A couple weeks ago we shot an event called, Back to the Beach, in Kenner, LA (which is basically New Orleans) on the shores of Lake Pontchatrain. It’s a weekend-long music festival culminating in a car show on Sunday; all to raise money for the restoration and preservation of the lake. It sounded like a good event, a worthy cause, and an excellent excuse to go down and tank up on some of that great Gulf Coast food, as can be seen in the pic of me going one-on-one with a killer soft shell crab Po’ Boy. Tasty!
We went down a day early so we could also take in a few of the sights in New Orleans’ famed French Quarter.
The temperature was 102 degrees that day, and I found myself strangely drawn to the signs heralding “Huge Ass Beers”. I can also say with certitude that was not false advertising!
We were looking at the potential of another 100+ degree day on Sunday, which can make shooting pretty brutal, but fortunately a light rain blew thru, dropping the temperature into the low 90’s. Not exactly chilly, but certainly more bearable.
Last week we shot the last episode for the 2011 season (finally!), and it’s going to be a good one. We were in New Hope, PA at Jim Grundy’s place. Of course Jim is the Grundy of Grundy Worldwide Collector Car Insurance, but he is also a serious car guy. Jim’s into all sorts of cars, but he has a soft spot in his heart for brass era vehicles, and he let me pick a couple of my favs from his collection to focus on.
Not surprisingly, I went for a couple roadsters; a 1912 National Indy race car and a 1914 Mercer. I guess technically the National wasn’t even considered a roadster. Purpose-built racers were referred to as “speed cars”. This car was part of a five-car team fielded by National in the 1912 Indianapolis 500, and one of those cars actually won the race that year. Unfortunately, this particular car rolled, killing the driver. Still, that didn’t stop me from getting on it when we were out driving. It also seemed appropriate that the road leading out of Jim’s place was gravel. I felt like I had been transported back to the early part of the 20th century… and I was already sporting the perfect mustache!
Last weekend we shot the first event for the 2012 TV season in Oroville, CA. It was appropriately named the Gold Rush Car Show since Oroville was a center of gold prospecting activities in northern California during the rush in the mid 1800’s. The town only has a population of about 14,000 but the show drew an impressive 900+ cars.
One of the stars of the show was Tim Kerrigan’s ’62 Impala SS 409; beautifully resto-modded and sporting a two-tone red & faint yellow paint scheme. Tim is the President of Red Line Oil and the particular red he used is a DuPont color called Redline Red. Go figure. The paint theme was carried thru in the interior with the gauge faces being the same faint yellow used on the exterior.
Another fav of mine was a ’54 Chevy custom. I thought the car was pretty slick, but I especially got a kick out of its owner. He was a real character who did a Rodney Dangerfield that was second only to Dangerfield himself. The car had a Shock Top draft pull for a gearshift knob, and he claimed that he had to drain an entire keg at a local watering hole to get it. I got together with him there after the show to help in case he might need another one.
I would normally be just starting production on the next season’s shows now, but we’re actually still finishing up the last few shoots for this current season. A couple weeks ago we shot a Corvette piece in Texas that will air on May 15th, and last week we shot an absolutely killer pair of cars in Glendora, CA. A ’39 Ford Pro-street and customized ’53 Stude.
In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I am a known Stude guy, but regardless, both cars were excellently done and fairly extreme, yet completely streetable. The streetable part might be debatable with the ’39 since I’m sure it bumps up against the noise pollution limits of peaceful Glendora, but man what a sound!
I had first run into the Stude and its owner, Leonard Knight, at the SEMA charity car show last year in Pasadena. There were a lot of nice cars at that show, but that one really caught my eye. It didn’t hurt that it was green either. (I’m also a known green-car guy).
I’ve always thought the so-called Lowey Coupe (even tho it was actually designed by Bob Bourke) was one of the best automotive designs ever. It also seems to lend itself particularly well to customization.