West Coast Report 35th Edition by John Gilbert

A retrospect look at Rod & Custom’s recent Tribute T build

“Why don’t we pull the carpet back before we start?”


WCE-35-REPORT-bYjG-01It has nothing to do with Rod & Custom, or anything else, but the subtitle is a quote from the Property Brothers on HGTV. I think it should be words for us all to live by in the coming year. Its November 28, 2013, Thanksgiving day, and thanks to the “both-ends” Flu I’m at least a week behind on wrapping things up on the second tech feature I’ve written for Classic Trucks since my hire as tech editor.

Here’s the final stages of Rod & Custom’s Speedway Motors “Tribute T” going together. www.rodandcustommagazine.com  The thumbs –up guy is striper Jeff Styles. At right is John Barkley, he’s Custom Classic Trucks publisher, and a great guy. Back in the middle at the workbench is Jason Scudellari, he’s the tech center manager for Irvine, and another good guy. 

WCE-35-REPORT-bYjG-02Not a big deal, I’ll get up bright eyed and bushy tailed tomorrow morning and start hammering on “old blue”. No, not with the blue-handled ball-peen beauty I got from Eastwood, but rather my dark metallic blue ’76 Ford F-250. Anyways looking towards the future, 2014 is already shaping up to be an exciting year in the world of automotive restoration and customizing. As announced last October 14, Source Interlink Media and Eastwood have joined in a multi-year agreement.

At left Michael Stanford, Custom Classic Trucks art-director, and pinstripping historian.

WCE-35-REPORT-bYjG-03Quoting David Freiburger, VP, Content Creation and Brand Development, Hot Rod commented, “During the content creation process, every one of the 60 plus auto and truck enthusiast media portals face repair and modification challenges, both in our tech centers and elsewhere. In fact, many of the Eastwood tools will also be available for editors in situations outside of our tech facilities, including those used in paint and body work, heavy fabrication, and other drivetrain modifications.

The blur is Rod & Custom’s tech editor ,Kev Elliot. Kev does super clean work, and should be credited for doing most of the construction on R&C’s Tribute T.

WCE-35-REPORT-bYjG-04I stopped writing last night around midnight. Its now six ‘o clock Friday morning, and raining like a champ here in So Cal, so its not likely I’ll get much accomplished working outside my house on the F-250. Our one week Thanksgiving vacation at Soruce Interlink will be over Monday, so if it continues to rain, I’ll see if I can book a spot for the Ford at our Irvine tech center. Continuing on the subject of SIM (Source Interlink Media) tech centers I checked out Hot Rod magazine’s website to see if there were any clues to what was going on north of the Orange Curtain.

Style’s striping box shows one third of what it takes to be a great striper. The other two-thirds? Talent, and lots of practice.

WCE-35-REPORT-bYjG-05I got a glimpse of Hot Rod’s ’74 Chevy C10 “muscle truck” project on jackstands out in the parking lot, but I think that’s just ploy to make people feel sorry for the El Segundo Tech Center. You can see images of Hot Rod’s ‘74  C10 on the page www.hotrod.com where can you vote for your favorite episode of Road Kill. I’ve only watched part of two episodes, so I guess I better catch up, and see what Finnegan, and Freiburger have been up to. I can say it looks like they’re having a lot of fun producing the show.

WCE-35-REPORT-bYjG-06In actuality all three of the Source Interlink Tech Centers are state-of-the-art facilities. The El Segundo tech center is the company’s flagship with a fully-equipped work center complete with a mini-pub at one end. There’s also an incredible 9,600 square-foot area that houses two fully-coved photo studios that’s available to all SIM editors, and photographers.

WCE-35-REPORT-bYjG-07I can’t speak for what’s going on at Tampa, or El Segundo, but the Irvine tech center is really starting to shape up. There’s one large room that used to be for storing motorcycles, but now that the bike group is out of the building we’re turning it into our metal fabrication shop.  Next door to it there’s a gym going in for all SIM’s Irvine employees to work out in. That’s pretty cool, huh? My favorite piece of equipment will be if they install color TVs to watch while we jog off the pounds in a stationary position… And no, the stationary position has nothing to do with California, Missions, Father Junipero Serra, or Mrs. Allen my fourth-grade teacher that bought a Studebaker Avanti brand-new in 1964. Hey, that gitar is a copy of a bound Mosrite!


Its likely from here on out the photos I take of the Irvine tech center are going to reflect some serious change. There’s a raft full of pallets from Eastwood, and good things are definitely in the air.

—John Gilbert

Leave a Reply

Back to top button