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SEMA, a Merc, some assorted junk...
5 NOV 2010 - It's been exciting times around here.

Let's start with the recent stuff, and then we'll Tarrantino the whole thing, and travel backwards in time, and who knows... either we'll tie it all up neatly, or leave you scratching your head an thinking "what the heck just happened on the Studio PCK site?". To remain honest here, I'm willing to bet it all just doesn't matter, because we're gonna show you some killer stuff, throw some deals your way, and then set you free to enjoy your day as you see fit. While we're dropping bombs here, this will be the final update of this site... EVER. We're retiring the current site shortly, and moving ahead with a new layout, design, features... by golly, it'll make you all giddy.

That settled, let's start with today. The mighty Merc project nailed a spot on the NY Times blog:

ny times

...which is a nice layer of frosting on the week, indeed. You see, the Merc has been in-progress for some time, being constructed by our good pal Zane and his crew over at Cotati Speed Shop. It was decided to drag the mean machine to SEMA, and we did it in style, bolting on a set of raw-milled HRE wheels, and setting up shop in the Ford display... just because.

formula one book sample

The week grew better with the release of the Gold Rush Rally DVD, a pet project of the Merc's owner, and to say that it's outstanding would be an extreme understatement... take a quick peek for yourself:

You can pre-order this amazing cinematic barnstormer here:

Moving along, we had a couple of other rides at SEMA, from the C2ZR1:

c2zr1 sema 2010

... and the Street Rodder Magazine Road Tour Car:

road tour car sema

... among other stuff, and, well, here's hoping you checked them out if you were there.

Let's see... Oh... how about this:

Are you a subscriber to our e-Newsletter yet? No? You'll want to be. You see, from now until the 15th of December, we're going to throw some SERIOUS deals out there for you to make Holiday shopping a breeze. Hell, we're even going to give a ton of stuff away. All you need is a subscription to the Newsletter (you can do that in a few easy steps HERE), and the ability to read and click some links. t'll be that easy. Win art, prints, skate decks, books... and get screaming deals on all of the above, too. We're givers.

Poke in soon for the new site, more art, and who the Hell knows what else. More soon...

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Autocourse 60 Years of World Championship Grand Prix Motor Racing...
30 SEPT 2010 - When you take into consideration the stories, technical advances, personalities, drama and everything else that makes Grand Prix and F-1 so incredibly dynamic, sixty years is a TON of history and excitement to pour into one book! And that, my friend, is precisely what this title from Icon Publishing does... and in grand style, pardon the pun.

If you've ever had even the slightest interest in Grand Prix or Formula One racing, this may be the hottest book to cross your path, and is certainly THE book we'd suggest that you buy, even if it's the only one you lay out your hard-earned cash for all year. It is, simply put, PACKED from cover to cover with incredible photography, incredible insight, and history that'll keep you turning pages.

grand prix book

Written by Alan Henry, the internationally respected motor racing correspondent (he has attended more than 500 World Championship races... and is one of the few journalists to have the inside line with some of the sport’s most powerful figures!), his first-hand knowledge and unique perspective combine to bring an unrivalled authority to this magnificent history. Right off of the line, we're treated to a great, perspective-setting forward by Bernie Ecclestone, considered to be THE authority on Formula One racing, and his quick look back on the sport, and his involvement over the past sixty years. He sets the tone, inviting readers to not only learn more about the history, but to take part in the traditions that make it so unique. At this point, you realize that this isn't just a bound collection of pretty photos to be flipped through... No, we're going to settle in and experience it all.

As I sat down to explore this title, I found myself losing hours on end absorbing some rich history... It's as though you're brought into each era and thrust trackside (and occasionally into the cockpit!), and led deeper into not only the races, but the men who braved the early machines, and paved the way for future generations to follow. I decided then and there to not simply spew out some quick look at this remarkable volume, but to start with a brief peek under the hood, and to explore the book over a few installments. Not only will this do a bit more justice to the work, but it'll help to spread out my excitement for this title... Hopefully you'll feel the same, and continue to look in as we dive deeper over the next few entries!

Beyond the superb quality of the book (it's a hefty book indeed, printed on high-quality paper, with a very comfortable text size with great contrast for easy reading), the first thing that strikes the reader is the amount of photography, and the great quality of those photos. Superb, crisp images leap from the book, and capture the essence of vintage motor racing... It was a dirty, dangerous sport in which to be involved, an those early photos capture the glory as it was back then: Filthy, tense, and hard-won. Couple the images with brilliantly composed and chosen sidebars, and you'll learn more about the sport and its founding fathers in a few pages than you ever thought possible. Whenever available, these side tales are told by the men who lived the moment, and their voices seem to linger long after you've flipped the page.

formula one book sample

If you're unfamiliar with Autocourse, it began as a quarterly review of motorsport in 1951, turning to an annual format in 1959. It is THE source for race coverage, statistics, facts, figures and insight (the results section has lap charts, time sheets, practice and qualifying data, and chassis log books), and the back issues are highly-prized collector's items (so start trolling yard sales, used book shops and more!). And that kind of attention to detail and immersion in the sport shines through in this historical documentation.

The pre-war section (where it all gets rolling, so to speak) is brief, but truly paints a picture describing the impact of these early racers, and the impact that the war had on everything, including motorsport. Moving on after the war, we're given all-access to the most exciting era, as Ferrari dominates, and British racing teams find their niche. Incredible sidebars featuring Auto Union, Jimmy Clark, Enzo Ferrari and more come together to make the excitement grow page after page.

f-1 racing history

The book then takes us on a whirlwind tour of the 2.5 Formula years, through Cosworths and turbos and more... It's simply brilliant from cover to cover. It's the ideal, one-stop source book for any motorsport artist, with great staged, action and candid photography, many of these photos are absolutely overstuffed with detail. In fact, I'd venture to say that the book is a must-have for the scale modeler seeking extreme detail... And when you're through looking at the subjects in the photos, spend a few days just getting lost in the backgrounds... it's layer after layer of historical reference material! Again, whenever I find a book that makes great reference material, I like to make it known to my fellow artists... and this is certinly one of those times!

Had enough yet? Hardly... the book just continues to pour it on! At the back of the book are season-by-season tables, compiling car, driver and race-by-race information, from 1951, clear through 2009. Add to that a list of World Champion drivers, an for the trivia buffs, how about a table listing the make and constructor of every World Champion car from 1958-2009? Wait'll you see this list... You'll gain a new appreciation for the term "dominance".

We'll continue this look, as stated earlier, over a few more entries... I hope you'll stick with us, and check it out... and that you'll scoop up your own copy when it hits the shelves. I think you'll be more than pleasanty surprised and entertained.

You can grab a copy of this book, and save some serious cash in our bookstore!


autocourse f-1

Autocourse 60 Years of World Championship Grand Prix Motor Racing
by Alan Henry
Hardcover, 400 Pages
ISBN: 9781905334568
Publisher: Icon Publishing Ltd.
Illustrations: 500 in color
Availability: October 1st 2010
($37.77 in our bookstore!)

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A Never-ending Love Affair...
28 SEPT 2010 - ...or a lifetime of embarrassment and grief, depending upon your choice of vehicle, or how well you maintain the exterior. The latest Motorbooks Workshop release, How to Make Your Car Last Forever is the perfect addition to your workshop library if you're a working stiff like me, and a new car is but some fleeting thought each time a douchebag cuts you off, or runs a red in front of you.

