Thursday, February 28, 2008

Top 10 Ugliest Cars of All Time

Last week, a guy I know told me about a 1959 Edsel two-door post that he saw in a metal building not to far from me. He said the guy was wanting to sell it. All original, has never been restored or monkeyed with. He said the guy told him it was all there and had been stored inside for several years.

Edsels are an interesting "breed". You don't see a lot of them at car shows or cruise-ins. Ford only built them for three years...1958, 1959, and 1960. Ford had high hopes for them, but sells never came near projections.
I don't think I've ever seen one hotrodded out. Yeah, I've seen a few with after-market wheels, maybe even one that was tubbed, but as I thought about the car, I wondered what a '59 would look like in suede paint, lots of scallops, and wide whites. Maybe even some metalflake in the scallops and on roof.

I've got the owner's phone number, and may call to see if I can come and "kick the tires". The price sounds right. Would definitely make a unique ride. What do you think?

Tonight, as I was surfin' for a few pictures of a 1959 Edsel, I came across an article concerning a recent survey that asked folks to name the top 10 ugliest cars of all time. I've reprinted the list below and added the link to the article:

1. AMC Pacer

2. Chevrolet Chevette

3. Ford Edsel

4. AMC Matador

5. Chevrolet Corvair

6. AMC Gremlin

7. Chevrolet Vega

8. Pontiac Aztec

9. Ford Pinto

10. Yugo

I've actually owned a couple of these. I'm not sure I agree that all of these should be in the top 10 "ugliest". To me, some were more about "poor quality" than ugly. It's interesting that only one of the cars is pre-1970, and most are '70s compacts. I would agree that the Aztec is butt-ugly. (sorry if you own one.)

What about a 1939 Plymouth with those strange rectangular headlights? What about those "egg-shaped" Thunderbirds of the 80's? What do you think? Can any car be cool? Or are somethings just too fugly? What about the 1959 Edsel?
Feel free to add your thoughts as comments to this post.

Dave Lohr's Model A

I found this photographs of Dave's Model A on a website with pictures from the 2006 Detroit Autorama. Hoping to get to Detroit next weekend myself for this year's event.

This in-progress rust-covered Model A is an amazing example of Dave Lohr's imagination and engineering talent. The unchopped A with the radiator in the back sits on a one-off custom frame. Dave hooked up all six Holley 94s on a Drag Star intake atop a '57 Hemi. "It scares dogs, small children, and oncoming traffic."

Mad Fabricators Videos

I ran across a series of pretty cool videos on youtube today while surfing the Net for information about Dave Lohr. Thanks to tikiguy for the insight on Dave. Guess he turned down the job at SoCal Speed Shop after he won the spot on HardShine. If you watch this video closely, you will see Dave along with a quick shot of his wicked Hemi-powered rod.

You can see more of this type of stuff by searching for mad fabricators on youtube. Looks like they sell DVDs too!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

You Say You Want More Local Coverage? can't get more local than this.

Man I look forward to Thursdays. It's the day that the new Indiana Auto & RV is delivered to the local gas station. Indiana Auto & RV is a Free weekly publication that lists photographs and descriptions of cars for sale in the state of Indiana. My son and I love to look through it each week. My wife has actually become the area "distributor". She usually picks up at least 6 sets of the publication. (even though it says "limit one" on the cover). She then takes them to a couple of older guys in town, and brings a few sets to church on Sunday morning for my father and a couple other guys.
This thing has grown over the years to a weekly circulation of 104,000! The company has been expanding over the past couple of years and now has publications in Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
At any rate. This week I noticed a bill for an auction just a few miles from my house. Looks like the thing is happening next weekend. Hopefully, I can get over there and see what's happening. I'll try to take a camera and capture the event, then post to this blog.
Looking at the sale bill, I'm most interested in the old Chevrolet. The bill lists a 1947 Coupe, but the Chevrolet in the picture looks like a 1940 to me. A '40 Chevy would make a great rod. If you are into mid-70's cars, looks like there are a few potential "projects" that will be auctioned too.
for more information about the auction, check out:

More Fun With PhotoDeluxe

What if Suede and Chrome was a newstand rag? What might the cover look like? Playing around with PhotoDeluxe this morning and came up with this faux March 2008 cover. I think the picture was taken at the Ducktail Run in Gas City in 2004.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Listening To The Voice of Readers

Thanks to those who have taken the time to respond to the current Suede and Chrome survey. Looks like some of you want to see more pictures of motorcycles. Well...while I was on the Jimmy Shine website, I found these cool photographs of one of his motorcycles parked next to his famous "Bare Nekkeid" 34 Ford pickup (these pictures must be older because if you watched the series "Hard Shine" you know that they did made some wicked upgrades to the truck....Ask and you shall receive my friends....TOO COOL.

Jimmy Shine Stuff For Sale

Just sat and watched the last three episodes of Hard Shine again today. I've had them on my DVR waiting to put them on a VCR tape for my pop. We had another snowday today, so it gave me the opportunity. I also including an episode of Monster Garage were Jesse James and crew take a stock Model A Sedan and convert it into a chopped, sectioned, and channeled Ratrod...very sick. Then I finished the tape with an Overhaulin' episode where a school teacher gets her 1964 Malibu overhauled.

I was curious to how "Dave" the guy from Ohio who won the job at So-Cal Speed Shop is getting along. (Three cheers for guys from the Midwest!). Anyhow, went to the Jimmy Shines website, then the So-Cal Speed Shop site, but haven't been able to find anything. I did however run across a couple of vehicles that Jimmy has for sell.
This is the famous 1930 Model A used in the opening credits of the TV show "Hard Shine"Below are the specs of the car, if you need more information email Jimmy directly at
• Original 1930 Model A Ford Roadster body
• Original 1932 Ford chassis
• Powered by a 350 Chevy with tri-power carbs
• 5-speed tranny
• '41 Ford rear-end
• Open drive line
• Split wishbones
• Super bell dropped axle
• '40 juice brakes
• Chopped windshield
• '40 Ford steering wheel
• Stewart Warner gauges
• Triple pass radiator
• Deuce grille shell
• '35 Ford wire wheels
• Firestone tires
• Lots-of-chrome
• Paint PPG Black & Apple Green Metallic
• Interior - white with green piping by Ron Mangus


If 75K is to pricey for your tastes....Jimmy also had his 2004 Ford shop truck for sale on ebay (click on link below). Bidding price reached $14,000.00. Looks like it didn't reach reserve, so drop Jimmy a line if you're interested!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

"Cool" Can Happen In Other Rooms Besides the Garage!

Just finished repainting our kitchen the other day. It is now a nice warm terra cota. My wife is wanting to replace the refrigerator and stove as well. I was surfing the Net tonight and found an awesome company that makes awesome retro appliances. They currently produce and sell retro refrigerators and stoves in a variety of stock and custom colors. Rumor has it they will soon add a retro dishwasher as well. Guess this is the company that made the fridge and stove on the new Rachel Ray set. I think the orange refrigerator and stove would look great in our new warm terra cota kitchen. Check out the site at:
The only doesn't always come cheap. The refrigerators start at $2695.00 and the stoves at $3995.00. Hey! Cool can happen in other rooms besides the garage!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New Features!

I've added a couple of new features to "Suede and Chrome". Along the right side of the blog viewers will find a survey and a "Rust Queen of the Month". I'd like to get more response and interaction with those who are reading this blog.

Survey Questions

Each survey question will have a limited window of opportunity for response. Please take the time to respond to the survey questions. Your input will help me improve this site. This week's question is...How can Suede and Chrome be Improved? There are a few choices. If you have other ideas, please feel free to go to my profile and click on my email. If you think you've got a great idea....Email me!

