West Coast Report – Seventh Edition: By John Gilbert

Dirt on the Bottle

It’s the wine bottle theory, some things must stay as they are. I was listening to Merry Go ‘Round a song by Kacey Musgraves that kind of reminded me of Robert Earl Keen’s lyrics and that made me think of a guitar that I didn’t used to own. It was a candy apple red Teisco Del Rey with a candy striped aluminum pickguard, four pickups, and a string-stretcher. That was in 1965, and the music store wanted $49.00. Instead I ended up with a Daphne blue Fender Mustang that was from the first batch of Mustangs, Fender made with a full-scale neck. And now that you’re starting to wonder where all of this is going.

Yes, its true Eastwood has restoration tools and supplies for just about anything a person might want to restore, but that doesn’t mean everything should be restored. Take for instance a vintage guitar. The most idiotic moronic thing a person can do is to refinish an old guitar. It will destroy the guitar’s sound qualities, and money wise make it not even worth putting back in the case. Not even in one of those useless plastic guitar bags. Don’t say it, I know there’s been more than one popular TV show where some feller finds and old guitar and the whole show is all about how he stripped it down and made it look just like new again. Of course now that I think about it, it would be kind of dumb to do a TV show that’s all about restoring things, and then warn people not to do it because it will destroy the guitar’s value.

It’s okay little shavers, go out there and find yourself a ’65 Strat, or a honeyburst ’59 Les Paul, and then grind the original finish down until the wood smells like a smoked ham. Once you have all of that original Fender Dupont acrylic lacquer, or Gibson’s special varnish in a pile of dust, pick out a really hideous color, and… Okay, sorry folks. What we have here is a good example of why its not a good idea to write the West Coast Report at 3AM while listening to alternative country music, and drinking really strong coffee. Shoot, I’m not even sure what country that music was from. Did Buck Owens ever play a pedal Sitar?

By the way I threw a slightly incorrect fact into WCE-6’s West Coast Report, did any of you catch it?

 —John Gilbert

Show & Go

World’s Fastest Amphibious Car: By John Gilbert

The other morning around 100 of us Gray Panther types met at the local Applebee’s in Fountain Valley, California with our hot rods, plus some other cool cars and trucks. It was for a little breakfast get together in support of a car show that’s coming up this Summer. Its called the Fountain Valley Classic Car & Truck Show www.fvcarshow.com held next June 29, 2013 at Mile Square Regional Park. Oddly enough Mile Square Park is named so because it is exactly one square mile in configuration. During World War II it was the Santa Ana Marine Corps Air Base facility with a training field where Corsairs landed on a regular basis. For any of you that remember Baa Baa Black Sheep the TV show about WWII Marine fighter pilot Pappy Boyington, and his crew, it was F4U Corsairs they were flying.

After breakfast at Applebee’s we all piled as many people that could fit into each car, and then headed over to Fountain Valley Body Works. Frankly I wasn’t real excited to look at a bunch of smashed up foreign imports that I couldn’t identify. But on the other hand I have a lot of respect for anyone that knows how to unglue all of those plastic parts, and make it look it was never wrecked. The new cars innards look like a bunch of mechanical bug guts. Something like an octopus eating an air-conditioner. I mean that new stuff goes together so different than the way an older American car does it isn’t funny. The thing that’s really amazing is how many more miles you can rack up on those new cars. The sad truth is there’s no way someone is going to be able to restore a 2013 car 20 years from now. That is unless of course one will be able to go to local Walmart and buy a program for a 3-D printer to spit out replacement parts.

The best part of the day was to get a behind the scenes look at how FV Body Works owner Dave March reacted to how underpowered his vintage Amphicar was. Dave didn’t stop at trying to figure out how many more hamsters needed to be added to the Amphicar’s hamster wheel, he engineered an entire new amphibious vehicle, and ended up with the world’s fastest amphibious car. Here’s a few flicks.

Rustin’ Gold

My ’88 Built to Lay and Play… its For Sale: By John Gilbert

Well, here we have it yet another week, and not a rusted old hulk that someone might rescue. Instead I’m running some flicks of my 1988 Chevrolet C/K 1500 that I’ve owned for 20 years. I really don’t want to sell it, but the city of Garden Grove’s big push to make me fit in with its vision for a perfect world is kicking in, I just got a $70.00 fine. As soon as I get my home conforming to where I know I have a leg to stand on, I’m fighting back. Updates to follow. Meanwhile this truck is for sale, $4,500. Some of you might recognize it, its been in Tailgate, American Truck, Street Trucks, and Custom Classic Trucks. I hauled the ’88 up to a friend’s property in the high desert. The background is Mormon Rocks, I love that place. Please buy my ’88 before it rusts to death… Will deliver.

Here’s a news flash the state of California just announced there’s more tax hikes on the docket. Assembly Bill 8 (Perea & Skinner) will extend for an additional eight years vehicle registration surcharges, tire fees and fees on vehicle identification plates to fund alternative fuel and vehicle technologies – particularly hydrogen fueling stations.

Personally I think it would be smarter for the state of California to put outhouses on every corner and then harvest the public’s fecal matter to be turned into methane pellets. Take my word, methane pellet technology will surpass hydrogen propelled cars by the end of this year, and that’s no s#*t.


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