I'm a fan of keeping what I have running, and over the years, I've tried it all... from basic maintenance and logic to dark garage voodoo, and all sorts of miracles in between... This book is a collection of simple tips and logical steps to makiing your vehicular investment pay off. After all, even the most die-hard hot rodder has a daily driver that gets them someplace to gather the scratch to make the bills go away, and that every-day car is what makes it all happen for a lot of us.

The book is written by Tom Torbjornsen, who is the creator and host of America's Car Show, which has been on radio airwaves since 1991. With over 35 years in the automotive industry and almost two decades in automotive talk radio, Tom makes learning about cars easy with his personal manner, his expert advice, and his high energy and entertaining style. He has the unique gift of simplifying the complex and demystifying the technical... and the book is a fun read, with some great rhythm and straightforward advice.

The book is certainly not the definitive, "only book your should own" kind of volume, but is certainly a welcome addition and great start for any aspiring driver seeking to make the most of his or her car, and I'd venture to say that it'd be a killer stocking stuffer this year. Couple this with a nice starter tool set, and you'll be loved.

how to make yor car last forever

The book comes out of the gate with a steady start, and introduces you to the world of maintenance, covering the basics, and when you should be performing these tasks. As stated above, good, simple advice. Next, we are walked through the basic vehicle systems, including engine, transmission and driveline, steering, wheels, tires, and into more intricate systems like iginition, fuel delivery and electrical. The basic trouble-shooting tips contained are worth the price of admission.

Next, we are walked through the very premise of the book, and taught some simple tips to make your car last "forever". From following maintenance schedules to exterior care and conditioning, you can be assured that your ride will look as good as it runs, and having a reliable car is a great way to start the morning, no doubt! Sure trumps a good cup of coffee.

As an added bonus, there's some GREAT discussion on buying a car, namely in regard to warranties. As a believer in the extended wrranty, I was nodding in agreement with the advice presented. There are so many options, and taking care at this point, and selecting the right warranty can put you thousands of dollars ahead over the next few years. (imagine having a transmission let go in 110-degree heat, while your 8-month pregnant wife is on her way to the doctor... been there, and was in a covered rental car a couple of hours later, with a new transmission a few days later after a small co-pay, versus retail cost plus labor)

The book wraps up neatly with some tips for the absent-minded or automotive sadists, and quickly reviews the ways to kill a car. Sound tips to avoid!

Again, a great field guide for your first-time car buyer/owner/driver, and certainly a great gift idea for the youngster on his or her way to that first set of wheels... Truly a conversation starter (and what's cooler than some bonding time in the garage?), and a great way to inspire your loved ones to take care of their cars, and give them the can-do attitude to head out in the garage, and do it themselves (or for you!).

You can grab a copy of this book, and save about 30% in our bookstore!


vehicle maintenance

How to Make Your Car Last Forever
Avoid Expensive Repairs, Improve Fuel Economy, Understand Your Warranty, Save Money
by Thomas Torbjornsen
Illustrated. 176 pages (225 color photos, 76 drawings)
Motorbooks (Motorbooks Workshop)
($17.99 in our bookstore!)

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The Corvette in the Barn...
9 SEPT 2010 - ...More Great Stories of Automotive Archaeology hit our door, and it was like Christmas morning. It's a battle in the studio to read these first, and, well... one often pulls rank and gets first dibs. Such was my day, and I set aside some time to give it a thorough once-over:

the corvette in the barn
Tom's series is like the old Choose Your Own Adventure books for guys like me, just one of those titles you reach for time and again because they're just so entertaining, and each time you pick one up, you can't help but get excited. With tales of discovery, rabid hunts, searches spanning years and many miles... it's all there for the taking.

corvette artwork

Imagine finding not only a rare, race-only 'Vette, but one that was rebodied (the story itself of the '55 with a '56 body that went back to a '55 body is worth the admission price alone)... It's now a great story left to history, and resulting in one incredible car that has lived multiple lives, the latest undercover as a restored Corvette. Yep, it's the number three car on the right.

Never read one of Cotter's books? You're missing out. They're a fast read, but supremely entertaining, and definitely book you'll want to share (and will be appreciated by any car fanatic). To get some insight on the series, let's look in as Jay Leno sits and talks with Tom:

With a lot more than Corvettes, there's a literally something for anyone who just appreciates cars. If you recall the old email that made rounds regarding the retired couple who buy property with a large barn (which happens to have the doors welded shut), the truth behind that tale lies between the covers of this book. I won't spoil it here, but suffice to say, the inventory of that barn is spelled out, and may surprise many of you who forwarded that tale over and over. Icing on THAT slice of cake? The tale behind the famous "Sleeping Beauties"... an entertaining and enlightening chapter indeed!

It's a book that has a wonderful voice... It's not unlike sitting and chatting with an old friend about the cars they've seen, the "ones that got away", or those great bargain finds. I thoroughly enjoy these books, and think that you will, too. Definitely a great idea for a stocking stuffer, or the perfect gift for a car fanatic friend who travels... it's brilliant in-flight reading material.

Another mystery that the book sheds light on is Dean Jeffries' customized Porsche (which is discussed in Cotter's book about Mr. Jeffries). We discover the twists and turns the car took after being sold, and the miraculous tale of its rebirth in the hands of one dedicated owner.

dean jeffries porsche

Overall, a great, light read with plenty of replay value. It hits shelves this week, so grab up a copy for yourself, and one to share, as well... You'll be glad you did.

You can grab a copy of this book, and save about 30% in our bookstore!


corvette in the barn

The Corvette in the Barn
More Great Stories of Automotive Archaeology
by Tom Cotter
Illustrated. 256 pages (125 color photos)
($17.16 in our bookstore!)

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Legendary Corvettes...
7 SEPT 2010 - ...Vettes Made Famous on Track and Screen is the latest title we've been fortunate to receive from the good folks at Motorbooks, and it's LOADED with amazing photos and great cars:

legendary corvettes

Written by Randy Leffingwell, and featuring some absolutely stunning photography by Dave Wendt, this is certainly a must-have for any Corvette enthusiast. Whether you're a hard-core fanatic, a racing junkie, or just love anything Corvette, this volume definitely has something for everyone:

corvette artwork

This is but one of 130 color (plus 13 black and white) photos contained within the 176 beautifully laid-out (and high quality!) pages. The text is brilliant, the editorial loaded with facts, figures, odd trivia facts, and simply invaluable detail and reference shots... The book studies eighteen of the most legendary Corvettes, beginning with the 1953 Corvette... and this chapter alone is packed with design trivia, historical notes, testing data, and even Zora Arkus-Duntov's sketches, detailing airflow issues. Moving on, the racing fans will be in 'glass heaven, with in-depth looks at the '56 SR Sebring, the 1957 XP-64 Super Sport, the 1960 Cunningham No. 3, Grand Sports, LeMans legends... It's an incredible collection indeed!

Perhaps your interest in Corvettes began in the '70's with Corvette Summer?

corvette summer

...gotcha covered, as well. And speaking of screen-starring Corvettes, how about a look at the 1960 Tasco Turquoise 'Vette... This chapter continues the information-packed theme, with some truly marvelous insight to the car and the show... Brilliant! It's got the drag racing fans in mind, as well, with Big John's 1967 BM/SP 'Vette... in gorgeous studio shots!

