IT'S OUR 5th ANNIVERSARY !
THANK YOU FOR 5 GREAT YEARS !
DARRYL STARBIRD'S CAREER HAS BEEN TRULY AMAZING ! He's created some of the most iconic customs on the Planet...and after over five-and-a-half decades he's still going strong !
In this one-on-one Interview done at his 48th Annual Tulsa Rod & Custom Show, we talked about new builders, old school/new school methods, AND, Darryl told me the "Secret of the English Wheel" that so many fabricator's use !
What's the "secret" ? Well, Just-Click-On-Here , listen to the Interview and you'll find out for yourself from one of the Industries longest-running, most respected Pros: Darryl Starbird ! JK
FOR ALMOST FOUR DECADES, STEVE FRISBIE OF Steve's Auto Restorations (S.A.R.) in Portland, Oregon, has been responsible for turning-out some of the coolest Rods & Customs on the Planet !
In 2008 Steve was Inducted into Darryl Starbird's National Rod & Custom Car Hall Of Fame. The ceremonies took place at Darryl's Tulsa Rod & Custom Show, and Steve and I met before the Induction to talk about his early years. How he began with a simple love of cars and restorations...and how he turned that love into one of the Countries most-respected shops, is all covered.
Steve Frisbie is one of the nicest guys you'll meet and a true craftsman of the highest caliber...so Just Click-On-Here and listen to his stories of how it all started. This is one Interview you won't want to miss ! JK
FROM THE HALL OF FAME LEGENDS ARCHIVES :
THE HISTORIC CKD #15 BUCK OWENS/GENE PITNEY "DEATH ISSUE" Is Jonnie doomed ?? Listen as CKD/OSR Managing Editor ALAN MAYES tells the story ! Click-On Here and find out what happened !
TO HEAR MORE GREAT INTERVIEWS AND STORIES, SIMPLY "SCROLL DOWN" TO THE "HOT TOPIX" SECTION FURTHER DOWN ON THIS PAGE !
WHILE YOU'RE HERE: Be sure to visit THE LEGENDS VIDEO GALLERY There are now OVER 180 Great Pix ! Cool Cars, Classic Ads that you will probably never see anywhere else, and even some Special Pix from my Personal Archives that I dug out to share with you ! THE LEGENDS VIDEO GALLERY is a virtual "Time Machine" that you can enjoy over and over again as I'm always adding new images, and I've re-vamped the Gallery so that you can stay as long as you like !
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE...
... I'VE JUST ADDED SOME REALLY GREAT CLASSIC "OLD-TIME RADIO" CAR COMMERCIALS to the Video Gallery that you won't want to miss !
These are lots of fun, they're all from the 30's, 40's & 50's, and some that are included are: The Classic Dinah Shore "See The U.S.A. In Your Chevrolet" Song, plus commercials for Buick, Edsel, Plymouth, Nash, Ford, Pontiac, Dodge...and many more.
ALL YOU HAVE TO DO to HEAR the commercials & SEE the pix in the Video Gallery is just to click-on here then once you're there, just click-on the Big Button on the front of the Video Screen, sit back & enjoy !
THE LATEST NUMBERS ARE IN, and the results are truly amazing: Over 433,727 VISITORS From All 50 States, and, 125 Countries & Territories WorldWide, With Over 32,864,631 HITS Since We Went Online !
I Sincerely Thank You All !! JK
HERE IT IS ! A SPECIAL PAGE on the WebSite that Showcases some of the GREATEST BOOKS, VIDEOS, DVD's, and related material, about the Rod & Custom Industry - and those that helped build it - that are available today ! PLUS, many other great items that should be on your list as they deal with subjects that will fit right in and enhance your historical base of knowledge.
If you have an R&C Library these are some books, videos, dvd's, that you definitely should add ! If you're just starting a Personal Library, these are a MUST for you to put in it.
SPECIAL FEATURED BOOK :
"ADS THAT PUT AMERICA ON WHEELS", By Eric Dregni & Karl Hagstrom Miller. Motorbooks International, Pub.
I PERSONALLY REVUE EACH BOOK,VIDEO & DVD and give you my take on it. There are SO many of you out there that have asked me for some suggestions on good reading & viewing material, and now we've got it for you right here on the Hall Of Fame Legends Series WebSite !
JUST CLICK-ON HERE , AND GO DIRECTLY TO THE"HOT OFF THE PRESS" PAGE ! ENJOY !! JK
NOW IT'S EASIER THAN EVER TO eMail Us ! Just click here to eMail us and let us know where you're from, what you drive, and how you like hearing these great Legends and their personal stories.
IT'S SIMPLE: Log-On ANYTIME You Want ! We're On-Line 24/7/365 !!
HOT TOPIX: These Are The Hottest "Legends" Stories On-Line Right Now ! Just "Click" On 'Em To Listen !
THIS IS A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO THE R&C PIONEER WHO CHANGED MY LIFE
YOU MIGHT NOT READILY KNOW HIS NAME, but DON FERRARA was one of the earliest post-WWII Hot Rodders & Custom Car Builders. He built, raced, and, showed one of the most-Legendary '29 Model A's, and, the '49 Ford Coupe he built was the car that started me on the path that I still follow. Without Don Ferrara's influence in my life, you might not be reading these words today...and the WebSite you're viewing might never have existed.
PLEASE, take a few minutes and read my Very Special Tribute Page to DON FERRARA ...and you'll learn not only about his influence in the early days of the Industry, but also how he and his '49 Ford Custom had such a great impact on my life. AND, how -54 years later- I was finally able to thank him. Simply Click-On Here to "read all about it". JK
WHEN THE ALEXANDER BROTHERS BUILT THE "DEORA" they never imagined it would not only become a Ridler Award Winner...but one of the most famous trucks of all-time, with a replica of it owned by thousands of kids WorldWide !
In this exclusive Interview that MIKE ALEXANDER and I did at the 32nd Annual KKOA Lead Sled Spectacular in Salina, Kansas, Mike gave me the full story...and also has some very good advice for anyone wanting to go into the field of customizing.
SO, relax for the next few minutes and listen to one of the longest-running Pros in the business...and learn some great tips on what to do if you intend to be an R&C builder with your own shop ! It all starts when you JUST CLICK-0N HERE ! JK
GENE WINFIELD IS ONE OF THE LONGEST-RUNNING, TRUE, Rod & Custom Pioneers in the Industry ! His skills as both a builder AND a painter are Legendary.
The late-MANUEL ARTECHE, who passed away in 1999, was one of the R&C Industries b-e-s-t upholsterer's who used the customs he built as "rolling showcases" for his magnificent interior work. Since 2000, the Arteche family has presented the "Manuel Arteche Memorial Award" at the Sacramento Autorama in his honor, as shown in the photo above, and showcased their exhibit displaying his '41 Ford Custom.
NOW, IF YOU'VE LOOKED AT THE '61 BUICK at the top of this page, by now you probably know that it's my personal car that was originally owned & built by Manuel. BUT, before he built the "INVICTA", Manuel had put together that beautiful, radically customized, chopped & sectioned 1941 Ford, that was initially painted "Black Cherry". HOWEVER, in a chance meeting with GENE WINFIELD, Manuel decided to let Gene re-paint the car...a shimmering, vibrant, Gold.
ACCORDINGLY, WHEN GENE AND I GOT TOGETHER for another of our Interview Sessions at the 31st KKOA Lead Sled in Salina, Kansas, I wanted Gene's story on how his involvement with that remarkable '41 all came about, and what happened during the process of getiing this rare work of "rolling sculpture" on the right track for Manuel. And, a very cool story it is as you'll hear for yourself by simply Clicking-On-Right-Here !
Enjoy this true piece of R&C History from Gene Winfield...and pass the Link onto a friend so they won't miss it ! JK
HAROLD MURPHY has been building Rods & Customs for over 50 years, has done builds for Movie & TV cars, and restored Bill Cushenberry's legendary "El Matador". Murphy is a true master-craftsman, and his radically-customized 1954 Ford F100 Pick-Up is proof of that !
When I first saw this beautiful truck at the KKOA Lead Sled Spectacular in Salina, in July, 2011, it really knocked me out ! And, at the 2012 Darryl Starbird 48th Annual Tulsa Rod & Custom Show, it again proved what a winner it was by making it into the "Fine Nine" Category...and in the running for the "Go For The Gold" Grand Prize.
"Murphy" is not only a great builder, but a wonderful guy to spend time with...a true gentleman. So, in our Interviews in Salina & Tulsa, we covered a lot of subjects...including, the story of how he got the truck to begin with, and, how the radical build was achieved. AND, you'll also learn where that massive, stock-from-Detroit, taillight came from ! Just CLICK-ON HERE to listen & enjoy ! JK
EVERY YEAR AT THE DETROIT AUTORAMA, CHUCK MILLER puts together the CAVALCADE OF CUSTOMS Display, as well as a Special Feature Section which contains TEN models of a certain type or style. And, every year at the KKOA Lead Sled in Salina, Kansas, he sits down with me to give me the scoop on the coming year's ezhibit's. Accordingly, at last year's Lead Sled he filled me in on the 2013 Autorama.
BUT, our Interview Session turned out to be one of our most unusual as we had a SPECIAL GUEST that happened to be with us ! And I think you'll enjoy the fun that came out of this Session !
You'll hear about Chuck's Special 2013 Display which featured the "Little Birds"...the 1955 - 1957 Thunderbird's, plus Chuck and our surprise guest, give some of their thoughts on the KKOA Lead Sled, and, the HOF Legends Series itself.
THIS IS ONE YOU DON'T WANNA MISS ! Just Click-On-Right-Here ...listen, have fun with two of the all-time Legends, and, send this Link to a friend so they won't miss it ! JK
"HOLY BAT-BUCKS !" THE Original BATMOBILE Sold at The Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona For $4.62 MILLION DOLLARS on January 19, 2013 !
Well, in case you missed it before, and back by popular demand on a Special Page of its own: Here is GEORGE BARRIS explaining the full story of the Origin, Concept & Design of the World Famous TV "BATMOBILE" !
THIS IS A CLASSIC ! It's a new version of the Interview that I've created, with a Mini-Origin of the "Batman" himself just added, especially for visitors to our "Hall of Fame Legends" WebSite, and one that you definitely won't want to miss...the kids will love it too ! Fasten your seatbelts and Click-On Here ! JK
JIM "BONES" NOTEBOOM started putting together some very cool customs beginning in 1957...and he hasn't stopped yet !
Jim is one of the nicest R&C Hall of Famers you'll ever meet. We've known each other for a long time, finally had a time-frame to sit down for a great Interview Session while we were at Darryl Starbird's 48th Annual Tulsa Rod & Custom Show.
We covered lots of ground, but what I wanted to find out was how Bones got his passion for all-things custom to begin with. So, here are a few things you'll find out...just as I did: Jim and Larry Watson went to the same school and were friends in their hometown of Bellflower, California; when his early ride was his bicycle, he biked to "The Clock" Drive-In to see the cool Crusier's that filled-up the parking lot there; the two rides Jim wishes he'd kept; his feeling on being Inducted into the National Rod & Custom Car Hall Of Fame.
You'll hear about ALL of the above when you listen to "Bones" early year's story: Simply Click-On This Link ! ENJOY !! JK
JOHN D'AGOSTINO TRAVELS the World spreading the word of "Kustom Kars" to every part of the Globe ! In 2012, one of the places he traveled to was Sydney, Australia...and he has some great stories to tell about that !
He also has a brand new Kustom he's working on, and you'll see the preview of it first right here ! PLUS, he's getting ready for the 2013 Grand National Roadster Show, and his '40 Cad, "Sophia" will be there this year for sure, as you'll hear John's story about that super-car.
PLUS, since it was a Sunday Morning Session in Salina at the KKOA Lead Sled, the "King Of The Kustomizers", GEORGE BARRIS, was with us as usual with some cool Info of his own !
