I stopped by Aaron Lawrence’s Fast AL’s Upholstery in Dewey, OK for a visit on Sunday. Aaron is a fellow Stray Kat Kustoms brother & he’s doing some amazing upholstery work.
Aaron is working brother Jack’s 1951 Ford Tudor Sedan Kustom right now. Most of the work on the build was done by Jack himself, but Chris Carlson and crew at Chaotic Customs have done a boatload of work on this very kool kustom.
Fast AL’s next project is waiting it’s turn.
Lots of kool on the walls of Fast AL’s Upholstery
If you need kustom upholstery, Fast AL’s number is in the first photo, give Aaron a call and tell him Royboy sent ya!
If you’ll be at one of these events and want some photos of your car, let me know here. The indoor shows do not provide the best opportunity for photos but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get any good ones.
2012 KKOA Leadsled Spectacular DVD by Vintage Torque
For the last 3 years John Wells of Vintage Torque DVD‘s has filmed the KKOA Leadsled Spectacular in Salina, KS and created a DVD of the weekend. For the whole run I’ve provided John with photos to use as a slideshow at the end of the DVD.
From time to time I’ll try to stop in at shops in the area and peek around to see what’s going on. This weekend I happened to be near my friends Chaotic Customs in Mulvane, KS. I was not planning on stopping and found myself without my camera, so I apologize for the down and dirty cell phone pics!
Chaotic has recently moved to their new location at 246 Industrial Drive in Mulvane, KS south of Wichita. The new 15,000 sq. ft. facility is always packed with projects.
Mike Young has this under construction 1940 Ford pickup at Chaotic. Lots of kustom touches and modifications, some of which are so subtle that they will go unnoticed by those not familiar with the body as Ford produced it.
Lots going on in the bed area, I’ll stop back in a couple of weeks and get some better shots of the bed and all of the mods being done to it.
Customer cars are all over at the shop, this one was new to me.
Drew Carlson (son of owners Chris and Karma) is building a wild 60’s indoor show style Chevy truck.
Drew and Chris scored this factory 348 tri-power out of wrecked 58 Chevrolet that was wrecked decades ago and the engine was removed and well taken care of ever since. If my memory serves there’s about 5000 miles on this engine.
Drew’s wild ride’s front end. Buick grille and bumpers, kustom grille opening, kustom light openings, and much more going on here.
This started out as a 53 Chevrolet, now being converted into a vehicle that never was, an Olds panel. Very kool, again lots of hidden kustom flavor that most will never notice.
In addition to being able to do full kustom body, hot rod building, paint, mechanical, exhaust, etc. etc. etc. (they do everything.) Chaotic also has a speed shop in the new shop.
Of course you can get your own Chaotic Customs apparel.
And for the ladies there are some really kool pinstriped purses for sale.
Honestly there is much more going on at Chaotic that I didn’t have time to document on this trip but I’ll be back by in a few weeks and I’ll give you an update!
The 2013 Calendar for Charity has been a big success!
This is the first year that the calendars were professionally printed, a big investment up front but luckily the paper was donated this year so that printing was only major expense in getting the calendars off the ground. As last year these calendars are printed in the ginormous 11×17 size and each and every month features 2 kool car photos! Order at royboyproductions.com!
This year 6 copies were available (click on the thumbnails to see the entire calendar): The Trucks, Hot Rods, and Kustom editions all were sold to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.
The 3 Show specific editions went to individual causes. The Stray Kat Kustoms Edition benefitted the Red Cross, as Mr. Stray Kat Kustoms himself (Mickey) said, they were here to help when we had a tornado, and they’re still there help folks like Joplin last year. For info on the Stray Kat Kustoms shows go to straykatkustoms.com Order at royboyproductions.com!
The Greaserama Edition went to benefit the Punk Rod Todd Memorial Fund. The world suffered a loss last year when Todd passed, his vision and drive helped focus the Greaserama into the kool kulture event that it is today and he was one of the good guys. Thanks again for being a great guy Todd, we all miss ya, even those of us that barely knew ya. For info on the Greaserama go to greaserama.com Order at royboyproductions.com!
The Hannahs Heart Edition went to benefit the Helping Hannah’s Heart Foundation. Please take a minute and go check out this great cause. Hannah’s daddy John is a good friend and I’m glad to be able to do a very small part of helping out. Support Vintage Torque DVD’s, Torque Fest and Iron Invasion! Order at royboyproductions.com!
Total money raised this year for all 6 calendars has been over $1,100.00 so far! With less than a week left there are still 27 copies left. The Hannah’s Heart and the Stray Kat Kustoms editions are sold out but there are handfull left of the Greaserama, Kustoms, and Trucks Editions. As of the time of this writing there are only 2 copies of the Hot Rod Edition left!
