"Get On It!"

Vintage Torque DVD #3

by motorfoot 7/30/2009 1:01:00 PM

"I just think there is a niche that needs to be filled that may cater to people that actually want to see the cars... and hear them."

Vintage Torque DVD

John Wells of CoolStuff Video contacted me some time back asked if I'd be interested in reviewing Vintage Torque 3. Ah, let me think about it...hell yeah!

In a nut shell, Vintage Torque is visual tour of the most popular hot rod shows around the U.S. Make no mistake about it, the cars are the stars in Vintage Torque, and there are lots of them. John took 28 hours of raw video and worked it down to four full hours (two DVDs, 120 minutes each) of hot rods, art and cool music.

What you won't see: Hollywood production, in depth builder interviews or "life at the hot rod shop" reality show footage.

What you will see: hundreds of traditional hot rods cruising by, burn outs, art work and even an interview with hot rod artist Max Grundy, who by the way did the artwork on the DVD cover.

As John sees it, "I just think there is a niche that needs to be filled that may cater to people that actually want to see the cars and hear them. Even when we have music on in the background you can always hear the cars going by 100% of the time."

Equally as interesting is John Wells himself. He is a one man show from filming, to editing, to marketing, and sales! I have great admiration for someone, who without training or experience, takes on a project because they just want to. With three DVDs under his belt, and a fourth one coming out soon, John isn't worried about the critics. "I readily admit that I have no clue what I am doing and I have no experience in doing this, but when you look at the progression of each DVD you can see that I am getting better at both the editing and the filming."

When John is not making videos he travels from town to town (on the road 42 weekends last year from Yokohama to Syracuse NY) selling anything that has to do with the kustom kulture scene, such as hot rod DVDs, Rat Fink merchandise, posters and stickers.

As far as shooting video for Vintage Torque, John says "I enjoy this aspect of my business cause I get to learn a lot of info about these cars and the guys that do this themselves." Just like many of the folks that attend hot rod shows, John has a project too; a 1935 Ford 5 window coupe. "Talking to guys out there on the road has helped me quite a bit on getting this thing started."

If you want to see hundreds of hot rods and get a flavor for some of the most popular hot rod shows around the United States then by all means, get Vintage Torque!


>> Vintage torque 3 (YouTube) - Watch the promo video.

>> Vintage torque 4 (YouTube) - Coming soon!

>> Vintage torque 5 (YouTube) - And working on VT 5!

>> Vintage Torque - Visit Coolstuff website and buy the DVD!

>> Hub Garage - If you want to read about some of John's adventures on the road then check out his blog on the Hub Garage (Subscription required).


Hot Rods | Video

Lonestar Roundup Austin Texas

by motorfoot 4/17/2009 8:21:00 AM

Friday morning...thunderstorms pound Austin with a steady rain. Just a few pictures of the 2009 Lonestar Rod and Kustom Roundup.

Saturday proved to be a great day for photography...

~ ~ ~

South Congress on Saturday evening was perfection AND a Frans cheese burger.

It almost felt small town sitting in a lawn chair in front of a burger drive in and watching cars, people, and... what the hell is that?

Unfazed by the horde of amateur photographers, Aliens arrive at Frans on Congress for a quick burger. Apparently martians dig hot rods and hamburgers too.

  ~ ~ ~

On Sunday the clouds rested from their work and the sun blessed the 11:00 AM hill country hot rod cruise from Jo's CoffeeHouse on Congress to the Ski Shores Cafe on lake Travis.

What a beautiful day for a burger and hot rod show at the Ski Shores on lake Travis! Mercury Charlie says adios until next year.

More Stuff

Love hot rod art? Of course you do! So check out the art show on the H.A.M.B. here.

>> Video (YouTube) with a few seconds of the Austin Speed Shop party.

>> Short video from austin360 of the "Rat Rod Rally" (please don't say rat rod again).

>> 2009 Lonestar Roundup - On MOTORFOoT Gallery!

>> - More stuff about hot rodding in Austin Texas!



Austin | Hot Rods

Slammed Rat Rod - The Hot Rod Art of Nick Sinclair

by motorfoot 3/4/2009 1:50:00 PM

hot rod art - Grave Diggers I run across a lot of hot rod art when surfing the net. I will typically make a note of the artists I like in case I decide to showcase their work. When I saw the artwork of Nick Sinclair over at Sinclair Hot Rods I got motivated.

Most of us used to draw hot rods when we were kids. My favorite car to draw was a '57  Chevy, mainly because my neighbor down the street had one in his drive way. Unfortunately I didn't stick to it, but obviously Nick did.

