Posts Tagged ‘Customs’


Paso Robles T-Birds 2002

Travel back a little in time to when the beautiful Californian town of Paso Robles hosted the famed West Coast Kustoms car event over the Memorial Day weekend in May. Just before the earthquake a year or two later, and then the show moved South.

We travelled there in 2002 (little did Tracy realise that the entire 6-week round-the-world trip was choreographed to this one weekend).

These video snippets (amateur warning alert!) capture some famed show T-Birds (including the electric green 1963, which now resides in the U.K.; the renowned ‘Time Machine’ which has won more than its own weight in shiny trophies; plus a couple of 50s Birds) and a taste of West Coast car culture.

Plus to recreate the atmosphere, some very high-pitched American accents, extremely loud car noises, and a couple of em-Barrised moments (“is that a 61 or 62?”).

And the $10,000 question: why-oh-why didn’t Paul ask Barris for his autograph? or Von Franco? or Shige?


Barris Tbird Kustoms pt. 1

George Barris 58 Ultra-Bird

Perusing Paul’s extensive collection of car books (I mostly look at the pictures), I was struck by the number of cool Tbird customs by legendary George Barris.

For all our square-Bird friends, here’s a beauty: the 58 “Ultra-Bird”. Barris customised this t-bird for his wife Shirley’s birthday, painting it in 30 coats of Candy Red with white pearl outlining, adding 18 side louvres and illuminated hubcabs. It won the Motor Life ‘Car of the Year’ in 1959. Shirley is marvelling at how George managed to convert a miniature car into a full-sized version just by the application of Kolor Crome products!

So blog readers, what do you think of custom cars? Sacrilege… or you can’t get enough of the chopped, channelled, sectioned and lowered?

Check out some background on George here.

Image from Barris Kustoms of the 1950s by George Barris and David Fetherston.


Cranksters Pipeline Picnic 2010

When it’s hot in Perth, it’s gonna be Flamin’ Hot in Mundaring… and Sunday was no exception. And to intensify the discomfort, there was 90% humidity too, and some-one had the great idea of ordering black Tshirts!

The annual Cranksters Pipeline Picnic/Cruise from metro Perth to the Mundaring Hills was a huge success (declaring an interest here – I’m a Crankster member). We had over 175 entrants, and possibly a few stragglers joined the line snaking up the hill. Several nice Thunderbirds too.

The Mundaring Hotel publican had welcome amber brews awaiting the thirsty hordes. A few ventured outside to browse the marketstalls after the steak sandwiches and roast dinners were polished off. There was a free raffle for the major prizes donated by Cranksters’ generous supporters – and you’ve never seen an elderly gent move faster when he was announced the winner of the Adultshop prize (suddenly the walking stick was redundant – maybe Mundaring is the Lourdes of the 21st century).

Check out a few pics here in the Gallery.


Summersun Twilight Cruise 2010


Last night we joined the line-up of customs, classics and hotrods snaking along the Freeway to Mandurah, for the Summersun Twilight Cruise. We took the ’50 Chevy Pickup for a run, and apart from incidental deafness and tinnitus, we had no trouble at all.

On arrival, there were scores of cars – a great display. Tracy’s experiment shooting non-flash photos proved disastrous – but she did pretty good with the video. Although points deducted for not shooting the lineup of vehicles parked along the foreshore. Oh wait, that’s probably Paul’s fault for not doing a drive-by.

Anyway, see the little 1-minute travelogue below. There are a couple of TBirds, and an array of rods and customs overtaking us along the way. Had to suppress the soundtrack for copyright restrictions – just imagine Elvis’ TrainRide playing while we await his permission to use it.

Join in next year – the most fun you can have on a mid-week night without getting arrested (no guarantees though).


Big Al’s Poker Run 2010

Pirates at checkpoint

Can you believe 2010 is the 30th Anniversary of the Poker Run?

Imagine the car polish and elbow grease involved. Not to mention the carbon dis-credits earned.

This is the fourth year the Cranksters have manned a checkpoint along the route. Keen to surpass our ‘Mexican Border Patrol’ theme last year, some-one suggested ‘Pirates’ – the blame surely rests squarely on Ben’s¬†shoulders, seeing as he was word-perfect on the SpongeBob theme song.

That’s me in the full Pirate costume, after the wig was abandoned due to heat distress. And there were more than enough mullets on display already.

Five pounds lighter today (I don’t recommend brocade jackets or stockings for Perth summers) and hoarse-of-voice (sorry if you were on the receiving end of Pirate Tourette’s), here’s a few choice pics

Have a look-see, Squid-lips.


Drive-In Cruise

Betty Boop sticker at the drive-in

Drive-In car

Why sit outdoors on damp grass when you can watch movies from the comfort of your vinyl front seat?

With only one remaining drive-in operating in Perth, it’s good to make an excuse to re-live those childhood memories and venture to the big outdoor screen under the stars. The Galaxy Drive-in at Kingsley had an almost sellout crowd on the last Saturday night in January – and we were treated to a blue moon.

Tbirders from as far away as Armadale and Beckenham made the trip, but disappointingly no-one aged over 8 wore pyjamas. But someone may have felt sick after consuming a bag of lollies in one sitting (appropriate, given the first movie was ‘Tooth Fairy’!).

Stay tuned for info about the next Drive-In date.
See more Pics here.