To order go to royboyproductions.com These will pulled from sales on February 1, so if you want one, order today!!!
The 2013 Starbird-Devlin show is in the books!
Here are some of my favorite photos from the weekend. Thanks again to my kustom family for allowing my Galaxie to park with so many historic and beautiful rides.
Awhile back I saw a how-to that intrigued me. Transferring photos onto wood… it’s an interesting process. Anyways for Christmas this year I decided to make a few of these for friends and family members. It’s a long, tedious process but the end results are worth it.
I’m not sure if I’ll produce a dozen or so of an image and offer those for sale or do them on an as ordered basis. The whole process takes about 4 hours to complete, and it works best for black & white photos.
So at 9:30am on January 17, 2013 I did something I’d never done before. I drove my Galaxie into it’s first ever indoor car show. The Starbird-Devlin Car Show at Century II in Wichita, KS, “The Wichita Tradition.” This is the 56th annual show, previously known as the Starbird Rod & Custom Show, it’s been a tradition in Wichita for a long long time.
I was lucky enough to be a part of the Kustom City display this year. Thanks to the new paint work done on my Galaxie by Jeff Myers, my car has been transformed to 60’s Boulevard cruiser. Doug Reed put together the Kustom City display of street kustoms from the area and my Galaxie was lucky enough to make the group.
So we rolled in, positioned ourselves and started cleaning the cars. It wasn’t long before it was time to head back to the day job, but I managed to grab a couple of quick snapshots while I was there.
Turning the hides at the HAMB Drags” alt=”Turning the hides at the HAMB Drags
I’ve been posting photos of the new paint that Jeff Myers of Premier Body & Paint in Arkansas City, KS did on my Galaxie. Here’s some of his collection in front of the shop.” alt=”I’ve been posting photos of the new paint that Jeff Myers of Premier Body & Paint in Arkansas City, KS did on my Galaxie. Here’s some of his collection in front of the shop.
Toast’s 40 Ford at the Stray Kat 500. 1st weekend each May in Dewey, OK
I was barely out of a 3 year long battle to get out of debt, in fact I was a week out of it. Still I didn’t have much money as the last of my dollars and cents went to pay off the last debt I’d had, but I knew there was a show that looked to be kool happening in Wichita. The Stray Kat Kustoms Starliner show is always the weekend after Labor Day. So that morning I had to decide if I could make it until the end of the month if I spent gas money driving to this show. I had been to the Stray Kat Kustoms Rocket show in Fort Scott, KS early in the year and I loved the cars that I’d seen, and I’d always wanted to go to the Stray Kat 500 but hadn’t made it yet.
Of course I went. Of course. I almost always go when there’s a chance to see some kool rides. Determined to go on the cheap I stopped along the way at a BBQ contest that some friends were competing in, free food! SCORE! So after a free beer or two and an insane amount of amazing BBQ, I headed to the Starliner show. What I found was a great collection of kool kustoms and hotrods parked amongst a bunch of retired aircraft.
So I took a lot of photos! Obviously a kool environment for a show. At this time I knew barely anyone in the crowd and unsure of the way this social circle worked, I slipped in, shot photos and split. I had no idea how many great people that I was missing out on being friends with. Total shyness won out.
Early in 2010 I decided to head out to Viva Las Vegas. This is the only show that I’ve really attended outside of the midwest-ish area. So on April 1, 2010 I find myself sitting in Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport waiting for a flight that was running late.
I grabbed the latest issue of Ol Skool Rodz out of my travel bag and started catching up on some reading, pretty heady reading! When I put the magazine down to grab a drink a kind lady across from me asked if I was into hot rods.
“Are you going to Vegas for the car show?” How did she know about this car show, the target demo for VLV for sure wasn’t this lady. I nodded, full of curiousity.
“Us too!” It was then that I realized that the rest of her party were paying full attention. Were they sizing me up wondering who I was just as I was them? I think so.
Her husband and his white bearded friend talked to me a bit about cars and where I was from and “oh I was stationed in Salina back in the old days.” I found it like most conversations with old car guys, pretty damned interesting.
Before we knew it, the plane was pulling up to the gate and it was time for us to go. I was pretty happy to have met some kool old car folk (folks into old cars, not old and into cars), but the big picture was I was heading out to Vegas for a couple of shows!
Viva Las Vegas was an eye opening experience. I had never been to a show that was as much about a lifestyle as it was about the cars. It could be argued that it was less about the cars that year, I didn’t care, there was a parking lot full of kool iron and some beautiful women walking around. I did see my new friends there but only briefly and from a distance. I figured Wichita isn’t that big of a place, I’m bound to see them at a show sooner or later. Little did I know that I had already been shooting photos of their cars at shows for 4 years… remember that shy part earlier?