THIS YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS ! Just Click-On this Link , right now, for a jam-packed Interview Session with two of the Industries long-running Hall Of Famers: George Barris, and, John D'Agostino ! JK
HE'S BEEN DOING IT SINCE THE 1930'S, and GEORGE BARRIS , "The King of the Kustomizers" is still at it today !
George is an old friend, and every year in Salina, Kansas, at the KKOA Lead Sled Spectacular, George, John D'Agostino, and, myself have a Sunday Morning Session that's full of information & fun.
This year I asked George about his involvment in the classic "Little Deuce Coupe", and, the Alexander Brothers. George filled me in on those subjects, PLUS gave me the inside info on the uniting of THE FIVE BATMOBILES !
There are also some great comments from Johnny D', and some closing words from the Legendary JOE BAILON who joined us this year.
SO, settle back, relax, and, listen to some rare, historic info that was done exclusively for the HOF Legends Series ! Simply Click-On Right Here ...and you're there ! JK
IN 1965, CUSTOMIZING LEGEND GENE WINFIELD, was put in-charge of AMT's newly-formed "Speed & Custom Division" and created some of the most iconic vehicles ever seen on TV, or, in Film ! The "Man From U.N.C.L.E." car, the "Get Smart" car, the "Star Trek" Shuttlecraft...all came out of that collaboration.
ALSO, Gene prepared some great cars for the 2011 SEMA SHOW, and, gave me some first-hand info on a new project of his that you have to hear about: "THE WINFIELD WILD ROD"...that can be driven with ONE-INCH Ground Clearance !
THIS IS AN INFO-PACKED 4 Minutes so, if you're ready, Just Click-On Here and prepared to learn from one of the "Masters Of The R&C Industry": GENE WINFIELD !
A FEW YEARS BACK, KEN "POSIES" FENICAL , created one of the most unique Art Deco-Styled "Woodies" to ever hit the streets.
With the help of artist/designer Thom Taylor this rare machine took the show circuit by storm. POSIES told me the whole story awhile back, and if you missed it before here's your chance to see both the "EXTREMELINER", and, some of the coolest Art Deco Images you've ever laid your eyes on ! Simply Click-On Here To Look, Listen & Enjoy...JK
ONE OF DARRYL STARBIRD'S most unique Bubble Top creations was "THE FORCASTA" !
In this exclusive Interview, done at Darryl's 48th Annual Tulsa Rod & Custom Show, he told me about the origins of this iconic custom, and, how it been changed twice after it left his shop !
This story showcase's Darryl at his best ! His memories of this, and all his builds, are spot-on, full if Info, and, always show how he's always tried to be one of the most "foward looking" customizers in R&C History !
THE STORY OF "THE FORCASTA" starts right here: Just Click-On This Link , listen, and, enjoy ! JK
IF YOU'VE SEEN BO HUFF'S "ROCKABILLY HOUND DOG" in-person at Darryl Starbird's Rod & Custom Show in Tulsa, at the KKOA 32nd Annual Lead Sled in Salina, or, in it's Feature Spread in Ol' Skool Rodz #55...you know it's a machine with, what Bo calls: " 'tude": An old school "hoodlum-based" Bad Attitude !
So that's what we talked about in an Interview in Salina: the RHD, also Bo's newest '36 Ford Project, and, his 2012 Bo Huff Extravaganza in Riverside, California.
Lots of info. Short, sweet, and, kool. PLUS, I've included a brief History of where, when, and, how the "Rockabilly Movement" began in the U.S. and spread Worldwide. All you have to do is Click-On Right Here ...and your fun & info begin, as Bo fills us in on the details ! JK
(Above photo of the Rockabilly Hound Dog Courtesy of Travis Scanlan @ Royboy Productions.com)
***SPECIAL NOTICE: OUR FRIEND, NORM GRABOWSKI, PASSED AWAY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2012***
Norm was always one of the best, and longest-running, Pioneers & Legends in the R&C Industry. His love of cars, Crusin', and, life itself, was passed on to all who knew him.
An off-the-wall sense of humor that could keep you laughing all night long, and, a truly kind, generous, and, talented Pro...in every sense of the word.
In accordance with that, I thought I'd bring our earliest story from Norm out of the HOF Legends Archives. It tells how it all began for him, and how his first car got him in trouble with the school Principal ! It's a great story...and so was Norm.
R.I.P., my friend. You will always be remembered....
NORM GRABOWSKI'S beginnings were alot like the rest of us: he was "bitten by the R&C bug" at a very early age.
BUT, Norm's first car wasn't his infamous T-Bucket or anything nearly like it: it was a 1930 Packard Sedan that he drove to High School, until that fateful day, when... We'll I'll let Norm tell you the story of "Sixteen Kids In A Packard Going Downhill...with NO BRAKES !"
This is a story you'll want to share with some of your R&C friends ! It's "vintage" Norm...which means a lot of fun ! All you have to do is JUST CLICK-ON HERE , listen, enjoy, and remember a true Legend: Norm Grabowski. JK
PROBABLY THE MOST FAMOUS SONG EVER written about a car was "The Little Deuce Coupe" by the Beach Boys.
Mike & Larry Alexander, the "A-Brothers" from Detroit, built the original version of that soon-to-be famous '32 Ford Coupe. And, in his first HOF Legends Series Interview, MIKE ALEXANDER, explains how it all came-together, in PART 1 of the story.
From when Clarence "Chili" Catallo walked in the door of the Alexander Brothers shop, until he headed for California with it in tow, Mike gave me the full story...including, his take on the Barris re-do of the Coupe, seeing the Deuce on the Album cover, and, working with Clarence's son, Curt, on the restoration of that infamous "Little Deuce Coupe".
It's a great story, and, though you've seen the Barris Crests on the car, you'll even find out where Mike & Larry placed their Special Plaque on the Deuce !
READY FOR MIKE ALEXANDER'S STORY, along with some great comments from LOU CALASIBETTA ? Okay, for PART 1 of "The Little Deuce Coupe" story SIMPLY CLICK-ON HERE , listen, and, enjoy ! JK
SPECIAL NOTE: I ALSO INTERVIEWED GEORGE BARRIS, about his work on the car...and you can hear his story by just CLICKING ON THIS LINK !
MOST EVERYONE'S FAMILIAR WITH PAUL LeMAT as "John Milner" in the Classic "American Graffiti". But, how many know about some of his other truly remarkable films made with Legends like JASON ROBARDS, and the late FARAH FAWCETT ?
Well, they're some of my Personal Favorites and, in this never-before-heard Interview, I wanted to know what Paul's favorites were. If you thought you knew something about Paul LeMat before, what you hear in our conversation will open up a whole new line of respect for this truly gifted actor, decorated Vietnam Vet, and, Winner of TWO Golden Globe Awards !
SIMPLY CLICK-ON THIS LINK, LISTEN, LEARN, AND, ENJOY ! JK
THE LEGENDARY JOE BAILON not only built one of the most iconic customs of all-time (Miss Elegance), but created "Candy Apple Red"...one of the most unique paint colors ever ! In fact, my INVICTA that you see in the upper left hand corner of these Pages IS painted Candy Apple Red !!
We got together at the 32nd Annual KKOA LEAD SLED SPECTACULAR in Salina, Kansas, and in his first HOF Legends Interview, Joe takes us back to his early years and fills us in on how it all started.
BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE: John D' Agostino suggested that Joe join George Barris along with he and myself for a First Time Ever "Three Legend Interview Session"...and it was FANTASTIC, with more George, Joe, and, Johnny D stories to be heard in the months to come !
SO, simply click-on here , relax, and enjoy Joe Bailon, George Barris, and, John D'Agostino in one of the most unique HOF Legends Sessions in History !
PS: YOU WILL LOVE Joe's version of how he learned to drive to begin with ! It's hilarious !! JK
HE'S BECOME ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC Rod & Custom Builders of the last decade, and is now in THREE Rod & Custom Halls of Fame. The latest Induction was at the 32nd Annual Kustom Kemps of America Leadsled Spectacular in Salina, Kansas.
SO on a busy Sunday Morning, as we were all getting ready to pack-up and head home, BO HUFF took a few minutes out to give me his thoughts on his Induction, his take on the excitement of what happened at the KKOA that weekend, and, some comments on the rare, low-volume, small press-run book that's titled: "Hot Rodz, Hot Bodz, and Bo Huff". This is one you need for your collection !
TO HEAR BO'S STORIES on the above topics, simply click-on here , listen, and, ENJOY ! JK
HE GREW UP WORKING BESIDE HIS DAD, DICK DEAN, but KEITH "KID" DEAN has come into his own, is a Hall Of Famer, and has created some of the most beautiful customs you've ever seen in the last few years.
In this late-night Interview that Keith & I did at the KKOA 31st Annual Lead Sled in Salina, he talked about his early years, his Dad, and, some of his favorite cars.
Keith Dean is an amazing crafstman, tells cool stories, and so this is one Interview ya gotta hear ! SO, simply Click-On Right Here , listen, and, enjoy ! JK
Legendary East Coast Customizer/Restorer LOU CALASIBETTA , was instrumental in putting the ALEXANDER BROTHERS 50th Anniversary Celebration at Cobo Hall in Detroit together, and he also restored their classic "The Golden Indian". This is Lou's story that explains how it all got put into motion. AND, YOU'LL ALSO SEE some pix and get some great History concerning the Alexander Brothers ground-breaking Concept Custom the DEORA ! Simply click-on here to listen.
MIKE ALEXANDER was at the 32nd Annual KKOA Leadsled in Salina, Kansas ! Sure hope you got to meet Mike in-person ! Be listening soon for some of his great stories coming soon...right here on the HOF Legends Site !!
SPECIAL NOTE: Our friend, LARRY ALEXANDER, Passed Away Wednesday, August 25, 2010, at the age of 79. Please accept this story as a remembrance & tribute to Larry as one of the TRUE Pioneers in the Rod & Custom Industry. JK
THE LEGENDARY NORM GRABOWSKI IS known WorldWide as the "inventor of the T-Bucket" with his iconic "Kookie Kar"...BUT, did you know that Norm also had a career as an Actor in both TV & Movies ?
In this rare Interview we did a number of years ago at the KKOA Lead Sled in Salina, Norm told me how it all started, how he got into the Screen Extras Guild, and, how he went from being an "extra" to getting speaking roles & being cast as an Actor !
Norm is battling some health issues at this time, and I wanted to let you hear this Special Interview...when Norm Grabowski was in his prime ! Simply click-on here to Listen...and, ENJOY ! JK
HE'S THE "KING OF THE KUSTOMIZERS"...and has been for over 65 years, but GEORGE BARRIS also had fun and Street Raced in the 40's & early 50's and that lead to police chases, bullet holes, and, building cars for the Movies & TV !
Find out how all of this happened as George shares with me this story of his early days...and how it lead to a whole new part of his amazing career ! Plus, you'll also find out about the "5 Point Ruling" for those early Street Rodders ! ! Just click-on right here , listen and ENJOY ! JK
MARK MORIARITY: BUILDING THE "FUTURIAN" ! Mark has restored some of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's cars, built his own cars, has some cool customs, some legendary customs, and, is always on-the-move looking for more cars to add to his collection !
I've always liked his Roth-styled, bubble-topped, "Futurian" so, in this early Interview that we recorded, Mark filled me in on how it all came together. To hear Mark's take on his "style" and how he builds these unique fiberglass one-offs,simply click-on right here ! JK
DARRYL STARBIRD has been known as the Bubble Top King since his landmark custom, The Predicta, debuted in 1960. But Darryl's largest Bubble Top in those days was created a couple of year's later.
"THE FANTABULA" has always been one of my personal favorites, so at Darryl's 48th Annual Tulsa Rod & Custom Show, February, 2012, that was one of the cars that I really needed Darryl's input on.
