Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Rod & Custom!

Sometimes you get wayyy more than you planned. Started off today while I was getting lunch and inside they had a news stand. Grabbed the new Rebel Rods and you can imagine how that went. Also picked up the latest Rodder's Journal later today, and it looks to be the usual high quality.
But the most unexpected surprise of the day came late at the local liquor store where they had the latest R&C on the shelf. This is the one I have been waiting for with my good friend Lynn Bird's car on the cover. I told my good friend Kevin Lee about it almost a year ago, but with Lynn just recently finishing it, all the pieces came together for the final photo shoot. I wasn't even supposed to write the story, but fate stepped in and let me pen this one about my friend's car. The sad part of the story none of knew a few weeks ago was that the magazine company would let Kevin go unexpectedly before the magazine hit the stands. So ends an era with Kevin and myself both contributing to Rod & Custom- a magazine that has been a big part of both our lives since we were kids. I'm both excited and sad as I look at this new cover- now we both move on to the next hand life deals us. Thanks Jim

Friday, August 14, 2009

Edsel was a Hot Rodder!

It's such a shame that one of the greatest minds and visionaries in the automotive world will forever be synonymous with an automotive failure. Edsel Ford was so much more than the namesake of the 1958-1960 FoMoCo fiasco. His personal projects were always exciting and used great design flair. His personal speedsters were just one of many great styling studies.

Tom McMullen: Hot Rod & Street Rod Hero

Tom McMullen must always be remembered for his immense contributions to hot rodding and automotive publishing that still resonate just as LOUDLY today as ever! Tom put together one of the most recognizable hot rods with his flamed black '32 Roadster and birthed the whole Street Rod phenomenon in 1972 when he published the first issue of Street Rodder Magazine. Tom stayed deeply involved until his untimely death in a private plane crash. A hero of mine for the last 35 years, and will continue to by for the rest of my life! Thanks Tom!

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Hot Rod Volkswagen?

We have been seriously considering the possibilities of building a SO-CAL Speed Shop Bug, and from the response on Facebook and "The Garage" message board we think we better do it soon!!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Supporting the Troops

Got a note today from a deployed soldier that said they were having trouble getting items shipped to them. Just wanted to put the word out that SO-CAL L.A. will do whatever possible to help get our soldiers in foreign lands whatever they would like to order while they are out defending our country. Thanks go out to them! Jim

Friday, August 7, 2009

FREE SO-CAL Speed Shop Gear!!!

Giving away FREE stuff on Facebook with SO-CAL L.A., next one tonight at 9PM (Pacific). Stay Tuned for more FREEBIES! Thanks Jim

Congrats to tonight's DUAL WINNERS- Troy Garner and Jim Rivers. Thanks guys!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

NEW Steel '32 Coupe Bodies at SO-CAL L.A.!!!

Yes, that long awaited moment is FINALLY here! The first batch of new Steel 1932 Ford 5-Window Coupe bodies are almost ready to go home to their lucky new owners! Just kidding, photos are of a pair of ORIGINAL chopped 5-windows currently getting massaged at Jeb's Metal & Speed located in the same building as the SO-CAL Speed Shop Los Angeles in Long Beach, CA. Jeb has a very cool group of hot rods going together that also include a really nice '39 Ford Convertible that will be an early style custom.

