IT'S OUR 10th ANNIVERSARY !
THANK YOU FOR 10 GREAT YEARS !
GEORGE BARRIS AND "THE AZTEC STORY": A PART OF OUR 10th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION !
ONE OF THE MOST-EXOTIC, MOST-FAMOUS, BEST-KNOWN Kustoms of all-time is "THE AZTEC" !
Bill Carr owned the car, but is was a collaboration of Bill DeCarr, Junior Conway, Dean Jefferies, Bob Hirohata, and of course, George & Sam Barris that brought it to completion ! It started out as a brand-new '55 Chevy Convertible that Bill Carr began working on as soon as he got it in 1955. It ended up becoming an "Art Form" of its own by the time it was finished in 1957. Done at Barris' Shop, mostly after-hours, it was accomplished by that great group of young guys...all pulling together to make it a winner !!
The late-George Barris, John D'Agostino, and, myself, discussed the importance of "The Aztec", how it was built, its almost-fatal demise, and, the beautiful, fantastic restoration of this legendary car by Barry Mazza, in our July 25th, 2010, Interview Session at the KKOA Leadsled in Salina, Kansas.
BECAUSE OF ITS IMPORTANCE, I have revised, revamped, and widened the Interview Page. There are bigger graphics, larger print, and I've added & updated some Info, so that all of you can re-live not only the Interview with George, but so that you can hear how passionate he always was about the Rod & Custom Industry, and how "we're all in this together" as a part of a special "family" that exists World Wide !
THIS IS TRULY one-of-a-kind story as only GEORGE BARRIS could tell it, PLUS, you'll see & read Special Info on "THE CURSE OF THE AZTEC": How, after Bill Carr sold the car, Con Men, Bank Robbers, a Murderer, and, the F.B.I., got involved with the "Aztec" !!
AND, "Cool Info" is what it's all about in Car Kulture DeLuxe Issue #86 (February, 2018) which has a great Interview with the "AZTEC'S" long-time owner/restorer Barry Mazza !
READY? ALL YOU HAVE to do is CLICK-ON-THIS-LINK...and you're on your way ! ENJOY !
A TRIBUTE TO JOE "CANDY APPLE RED" BAILON (March 18,1923 - September 25, 2017)
JOE BAILON WAS one of the most creative R&C builders/customizers that ever lit-up a torch ! His cars were concepts & creations...sometimes far-ahead of his contemporaries. (That's the "Bailon Built" Award-Winning, '52 Merc Convertible that belonged to Jim Doyle...as seen on the Cover of my personal copy of Custom Cars Magazine from September, 1959)
IN JULY OF 2012, Joe joined George Barris, John D'Agostino, and, myself at the 32nd Annual KKOA Leadsled Spectacular in Salina, Kansas for a Sunday Morning, July 29th, Interview Session that was one of the most interesting, historic, super-kool Sessions that we've ever done !
IN FACT, it was the first time on the Hall Of Fame Legends Series the we had THREE Hall of Famers together to record & document their Oral Histories & Memories all at the same time...and the resultant Information, and, FUN of this Session is something you MUST hear !!!
This is a true Tribute to Joe, and, please pass-on this Link so that your fellow R&C buddies can enjoy it too !
IN THIS FEATURED STORY, about his "EARLY YEARS", Joe "Candy Apple Red" Bailon, gives the complete Info on how he got started, how he decided to create "Scallops", and, the strange way he learned to drive...by driving between some trees in a Prune Orchard close to his house ! (That's worth the listen all on its own !)
HERE'S THE DIRECT LINK to hear Joe talk about his "EARLY YEARS", and how he built his very first custom car...Simply CLICK-ON-HERE and you're on your way !!!
ALSO, BE SURE TO SEE the really great Tribute to Joe "Candy Apple" Bailon in Issue #85 of Car Kulture DeLuxe for December, 2017. The Tribute's on Page 21...and this Issue is packed with GREAT Rods & Kustoms, as Koolhouse Publishing celebrates their 13th Anniversary. It's a keeper for sure ! JK
A SPECIAL TENTH ANNIVERSARY FEATURE PRESENTATION...
THE GEORGE BARRIS INTERVIEW: CREATING THE "GOLDEN SAHARA" !!
