This episode Royboy talks with Ed Beachaine, Lou Calisibetta, Bill Yeager, Bob McCreary, Travis Hess and Todd Lancaster on the 48Cars48States trip.
I’m going to do things a bit out of order here, on the way to Louisiana I stopped at Don Garlits’ Museum of Drag Racing but I’ll share those photos tomorrow! My original Louisiana car had to drop out so I got ahold of Jacob Miller on instagram since he’d expressed interest in being the car for the state before and we made arrangements to meet up on my way back from Florida at the end of the trip.
The 1946 Ford that you see here came into the Miller family recently and is a favorite already. The car did the 2017 Hot Rod Power Tour and has a few more road trips planned for it already.
The Florida part of the trip was a fun one for me. I hadn’t been to FL for 15 years and was excited to get to go back for a couple of reasons. First to shoot photos of this killer Suburban owned by Dallas Marine of Tampa, 2nd to meet up with a couple of old friends that I hadn’t seen in far too long, 3rd to surprise my nephews who were vacationing at Walt Disney World!
I needed to be down to Florida by Sunday evening so I left Nashville and hauled butt south into Alabama! I met up with Brian Logan to shoot photos of his Chevy here as the sun set. It was perfect timing and within a few minutes of these photos it was far too dark to take any more. That’s when we decided to go grab some ribs at the world famous Dreamland BBQ in Tuscaloosa, AL. Best ribs I’ve ever had.
After that I made a couple of hours drive to take some of the Sunday drive away and made my way deeper into the heart of AL.
My trip up to the Nashville area was a bit longer one time wise, so I had time for a couple of tours! First I made my way up to Chattanooga, TN for a tour at Coker Tires, then I headed to Manchester, TN to hang out for a bit with Ricky Bobby of Ricky Bobby Rod Shop (he was a guest on my podcast here). I crashed there for the night and the next morning went to Lynchburg, TN for a tour at the Jack Daniels Distillery before heading up to the Nashville area to meet up with Todd Lancaster and shoot photos of his roadster.
Todd started this project when he lived in CA and where he was one of the reasons that the Long Beach Cavaliers club was brought back to life. If you haven’t seen “This Is Long Beach” by Brian Darwas (guest on the podcast here) you should check it out! Since relocating to the Nashville area a couple of years ago the car has made it to this stage and it’s been taken to a few shows this year.
A few years ago my buddy’s band had to cancel on us for playing a gig at my favorite bar. He contacted this band out of Georgia to have them fill in for his band and that’s how I met Hot Rod Walt! Hot Rod Walt & The Psycho Devilles came to Salina, KS for the KKOA that year and blew every one away at the show and at the Paramount Bar.
Since then Walt came back a couple of years later and brought this Mercury. He performed solo for us that year and again blew the crowd away. So when I decided to do this trip, I knew I wanted to go to Walt’s and shoot photos of one of his cars.
From NC, I headed to see some friends in Ninety Six, SC! Chris and Lori Ryan of Ryan’s Rod & Kustom have been coming to the KKOA Leadsled Spectacular in Salina, KS for years and they always bring a beautiful car with them. The 1949 Cadillac that you see here is Lori’s “Golden Empress” that was first seen at the Detroit Autorama a couple of years back. The car is of course, stunning and the location was right in front of the shop so it worked out to be a great afternoon. With rain in the forecast we had to work fast to get done mere minutes before some mist started falling from the sky.
From Richmond, VA I hauled butt down to NC, getting to the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday morning for the Goodguys Southeastern Nationals, you can see that coverage here. Then later in the day I took the short drive up to Concord, NC and shot photos of Jeremy Minamyer’s Mercury.
From Martinsburg, WV I moved on down into VA. I stopped mid way to shoot photos of a 1935 Ford for a Hop Up Magazine feature. Later that day I got down to the Richmond, VA area to see Dave Russell and his 1931 Model A Victoria named Miss Vicky. There’s a great thread on the HAMB here if you want to see the build of the car, done in his garage. The car turned out amazing and we found a great spot to shoot some photos just as the sun was sitting.
From the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay near the Bay Bridge it was a couple hour drive up to my stop in West Virginia to visit Travis Hess (tukipaintsit on instagram) in Martinsburg, WV. I arrived just in time for him to finish up work at the family body shop and then we got the roadster out.
Hess is a member of the Oilers club that puts on The Race Of Gentlemen in Wildwood, NJ and the car is perfect for the event. The kind of hot rod assembled to look like a 50’s era rod that I really dig.
After leaving Traditional Metal Craft in Milton, DE my Maryland host Bob McCreary and I headed west towards eastern Maryland. We stopped in at the East Coast Hot Rod Garage for a visit. Some amazing projects under construction there, plus a ton of plaques on the wall with former features in such publications as The Rodder’s Journal.