Rust Queen of the Month

One part of Kustom Kulture is the "Rust Queen". This is NOT a derogatory term, but a term of endearment to those girls who enjoy attending car shows, wearing vintage clothing, etc. A lot of the "image" comes from vintage pinup and nose art of the 1940's and 1950's (see my earlier blog post on nose art.) I am currently surfing the Internet looking for the next "Suede and Chrome Rust Queen of the Month". If you have a photo you would like to submit, please email me....Remember, keep it clean, there are kiddos that enjoy reading "Suede and Chrome"!

Hot Rods and Bikes

I'd also like to start featuring Traditional Hot rods and bikes of readers. If you have some photographs of your ride, or pictures you've taken at a car show or cruise-in in your area, I'd like to hear from you. Drop me an email daddio!

Cruise Spot: The Maidrite Drive-In, Greenville, OH

O.k...I've been thinking a lot about warmer weather and cruising lately. It's the only thing a guy CAN do to keep his sanity with this midwest weather! This winter has been crazy! We'll have a day or two of unseasonably warm weather, followed by subzero wind chill and 3 or 4 inches of snow.

At any rate, there are a few locales in my "neck-of-the-woods" that are worth the drive when it comes to cruisin', nostalgia, and good food. (heck...I'm starting to sound like the guy from Diners, Dives, and Drive-Ins!) One such locale is known for miles around. It is located in Greenville, Ohio. (If you are unfamilar with Greenville...check your history books...It's the birthplace of Annie Oakley and Lowell Thomas. It is also the site where the Treaty of Greenville was signed.) More's the hometown of Matt Light, current offensive lineman for the England Patriots.

Anyway, this groovy little drive-thru is simply known as the Maid-Rite Drive-In. There are a few tables inside, but most folks line-up at the drive-thru window to get a sackful of Maid-Rite sandwiches. Maid-Rites are a small, spicy, loose meat sandwich made with hamburger and a lot of pepper. The hamburger is fried in a skillet of beer. The sandwiches are best with onion, pickle and mustard. You can also get a Cheese-Rite if so inclined.

Probably the strangest thing about this locale is the "gum wall". Since the place's establishment back in the 1940's, people coming through the drive-thru have left their chewing gum on the brick wall. Sounds disgusting, but over the years, the gumwall has grown to include several of the other walls around the building. If you look closely at the picture of the front of the place, you can even see a few pieces there.

Despite what you may think of the gum wall, the sandwiches are "out of this world"! When I was a teenager, the big thing to do on the weekends was cruise Broadway (the main drag through downtown Greenville). We would cruise through the Maid-rite and grab a couple dozen sandwiches then cruise the strip. Teenagers from all over would be sitting on the back of their cars or cruising through town with their radios up. The local authorities have since banned the teens today have no clue what it was all about.

Needless to say, I occasionally get a "hankerin'" for a few Maid-Rites and have to make a detour on my way home from work. Eating one of those little sandwiches takes me back to my youth. If you are ever near Greenville, have to make a point of finding the Maid-Rite Drive-In!

Statue of Annie Oakley "Little Miss Sureshot" that stands at the end of Broadway in downtown Greenville, Ohio

Painting depicting the signing of the Treaty of Greenville at Fort Greenville, Greenville, OH

No Paint, No Problem

I ran across this article this afternoon. I found it to be a great overview of what this site is about. I've added a few photographs for your enjoyment!