Darryl never disappoints me ! He always has great stories with fantastic history behind them, and the saga of the Fantabula covers at least 3 states, numerous owners, a wreck, and a broken bubble top !
Here, then, is the man himself, DARRYL STARBIRD, with the story of the FANTABULA ! Simply click-on here, listen & enjoy ! JK
THE LEGENDARY GENE WINFIELD has become a WorldWide Traveler over the last few years painting & customing cars, giving seminars & talks, and, appearing as a Featured Guest. His travels have taken him to New Zeland, Canada, Sweden, Australia, and many other locations.
So, when we met for this late-night Interview in Salina at the KKOA Lead Sled Spectacular in 2011, I wanted his thoughts on those travels, his input on the cars he saw there, and, also, how he gets contacted to get there in the first place !
In addtion to that, I asked Gene if he'd had any problems when building or painting the cars that he's done. And, in return, he gave me his philosophy on what goes through his mind when he's laying down one of his trademarked paint jobs...and told me about a couple of times that he's had some bad results with a client.
One client in-particular is a well-known Custum Car owner/designer that's been creating cars for almost 50 years and thought that Gene had gone too far ! This ya gotta hear !!
Just click-on here and listen to a true R&C icon: GENE WINFIELD ! JK
JOHN D'AGOSTINO, and the story of Gene Autry's '57 Caddy Seville Kustom ! One of the most Legendary of all Western Movie/Radio/TV Stars, GENE AUTRY, the #1 Singing Cowboy of all-time, had purchased this car new for his then-wife at Christmas, 1957.
Years later John discovered it, and had BILL HINES turn it into a rare, chop-top, crushed-diamond-custom-painted, show winner ! This is the story of how it all happened, by the man who made it happen...John D'Agostino !
PLUS, you'll get in on my Personal Info about my very first ride in a '57 Eldo, and, you'll hear Gene himself singing his signature theme song on his radio show "Melody Ranch": "I'm Back In The Saddle Again" !
Just click-on here , listen and ENJOY ! JK
ORIGINS: OL' SKOOL RODZ & CAR KULTURE DeLUXE !
For the first time GENO DIPOL, Publisher of Ol' Skool Rodz & Car Kulture DeLuxe, AND, ALAN MAYES, Managing Editor of both those titles, talk about how these two extremely infulential rod & custom magazines were created...and how they got together to get the job done !
We got together at Darryl Starbird's 48th Annual Rod & Custom Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, turned on the recorder, and, as the story unfolded, I was amazed at how these two not only "found" each other, but how similar their visions were to achieve the same end result.
Each with a long-time background in their love of rods & customs, and a crew that helps keep everything running smoothly, means that both Ol' Skool Rodz & Car Kulture DeLuxe will continue to entertain readers for years to come !
Simply click-on here , listen, and, enjoy !! JK
ELDEN TITUS' "VIBRASONIC": FROM DREAM TO REALITY !
The Darryl Starbird 48th Annual Tulsa Rod & Custom Show saw the long-awaited debut of the late Elden Titus' last concept-masterpiece "The Vibrasonic". Gary Meyers, and a very able Crew of Elden's friends finished the car after Elden's wife, Tammy, gave the go-ahead in the Fall of 2009.
You've followed the early build of the Vibrasonic here on the HOF Legends Series when Elden first told me about it, and, you've seen & read about the build-up in the pages of Car Kulture DeLuxe over the years.
Accordingly, I wanted the thoughts and input of both Tammy Titus & Gary Meyers on the finished product. And, on Sunday at its Tulsa debut, we got together for this Interview...one I think you will find both touching & informative, as we covered not only their thoughts on the Vibrasonic, but their memories of Elden and his passion for cars, kustoms with a "k", and the fact that "profile is everything !"
To hear the complete story on Elden's final legacy-dream car, the show-stopping VIBRASONIC, simply click-on here . JK
(Above photo Courtesy of my friend Travis at Royboy Productions: http://www.royboyproductions.com )
THE "EL MATADOR" 2012 UPDATE & SALE !
At the Starbird's 48th Annual Tulsa Rod & Custom Show HAROLD MURPHY chased me down two aisles to get my attention and to tell me some fantastic news: He's been able to acquire some needed parts to finish the Restoration of the "El Matador", PLUS, he's had an offer to sell the car to a new "caretaker" who'll love it as much as he did !
This is a super story and, if you've loved the El Matador through the years as most of us have, you'll appreciate all of the Information Murph has to tell...including his wedding of February 25th, 2012 !
Murph was kind enough to tell me he wanted me to be the first to break this News to all of our Hall Of Fame Legends Series visitors WorldWide, so don't wait any longer ! Simply click-on right here and listen to this latest update on one of the most Legendary customs of all-time: The El Matador !
THE BETTIE PAGE TRIBUTE...
EVER BEEN TO A R&C SHOW/EVENT in the last few years and attend a "Bettie-Look-Alike" Contest ? Ever see an R&C Mag that features a "Bettie Of The Month" ??
Well, as you should know by now, there was a real BETTIE PAGE and I figured you should probably have a closer look at her career, her film tie-in's, and, more importantly, a look at the man who almost single-handedly brought Bettie Page "back to life" !
THAT MAN'S CAREER as an artist is also featured on Bettie's Tribute Page...and a look at his connection to Bettie Page, and a comic character he created called "The Rocketeer"...which was later turned into a major motion picture.
NO, you don't have to have your speakers turned-up for this Special Page because there's no audio. But you'll read about - and see - some cool info that you probably won't find elsewhere...including a look at my retail establishment: "All-American Comics & Collectibles" that I ran in St. Louis for seven years.
Just click-on here and your journey with BETTIE PAGE will begin. JK
GEORGE BARRIS : BUILDING THE BATMOBILE !
In late-1965 George Barris was commissioned to build a version of the legendary DC Comics "Batmobile" after Dean Jeffries had to pass on the project due to its time-frame.
It was for the newly-created "Batman" TV Series which was to debut on January 12, 1966...and George had only three weeks to do it !!
So, in honor of the 46th Anniversary of both the Series, and, the much-beloved Barris "Batmobile", here's my Interview with George explaining how it all came together...PLUS, you'll hear Batman & Robin take-off in that iconic ride !! Simply turn up your speakers, sit back, click-on here , and enjoy !!! JK
ONE OF THE B-E-S-T OF THE NEW BREED of Kustomizers working today is BRAD MASTERSON.
Brad is one of the nicest guys that you'll meet, and a true professional that builds cars in the "classic" sense. His early mentors were George Barris & Bill Hines...so you can be sure he's got the basics - and then some - down pat ! Better yet, if you've seen his work...you know that it's as spot-on as it can be !
In this Interview that we did in Salina at the KKOA Lead Sled, Brad told me just how he got connected with those two Legends listed above. So, if you're ready, just click-on , listen, and, enjoy Brad's story ! JK
HE DID IT AGAIN ! Yep, it took him over 3 years to do it but MARK MORIARITY restored the Legendary Car Craft "DREAM ROD" originally built by the late Bill Cushenberry.
We talked about this one-on-one done at Darryl Starbird's 14th Annual HOF Induction Ceremonies. ADDED ATTRACTION: Lot's of Cool Pix on this page ! Simplyclick-on right here and enjoy this great story ! JK
IF YOU'VE FOLLOWED THE PROGRESS OF "Lorraine": Project Riviera in CKD then you'll want to hear ALAN MAYES, CKD/OSR Managing Editor, with his update on the build. If you haven't...well, here's your chance to catch-up !
Alan, BO HUFF, and myself, joined-up for a Sunday Morning Session at the 2011 KKOA Lead Sled in Salina. We talked cars, Bo's health, and, a couple of other things you'll want to get in on.
So, just click-on this special link, and enjoy the stories, the fun, and, the time shared with two of the Industries real Pros ! JK
ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED CREATORS of truly beautiful & rare kustom cars, JOHN D'AGOSTINO , has once again raised the bar with his soon-to-be debuted 1940 Cadillac Sixty Two Coupe ! It's called "Sophia" in honor of the beautiful Academy Award winning Italian actress Sophia Loren.
John's not only an excellent designer/owner of these finely crafted machines, he's also one of the nicest guys you'll ever run into, and every year at the KKOA Lead Sled in Salina, John - along with the Legendary GEORGE BARRIS - joins me in an Exclusive Interview session. This year I wanted an update on that Caddy, and John gave me the final version of the car's build.
"Sophia" is scheduled for its debut at the 2012 GNRS, SO here's your chance to check-out a "sneak peek" of this gorgeous kustom, and hear from the man who got it all put together.
LISTEN UP as John & George share the mike on a Sunday Morning in Salina...AND, they also surprise me with some very kind comments. It all starts as soon as you click-on right here ! JK
(PS: The Cool Concept Art shown here is by Finnish artist JANNE KUTJA.)
FROM THE HALL OF FAME LEGENDS ARCHIVES:
SPENCE MURRAY, tells how the World Famous "ROD & CUSTOM DREAM TRUCK" was built ! It was the first of the "magazine project cars", it was done by Rod & Custom Mag with Spence as it's first Editor, and, if you haven't heard it before...well, this is how Legends are begun ! To hear Spence tell the story, simply click-on here !
KUSTOM CAR GURU, BO HUFF, created a one-off classic '57 Ford Ranchero called the : "Panochero" ! This magnificent ride was a winner at the GNRS, shown in Calfornia for a year, and was also featured at the "Then & Now" exhibit at the 2011 GNRS.
Now for the first time here on the HOF Legends Series, Bo gives me the complete info and list of mods performed on the beautiful PANOCHERO. Just simply click-on here , listen and enjoy ! JK
(BTW: That's super-artist MAX GRUNDY'S "Bo Huff" Poster...couldn't be kooler !)
LEGENDARY CUSTOMIZER & CUSTOM PAINTER, GENE WINFIELD, has had a career that spans over six decades ! But, there are still some who are not aware that Gene's life in Rods & Customs actually began as a hard-core racer at the dragstrips in California, and the sites of El Mirage & Bonneville.
With that in mind, in this Interview I wanted Gene to fill-me-in on his racing history, his race cars, the engines that he used, and, the times of his successful runs.
ALSO, Gene has been filmed for a number of TV Shows and I wanted to zero-in on the "History Detectives" Episode he was featured on for PBS and get his feelings on that experience.
Gene never disappoints me...his memory of events, people, and, places, are razor-sharp, so just click-on here and take a trip "back in time" with one of the Hall Of Fame's Charter Members: Gene Winfield ! JK
HALL OF FAME MEMBER MARK MORIARITY owns some great cars, has restored some rare cars, and, has built some cool Bubble Tops. But, how do you build a "Bubble Top" ? Well, that's just one of the questions I posed to Mark in this Interview, and his answers were all on-target !
I also found some info on what may be the first Bubble Top in History ! And, if you've never seen it...well, now's your chance ! Just click-on here and you're on your way !
DICK "MAGOO" MEGUGORAC'S career as a Street Rod Builder goes back to the mid-40's, he's built, literally hundreds of cars since then and has always been one of the Industries most-respected members. One of his biggest challenges came in the late-1970's when he was tapped to build not-just-a-32-Hi Boy, but a '32 powered by a V-12 Ferrari engine !
Thus was born the "DEUCARI" a milestone '32 that was a winner from the time it left his shop...and that's one of the cars I zeroed-in on when Dick and I did this Interview at Darryl Starbird's 14th Annual Induction Ceremonies at the Hall Of Fame Museum in Oklahoma.
In additon to being a true Hot Rodding Pioneer, Dick is one of the most wonderful people you'd ever spend time with ! I think you'll see what I mean as you listen to him tell the tale of the Legendary "DEUCARI"...just click-on here right now ! Enjoy !! JK
NORM GRABOWSKI'S LEGENDARY "KOOKIE KAR", has been a Rod & Custom icon since its was first seen back in 1957. But a few years ago Norm had a dream about building a new version...and thus was born "KOOKIE II" !
