Thursday, November 29, 2007

Billy Gibbons and his Hotrods

Hey....many of you may know Billy Gibbons as one of the trio that forms legendary rock band ZZ Top. But did you know this guy has a car collection? I've attached a youtube video in the previous post. If you can't get it to load, double click on it and a new window should open and take you directly to the video on

I've attached a few pictures of Billy's more famous rides including the Eliminator Coupe, Cadzilla, Slampala, and a few others. I like the picture to the left, because until I found it on the Internet...I had never seen a photograph, interview and or video of Billy without his "cheap sunglasses". (Billy...I'm diggin' the beard, but what is up with that thing you've been wearin' on your head in recent years?!?!!?

Billy Gibbons and his Hotrods...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Another Rat Truck on eBay

Here are some pictures of another truck that was 4 sale on eBay this past week. Once doesn't take much to be cool.

Logos, Ads, and other stuff..

Found this cool logo while surfin' the net for something last night that is totally unrelated to this blog. I love old gasoline pumps, signs, ads, I thought this was pretty cool.
The logo came from a church youth organization that teaches Biblical principles through Service Learning Opportunities. They use this logo on mailings, stationary, tee-shirts, etc. Thought it was pretty cool. It got me thinking about ways that I might incorporate some sort of service learning projects and/or club at the Middle School were I am an adminstrator.
I like this logo so much I'm even thinking about changing the name of this blog and using this logo as a title at the top of the page. What do you think?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Chili Catallo's Lil Deuce Coupe...

The following first-hand account was provided by Bob Nugent who is the Senior Website Administrator of ... The Oldest and Largest hot rod website on the internet.
I was fortunate to be a part of the very beginnings of this legendary coupe and here is the story of the early years of the car. Clarence "Chili" Catallo was a good friend during the fifties. His parents bought a grocery store from my parents and that is how we met. I went to work for a gas station next door to the grocery store and that is where the beginnings of the "Lil Deuce Coupe" began.
This coupe sat for many years beside the house of a local customizer in Dearborn, Mich. His name was "Ziggy" and he did most of the local guys work in a little shed out behind his mom's house. Clarence and I drug that coupe out of the weeds and began the work of kids everywhere, turning a piece of junk into a "Hot Rod". We put an Olds engine into the coupe, hooked to the stock Ford transmission. I learned how to rebuild Ford transmissions that way, because we immediately blew five of them. It seemed whenever you gave the thing some gas, it scattered the tranny everywhere.
We got it running and I can remember driving the car to high school because "Chili" wasn't old enough to get his license! I drove it to school using a coat hanger through the dash as a gas pedal. The lower part of the channeled body was quite rusty, so "Chili" took the car to Pete's custom collision and had the first stages of the body work done. Paul Hatton the famous Detroit striper, worked out of Pete custom collision and we all hung out there drinking coffee to keep from freezing to death.
The coupe was first painted in white primer and I had watched Paul Hatton stripe, so I started my striping career by striping the trunk of the coupe.
I remember one night that Don Vargo came by the gas station in his 34 Cabriolet and it was also painted in white primer and striped by a guy from Dearborn by the name of Pacetti. None of us in the group that night realized that these two hotrods would become two of the most famous showcars in history. What is amazing is that over a period of about 4 years, "Chili" would finish the car to show condition 4 different times!
The next phase had the Alexander Bros. continuing the work on the coupe and placing that famous nose piece on it. The years had taken their toll on the lower body, so the famous fins were fitted and this was long before Ferrari came up with the styling trick. During this period the car was called the "Silver Sapphire".
The scallops and striping was done by Paul Hatton of Detroit and the best striper I have ever seen, and the guy that got me into striping in my young days.
I left Michigan about this time and moved to Florida and I lost touch with the car and "Chili".
The famous phase was when the car was chopped and remodeled by George Barris in California, and sprayed a beautiful transluscent blue with white pearl scallops by Jr. Herschel. ( I hope that spelling is correct) This then became the famous Lil Deuce coupe that was on the cover of the Beach Boys Album and also on the cover of the July 1961 Hot Rod Magazine. "Chili" and Ed Roth himself took the car to the photo shoot and that became the cover shot for both Hot Rod and the Beach Boys cover.
Shortly after, the car was sold to a car club. Ray Woloszak, then bought and owned it for 30 years and kept the car in show condition, but not exactly as it was in the sixties. He had a Chrysler engine and ran black walls. I ragged him for years that he needed to get those whitewalls back on.
I got a call from "Chili" asking if I knew where the car was and I put him in contact with Ray. Ray had been going to The Turkey Rod Run in Daytona and always parked the car in front of the Old Farts Car Club tent, where I was always on staff, and I knew exactly where the car was. Clarence " Chili" Catallo repurchased the "Lil Deuce coupe" from Ray Woloszak in July of 1997.
Unfortunately Clarence passed away shortly after he repurchased the coupe. His son Curt and his family, as a tribute to their father, restored the coupe to the exact specifications of the car in it's glory days. This is one of the rare examples of the Hotrod that has graced to the grounds at Pebble Beach. It also was in the 50th anniversary Autorama as one of the feature cars. Currently it is in a special presentation at the Petersen Museum as part of the Music and Rods display. Probably the most recognized Hotrod ever built and a great tribute to a nice guy. Clarence was my buddy in my teen years and I shall never forget the good times that we had.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Wireless Internet and a Few Blasts from the Past