Another stranger then, friend now, Big Rich’s Caddy!
No dude I don’t know you, you were just a casualty of an opportunistic photographer.
Gambino’s F-You 54!
You get the idea, plenty of kool rides, and as you can tell a whole lot of people!
Okay, one more I couldn’t help myself.
On the Monday after the show, I find myself waiting at the Vegas airport waiting again for a late plane. As luck would have it, a few rows away I saw my new Wichita friends. I picked up my bags and went over after we made eye contact and they waved.
We talked about the show, it wasn’t what any of us were expecting. We talked about a lot of things, and honestly I don’t remember it all, but as the conversation went on I realized that these 2 men and their wives were not just your run of the mill car folk, they had been there, done that, and had been doing it for a very very long time.
Finally I got up the nerve to mention wanting to become a professional custom car and hot rod photographer, and that I was going to all of these shows to practice shooting in the worst environments I could so that I could learn as much as possible… yadda yadda. Oh, and here’s a book I made…
The next 45 minutes the two men went through the book with their wives looking over their outside shoulders, turning the book around every page or so to point at a car and tell me who it belonged to, or a story about the car or a story about one like it. Never has any institution of higher learning taught so much as these folks were teaching me as we waited for a delayed plane. The loved the book, we all knew the work wasn’t stellar but they loved that I was taking the time to document them and their friends’ passion, and they heartily encouraged me to keep it up. We exchanged phone numbers when the announcement was made that the plane had arrived. I was going to take them up on the offer to come visit and listen to more stories.
The first weekend of each May is the Stray Kat 500 in Dewey, OK. This was to be my first trip, my new friends were going to be there and I had been wanting to go for a couple of years. I knew of a few key folks due to the H.A.M.B. so this already had the makings of a bit of a different show for me instead of just shooting pics and splitting, I had people to talk to.
Somewhere in here I had the idea to produce some small books that were kind of like the little paged magazines of yesteryear. Each one was 60 pages and featured 1 show. I had created a few of them, designed them, filled them with images, printed them, bound them, the whole shebang. The entrepreneur in me decided that I was going to make money selling these books, the hardback that my friends and I had shared in the airport, and a few other items. I didn’t factor in that if I was sitting in a booth selling items then I couldn’t be out there shooting photos to make more of them! Thanks to my Dad and my Uncle Tom for booth sitting for me that day so I could take photos.
My first car show booth.
Don’s Beautiful Buick
As it would turn out my new friends had a lot of friends at the 500 that day. They came over and bought just about everything my meager booth had to sell. The came to talk to me, they sent their friends, they introduced me to tons of people and made sure people knew that I was to be supported, I was the only one paying attention to the passion of building kool kustoms and hotrods enough to not only take photos and put them online for the world to see but to make books and such from them. Monetarily this was a good weekend, the only good weekend I ever had with that meager booth. But relationally, it was a gold mine.
Hub & Gloria Harness and Steve & Carol Albers, thank you. Thank you for encouraging me when I wasn’t very good (I say that I’ve not improved much to this day), and for instantly welcoming me into your kustom family. When I still thought that this was about trying to make money with my passion for kool cars I was getting very discouraged. I was ready to quit. It was your welcoming smiles, your friendship, your generosity of time that made me realize that the treasure in this adventure would never live in my wallet but always in my heart. The friends that I’ve met since meeting the four of you have been amongst the greatest people I’ve ever been lucky enough to be around.
Hub & Gloria’s beautiful Buick Cinnamon
Steve & Carol’s 40 Ford with 250,000 miles on “this drivetrain” and a custom hand built trailer behind it so that Carol would travel with Steve out to Santa Maria, California instead of flying.
The point of this whole story is simple. Kustom folks are some of the best people on earth. Find some, make friends and if you’re lucky… the true riches of your life will multiply.
From time to time this blog will be used to share some info on a site, custom/hotrod shop, or organization that are friends of mine.
This first we’ll feature the American Hot Rod Foundation. I first learned of the AHRF through their page on facebook, a friendship that I’m glad I’ve found. Their feed on facebook is full of fantastic historic shots of historic hot rods and kustoms.
Head over to their site ahrf.com for more than your fair share of historic photos, stories and videos. Just a click on their Legends page on their site will have your mind reeling with all of the info that scrolls down onto your screen.
Last year I produced a Best of 2011 PhotoBook of all of my favorite images of 2011. Starting with about 14,000 images they were narrowed down to about 1,000 and then about 800 made their way into the final book. There were 21 feature chapters in all, each with a few hundred words describing the chapter and lots of photos of each event featured.