Perhaps you waited a bit longer to become enamored with America's supercar, or were born a bit later... have no fear, my friend. With a great section on the '88 Callaway Sledgehammer, you're going to find all sorts of interesting goodies! I say it often (when warranted), and this book is truly a great complement to any enthusiasts library, and one of those gems that you'll reach for again and again when researching a project, or creating some concept art.

If all of this weren't enough, the slip cover folds out to reveal a poster, as well! It's the 1956 SR Sebring Racer, and the image is striking:

corvette poster

You can grab a copy of this book, and save about 30% in our bookstore!


legendary Corvettes

Legendary Corvettes
'Vettes Made Famous on Track and Screen
Randy Leffingwell, photos by Dave Wendt
Illustrated. 176 pp. (130 color, 13 black/white images)
($23.10 in our bookstore!)

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Corvette Week...
29 AUG 2010 - ...sounds like a good theme for this week, and we've got you covered at least three ways from Sunday.

Let's start it off with the grand debut of the C2ZR1 this past weekend at Corvettes at Carlisle. Just about ten months ago, Jeff over at Heartland Customs gave me a shout, and we threw ideas around for a car that we had both almost left for dead. (Rewind to the previous Summer, and there were rumblings afoot for a project that merged then-upcoming ZR1 running gear with a second-generation Vette, and Jeff had a notebook loaded with ideas and visions... and then, as happens with these things, life intervened, and the project fell dormant...) Back to last October... The project was back on, and Jeff was seeking the right client, and I was given the go-light to start drawing. Stoked? Oh heck yeah... With his attention to detail, this would be killer.

A few phone calls and emails later, I had created some artwork:

c2zr1 rendering
With literally dozens of subtle (and a few not-so-subtle) mods, the car went from timeless, iconic Chevrolet design statement to nasty, yet eerily-refined evil bruiser in a few short days:
corvette artwork
Aside from the obvious technological advancements bein thrown at the car, it just had to have that over-the-top WOW-factor... and speaking of top, it was decided early on that this '64 was going to have a carbon fiber roof, no if's, and's or but's. It's fiber-licious:

carbon fiber roof

c2zr1 roof

We'll show more on the car very soon... but wanted to throw a sneak peek at the incredible work of Jeff and his crew, and at the same time, give them a huge pat on the back for yet another job so well done, it just kinda makes us all giddy thinking of where they'll be in a few years. I've had the incredible honor of watching them turn out some amazing iron (and 'glass... this being our second 'Vette project together), and when you think about the excitement that their work brings... well... imagine it from my perspective. Front row seats are cool... but getting to add some color commentary? Better still.

Keep looking in this week for not only more on this great car, but for some exciting new Corvette reading material! Yup... we got some new books in, and will serve up some toasty-hot reviews and ordering info, too. Stay tuned!

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BMX Challenge 2...
1 AUG 2010 - ...picks up right where last year's left off, but with less bruising and sore muscles.

The Second Annual Hot Rod Industry BMX Challenge takes place later this week (August 7, to be exact) in Louisville, KY, and returns to the amazing Derby City BMX grounds, and coincides with the NSRA Street Rod Nationals. As the official release reads:

"We are really excited about the BMX Challenge this year – we have changed the rules just a little – for the HRIC you must be a participant or vendor at the Street Rod Nationals – the BMX race is once again FREE of charge for you to participate in BUT to mix it up a little and to help give you guys and the spectators a better show we challenge you to “get sponsored”.
We will be running a Pro/Am mixed in with the Hot Rod Challenge and in order to bring in the “big guns” we have to show them the money! So we challenge you to get a sponsor for your race. Along with your name being announced during the race your sponsor will get some plugs as well! We ask you to get a min of $25 but challenge you to get more – the rider with the most sponsor money will get an extra special prize! Standard Byke Company is on board again this year – the winner of the HRIC will receive a new frame! Add to that more prizes, surprises and yet another frame from the great folks at Intense, and you have the makings of a grand event indeed."

Last years' event attracted 16 of the biggest and best builders in the game today, including Dave Tucci, Jesse Greening and Roger Burman, among the many talented riders and other industry professionals from companies like Billet Specialties, Welder Series, Vintage Air, Art Morrison, Calfornia Car Cover and more! Bill Stevens from Star Custom took the grand prize last year, after taking the lead from John Pearce after he lost rhythm in the last corner. Truly an exciting and fun event, to be certain, and with this year's prizes, it promises to be an even bigger draw!

bmx t-shirt

What's really fun for me, anyway, is being tapped to create some art each year for the event... This year, as usual, the Stranges gave me full creative control, and told me to "just do what you do!". Suffice to say, I've had vintage drag racing on my brain for a few weeks, and busted out a Fiat altered, smoking the tires... I wanted more action this year, and wasn't going to go with a static car like last year. One thing led to another, and soon there was a rider in full flight overhead, and it just seemed to come together as most fun pieces tend to do.

tour car

I threw in a couple of little details as tributes to friends and family (as I do with almost every piece that leaves the Studio), and I'm genuinely stoked about the finished product. There's nothing like creating a souvenir piece for an event like this, and even better when it's for not only our colleagues and friends, but for prople whom I look up to for their skill, talent and drive...

If you'll be in Louisville for the Nats, or just happen to live or have plans in the neighborhood, make it a point to go to the races on Saturday... Get in on the fun, meet some great, influential folks, and enjoy the thrill of a hobby that got so many of us into cars in the first place!

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Some New Artwork...
16 JUL 2010 - It's been a while betwen updates around here on the ol' site... and for good reason. It's been busy, busy, and we're stoked, relieved, excited... And I figured I'd share some samples of just what in the heck it is that I've been busy on.

Our good friends Wayne and Pam over at M&M Hot Rod Interiors gave us a shout a while back, and asked if I'd whip up a new tee for them... And could it include Tammy Ray's Ridler-winning Gold Digger? Naturally I said "I think I can do that." All of that gung-ho potential energy was alchemized into this:

t-shirt art

...which has some cool detailing, especially with the textural elements, which I threw in to reinforce the whole "Gold" theme (think gilded vases, gold leaf, hammered gold, etc etc etc), with a little "frontier" attitude to celebrate that this is a whole new frontier, what with Tammy being the first female to take the Ridler and all...

tour car

We're stoked to have such good friends who trust a vision, and especially so to be a part of the continuing success of a top-notch shop! (and we're stoked as well that the local boys and gals at Acme Prints are handling the production chores! Hooray for local business supporting local business. Go and do likewise!)...

Along the way, we got the call from our pal Liz, and she asked if we could whip up some artwork for her annual car show... Needless to say, we said "heck yeah". After all, a friend in need is a friend in need of some art. And we do that art thing a lot. Liz and her husband just happen to be big MOPAR people, so it was a no-brainer to go that route out front... And imagine the surprise when we presented the art and Liz told us that there's a local Charger in purple and white that attends the show. How cool will it be for THAT guy?! A hot rod with some traditional/modern twisting and mixing was a good call out back, adding that "going back in time" scholarly feel. Enough talk, here's the art:

poster art

It's a posterly-looking piece (ironic, what with it being a poster and all) with some energy, and really nails the look Brian's been pounding away at the past few months...

And then the phone rang, and Max from Bio Kustumz called looking for some new t-shirt art, I knew that things were going to get somewhat crazy when he mentioned “retro”, “robots”, “custom cars” and “maybe futuristic” in one sentence. I was already sketching as we spoke!

robots and kustoms

As stated, Max had requested something robotic, an early-1950's Cadillac, and machinery. I rolled with that, and came up with the artwork above, incorporating a robot customizer putting the finishing touches on his custom Caddy, while his sidekick offers up some potential ornamentation. Sadly for him, the little pooch is being waved-off on the fuzzy dice. I threw in some mixes of retro-future and fictional machinery, along with a ton of killer little details. Fun piece, no doubt.

