OUR FRIEND, MIKE ALEXANDER, PASSED AWAY FRIDAY, JULY 18th, 2014, AFTER A LONG BATTLE WITH CANCER. MIKE, AND HIS BROTHER LARRY, WHO DIED AUGUST 25, 2010, WERE TWO OF THE ROD & CUSTOM INDUSTRIES MOST LEGENDARY BUILDERS & HALL OF FAME MEMBERS.
I WAS PRIVILEGED TO KNOW THEM BOTH AND, FINALLY, AFTER MANY YEARS, MIKE & I GOT TOGETHER IN 2012 AT THE 32nd ANNUAL KKOA LEAD SLED IN SALINA, KANSAS TO FINALLY DO A LONG-AWAITED INTERVIEW.
MIKE WAS ONE OF THE KINDEST, MOST-GENEROUS INDIVIDUALS I'VE EVER MET. A TRUE GENTLEMAN IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD. I WAS PROUD TO KNOW HIM, AND TO PRESERVE HIS HISTORY & STORIES SUCH AS THIS ONE...
...MIKE & LARRY ALEXANDER WERE AMONG THE ULTIMATE-BEST CUSTOMIZER'S that ever opened up a shop ! And, as Mike explained to me in this Interview, they were always interested in producing a quality-build, no matter what the cost of time & materials...which he said was not always good for the "bottom line".
MIKE & I HAD KNOWN EACH OTHER SINCE 2001, so it was just great to be able to finally record his history of the "A Brothers" - as they're affectionately known - and in this part of the one-on-one we did in Salina, Kansas, at the 32nd Annual KKOA Lead Sled Spectacular, Mike has some good advice for those wanting to "set-up-shop" in the R&C Industry.
ALSO, Mike told me about a build that he and Larry didn't finish, and gave me the full-info I was after on their iconic, Harry Bentley Bradley-designed, 1965 Dodge A100 COE Truck that became the Ridler Award Winning "DEORA", and how it was chosen to be one of the "ORIGINAL 16" HOT WHEELS when Mattel offered Mike & Larry $350.00 for the rights to use it for a model.
Our mutual friend, Hall Of Famer, LOU CALASIBETTA, helped set-up this session and contributed much info and help...for which I sincerely thank him !
MIKE ALEXANDER WAS A TRUE GENTLEMAN, and he and his brother Larry, deserved every Award they were ever given, including THREE Ridler Awards, and, multiple Hall Of Fame Memberships. I sincerely hope you enjoy listening to this Interview as much as I enjoyed doing it ! JK
(NOTE: The DEORA was sold at the RM Auctions at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles on September 26th, 2009. When the gavel pounded-down for the final bid the price was $324,500 ! )
Above Left: The Deora Interior (Photo Courtesy of RM Auctions); Above Right: The Harry Bentley Bradley designed "Hot Wheels" Deora...with the added Surf Boards !
Above: The AMT Deora Model Kit...one of their all-time best sellers !
TO READ MY REVIEW OF "HARRY BENTLEY BRADLEY: AMERICAN AUTOMOTIVE DESIGN INNOVATOR", By Frederic A. Sharf, simplyClick-On-Here and you'll see it on the "Hot Off The Press" Page !
SPECIAL NOTE: The Alexander Brothers business card shown above is courtesy of Kustomrama.com. All other photos/images on this page courtesy of their original owners/copyright holders...with my sincere thanks !