ONE OF MY FAVORITES of all the Barris kustoms is the beautiful, rocketship-inspired, "Golden Sahara"...created at a time when Detroit "Concept Cars" & "Dream Cars" were at their peak.
In this Sunday Morning Session at the KKOA in Salina in 2009, George gave me the full history of how this radical, fantastic kustom was built...and how it was even used in a Jerry Lewis movie !
ALSO, my Cuz, John D'Agostino, tells about seeing the "Golden Sahara" in it's second version on TV...and I give you YouTube Link on that page where you can see it in action with its owner Jim Street !
Simply CLICK--ON-HERE to listen & learn about the one of the Rod & Custom World's most-legendary creations: "The Golden Sahara"! JK
PLUS: VOODOO LARRY has spent years building a futuristic, iconic Tribute to the original with his "VOODOO SAHARA"!
You can see an Exclusive Feature on this Voodoo rocket-ride of "rolling sculpture", along with a written history & rare photos of the Barris original, in this feature-packed Issue...#84 of Car Kulture DeLuxe (October, 2017) ! Be sure to grab your copy before they're all gone !
DOUG THOMPSON: BUILDING JACK WALKER'S "HIROHATA MERC" CLONE:
DOUG THOMPSON'S Complete Story & In-Depth Interview On Building Jack Walker's "Hirohata Merc" Clone is one you've gotta hear !
Working by himself over a period of a year-and-a-half, crafting this most-beautiful re-creation of the Barris Brothers legendary '51 Merc that they had built for Bob Hirohata, Doug Thompson created his own iconic, identical version of this World renowned kustom...and in the process, assured his own legacy as one of the R&C Industries Hall of Fame Legends !
You'll hear Doug's reasons for wanting to do this car to begin with, Jack Walker's reason for wanting to have the car built, and, what "The King Of The Kustomizers", GEORGE BARRIS, thought of Doug's version !
DOUG'S STORY is one that you'll want to hear more than once ! Doug's an old friend, and his memories about every feature he built into the car are documented, word-for-word, in his oral history of how he hand-built this car...from start-to-finish !
This is truly a fitting Tenth Anniversary Special Feature that I wanted to share with all of you so you could enjoy it and learn from it ! My way of thanking you for your kind words, your fantastic eMails, and, your support in sharing our HOF Legends Site Info & Links with your friends, and fellow R&C buddies...here in the U.S.A., and, around the World !
DOUG'S INTERVIEW, with rare, personal photos from his private collection, starts right here: all you have to do is Simply CLICK-ON-THIS LINK...and, you're on your way ! JK
SPECIAL FEATURE :
GEORGE BARRIS & BUTCH (EDDIE MUNSTER) PATRICK, TALK ABOUT "THE MUNSTERS" ON TV...WITH THE FAMOUS "HOT ROD HERMAN" AT THE DRAGSTRIP EPISODE !
FROM1964-1966 one of the hottest shows on TV was "THE MUNSTERS" ! But did you ever see the "HOT ROD HERMAN"...at the Dragstrip Episode ? Well, I accidentally happened on to it the day I was set to meet & Interview GEORGE BARRIS ! George and his Crew built the special cars for that show...and I wanted to know how it came together for this Episode.
GEORGE GIVES THE REAL STORY on the "Munster Koach" and the "Drag-U-La" Car...which he actually drove at the Dragstrip in this Classic Episode ! (PS: Grandpa Munster makes a cameo appearance especially for our listeners; and, listen for George doing a "wheelie" !!)
PLUS, Butch "Eddie Munster" Patrick, was there when it all went down...and he gives me his "Munster Memories" of that Episode, and talks about his career, and, his long-time friendship with George Barris : "The King Of The Kustomizers" !
You'll also find Links to the "ULTIMATE HALLOWEEN SPECIAL" that I've prepared for you which includes my "HALLOWEEN FILM RARITIES FOR 2017" , AND , BELA LUGOSI introducing "THE MONSTER MASH MEETS THE HAUNTED HOUSE" ! Over 200 Hours went into the production of this Special...just for Y-O-U !
IT ALL STARTS HERE with "GRANDPA MUNSTER"...AND, the GEORGE BARRIS & BUTCH PATRICK INTERVIEWS for "HOT ROD HERMAN" at the Dragstrip...when you SIMPLY CLICK-ON-RIGHT-HERE... and begin the funtastic "HALLOWEEN SPECIAL FOR 2017 EXPERIENCE" from the Hall Of Fame Legends Series !