The shirts will be hitting soon, and this is the first in a planned series of “artist tees”, and will feature some big names like Max Grundy, Dwayne Vance, myself and others! so get to Bio Kustumz’ site and snag a few!

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The rubber meets the road...
19 JUN 2010 - While it certainly sounds like the event which might signal the close of a truck stop tryst (We apologize for that. Brian apparently found the good coffee again –Ed.), but we’re more interested (for the time being) about the 2010 Amsoil/Street Rodder Magazine Road Tour car leaving the shop, and hitting the wide open spaces, highways, side streets and assorted roadside tourist traps that make our country great.

tour car

The Shadow Rods-based hauler made a grand entrance on May 16th at Southern Rods in Greer, South Carolina, and we’re stoked all over again! Built by our pal (and Hall of Famer, no less) Zane Cullen over at Cotati Speed Shop in Santa Rosa, it’s a killer combination of traditional style, reverence to the Bay Area’s storied hot rod past, and modern reliability and power. The car looks incredible with a track nose, hood blister, and so much of that trademark Cotati Speed Shop attention to detail that we can’t begin to list it all here…

shakedown cruise

...and if you've missed it in countless ads in Street Rodder and more, here's the rendering:

hot rod design

You can keep up with the Tour Car on the official blog HERE, and see where Jerry is headed, where he’s been, and where you can join in the fun, too! And if you can, head on out and join the fun!

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Grab some new hot rod tees...
10 JUN 2010 - We have a limited number of our well-received (and obviously popular!) Art Ragz series of t-shirts, and in sizes from small through 2XL (adult sizes only). What's great is that, for under ten bucks, you get a THREE COLOR (yeah, 3 colors!) design, printed on the back, and our logo up front... all on a lightweight tee that's perfect for Summer. Even better: with the low price, you won't live in fear of messing it up in the garage, shop, studio, cookout, whatever.

hot rod t-shirt

These are Gildan Ultra Blend tees,and the printing is light enough (and has enough open space, too) that you won't get that dreaded "sweaty back" feeling... And, as if that weren't enough, we threw in some 'flake, too... because, after all, what's cooler than THAT?

Here's the front, BTW:

shakedown cruise

You can buy some tees in our online store... As we said, limited quantities remain, and Summer's here, so grab 'em while they last... And, as always, thank you for the support!

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Some FUEL for the fire...
3 JUN 2010 - We're absolutely stoked about every line of ink that our resident car doodling monkey-boy Brian manages to grab (outside of that whole post office photo), but this month, well... things are cranked to eleven.

fuel zine

We're honored to have been chosen by Luke over at Fuel Magazine in Australia for an artist feature! If you know of Brian's love for all things Australian (and his dream of living among the kangaroos and dingos... and we're not talking 1980's footwear here), then you can begin to imagine just how cool this is. It's like our personal Ayers Rock with a bar-b-que and Mad Max-style chase scene in one.

If you're not familiar with the magazine, what a time it is to become a regular reader! It's a superior-quality, smaller-format book loaded with killer photography, art, features, stories and more. It hits three times a year, and has incredible replay value, and will certainly find its way onto the shelf as a permanent collectible!

hot rod art feature

...and should you not care about the art, there's a lot of other neat stuff to look at, too:

model a ford

Learn more HERE at the Fuel Magazine site, buy a couple of dozen copies, and help spread the word (and support grass-roots publishing at its finest!). Thanks for sharing the moment!

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Custom Car Ideas...
1 JUN 2010 - Ideas...oh, we get lots of those... and while we could write a book about the ideas Brian throws out there each day, we just can't afford a blanket insurance policy that big. Suffice to say, then, that it made our day when the new Motorbooks Custom Cars Idea Book hit the doorstep...

idea book cover

Alan Mayes (managing editor of Ol' Skool Rodz and Car Kulture DeLuxe) has thrown down a nifty collection of photos reminiscent of the Motor Life, Car Craft, specials and columns of the 1950's and 1960's highlighting custom car ideas and trends, and packaged them neatly in this 160 page (with, dig this: 536 COLOR images... yes, over 500 color photos!) book. What this amounts to is a great reference piece for the garage or den or studio. Imagine having all of your Google searches for headlight and tail light, top chop, grille and other ideas in one book?

For me, it's a great lunchtime companion... seriously. A couple of times a week, I take a break to just sit back and eat something, and this book is a tremendously fun way to kill a few minutes, and stretch the brain, car-wise when the mood hits. It's laid out in an almost intuitive fashion, spanning Pre-War models, the ubiquitous '49-'51 Mercs, and then on to 1950's and 1960's cars, before diving into show rods, trucks and a few late-models. There are even handy sections (a-ha! a pun...) on front and rear end treatments, chassis, paint, trim and more.

While I'd certainly love to see more on show rods, it's a great overview, and again, collection of custom cars. It certainly works very well to spark your creative side when planning a project, and excels as an overview of popular customizing techniques. This book would be a fantastic primer (pun count: 2) for anyone new to the hobby, and certainly a great quick-reference guide when the inevitable "do you know that car?" conversation pops up.

My only gripe would be with some of the photographs, which seemed sourced rather than shot with the specific intent of being used in a book of this nature. A few more "head-on" shots or closeups would have been great, but overall, the message in each photo (and all are captioned, by the way... which is FANTASTIC) comes across loud and clear, and the clarity of every photo is great. Highly recommended for your reference library, and well worth the cover price.

Speaking of the price, you can scoop up a copy in our bookstore, and save a few bucks, too ($8.50 to be exact)!

Custom Cars IDEA BOOK: Coupes Sedans Pickups
Alan Mayes
160 Pages
Illustrated with 536 color images
Availability: June 8, 2010

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All sorts of goodies...
6 MAY 2010 - in the Studio, and a ton of new work making its way out the door, which definitely explains the lack of updates here on the site over the past couple of weeks.

We've been busy nailing down some projects, finishing up some others, and getting all of the loose ends neatly tied up. Our social network pages, like Twitter and Facebook are now nicely tied-in to the website for your convenience, and you'll see some great integration with the e-Newsletter in the coming weeks as well. We're absolutely stoked about where it's all headed, and think you'll enjoy it, and find it all tremendously useful.

Let's start with the long-neglected Fan Page, which got a fresh new look this month:

the cobra in the barn

There are a few new features in place already, and there will be a TON of interactive goodness starting up very soon over there. You'll find that most of the content is fans-only, and will remain as such, so give the magic "Like" button a tickle, and become a part of the fun!

We've also been gearing-up with some new prints and decks, and are absolutely floored by the response so far to the "Gonzo Series" prints...

hot rod fine art prints

...these are a limited-edition, signed and numbered deal, are have the most bold color we've ever offered in a print... Thanks for checking 'em out!

Meanwhile, it's been a bunch of client work, as usual (which is just fine by me), and one cool piece I wanted to share was created for Robbie at Pacific Coast Customs:

tiki design

...which naturally led to him wanting some artwork for custom packaging FOR the shirts:

package design
Check 'em out on Robbie's site HERE, and tell him we sent you!