In this one-on-one Exclusive Interview Norm told me the whole story, and, if you haven't heard it now's your chance ! Norm is one of the nicest, and, funniest guys in the Industry, and his stories are among the best. Simply click-on here , listen, and, learn abour the Origin of "KOOKIE II" !! JK
FOR MY FRIEND, AND FELLOW ST. LOUISAN, legendary Hall Of Fame Artist & Illustrator, STEVE STANFORD, it all began simply enough with the October, 1963 Issue of Hot Rod Magazine. From there it turned into a passion & career that has given him World Wide recognition in the Rod & Custom Industry.
Steve is one of the nicest guys you'll ever spend time with and, in this exclusive Interview for the HOF Legends Series, I wanted to go back to that beginning to find out how it all started for him, how he got his first big break, and what his thoughts were on that whole process.
So, sit back for a few minutes, relax, and join us as Steve & I have some fun along the way...and let you "in" on both the fun AND the whole story ! Click-on here... and you're on your way !
SINCE THE FALL OF 2010, our friend BO HUFF has spent many hours & days at the Huntsman Cancer Instittute (shown here) in Salt Lake City, Utah, being treated for Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma. This is a severe form of cancer that attacks the blood cells and bone marrow, and requires chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants, medication, and many other avenues of approach to help contain it.
So, for the first time here on the HOF Legends Site, Bo tells his own story of the ordeal he's gone through, and is still being treated for weekly. We talked about this at length in our Interview Session at the KKOA Lead Sled Spectacular in Salina. It was the first time Bo & I got together since he's been feeling better, gaining weight back, and, overall starting to enjoy life again...since many months of intense pain & suffering.
This is one Interview you really don't want to miss...especially if you've followed Bo's progress over the last year as I've reported it to you. Simply click-on here, and listen to a heathier, rejuvenated, and, extremely-thankful-for-your-prayers, BO HUFF ! JK
HAROLD MURPHY'S "EL MATADOR" STORY: PART 1...begins with Murphy's life-long love of that landmark custom that was built by the Legendary BILL CUSHENBERRY.
Through the years, the El Matador went through a succession of various owners and, many years later, Murphy found the car by accident when visiting the home of another builder. Shortly after that the car was destroyed when that owner's garage caught on fire and burned to the ground. Murphy then tried to buy the car to restore, but the then-current owner said "No" !
PART 1: Covers Murph's personal story about the "El Matador" on all of the above points, and if you've EVER seen this unique, rare, world-reknowned custom, you definitely have to hear this tale told by the man who would eventually, like the "Rise of the Phoenix", bring it back from the ashes of destruction and restore it to its former glory !
It all starts when you click-on here !! JK
MURPHY'S "EL MATADOR STORY": PART 2... DUE TO THE FANTASTIC RESPONSE OF PART 1 of HAROLD MURPHY'S "El Matador Story", I worked overtime to finish PART 2 so that I could share it with all of you as soon as possible.
While I was editing the audio and working on the copy/text & info for PART 2, Murph was kind enough to forward me many photos of the build/restoration from his personal collection so that they could be added ! What a find they were !
SO, we won't keep you in suspense any longer...simply click-on this Link and it will take you to MURPHY'S "EL MATADOR STORY": PART 2 ! JK
ONE OF THE FUNNIEST GUYS in the Rod & Custom Industry is the one-and-only NORM GRABOWSKI !
This time, Norm talks about how he got into cars to begin with, and gives us the scoop on the early beginnings of, what would become, the Legendary "Kookie Car"! (Good Question: Where did the '52 Cadillac engine in Norm's T-Bucket come from ? Listen closely and you'll find out !)
Simply Click-On here to listen to one of the HOF's most humorous story teller's ! JK
THE BARRIS CRESTS ADORNED SOME OF THE MOST ICONIC KUSTOMS of All-Time and one of those belonged to DAVE BUGARIN of San Pedro, California and it's simply referred to as THE BUGARIN MERC.
GEORGE BARRIS & I hadn't talked about this car before, so it was on my list when we met-up for our yearly Sunday Morning Session at the KKOA Leadsled in Salina, Kansas. This is a very neat story, and, to prove a point, George gave some rare info on a legendary singing duo that he also did cars for. This you DON'T want to miss !!
Just click-on right here, relax and listen to one of the longest-running Pioneers in the History of Rods & Kustoms: GEORGE BARRIS ! JK
THE DICK DEAN TRIBUTE PAGE: DICK DEAN passed away in July of 2008. Shortly after that, Industry Legends GEORGE BARRIS, JOHN D'AGOSTINO, and, DARRYL STARBIRD, shared their thoughts and insight with me on the importance of this long-time HOF Member.
PLUS, you'll hear some of my own personal memories of Dick, on his sense of humour, his talent, creativity and craftsmanship. Dick was one of THE best. Period. Just Click-On-This-Link listen, and enjoy the info & stories about this true R&C Legend. JK
THE STORY OF "THE VOODOO IDOL, PT. 2". In Part 1, well-known builder VOODOO LARRY filled me in on the basics of putting this iconic ultra-kustom together. It started life as a '46 Ford Coupe, and almost has more mods than you can count !
Now, in PART 2, we cover how those '49 Plymouth Tail Lights got there, how Larry's idol - Gene Winfield - figured in on the paint job, and what Larry's feelings are on the outcome of the build. To hear the story of "THE VOODOO IDOL, PT. 2" simply turn-up your speakers, click-on here, listen & enjoy ! JK
A Cover Car & A Feature Car from its earliest days, Paul Savelesky's '55 Bel Air Custom is restored and living again...this time in the garage of Hall Of Famer MARK MORIARITY. Saving the car for future generations to see, Mark's "Dream Car" survives the test of time, and this is the story of how he got it ! Simply click-on here to listen !!
PROLIFIC ROD & CUSTOM DESIGNER/ILLUSTRATOR, STEVE STANFORD, created a Phantom 3-Window Ford Shoebox in an early-1990's magazine showcase. Rod & Custom Legend, Billy F Gibbons, took the idea seriously and had Pete Chapouris & his crew build him one ! It became one of the most talked-about cars in the Industry.
In this late-night Interview, after Steve's Induction into Darryl Starbird's National Rod & Custom Hall Of Fame, Steve & I had some fun, talked about Billy's car - "KOPPERHED" - and wound up with some words of advice from Steve. Wanna' hear it now ? Okay, just click-on here, listen and enjoy ! JK
Texas-based Hall Of Famer GARY HOWARD has built some amazing vehicles for his friend, the legendary guitarist/car buff Jimmie Vaughan, but when he pounded out the final version of this 1961 Cadillac Coupe DeVille, it was like nothing anyone had EVER seen before !
It was a fire-breathing, super-charged, racing-slicked Road Warrior...a true Hot Rod to challenge anything on the street OR strip ! Click-on here and listen as Gary feeds us the info on this fantastic Award Winner. JK
YOU'VE READ ABOUT THE FANTASTIC CARS of NorCal Legend & Multi-Hall Of Famer FRANK LIVINGSTON for 6 Decades !
Frank is one of the Original Members of the famous Satan's Angels Club, and in this Interview, he tell's the story of his first job after High School that ultimately led him to the one car he fell in love with and turned into a Multiple Award Winner !! Simply click-on right here, listen, and, enjoy ! JK
ARGUABLY ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS Kustoms of All-Time the HIROHATA MERC stands alone in its uniqueness, its styling, and, its ground-breaking form & shape. Accordingly, when GEORGE BARRIS and I got together for this Interview, the Hirohata was one of the main subjects I wanted to cover.
George answered all of my questions and, as only the original designer/builder could do, gave me all of the seemingly "small" details that made this car what it is: A landmark Kustom whose ideas and styling cues have been copied over & over since it's completion almost 60 years ago ! Click-on right here, right now and hear this amazing story...from the man who created it ! JK
JEFF MYERS IS ONE OF THE PREMIRE builders & kustomizers in the mid-west. A few years back he began work on a true kustomizing masterpiece: a '57 Cadillac Eldorado Seville Hardtop ! Before it was completely finished, and at the upholsterer's having a futuristic, out-of-this-world interior installed, Jeff & I got together for an in-depth Interview at the KKOA in Salina.
I've always loved '57 Eldos, so I wanted to hear Jeff's version of how this soon-to-be multiple Award Winner began, how he acquired the car, and how it all came together through his extraordinary vision of what he wanted to accomplish... with the end-result being one of the most beautiful Eldorado Kustoms to ever hit the streets ! SO, enjoy the Interview, and some very cool , candid pix with a surprise appearance from one of the most famous R&C Artists/Designers: STEVE STANFORD ! Simply click-on here ...and you're on your way ! JK
PS: Just how rare are 1957 Eldorado Seville Hardtops ? See all the facts & figures on the same Page while you listen to Jeff's Interview !
IT'S ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC kustoms to ever come out of GEORGE BARRIS' shop. It's been seen worldwide in so many magazines through the years that most everyone's lost count !
BUT, for the very first time here on the Hall Of Fame Legends WebSite, you can hear the "King Of The Kustomizers" George Barris, tell the story of how the car came together after the devasting shop fire that left it as the lone vehicle that was saved, and, George's personal feelings about the superb restoration done by Roy Brizio's shop...so that the car could make its 50th Anniversary appearance at the 2008 GNRS.
This is truly a story ALL R&C fans will want to hear more than once ! Just click-on here , listen, and enjoy: GEORGE BARRIS and "THE ALA KART STORY" JK
EVER DREAM ABOUT seeing your car in a magazine? Well, Editor/Writer/Photographer, JERRY WEESNER gives some tips and shares some info on what the Pros look for and tells me about a real out-in-the-field Event find !
If you missed this story the first time around...here's your chance to catch-up ! And all you do to listen is just click-on right here ! JK
LEGENDARY PIONEER BUILDER GENE WINFIELD has not only created some of the most beautiful customs of all-time but he's also built many Specialized Vehicles that have been featured in Movies & TV ! In this Interview, I wanted to know what Gene's favorites were...in a career that goes back 6 Decades.
SO, get ready for some interesting conversation, some eye-popping rides, and the thoughts & memories of one of the R&C Industries most revered Hall Of Fame Members: Gene Winfield ! It all starts right here:Gene Winfield's Favorite Cars ! JK
NOTE: YES ! That is Captain James T. Kirk, home on-leave from his duties on the Starship Enterprise, gettng ready to blast off in Gene's "Reactor" Land Cruiser !!
THE ROD & CUSTOM INDUSTRY continues to expand year-by-year on a WorldWide Basis. In this exclusive Round Table Interview, the Legendary GEORGE BARRIS, and Hall Of Famer JOHN D'AGOSTINO, tell how the truly American-Art Form of the Rod & Custom, er, "Kustom", affects owners & builders all over the World !
AND, this year, their Overseas Trip brought together for the first time these THREE Legendary Customizers from the 50's : GEORGE BARRIS, GENE WINFIELD, AND, DARRYL STARBIRD ...along with JOHN D'AGOSTINO and a few surprises that you'll find out about ! They were all off to one of the Countries that perpetuates this special, unique Art Form: SWEDEN ! Just click-on here for this fascinating story !!
A FEW YEARS BACK, the Legendary DARRYL STARBIRD, along with one of the Hottest Midwest Kustomizers, JEFF MYERS, worked together with a super-crew on the"MONSTER GARAGE"show.
I wanted to find out from both of them how that experience affected them, and what there feelings were after it was over. SO, what you'll hear covers BOTH Interviews with two teriffic builders ! Ready to listen ? Okay ! Click-on here and you're on your way ! JK
"THE ROD & CUSTOM DREAM TRUCK SAGA", PT.2: Due to the many eMails and calls I've received on PART 1 of the R&C Dream Truck Saga, for the very first time on the HOF Legends Series, I'm adding PART 2 RIGHT NOW so that you can hear BOTH Pt. 1 & Pt. 2...the complete story without having to wait...and, later on, I'll leave them on the Front Page in case you, or someone else, may have missed hearing this fantastic piece of R&C History.