PS: Be sure to pass this Special Link on to your fiends, er, friends ! JK
TO HEAR MORE GREAT INTERVIEWS AND STORIES, SIMPLY "SCROLL DOWN" TO THE "HOT TOPIX" SECTION FURTHER DOWN ON THIS PAGE AND CLICK-ON THE LINK TO THE STORY YOU WANT TO HEAR !
WHILE YOU'RE HERE: Be sure to visit the new, revised, LEGENDS CRUSIN' 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 CRUSIN' 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 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 new Legends Crusin' Video Gallery is just to simply Click-On-Here then once you're there, just click-on the Big Button on the Front of the Video Screen, sit back, relax, and, enjoy
THE LATEST NUMBERS CONTINUE TO ROLL IN, and the results are truly amazing: Over 76,127,234 HITS from All 50 States, and, 130 Countries & Territories WorldWide, With Over 990,523 VISITORS 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
"PRESTON TUCKER AND HIS BATTLE TO BUILD THE CAR OF TOMORROW", By Steve Lehto. Foreword by Jay Leno. Chicago Review Press, 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-On-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
REMEMBERING BLACKIE: (1926-2016)
INDUSTRY LEGEND , MIKE "BLACKIE" GEJEIAN, was a fixture in the R&C World for over 7 Decades ! Blackie truly did 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 !
BLACKIE PASSED-AWAY on September 2, 2016 at the age of 90. He was a friend who was fun to be with, had a great memory for every part of his history, and, freely shared his knowledge with all of his friends & fans.
Just, take a few minutes, CLICK-ON-HERE , listen to the stories of this wonderful, legendary pioneer, and you'll learn how his lifelong career in Rods & Customs began. R.I.P. my friend. JK
THE HALL OF FAME LEGENDS ARCHIVE 2016 UPDATE:
THE STORY BEGAN IN 2008 as a Concept-Project on one of the rarest cars ever produced: a 1958 Packard Starlight 2Dr. Hardtop...only 675 were built !
But, Hall Of Famer John D'Agostino, had a vision to turn this truly one-of-a-kind Concept Car/Dream Car...into a chopped, massaged, lengthend, completely re-worked, 2 Seater "Sportster"...and in 2016 that dream had finally come true !
IN A CONVERSATION WE HAD a few weeks ago, John told me he wanted to send me some exclusive, never-before-seen photos of this fantastic kustom so we could give you a first-look, a "Sneak Peek", here on the HOF Legends Site.
YOU'LL SEE EVERTHING...from the early build stages to the finished project that became the beautiful '58 Packard 2 Seater "Sportster" Concept Car...fittingly, dedicated to one of Hollywood's most-beautiful stars: RITA HAYWORTH, and called..."RITA" !
IN ADDITION, I found the Original 2008 Interview that John & I did with our dear friend, the late-George Barris, and I've added that early-info Interview to this Special Page so you could hear that too ! SO, simply CLICK-ON-HERE and be one of the first to see all of "RITA" ! JK
THE LEGENDARY GENE WINFIELD , has chopped many tops through the years, but the first car he ever sectioned was a '56 Merc !
That iconic custom was christened the "Jade Idol", and I wanted Gene to give me the lowdown on sectioning that car...and the full-story of what has to be done during that entire process.
This is a cool Interview, and you won't want to miss Gene's stories...not only about the Jade Idol, BUT, about his own chopped & sectioned '58 Impala ! To listen,Just-Click-On-Here ! JK
REMEMBERING BILL HINES...
JOHN D'AGOSTINO, and the story of Gene Autry's '57 Caddy Seville Kustom...and how Bill Hines kustomized it !
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 legendary Hall Of Famer/Pioneer 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
SPECIAL NOTE: OUR FRIEND, BILL HINES, passed away on May 20th, 2016. Accordingly, on this Special Page, we have a Tribute to, and, share memories of...the one & only "Mr. Leadslinger", BILL HINES.
YOU KNOW HIM AS "JOHN MILNER" one of the Stars of the ultra-classic "AMERICAN GRAFITTI", but the real-life exploits of PAUL Le MAT 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 ! CLICK-ON-HERE and it all starts for you ! JK
"BUILDING THE ROD & CUSTOM DREAM TRUCK"...
