Tag Archives: car customizer

River City Rods’ 1972 Chevrolet C30 Franklin Camper

River City Rods and Fabrication have been making waves with their custom builds at the SEMA Shows for the past few years. Every Chevy gear head loved “Brown Sugar” that rolled out for the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada and was recently up for sale on eBay. But they also built a 1972 Chevrolet C30 RV Truck for the 2017 SEMA Show that had some interesting post-SEMA experiences.

River City Rods 1972 Chevrolet C30Driver's SideRiver City Rods 1972 Chevrolet C30

The 1972 Chevrolet C30 was based on an original Franklin Coach camper that was treated to a custom suspension and new internals.  The crew at River City threw in a LS3 GM Performance engine and a Bowler five speed automatic transmission.  Arizona based GSI did the chassis work and used an AccuAir air ride system.

Of course the interior had to be eye popping and that included a 50 inch television and barn wood motif. There was a bar in the back as well. The blue paint was eye-catching and plenty of lookers enjoyed the retro look at the SEMA Show.River City Rods 1972 Chevrolet C30 Interior

After the SEMA Show

Well sometimes the show cars from SEMA disappear after the show and you wonder what happened to them. In this case it didn’t take long to see the Chevrolet C30 back in the public’s eye.

Barrett-Jackson had it offered at their Scottsdale, Arizona show in January of 2019. It drew plenty of interest and was hammered sold for $126,500. But not so fast partner.

In September of this year it was offered up by a dealer through Bring A Trailer. The seller claimed that the buyer at Barrett-Jackson backed out of the deal and while Barrett-Jackson offered to make the deal stand, the dealer took the truck back.

So it ran on the Bring A Trailer auction but only was bid up to $56,555. Quite a drop from a heady Barrett-Jackson hammered price.  So the dealer took it off the auction site and went to eBay.

River city Rods -1972 Chevrolet C30 on eBay

On eBay the dealer had it listed with a buy It Now price of $89,900.  The seller claimed over $200,000 was invested in the build.  After being on the site for a few days it was ended by the seller.  Many car sellers on eBay will often state they are offering the car for sale elsewhere, like on their own website, and might remove the vehicle from the auction early.  My guess is the dealer received an offer outside of eBay and hence ended the auction without an official sale from that auction site.

So if the dealer was able to get it sold this time, maybe it will surface soon again for the public to view?River City Rods 1972 Chevrolet C30 Rear view

Would you use this ride for an RV in the post-COVID 19 days?

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Worldwide Auctioneers Auburn Auction Absolutely Awesome

Even under “normal” situations a car auction company would be ecstatic with a 90% sell through rate. Worldwide Auctioneers must be over the moon to reach that level at their recent Auburn auction.

Yes folks, Worldwide Auctioneers concluded their 13th annual Auburn Auction in Indiana during the 2020 Labor Day Weekend, with 90% of consignments finding new homes. Given the complexity of arranging bids and the fiscal times we are in, that is phenomenal!

Worldwide Sold a 1935 Auburn

As expected at an Auburn auction, an Auburn Speedster set the bar. High sale went to a meticulously restored and multiple award winning 1935 Auburn 851 SC Boattail Speedster with body design by Gordon Buehig and a supercharged engine with a top speed of 100 mph. It sold for $1,072,500. (Like always all prices include the buyer’s premium)

Rick Dore’s Shangri-La

But we fell in love with the sweeping majestic custom that famed customizer Rick Dore built. This beauty was a one-off 1936 Cadillac “Shangri-La” Custom Roadster. It featured a hand-formed aluminum body fabricated by the famous Marcel Custom Metal workers on a short 116 wheelbase. The roof comes off to allow for a roadster look to this lady in Indian Inkwell Blue. It sold for a sweet $550,000.Shangri-La

Another car that we loved was a 1966 Chevelle Pro Street. The paintwork was on point and the attention to detail was as expected, top notch. The Chevy was badged as an SS with a 496 engine and came with a two speed Powerglide. It was strip ready with a roll cage and sold for $41,800.1966 Chevelle Driver Side

A fantastic Model A 1932 Ford was not the typical “Auburn auction” but sure caught our eye. So did the 400 cubic inch engine matched to a 700R4 automatic transmission. Suicide doors and a striking paintjob with pinstriping helped collect $49,500 from the winning bidder.1932 Ford Front View

Worldwide Auctioneers Outcome

The Auburn Auction finalized at nearly $8 million in total sales. Presented as both a live and online event, the Auburn Auction offered options for every controlled health level, with onsite bidding, online bidding available via three different online partner platforms, and absentee and telephone bidding available to pre-registered, qualified buyers.

We enjoyed their January, 2020 auction in Tempe, AZ during all the Phoenix area auctions. Here’s hoping that “regular” auctions return to the scene soon with Worldwide Auctioneers leading the way.

 

Photos courtesy of Worldwide Auctioneers.

 

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Great Subscription Offer from Round-Up Publications

The good folks at Round-Up Publications know a thing or two about good deals. Their magazines are packed with deals tighter than five teenagers in a trunk sneaking into a drive-in movie. Remember those?

For a limited time the publisher is offering an exclusive offer.  Get a year’s subscription to not one, not TWO but all THREE of their award winning magazines.  Yes folks, you’d get a year of Classic Car Round-Up and Truck Round-Up. These are monthly issues so that translates to twenty four sets of great deals and car articles.

But WAIT there’s more. You also get a year’s subscription to Auto Round-Up magazine, the star ship of the fleet from the publisher. This comes out every two weeks so you’ll get 26 issues delivered to your door.

Round-Up Magazines

With that many magazines, your mailman will need a back brace. Plus you’re bound to find at least one amazing deal on one amazing car or truck or …

Besides the great ads for cars and trucks, there is always a mass of parts and supplies offered for sale.  So don’t delay and get your order in. Operators might not be standing by, but the electrons of the WWW – world wide web are. So hop to it!

Here is the link for ordering this awesome set of magazines.

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Leg Show T-Bucket

The Grand National Roadster Show wrapped up the three day show, announcing the winner of America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) on Sunday January 26, 2020. The winning entry is certainly an awesome Arizona build and I admire the craftsmanship.
But (and you knew there would be a but right?)

Leg Show T-BucketLeg Show T-Bucket Side Shot

I could not take my eye off a T-bucket that seemed to be a tribute to the original Leg Show T-Bucket. This roadster was as outrageous as the original and just screamed at you. I had commented to others that this bucket was the hit in my youth but was too far out there to be the final AMBR winner this year.Leg Show T-Bucket Passenger Side

Craftsmanship of Leg Show T-Bucket

But hats off to the owners, Walter and Thenia Sigsby. This T-Bucket had some great workmanship and the paint and shiny pieces glowed under the lights in Pomona, CA. The Jaguar rearend was easy to see in this design and the Dan Fink grill was top notch. Due to the stanchions, I couldn’t see much of the Ron Mangus interior but what we could see was awesome. Turns out the gas tank was done by Jim Babbs who had also worked on the original Leg Show T in 1970.Leg Show T-Bucket Engine

Leg Show T-Bucket Legacy

The original Leg Show T-Bucket made the cover of Rod and Custom in 1971 and was an instant hit. Here’s hoping this one does the same.

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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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