West Coast Report 12th Edition: By John Gilbert

Missing Digits

There’s nothing quite like a forced two-week hiatus from work to inspire a safety related West Coast Report. No, nothing really bad happened, I just managed to re-injure my back. It was in 2008 that I twisted my back holding a camera in one hand while yanking a heavy front spindle / brake assembly up from the floor with the other. One minute I was in an advertiser’s R&D shop shooting a tech, and in the next my boss was driving my bent carcass to the doctor’s office.

Fast forward to two weeks ago: It’s amazing how distracting pain can be. Not only was I unable to move about freely I couldn’t stream words together good enough to write anything worth reading, hence West Coast Eastwood’s two-week absence from posting fresh content.

Industrial accidents happen in a split-second. I divide them into two categories. The first kind are the accidents that catch one completely by surprise and leave you floating in the air looking down at your lifeless corpse. The second type are of the “I knew that was going to happen” variety. Think of celebrity welder Jesse James, and his recently departed pinkie finger. I’ll bet any amount of money Mr. James thought to himself he shouldn’t be placing his fingers quite so close to the blade when suddenly he had new content for his Twitter account. Maybe Jesse, doesn’t Tweet, I’m just using that as an example. On a personal level I’ve got my scars. Almost every injured eyeball, near-severed appendage, or deafened eardrum could have been avoided if I had just taken an extra minute to don safety gear, or use equipment properly. Have you ever noticed how the gearhead types on TV that don’t wear safety equipment seem to be prone to premature hair loss, pocked complexions, stress-induced constipation, and marital grief, just to mention a few. It’s ironic how an initial quest for vanity can translate into a lifetime of enduring a freakish appearance. For more information on treating Idiopathic Constipation please visit www.Metamucil.com tell them the “Metamucil Kid” sent you.

So, the next time before you fire up that trusty welder, or climb underneath your car and start grinding on something, please take a moment to ponder the tragic consequences of an industrial accident. The bloodier you imagine it the better, because that makes for a great mnemonic devise.

One last thing, in choosing Eastwood you’ve come to the right place for the finest products available in safety equipment and gear. So think about your favorite body part, and then order something that will help you to keep it.

One more last thing… I wonder what would bring more money on eBay. Jesse James’ severed pinkie, or Alfred E. Newman’s brain pickled in a sandwich bag?

—   John Gilbert


Druid Hills By John Gilbert

“It’s a nice patio for entertaining” Yeah, even better for storing a ’72 Ford pickup I’d say. I really love HGTV, but I’ve got to stop watching it so much. It’s not the moronic idiots that think a fake stainless steel panel plastered on the front of a Korean made refrigerator means it’s really made out of stainless steel that’s starting to bug me. Nope, it’s the network’s total disregard towards the needs, and sensitivities of gearheads. How many times do they show the garage on one of those house hunter shows… not very many. Maybe if the poor guy got a chance to mention he wanted a decent garage in between the wife’s militant demands for a walk-in closet, island in the kitchen, plus whatever non-essentials today’s modern woman figures she can’t live without.

If I had a walk-in closet that’s where I’d store one of my motorcycles. Wait, I do have a walk-in closet. The only problem is the turn to get the Harley into it is too tight. I’ll bet if I knocked out the wall between the entryway closet and the master bedroom, I could ride the hog straight in.

Druid Hills, ain’t that a cool name? It’s a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.— And that brings up it was world renown custom painter Pete Santini that restored the paint on Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s Druid Princess. Can you imagine being married to a Druid Princess in search of a new bigger, better, home on HGTV? That’s my definition of Hell.


Atwater F-1s

By John Gilbert

It’s been a few years since I took these photos, so this pair of old F-1 Ford pickups might be gone. As I remember it there might have been a feisty canine involved so, if you’re greeted by a big ugly dog don’t say I didn’t warn you. Oh yeah, the location was somewhere in the old downtown section of Atwater, California. For those of you that are European residents fly Trans-Love Airlines it will be worth it… Thanks, Eric.


The C10 King’s Annual Reunion

By John Gilbert

While we’re in the Atwater, California area we might as well drop in on my friend Rene Martinez’s annual C10 Club family reunion. These are a few misc. shots, but you’ll get the idea. And don’t feel left out if you’re driving another brand because everyone is welcome.

Here’s copy from an article I ran in Street Trucks, or it might have been in Custom Classic Trucks. I remember now it was in CCT. Some of the photos were shot by my good friend Bob Ryder, former Truckin’ senior technical editor for 16 years, and now he’s the current editor of Drive!

Without a doubt one of the most unique truck shows around is the annual C10 Get-Together hosted by the C10 Club based in California’s Central Valley. It’s the great trucks, beautiful weather, and lip-smackin’ Bar-B-Q all wrapped up in a family reunion vibe that makes it one of my favorite events. As in years past the fun took place at Rene “The C10 King” Martinez’s gigantic homestead in Atwater, California. For 2010, the 5th Annual fell on October 2nd and I asked my friend Bob Ryder from Truckin’ magazine if he’d like to ride along. Because of the heat wave California was experiencing that week we chickened out from driving one of our old trucks, and took my black ‘05 GMC with ice-cold air. A lot braver than Bob, and I were some fellow forum members from www.67-72chevytrucks.com that drove up from the So Cal area in their customized classics.

In all we counted about 65 trucks present. The bulk of vehicles there were ’67-72 models with the following board members accounted for. Barcobear, Coletrickle, SuburbanAce, RattlecanJoe, JohnOro, JesseH13, AceX, Jerry Jones, Ext56, Newtz67, El Jay, Evans67, CheyenneSuperKing, SactoJim, 67chevy1series, magwakeenercew2jh, Sixty8Lou, PipsC10, Kev’s Classics, and of course the C/10King. Rene asked me to make sure I mentioned that anyone who would like to attend next year’s C10 Get-Together knows they are welcome. Also a big thanks goes out to Classic Performance Products (CPP) for donating a power brake booster complete with a master cylinder that was awarded to a lucky raffle winner. A not so lucky raffle winner got to sit next to “Stinky” Chavez after he consumed one-dozen pickled eggs supplied by Sulphur Specialties of Gustine, California. So there you have it, I want the folks I met at the Mid-West All Truck Nationals, Carlisle, and Texas Heat Wave among other shows across country to know you’re invited, so we expect to see you all there at the C10 Get-Together next year!


  1. Seems like every time I get to wrenchin’ there’s blood, come with the territory I guess. You need to put a date up for that C10 meet for next year. Got the 68 GMC running, rode off towards Pick Yer Part and the front brake locked up. A quick turn of the bleeder to unlock it got me home, and an inspection (I was gonna get around to it, honest) found the linings paper thin. Rebuilt the wheel cylinders, replaced the linings and could’t get the right side to bleed. Turns out the flex line on that side was completely plugged up. Replaced both and I’m rolling again. When I get a few more miles on it I may take a ride south to show it off in a weekend or two. Hopefully you’ll be around.

  2. Kit,

    Yeah, its a rare occasion that I don’t draw blood doing this stuff.

    You guys, I sold Kit the orange ’68 GMC that appears in early editions of WCE.

    It’d be great if you could swing by with the truck, I’d like see it after you’ve done all this work.

    I’m heading north past SF for a few days, otherwise I’ll be in OC.

    Thanks for leaving a comment I was starting to think the comment feature was busted.

    Later, JG.

  3. Just saw the Eastwood Summer Classic announcement. Are they sanding you to Pottstown to cover it as “West Coast Eastwood Goes East?” LOL I see Street Rodder is a major sponsor.

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