Tag Archives: ISCA

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

The Ice Road Painter (& the Hudson) head to Louisville…

A shot as we were loading up from last year's show in Louisville...
A shot as we were loading up from last year’s show in Louisville…

This week I’m off to Louisville, KY for the 2015 Carl Casper Auto Show, another in our ISCA shows this season. We showed here last year as well and had a great time. As a result of the ISCA’s point system and our need for a “small” show in order to qualify for the Finals again this year and the fact that I really enjoyed the show last year, we decided to put Louisville in to our travel schedule this year.

As fate would have it, I am driving north, directly in to the wake of Winter Storm Octavia’s all too recent impact. I do love winter, snow in particular, however driving on ice is just plain stressful among other things. The highway itself wasn’t bad, though once exited and on the side streets it was a totally different story.

Hanging with the big boys...
Hanging with the big boys…

I was not able to leave the shop until about 1 pm today because of the demands of getting a friend’s project polished out in preparation for the Detroit Autorama in a couple weeks. I wanted to leave much earlier, yet the blessing in disguise was that Octavia had slipped on by and left her imprint on the landscape hours before.

Once I arrived at my hotel near Little Rock, I found the entire area covered in what looked like snow but was actually ice – and lots of it. I had to park the truck & trailer in a lot across the street, or was it a skating rink? Navigating to the hotel was quite a test of my balance and my boots’ grip.

The Parking Rink...
The Parking Rink…

For now, its time to go in to hibernation for the evening. Tomorrow we shall see how the continuing journey to the North develops. Patience Grasshopper, Octavia has left her mark…

vaya con Dios,

Randy

Chattanooga in the rear view mirror…

The spoils from the 2015 Chattanooga World of Wheels.
The spoils from the 2015 Chattanooga World of Wheels.
Being selected in to the "Fantastic 5" competition was a pleasant, and unexpected, surprise.
Being selected in to the “Fantastic 5” competition was a pleasant, and unexpected, surprise.
The Fantastic "One". Best of Show and well deserved.
The Fantastic “One”. Best of Show and well deserved.
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Gorgeous little Chevy II won the big award. Congratulations to the owner of a car that is “the bomb”…

And just like that, the “hurry up and wait” of the 2015 Chattanooga World of Wheels is over. The Hudson is loaded in the trailer, along with all the various display items that make the task of showing these vehicles actual work. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing the people gathered around the truck, asking question or making comments, however the set up and then inevitable tear-down process is neither a quick nor easy task.

One show truck display - just add cheap labor...
One show truck display – just add cheap labor…

The show itself was fantastic. I was pleasantly surprised not only by the awards, but the crowds that showed up all weekend. The charm of a small-ish southern town is evident here in Chattanooga and I hope to be able to visit again and take in more of the history I was able to sample on my impromptu tour of the town on Saturday afternoon.

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Yeah, I had one. Wouldn’t you?
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The Dome Building – very creative name on a very cool building.
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The ‘heart’ of a gorgeous old Catholic Church built founded in 1852 and built in 1889.
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The remnant of what must have been a gorgeous Methodist Church built in 1881.
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I find these ‘wedge-shaped’ buildings oddly interesting….
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The domed ceiling and lobby of the former train station in Chattanooga. It is now a hotel where you can stay in actual luxury Victorian train cars. Next time for sure…
The Choo Choo Hotel. It was "rail-ly" nice inside...
The Choo Choo Hotel. It was “rail-ly” nice inside…
I had no idea...
I had no idea…
And there it is. The Choo Choo...
And there it is. The Choo Choo…

I have to thank my crew at PAINTHOUSE, because without them, none of this is possible nor would we have anything worthy of showing off. Lastly, a special bucket of thanks to Jason McPike for trusting us to bring his cool Hudson to life and for allowing us to take it around and show it off.

Now its time to put my ample arse in the driver’s seat and get back to the Lazy B Ranch. Until next time…

Randy

The Hudson hits Chattanooga to start the year…

Hopefully this tardy-beyond-belief post finds you fully recovered from a Season of merriment and libation. In the case of PAINTHOUSE, we are back in the shop and working diligently to get the next project(s) to the finish line.

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In this week’s episode, the Hudson and I find ourselves in Chattanooga, TN for the 2015 World of Wheels show. After a quick 15 hour drive from Texas through Louisianna, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and finally Tennessee, we landed at our hotel only to find the ambient temperature below 10 degrees and a “feels like” of -7. That’s 7 degrees below ZERO, 39 degrees below freezing and much too cold for any place that has no snow on the ground. And, in southeast Tennessee of all places. I’m glad I brought a jacket.

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Fortunately, a block from the hotel, is this awesome little diner – open 24 hours. Huge portions and small prices, just how I like it.