My fav is Super Nugget (below), a street scraping Rat Rod with plenty of bad attitude. I could very easily see Super Nuggget hanging out with Gone Postal.

hot rod art - Super Nugget

Super Nugget is a limited edition fine art print and measures 19 inches by 13 inches. Only 50 produced. Each one is signed and numbered by Nick. I want one.

Nick has been drawing since almost day one and digs the deeds of Ed Roth, Coop, Williams, Hess, and Kozik. His work spans the typical Lowbrow, High Octane hot rod portfolio of gassers, street rods, rat rods, pin-ups, and of course, monsters.

You can check out the rest of Nick Sinclair's hot rod art including limited edition prints, original art, T-shirts, and more. You can also sign up for the V.I.P. newsletter (I did) and be the first to know about new art print editions, shirts or events that are coming up. And if you are in to such things, you can follow Nick on Twitter.



Pimp My Hot Rod

by motorfoot 2/19/2009 11:58:00 PM

Had to share this for a Friday! The owner of this hot rod, which is currently on ebay, had some fun and bolted on some 22 inchers.

Ahhh, the old shoes feel sooooo good.

Happy Friday folks!

Gone Postal - One Insane Hot Rod Coupe

by motorfoot 1/28/2009 12:28:00 PM

"I look for objects that were destined to some mundane existence and give them new purpose through my sculptures."
- Michael Ulman

A few months ago I was surfing the web for an image. It had to be something unusual, a hot rod, with a touch of post apocalypse. It needed to be just right to set the tone for an article I was writing. Not only did I find that image, I found something else worthy of sharing!

Behold "Gone Postal", from the imagination of Michael Ulman.

Michael is an artist and sculptor living in Massachusetts. His passion to create was instilled at a young age while helping his father weld scraps of metal into sculptures twice his size. He also has an obsession for motorcycles, both in his life and his work. Indeed, prior to Gone Postal most of his creations were two wheeled. But as it is written, there is a time and a season for everything!

If you look carefully at this hot rod, you will see the shape of a US Mailbox, or at least part of one. When I initially saw the photos the scale of this sculpture was not apparent to me. I presumed the hot rod was probably a couple of feet long. Way off. It is actually five feet long. The actual dimensions are 60 X 32 x 17 inches.

With rat rods all the rage now days it seems that Gone Postal captures both the essence of a hot rod and possibly some of the philosophy of a rat rod. The natural patina of the body and frame elements fit well with the rat rod philosophy. Even more fitting is the idea of utilizing what's at your disposal, so to speak.

I have always been intrigued that a object such as a car can project soul and energy. Indeed, that is part of the pleasure of owning a hot rod - the emotion that is evoked by simply gazing upon it. Certainly this sculpture evokes similar emotions. But in addition to the lines and shapes, the fun of looking at this sculpture is figuring out what all the parts are (or what all the parts were). And one could spend hours doing just that!

The Build

For those of us who enjoy seeing the progression of a build you are in luck. Michael was kind enough to allow Motorfoot to publish some images by photographer Justin Craig Roth showing the stages of fabrication.

Prior to Gone Postal, most of Michael's creative thoughts were focused on motorcycles. "After making seven plus motorcycles I was anxious to build a Hot Rod" Michael said. "With the engine being the prominent feature in my work the motor had to be exposed. The classic, and most sought after is the 32' coupe, it's the one you picture when you think Hot Rod."

Michael started building Gone Postal in 2002 and completed the work in 2006.

Early on in the four year build Michael recognized the similarities in the shapes of the top of a mailbox and the back of a 32' coupe. "The scale was a perfect size."

Unfortunately finding a donor mailbox is not as easy as one would expect. "The frustrating part" Michael said "was acquiring a mailbox with out evoking the wrath of the FBI or Homeland Security. At the time my brother's girlfriend's mother, who worked at a post office put me in touch with the right person. He had access to the damaged mailboxes. The mailbox was given to me on condition that I removed the paint and photographed the cut box."

So where does Michael come up with the many parts that make up his sculptures? "My friends and acquaintances tend to donate parts. Sometimes people just drop things off on the studio porch. Other times people read about what we do (me and my dad) and make a call to bring over things they think we'll like. Also there are times when I'll buy parts at a flea market, I've learned not to tell some venders what I do with the item. If they knew that it was for art or would be cut apart, they won't sell it to me."

Since Gone Postal Michael has been busy working on a few more four wheeled creations. He just finished a 1960's slingshot dragster featuring a blown Hemi with NOS. Also in the works is a salt flat hot rod and a Supercharged flathead going into a sedan body, and a turbocharged plane. If it has an engine, Michael interested! Although Michael hasn't mentioned it, I can see him venturing into the realm of steam engine transport too!

