Tuesday, 31 July 2007 10:00

California customizer wins coveted award

“Undisputed” – painted by Alan Palmer of Palmer’s Custom Paint & Body, won the 2007 Outstanding Paint division of the Don Ridler Memorial Award at Detroit’s Autorama.
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The "Undisputed" winning team (left to right ): Chris Rohde, Palmers Customs;  Mac Slater, Palmers Customs; Alan Palmer, Jereme Elwell, Palmers Customs;  Roger Knudson, De Angelos Paint and Supply; Mark Northrup, BASF; and Wolf Mayer De'Angelo's Paint and Supply

The Ridler Award is given only to the best and is high on the list of hopeful achievements for customizers around the country. A unique prerequisite of this award’s stature is that the Detroit Autorama must be the first public showing of any entry – any part of the entry: chassis, engine or body. To win the award the first time out is truly noteworthy.

When car owner Rudy Necoechea of Sherman Oaks, brought “Undisputed” to Palmer’s shop in Camarillo, they had only eight weeks to get the car ready for Autorama. Just six weeks to do the body and paint work. For “Undisputed,” a 1932 Ford High Boy, Palmer chose a BASF Glasurit 90 Line basecoat which, as the winning color, was dubbed “Undisputed Champion Gold.”

Palmer’s team did the body work and paint prep and Palmer himself sprayed the car. “I painted this car in pieces, every piece was painted apart from each other and 90 Line gave me a flawless finish and perfect match on every part.”

Everyone worked hard to get this car to Detroit in time, explained Palmer. Paint jobber Chris Knudson from De’Angelos and BASF Representative Mark Northrup rolled up their sleeves and worked on “Undisputed” to get it done. And get it done they did -- to come home with the Ridler Outstanding Paint Award.

This highly acclaimed award is a 43-year tradition, named after Don Ridler, the producer who brought the Detroit Autorama to the forefront of the hot rod world to become a legendary car show. Ridler booked national acts such as Duane Eddy and the Big Bopper to develop this unprecedented hot rod event in Motor City.

Custom cars are Palmer’s passion. His two-and-a-half year old business in Camarillo is in a 13,000 square foot building. “Everything here is a project – full frame off restorations,” he pointed out. Currently Palmer’s Customs has twelve restorations going on. “I have four cars going to SEMA this year. Three of them have been painted with BASF Glasurit 90 Line waterborne. I prefer the waterborne, it’s just better all the way around.”

Palmer shares his success completely with his competent staff. “I know I am getting a good reputation when people are coming here looking for jobs,” Palmer proudly stated. He can’t thank his loyal crew enough: Chris Rhode, Mac Salter, Adam Phillips, Justin Fairhurst, Tony Perez and Jason Palazuelos.