Monday, December 5, 2011

Kundratic Kustom's Mach 5 Knucklehead

 So, I'm at the 22nd Annual East Coast Indoor Nationals at the Cow Palace in Timonium, MD and I see this unbelievable bike on display.

 Now I'm sure your  asking yourself  "what the hell is he doing talkin about a bike when he was at one of the premier car shows on the East Coast" ?  Well, just take a look at this thing will ya !

It was put together by a local shop out of Baltimore, Kundatic Kustoms and it is a prime example of the quality of motorcycles
 that are now being invited to compete at this invitation only show.

 This board track inspired modern kustom features a 93 inch knucklehead engine build by Flathead Power. The frame is a Kraft Tech that was reworked by Kundratic and it has a springer front end.
 The two monsterous S &S Super B carbs really stand out and give the bike a  hot rod look that was a real crowd pleaser, as was the aluminum body work. I hung around looking at the bike for a while and these two features were big conversation starters.

Personally one of my favorite features of the bike were the perimeter brakes. They really allowed the wheels to be shown and kept the board tracker look that would have in my opinion been lost had they used a tradition brake set-up.

 I love knowing that Maryland is home to some world class custom motorcycle shops and once again a build like this shows that Baltimore truly is the hub of Kulture in our state. You can be sure the next time I am in the area I will stop by the shop, and of course , share the experience with the readers. In the meanwhile if you can't get enough of this award winning bike you can check out more pics and specs at their website

Oh, and as for the cars at this Car Show, don't worry it's covered. You can see pics from the show in the Events Coverage section of the blogazine
 There will be plenty more coming up,as I caught up with a few of the owners of some amazing local cars and shops, including a feature on the 1923 Ford C-Cab Delivery Wagon that I blogged about back in October.
So keep checking back, or better yet subscribe to GarageBoyz Magazine's Kulture Blogazine for FREE and don't miss a thing.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Vintage Ram Rods Car Club pics

I got these pictures from Len Cottrell a member of the Ram Rods CC since 1964. They are from some of their shows back in the early 1960's at the National Guard Armory in Washington DC. Their car show eventually went on to become the World Of Wheels Show in DC one of the top National Shows in the country.

They had a garage in the Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg for quite a while, but it now sits empty. I do not know the current status of the club, but would love to hear form anybody that does.

I know the car kulture scene was huge here in the local area in the 1960's and hope that others who were living the life of fast hot rods and kool kustoms of the time would like to share their pics and stories. Just email them to . If you want to see more of these pics from the Ram Rods CC,  check out the Vintage Kulture feature in the features & articles section of the Blogazine.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Local Original 1962 Harley-Davidson Panhead

The owner of this bike brings it to the Rolling Thunder weekend events at Battley Harley-Davidson in Gaithersburg. It is one of the bikes I looked forward to seeing every year. It is as pristine as any new bike, and its one owner has kept it completely documented having everything from the original Bill of Sale forward.

He proudly shows the bike along with some of those documents in the main parking lot, and its was a rare moment that I was able to grab some pics with out a crowd circling it.

 I am glad to see such an original bike and a prideful owner who believes in preserving the history and lifespan of his motorcycle. The roughly 8x4 spot he parks the bike on becomes like a time machine trip or a museum. The other thing I love about  this bike is that I've never seen it on a trailer, so its gets seen, heard and watched in motion and that is kool.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Acid Trip by Jaags Cycles

While sharing a a booth with Shiftpoint Magazine at the East Coast Indoor Nationals back in 2010, we were set up across from the Jaags Cycles display. Jeff Gray owner of Jaags had his build Acid Trip on display along with his Marilyn Monroe bike and a few others. While all of his bikes drew a crowd all day, this particular bike really stood out. The paint work and metal work and custom touches throughout made this one unique bike worthy of all of the attention and trophies it garnered.

The H-D Panhead motor and  psychedelic 1960's paint work by Kenny Dean and custom seat by local kulture legend John Longo really gave this bike a way back hippy trippy look and a fit in finish that could compete at any national level show.

Jaags Cycles was once located here in the Mid-Atlantic in Hollywood, Maryland but have now moved on to sunny year round building and riding in Florida. Their shop will be missed in our region, but from the quality of their builds it looks like they are going to be making their mark in the custom building scene for a long while.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A bike that reminds me of why I love bikes...

This bike came rolling through the parking lot at the Jalopyrama 8, and I lost my mind. I was talking with a friend and just watched it in motion. It was one of those experiences where the background gets blurry and only the bike and rider is clear, and the world becomes white noise. I remember thinking  how badly I was hoping that bike was coming and not going , cause I wanted a close up chance to make googly eyes at it.

As you can tell from the of pictures , I got the chance. The bike had my head spinning, I was thinking Bonneville Salts, cafe racer, bobbed sportster and by God the historic H-D race bikes that had to have inspired the builder.

I saw these race bikes at the H-D museum a few years back, and thought how this black bike had the "black sheep" of this family look and feel. I loved the use of the modern peanut tank rather than the older elongated ones and as I looked at the fairing, I could not help but think that this is what a Buell could have been.