Thanks to my Maryland car owner Bob McCreary, I was able to see and photograph this great car! Thanks Bob! This car is owned and was restored by Bill Yeager. He’s owned it for a few decades now and restored it with some guidance by phone from the Cederquist Brothers who originally built it and campaigned it in California.
When Yeager found the car it was almost all complete, but disassembled. He was able to buy the car and get some of the additional parts back from someone who had purchased them. More on the story in the book!
Next up on my trip was New Jersey! Here’s where I screwed up a bit, I put the wrong town into my hotel app, so I ended up about 45 minutes from my next stop. It worked out, I was able to drive some super cool roads before showing up at Old Stillwater Garage in Stillwater, NJ to see Lou Calasibetta and crew.
Originally we were going to shoot photos of his restoration of the Alexander Brothers built Golden Indian 1960 Pontiac, but he had a great GMC Cameo pickup, and since my dad is a Cameo owner I changed my mind to shoot the truck. Okay so I shot both, but the truck is the feature!
From MA it was a short drive down to CT for my next shoot. Edward Beauchaine was my car owner for CT, I showed up there around noon and we got right to work shooting photos of his kool hot rod. We spent some time checking out these rad dioramas that he has built, plus a couple of other cars in the garage before going to grab some lunch at a local joint.
Thanks Ed for the hospitality, I wish I could have stayed longer!
From rainy Rhode Island I headed north and west to West Springfield, MA. After starting in Chester, NH, driving through Boston to attend the Gathering Of The Faithful (see coverage here), then shooting photos of Larry Hook’s roadster in Rhode Island and then driving over to western MA, the day was not finished yet!
I was lucky enough to have another great vehicle for my trip for MA! Jon Centracchio’s pickup is just stunning and he found this great location for the photos. After a little bit of driving around shooting photos we stopped by to see his new project which should be featured in an upcoming Rodder’s Journal, too cool!
Great guy, great rides and it was the perfect way to end a long day! More about the truck in the book!
After the shoot in Maine, Jay and I headed back to Chester, NH for the night. The Sweets were kind enough to let me crash on the couch while I was there. Early Saturday morning I headed for Middleborough, MA for the Gathering Of The Faithful, which you can see here.
Yes, I was in MA, but my RI stop was on the way to the MA shoot so I headed there next! Larry Hook has this amazing time machine known as the Norm Wallace roadster. It’s one of two historic hot rods in Larry’s care and both are stunning examples of hot rodding once was.
It rained on me all the way to Larry’s place, and just let up barely enough for us to get the car out and take some photos. Thank you Larry for letting me shoot some photos of your amazing car.
After traveling most of the country I was happy to be in New England for the first time. The states are smaller and the projected drives are much shorter each day. My New Hampshire car owner Jay had the day off of work so he hopped in the passenger seat and we directed the car down to the NH coast. Hopping on Highway 1 we took the coastal road north, stopping at a few scenic spots, and a great seafood spot for some clam chowder & clam strips. Pretty great food and a very relaxed day.
As we went up the coast we checked out some Revolutionary War era forts, saw some great views and worked our way up in to Maine. We met up with the Maine car owner Terry Czsonek and his flamed Chevy. Terry lead us back down to a cool spot on the coast, then another. A couple of great spots for shooting photos and we even saw a couple of seals chasing fish up into a small bay, unfortunately none of us had our phones or cameras ready for that moment.
The trip over to Chester, NH to see my buddy Jay Sweet was a pretty one, and pretty short mileage wise. Where I drover 500-600 miles at a time out west, I was only doing about 120 miles in this stint. The fall in New England is a beautiful thing, and I got to see some of the color that’s been so widely talked about.
Jay Sweet moved back to New England a few years ago, but before that he was in KS and actually only about 25 miles from my place. I first met him at one of his HAMBBQ runs that he held at his Abilene, KS farm. They were a fun run & then a hang out/bbq that usually went into the wee hours of the next morning. I have great memories of watching movies on the side of the barn, laughing and just having the best all around time imaginable.
Before his time in KS, Sweet grew up on the east coast so he’s back home now. Thank you to the Sweet family for letting me crash on the couch for a couple of nights and for the tour of some parts of New England! We shot photos on a Friday morning then headed to the coast and then up into Maine for the the shoot there. It was great to have a copilot for a day.
The car is one that Jay’s dad had back in the old days when he was a young hot rodder, it’s been on the road for a long time and my earliest memories of Jay all include him driving this car. It’s a great example of a 50’s kid’s hot rod and I wouldn’t change a thing.
After leaving Binghamton, NY I headed east towards Albany and around into Vermont. I met up with Bart Caliaro and had a bite to eat before following him over to check out the car and his garage. Bart had a spare room set up for me to crash for the night which was great because I needed to edit and upload a bunch of photos!
The next morning we got some breakfast at a local spot and I got to have some real Vermont maple syrup on my pancakes, that was pretty good stuff! We hopped in his sedan and started shooting photos as we drove over to NY to stop in at the Rolling Bones’ shop. Lots of great spots along the way for shoots and lots of beautiful scenery with the fall colors in the Vermont mountains.