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As I was setting up, a nice little ‘Cuda loped by. Since my youngest son Christian loves them, here you go, son! See, I did get you a Barracuda…

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I also found this very interesting grille, belonging to a 1935 Brewster, a car I had never seen before. Very kool machine.

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As I bring this blog to a close, it turns out the Hudson has been selected as one of the “Fantastic 5” – it’s the big award here and quite a humbling honor. We shall see how this all plays out tomorrow evening.

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Until then, I’ll continue to chase dust around the Hudson , eat too much diner food and soak up the history in this cool little river town.

Until next time,

Randy

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.

Randy

 

“The Irvin Show” in Shreveport…

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Bringing home the bacon…
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Night Mare’s day dream…

 

Greetings from 2013. At PAINTHOUSE, our year is off to a busy, and rewarding, start. We are recently back from our trip to the 38th annual Shreveport World of Wheels. We brought along two of our most recent projects – Blew Bayou and Night Mare. There were three other projects there that we had our grubby little hands in at this show as well. The trip was well worth all the effort to get there and we will be back.

In short, it rained A LOT. Not to mention the fact that one of the cars ended up with some damage from a “Trailer Gremlin” (Night Mare), the GTO ran out of gas as soon as I pulled it out of the trailer and lastly I was caught up in a ‘gravity storm’ and slid down a muddy embankment, ending up covered in Louisiana’s finest liquid dirt. All of this and it is only the first evening of set up at the show! Did I mention it rained a lot?

Gravity Storm attacks painter...film at 11!!!
Gravity Storm attacks painter…film at 11!!!

Fortunately, our fates turned and after a clothes change, we were back on track. As a side-note: don’t let your not-driven-much-yet GTO run out of gas at a show, pushing it around the venue and trying to get it centered on the carpet for display is NOT fun or easy (Note to self: 5 gallons of fuel in the trailer on every future trip – CHECK).

As it turned out, all the cars did exceedingly well. The GTO (Blew Bayou) was chosen to receive Best in Class, Outstanding Detail, Outstanding Paint (my personal favorite) as well as Outstanding Custom of the Show. Night Mare, our little “dark horse”, brought home Best in Class, Outstanding Interior, Outstanding Engine (both firsts for this car) and finally, Outstanding Street Machine of the show.

We interrupt this blog for a “Shameless Plug Moment”: both cars proudly displayed their “My Ride was on Powerblock” plates and the GTO brandished its honor as a Meguiar’s VIP sponsored car. Thanks to all that made those moments happen for Noel and Dana, they deserve it. Well…Noel does anyway.

Our good friend and road warrior, Mac Bernd, brought his flawless ’69 Camaro big block and took away Best in Class and Best Restored (not easy to accomplish) awards. Mac allowed us to be involved with this fantastic example of “how it was” when we wetsanded and polished his existing paint job. Sanding, and polishing, someone else’s paint job is always scary to us, but, we managed to pull it off and not burn through anywhere, resulting in a very slick car indeed. Mac gets all the credit, though, as he can detail a car like no one else…

Orange is beautiful.
Orange is beautiful.

Vicki and Mike Pattle and their pretty little ’32 Ford Roadster, “Blue Lotus” were given Best in Class, Outstanding Display, Outstanding Use of Kolor, Outstanding Undercarriage and Outstanding Rod of the Show (insert racy comment here…). We met them on our Great Northwest road trip earlier this year and they have chosen to show the ’32 down here in the South this season. We spend a lot of time detailing the car’s undercarriage, indexing/replacing polished fasteners, detailing the engine compartment and polishing the paint. It seems to have paid off. The story of loading the car in a complete down pour (turd floater) at our shop is another blog in itself…I’ll spare you. Suffice to say Mike and I had to re-detail the entire underside at the show.

The Blue Lotus arrives...
The Blue Lotus arrives…
Yes, it stopped when we got the car in...
Yes, it stopped when we got the car in…

The final project we were involved with was Jeep Compton’s restored ’69 Camaro Convertible big block. We recently spent some time refining the paint on it for him as well. He took second to Mac’s Camaro and I’m afraid these two will be butting heads in the Restored for the rest of the season.

After a week of repairing the Mustang’s slight, but painful, damage and trying to catch up on my job around here (I am still the painter, after all), we are off for another road trip to Abilene for their Autorama and then Albuquerque, NM for it’s Supernationals show, which is independent and not affiliated with the ISCA, but it’s worth the trip. We’ve been there one other time and had a great time. Plus, although it ain’t no TexMex, the mexican fare there is very good and I can get my fix while away from food Nirvana…

That is all for now. Back to detailing cars, loading trailers and car show prep. Until next time…

Randy

 

 

 

Texas…finally.

