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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,



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.



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.


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



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…


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


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.


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,