After checking out the shop and grabbing some lunch with the Bones crew we headed back over to VT, shooting a few more photos before I drove on to New Hampshire.
After leaving Bill’s place, I headed to central PA for a hotel room that was half way to my NY stop. I was heading to Binghamton, NY and it was a lot of fun to explore parts of the country that I’d never seen before. It was about 6 hours total drive, so I knocked out about 4 hours that evening then had a shorter drive up some cool 2 lane roads into NY the next morning.
My NY car was in Binghamton, NY and is owned by Joe Lockwood. It’s one of two cars that he has built for running on the beach at The Race Of Gentlemen in Wildwood, NJ. It was a kind of dreary morning but rain was on the way so we hurriedly went out to the barn where the cars are stored and got the car out.
More info on the car in the book and more photos below
After leaving Grafton, Ohio I headed east through a thick fog towards Pittsburgh, PA. I stopped in at Flop Custom shop and checked out what he was working on, then had an amazing burger at a local place up the street from his shop. Flop got me into contact with Bill Steele who owns the PA car for the trip and I headed out to Steele Auto Body to meet up with him.
Bill’s Model A was the 2009 Good Guys Hot Rod Of The Year, I remember seeing the car the next year at the Kansas City World of Wheels show. I walked around the car multiple times looking it over. The 1930 5 Window is powered by a 331 Chrysler Hemi with 4 carbs on a custom intake. The roof has been chopped 4″, has a removable roof insert, and a molded visor.
More info on the car in the book, more photos below!
Another state that I ended up having to change plans on was Ohio, and it couldn’t have worked out any better! After leaving Marshall, MI I headed for the Grafton, Ohio area to meet up with Jon Wright of Custom Chrome Plating. The forecast was for rain for the next day so I hauled butt to get there that Sunday afternoon to get the shoot done.
Jon’s 36 was already cleaned up and ready to go for the Jalopyrama show the next weekend and I for sure didn’t want to get it out in the rain! I first saw the car at the 2016 GNRS, then later at the 2016 Detroit Autorama AND THEN at the 2016 Lonestar Round Up! This car was making the rounds! It was later that year at the 2016 Hot Rod Garage Open House that I got to meet Jon and found out that the owner of the car was even cooler than the car was.
We were able to find a spot near Jon’s house to do the photos and got done just before the rain started, it didn’t quit for nearly 24 hours so it was a good time to shoot in a nearby location. On Monday I went with Jon to Custom Chrome Plating and got to get a tour of the facility and see exactly how they do their amazing chrome work. I hope to have a step by step of the chroming process as they do it, this hopefully will be up on the site soon.
After riding along with Jon as he ran some shop errands, then we had lunch with some of his racing buddies. That was a treat, getting to hear these great friends rip on each other while enjoying a great meal. A truly fun group of guys to spend a lunch with.
I stayed a 2nd night and then headed out on Tuesday morning for Pennsylvania, more on that tomorrow!
Adapt. Improvise. Overcome. That’s the motto of this 48 Cars 48 States trip. When my friend Jeff informed me that he wouldn’t be back in Michigan for our shoot I had to put the word out that I needed a replacement vehicle. It didn’t take long for Andy Corralez to line up this incredible hot rod pickup built and owned by Bill Thorndyke AND the location. Andy really came through and I appreciate his efforts to make sure that I had a car for Michigan.
I left the Iron Invasion in Woodstock, IL and followed my hosts RC Scott & Erin back to the south suburbs of Chicago. We went to the Maple Tree Inn in Blue Island,IL for dinner. Amazing cajun food, atmosphere and company! The next morning I took off for Michigan to head to The Ivy Barn, where this shoot was done.
The truck is a fresh build and as you can see it’s pretty spectacular. I’ll have a full write up on it in the book!
After leaving Antigo, WI and Bob K, I headed south and drove down to have dinner with my buddy Luke Zoch of Phaethon Speed Shop North then continued to see some other Vagabonds in Kenosha, WI. Jerry has a great hobby shop there with an attached apartment that was a great spot to stay for the night. I got to hang out with a few guys while they worked on their cars and then got a dime tour of the town and a beer at a bar owned by one of the guys. If you find yourself in Kenosha, WI make sure you check out Hill’s Hot Rod Hideout.
The next day I made the short drive down to IL for the shoot, the story continues below…
After leaving the Minneapolis, MN area I drove east to Antigo, WI to visit everyone’s buddy Bob K! Bob was in good spirits and it was great to see him and talk to him. His car that we shot for the 48 Cars 48 States project is his 47 Chevy. I think I first saw the car at the Detroit Autorama in the basement, then later that year at the Custom Car Revival.
Bob is such a great guy it was an honor to stop by and hang out with him and shoot some photos of his car. I hope to make it back to Antigo again soon!