Friday, March 21, 2014

The Simple Joys of the Atomic Age

Atomic Age Alchemy is for everyone. Whether you’re dropping a serious chunk of change on a mid-century modern home or simply rummaging around an antique store, the possibilities are limitless.

And sometimes, it doesn’t cost you a cent.

A year or two ago, my mom picked up a 50-ish year-old chair at a garage sale right down the street from our Michigan home. It had absolutely no markings anywhere, and the cushions were covered in a ribbed, fuzzy fabric. Best of all (sic), it was yellow.


Still before.

She bought it nonetheless. Originally, she planned on refurbishing it to sell. But like many things, other projects got in the way and it was simply placed in the corner of her bedroom.

Over the years, I took interest in the chair. I had seen ones with similar frames in my travels — but I never could identify mine. Regardless, my mom and I made a deal that we would get it reupholstered upon my graduation from the University of Missouri. Pretty good deal, right?

Two weeks ago, I went home to cover the Detroit Autorama. In the moments before I left for the airport, the topic of the chair surfaced.

After an exchange of ideas, we finally asked what was hiding beneath that ugly yellow fabric.

My heart began to race as I pulled a pair of shears out of the dresser drawer. With the precision of a surgeon, I clipped a dime-size hole in the back corner of the base pillow and peered inside.

Was it stained? Rotten?

Nope. It was perfect.

Check it out. 

Dig the pattern.

Amazing what a change of color can do.

Kimber approves. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Boy and His Car Prepare for Life With a Wife

There are a few key ingredients that need to be present for a great wedding; two partners, love, devotion, an officiant, a couple of rings, and a 1953 Dodge Meadowbrook. Wait, what? I guess that last one isn't completely necessary, but for our good buddy Tom Westcott it is pretty important. In a couple weeks Tom is getting hitched to his ever so wonderful lady-friend. He has been working his butt off on the rad ol' four-door so he and Rebecca can drive it on their big day.

A couple of weeks ago, the future groom put down the tools and closed up the shop so we could take him out on the town to bid farewell to his days of being a bachelor. You might be expecting tales of girls who dance on poles, fist-fights, fires, and debauchery of all sorts, but that didn't happen. We were perfectly capable of having a great time going to dinner and hitting a couple of our favorite local taverns.

Now, let us fast forward to this past Friday night. It was March 14th so naturally we had to celebrate Pi Day. That also happens to be "St. Louis Day" since Stl's area code is 314. We got together at a friends house in St. Louis to indulge in pizza and pie. Saturday my dad and myself drove down to Waterloo to help Tom-cat and his dad put the front sheet metal back on the '53.

Tom-Tom has done all sorts of things to his Dodge in the last couple months. He has cleaned up and painted the original, flathead, 6 cylinder, engine that was rebuilt by Part Stop. A disc brake conversion was installed from Scarebird Classic Brakes. Everything from the firewall forward was cleaned and painted. I am sure he has done plenty of other stuff on the car along with some suspension upgrades. This gray machine should roll down the road quite nicely on the wedding day. We are looking forward to it. Now enjoy all of my amazing, medium quality, iphone pictures.

Tom was already having a blast at his bachelor party and we had only had dinner at this point.

Mardi-Gras Tom.

This was in the men's restroom. Naturally, I was the first one to go pee when we got to this bar so I know none of our group wrote it on the wall. Must have been a sign from God.

Nick A, Tom, and myself were the only three up for late night grub after all of the shenanigans.

It didn't take long for Tom to crash.

Don't worry, we took care of the jokers who did this.

Pie for Pi night!

I have never seen a juggalo in Waterloo, IL, but they sure like their Faygo.

Nick Sr. deciding what piece should go on next while Tom bolts up the inner fender.

The flathead six complete with the old alternator from a little old hot rod named The Cockroach.

Tom's BMW bikes in front of his dad's newer BMW motorcycle.

Tom's dad and Tom's roommate getting another bike running.

Yeah, we ate pizza two days in a row and were more than okay with it.

Rich and Nick Sr. taking a lunch break.

Tom pulled out a bottle of whiskey. I was obviously having fun.

Tom and my dad fitting the hood.

L to R Tom's dad, Rich. My dad, Nick. Tom.

Front sheet metal is on!



Friday, March 14, 2014

Atomic Age Alchemy covers the Detroit Autorama

Take a close look. Hot rodding and customizing is all about details. A car with an enticing look will draw you in, but the host of seemingly minute — and often ingenious — touches will occupy you for hours. 

There's no question that the 2014 Autorama was filled with details.

Paint. Polish. Patina. 
Pinstriping. Lettering. 

And for one weekend a year, it's all under the roof of Cobo Hall. Come check out finer points of one of the nation's finest shows from behind the AAA lens. 

Show time. 
Of age.

It's Miller Time. 

A Model A

Gas Box.

Always thirsty. 


'Vette Threat.

Turning a new Leaf. 

The finest font. 

A rare animal.

One bad Cad. 

Plastic fantastic. 

Williams & Wyke, friends of Whitney. 

Looking dapper in lacquer.

It's a high stacks game.

Diamonds are forever. 

Panel of judges. 

Lakes ready. 

Flathead fever on the floor. 

Rare coinage. 

Detroit strong.