NOW, in PART 2, SPENCE MURRAY continues his tale of having sold the body of the truck, how sometime after that the search as to where the R&C Dream Truck ended up began, who restored it, and who owns it today !
PLUS, the Legendary GEORGE BARRIS was one of the original Master Builders of the R&C Dream Truck, and in an Exclusive Interview that I did with George, he tells me what he first felt when the truck was brought back to his shop after the crash. THIS YOU GOTTA HEAR !
READY ? OKAY, it all starts when you click-on right here !! JK
(NOTE: That's a pic of Spence above that I took as he drove the restored Dream Truck onto the Show Field at Darryl's Starbird's National Rod & Custom Hall of Fame property in Oklahoma in 2007. )
"THE ROD & CUSTOM DREAM TRUCK SAGA", PT. 1: If you're a real diehard R&C fan, by now you've heard or read about the tragic accident that happened to SPENCE MURRAY'S Legendary Rod & Custom Dream Truck. BUT, this will probably be the very first time that you'll actually HEAR Spence tell the story of the October 21, 1958, incident that put this strange-but-true Saga into motion !
It's an incredible story that you'll want to hear more than once...so, just click-on here to begin one of the most interesting tales in R&C History ! JK
READ MY REVIEW OF "HOT ROD" by Henry Gregor Felsen ! After 60 years it's now back in print and you can find out "how" & "why"...plus who did it ! Just click-on right here, right now !! JK
YOU KNOW HIM AS "JOHN MILNER" one of the Stars of the ultra-classic "AMERICAN GRAFITTI", but the real-life exploits of PAUL LeMAT have often outshone what you've seen on the Screen. Paul's had a truly exciting life, traveled around the World, and is not only a decorated Vietnam Vet, but was a winning Welterweight Boxer !
Paul is ALWAYS fun to share time with, and at one of our KKOA Lead Sled Interviews in Salina, we covered not one, not two, but THREE stories at one time ! After you listen to what he has to say, you'll come away with a whole new image of this Award Winning TV & Film Pro, and the amazing life that he's had ! Clicking-on right here starts it all for you ! JK
THE SPACE AGE WAS UNDERWAY ! Sabre Jets flying overhead, Darryl Starbird's "Predicta" flying low-to-the-ground, Astronaut Alan B. Shephard, as a part of NASA's Project Mercury, was preparing to be America's first man in space by piloting the Freedom 7 spacecraft, and GEORGE BARRIS' "XPAK 400" was hovering above-land at car shows all over the Country !
When George, John D'Agostino, and I, got together at the KKOA Lead Sled in Salina awhile back, George brought up the subject of not only the future of kustom cars...but how he put his own "space car" the "XPAK 400" into motion. George also told me how his family runs his business today...and about a car his grandson is building. Just click-on right here ...and, Enjoy ! JK
THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED: FEBRUARY 3, 1959.
ONE OF THE MOST TRAGIC EVENTS in the History of Rock & Roll happened on that fateful day. BUDDY HOLLY, RICHIE VALENS, and, J.P. RICHARDSON ("The Big Bopper"), were killed in a plane crash...trying to get from one Concert to the next.
Teenagers and young adults mourned the trio, and radio stations played their songs...knowing that the History of Rock & Roll Radio would never be the same. How many times have you Cruised to "Maybe Baby", "La Bamba", or, "Chantilly Lace"...and never thought about the tragedy involved with each of the singers of those songs ?
Well, number of years ago I acquired an Historic News Bulletin of that event from February 3, 1959, and I've pulled it out of my Archives to share with all of you. I've also added some music from Buddy Holly & Richie Valens so that you could once again hear their voices connected to this Historic Broadcast, PLUS, the voice of The Big Bopper with his legendary Intro to start things off.
This special, rare audio that you'll hear is not very long...but it is very important. And, maybe next time when you hear Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, or, The Big Bopper, on your radio while you're out Crusin' you'll think about the musical legacy they left us, and remember that they left us way too soon.
Simply click-on here ,
listen to the audio, read the History, read my personal memories of this tragic occurence, and, remember those 3 Legendary singers whose music will live on forever. JK
HE'S BEEN A LIFELONG "CAR GUY", like most of us, but MARK MORIARITY has taken it a number of steps further: He's a restorer, customizer, builds original cars, and is in TWO Hall Of Fames ! I've known Mark for many years, and in this early Interview, he told me how it all started for him.
This Interview is short, sweet, and to the point, and you'll probably want to hear it more than once ! Just click-on here, listen & learn from one of the best ! JK
WHEN THEY WERE FINISHED WITH IT it sure didn't look anything like a '55 Chevrolet Convertible...but such was the fate of "THE AZTEC", owned by Bill Carr, when it rolled out of the Barris Shop !
This is a car that is on the Legendary List of the Top Ten Customs Of All-Time, and when GEORGE BARRIS, JOHN D'AGOSTINO, and I got together for our yearly Sunday Morning Session in Salina at the 30th Annual KKOA Lead Sled, The Aztec is one car that I had never talked to George about, and I definitely wanted the story of the build.
George always gives credit where it's due, and shows how the family of Kustomizers in the R&C Industry can all work in harmony on such a massive project as this was. To hear all of the details Click-On Here !
PS: ALSO INCLUDED...a link to the legend of "THE CURSE OF THE AZTEC"
RICK NELSON was one of the earliest Superstars of Rock & Roll !
He was one of the earliest "Rockabilly Cats" before anyone coined the term, and I was privileged to Interview him in October of 1981...4 years before he was killed in a tragic plane explosion. Rick was also a "car guy" just like the rest of us, so I felt it was only fitting that I dedicate a Tribute Page to him.
Just click-on the link I've set-up to access this Special RICK NELSON TRIBUTE PAGE ...and you can hear PART 2 of my Exclusive Interview with Rick , where he talks about his career & a life-changing event that led to a major Hit Record for him ! Simply click-on here for this part of the Interview.
Rick was one of the first "Teen Idols", had multiple million-selling records, and was a gentleman who gained my overwhelming respect before, during, and, after this Interview. RICK NELSON was truly a class act, and reading the story, along with listening to the Interview are "musts" for all logging onto the HOF Legends Site and valuing an insight into the History Of Rock & Roll from someone who was there from the beginning. Enjoy ! JK
VOODOO LARRY'S landmark "Voodoo Idol" is a multiple-award winner, a magazine & book Feature Car, and is one of the wildest rides put together in this Millenium ! The "how-and-why" of its beginning is what I wanted to find out, and Larry didn't disappoint me.
He's a craftsman of the highest level, and it shows in ALL of his work. But this car is somethin' special...and so is the reason it was called "Idol". To find out all of the facts & figures, just listen as Larry tells the story of "THE VOODOO IDOL, Pt. 1", listen by just clicking-on this link !
FOR ALMOST FIVE DECADES BO HUFF has been one of the most ambitious & creative builders in the country.
HE WAS BORN IN ARKANSAS, but ended up in Utah. Then, after a stay in California, BO HUFF cruised back to Utah, and has been there ever since, hammering out some of the neatest Custom Cars you'll ever see. BUT, I wanted to know how that happened. Also, needed to know about his Museum, and what he'd like to work on in the future. I got all the answers...and then some ! Bo's got some great stories...and in this group you'll learn the history of how he got from Point "A" to Point "B" and back again ! If you click-on here right now you'll hear 'em !! JK
PROBABLY THE MOST DEVASTATING shop fire in Rod & Custom History happened on the nite of December 7th, 1957. It happened at BARRIS KUSTOMS in Lynwood, California, and in the intervening 53 years has become a legendary topic of discussion, and has been written-up in more magazine & newspaper articles than you could ever count.
When GEORGE BARRIS and I sat down for this particular Interview, I wanted to personally hear the story from him so that I could Feature it for you here on the Hall Of Fame Legends Series. It's truly a story of "triumph over tragedy" that I know you will enjoy. Just click-on here to listen ! JK
EVERY LEGENDARY R & C BUILDER has one special ride that set him "apart from the pack" and gave him the prominence that he deserved to give his career a major boost. With Darryl Starbird it was "The Predicta", for the Barris Brothers "The Hirohata Merc", Chuck Miller created "The Fire Truck", and, GENE WINFIELD did it with "The Jade Idol".
To hear this story of a legendary "original", directly from the man who's craftsmanship created it, just click-on here ! JK
CRUSIN' HOLLWOOD IN 1957 ! That's what old pal JERRY WEESNER, and, the long-time "Kookie Kar" Crusier, NORM GRABOWSKI, were able to do back at the dawning of R&C crusing in the 50's & 60's. So it's great to hear their "first hand" info of how it was "back in the day". Both tell great stories, and this is one you don't want to miss ! Just click-on here to listen right now ! JK
JOHN D'AGOSTINO, GEORGE BARRIS, AND, MANY other members of the Rod & Custom Industry, sometimes travel Overseas on a yearly basis for various shows around the World. And many, like John & George, take some of their special cars along to show the people in the Countries they visit.
But, for a long time, I've wondered how they got those beautifully crafted Rods & Customs Overseas in the first place: by plane, by boat ? Not by rail or by land that's for sure ! And, driving a rodded Amphicar for that entire distance is definetely out of the question !!
SO, in this Interview that I did with JOHN D'AGOSTINO at the KKOA Lead Sled in Salina, John gave me the whole story, cleared-up all of my questions, and now you can find out the answers too ! Just click-on here, listen & learn ! JK
ONE OF THE TRUE PIONEERS OF STREET RODDING as we know it today was DICK "MAGOO" MEGUGORAC . Dick wasn't just a "pioneer" he was a Street Racer, a Builder, a Businessman, and, an Innovator, at a time when "home built" rides were in their prime. He then became one of most respected Owner/Builder's in the Industry with every Rod he put on the streets being able to be driven as far as you wanted !
In this Interview, done at Darryl Starbird's, we discussed his phasing out of being a "backyard builder" to a "shop owner" in a building that proudly put out one fine ride after the other !
Dick is one of the FINEST story teller's in the business...and, since his History dates back to the 40's, he's a microcosim of information on the Street Rodding scene...and how it grew. Please enjoy this story...as much as I enjoy my friendship with Dick and his wife, Lois. We can all learn from him, and from all of these wonderful Legends that we're priveleged to have with us here on the Hall Of Fame Legends Series.
Listen, Learn, and, Enjoy ! JK
THE LARRY WATSON TRIBUTE PAGE : A Rod & Custom Legend, the iconic painter, stylist , and innovator of some of the 50's & 60's most legendary cars was LARRY WATSON. Sadly, on July 20, 2010, just days before the KKOA 30th Anniversary Lead Sled Spectacular in Salina, Kansas, Larry passed away. It was a shock to us all, and I wanted to do Larry justice by putting together a true & respectful Tribute here on the HOF Legends Site, covering the Tribute with some information that might not be generally avaliable...like the great story STEVE STANFORD told me regarding his painting that fantastic poster of the "Bellflower Clock Drive-In" for Larry.
To that end, I also asked my good friends GEORGE BARRIS & JOHN D'AGOSTINO, who had both known Larry for many, many years, to record some of their memories of him during our yearly Sunday Morning Interview Session in Salina, and I've added my own personal connection to the Watson story. What you'll hear, read, and, see on this Special Tribute Page is a true testament to the life & times of one of the Industries most respected Hall Of Fame Legends: LARRY WATSON Simply click-on here to listen ! JK
CHUCK MILLER is one of the longest-running, most talented R&C Professionals in the Industry. And, to further add to his credentials, there's his recently released biography: "STYLINE CUSTOMS...CHUCK MILLER".
