True to the now old-school world of chopped bikes and kooky kustoms, DePalma Clothing of Lake Forest, California is a custom rod and bike shop that has also pioneered a unique brand of clothing that is, as they themselves claim, “Built by hot rodders, for hot rodders.”
This has been DePalma’s aim since 1972, when founders “Joseph and his son Jr” decided to open a shop that paid tribute to their outlaw friend, David Clay DePalma. The business’ humble beginning in Fresno, California was as a local chop shop that eventually became sanctuary for nearly all of the area’s hot rodders and bikers.
DePalma’s built hot rods, lowriders, custom bikes and other motoring projects while creating club t-shirts and other company branded items on the side. It was a business concept that proved successful, but the original DePalma empire would come to an end after a fire engulfed the shop in ’79.
The DePalma legacy would be resurrected in ’02, however as a couple of gearhead Swedes by the names of “Kris and Peter” brought to the DePalma nameplate their “mutual love for building hot rods & bikes, oldschool skating and t-shirts.” The shop’s original founders allowed the two to take over ownership, provided they maintained it’s core values of custom rod and bike culture.
And our featured video from a cruise in their ’54 Chevy two-door in Santa Ana, California does just that. As you can see from both car and driver, DePalma Clothing’s notion of “surfing, skating, carbureted suicide machines and panty droppers” is one that is still very much alive and well.
Watch as the DePalma crew takes us for a ride through the streets of Southern California in their super clean ’54, taking in the unusual sights while taking us back to a time when custom rodding really was a way of life on the West Coast!