When it came time to finally score my own set of wheels at the ripe age of 16, I was on the hunt for the baddest machine that a Round Table pizza job paycheck could afford me.
But the nice thing is, when you surround yourself with family and friends that care and/or share the same affliction, you will fare much better in the long run. The support of those around isn’t always necessary to accomplish great things – but it sure does help!
My story probably starts off a bit differently than yours. My dad wasn’t into cars, my brother wasn’t into cars, in fact no one I knew as a kid was into anything cool with four-wheels (though several were into two-wheeled beasts). Yet, somehow I was drawn. Growing up in L.A., at 10-years old I began to take interest in the lowriders and hot rods as I watched them cruise around town, low, high and everything in between.
That caught my attention instantly, and ever since then I was addicted to anything custom. Taking the lines of something nice, and making it look better than the OEM ever designed them – that was the trick. Adjustable suspension, slammed to the ground yet still functional enough to drive, that’s where I wanted to be – LOW.
When it came time to finally score my own set of wheels at the ripe age of 16, I was on the hunt for the baddest machine that a Round Table pizza job paycheck could afford me. With help from my dad, we took a trip to look at a 1967 Mustang. Well, long story short she came home with us and the tinkering began.
It was a long, hard road since I broke more than I ever fixed, but eventually we dropped a 302 in and she was a respectable cruiser that I would pile the friends in and head to the beach on the weekends – and sometimes we even made it there!
Shifting to Trucks
After the Mustang came and went, my sights were shifted into custom trucks and I quickly collected way more projects than I could afford; soon enough I was in over my head. A close friend of mine contributed to my bad habit – since he is an amazing fabricator and it was an easy match for the two of us to cut up anything we could get our hands on. To spare you the boring details, eventually he started his own fab shop which you will be seeing more of here in the future when we delve into some cool hot rod builds.
Turning a Hobby into a Profession
As time went on I began to pick up a camera and photograph and write about custom cars, trucks, bikes – anything cool that drew my attention. Knowing at a young age that I wanted to turn this into a career I took a few classes and started down the road to find a job as an automotive journalist.
After applying for a handful of open gigs, I was hired on as a staff editor for a custom truck magazine in 2002 and as they say – it was all UPHILL from there!
Yes, it was definitely hard work learning the ropes and the ins and outs of the publishing world all the while trying to maintain a real passion for cars. Turning your passion into a paycheck is a hard balance and something I cherish, but I’m also very careful not to ruin my love for the automobile because I eat, sleep, and breath cars.
As time went on I began to pick up a camera and photograph and write about custom cars, trucks, bikes – anything cool that drew my attention.
Many of my friends have built rods, customs, sleds, and all sorts of creations over the last 15 years – but I was definitely a late bloomer in the custom car arena because it can be an expensive hobby and if I couldn’t do it right, I’m not the type of guy to “half-ass” anything.
Time for a Custom
After saving and bartering, I finally acquired my first “custom” car victim outside of the truck world and with the help of some close friends, we turned a 1966 Lincoln coupe from the “slimer – mobile” into a feature worthy ride. In fact, it was featured back here on Rod Authority at the beginning of the year.
As you can tell, I don’t discriminate. I like a little bit of everything and I think that’s what makes this hobby so great! We can all have our own different styles and tastes because at the end of the day it’s about creativity and most importantly, it’s about the people.
The people that I have met over the years have grown into some of the best friends a guy could ask for – even though they will undoubtedly be the first to make fun of this article and generally anything with my name attached, but hey that’s what friends are for, right? But in all seriousness, without said friends, none of this would be possible.
Currently in the Garage
In fact, moving right along – this brings us to my current project. If you haven’t figured it out by now, or you can’t tell from the title, yes I have a problem and NO I’m not stopping anytime soon. I tend to go through vehicles like Bugs Bunny goes through carrots (but that’s another story for another time).
The problem is, there are literally 500+ cars on my “list” that I would like to see customized with my twist. And the only way to get to the next project is sadly enough, to part with the last. Sometimes this is hard to do, as obviously you have your favorites. But until I strike it rich, it’s understandable that we can’t keep ‘em all.
Plans include slamming her to the ground with a full air ride suspension, a motor swap with some tricks up our sleeves, and of course some custom flair to the sheet metal. Yes, only time will tell which of these mods see the light of day – but in my head this thing is going to be fantastic! So stay tuned for plenty of cutting, grinding, and welding on this bad boy and tons of hot rod action coming your way here on Rod Authority.
That’s enough about me – I want to hear about you! There will be a lot of reader interaction going on around here; both through our Facebook page and right here in our feature articles.
First up, we will be doing a piece about the coveted GARAGE, so if your man (or woman) cave is ready for the world to see, snap a good pic along with a description of your project and email it my way.
And don’t be afraid to email over comments, opinions, what you’d like to see more of, less of, etc. Let’s all work hard to make this our home and the best damn source for non-stop hot rod action!
Until next time.