The book is a visual delight in words and pictures and was written by Car & Driver Senior Editor, TONY SWAN, and has a Foreword by the Legendary BOB LARIVEE. Chuck & I talked about it this past Summer in our Interview in Salina at the KKOA 30th Anniversary, so to listen to how the project came together, and find out what the MAIN FEATURE of the book is, just click-on here . JK
EVERYBODY'S "Fan Favorite" from the legendary coming-of-age/ Crusin'-In-California flick AMERICAN GRAFFITI, Paul LeMat ("John Milner"), is asked to travel to Rod & Custom shows all over the World to meet up with fans of all ages. But Paul is constantly working on other projects when he has time, and recently has starred in a new Sci-Fi / Biker Babe film entitled "CYBORG CONQUEST", and also found time to write a book that's partly autobiographical: "HASTEN DOWN THE WIND".
What's the movie about, where did the title "Hasten Down The Wind" come from, and, what was Paul's other profession at one time ? You'll hear it all in this great Interview and story from one of the BEST all-around professionals you'll ever find: Paul LeMat ! Click-On here to listen ! JK
ONE OF THE ELITE MEMBERS chosen for the KKOA Hall Of Fame in 2010: LOU CALASIBETTA. LOU and his crew at the Old Stillwater Garage in Stillwater, New Jersey, have been responsible for some of the most unique Rods & Restorations for almost 4 Decades. Lou's stories have been on the Hall Of Fame Legends Site since the beginning, documenting his great career, BUT in a Special Interview we did shortly after his KKOA HOF Induction, Lou gave me his feelings and thoughts about this prestigious honor.
Lou's a real gentleman, as well as an expert craftsman , and I was glad I was at the KKOA 30th Anniversary Ceremonies to witness the Inductions first hand. Simply click-on here to listen to Lou's story.
(NEW HOF INDUCTEE'S FOR 2010 were BOB METZ (posthumously), MURPHY & THE STRIPER, and, LOU CALASIBETTA.)
VOODOO LARRY is in the vanguard of kustomizers that not only build some great old school rides, but live the lifestyle at the same time. His cars include the Voodoo Kreeper, Voodoo Diablo, and, the knock-out Voodoo Idol. In this first installment of stories from Larry, I wanted to find out what shifted his focus into cars in the beginning, AND into building kustoms as cool as he does. Larry's got a great future ahead in our Industry, and is definetly one of the new breed of builders to watch ! Click-On here and listen ! JK
HE'S A HALL OF FAMER who works on his own in his shop located just outside of Austin, Texas, and GARY HOWARD has one of the best reputations in the Industry. In 1994 he began work on Mike Young's '60 Impala Hardtop. Mike's a friend of Jimmie Vaughan's, and the early concept was just "...lower the car & take off the door handles." Well, we all know how that goes !
In this Exclusive Interview, never-before-heard on the HOF Legends Series, Gary explains just what happened, and answers the question of whether or not a car can have a "soul". All you have to do is click-on here to Listen, learn & enjoy ! JK
FOR THE FIRST TIME on the HOF Legends WebSite, GEORGE BARRIS, tells the full-story of his legendary creation: "THE GOLDEN SAHARA" ! JOHN D'AGOSTINO & I add some info to the story, George reveals the "fishy" side of The Golden Sahara, and also tells how it became a "movie star". This is one story you just can't miss ! PLUS: You can see "The Golden Sahara" in action !! Ready ? Click-On Here Now !! JK
THE NUCLEUS OF THE IDEA for Posies "DRIVEN DIRTY TOUR" began at SEMA in 2005. Since that time it's become a legendary event that leaves it's homebase in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, and heads to Las Vegas every year with KEN "Posies" FENICAL, himself, leading the pack of drivers for a few days of fun, trailblazing, and, pure "hot rodding" at its finest level.
The 2011 DDT began at Posie's on October, 22nd, ended up in Vegas October 30th...but there's a lot of Crusin' between those two points !
So, okay, I wanted to know how this whole thing started and Ken filled me in totally & completely. Ken not only knows his cars, works on his rides, and drives 'em...but he is an EXCELLENT story teller ! Ken & his crew have given much help & support to this Site over the years, and I sincerely appreciate it. JK
JUST CLICK-ON HERE AND YOU'LL HEAR THE WHOLE STORY !
ARTIST AT LARGE, DENNIS McPHAIL, is one of THE BEST ! Art, Tattoos, Sculptures, Kustoms...Dennis puts it all together everyday of his life. SO, when we did this Interview awhile back, I wanted to know about his early years, and what set him onto this lifelong course that he's pursued, and excelled at, for so many years.
DENNIS McPHAIL is one of the nicest and most talented people I know, and whether you know him or not, once you hear this story you'll learn why he's so well-respected in the Industry. Listen to Dennis' story by clicking-on here ! JK
STEVE FRISBIE (Steve's Auto Restorations, Portland, Oregon) has one of the busiest & best shops in the R&C Industry ! Steve honed his talents by first doing restorations on true, award-winning Classics, and later sequed into Rods, Customs, and, many, many more awards in the process.
IN THIS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, done on the day Steve was inducted into Darryl Starbird's National Rod & Custom Hall Of Fame, Steve & I discuss his early career as a restorer, AND, how he co-ordinates the builds done for his customers, with the superb craftsmanship of his crew, to turn out "Drivable Dreams" ! Just click-on here and listen ! JK
THE LIMITED EDITION "HALL OF FAME LEGENDS" SERIES Custom-Burned, Gold Colored, 1st & 2nd Anniversary CD's are available once again ! We have a small quantity for those who may not have gotten them yet. I can sincerely use your help in keeping the HOFL Series On-Line with a small Donation. For complete lists, info, and , instructions on how to get your personal copy, PLUS a Super Cool, Personally Autographed Freebie, please just go to the Special Page that I've set-up for all of our faithful visitors to the Site. AND, thank you in advance for your help & support. JK
HE'S CONSIDERED ONE OF THE WORLD'S BEST Guitarists' AND he also owns some of the coolest rides on the Planet ! JIMMIE VAUGHAN'S '63 Riviera, built by his friend Gary Howard, was an Award Winning Custom from the day it hit the streets...with an oh-so-subtle chop. In addition, Jimmie's a 4-time Grammy Award Winner: so I wanted to know about both the Riv AND those Grammies ! Jimmie did not disappoint me as you'll hear in this Exclusive Interview done at Darryl Starbird's National Rod & Custom Hall Of Fame. Jimmie knows what he wants in a car, and his insight is remarkable ! JK
HIS PAL'S CALL HIM "FASTBACK FRANK", because NorCal's FRANK LIVINGSTON has probably owned & customized more Chevy Fastback's than anyone. And, there was one very special '49 that was dubbed "The Crown Jewel" which had a very unusual feature to its Howdy Ledbetter-upholstered interior. I wanted to find out how it got that way, and you'll love Frank's reason for doing it, or, maybe you should just ask his wife, Kathy ! Listen & Learn ! Enjoy ! JK
FOR CLOSE TO SIX DECADES DARRYL STARBIRD has crafted some of the rarest, most-acclaimed Rods & Customs that the Industry has ever seen. And, in this Exclusive never-before-heard Interview on the Hall Of Fame Legends Series, I wanted to know where that "drive" to create came from, why Darryl moved from his lifelong home in Kansas to Oklahoma, and, in addition, what his thoughts were on the resurgence of the pioneers of the Rod & Custom Industry.
His thoughts and words on these subjects will truly give you new insight and respect for this Legendary "King Of The Bubble Tops" AND the man behind the machines: Darryl Starbird . (PLUS, from my Personal Archives, get a sneak-peek at Darryl's newest ultra-rare ride, and a never-before-seen pic of the "Starbird" Darryl's yacht ! ) JK
INDUSTRY LEGENDS, ELDEN TITUS & GEORGE BARRIS had teamed-up to bring you the ground-breaking "VIBRASONIC ROADSTER" . Sadly, Elden passed away in October of 2008 and work on the Project was halted at that time. Then, at the end of 2009, Elden's widow, Tammy, knew the car had to be completed according to Elden's wishes and was determined to see the car finished. SO, the VIBRASONIC ROADSTER PROJECT is back in action ! And, the build-up in CKD is once again on schedule. (See CKD #40 )
IN THIS LAST INTERVIEW that I did with Elden , a few months before his untimely death, hear his thoughts, ideas & input on the VIBRASONIC, see some rare pix that came to me directly from Elden's Garage, PLUS: Hear George Barris talk about some future projects that he and Elden had planned. AND, see a "Vibrasonic Surprise" directly from my basement ! JK
One of the most respected & versatile R&C Artists for almost four-decades is M.K.JOHN. Sure he does great art in the Rod & Custom field, BUT, did you know, he's also sought-out by Bike fans from all over the Country to give their rides one of his knock-out jobs ? Be it graphics, flames, pinstripes, or, almost anything you can dream up M.K. can handle it ! BUT, I wanted to know how that all happened to start with...and M.K. gives us all the full story, right here, right now ! (AND FIND OUT ABOUT THAT FISH ! ) JK
"PROJECT RIVIERA" has been a Feature Build in Car Kulture DeLuxe Magazine that has everybody talkin'. Well, we've done our share of "talkin' " with both Brad Masterson, who started building it, and, CKD's ALAN MAYES... the guy that's gonna drive it ! This time it's Alan's turn to fill me in on what it's all about, AND, I tried to get him to spill some of the "secret" Mods that may be involved. PLUS, let's see if I can finally get on the Cover of the Mag ! JK
HE'S ONE OF THE TRUE PIONEERS of the Rod & Custom Industry. His shop was one of the most respected in the business and turned out some of the best "drivers" ever produced, and he's proud to say that most of the those that he built are still on the street today ! On top of that, DICK "MAGOO" MEGUGORAC , is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet...he's also one of the B-E-S-T story teller's about those early days at the birth of Hot Rodding. SO, listen as Dick talks about his own "early years", as well as the street racing culture that was so much a part of the SoCal Scene at the time ! JK
IT WOULD HAVE TO BE the Longest, Lowest '65 Buick LeSabre ever built ! When he put it together over two-decades ago, LEE PRATT , had created a land-locked Rocket Car that even George Jetson would have been proud to own ! Where the idea came from (there were three sources), and how Lee's gas gauge reacted after each successive change is a story for the ages ! It's the story of "The Long, Long LeSabre" on the HOF Legends. Series. JK
THE ONE THAT BEGAN IT ALL ! Sam Barris' Chopped '49 Merc was the legendary ground-breaker for all of the Chopped Merc's that followed it. And who to better tell the story of how it all came down, than Sam's brother: HOF Legend, GEORGE BARRIS ! Listen as George gives fond memories of his brother, tells how the cars build began, and, talks about the Merc's restoration by Roy Brizio's shop & its current owner, John Mumford. It's a R&C History lesson that you'll have to hear more than once ! JK
He's a Hall Of Fame Award Winning Artist that's equally at home penning Rods, or, Customs. But just how does STEVE STANFORD come up with those cool designs anyway ? That's what I wanted to know, and Steve gave me the straight answers. We also covered how he deals with clients and what he expects from them in order to bring their "Dream Car" to reality. Steve's a cool guy, knows his craft, and, this will give you insight on what to expect the next time you see some of his work transferred to "Real Steel" ! JK
FRITZ SCHENCK ("SPRITZ BY FRITZ") is one of the busiest builders, restorers, painters, maker-of-clones, etc., that is working in the Industry today ! He's also a very nice guy to spend time with, and last summer we got together for an Interview that was both informative and a lot of fun. I think you'll see just what I mean when you listen to this story...and you'll definitely want to listen to it a second time, just to catch what went on in the first 15 seconds !! JK
You've seen his cars at S.E.M.A., the GNRS, Sacramento, and, shows WorldWide. PLUS, magazine coverage in Rod & Custom, Custom Rodder, Traditional Rod & Kulture, Street Rodder, Car Kulture DeLuxe...,you get the picture. Well, at least once a year, HOF Member JOHN D'AGOSTINO & I get together to get the Info on his latest rides. This past July we did it again at the KKOA Event in Salina, and John filled me in on his '40 Cad , and, the "ELVIS II" Eldorado, Biarritz which debuted at the 2010 GNRS. (Plus, a rare European Classic that we'll keep as a surprise !) Listen as John gives me the latest stories...right here, and right now ! JK
The Legendary Hall Of Famer, GENE WINFIELD , talks to about his Origins: From painting his first car in his brothers' garage at the age of 15, to his first shop ( a re-worked chicken house ! ) in the back of his Mother's yard, to International Fame. This is one FANTASTIC personal story that you'll want to hear more than once !!
