Hot Rod Kings: Top Traditional Rod and Custom Builders

Overview

Here are the hot rodders we'll worship tomorrow. Kevin Thomson and David Perry venture into the shops of all-steel apostles Cole Foster, Gary Howard, Keith Tardel, the Kennedy Brothers, Jimmy White, Mike Smith, Rudy Rodriguez, Scott Mugford, and Mercury Charlie and offer profiles of todays top hot rod and custom builders.

Hot rodders themselves, Thomson and Perry get to the heart of what makes todays hot rodders go, how they think, who they ...

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Hardcover New Here are the hot rodders we'll worship tomorrow. Kevin Thomson and David Perry venture into the shops of all-steel apostles Cole Foster (Salinas Boyz in Salinas, ... California), Gary Howard (Customs by Gary Howard in Austin, Texas), Keith Tardel (Rex Rod &Chassis in Santa Rosa, California), the Kennedy Brothers (Pomona, California), Jimmy White (Circle City Hot Rods in Orange, California), Mike Smith (California Hot Rods in Sonora, California), Rudy Rodriguez (Orange, California), Scott Mugford (Blue Collar Customs in Sacramento, California), and Mercury Charlie (So. Austin Speed Shop in Austin, Texas) and offer profiles of today's top hot rod and custom builders. Unrepentant gearheads themselves, Thomson and Perry get to the heart of what makes today's hot rodders go, how they think, who they are, and what makes them builders worth watching. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Here are the hot rodders we'll worship tomorrow. Kevin Thomson and David Perry venture into the shops of all-steel apostles Cole Foster, Gary Howard, Keith Tardel, the Kennedy Brothers, Jimmy White, Mike Smith, Rudy Rodriguez, Scott Mugford, and Mercury Charlie and offer profiles of todays top hot rod and custom builders.

Hot rodders themselves, Thomson and Perry get to the heart of what makes todays hot rodders go, how they think, who they are, and what makes them builders worth watching.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
CruZin’ Magazine, August 2007

“This book won’t tell you how to do bodywork or upholstery, but for the young guys who yearn to restyle cars it can point the way to a career.”

Motorbar.co.uk (UK), June 18, 2007

Hot Rod Kings, by Kevin Thomson, is written in a quite intimate way to make you feel you are being taken on a personal trip through the U.S. to the workshops of eleven of today's most highly respected hot rod builders and customizers – meeting larger than life characters and meaner than mean machines on the way. Thomson and Perry get to the heart of what makes today's hot rodders tick; we discover where these men came from, what inspires them, and what their day-to-day lives are really like. With Perry's photography of the shop operations, cars in progress and some of the finished rods accompanied by the prose of Kevin ‘BoBo Tech’ Thomson, this is a tasty slice of the true hot rod way of life.”

Ol’ Skool Rodz, January 2008

“OK, go ahead and call whoever your personal Santa Claus is and put this one on your Xmas list. You’re gonna want it … This book is one that’ll serve a dual purpose – it will inform and inspire … This is possibly the best book about hot rod/custom car builders to come out in at least the past five years … Thomson writes in a simple, conversational style that benefits his subjects. Perry’s photos reveal the same down-to-earth impression.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760327388
  • Publisher: Motorbooks
  • Publication date: 6/15/2007
  • Edition description: First
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 9.62 (w) x 11.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Billy F. Gibbons, former lead guitarist of the band ZZ Top, is a renowned guitar aficionado and collector.

David Perry has been burning film since he was 10 years old. Born in Denver, Colorado, and raised in Southern California, he studied photography at Art Center College of Design. A professional photographer since 1986, Mr. Perry has had his work published, collected, and exhibited across the United States and, indeed, worldwide. Current and past examples can be seen at www.davidperrystudio.com. His commercial clients include Corvette, Toyota, Polaris, Apple Computer, and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Mr. Perry\u2019s other books include Hot Rod (Chronicle Books, 1997) and Bordertown (Chronicle Books, 1998), both with writer Barry Gifford, as well as Hot Rod Pin-ups (Motorbooks, 2005) and Billy F Gibbons, Rock + Roll Gearhead (MBI, 2005), the latter with Mr. Gibbons and Tom \u201cTV\u201d Vickers. Mr. Perry currently resides in Vallejo, California, and has one son, August. In 1999 he helped resurrect the Swanx car club (est. 1956).

Born in Binghamton, New York, and raised on eastern Long Island, Kevin Thomson migrated to Austin, Texas, to attend the University of Texas theater program. Punk rock and skateboard culture rendered university irrelevant and Mr. Thomson embarked on a zigzagging musical career. To date he has released seven LPs, two EPs, and several singles under the monikers Nice Strong Arm, Timco, Morning Champ, Touched By A Janitor, and most recently, Enablers.

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Introduction

Kings of the Road

In my 15 years of traveling throughout the hot rod and custom world, I have met many fine builders. This book is a tribute, to 11 of these men: Cole Foster, Keith Tardel, Jimmy White, Joe and Jason Kennedy, Rudy Rodriguez, Mike Smith, Gary Howard, Scott Mugford, Mercury Charlie, and Sean Johnstun.

The criteria for who would be included in this book were simple: Men who are alive and whom you, the reader, could theoretically hire to build your dream ride (if they could tolerate your ideas), and who are underground in regard to media hype-men who can create and shape anything they can dream up, and who infuse their machines with style and attitude.

Maybe Cole Foster offered the best analogy. During one of my talks with King Cole, he referred to the fabled drag racers "The Surfers" as Kings . . . guys who could outrace you, outskate you, and steal your girlfriend if they wanted to.

Kings rule!

David Perry

When I got the call to do this book I danced around my garage for about an hour, whoopin' and hollerin' like a little kid. Then the initial excitement wore off and I began to think seriously about what it all meant. Motorbooks had suggested a shortlist of builders and everyone on it was a craftsman at the top of their game. Suddenly, I became a bit intimidated. After much deliberation I decided that I had to take on the job. I also realized I had to do justice to the subject matter and to David's photography.

Once the wheels were in motion, David and I began to work out a final list. We were asked to come up with 10 builders. We wanted to be as inclusive as possible within the scope of the book and given the time wehad to travel and do the job. Our only real criterion was that the builders be consummate craftsmen practicing full time, not as a hobby but as a life outside the glare if the media spotlight. We wanted classic designs, unique personalities, and no flavor-of-the-month B.S. We also decided to employ an almost documentary style and let our subjects speak for themselves.

The guys in this book delivered in spades. They are an intelligent, hardworking bunch, plainly ruling as Kings in their chosen field. Every one of them graciously took time out of their busy schedules to allow us into their shops and their lives. Each chapter is a glimpse into where these guys were at one day of their lives in 2006.

Get comfortable and come on in.
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