This month I will be discussing my father’s 1958 Chevy Pickup. The truck has a lot of history and sentimental value to my father. It was originally purchased in 1958 by my grandfather who was a farmer in Brighton, South Dakota. My father grew up and learned to drive in this truck and about 10 years ago, he was given the truck by my grandfather. It was still running and in decent shape, but after 50 years of service, it was in need of a fresh facelift.
Recently I was putting a completed project together – reinstalling the hood, deck lid, and doors. You don’t have to be in this business to know that no matter how meticulous you try to be, things usually don’t go back together as easily as it was to take them apart – especially with cars and even more so with a custom car. When you get a new project for custom paint and body work, you first mock up the car, break it down, do the custom body work and paint, clear it, buff it, and put the whole thing back together again.
This month, I thought that I would tell you about a recent project involving a new metallic silver Hemi Charger. This project wasn’t as complicated as some of our others and there were no custom fabrications, however, it was a very nicely upgraded vehicle that turned out beautifully.
So I thought we should talk about two projects that are different from our usual topics. One is a 1950 Chevy Coupe and the other is Gene Winfield’s own 1932 Roadster. We previously talked about bubble tops and how to form them using heating and forced air to create a bubble for a space-age type coupe. However, I believe that these particular projects will represent a process that could be more useful.
Here’s a good one for you. I recently finished a project at Huntington Beach Bodyworks that you might enjoy hearing about. It was a retro bobber-style chopper for Matt Hotch Designs. Matt Hotch is considered one of the most talented, original, and innovative motorcycle designers alive today. He is also one of the biggest stars of the popular “Biker Build Off” television series and will be appearing again in its next season.
When I decided to add a custom motorcycle department to my medieval-themed shop, the first name that came to mind was Johnny Chop. What I liked immediately about him was his reputation for being an actual craftsman and not just a builder. He already had ties to Huntington Beach, so it seemed like a good idea to at least approach him to get his thoughts. Once we met and ironed out some details, Johnny moved his bikes to the shop and joined our Huntington Beach Bodyworks crew.
Going through my photo gallery the other day, I came across a project that I’m surprised I have not written about yet. It was such an interesting project, I should have gone into detail about it a long time ago.
Okay, let’s talk a little bit about a subject every painter encounters. It’s not one of the best aspects of the job, because it’s often very uncomfortable. I’m talking about all the gear we have to wear to keep us clean and keep the paint job as smooth as possible. Unfortunately it’s an absolute necessity.
Our story begins in 1963 with Bill Cushenbery and his Silhouette hot rod. Cushenbery was an extremely talented car customizer in the same era as George Barris. Although they were competing car customizers in Hollywood, the two did collaborate on a certain car—you may have heard of the Batmobile?