Fire Trucks & Hot Rods

I have loved old cars from my earliest memories. When I was born my dad was a second generation hot rodder who had already had a bunch of nice cars at 18 years old. One of my earliest memories is playing in the pair of '29 Model A bodies my dad had in our garage. I also have the memory of my first automotive heart break when I was only 5 and a truck came and took both Model A's away. What I didn't know was my dad sold them to buy something he wanted more. I remember that day all too well when we went to the Auto Club tow yard and there was his new treasure- a 1919 American La France fire engine. It was pretty forlorn, but it was still red and a lot more complete than the Model A bodies. We followed the tow truck home and they left the old fire fighter in our yard. After a few days of tinkering my dad fired up the old beast from a 15 year slumber and drove the fire truck 100 feet to the patio for a full tear down. That was almost 40 years ago, but the 1919 fire truck that was the first motorized fire engine in Inglewood California is still in the garage awaiting final paint I reassembly. Since that time my dad has collected 30 more antique cars we love, but that firetruck will always be NUMBER ONE in the collection. When it is eventually finished (all the rare original parts were collected over the years, the mechanicals and 2000 pieces of chrome are done) it will look like the rig in the photo. The truck shares space in the garage with a similar rig that was the first fire engine on Santa Catalina Island.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Los Angeles Vintage Pictures

I could look at vintage pictures for days if I was allowed to, but when I do I somehow get sucked in to the ones of Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. I could just as easily get sucked in to classic images from any other city, but just seems that more exist from out here because of all the major goings on with the movie industry and such.
Perhaps it is the fact that you can still travel down these streets and every once in a great while catch a glimpse of an old building that reveals a ghost of the past- whatever it I hope you enjoy these images as well. Let me know if I should post more or if you have any great images you would like to share. Thanks Jim

SO-CAL L.A. Looks for Record at Bonneville!

The SO-CAL Speed Shop Los Angeles will be represented at Bonneville next week as a sponsor of R2 Racing Team. Richard Reed and the R2 Racing Team are gunning for the record in the VF4/STR-Blown class by upping the record currently held by the "SO-WHAT Speed Shop". R2 already holds the record in Vintage Four-Cylinder Flathead Street Roadster naturally aspirated and will compete in that class as well if anyone challenges their record. Look for these guys all decked out in their SO-CAL gear and flying the SO-CAL flag!
The SO-CAL Speed Shop has rich history at the lakes when founder Alex Xydias built and campaigned a large number of different land speed machines. SO-CAL would return to the salt years later with vehicles prepared by the main SO-CAL Speed Shop in Pomona, CA and also with a mean double duty Model A Roadster campaigned by SO-CAL Employees Tony Thacker and Jimmy Shine. Jimmy Shine has built a number of high-profile vehicles for the SO-CAL Speed Shop and starred in his own T.V. series "Hard Shine". Tony Thacker currently takes care of Public Relations for the NHRA.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cruise with us!

We are entering a whole new world of cyberspace that you are invited to enjoy, comment and participate as much as possible! I spent a few years as a print magazine journalist for Sport Truck Magazine, The Goodguys Gazette and Rod & Custom Magazine and the biggest thing lacking from those endeavors was feedback from the readers. You would be surprised how few people take the time to write you a letter- and for the few that did it was MONTHS after you wrote something when you did finally hear something about what you wrote. Good or Bad, with this format we have the ability to hear immediately from you and likewise we can answer your questions faster than we ever could with print. Thanks for joining the ride! Jim Aust

On-Line Store TOO!

We have also been hard at work on our on-line store as well adding ALL the latest new SO-CAL products and goodies. From T-Shirts to Chrome Front Axles we have ALL the latest from SO-CAL for you to check out @

Visit our Store!

We have been hard at work on out latest location at 1450 Caspian Ave., Long Beach CA 90813 making it user friendly to the many hot rodders from around the globe who visit us everyday! Come check us out and see the latest car projects in the shop! Call for directions- 562/983-3741

Local Pride

I was born and raised in Redondo Beach, California. Born too late by my own feelings. It was over twenty years ago when I first learned that hot rodders had always been a part of the local scene. The Drifters car club from Redondo Beach was a serious racing club in the 1950's and even made the cover of Hot Rod Magazine with the super clean dragging '35 Ford Coupe. Wish I could have been around in the golden days to see these guys in action!


Just because we are a hot rod shop does'nt mean we don't LOVE kustoms! Look for plenty of them in the future in the SO-CAL L.A. blogs.

First Blog

This is the Numero Uno blog from SO-CAL Speed Shop Los Angeles. It's free so tip well!