupe, AZ were shut down for this event filled with lowriders of all dimensions and plenty of fun activities.Guadalupe Car Show

Lowrider

We’ve always been enchanted of the craftsmanship involved in these rides. Whether it is old school or a newer vintage car and truck the workmanship is spot on. Of course you expect some awesome, vivid paint jobs and terrific stances from these lowriders. But best of all is the camaraderie and friendship that the owners exhibit amongst themselves and the various car clubs.Guadalupe Car Show

Guadalupe

It is an interesting venue as Guadalupe may be one of the poorest and most disadvantaged towns in the Phoenix metro area, but for this one day that doesn’t matter.Guadalupe Car Show

Low Rider Old SchoolGuadalupe Car Show

Personally we favor the old school Impalas, but this show proves that any car is a contender for the lowrider lifestyle. Mix in some paint, a killer suspension, maybe some engraving and plenty of compressors and battery power and you are set to jet! It may seem that we hit a number of lowrider shows but hey, we have eclectic tastes and always enjoy the rides and friendships.Guadalupe Lowrider Car Show

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Green from Goodguys Spring National for St Patrick’s Day

Well the Goodguys Rod and Custom folks are wrapping up their Spring Nationals show today, on St Patrick’s Day. In honor of this day, it seemed appropriate to give you a glimpse of some green. No not cash but vehicles.

Green is always a tenuous choice for car owners. Too much and it screams out, too subtle and you risk being drab- olive drab.  So enjoy some of these highlights and let us know what you think..

 

Resto Mod or Resto Blah? You Decide

If you listen to some automotive pundits, the hottest trend is a resto mod car.  Well that term has been around for years and we’ve been seeing cars built on a resto mod for years in magazines and at car shows.  So we can’t be sure that it is a NEW trend.

Resto Mod

A resto mod is taking an older car and while restoring it, also modifying or modernizing it.  That typically means changing out the power plant to a bigger, more efficient and modern engine. The LSX variants are a popular choice right now as are new crate engines.  Typically you replace points and condensers and double pumping carbs for fuel injection with electronic ignitions.  Most builders will also readily take out a four speed and swap in a low rpm overdrive automatic.Resto Mod Corvette

So what has fueled the rise in resto mods?  The market, my friend the market.  Many affluent buyers see their cars as trophy’s to plop in a garage, hire a guy to detail it and drive it (cautiously) to a cars and coffee event once a month.  After all if you just plunked $400 large on a resto mod Corvette are you willing to park it at the local grocery store while you pop in for a gallon of milk?

NOS Resto

In years past a car was restored to look factory fresh and showroom new.  That meant seeking out the correct parts, hoses and connectors to bring back a stove bolt six cylinder engine to restored status.  When showing your car at a show, you would worry that the judge would deduct points for using the wrong shade of glossy black on your radiator fan shroud.  Plus owners would hunt down dealer installed options so they could have the most accessories on their car.

Rest Mod Blossoms

But the resto mod craze has changed all that. People don’t want a big old Auburn and might not even have a long enough garage to store one. Fewer folks have actually driven in a Duisenberg (let alone know how to spell it) and even the cars of the fifties are languishing as the market ages upwards.Resto Mod Corvette

Let’s be honest. The ride on a 64 Corvette pales to what you get on a new C7 Corvette. And that resonates with new buyers. They want and enjoy cars that have Bluetooth, push start buttons and navigation screens. The fruits of technology is not just under the hood.

So resto mods force the classic car market into a quandary. Do you take a beat up classic and spend the years and buckets of money to restore it to a 100 point restoration with NOS (New Old Stock) parts?  Recognize that you’ll have put way more money into it than the market will ever price it at?  Or do you shuck it all, swap in a new chassis, blend in lots of bling and a new 700R4 transmission and a crate engine from GM?

More and more the builder will go where the money is and create a resto mod.  Years from now history will decide if the builders were revolutionary or heretics.  You can decide for yourself now.

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Custom Works Zon at Mooneyes

Zon2One of the most prestigious custom car and bike shows is held in Japan and is commonly called the Mooneyes Show, although officially it is the Hot Rod Custom Show. The one day show attracts entries from across the globe but this year’s winning “Best of Show Motorcycle” was a home grown entry from Custom Works Zon with an eye opening engine from BMW.

Custom Work Zon Founders

The two leaders at Custom Works Zon are Yuichi Yoshizawa and Yoshikazu Ueda who are no strangers in the motorcycle world. Their creations frequently cross the ocean for American shows.Zon4

Custom Works Zon

Their entry is shrouded in a mysterious new boxer engine from BMW. The specs on the engine and further details are still not official. But from this entry you can expect air and oil coolers with a high displacement BMW boxer style engine.
The bike itself feature a low profile and skinny tires, 21″ up front and 25″ at the rear. The folks at the shop hand crafted the tank, seat and trim.Zon9

Custom Works Zon Wins Prize

Given that over 650 bikes are typically entered at this Yokohama show, nabbing the coveted top prize was quite an honor for the duo and BMW. Can’t wait to hear more about the engine.

Photos courtesy BMW

Drag-U-La Selling at Russo and Steele

If you are a certain age, you’ll remember the TV hit- The Munsters. This comedy featured some famous bits and even some neater cars, like the Drag-U-La. It seems strange that the producers would allow purpose built cars that would last for only a few episodes. But we’re glad they did.DragULa Front End

Drag-U-La

The story line was that Grandpa had to build a dragster to race and win back Herman’s “The Munster Koach”. So Hollywood had George Barris produce the car/casket vehicle. While Barris has been known for claiming credit for builds that are barely linked to his firm, this one was designed by Tom Daniel under his auspices. Richard Korkes took on the build and used an actual coffin for the “body”.

