Tag Archives: Autorama

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,

Randy

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The Best Little PAINTHOUSE in Texas…

Miss V 2012 Autorama
Miss V 2012 Autorama
Night Mare
LeMonster, a 1972 Pontiac LeMans

 

 

It’s that time again. It’s Autorama time. Houston Autorama time. The 53rd annual Houston Autorama to be precise. This year is unique in the fact that the show starts on Friday, the 23rd of November instead of the normal Thanksgiving Thursday and runs through Sunday, the 25th. For once, we may actually get a “normal” Thanksgiving, whatever that is.

So, be sure to come out to the show and visit us in our booth, The Best Little PAINTHOUSE in Texas, as well as enjoy an always fantastically eclectic display of Automobilia. We’ll have two fresh projects up on the front row at the show and three more to see in our booth (two old friends and a newbie). Plus, don’t miss the chance to meet Miss V and get an autographed poster on Saturday. This IS the place to be over the holiday.

We’ll see y’all there, ya hear?

2-0 in Little Rock

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Greetings to all . Penny and Richard Weiss’s Blue Belle has finally hit the road. Despite a rare snow and ice storm that hit Little Rock last Sunday afternoon and evening, and a subsequent 2 day delay in leaving, we recently returned from our trip over to Little Rock, Arkansas for their ISCA Autorama. In a nutshell, it was the highest quality “little show” I have ever been to. Plus, Blue Belle was able to garner a first in the Mild Sports class and an Outstanding Sports Car award. This puts us well on our way to attempting to win an ISCA class championship.

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Carol Dolan, the promoter, managed to assemble some of the nation’s finest cars and trucks in a highly competitive arena of rolling art. Most of these were in a quest for the coveted Trick Six award (not unlike the Riddler of Detroit and the Millwinder of Houston shows). The winner ultimatley gets the honor, plus $5000.00. Not too shabby.

COLOR ME HUMBLED…

So George Barris (THE George Barris) walks up, sticks out his hand and says the color on Blue Belle is the prettiest color blue he has ever seen and that he would love to use it on an upcoming Merc he is building. Wow, I didn’t see that one coming! What an honor. It may be one of those ‘private’ victories, but its one I will keep forever.

George Barris 2011

TRICK SIX AWARD

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Gold Digger, the winner. Oh yeah, they own a gold mine.

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FOR DISPLAY PURPOSES ONLY…

Also present were some unbelievable ‘marquis cars’ by some of the biggest names in the business.

Gil Losi’s Starliner convertible….painted by Charlie Hutton (the guy from the American Hot RodTV show) and yes, it is brown, yes, it is that straight and, yes, it is stunning.

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SIDE NOTE: we painted this Woody for Gil a few years ago. Great guy.

2006 Dallas Goodguys (46)

CamAir by Yogi’s

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ThrillBilly ‘Cuda by Roger Berman

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‘67 Camaro “Scar” by Roger Berman

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The Little Rock Blizzard of 2011

The storm blew in Sunday afternoon and carried through Monday, leaving millions stranded without power, food or shelter. Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that bad, but it was enough to shut the city, and major freeways all the way back to Texas, down for a couple of days. Personally, other than missing my family, I loved it! You’d think, with Houston being the winter wonderland that it is, I would have had enough snow, ice and cold, but NO! The more the snow fell, and the colder it got, the cooler it was (yes, that was a pun, and still is).

View out the ‘motel winder’…I call it ‘motel’ because it drives my wife nuts when I call a very nice hotel (the Peabody is that for sure) a motel, so I do it every chance I get. Thanks to Carol again for getting the show participants a “normal” rate at the only 4-star hotel in Little Rock. If you’re gonna get stranded, it might as well be there. Otherwise, I heard that Tom Bodet left the light on for me…

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With everything loaded and nowhere to go, I wandered around the old district of the town. I dig the vintage architecture (probably because my ‘architecture’ is aging as well, we have a lot in common).

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Mr. Cool Clothing store, need I say more? Across the street, I stumbled upon this Military Surplus store having its 140th. If you do the math, they must have started by selling Civil War leftovers?2011 Little Rock-792011 Little Rock-80

The long drive home…finally

The storm left the roads and freeways shut down for most of Monday. We decided on Tuesday morning to attempt the questionable drive down I-30 to Texas. We found the roads passable, but the traffic SLOW. I sat in the longest traffic jamb of my life, probably 15 miles. Ice, snow, bridges and a long incline led to LOTS of wrecks. I am definitely glad I didn’t try to leave on Monday morning. 4 star hotel or wrecked in the trees…hmmm, what to do?

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So there you have it, the Journey of Blue Belle to Little Rock and their big ‘little’ autorama. My apologies, as it seems as if my ‘blog’ has turned into a ‘blovel’.

Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California…here we come.

until next time,

Randy

A girl and her car…

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The smile says it all.

The 2010 Houston Autorama has come and gone. We made a mad dash for the finish line on several fronts, and were successful on all accounts. The debut of Penny Weiss’ 1955 Thunderbird “Blue Belle” was our primary focus, but the first ever PAINTHOUSE booth was a close second on our priority list. I will follow up with a post about our “experimental extravaganza” soon.

It was a mad dash to the finish for Blue Belle, but we made it, and without having to work all-nighters (it was close a couple times, though!). The stretched hood scoop, custom wire wheels, Ron Mangus leather interior and last minute assembly all came together to create a car that stunned a lot of people.

You just don’t see many Thunderbirds that are customized tastefully (I hope that is the impression everyone took away from the car). Usually, Thunderbirds need to stay purely original; otherwise, more often than not, when customized they get taken too far and end up ruining what is “right” about the car. Our intent was to hang on to everything good about the original classic design, but add small, elegant upgrades that subtly improved the car. Ultimately, you will have to let us know if we succeeded.

We were humbled to be positioned at the front entrance door directly opposite the current Riddler award winning car, Gold Digger. I also heard rumors that the show promoters did their news interviews in front of Penny’s Thunderbird as well. By the way, what a great show put on by the new promotors. Kudos to Steve Green, Jason Henderson and the rest of their crew. As rookies, I’d say you knocked it out of the park. What are y’all gonna do to top it next year? No pressure, just sayin’.

As far as awards go, Blue Belle exceeded all of our expectations. We did not make the elusive Magnificent Seven, which is the preliminary selection for the time-honored Millwinder award, but she did win First in her class (mild sports), Outstanding Paint award, Outstanding Display award, Outstanding Detail award and Outstanding Sports car. Quite a first outing, way to go Penny!

2011 Grand National Roadster Show, here we come….

Until next time,

Randy

You just don’t see many Thunderbirds that are customized tastefully (I hope that is the impression everyone took away from the car). Usually, Thunderbirds need to stay purely original; otherwise, more often than not, when customized they get taken too far and end up ruining what is “right” about the car. Our intent was to hang on to everything good about the original classic design, but add small, elegant upgrades that subtly improved the car. Ultimately, you will have to let us know if we succeeded.