And finally, why not a sneaky-peek at those new decks? (if you subscribe to the e-Newsletter, you've already seen two of these... Not yet a subscriber? Sign up HERE! It's fast, free and easy!)
custom decks
We'll show more soon, and have some project updates later on this coming week, so check back in! And, as always, if we can design your next killer shirt, car, website, fan page, skate deck, whatever... Don't hesitate to give us a shout!

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The ultimate barn find...
2 APRIL 2010 - ...may be just around the corner from where you're sitting as you read this. Proof f such finds, as well as some stories that put the occasional "right place, right time" story to absolute shame will have you turning the pages of Tom Cotter's book The Cobra in the Barn -- Great Stories of Automotive Archaeology with what seems to be never-ending excitement.

the cobra in the barn

This is, of course, the all-new paperback version of Cotter's book, originally released as a hard-cover in 2005, and the first of his "In the Barn" series (which also includes Hemi in the Barn, Vincent in the Barn, and the forthcoming Corvette in the Barn). The book takes the approach of the classic bench racing topic of that one rare, hidden or forgotten gem that someone always seems to find in the back of a barn, or tucked behind years of junk in a garage, and backs up the exciting premise with true stories of such finds!

From stories of pure chance finds, like the '40 Ford Woody found when a hunter sought refuge from the rain, to tales of utter compulsion and persistence (years of phone calls and visits simply to purchase a long-term project), and everything in-between, the book is a true page-turner, no matter what your automotive tastes. From cars found literally around the corner, to travels almost around the globe, you'll find yourself wrapped-up in the cars, people and stories.

Like so many of the people featured in the book, I can certainly agree that there's a thrill in the chase, and occasionally, we learn that once the prize has been captured, it's simply on to the next hidden treasure... While for others, the cars and their stories become a part of their lives and heirlooms in the process. This was the first automotive book I've had in the studio that just grabbed and fascinated everyone who happened to pick it up! Even my wife read the book, cover-to-cover, and has made it a point to seek out the other titles in the series.

As the press release states, "Author Tom Cotter uses his engaging writing style in telling the tales of found Cobras, a rare Delehaye found disassembled in Czechoslovakia that eventually won Best in Show at Pebble Beach, a Ferrari racer found in a California woodchip pile, and several more. Cotter traces the early histories of the cars, how they were discovered, and where they are today." I'd like to add that the book also stresses the importance of research, and the struggle for some to decide between restoration or updating and personalizing these finds... And having the ability to learn from others with just a simple flip of a page make this book a treasure all its own!

The Cobra in the Barn
Great Stories of Automotive Archaeology
Tom Cotter
Illustrated. 256pp

Grab your own copy here and save a couple bucks in our Book Store!

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Building a street machine ...
25 MAR 2010 - ...can be a wonderfully rewarding experience, and even one of those great bonding experiences between family members or friends... Or it can become a completely maddening and disheartening ordeal that wrenches family and friends from you. What is often the deciding factor is in the planning, and that's where Mr. Bryant's book excels.

street machine book

What you get, page after page is a modern look at the classic performance build primer. Building the newcomer's knowledge, system by system, the book takes a straightforward approach to explaining the basics, and suggesting methods of implementing a plan to create the car of your dreams. While many folks today simply look at automotive forums and websites and build whatever is trendy or worse, rely on some group approval method (which normally involves a ton of mis-matched bolt-ons) for design and, uh, "planning"... This book gives concrete examples of how to plan, budget and simply get the work done, using the author's own Buick project as a case study.

From the simplest explanations ("What is a street machine?") to more advanced topics (driveline swaps, suspension and steering controls to power-adders), the book is a great read, and is easily understood. Where technical jargon is needed, it is backed-up with plain-English explanations and illustrations, again, making this the ideal book for the first-time builder or enthusiast in your home or circle of friends.

What's really great here is that it's loaded with tips that can be applied to any genre of street machine, and not just another niche-book, which centers on drag race-inspired or pro-touring style cars. And while many "blanket" type books fall short, this is one title that will be on our "recommended reading" list for any clients embarking on their first car building adventure. It has some great reference material between the covers as well, making this a solid investment for both the studio and garage, and a great gift idea, too!

How to Build a Killer Street Machine
Jefferson Bryant
Illustrated. 191pp

Grab your own copy here and save over $7.00 in our Book Store!

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Collector's Originality Guide: Covette 1968-82...
19 MAR 10- Originally published in 2001 as a hardcover version, this book is a treasure trove of reference photos and information. Another great release this month from our friends over at Motorbooks, the title covers the third generation of Corvette, and offers some fantastic information and insight on all models, as well as the special and limited-edition trim levels.

corvette 1968-1982

As any artist or designer would, I have a sincere appreciation for quality reference material, and had come to rely, over the years, on my copy of the original hardcover book, for both photo references as well as production figures and facts when consulting on potential projects with clients. There's nothing better than having clear photos and the facts you need right at your fingertips, and this book excels in those respects, with hundreds of high-quality, well-lit and very detailed images.

Leading off with a Corvette "Basics" primer, we're given a run-down on the model, and brought quickly up to speed on the terms used in the book, given an understanding of the VIN and option codes, as well as part and casting numbers. If you're shopping for your first third-gen 'Vette, then this first chapter is worth the price alone.

Moving along, we're treated to a year-by-year look at the car, broken down into well-organized areas, including Body and Body Trim, Chassis, Interior, Instruments and Controls, Engines (with GREAT information on options, horsepower and torque ratings, as well as amazingly accurate technical specs), Transmissions, Wheels and Tires, and sub-components as well. Add to that sidebars and inset panels with option codes, production figures (and even list pricing for each!) and colors, both interior and exterior, and you have a tremendous field guide when shopping for your next project. And with the soft cover version here, it's a portable reference manual when combing swap meets and wrecking yards. With the third generation being generally the most affordable of Corvettes on the market, and rapidly gaining popularity, now is a great time to scoop up a project as investment material. No doubt about it, the book will prove one of the most important investments you can make, should you choose one for your next restoration.

All that said, it's typical, supreme-quality Motorbooks, with great, thick paper, an almost glare-free semi-matte finish to the pages, and bold print and color, making the read enjoyable in a variety of lighting situations. Truly a welcome addition to any enthusiast's library, and a definite asset in the Studio!

Collector’s Originality Guide
Corvette, 1968-1982
Tom Falconer
Illustrated. 144pp

Grab one here and save almost 30% in our Book Store!

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iLike it ...
18 MAR 10- Continuing our little Spring-time theme of new products and stuff you flat-out need in your own studio or shop or home, for that matter, we have this amazing iKick 501 that our good friend Roger sent over from Kicker/Stillwater Designs... And I gotta say it: I love this thing. I mean that in an almost unholy way.


I was greeted by my friendly UPS driver one fine Monday afternoon, and he dropped a hefty box into my arms, and I was stoked to see the familiar Kicker logo staring at me... Suffice to say, the box was open in minutes, and I sat back and stared in awe at this kick-ass piece of technology.

If you know me at all, you know that I love me some music, and that my tastes are pretty far-reaching indeed... I thoroughly enjoy my classic rock and blues, and love deeper tracks and vinyl over CD's and more commercial collections. Sadly, swapping records on a turntable just isn't in the cards when ink is flying and pixels are being violated and customized, so I rely a lot on my iPod (which, thanks to my handy iMic is loaded with groovy tunes, digitized!) and our local KCDX, which sounds like an iPod gone haywire anyway... However, my Studio audio system is old (I mean OOOOLD and Frankenstein-ed together), and my iPod doesn't show the quality in sound through the tangle of cords, wires, adapters and hacked-together mess that makes it all "work".