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, it was even Spence's truck !
If you haven't heard it before...well, this is how Legends are begun ! To hear Spence tell this amazing story, simply CLICK-ON-HERE !
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, 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
"BUILDING THE DEUCARI" :DICK "MAGOO" MEGUGORAC'S career as a Street Rod Builder went back to the mid-40's, he built, literally hundreds of cars since then and was always 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 addition to being a true Hot Rodding Pioneer, Dick was 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 "BUILDING THE DEUCARI"...just Click-On-Here right now ! Enjoy !! JK
THE GEORGE BARRIS TRIBUTE...
ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC BUILDERS OF kustom cars & hot rods, for almost SEVEN decades was GEORGE BARRIS.
Sadly, George Barris passed-away, Thursday, November 5th, 2015, but the creations he designed & built through the year's will live in the hearts & minds of fans all-over-the-World.
His legacy of truly historic cars known by, not just the Rod & Custom Industry but by the Public as well, included TV's "Munster Koach" & "Drag-U-La" from the "Munsters" Series, and of course, everyone's all-time favorite: "The Batmobile"
As a kid, George Barris was one of my Heroes; as an adult, he became one of my friends. Accordingly, I've set-up a special Tribute Page to honor George, it contains a select-dozen of the Interviews George, along with our friend, Award Winning, kustom designer/creator, JOHN D'AGOSTINO, and, myself, did from 2006 to 2014.
TO GO TO THE Special "GEORGE BARRIS TRIBUTE PAGE" simply CLICK-ON-HERE... and you're on you're way to TWELVE of the greatest stories, about some of the most legendary, historic, kustoms ever built by "The King Of The Kustomizers" himself : GEORGE BARRIS !
(Above photo courtesy of Mel Melcon, McClatchy-Tribune News Service...with sincere thanks.)
BETTIE PAGE WAS A LEGEND UNTO HERSELF...
EVER BEEN TO A R&C SHOW/EVENT in the last few years and attend a "Bettie-Look-Alike" Contest ? Ever seen 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" with the creation of "The Rocketeer" graphic novels.
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
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, the knock-out Voodoo Idol, and his upcoming "Voodoo Sahara", a Tribute kustom to the late-George Barris.
A few year's back, Larry & I had a great Interview Session at the KKOA Leadsled in Salina, Kansas, and I wanted to find out what shifted his focus into cars in the beginning, AND into building kustoms as cool as he does.
VooDoo Larry is one of the nicest guys that you'll find, and is definetly one of the current breed of builders giving new life to the term "old school" ! To hear the story of his "early days", how it all began, and how he got from-there-to-here, simply CLICK-ON-HERE and listen to one of the best ! JK
"GENE WINFIELD'S TV & MOVIE CARS BOOK" INTERVIEW !
GENE WINFIELD HAS BEEN ONE OF the most prolific Rod & Custom Builders in the Industry for almost 70 years ! BUT, what many aren't aware of, is the fact that for many years Gene also created some of the most amazing "fantasy" cars & vehicles for TV Shows, Movies, Commercials, and, Special Projects ! Our early-Sunday Morning Interview at the 34th Annual KKOA Leadsled in Salina, Kansas, focused on this GREAT new book of Gene's entitled "Gene Winfield's TV & Movie Cars, Commercials and Special Projects".
I wanted to know how it all started, so you'll hear Gene tell the stories of his "Blade Runner" cars, the "Cut-In-Half '67 Chevrolet, "Bewitched" TV's "The Super Car"...and find out how you can get your copy of this SUPERB new book !
Simply Click-On-Here to listen & enjoy this Master Craftsman's history of his multi-dimensional career ! JK
THE BO HUFF TRIBUTE PAGE...
LEGENDARY HALL OF FAMER BO HUFF passed away Tuesday, August 4th, 2015, after a long, hard, five year battle with Cancer.
Bo was a Custom Car Builder, Painter, Fabricator, and, a true lover of the Rockabilly Sound & Lifestyle. He was also my friend, so I've set-up a Special Tribute Page for Bo...with "The Great Eight" ! BO HUFF TRIBUTE STORIES: FROM THE HALL OF FAME LEGENDS ARCHIVES.
HERE'S THE DIRECT LINK to Bo's Tribute Page...Click-On-Right-Here and you're on your way ! JK