Backstory: No paint, no problem By Patrik Jonsson
GREER, S.C. - In his autobody shop in Greenville, S.C., Greg Porter creates hot rods that are metallic works of movable art. They sell for as much as three times the price of the finest car to roll off the BMW line here in Greer.
Mr. Porter's square jaw, haystack hair, and classic white T-shirt evoke a rockabilly ethos and artistic oeuvre that have made him a legend among the high-rollers in the $4 billion hot-rod industry. But off-the-clock, Porter likes to leave the be- jeweled paint jobs behind and lay his broad bicep out the window of a grimier and arguably cooler ride: the rat rod.
In his case, it's a 1940 Ford sedan with scratches in the paint, a ding in the windshield, and worn suede seats. A Betty Boop air freshener dangles from the rearview mirror. "I won't lay any paint on this one," he says. "It's perfect just like it is."
Once disgraced, now embraced, rat rods are becoming one of the hottest trends among backyard mechanics since the tail fin. Also called the primer job, lowbuck, or rat-a-billy, rat rods are used cars with attitude. They are often Frankensteinian amalgams of old cars put together - the cheaper and dowdier, the better.
Rat rods represent, in part, a populist revolt against the platinum-priced world of hot rodding. Its devotees are a tattooed and grease-under-the-nails subculture driven, in essence, not by status, but by dreams of "on the road" adventures and escape from the metronome monotonies of everyday life.
"There's something much more romantic about [rat rods], getting on the road and driving 300 miles in this old car," says Kirk Jones, publisher of the Goodguys Goodtime Gazette, a hot-rod magazine in Pleasanton, Calif. "It's uncomfortable. There's a question of whether you're going to make it. And when in our world anymore do you get to have a real adventure?"
Rat rodding is popular enough that it's even angering some of its upscale brethren: At hot rod shows, fans often look past the pretty but arguably soulless high-end machines to gawk at cars that haven't been painted since the Hoover administration. Experts say rat-rod enthusiasts now number perhaps 30,000 nationwide, and are boosting interest in America's unique but finite inventory of old cars.
* * *

Some hot-rod sociologists such as Mr. Jones describe the rat-rod trend as a desire for a return to the romance of post-World War II America, when soldiers came back looking for thrills that would rival their adventures overseas. Using mechanical skills learned in the Army, they turned to rusting Fords and Chevys - the Honda Civics of their day - to create horsepower-heavy "rods."

That attitude has morphed today into a punk-a-billy culture, in which old "ratty" cars help satisfy a longing for a time when life was more spontaneous - and dangerous. Unlike the ethos at the well-behaved hot-rod shows, where the Beach Boys eternally play and few people actually drive the cars, rat rodders like to go fast, in style, and perhaps not always to the letter of the law. "Hot rods are supposed to be dangerous, and the younger section of this market is very much into that rebellious side," says Ryan Cochran, founder of the Jalopy Journal message board in Austin, Texas.

To some, "rat-rod" is a derogatory term, more attuned to fringe elements of the movement. It is epitomized by the washboard player for the Kings of Nuthin, a Boston-based rock-a-billy band, who has three classic rat rods in various states of running and rusting, none legal.
Yet no matter what their state of inelegance, rat rods are meant to be looked at - whether with reverie or disgust - and driven. "Some of the rat rods have no paint, exposed wells, no floors, and are kind of unsafe," says Shane Thomas, a Greer resident who just spent two years bringing a '32 Ford truck back to life. "Personally, I like to think of the rat rod as building your car out of spare parts with flat black paint, basic interior, whatever motor is laying around, just what you can get your hands on - beg, borrow, or steal."

His friend Ed Bradshaw, who wears a six-inch goatee and a T-shirt that says "Dixie Fried," has put thousands of miles on his dropped '31 Ford. "These are cars you can actually use, that you don't have to worry about getting dinged up if you take them out into a field for a few dirt donuts," he says.

Lowbucks are certainly the buzz of the industry. Several new magazines, often low-budget and not beholden to advertisers, are cropping up. With names like Old Skool Rods and Garage and Rod, the publications can be found on backyard tool chests, their pages greasy. Even established magazines like Street Rodder and Rod and Kustom are devoting space to "traditional" rods.
Car shows featuring only rat rods are springing up, too. They include the Hunnert Car Pileup and the Lone Star Roundup in Austin. Shows put on by the Goodguys Association, the largest street rodding group, used to feature one or two entries in what's called the "suede and chrome" category. Today, they regularly have 20. Significantly, this year's Autorama Show in Detroit for the first time handed out 18 awards in "traditional" categories.
* * *

Still, not all hot rodders welcome the presence of their shabby cousins. When fans at car shows bypass some Tiffany quality vehicle to ogle a flat-painted truck with holes in the floorboard, it doesn't go unnoticed. "You definitely see guys with $100,000 in a car and the guy next to them at the show has $6,000 in his, and that's the car with the crowd around it," says Jones. "That is cause for some rivalry."