That, my friend, is where this iKick 501 reigns SUPREME!! Simply hook up the power cable, drop in the appropriate (and included!) adapter, drop in your iPod, iPhone, whichever you have, and hit 'play" on the remote... and then pick your jaw off of the floor.

Unless you've just crawled from under a rock, you're no doubt familiar with Kicker, and their undisputed mastery of all things car audio-related... and they've certainly taken all they know, and piled into the compact, portable and uber-powerful iKick. And, should you be familiar with Kicker, you know that "Livin' Loud" isn't just some catchy marketing motto. Their stuff is unbelievably loud and clear, and the iKick 501 is all of that and more. Granted, I like some music loud, and I have yet to really need this monster above 9 on the volume dial... yet, for testing purposes, I wound it up past 30, and sent the Studio dogs running, nd the nearest neighbors wondering what happened. (as one so eloquently stated, "It sounded like you had Robert Plant right there in the Studio!" It's THAT clear at high volume as well as more sane levels.)

As for the technical specs, we're dealing with a beast that's fairly compact at 8.5-inches tall by just over 19-inches wide by just about 8.5 inches deep, and weighs about 9 lbs., making it ideal for a shelf or tool box. The speakers are a two-way design, with the tweeters measuring 3/4 of an inch, and the woofers signing on at 5-inches, with a 6-inch square subwoofer out back! And, as Kicker states, it’s all juiced by a powerful internal amplifier with digital signal processing for the richest, best-sounding docking system available.

The new iK501 now certifiably works with iPhone,™ along with iPhone 3G and all 4th-generation or newer iPod media players. Another feature is composite video output, allowing the user to play video from the unit to larger screens (hook it to a flat-panel or monitor, and have all bases covered at car and art shows!). Dig deeper into DSP with the thin infrared remote, fully featured to fine-tune the iPod or iPhone’s music and video content. It helps to navigate with ease through the iK501 system menu, adjusting bass, treble, and aux-in options, as well as through the iPod or iPhone’s menus and sub-menus. Skip forward and back, fast-forward and back, play and pause, volume, mute, and power on/off selections have their own buttons too.

The rotary knob manually serves as the power and selection push button, and controller for bass, treble, auxiliary-input options, or standby mode. Standby will continue to charge the iPod or iPhone even when the system is powered down. In the dark, the knob is back-lit in blue and the display LCD screen continues to steer the user easily through the menu.

A mini-jack input allows a hookup for stereo sound from alternate media, including other MP3 or compact-disc players, desktop and laptop computers, or satellite radio. RCA stereo outputs allow for even more alternative audio hookup. A two-foot auxiliary cable, integrated carrying handle, AC power cord and 22-volt power supply add up to complete a convenient and enjoyable entertainment experience.

If you're looking for a compact but powerful, clean-sounding system for your office, shop or studio, I would highly recommend the iKick 501, for not only its sleek looks, but rock-solid performance and ease-of-use. And it's more than competitively priced, with some serious bang-for-the-buck! HUGE thanks to Roger and the gang for the suport over the years, and for making the Studio absolutely ROCK!

Grab one here and learn more at

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Barracudas and Challengers, oh my...
14 MAR 10- As a designer and illustrator, having reference material available to me is of extreme importance. I take pride in making my work as accurate as possible, and nothing beats having the correct information at your fingertips when faced with having to create the correct trim, paint or interior pattern on a piece, and to say that this book is merely good would do it very little justice.

barracuda and challenger reference book

Loaded with great information (and clear, concise photography to back it up!), this book is certainly a must-have for anyone serious about making their work accurate… and even more valuable when consulting with a client on a potential build/purchase. From identification (VIN decoding, color schemes, engine/driveline, interior and more) through historical facts, Mr. Schild takes the time to break down the E-body Barracuda and Challenger in an easy-to-digest format that is entertaining as well as informative.

There are plenty of sidebars as well, from accessory groups and production numbers, to more entertaining pieces, like the story about the Vanishing Point Challenger. Impress your friends with some great trivia from that piece alone! I have a number of reference books on the shelves in my studio, and this is a stand-out title in both ease-of-use and digestibility.

Between the numbers and references for finishes, this is certainly worth adding to any enthusiast’s book shelf, and has already proven to be a “go-to” title in the Studio.

Collector’s Originality Guide
Challenger and Barracuda, 1970-1974
Jim Schild
Illustrated. 128pp

Grab your copy here, and save almost 35%

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Killer New Products...
12 MAR 2010- ...and all sorts of childish innuendos.

Our friends at Rad Rides have introduced some new products that will absolutely knock your socks off... from lubing up to punching holes in stuff, they've got you covered, and we have the pics and information to prove it. It all sounds remarkably dirtier than it really is... well, if you use this stuff the way it was intended, anyway. Moving right along...

First-off is the Rad Rides way to keep your project rust free, with a non-oil-based corrosion inhibitor. Simply spray it on the metal directly or on a cloth and it will seal your surface against corrosion. It will also prevent oxidation on any raw metal and seal it with no change in appearance. Imagine the uses you'd have for it out here in the desert for off-road and prerunner projects, long-term hot rod and custom work... let alone in more humid places (see that? There we go again...), and you'd have a far better method for preventing surface rust and oxidation than with straight penetrating oil or other household lubes, and a much better time when it came time to paint. After all, why add to your expense at paint prep time by having to de-grease a sloppy mess? This product is a True “Mega Penetrant” “Ultra Lubricant” “Corrosion Inhibitor” And “Water Repellent”. Troy even uses it on the Blowfish Paint when racing on the salt.

Up next, we have the Rad Rides All-Inclusive Voltage Kit for remotely-mounted batteries. Do you have a hard to access battery? Rad Rides by Troy has developed a solution to this problem, which includes charging lugs, remote battery shut off, battery tray and a XSPower D975 battery.  All components sold separately.

rad rides voltage kit

The first piece of the kit is a remote lug charging station, either a bezel, flush mount or frame mount depending on your vehicle. This allows you to service your battery, or if needed, to jump start your vehicle without tearing your car apart.

The next answer is a remote key fob-operated battery shut off which allows you to disconnect your battery for storage, vehicle transportation or as an anti-theft deterrent when away from it for whatever reason. Simply click your key fob to connect or disconnect the switch and by wiring it into your system (after your charging lugs) you can tend to your battery without any risk to your electrical components. It is rated for 1100 amps and it also monitors your battery voltage so that if it drops below 11.8 volts while at rest the system disconnects automatically to save enough battery to get you started.

The final pieces are a billet battery tray made to fit an XSPower D975 compact battery. This tray is designed to add to the look of your engine bay or function as a remote battery mount. The XSPower D975 can deliver 1,000 initial cranking amps for 15 seconds. RadRides also offers a dual battery tray for the XSPower D975 for those of you that whant big amp numbers out of a compact arrangement.

Up next is the killer tool of the year, in our opinion:

rad rides oval punch dimple dies

For those of you that have been waiting to purchase the unique Rad Rides “Oval Punch Flare Dies” the time has arrived. Go after a new look in punch flare design in the construction of your projects with the use of this kit. In one simple operation after using the stainless layout templates and drilling two holes you can arbor press or draw the die halves together to create these unique “Oval Punch Flares” in material up to 16 gauge steel. These dies are made out of Through Hardened Machine Steel.