Michael’s studio is in Roslindale MA and you can visit by appointment. Michael also commissions sculptures and accepts donations of interesting 'junk' parts.


>> - Check out more build pictures in the Motorfoot Gallery!

>> Rat Rod Inspiration - Part 1 - Also on Motorfoot.

>> - Find out more about the artist and his machines.

Cool Concepts Sinister Cadillac WTF and Hot Rods WTF

by motorfoot 1/15/2009 1:48:00 PM

I am a fan of the new Cadillac design, at least the grill end. It reminds me of a locomotive, a real fast one, with rubber wheels, and a big caboose. But I digress, or do I?

I ran across this Cadillac concept by Loren Kulesus a few days ago when scanning autoblog. Hmmm, can you stick this on a T-Rex chassis?

The above photo let me to this next one. Sinister is its name. Designed by Jason Holmes. 1930s Ford heritage. A bit too much fender for me, but cool none the less.

Then I was reminded of this one. Hmmm, I see the resemblance.

You might be wondering what the point of this post is.

One thing leads to another. Cars are cool.

How to Build a Hot Rod - I have no idea

by motorfoot 12/2/2008 2:07:00 PM

The Jan 2009 issue of Ol' Skool Rodz has a nice article by Alan Mayes called Project Planning 101. As the "101" implies, the article was basic but had some good tips. Therefore, I thought it would be worthwhile to digest the advice and write my thoughts from a novice perspective.

Some of the main points I picked up from the article are:

  • Decide on a budget and stick to it.
  • Plan your build in stages.
  • Don't borrow money.
  • Keep it a roller.
  • Pay as you go.
"You can build a hot rod for $40,000 that is only worth 16K. Don't do it."

So, since I just recently started looking in to building a hot rod I thought I would take some of Alan's tips and mix in my thoughts and experience so far.

Decide on a budget and stick to it.

Because of my budget and lack of experience in building a hot rod my plan was to simply wait for a deal on ebay, but things happen.

I recently went to a hot rod shop to browse and maybe get a new t-shirt. During the visit I struck up a conversation with the shop manager. Well, he was so dad gum enthusiastic about my quest he got me thinking, "Is building a hot rod from scratch a viable option?" So we talked about what I was interested in and he put together an estimate. The bad news. If they were to do the whole thing from scratch it would cost $37,000, and what do you get? 1930's technology for the price of a used 2007 Corvette.

To make the budget I have no choice but to be involved in the build, which isn't a bad thing. I actually want to get back in to the hobby. So what I need to do is determine what makes sense for the builder to do, and what makes sense for me to do. Those are the key questions to answer to make sure this project is a success. It is the only way to get something safe and reliable and not be nickel and dimed by buying every little do dad from the hot rod catalog. Decide on a budget and stick to it.

Plan your build in stages.

Most everything that is moderately complex has components that work together as a system, such as brakes, electrical, tranny, etc. Like a house, there is a preferred order in which the stages should be completed. In addition, once the stages are determined, you can decide which stages you want to tackle, and which stages are beyond your skill level. So planning a build in stages makes a whole lot of sense when you have budget constraints.

Don't borrow money.

That hits home. After studying the quote the shop manager worked up I realized I would barely have a roller when my funds ran out. After that I had this vague idea about funding the "rest of the build" with miracle money. The reality is, I can not afford to borrow money to build a dream car when my daily driver needs work and my home appliances are cranky, and oh, the economy has gone to hell. Not a good time to be in debt. This is where the "build in stages" keeps you engaged. While you are squirrling away your spare change you can be researching the next stage of your build.

Keep it a roller.

What if you lose your job, get sick, or need cash for some unforeseen emergency? If worse comes to worse, a car with wheels is easier to sell or move in a hurry if you have to.

Pay as you go.

If you plan your build in stages you can pay in stages also. This is a win win situation. You don't over extend yourself and your builder has clear understanding of your budget and scope of work. If a stage goes over budget for some reason then you can adjust by waiting a little longer for the next stage or try to find a better deal on parts for the next stage. The key is you have options.


So those are my thoughts from a novice perspective on "Project Planning 101". As I progress in my planning I will write about the issues I come across and post any resources I learn about during the process. My goal is to have a completed hot rod that is safe, reliable, and just what I want. My goal in writing this series is to encourage you to give it a try. And, if you have already been there and done that, please feel free to share your experiences!

Stay tuned for pictures...


>> Rat Rod Inspiration - My Manefesto. It got me here.

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