At the Southern Rods shop in Greer, Porter rhapsodizes about the tightness of the rat-rod fraternity. Gary and the Playboys are singing "This diamond ring doesn't shine for me anymore" on an AM radio. He tells how rat rodders are united by a sense of adventure - both behind a socket wrench and behind the wheel. His personal credo: "It ain't a party without donuts."
For Tom "Paintbucket" Painter, one of South Carolina's most avid rat rodders, age in a car is to be respected, even savored. It's an attitude typified in his envied flat black-and-red 1958 Chevy Nomad wagon. Mr. Painter won't even remove certain screws because he doesn't want the rust to chip. According to his friend Mr. Bradshaw, he believes that historical correctness, the wear and wisdom of the years, is sacrosanct. As Painter puts it: "If it's got a rusted look, I leave it alone."

Monday, February 18, 2008

HOLY COW!!!! Hot Rod Heaven!

Well, as you can imagine, the more I post to this blog, the more I find and the more links people send me. My buddy Fchevfan sent me a link yesterday to an INCREDIBLE site! I can't believe I've never ran across it myself. The link is:

This site has literally HUNDREDS of photos of traditional hot rods and rat rods. Looks like the creator of this site allows people to upload pictures. I could not believe the sheer number of photos. I've placed just a few of the photos I found in this post. There are too many sick and wicked vehicles to count!
My suggestion is you fix yourself a nice hot cup of java, sit back, click on the link and enjoy the show!

On another note. Got to spend some time with my grandfather today. Since today was Presidents' Day, we did not have school. No teachers, students, secretaries, or custodians. However, it was a work day for administrators. I spent the day alone in our old building, trying to get caught up on some paperwork. Anyway....I took a late lunch and took the "scenic" route home. My route took me through my hometown. Driving by the local "Mickey D's", I saw my grandfather's car in the parking lot.

My grandfather is an interesting guy. A WWII vet, earned a purple heart during the war, and is close to 90 years old. Since my grandmother passed away a few years ago, he amuses himself by hanging out at McDonald's, drinking coffee with a group of locals and shooting the "bull" with whoever will listen.

I hadn't seen him in awhile, so I pulled into the parking lot and went in to 'surprise' him. Well, he was happy to see me and had me sit down for a Coke. He introduced me to everyone that came by. The coolest thing...I like to get folks talkin' about cars. We sat for about an hour and a half, just talking about the history of some of the local buildings, cars that they each had, places where they knew old cars used to set in the area, etc.

I got my grandfather to tell me the store of my great-uncle's old Packard. My great-uncle passed away a few years ago and the car was sold at auction. At the time I wished I had been able to afford the car, I have some great memories of riding around in it as a kid. A big straight-8 with tons of power! Anyway, today, I learned that my uncle had bought the car for $2,000.00. The guy who owned it had rebuilt the engine and when he put the car back together, the engine was stuck. He became so frustrated with it, he sold it to my Uncle Willy. Well, my uncle took it home and put it up on the rack and dropped the tranny. It his surprise, the only thing wrong with the car was that the guy had put one bolt in that was a bit too long that was catching and causing the engine not to turn over. When he replaced the bolt and tranny, he was able to start the car right up!

Lesson Learned Today: Take time from your busy schedule to enjoy time spent with family. Heck...ya might just learn some great stories!

Cool Beatersville Car and Bike Show Video

Found this great video of the Beatersville Car and Bike Show on I even saw a few cars I've seen in Indiana....(look closely and you will see the 1947 Chevrolet Coupe that is the picture behind the "Suede and Chrome" Header.)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Stickers, decals, and other cool stuff...