His shop is world-renowed for turning out Rods, Customs, and, Restorations of the highest-caliber. And, for the first time, LOU CALASIBETTA, owner of The Old Stillwater Garage, shares with me the history of his early years, talks about the building which houses his Garage (originally an 1800's Blacksmith Shop !), and, what the future holds for him and his crew. Lou's one of the nicest guys, and most meticulous builders that you'll ever meet, so listen & enjoy ! J
Keeping the build of your newest ride a secret is nothing new. But whether the cars design is preset by an Artist OR the cars Builder is a question many do ponder. SO, in this exclusive Interview I did with Industry Legend KEN "POSIES" FENICAL that was one of the questions I brought up. We also covered the photography & story done by Scott Killeen that featured Posie's "Aeroliner Sport", which is based on a '35 Ford Roadster, and has become a part of Scott's "Build Book" Series. Posie is one of THE best in the business. Period. And when you listen to these stories you'll understand why ! JK
DEAN "DINO" ARNOLD was Inducted into Darryl Starbird's National Rod & Custom Hall Of Fame as Builder Of The Year at the 14th Annual Induction Ceremonies on May 16th, 2009. Dino has created the ultimate street-legal Space Ship in the "ThunderFlite". The story of this car is one of tragedy, triumph, faith, and , professionalism. It's an Interview that you'll probably have to hear more than once, and you'll thank me for telling you about it. DINO is a winner across-the-board with this one. JK
NORM GRABOWSKI'S Legendary T-Bucket became a Media Icon in 1958 when it was launched into TV-Land on the Warner Brothers hit show "77 SUNSET STRIP" ! A few years ago it was released in Danbury Mint's "Legacy Motors" catalog, and Norm's "KOOKIE KAR" has become a hot topic all over again. Listen as Norm tells how the "car" became a "star" ! PLUS: YOU'LL HEAR "KOOKIE" !!
HE'S DONE IT AGAIN ! Yep, it took him over 3 years to do it but MARK MORIARITY restored the Legendary Car Craft "Dream Rod" originally built by the late Bill Cushenberry. We talked about this one-on-one done at Darryl Starbird's 14th Annual HOF Induction Ceremonies. ADDED ATTRACTION: Lot's of Cool Pix on this page ! JK
FRITZ SCHENCK (Spritz By Fritz), is in the vanguard of the new breed of builders/customizers. You've probably seen THE ROSWELL ROD, and some of his other cars, clones, restorations, bikes, or, paint jobs, featured in Rod & Custom, Street Rodder, Custom Rodder, etc. Well, for the first time here on the HOF Legends Series, Fritz & I sat down recently and talked about his cars - current & future - plus his views on "creating art" through Rolling Sculpture. Fritz is a cool guy with lots of talent. Enjoy ! JK
A FEW YEARS BACK, my buddy STEVE STANFORD, put together a special story for HOT ROD MAGAZINE. It was Steve's "April Fool" Concept about the re-birth of AMC. Cool Pacers, Hornets, Ambassadors, Javelins, Gremlins...you name it, Steve did it ! In addition, this was also one of the very first stories by Steve that you heard here on the Hall Of Fame Legends WebSite.
WELL, it turned-out to be one of everybody's absolute favorite stories of all-time...and, since many of you are new to this Site and have never heard it to begin with, and hundreds have asked for me to run it again, so here it is: the "man" himself STEVE STANFORD and "THE STORY OF THE NEW AMC" !
He is the Founding Editor of Rod & Custom Magazine, and in the Exclusive Interview, SPENCE MURRAY , tells the Origin Story of how it all began back in 1953 ! Spence is an old friend, and a historian of the highest level. His input to the HOF Legends Site has been invaluable and greatly appreciated. This is definetely one of the MOST IMPORTANT pieces of R & C Audio History you'll ever hear. JK
For over 50 years DARRYL STARBIRD has produced some of the best-attended, Independently-Produced Rod & Custom Shows in theU.S.A.Darryl is not only a superb builder, he created the National Rod & Custom Car Hall Of Fame Museum, and his "Go For The Gold" Features at his Wichita & Tulsa Shows are among the most highly-sought prizes on the show circuit. BUT, this all began by accident...and in this rare, exclusive Interview done at his home, Darryl explained to me how it all started. This one you HAVE to hear ! JK
YOU'VE READ ABOUT IT, you've seen it on the Cover of OSR #36 (Nov. 2009), now hear BO HUFF tell how he put the "Dixie DeLuxe", complete with 2 extra doors, together ! Bo, Alan Mayes, and, I, spent some time together at the 29th Annual KKOA Lead Sled in Salina...and this '49 Merc was a car I really wanted to know about. Bo didn't disappoint me ! This is one Interview you'll enjoy for sure !! JK
JOHN D'AGOSTINO is in almost every Hall Of Fame there is ! The reason ? His fantastic Kustom Cars ! In this one-on-one with John, and the King Of The Kustomizers, George Barris, John explains the process he goes through to design a Winner.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE ! George gives his thoughts on John's designs, and what it takes to build a custom the RIGHT way ! No matter what you're building, you need to hear these super-tips on "getting it right" ! Simply Click-On-Here to listen ! JK
One of rhe earliest Interviews when we first brought you this Site was from Paul LeMat who starred as "John Milner" in the Legendary George Lucas film "AMERICAN GRAFFITI". Many newcomers to the Site have never heard it, and a number of you have asked to hear it again. SO, I've re-installed it so that all can enjoy it. Paul is a great guy, with a good sense of humour who's become a friend during these last few years. PLUS, he loves Rods & Customs ! JK
Legendary Guitarist & 4-Time Grammy Award Winner, JIMMIE VAUGHAN, filled me in on playing gigs (One where they ended up playing in real Reindeer Country !), meeting his long-time builder, Gary Howard, and, his gorgeous Gary Howard-built, award winning '51 Chevy. This one ya gotta hear ! JK
He's one of the leading Street Rod Builders of All-Time but, in addition to his life-long love affair with '29 Hi-Boys, a few years back DICK "MAGOO" MEGUGORAC decided he needed to build a Custom. He nailed it right with a first-time Custom...AND, this '49 Merc was the FIRST top he ever chopped. To get the chop right Dick called on another Industry Legend. Who was it ? Listen to this truly GREAT story teller and you'll find out !
ALAN MAYES is not only the Managing Editor of "CKD/OSR", he is also an author with a number of R&C Books to his credit. His latest is a fascinating look into 13 Top Builders from all-over the Country. It's called "Old School Customs", and in our get-together at the 29th Annual Lead Sled Spectacular in Salina, Alan filled me in on putting the book together, and who these Top 13 Builders were. Bo Huff added some cool comments...and a good time was had by all ! Listen to the story; get the book ! JK
THE MANUEL ARTECHE TRIBUTE PAGE One of the Rod & Custom Industries premiere upholsterers for over 3 decades was MANUEL ARTECHE. Sadly, he passed away in October of 1999. One year later I purchased his personal '61 INVICTA Custom, which is now on display at the National Rod & Custom Hall Of Fame Museum. I never got to meet Manuel, but Industry Legends John D'Agostino, and, Jerry Weesner knew him. Listen to their tributes to this superb builder, family man...and, very courageous human being: Manuel Arteche. JK
Industry Legend, MIKE "BLACKIE" GEJEIAN, has been a fixture in the R&C World for over 6 Decades ! Blackie has truly done it ALL: from learning to drive at the age of 12, to being a 5 Time NASCAR Champ, to being at every GNRS since 1949,an early AMBR Award Winner...well, the list goes on and on. AND, in this Exclusive Interview, you'll hear Blackie in his own words discussing his Early Years that ignited his passion and love for this unique Industry. These are stories you have to hear more than once ! JK
One of the most creative builders of Rods & Customs is Portland, Oregon's STEVE FRISBIE . Steve was Inducted into Darryl Starbird's National Rod & Custom Hall Of Fame in February of 2008, and he brought along with him Dave Hall's phenominal '55 Chevy Nomad that was turned into the "NEWMAD" ! Listen as Steve tells how the whole project came together, and how Artist/Designer Chris Ito helped make it happen !! JK
He's learned from the best: Barris & Hines. And BRAD MASTERSON is proving himself to be one of best of the up & coming new group of customizers. In this Interview we talked about his working for Bill Hines, and how he REALLY likes working with lead, and, this is one story YOU'LL really like !
A Ridler Award Winner for his knock-out "Fire Truck", and a Certified Hall Of Fame Member, CHUCK MILLER, has history of building cars that goes back to the 50's. When we got together this year at the KKOA Lead Sled in Salina I wanted to ask him about the cars on his "Wish List"...and Chuck came up with a couple of super-cool cars: One from possibly the Future, AND, one that put him in an Issue of "Rodding & Restyling" when he was just out of High School ! PLUS: Do you know where Chuck's "SONIC CUDA" is today ?
Hall Of Fame Member, JOHN D'AGOSTINO, has put together well over 65 cars during the last 4 Decades. In our Exclusive Interview last year (2008), you actually heard about John's latest project BEFORE he even started it ! So it was only fitting that, when John, George Barris, and myself, got together for our yearly meeting in Salina at the KKOA 29th Annual Lead Sled Spectacular, we talk about the finished product: the stunning 1958 Olds Super 88 called "The Egyptian" !
For over 3 Decades BO HUFF has been one of the most ambitious & creative builders in the country. One of his true "works of art" is this special clone he did of Sam Barris' '55 Chevy Convertible. In this rare one-on-one Interview, done at the 29th Annual KKOA Lead Sled Spectacular in Salina, Bo told me the complete story of the car, what George Barris thought about it after it was finished, and what he started with to build it. (HINT: It WASN'T a '55 Chevy Convertible !)
For the first time in our Exclusive Interview sessions "The Bubble Top King", DARRYL STARBIRD and I go one-on-one in a conversation about Darryl's being based in America's Heartland, and, how Darryl's ENTIRE family has joined him in the R&C Industry that they grew up in. PLUS, he reveals just who put his SUPERB autobiographical book "Darryl Starbird: The Bubble Top King" together for him. That in itself is a surprise you've got to hear about ! JK
Two of the R&C Industries premiere HOF Members, GEORGE BARRIS, AND, JOHN D'AGOSTINO, join me in a conversation about their contributions to this WebSite, AND, their feelings on the future of the Industry. Will it be Old School OR New School ? Just click-on and find out !
STEVE STANFORD is one of the R&C Industry's most respected Artists & Designers and I wanted to find out just how he created his unique style, just who his Personal Heroes in the Art World were, and what his feelings were on being Inducted into the National Rod & Custom Hall Of Fame. AND that's exactly what you'll find out in this Exclusive Interview done on the eve of his Induction. If you're a young artist wanting some insight on "how it's done", OR, just want to hear how this true Super Pro does what he does, this is one Interview you REALLY need to hear ! JK
HOF Legend KEN "POSIES" FENICAL, has produced some of the most unique statements the R & C Industry has ever seen. BUT, he also builds some Ultra-Cool Customs for himself. In this Interview we cover a couple of his finest customs, PLUS, a HOF-Fix on a leaky radiator hose in Darryl Starbird's garage, and how he - and two friends - sawed a '47 Chevy in half so it could become the "Fleetliner" !