Even better, the first 25 Kits to be sold will receive the stainless layout templates (a $30.00 value) for FREE as a one-time introductory offer. The complete kit retails at $1,299.99 plus shipping.

This tool gives you the chance to be one of the leaders in design change when constructing race cars, hot rods, street machines, and motorcycles.  Check out the '69 Torino below showing the “Oval Punch Flare Dies” in action:

oval flare dies

rad rides fabrication

Purchases can be made on-line or call Jack at 815-468-2590 Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm Central standard time. You can also check their summer show schedule to purchase it and all Rad Rides products at the events.

And why not... while we're here, have you subscribed to the Newsletter? Get on the list, and grab inside info, special deals, and sneak peeks at artwork and projects!


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The latest from the Studio...
5 MAR 2010- ...and making up for a long time sans updates.

I just realized that it's been over a month since we last had time to update the site... A terrible case of the cobbler's shoes, indeed. Thankfully, it's been busy enough to warrant some double-shifts, all-nighters, and assorted mutterings of hyphenated words and phrases as we try to figure out just where in the hell all of the time has gone....

To say the least, it's been spent at the drawing board and computers, creating work for some great folks. One such job has been designing a t-shirt for David and James, the cool cats behind the wheel of the One Lap Camaro. These crazy guys are plotting their 2010 attack on the One Lap of America race/gastro-intestinal torture fest, and they thought "we should sell shirts to support our eating and general survival habit", and they gave me a shout. And, by golly, here's what I came up with:

car t-shirt design

What's great is that you can pre-order one from the guys by simply sending an email over to them HERE, and letting them know who you are, what sizes and quantities you'd like, and then wait for your reply. They're going at $20./ea (+ $5.00 shipping), and are being printed by one of the best-known, highest quality shops on the West Coast. The front of the shirt features the "One Lap Camaro" logo on the left chest...

Beyond that, the proceeds are going to help them offset costs of eating, being on the road, etc... Think of this as having a hand in some killer grass-roots racing! Tell 'em we sent ya!

My work, meanwhile, has been popping up everywhere... From the engineering suites at Nissan...


To some big-name shops, where my doodles are guiding the way on some kick-ass projects...

custom car design up-and-coming paint shops...
design rendering

...and even in large quantities in full-service hot rod shops where our designs are brought to life (check out the walls, if you can get over that straight, DEEEEP blue '56)...

hot rod build

...much more on the '56 very soon. The interior will floor you. Seriously, it's in a league of its own, and the talent behind it will be a household name soon enough.

Before any more time passes, HUGE congrats to Tammy Ray on her Ridler Award win with Gold Digger, her '33 Speedstar...

gold digger ridler

...and special congrats to both T&T Customs, and our good friends Pam and Wayne at M&M Hot Rod Interiors! It's been so good to sit back and see you guys finally grab the big prize!! Sincerest congrats on what is certain to be a historic event in so many ways!

...more in the Newsletter, and here as well... soon!


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A Grand National Time...
1 FEB 2010- ...and some tales yet to be told.

We took off early on Friday, and spent three days at the 61st Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, and Pike, Swanee, Grease Girl and I gathered some incredible coverage and stories for you that we'll be posting over at over the next few weeks...
air inlet

We were honored with visits from some truly great friends, and given unprecedented access to some incredible cars, and hands-on tours of the build details by the fabricators, designers and owners!

miller hauler

To say the least, it was an amazing experience to pour over cars like George Poteet's Miller Hauler (HUGE thanks to Jack and Troy Trepanier Brian Stinger and Lawrence Laughlin for the in-display, close-up tour and insight!), The Rad Rides-built, Nancy and Roger Ritzow-owned Chrysler "Passion", a Jimmy Shine roadster (complete with a fantastic history lesson) and more! You'll be floored!

Figured I'd show a shot of the AMBR winner, too...
design rendering

Lots more to follow... Keep a close eye for the coverage!


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The Nomad-ness continues...
25 JAN 2010- ...throwing some more fuel on what has become a month of updates.

We have a client car coming together at a secret location (more info on that later on), and we thought we'd share some in-progress shots of the fabrication work as it gets into high gear. Check out the killer air intake, which will be fed by a scoop in the front of the hood, which mimics the emblem crest from the long-gone stock days...
air inlet

hood scoop

What's been great with the project has been the dedication to keeping the final treatments in tune with the original designs. Working from full-scale drawings, Dennis has fabbed every inch true to the look, and his detail-minded work has ben nothing short of obsessive!

design rendering

...roughing in the peaked and extnded front pan...

front bumper fabrication

Lots more to follow... just thought we'd sneak a peek for you!


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Sick Seconds is looking good...
14 JAN 2010- ...and getting closer to the street, literally and figuratively.

The gang at ProRides, along with a dedicated team of close friends have been working diligently to get the '69 Camaro completed and ready for its show car circuit tour and also testing on the track. It is currently in Steve's garage and the gang has been working on it every night after work. The goal is to finish the car in April and start testing... We are even thinking about driving it on a leg of the Power Tour to test the street driving of the Camaro. Not bad for a six-second capable ride...

camaro project

Bowler Transmissions wants to have the car in their booth at some Goodguys shows in the coming year, and Denny will also be working with Goodguys on making exhibition runs at their Indy event. Feel free to let Denny know if the car is needed for anything else during the entire season, as we'd all love to see the car not only running on the street and track, but also acting as an ambassador for the hobby and industry as a whole.

The car should be going to paint at the beginning of February, and look for many more pics to follow. We truly cannot wait to share some finished shots of the car. PS. check out the mounting of the Chiseled Performance intercooler, Be Cool radiator, B&M tranny cooler, ProCharger, and that fuel tank in the front.....not much room left!

intercooler mounting

...and if you're not yet familiar with the project, here's the rendering...

camaro rendering

...and you can see the first updates, like machining the block to save weight, and building the chassis right here on the site! Look for more updates soon!


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Chasing 9's in 2010...
6 JAN 2010- ...and off to a great start, right out of the garage.

Our good pal Blake decided to ring in the New Year at the track, and yanked the orange/copper-colored '69 Firebird of his out of the garage, did little else than warm up the big block and lay down a 10.10 at 132 MPH. Kinda makes my t-shirt design marathon look rather lame by comparison....

timing tower

Blake's mighty 'bird has been a stand-out in the PCK Studio stable of good friends' rides, and you may recognize it from both the site here, as well as the feature in PHR, where at the time, the mad Poncho was laying down mid-10's. Bear in mind, this is a home-built car that is show-worthy (having scooped up multiple awards at the Houston Autorama and beyond), and what's even cooler is that Blake uses the car for what it was built to do: HAVE FUN.

...and check out some video here (the 10.10 is near the end of this episode, but dig the way this beast launches (or click the image below to view -- opens in new window)...

rendering details

...of course, we're still sticking to our story that it's our stickers that make everything quicker...

pck sticker

...coincidence? Most likely. But it's still awesome to know that the car's doing great, and that we have friends like Blake who are enjoying the hell out of their cars!


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Pricing Like It's 1999...
30 DEC 09- ...and yes, it's a little crazy, but so was 2009.