Well, I made the move today and went out and bought a Belkin Wireless G Plus MIMO USB Network Adapter. My brother-in-law lives next door and went wireless a month or so ago. He told me that we could make a "deal" and I could tap into his wireless. So....I finally had some time over Thanksgiving to get to WalMart and purchase the Network Adapter. It has a range of 1000 feet, which seems to be enough to work.

Now that I can upload pictures at a much quicker rate, I plan to go back to some of my files and post some pictures from old events that my father, son, and I attended. To see how quickly they load, I started with a few pictures I took in the summer of 2001. These pictures were taken in Indianapolis at the Street Machine Nationals.

It's pretty funny to look back at my now 16 year old son. He was quite the "trooper" eagerly going to several LARGE shows with my father and I. Usually by mid-day, I had to pull him in a wagon or push him in a stroller because he would tire-out. Now it's his grandfather and I that tend to tire-out at these events.

Throughout the next few months, I will try to divide this achive of photographs and comment on the individual cars and/or events. I've found pictures from old Goodguy events, James Dean events, a museum in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., The ACD museum in Auburn, IN., and a few local events. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

George Barris

Over the years of going to car shows with my father, I've seen a few of the "great" car designers. Most notable were Gene Winfield and George Barris. Thought I would post a tribute to George Barris so...I did a little surfin' on the 'net and found a nice bio. I also found a nice photo of Barris, and a few photos of some of his creations. Enjoy...
Batman, Herman Munster, The Green Hornet - now that's a list any car builder would love to design for. After all, the outrageous rides would have to be every bit as famous as the character behind the wheel. Fittingly, the creator of these vehicles is a legendary character in his own right: George Barris, the “King of Kustomizers”, a man who's probably put more flashy bodies on the screen than most Hollywood producers.

George was born in Chicago in the mid-twenties. In 1928, after his parents died, he and his older brother Sam moved to Roseville, California to live with relatives. Both were excellent students and were, like many young men of the time, CAR CRAZY. The chance to indulge their car passion came in the form of a 1925 Buick in need of repair, given to them by the family in exchange for work the brothers had done at their restaurant. It needed a lot of attention, and before long the brothers' creative urges took hold. Determined to transform the old Buick into something distinctive, they straightened the body, added bolt-on accessories and, as a finishing touch, George hand-painted the car orange and added blue stripes. Thus, this Buick became the first “Barris Brothers” custom car.

In their teenage years, the brothers' interest in cars intensified as they learned the “black art” of body work by frequenting local body shops after school. George's knack for car design and customization soon brought him to Hollywood, where he created the renowned Hirohata Merc (named for owner Bob Hirohata)-a car that became one of the most renowned customizations of the classic era. Besides stealing the show at the 1952 Motorama, the Hirohata was featured in Rod and Custom magazine, and in the 1955 motion picture “Running Wild”.

Over the past five decades, George Barris has created some of popular culture's most memorable automotive icons, including the Batmobile, Munster Koach and Black Beauty. What's more, the list of Barris' apprentices reads like a Who's Who of customizers. Dean Jeffries, Von Dutch, Bill Hines and Larry Watson all worked alongside George Barris before achieving their own well-deserved fame.

Now in his 80s, George Barris continues to draw original Kustoms and hot rods at his North Hollywood shop. In 2005, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the San Fernando Valley International Film Festival; in June 2006, he received what is perhaps the ultimate Hollywood honor as the exclusive Friars of Beverly Hills held a George Barris Tribute to celebrate his remarkable life and achievements.
For more information...visit:

Monday, November 19, 2007

Now That's Creative!

Hey! Found this great example of creativity on eBay tonight. I really like it when a guy gets creative and makes a car a real one-of-a-kind. I remember seeing a deuce coupe at a car show several years ago that had uncut Prince Albert can tin for door panels....pretty cool. Check out the floorboard, door panels and bed floor in this one!