Tag Archives: PPG

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

Grand National Roadster Show, here we come…

Off we go again. This time, to the West coast for the 2015 Grand National Roadster Show. If you’ve never seen this show, you should. The indoor show is phenomenal by itself, being housed within 8 ‘not small’ buildings. As if that isn’t enough, they also have a ‘drive-in’ show that fills the fairgrounds between all the buildings, bringing in another 500 or so cars. Many of the cars seen outside could easily fill the front row of any other indoor ISCA event. In other words: its an Automobile Nirvana that every car lover should experience at least once in their lifetime, if not every year.

The Rig is loaded and ready to roll west...
The Rig is loaded and ready to roll west…
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We stopped near Area 51 to say “Howdy” to a few intergalactic undocumented workers…

 Day one took us northwest through the Nation of Texas and in to New Mexico. We followed our noses to Ruidosa and finally found some snow. Ok, a little left-over snow, but snow nonetheless. Old snow is better than no snow in my book.

Ruidoso will see us again....
Ruidoso will see us again….

The next morning we left on our trek to reach Flagstaff, AZ, a city that houses my favorite haunted hotel, the Monte Vista. Because I’m always up for an adventure, we took the less traveled route, through the mountains, valleys and high desert of New Mexico and Arizona. I won’t deny to having the ‘wanderlust’, so a new road is always intriguing to me. Dragging a 36′ trailer filled with all kinds of treasures just adds to the adventure.

The Very Large Array
The Very Large Array – who names these things?

During our journey to the NW, we stumbled across “The Very Large Array“, a curious display of what appear to be old-school satellite dishes, however they are quite a bit more than that. This creatively-named, Y-shaped grid of 27 huge radio telescopes (each is 82 feet in diameter) has been placed out here in BFE with the task of seeking out data about black holes, our sun and planets, the Milky Way and galaxies beyond. Together they create the same effect as an antenna with a resolution 22 miles across. Amazing stuff indeed and WAY above my pay grade.

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Big Bank meet Small Town – lobby, drive-thru, ATM and handicap parking.
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A time capsule found in Pie Town (?), NM…
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‘Wood’ you believe we saw an alien even though we were a couple hundred miles from Area 51?
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I’m not sure if this is a pre-historic bodybuilding pose or if he was frozen in time doing The Robot? Either way, he was a big dude, standing over 10′ tall…
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No words, just cool…
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We finally arrived at our haunted digs, the Hotel Monte Vista. I stay here every chance I get…

As luck would have it, the Ghost did not make herself known – this time. However, ask me about the first time I stayed here, if you get the opportunity. Before we left, we found a little place called MartAnne’s Burrito Palace (Breakfast Palace is more like it). It seemed logical that breakfast would be fantastic here…and it was. Consider this my new favorite restaraunt in Flagstaff. Fine job, MartAnne’s.

Martan's Burrito Palace served the best breakfast I've had in a long time...
MartAnne’s Burrito Palace served the best breakfast I’ve had in a long time. There are eggs in there, I promise…
A 'guided' detour to Barnes & Noble in Kingman, AZ, courtesy of Google Maps, led us to...nothing. And I thought Apple Maps was the bad one?
A ‘guided’ detour to Barnes & Noble in Kingman, AZ, courtesy of Google Maps, led us to…nothing. And I thought Apple Maps was the bad one?
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The rig gets a much needed bath. $54 well spent…
This seems to be a good value, I'll let you know....
This seems to be a good value, I’ll let you know….
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Aahhh, the infamous LA ‘fog’…

1584 miles, 5 apples, 37 Tootsie Pops, countless pee stops and one Haunted Hotel later, we’ve arrived in Pomona, CA. For now we wait; tomorrow the “hurry up” begins as we set up the Hudson for its debut at the 2015 Grand National Roadster Show. For now, I’m signing off. Stay tuned to our Instagram and Facebook pages for updates to the Hudson’s first trip to the West Coast.

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

PAINTHOUSE races at PPG Nationals

We weren’t the fastest, we weren’t the slowest, but we sure as heck had a great time. 105 degrees and counting…it was hot! The fact that these cars (all of them, not just ours) lived through this heat while racing is further proof that these cars WORK. The Mustang (Night Mare) finished 7th and the GTO (Blew Bayou) 11th out of a field of 13. We were itching to go again, but, they took us away to the Street Machine of the Year preliminary judging area (air-conditioned!). We obliged.

Until next time,

Randy