the master speed

No speed of wind or water rushing by
But you have speed far greater. You can climb
Back up a stream of radiance to the sky,
And back through history up the stream of time.
And you were given this swiftness, not for haste,
Nor chiefly that you may go where you will,
But in the rush of everything to waste,
That you may have the power of standing still —
Off any still or moving thing you say.
Two such as you with master speed
Cannot be parted nor be swept away
From one another once you are agreed
That life is only life forevermore
Together wing to wing and oar to oar.

Robert Frost, 1874-1963


gnrs 2014: an armchair view

It's Monday, January 27, and the Grand National Roadster Show 2014 is history. Thanks to modern amenities like the interwebs or instagram I was able to get some peeks into the buildings at the Pomona Fairplex and it almost felt like being there minus the expensive beer and the greasy burgers. Here are a couple of cars that caught my attention during the weekend on my couch and since it's called the Grand National ROADSTER Show, let's start with a roadster. I dug it the first time I saw it and it seems like some other people dig it too since it won Best Of Show at the Suede Palace. Congrats to the Long Beach Cavaliers!
Photo credits: Howard Gribble / Flickr

Looking great side by side with the Sports Coupe, another fresh build by the Long Beach Cavaliers.
Photo credits: Sylvian / HAMB

Gotta love this little old hot roadster.
Photo credits: Hot Rod Ron / HAMB

Bill Grant's late 50s styled deuce roadster was my favorite among the AMBR contenders. Too bad it didn't win.
Photo credits: burt banjory / HAMB

The guys at Brizio built this impressive Ardun-powered 1932 three window coupe owned by Scott Gillen.
Photo credits: Tom Davison / HAMB

If my informations are correct, this is a clone of the Bill Breece 1932 three window coupe that was on the cover of HOT ROD Magazine August 1956. Whatever the story is, cool car.
Photo credits: burt banjory / HAMB

Roy Simonson's Studebomber made its GNRS debut in the Suede Palace! It was already featured on LOWTECH and you can also check it out in the epic Smokin' Shutdown Hot Rod Yearbook.
Photo credits: Sylvian / HAMB

This Tudor Sedan speaks to me. A subtle but appealing mix of stance, wheels, color and body style.
Photo credits: Sylvian / HAMB

Oh man I would have loved to inspect this car up close. Lee Pratt finished this clone of his 55 Nomad he had built in the 1960s right in time for the Grand National Roadster Show.
Photo credits: Tom Davison / HAMB

Photo credits: Sylvian / HAMB

Photo credits: Howard Gribble / Flickr.

I usually don't like convertibles. Unless it's a pre-36 Ford roadster. And that would be a roadster and not a convertible. But there's something very classy about this 50 Chevy vert. It's got fabulous lines. And it's black, which most often is a plus.
Photo credits: Howard Gribble / Flickr.

A nice, flawless and sympathetically understated 1959 El Camino.
Photo credits: Sylvian / HAMB

Photo credits: burt banjory / HAMB

Just in case that was too mild, here's something a little wilder.
Photo credits: Howard Gribble / Flickr.

This 56 Chevy looks like the quintessential late 50s high school hot rod to me. Love it.
Photo credits: Sylvian / HAMB

There will always be a place in my heart for a nicely done kustom Chevy coupe.
Photo credits: Howard Gribble / Flickr.

Still one of the bestest Mercury customs in recent years: Nick Roger's Ruggiero Merc, built by Bill Ganahl of South City Rod & Custom. Has to be seen to be believed.
Photo credits: Sylvian / HAMB

Tim Sutton's Econoline is like the acid-tripping cousin of Coby's VANGO. I totally dig the new stance and wheels combo. Too bad I don't have a picture of the front with the great looking grille treatment.
Photo credits: Sylvian / HAMB

I wish I had found more pictures of this Merc built by Starlite Rod & Kustom. It seems like it debuted at GNRS 2014 and it's the perfect ending to my armchair view on this year's Show. Hope you enjoyed it!
Photo credits: Howard Gribble / Flickr.


a study in stance and style

Some things need no words. Just sit back and marvel. 1936 Ford Coupe Custom. Owner: John Mearns, ACME Speed Shop. Builder: Jeb's Metal and Speed.


palos verdes (part 2)

If there's a part 1, there must be a part 2 somewhere, right? At least that's what I thought when I recently stumbled upon this post about the magnificent Palos Verdes Hot Rod Cruise. So in order to make sure the law of logic stays true I catch up on this by finally publishing part 2. Please note that there's also another Palos Verdes post here which doesn't make any sense at all but I think it looks cool.

It's the Choppers, baby.

Tom Branch's heavily channelled and Stude powered deuce roadster. One of my all-time favorites.

Thank god it's not Maroon 5 but John Mearns' maroon 1936 Coupe in all its glory.

There's nothing like a Californian surfer wagon to brighten up a grey winter day.

I don't particularly like white cars nor cars with red wheels. But it works incredibly well on this Ford sedan.

Lynn Bird's roadster pick up.

Coco Shinomiya generously offered us to drive her roadster. An offer we couldn't resist even though I had to let my better half handle the steering wheel so I could take some pictures. What a great way of ending our stay in the US. Driving a roadster along the Pacific Ocean. It doesn't get any better than this. And it made it even harder to return to Europe. But the memories will last forever.

Palos Verdes as we know it.

Catching up to the crowd.

The Branch roadster again.

Billy Sakata of the Shifters.

Coco in her beautiful black 27 roadsters on deuce rails.



It was a chilly evening in Oceanside, California. The wind was constantly moving the clouds around so the light changed every minute. But what the hell, I loved the dramatic sky and with a bit of luck we got some good shots of Joe Clary's killer 1934 Coupe. Check it out in the latest issue of PowerGlide Magazine.


yokohama supernova

There's probably nothing that hasn't been said about the awesomeness of the Japanese interpretation of the original and genuine American car cultures. And we all have heard of the Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show being the place where it all comes together ready to implode into some kind of inspirational supernova. Something that normally isn't easy to capture on video. But Alex Rosen did. And he did it in perfection. Enjoy.


hotter than hell

Howdy fellas. Hope you arrived safely in the new year. Holy hell jeebus, it's 2014 already! And we're still tinkering with vehicles from the first half of the previous century? Ain't there something new? Anything fresh? Well there is something fresh right here. Ok, it's not THAT new, since I discovered this Merc almost one year ago at the 2013 GNRS. And I have no clue how long before it was finished. But to me it's a fresh take on probably the most traditional and iconic custom car there is. The 49-51 Merc. And honestly, I can't even tell why it's so appealing. It's not subtle. It's not restrained. It's nothing a traditional – read late 40s to early 50s – kustom stands for. Heck it doesn't even have white whites or a deep, dark paintjob. To me it just feels right. The heavy chop. The flames. Everything. This thing fuckin' rules. Happy new year! And please excuse the cheesy headline, it's still early in the year.