It is available as a hardcover, softcover and ebook if you’re interested in checking it out.
So the plan all along on this end was to do another for this year, however this time would be different, 100 or so photos on as many pages, each one with a sentence or two about it. More of a coffee table book.
So what say ye? Would that book be something you’d be interested in? Unfortunately these are a bit pricey compared to your normal Barnes & Noble type book, but they are made on demand specifically for you as you order. For a HardCover with a Dust Jacket, they’ll run about $51 plus shipping, $41 for softcover and $9.99 for ebook version. Leave a comment here to let me know what you think.
The schedule for 2013 is already filling up! This post will be a breakdown of some of the shows of the first few months, have a look at the info I provide, check out the photos from years past and pick a couple out to attend!
In early November I made the trip down to my buddy Ryno’s shop Ryno Built in SWMO. The plan was to shoot some video of Ryno’s 1961 Ford Unibody pickup for an upcoming feature video. While I was there I found too much cool stuff to not snap a few images.
Ryno Built Shop
Ryno’s Caddy was parked outside the shop, it’s just a kool vehicle all around.
He’s had it for years and has driven it all over the place, check your back issues of Car Kulture Deluxe for a feature on it with all of the pertinent details.
Also at Ryno’s shop were a few projects. This Pro-Touring Mustang build started out with a 1965 Shelby GT350 Mustang which had been dinged up pretty well in the Joplin tornado in 2011. Most of the damaged body has been replaced, and a ton of work has been done to prep the car for it’s massive tires and VASTLY improved suspension. Ryno’s worked with TCI to get the suspension customized for the size of rollers that he wanted to run. You can see the finished work is impeccable, and that there are lots of areas roughed in waiting for finalizing. You can find more info on the Mustang build here on pro-touring.com
Like the KKOA Leadsled Spectacular held in Salina, KS the Hotrodding Hullabaloo features Friday Run What Ya Brung Drags. Being that the show has a smaller attendance the drags were a bit let crowded.
They do wear some weird head gear in Texas racing…
Now on to the show Saturday held at a downtown area park.
Stray Kat Kustoms in the line o Mercs
Buck’s bad bad Chev
I love The Whale
I think that this show could grow back to a really great celebration of Kustoms in the years to come. I really like the town, the people, the venue, I think we should all strive to get to this one next year and just over run the park with kool kustoms.
The show was a lot of fun, a small show but a great collection of kool kustoms and hot rods. The town was fantastic and I hope to be back for years to come.
Night shots back at the hotel
That’s it, there are more pics but that’s it for the posts here, to see the entire gallery click any of the photos in this blog post.
Despite cold weather and reports that the show has become a bit small I headed south Thursdaynight headed for Denison, TX for the 2012 KKOA Hotrodding Hullabaloo, Denison is also home to Atlas Speed & Custom so what better excuse to go to TX for the weekend? Friday started with a shop visit to my buddies Atlas Speed & Custom in downtown Denison for a look around the shop and to check in on the Revolution 32 build. Mike’s new toy, it’s a vintage build right hand drive from England I believe. Super kool car, especially the front license plate… Atlas’ logo was done by Jeff Norwell, and it’s cool factor is off the scale. Lots of cool old Hot Rod mags and others for sale in the store area. Vintage go fast goodies on display Daddy-o was working hard but still took 30 minutes to show me around town and tell me some history. Daddy-O’s own Chevy waiting it’s turn. Modifying a $250 brake pedal to fit. The Atlas boys are also the members of the band Pushrod who will be performing at the Hot Rod Revolution this weekend in Austin. Mike’s dad was a member of the Leonard Stockers. Punchlist above the workbench leading the way to the finish line. I’m looking forward to seeing the truck progress throughout its build. The 51 passenger car dash is a nice touch. Daddy-O’s sedan waiting along side the others (still say you need to give me this because I’m a super duper nice guy) I posted this on the 32 build thread but if you haven’t seen it here ya go.
The first stop for my Saturday Sept. 22nd was at the Last Run in Arkansas City, KS. I’ve heard about this show for over a decade, it was time to finally check it out. Enjoy the slideshow and click any photo to go to the full gallery.
Had a great time at the 2012 Stray Kat Kustoms Starliner show at the Kansas Aviation Museum You should have been there too!
There are over 600 images in the gallery including some instagram versions and more artistic edits of some of the photos. There are another 70 or so that will be turned in to a magazine for possible show coverage feature. Speaking of that checkout Car Kulture Deluxe issue #54 for the feature on the Vibrasonic and the show coverage of the 2012 Stray Kat 500, both shot by Royboy and the 500 article was written by me as well! For some great audio about the Vibrasonic, go to Johnny King’s site here.