West Coast Report – First Edition

Welcome to the first edition of West Coast Eastwood — Eastwood’s weekly blogazine that’s tapped directly into the West Coast pulse and dedicated to the gearhead lifestyle worldwide.

Hi, my name is John Gilbert and I’m the guy that’s going to be putting this electronic rag together each week. Some of you might recognize my name as the former editor of Tailgate, Custom Classic Trucks, or American Truck. In addition to trucks, I edited a custom car magazine, plus some motorcycle magazines.

The opportunity to photograph and edit for the various automotive titles through the years has given me the chance to meet and become friends with a lot of my heroes. I’ve seen, and learned a bunch of cool things I would have never had access to otherwise, so now it’s time to archive it all for the ages.

It’s the really cool and neat fun things that are going to guide the editorial direction of West Coast Eastwood.  Please scroll down and you’ll find a preview of what’s in store for WCE followers.

—    John Gilbert


Weekly tech and more presented from my home living room motorcycle shop — A 16×16-foot area is too large a space just to waste on a dumb couch and TV.

I revived the House of Choppers name snagging it from a chopper shop Bob Berry operated in the ‘70s located on Arrow Highway in Azusa, California (special thanks to Kit Maira at Easyriders for the fact check).

Speaking of Easyriders that’s where I got my start in the magazine biz. My first House of Choppers project is the “Phantom” bike, a one-off 1999 CMC/Indian custom built for Easyriders’ editor, Dave Nichols. I bought the Phantom bike from Dave in 2001 while producing Tailgate for Easyriders Inc. and rode its wheels off in no time.

The bike is kind of thrashed now, but after a soon to come ground up rebuild the end goal is to get the Phantom bike featured in Easyriders… Just because Dave is a good friend isn’t a guarantee the bike will make the grade.


From the inside looking out… Cruises— shows— event coverage from the Donut Derelicts in Huntington Beach, California to the Syracuse Nationals in upstate New York. I took these shots at the 2012 Syracuse Nationals while on assignment for Classic Trucks.


Inspired by The End? an extremely popular Custom Classic Trucks last page showing derelict classic trucks. It’s fun to dream, Game Over? will take it a few steps further and feature all kinds of abandoned vehicles, or automobile objects.


Here’s West Coast Eastwood’s weekly wild card, the departments listed below will alternate, and appear as stories develop.


Naturally some emphasis is going to be on showing how to use Eastwood products, and what’s the latest and greatest from, but true to Eastwood’s open forum policy we’re going to take a refreshing unfiltered approach to tech features… None of the usual propaganda — just getting down to business.


It’s always interesting to walk into a shop and see what a man’s commitment to his art is. As far as my old truck will take me I’ll be visiting home and pro shops alike.


Interviews with industry icons and gifted unknowns. Upcoming plans are to visit with Dennis Ricklefs, Chip Foose, Gary Chopit, and keep things moving from there.


Features all the bikes, cars and trucks that just don’t fit into an existing magazine’s format… Stay tuned, we might chop this super low-mileage ’84 Rolls, and stuff a 392 Hemi in it… maybe weld up and shave those ugly back doors? How about slamming a ’77 Ford LTD II Police Interceptor just like the LTD II cop cars that chased Rambo in First Blood?


Yes, it’s a thinly veiled near knockoff of American Restoration. Start-to-finish I’ll tear into restoring gas pumps, lawnmowers, old bicycles, mini-bikes, display engines, vintage paint scales… you name it.


Anything Hot-Rod or Street Rod related is going to be found here. Here’s a series of road trip photos taken last August, 2012 when I drove a chopped Model A the long route from Florida to California. Look forward to features, tech, and likely some more hot-rod road trips.


Here’s where our musclecar coverage will be found and yes, we’re not going to leave out musclecars built in Canada exclusively for the Canadian market. The cars shown are a’64 Olds 442 B09 * ’61 Ford Z-code Sunliner with tri-power * ’62 Ford M-code Galaxie 500.


Cars, Parts, & things; not a classified section, but a listing of cool things that really are for sale.

Top Selling Products

32 thoughts on West Coast Report - First Edition

  • Always great to have a blog about the “Car Coast”; Hemmings seems to think that all the good cars are on the East Coast; glad to see the change. When will they open a “West Coast” office ? I would however rename your blog “Southern California Coast” due to the total lack of Nor Cal content. We have a few guys up here (Brizio, Moal, etc) that are cutting edge rodders; to omit them and others is a real mistake. Give me a call and I can show you around the vibrant NOR Cal car scene.

  • Glad to see you in print again, Johnny Boy!! Make no mistake about J. GILBERT readers. Money, size of shop, tools, hoists, what ever the case, john will bring you the cool be it new old, two or four wheels or what ever. You will be amassed at the photos and text you are about to see. You will have fun checking to see what John will do next… Now, I don’t have to get up at 3.00am on Saturday mornings to get to Donut Derelicts to get the latest from John!! Good luck Pal… ANDY

  • way cool, nice to know that i am not alone when it comes to cars. this is great can’t wait for more.

  • Great talking to you on the 25th. This is a great site to follow, and neat pics of the coupe you drove out.


Leave a Reply