I am back from several weeks of traveling and glad to be home. The first few days of being here almost seemed like another hotel, but I’m settling back in. I had been on the road or away from here in the hospital with Dad, except for the week after Dad’s passing, since the third week of January. I returned here on March 27. That much time away from the home and business was a first. Plus, showing 3 cars at once was truly too much. I think two is plenty and will be my max from now on. Thank God for my crew of PAINTHOUSE guys (Bruce, Mike, Tim, Ramon and Craig) and, most importantly, my amazing wife…

We went first to Salt Lake City, then on to Boise, Idaho for their respective ISCA Autorama events (with a detour into Park City, UT, home of the 2002 Winter Olympics, beautiful little town). In case your mind is wandering, NO, the bald guy in some of the pics is NOT my gay lover that I found at a truck stop along the way, just Steve, one of our employees that drove one of the rigs for us; the beautiful lady with the silver hair is Penny, the owner of Blue Belle, the ’55 Tbird. We then followed that with a week in Sun Valley, Idaho at our customer’s home (’55 Tbird owners, the Weiss’s) for the kid’s Spring Break (Jenn and the kids flew up for that week).

Amid that week, one of the cars had previously become damaged in Salt Lake, so I had to beg/borrow/steal a shop in Sun Valley and repair it before I moved on to Omaha, NE for the ISCA Finals after our ‘vacation’. I would go in to the shop and work from about 4 in the morning until 8 or so, then get back to the house we were at before the kids awakened, so they would not know I was mixing our pleasure with some business. They wanted ONE vacation that did not revolve around cars. Somehow  I pulled it off (I think…) and was able to get the front right fender repaired/refinished/polished and ready to go to Omaha by the following Saturday without them being any the wiser. I hope they don’t read this…wait, they’re teenagers, they don’t read. No worries! We had a great time and the Weiss’ home and hospitality was amazing. I am sure you have seen some very nice places, but this house was the most amazing place I’ve ever seen, let alone stayed in. The Big Wood River is running literally 50 yards behind the home and teaming with Rainbow Trout. I plan to fish it on my next trip. We did snow board (after lessons!) and I actually made it down the mountain without falling, once, so I quit while I was ahead! The whole Sun Valley area has become my new favorite place. I will come back, and, just possibly, on a one-way ride…

After the family left for H-town, I then went on to Omaha, NE for the 2012 ISCA finals. We had qualified in Boise with two of the three cars for that exclusive event and decided to go, since I was already on the road. It added about 8 days to the trip for me, but was time well spent. We have had other cars qualify, but had never taken them to the event. This time we took two: the blue ’55 Thunderbird and the blue ’67 GTO. Here is another album from the Omaha show. We ended up with both cars taking 5th out of 9 cars. They give 1st – 4th, then every other car that is in the category (Custom) takes “5th”. No other category (Restored, Rod, Truck or Motorcycle) had 9 entries, some only had one. It was truly an honor to be there, and with two cars that really weren’t show cars, at least from the undercarriage standpoint. Ours are very nice underneath, but not to the quality of a TRUE show car. Our cars are ultimately going to be driven, as they should, so underneath is not usually totally smooth, polished and chrome. It is very nice and sanitary, but still useable. Someday we’ll get the first place award, but the fun is in the build for me, and the response from the fans.

My favorite award to win is People’s Choice, and not many shows have that one for some reason. When they do, we love getting it. It means more to me than any plaque or trophy does. To me, it says that if someone could take any of the cars home with them, they’d take one we built. That is the ultimate compliment to me. Even the judges have told us that out of all the mega-dollar cars at the show, they’d want one of ours in their driveway. I’ll take that any day…

While I was in Sun Valley, Dana Irvin, the ’65 Mustang (Night Mare) owner, her husband Noel (the ’67 GTO Blue Bayou’s owner) and Steve (not my lover), took  the car to Portland, OR (another unexpected twist of events) to attempt to get one more point and qualify for the finals as well. We really wanted to take 3 cars to the finals, but, alas, the Mustang was destined not to go. It was a valiant effort, and the fact that the car got off to a late start this season (two shows behind) was the only reason it didn’t make it to the “big show”. Dana is itching to drive it so getting it home was not a bad thing after all.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…we are continuing our existing projects (’72 leMans Convertible, ’63 Corvette Roadster, ’47 Hudson Truck, ’72 Ferrari, ’32 Ford Sedan, ’32 Ford Roadster, a ’65 Porsche Speedster and two custom Harleys) as we approach some local shows that will be a welcome relief from all the travel. They shows are: Concourse d’Elegance of Texas, The Houston Construction Show and Classy Chassis. We are off again in July to the big Goodguys Nationals in Columbus, OH and possibly some more TV exposure in Nashville (not sure on that one, we shall see).

That’s about all for now. Until next time…

Randy