One of the toughest clubs to gain access to is THE BEATNIKS ! Member-Builder JEFF MYERS gives us a brief History of the Beatniks, how the club was formed, a list of some of its well-known Members (Gary "Chopit" Fioto, Rick Dore, Jack Rudy, Dennis McPhial...among others), AND closes the Interview with some great advice for any up-and-coming Builders listening-in. JK
Trucks are cool ! Custom Rod/Daily Driver Trucks are even cooler !! JOHN KOUW (Crusin' Customs), his sons & crew, finished-up this Super '57 Chevy Pickup just a week before we did our Interview. When I asked him about putting "Drivers" together for customers, John told me how this one was accomplished; we also talked about the future of the Industry. John is one of the nicest builders, and best craftsmen that you'll find anywhere, so listen to his take on where we've been , AND, the fact that maybe the Future is already here !!
JIMMIE VAUGHAN is not only a World Class, Four-Time Grammy Winning guitarist, he also owns some of the coolest cars around ! On the eve of his friend/builder, Gary Howard, being inducted into Darryl Starbird's National Rod & Custom Hall Of Fame, Jimmie and I went one-on-one for his input on Gary, as well as how his Mom helped him get that SUPER HotRod '61 Caddy that Gary put together. This is one story you can't miss: Mother knows best ! JK
The Legendary "BLACKIE" GEJEIAN is the creator of one of the most talked-about Urban Legends in Rod & Custom History ! It concerns the Grand National Roadster Show in 1958, the "Ala Kart", and a mirror Blackie tore out of the Women's Bathroom at the show ! This is the OFFICIAL version as told by the man who did it !! (If you've never heard the story before, this will blow you away ! )
One of the most unusual cars to hit the Show Circuit a number of years back was "THE CADSTER" ! Nor-Cal Legend JOHN D'AGOSTINO had a vision of a Cadillac Concept Car built from a '59 Coupe DeVille. With over 150 body mods, The Cadster was one of the coolest machines ever built ! The story of how it got that way is pretty cool too !!
In the last few years he's achieved International Fame, but at the beginning of his career, Artist/Owner/Tattoo Guru DENNIS McPHAIL, worked with Ed "Big Daddy" Roth ! In this Exclusive Interview, Dennis told me how it went working with one of the most beloved, yet eccentric, stars of the Rod & Custom Industry. As we say: "It was TRULY a learning experience"...and this is one Interview that you'll pick-up on some inside info on this true Legend !
From my archives, I have unearthed the very last portion of what turned out to be my last Interview with the Legendary ELDEN TITUS. In this previously unheard section, Elden talks about a Project that he wanted to do: He wanted to build a Rocket Car ! A true '50's flashback that would definetly set the Rod & Kustom World on its ear ! JK
What do DARRYL STARBIRD'S "Predicta" and this Mercedes SCL600 have in common ? In this Exclusive Interview Darryl explains not only that, BUT what Don "Big Daddy" Garlits told him after Darryl ran The Predicta at 120mph at the 1960 NHRA Nationals ! Click-On and listen right now to hear this very cool story !
Did you ever wonder how those cool mags you read get to you to begin with ? Well, ALAN MAYES , Managing Editor of two of the HOTTEST mags on the stands (Car Kulture DeLuxe/Ol' Skool Rodz) sat down with me to explain how they get from point A to Point B...and every Point in between !
Since 1964 KEN "POSIES" FENICAL has put together some of the Rod & Custom Industries most enduring statements. And in this candid Interview, Ken talks about Teamwork, Technology For Today's Streetrodders, and, the men who were the Early Influences in his long & successful career. This is one you can't miss !
From his Legendary-base in Detroit, "Styline Customs", CHUCK MILLER has produced some of the finest, most-unusual, Award Winning Show Cars and Concept Cars on the Planet ! From the Sonic Cuda, the Hurst Olds, and, the Rambler Scrambler, to the MoPar Rapid Transit System, Chuck has done it all. In this rare one-on-one Interview, he talks about some of his all-time favorites !
One of the best of the new "Young Guns" slinging lead & choppin' tops is BRAD MASTERSON. Brad ended up with a FREE Buick Riviera, called Alan Mayes at CKD/OSR, AND, hey, he's now chopin' on the new CKD Project Car ! We found out about it first, and Brad tells us how it all came together.
One of the busiest Artists/Designers in the field of Rods & Customs has to be STEVE STANFORD ! His concepts & designs have been put on the streets time-and-time again, SO this "Steve Stanford Double-Play" Interview covers the SuperCool '63 Impala that began as Stanford-Sketch, AND, a Larry Watson/Steve Stanford/Sam Foose Award Winning '57 Cad Seville !
One of the Rod & Custom Industries most enduring Legends, SPENCE MURRAY , tells his personal story that began with working on Customs & building them, to his becoming the Founding Editor of Rod & Custom Magazine 56 years ago ! THIS EXCLUSIVE, RARE, INTERVIEW IS ONE YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS...IT MAY BE THE MOST INFORMATIVE FIVE MINUTES YOU 'LL HAVE TODAY !
One of the most famous '41 Buick Customs to EVER hit the streets was built by Hall Of Famer LEE PRATT ! In this one-on-one Interview, Lee explains why he built it, and how this "Junkyard Buick" with hydralics became a Street Rodder Legend. PS: It's all in the "timing" ! JK
One of the Rod & Custom Industries Premier Designers, Artists & Pinstripers, M.K. JOHN, has been a Super Pro for over 45 years. It all started with his humble Midwest upbringing in Rolla, Missouri. From that springboard, M.K. has become Internationally-known and discusses his roots - and success - with me in this great one-on-one Interview.
DARRYL STARBIRD has been building World Class Rods & Customs for over 50 years, and in 1995 his dream to build a National Rod & Custom Car Hall Of Fame/Museum came true and the Museum became a reality. In this Exclusive Interview, done at Darryl's house on the HOF property, he talks about how this unique and very special "members only" Museum came together. to honor the true R & C Legends....and what the future holds for it. This is one story you've just gotta hear more than once ! JK
Historically recognized as the first chopped BelAir Hardtop, GEORGE BARRIS covers the build-up of this unique Chevy, its owner (Larry Ernst), AND, the tragic fire that destroyed the Barris Shop. Also, for those new to the R & C scene: Larry Ernst's Secret is revealed ! Just click-on here for the complete story.
CUSTOMIZING LEGEND ELDEN TITUS DIED AT HIS HOME IN DERBY, KANSAS, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 2008, AFTER A LONG BATTLE WITH CANCER. ELDEN was a true friend, and one of the most talented, creative, and, courageous human beings I've ever known.
I have set-up a very Special Page for him: ELDEN TITUS TRIBUTE (JUST CLICK-ON AND GO DIRECTLY TO IT.) God Bless You, ELDEN. R.I.P. my friend. JK
Legendary Hall of Famer, Ken "Posies" Fenical, , in this candid Interview, tells Jonnie about his early cars, the origin of the World Famous "Super Slide Springs" over 40 years ago, and some of the cool products that his Company sells...at their store, by mail order, and, on-line !
Widely-known Editor, Writer, Photographer, Jerry Weesner, has "done it all" and has the stories to prove it ! During the course of their Interview, Jerry fills Jonnie in on one his MOST memorable photo shoots...and his meeting a beautful, young, future Mega-Watt Movie Star !!
Paul LeMat (John Milner) from "American Graffiti" was in the same film as Jonnie's old friend the Legendary "Wolfman Jack" But did he actually work with the "Wolfman" ? Paul tells Jonnie the truth ! PLUS: Hear the "Wolfman" himself !!
JERRY TITUS, Founder & President, discusses how & why the internationally-known Kustom Kemps Of America Association began 30 years ago. It involved a meeting in Wichita, Kansas, a Cadillac Sombrero hubcap, and, 14 hardcore Kustom Car Guys.
FROM 1964-1966 one of the hottest shows on TV was THE MUNSTERS ! But did you ever see the "HOT ROD HERMAN" Episode ? Well, Jonnie accidentally happened on to it the day he was set to Interview George Barris ! George gives the real story on The Munster Koach and The Drag-U-La Car...which he actually drove in this Classic Episode ! (PS: Grandpa Munster makes a cameo appearance especially for our listeners; and, listen for George doing a "wheelie" !!) Simply click-on here and be prepared for a fantastic experience ! JK
One of the Industries long-time leading Rod & Custom Artists, M. K. John, and Jonnie have been friends for years, but it took them a couple of years to have the right time-frame to get this Interview accomplished. As you'll hear, it was well worth the wait ! All you do is click-on here ! JK
DARRYL STARBIRD'S groundbreaking "PREDICTA" Bubble Top is known World-Wide, BUT what gave Darryl the idea for the concept to begin with ? AND, where did the name "Predicta" come from originally ? You'll find out once you click-on here... you on your way ! JK
Jerry Titus, Founder & President of the KKOA: Family Values & Kustoms...with a "K" !
Jerry Weesner (Street Rodder/Custom Rodder/'Ol Skool Rodz) & Jonnie King on Crusin' : The Barris Shop, Hollywood, and, St. Louis !
Spence Murray tells how the World Famous "Rod & Custom Dream Truck" was built ! To hear Spence's story, simply click-on here ! JK
Boyd Coddington (1944-2008): to view Boyd's Tribute Page please click on his name.
John ('Lil John) Buttera (1941-2008): to view John's Tribute Page please click on his name.
AND, AS ALWAYS, SEND US AN eMail let us know how you like our Site, and tell us "Where In The World" you are ! We appreciate your input, and realize the World of Rods & Customs is truly Universal and covers the World...and, we thank you for taking the time to check-in with us from wherever you live . JK
THIS JUST IN: The wait is over ! "The Hall Of Fame Legends" CD Catalog is now ready and on-line ! Way ahead of schedule, the list is complete and you can see it by clicking-on CATALOG which will take you right there ! REMEMBER: These are the COMPLETE, Exclusive , Interviews with all of the Legends listed...and, they're available right now.
While you're here be sure to visit THE LEGENDS VIDEO GALLERY Over 180 Great Pix, Cool Cars, and even some Special Pix from my personal archives that I dug out to share with you ! AND, some cool "Old Time Radio" Car Commercials from the 30's, 40's, & 50's !
By the way, if you're driving through Oklahoma, be sure to stop in and visit the Starbird National Rod & Custom Hall of Fame Museum. Check out Darryl's story on the Origin of the Museum and see some of the FANTASTIC cars on display at: www.darrylstarbird.com
"THE HALL OF FAME LEGENDS" Series is produced with the co- operation and support of Starbird's National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame Museum. And, my special thanks to Jerry Titus, and our friends at the Kustom Kemps of America for their help and support: www.kustomkempsofamerica.com
AT THE 31st ANNUAL KKOA LEAD SLED SPECTACULAR IN SALINA, KANSAS, I was honored & privileged to be named "AMERICA'S TOP D.J." and received the "AMERICAN D.J. AWARD".
This is an honor I truly cherish, and receiving it in front my listeners, my friends, and, the Hall Of Fame Legends that have been my Heroes for decades, was an experience I'll never forget. JK
Note: To hear some of my Radio Shows, and read more of my personal history, simply click-on this link: www.jonnieking.net
(That's me above Crusin' in Salina in the "Custom For Korea" clone !)
COULD THIS BE THE ONE OF THE RAREST CARS IN THE WORLD: THE FIRST REAL "BUBBLE TOP" CAR ?
It was called the "Hollywood Streak" and was built in 1946 by George Bartell of Detroit. More on the Hollywood Streak, what it was made from, and, building Bubble Tops right here...click-on right now !