Lookin' for some cool kustom stickers, decals, and/or posters to dress up your garage, rat rod, or computer? Well...I've found the place for you. Check out:
This place has all the hip low brow artists: Coop, Kozik, Marco Almera, Alan Forbes, Tara Mcpherson, Rockin' Jelly Bean, Derek Hess, Chuck Sperry, Vince Ray, Shag, Dirty Donny, Von Franco, Pizz, Scrojo, Aaron Marshall, Olivia, Betty Page, Rat Fink Decals Toys, Pop culture, and Subculture.

I'm thinking about buying a few to spruce up the hard-drive on my Dell. Or maybe put a couple on the dash of my vehicle. reasonably priced as they are...I may by a few more for my toolbox and garage 'frig!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

1500 + Views and Still Goin'....

WOW! Just watched my view counter flip over to 1500 this weekend! That's very cool! Never thought much about others reading my thoughts when I started this blog a couple of years ago. Now I've had 1500+ views and almost 150 posts. Thanks to everyone who has stopped by "Suede and Chrome"!!!

I will continue to post pictures I've taken at various car shows, cruise-ins, rod runs, etc. I'll also continue to surf the web looking for anything that I feel is "Suede and Chrome" worthy....Case in point: I've been thinking alot about bobbers lately. I've been searching eBay and the Internet trying to get some ideas of what I like and what I don't. Can't remember where I found these two pictures, but had to admit...both photos illustrate a "match made in heaven". A beautiful traditional hot-rod Ford with a sick bobber.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cruise In Pics from the Archives

I'm currently setting in my office, taking a break from chaperoning a middle school dance. Nothing like a old, small gym built in 1926 filled with smelly junior high kids listening to bad music at high decibels! HA! Hard to believe we all went through that awkward 12-14 year old stage. Had to retreat to my office, turn on some rockabilly, and do a little bloggin'!

Looking through my files, I ran across some old photographs. Some of these may have been posted in some very early blog entries...but I'm not sure. Thought I would post all that I found and try to give a little background on each.

This series of photographs was taken at the Ducktail Run in Gas City, Indiana a couple of years ago. The guy in the picture is "Count Kennedy". This guy is a real crowd pleaser. Each year, he dresses like a Vampire and drives in to the Cruise-In in a Hearse complete with multiple flamethrowers. He even has a couple of trailers made from caskets that throw flames as well. (One year, I saw him drive in, park, get out of the car, walk around back, and open one of the casket/trailers to reveal his wife dressed as the bride of Frankenstein....too funny!) The last few times I've seen him, he has had the little "bat scooter" pictured in the last two photos. This thing throws LONG propane trails of flame....The guy seems to delight in pleasing the crowd, as he usually stands on the top of his hearse with a remote, shooting flames while someone drives him around the ball diamond where the flamethrowing takes place. Didn't see him there this past year....hope he will be back next year. May have been protesting, as organizers banned flamethrowing anywhere but during the contest.

This set of photos shows some real creativity. The owner took a set of 63 Corvette rear windows and grafted them into the hood of his Oldsmobile to show off the "Rocket" within....Absolutely cool.
I've seen this car at a few shows over the past few years....lots of detail and chrome....very sic!

At this particular show, they still allowed the flame throwers to cruise around and let their pipes rattle! I believe the car pictured above belongs to a guy from a local club called the "Pyromaniacs".

Sorry....can't help it. Even though I love vintage cars from the 30's, 40's and 50's, I do enjoy seeing some of the rides from the 60's and early 70's that I've been seeing creeping into shows of late. That is as long as they've been "done right"!
What can I say....I'm a sucker for scallops and wide whites! Like the dummy spotlights too!

Aaaah yes....Now that's more like it! Here are just a few of the cars that had me droolin' at this show. I'm not sure, but I think some of these photos were taken at a show in Lima, OH, while some may have been taken at a few shows in Indiana.