Tag Archives: 1955 Thunderbird

A Louisville recap, Detroit, Chicago, Blue Belle, a Ridler Candidate and more…

Hey there Kids! We find ourselves back in a truck headed ‘North to (what feels like) Alaska’. Not in my truck, though. After our last episode in Louisville, I drove our rig (with the Hudson) up to a friend’s shop in the suburbs of Detroit to leave for a week whilst I flew home to be a dad, husband, boss and an employee.

The Hudson and its Louisville "booty"...
The Hudson and its Louisville “booty”…

In case you were wondering, we did well in Louisville and earned our remaining needed points to have a position in the ISCA Finals this year, located in a city we’ve never shown in, Chicago. Other than the distinct possibility of getting shot, I am looking forward to seeing what I understand is one of our Great Skating Rinks (also a lake?) and seeing how the Hudson places in the Superbowl of our industry.

Our tickets to the E-ride in D-town...
Our tickets to the E-ride in D-town…
Blue Belle's awards-Shreveport 2012
There aren’t many things prettier than Blue Belle, however Penny, her owner, sure gives her a run for her money…

Now we are back on the road, this time hauling our old friend “Blue Belle” and convoying with a new friend, Tim Palazzolo of GAP Racing and his as yet unseen “Stampede” project (a Ridler Award hopeful) to Detroit, then Chicago the following week. Blue Belle is a veteran to traveling to and competing in these shows, however Tim Palazzolo and his “Stampede” are rookies and taking a swing at not only a hit, but a Grand Slam, their first time at bat.  Also, wait until you see the dead Italian cows that were “unstitched” inside this little horsey by the crew at Compton Custom Interiors, another rookie coming to The Big Show.

JF Launier and his 2014 Ridler Award-winning Riviera
JF Launier and his 2014 Ridler Award-winning Riviera – there are no boundaries when it comes to automotive creativity at this level of competition.  
"Gold Digger" - the 2010 Ridler Award winner.
“Gold Digger” – the 2010 Ridler Award winner.
Yes, girls can play, too. Tammy Ray won the Ridler Award in 2010.
Yes, girls can play, too. Tammy Ray won the Ridler Award in 2010 with the “Gold Digger”. Ya gotta love the creativity in names as well…

In case you don’t know what the Riddler Award is, look it up. In a nutshell, it is the custom automobile world’s Olympic Gold Medal, and there is only one awarded – with no Silver or Bronze. All or nothing. Bold aspirations for a Houston-born, bad-ass “I can’t tell you yet”. Although we did not bodywork or paint this one, we were honored to have created the custom colors for it, wetsand and polish the entire clearcoat and tighten up a few loose ends. I’d love to show you images of the car and what we did, however the Ridler Award requires that the first showing be in Detroit and it be a true debut – not seen in public before, anywhere. So, think of a very fast horse and a color that is usually identified as sad -which this horsey is definitely not! Good luck to Tim and his crew at GAP Racing, although we doubt he’ll need it. Well, kids, its time to hit the Cracker Barrel, load up on eggs, bacon and coffee and head “norther”. I’ll do my best to keep the blog updated as we take this journey to some unexplored territory.

Until next time,



2013 International Show Car Association Championships…

PAINTHOUSE, for the second year running, is honored to have earned a trip to the ISCA Finals with not one, but two, of our projects. Dana and Noel Irvin, our ‘dynamic duo’, have earned the privilege of bringing their hot rods, “Night Mare” and “Blew Bayou“, to the Big Show here in Lafayette, LA. Penny Weiss’ ’55 Thunderbird “Blue Belle“, a finalist at last year’s Championship, also came along for the ride just to show for fun.



Stay tuned and I’ll post pics to our Facebook page as the weekend develops.



Blue Belle makes the Fab Four in Big D


No, this is not an award given by the Beatles! Blue Belle, our ‘55 Thunderbird project, has been selected into the rarified air of the Fab 4 here in Dallas. Much like the Detroit Riddler has a Great 8, or Houston’s Millwinder selects the Magnificent 7, the Dallas Autorama has a Fab 4 that ultimately leads up to their big award.

Although I think I know who will ultimately win this award, I am humbled and honored that Penny’s little hot rod was chosen to be one of the four. The thanks goes to my crew back at PAINTHOUSE. So, “Loose” Bruce Woodings, Mike Stuart, Cliff Groontok, Tim Kubelka, Craig Kelly, Jennifer Borcherding (she’s mine) and not to forget James Klouse, Ed White, Eric Brockmeyer, Ron Mangus and Skylar Petroski: Good job guys. Thank you.

Tomorrow with bring the results and finally a trip home to my family. See y’all Sunday.