Starting today (12.30.09), you can order a single-view rendering (front 3/4, rear 3/4 or profile, whichever you like!) at prices we had in 1999! That's right, a single-view rendering of your hot rod, custom car, street machine, classic, daily driver, whatever for $299. That's a fully-detailed, highest quality, 19x13-inch piece of art, ready to frame at HUGE savings...

pck studio renderings
These aren't some knocked-back, lesser quality versions.... These are the real deal, Studio PCK renderings as you've seen in the magazines and the Hot Rod Art Book. The very same detailed pieces we provide to the top shops when laying out a project car! Here's a peek at what you get:

custom car drawings

...and they say that the devil's in the details, so we're not skimping there...

rendering details

All work is of the highest quality, and all renderings come delivered on superior quality stock, feature archival inks (8-color process with incredible depth and saturation), and are ready to frame. Naturally, all of this is subject to a limited-time offer (click here to view the terms and conditions... keeping the lawyers happy), and ends on 1.31.2010. All work will be scheduled as ordered, meaning first-come, first-served...

It's our way of saying "Thank You" for getting to do what we love every day, and saving you some cash on some great art. This is an incredible time to get that one-of-a-kind gift for someone special, and perhaps even knock out next years Christmas list for your hot rod building family member or enthusiast. Thanks again, and you can learn more about the rendering sale here, or feel free to hit us up HERE, or even give us a call in the Studio (contact info is HERE) with any questions, or to get the ball rolling on YOUR rendering. Happy New Year, and thanks again!

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Happy Holidays...
17 DEC 09- to all of our friends and colleagues! A HUGE thanks to all who supported us this year, and to our "regulars" for the faith in what we do! Nothing beats hearing those words "just do what you do... run with it!". Just know we appreciate it!

With a shaky year now drifting into the past, here's hoping that 2010 brings out some more creativity and a willingness to really "push the envelope". I can't begin to explain what a cool year this was in a few short sentences, but I'll give you a quick summary of the places and people that made it such a killer year. Howzabout a sneaky-peek at the holiday card artwork... your friendly postman is probably carrying yours right now...

pck studio holiday cards
Starting in January we hit the GNRS in Pomona, and nailed a double-whammy, launching the Hot Rod Art Book: Masters of Chicken Scratch, which we were stoked to be a part of... Not only does The Hot Rod Art Book contain over 100 pages of beautiful hot rod art from a variety of artists, but it includes tutorials from a past Hot Wheels designer, Dwayne Vance on an instructional CD that shows the complete process from sketch to rendering plus a few extras. The first printing sold out, and the second printing will be in shortly, so if you missed it, grab one when these hit!

That same weekend in January, we debuted Resilience, the '52 Buick we were honored to be a part of with owners Erik and Paul Hansen and builder Tim Strange. The radical Buick received a ton of great press, both here in the US and overseas, as well! As the year rolled by, the mighty Buick cleaned up with some great awards, even capturing the KKOA 777 Custom Crown Award as America's Top Custom...and the prestigious Elden Titus Memorial Design Award... OUTSTANDING!!

While attending the GNRS, Paul and Erik Hansen were kind enough to invite me along to the Hall of Fame Luncheon, which was a once-in-a-lifetime highlight to be certain. We have some video from this all-star gala HERE on the site... Legends like Blackie Gejeian, Mary Slonaker, Dick Bertolucci, Thom Taylor and more... Definitely worth a look.

As the year rolled by, we were chosen to be a part of many great projects, meeting some incredible builders and designers along the way... We were even chosen to pen the 2010 Street Rodder Road Tour car! (see it in this month's Street Rodder Magazine)

This year also saw the first Hot Rod Industry BMX Challenge, which we were honored to create the artwork for. Organized by Tim and Carrie Strange, it was a great event held the weekend of the Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, and attended by many top builders and great folks in the industry. Look for this to continue to grow!

Add to all of this working with Denny and the crew at ProRides on their latest Drag Week monster, the "Sick Seconds" Camaro, which debuted in raw form at the PRI show... Look for this terror to swallow 1320 feet and thousands of miles in the coming year!

While staying thankfully busy, I took on some added responsibility, accepting the role as V.P. at Motorburg, Inc., a position offered to me by one of the founders and a HUGE inspiration in my work, Charlie Smith. The automotive art and design community has some incredible history, and I was brought on to build the community. Starting with a new website, revamped forums and a social network, things are REALLY starting to happen there, with some incredibly talented folks posting articles, tutorials, and just generally sharing tricks, tips and advice on everything from drawing to running a studio. Check it out!

Things just kept picking up, with the Hot Rod Art Book show at GINAC Gallery in Santa Ana, and more drawing and designing...

gallery show
We began wrapping the year up with the Goodguys Southwest Nationals in Scottsdale, and were once again shown incredible hospitality from Scott and the crew at Billet Specialties... thanks again, guys!!

Speaking of Billet Specialties, dig on the new tees we designed for them to celebrate their 25th year, as well as some great wheels and accessories!

Rounding out the year, the wife and I continued a tradition we began some years back, and instead of exchanging gifts, she grabs a few "Christmas Angels" from the tree at work, and we go about giving a few kids a Christmas to remember... The kids get involved, and it's a great lesson in sharing and giving a hand to someone who may be a bit down. I can't say enough good about the program, and encourage you to take part as well.

And, just a reminder to give back a little if you can, especially to those who need a little cheer this season. Head on over to the Car Design Fetish store and grab a gift that not only supports a great cause, but gives back twelve times a year with some fantastic artwork! This is a great-quality and big calendar, too, at 11x17 with thick card stock and full bleed printing. Very high quality indeed, and with art from guys like Scott Robertson, yours truly, Micah Jones, Raza Bashir, Mark Weaver, Dustin Shedlarski, Wayne Manista, Charlie Smith, Dwayne Vance, Arvind Ramkrishna, and Sangyup Lee, it's a virtual "who's who" of OEM and hot rod design and artistry! Certainly a future collectible.

We're not slowing at all heading into 2010, and hope you'll stick around as it just gets crazier and crazier! Thanks again, and Happy Holidays!

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Rendered Hope...
24 NOV 09- It’s here!!! The 2010 Rendered Hope Charity Calendar featuring transportation artwork from professional designers. This years calendar has a great mix of work from OEM, Hot Rod and Entertainment Designers. There is feature artwork from the hot Camaro, Corvette Stingray Concept, Scott Robertson’s crazy ships, west coast Hot Rods and more!

charity calendar

I was among the fortunate few to receive an invitation to be a part this year, and am stoked to have a piece featured among my heroes and colleagues, and even dragged legendary hot rod designer Charlie Smith along for the fun, adding a double-shot of Motorburg flavor to the mix! Just like last year 100% OF THE PROCEEDS will go toward buying Hot Wheels and toys for the Detroit Children’s Hospital annual Snow Pile Event. This is a great cause that you surely want to support... and you can certainly understand how incredible it is to see OEM guys giving back. Head on over to their merch store and grab a gift that not only supports a great cause, but gives back twelve times a year with some fantastic artwork! This is a great-quality and big calendar, too, at 11x17 with thick card stock and full bleed printing. Very high quality indeed, and with art from guys like Scott Robertson, yours truly, Micah Jones, Raza Bashir, Mark Weaver, Dustin Shedlarski, Wayne Manista, Charlie Smith, Dwayne Vance, Arvind Ramkrishna, and Sangyup Lee, it's a virtual "who's who" of OEM and hot rod design and artistry! Certainly a future collectible.

sample images

The calendar is a limited edition print and will be on sale now through the end of the year. So spread the word and get it while you can! We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to be involved with this project, and appreciate your help in getting the word out there more than can be expressed here. Thanks again, and Happy Holidays!

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