Monday, November 5, 2012

Mt. SAC Fat Tire Classic

There’s a first time for everything, this time it was a Mtn. Bike race. I’d never been to a bicycle race of any kind, much less a Mtn. Bike race, but here we are. This race, The Mt SAC Fat Tire Classic was held on the campus of the college I am currently attending. When you think of a Mtn. Bike race a college campus is hardly the first place you would likely hold such an event; however, the hills surrounding the college make a perfect place for riding. 

I volunteered my lens this year to assist the MT SAC welding program, a program in which I am involved, the race is sponsored by Skills USA. While the rest of the country may start feeling the effects of winter’s chill, the 90 degree temps made for a perfect day of racing, well…maybe just a bit on the hot side.

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization serving teachers and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in trade, technical and skilled service occupations, including health occupations. It was formerly known as VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America) 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Gene Winfield

Saturday October 13th was the 5th annual Winfield & Watson Car show. The Mojave Desert was a gathering of custom cars, muscle cars, and even wild indescribable Mad Max post apocalyptic cars. There was food, music, art, pinstripers, and fun. The proceeds from the art auction went to benefit Alzheimer’s research. 

Forget what you see on your color TV! Disregard the perfectly graffiti’d muraled walls, and sagging pants employee’s. That’s not what a real custom car shop looks like. A real shop, has decade’s worth of wear, tools that are used, dust, scraps, used sand paper, piles of bumpers, doors, grills and boxes filled with parts that are still waiting to get used. There’s no surround sound system blaring hop hip music, a beat up paint stained radio, hung on the wall, with a wire hanger is all there is likely to be. This is where the work of one man, and his skelton crew takes place. Gene Winfield, building custom cars since 1946, a real craftsman, a real legend.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Back From Bonneville

 Ok, it is September 14th now, I need to update this thing. Bonneville has been over for a month now, and I have yet to post any pictures on this blog. So, it is time to change that. My experience with tent camping is worn out on me. 1st night there, Thursday, a wild wind and rain storm blew my awning away in the middle of the night, I ran around in my underwear at 2am trying to catch it as it rolled an tumbled nearly an 1/8 mile away before AI caught it. A few minutes later my tent started to blow away! I nailed it down, but it shook and shimmied like Michael J Fox on Red Bull, those 50mph gusts tried their best to fold it in half! Next morning my son had food poisoning from a fast food joint we ate at the day before, he got better by the end of the day.

More wicked rain on Friday flooding parts of the salt flats. Saturday was the only evening that it didn't blow or rain with ferocity, and the only evening/afternoon photo shoot I was able to squeeze in.

Sunday evening more wind and rain, and Monday more wicked wind, my son looked at me asked if we could go home, it was Monday night, the weather won, but not before taking a bunch of photos.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bonneville Bound!

I will keep this one short and sweet, T-minus 7 days and counting till Speedweek 2012. Am I excited about this one. Jumping into an uncomfortable econo-rental, car with my camera gear, and my 12-year old son; we are going to watch the fastest cars on earth race across the flattest place in the northern hemisphere. Only a mad mind would consider making a trip to the barren desert in the middle of August. Call me Alfred E. Newman, I’m mad. Stay tuned for a follow up report on Speedweek. With photos of course.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Duesenberg and the 4th of July

In this amazing digital age, our cars operate like a home entertainment center rather than an actual automobile. Telephone’s, touch screen LCD’s with navigation, streaming movies, live satellite link up to an online diagnostic center, climate controlled seats with built in ergonomic support, and engines so technically complex 98% of men today would have no idea what do if it  stopped working.  I love technology, and progress. But I also love the old mechanical engine technology. We call it old, or vintage, but it was cutting edge during its time. It was the best man could create.
Take for example this unrestored 1926 Duesenberg engine. No CAD design or CNC machining went into creating any of the parts, yet here we are 86 years later and it will still reliably start and drive. Some may look at this and see a dirty outdated piece of junk. I look at it and see art, beauty, reliability and true American craftsmanship. 
Happy 4th of July America, no matter what the news networks tell us, or a bloated irrelevant career politician tells us, we are, and can still be just as innovative, and strong as our past. Some may look at this country, and view it with the same eyes as they view this engine, dirty and outdated; I see beauty, reliability and craftsmanship. The constitution may be old, but it is still as reliable as the day it was written. Read the Declaration of Independence, read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It was the best man could create and still runs fine after all these years.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

West Coast Kustoms

Santa Maria, California, May 2012, it was time for the West Coast Kustoms “Crusin Nationals! This year I loaded the family into an uncomfortable rental, a Jeep Liberty, and we made the four hour drive up the coast. When we arrived, we operated a vendor’s booth selling my posters and magazines.
I only photographed one vehicle that weekend, didn’t have time for anything else. But this vehicle, a 53-54 Ford Mercury was built by legendary car customizer Gene Winfield for the Sakuragi brothers from Japan. Kyohei and Yoshi were two great guys who flew out to collect their prized Mercury. No doubt about it, a Winfield built custom Mercury, cruising the streets of Japan will gather all kinds of envious stares from the other motorists who are forced to drive something that is uncool. Here’s to Kustom cars the world over!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Tovar Brothers

It matters not what walk of life you may come from, commitment, passion and dedication know no social class, economic climate, race, creed, or color. Car guys, we’re all the same, whether it is on the ¼ mile strip, the oval course, the Boulevard, or the dirt track. We love what we do, and we do what we love, furthermore; we’re passionate about it. Take for perfect example the Tovar Brothers. Growing up in their humble home in Hawaiian Gardens California, these brothers carved for themselves a respectable reputation as solid custom car builders. Starting in their youth, in the family two car garage, is where their collective talent blossomed. Decades later they still have the same dedication and passion for car building.
Call them what you may, Lowriders, hot rodders, lead sled builders…..I’ll call then genuine, honest and real. I was privileged to have spent a few hours on Sunday with them shooting photos of their exquisite rides. What you see here are the outtakes, the better photos will be in the Lowrider book that Marco Patino and myself are shooting and writing. Stay tuned for more.