The original car moved among sellers after the series and a movie ended. At one point it was owned by Planet Hollywood. The Volo Car Museum had it for a while before flipping it. By then it had a 302 engine and an automatic transmission.DragULa Passenger Side Close Up

Drag-U-La Recreation

So why are we talking about a custom car from the 60’s? Because auction house Russo and Steele has a recreation of the Drag-U-La on their docket for this weekend. We had a chance to part the crowds at a recent Cars and Coffee and check it out on the flat bed tow truck.

Drag-U-La’s Design

This version has the reliable 350 ci engine and a two speed PowerGlide automatic transmission. With such little weight, only functional rear brakes were installed. Just like the original, the exhaust pipes sweep up to look like a church’s organ pipes. The seller claims plenty of “vintage” car parts but also indicates the have “custom made vintage air cleaner”.DragULa Passenger Front

This front engine coffin will certainly be a crowd pleaser when you pull up, but the single seat does limit the ability to hop onto the HOV lanes. Hopefully this is a car you would “die for?”

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Gas Monkey Garage AWOL at Barrett-Jackson

Gas Monkey Garage, Where Are You?

At the January, 2018 Barrett-Jackson Car Auction held in Scottsdale, AZ there are over 1700 cars and trucks ready to sell. But the venerable Gas Monkey Garage, with Richard Rawlings and Dennis “I need my name on every shirt I wear” Collins are nearly invisible.GMG GT350 Decal

Gas Monkey Garage

As mentioned previously the most recognizable Gas Monkey Garage selling vehicle is the 1956 Nomad that Rawlings did for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mountain Dew. It has drawn some interest under the tent and it will be interesting to see what it brings.

Gas Monkey Garage’s GT350

As for Gas Monkey Garage, there is a nearly new 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang that was on the Fast N’ Loud series on the Discovery channel. Rawlings drove it onto the track when he was building a car for Kurt Busch. From the seller’s description it indicates the car “was personally owned by Richard Rawlings of gas Monkey Garage”. So it is anybody’s guess if the seller is actually Richard Rawlings.GMG GT350 Low

For the car itself, it has less than 200 miles on the Mustang. It is black inside and out along with a vivid red racing stripe. Not sure why the seller hasn’t taken care of a recall for an engine oil cooler tube assembly replacement yet. After all it wasn’t on the road that much.

The Shelby Mustang is the 5.2 V8 engine with the six speed manual transmission. It sells on Friday (the seller couldn’t even get a Saturday docket number?) So if you were expecting a fleet of Gas Monkey Garage cars at the auction his week, you might be disappointed.GMG GT350 Rear End

So do you think the GT350 will sell for above retail? After all it is nearly new and hardly abused?

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Gas Monkey Garage at Barrett-Jackson Auction Scottsdale 2018

Gas Monkey Garage at Barrett-Jackson Car Auction

At this week’s Barrett-Jackson Car Auction, the presence of Gas Monkey Garage is sparse. A 56 Nomad done for Mountain Dew and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a can’t miss green and silver color scheme is the most obvious car linked to the Gas Monkey Garage crew.Gas Monkey Garage 1956 Nomad Side View

Gas Monkey Garage

For a spell the bar outside the auction stage was a Gas Monkey Garage theme, but that has dropped out. I suspect that Richard Rawlings might show up since he’s selling his 2016 Shelby Mustang GT350R with only a scant 200 miles clicked on the odometer. But who knows for sure? That Mustang is slated to sell on Friday.

Gas Monkey Garage Past Offerings

We’ve kept a close eye on Gas Monkey garage’s offerings even before the series became a monster hit.  Remember this hot rod from the early years?

As for the Nomad, who wouldn’t remember that bright green custom wagon? The current owner has a neat set of sunshades on the rear windows. Gas Monkey Garage 1956 Nomad Rear Window ShadeThe wagon has a 350 CI Chevy ZZ4 crate motor, TH350 automatic transmission, air conditioning and all the trick goodies. This video shows the wagon in action.

Gas Monkey Garage Season 4 Fast N’ Loud

Gas Monkey Garage built the car in 2013 during their fourth season on Discovery and of course they had an impossible deadline to beat. This car was used as a promotion for Mountain Dew, one of Earnhardt’s sponsors and hence the color on the 56 Nomad. Of course fans of Richard Rawlings know that his favorite color is green. Both for cars and for money.Gas Monkey Garage 1956 Nomad Passenger Side 2

The car had previously been offered for sale on eBay at $78,500 nearly four years ago. It also was offered on the internet at $69,500. So it will be interesting to see what the car fetches on prime time Saturday. Any guesses?

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Honda’s Minnie Van Is Pink Cuteness

Okay I’ll admit it.  I like cute.  And sometimes a car comes along that is just darn cute.  The folks at Honda put some sugar on their new 2018 Honda Odyssey van and overdosed on cuteness.  Throw in a tribute to Disney and bam you have total cuteness to the nth degree. Thanks to their Minnie Van

Honda Minnie Van

Minnie Van

Each year Disney fans gather for the Disney D23 Expo.  Think of it as Comic Con for Disney fans.  So Honda crafted a Minnie Van that they displayed at the show.  Of course a Minnie creation had to be in pink polka dots and sport some ears and a sporty bow.

Honda Odyssey Minnie Van

The new Honda Odyssey matches well with the target audience of soccer moms and dads needing to haul a bunch of tykes to here and there.  The new 2018 version builds on the best selling minivan in America and is made in the USA. The Odyssey has been the top selling van for the past seven years and this new build increases the ride and looks of the minivan segment.

Honda Minnie Van Front

So my guess is the Minnie Van will be making the rounds around the country, putting some smiles on lots of faces and maybe a Mickey van will soon appear?

 

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