There are a good number of amazing cafe bikes that have been on the scene lately.  Thanks to shops like Loaded Gun, I have learned to appreciate this style a lot more. The majority of the cafe bikes I've seen have been based on British and Japanese bikes, both of which I love, but seeing this Ironhead made me remember just how well Harley's adapt to being cut, welded and reborn.

There are some great details on the bikes, many of which cross-over motorcycle  and hot rod influences and mixes them together perfectly. With its Moon Eyes oil tank, pleated seat, speed holes and fins and such, the bike was perfectly suited to show at this event.

I never had the chance to talk with the owner of the bike, and I certainly hope to one day, because I'd love to know more about this bike, and I'm guessing if you've made it this far into the blog, you probably wouldn't mind either. So enjoy the pics, check out the details and how amazingly aggressive this bike stands and looks for yourself.
If you want to see more from Jalopyrama 8, say oh a couple dozen or so pictures more, head over to the Kulture Gallery portion of the blogazine. Either go to or just hit the black and white KultureBlog circle logo in the upper right corner.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bill's 47 Ford at the Jalopyrama 2011

This week I got to hit the Jalopyrama at the Annapolis Armory. This was another show that I had never been able to attend in the past. And as I stated about the last couple of shows I blogged about, its another show I won't miss again. There was a ton of cars and a couple of bikes ( look for more on these bikes later...its gonna be worth the wait too ) . It was complete sensory overload but I got to spend hours at the show taking it all in. One of the cars that got my curiosity up was this 47 Ford you see here. It is owned by Bill from Cumberland, who was gracious and patient in answering my questions and passionate about his Ford.

What drew me over to the Bill's car was the row of 6 gas cans in the back. I love the look of the old gas cans just strapped on the back looking as though the owner is ready for a run across the dessert with no chance of finding gas.
 I had figured that they were acting as his gas tank, but I just couldn't figure out how so. Of course I am never afraid of going to the learning tree, so I asked Bill about his street rod and it's unusual gas tank set-up.
Bill explained that the first 2 cans are for the batteries and the other 4 are covering a 15 gallon gas tank. With a close eye and lengthy inspection of the set-up I still could not see that hidden tank or batteries. This is a testament to the detail taken in putting this set-up together. Both Bill and his Ford were a real throwback to American Rodding, and I even caught him checking his gas level with his fancy " stick a wooden stick in" fuel checking system.

Bill put a lot of work and good old fashion know-how into putting the 47 together and as a proud Ford owner he was happy to tell me that other than the alternator and the steering column, this car is all Ford. It's just not one Ford but a couple of them all in one. The motor is a 1985 300 6 cyclinder, it has an F150  5- speed transmission, and the frame is from a 92 Explorer.It was a real pleasure seeing this car and talking with Bill about it, both are true examples of keeping the Kulture alive.

There will be a ton of pics from the Jalopyrama in the Kulture Gallery of the all new in the next week or two, so be sure to look for up coming announcements. Of course there is plenty to blog about from this show, so keep an eye out for new blogs and pictorials.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sneak Preview of the new decal

Well here is the final design for GBM's Kulture decal. I Hope to be able to start handing them out in the next couple of weeks. These will look great on your tool chest, garage wall, beer cooler or wherever. Subscribers email me your mailing address to if you'd like one.

RATS !! The Kulture is infested with em

Rat Rods, you can't go to a show or cruise-in these days without running into one. What once was the blue-collar working stiffs domain is now an aspiration for even the wealthiest of hot rod enthusiasts. Early rat rods were built out of whatever was on hand or could be picked up cheaply from swap meets and junkyards . There were no fancy high dollar paint jobs in the budget, so usually primer or nothing at all was the feature color.

Ironically now-a-days there is big money being spent putting together rat rods that are meant to look like junkers.What was once a derogatory term for an unfinished cobbled together, non-period correct mish mash of parts custom build,  is now a term and style being embraced by the masses.

Some folks can be heard grumbling about this style, claiming that its just another fad that has hit the scene, and it will be over just as quick as it became fashionable. While others like myself enjoy seeing this style of build and  happy to see it grow.

 I do admit that there has been a point of outright silliness to some rat rods I've seen, with an overdone amount of  festoonery and theme items added. There is also a valid concern that instead of seeing some of these old cars brought back to even nice driver quality or fully restored , that they will be hastily turned into rats just for the sake of jumping on the trend.

On the other side of the coin, there are plenty of  cars and parts that once just sat in a heap and left to rot somewhere are finding new life on the road . This build style has also brought together more of the haves and have nots to the same shows. It also seems to have brought more projects out of the garages and driveways and on to the road and shows, instead of being hidden away until completion.
Some of the creativity that has come out of this style of building is born out of just plain old makin-do with what you have, and the re purposing of stuff from beer cans to tractor parts has shown that with a creative mind and mechanical aptitude, their doesn't have to be a mad dash to to create a unique rod. It is forcing guys to think out of the box.

To me it is a sign that there is still creative and talented hands and minds still very much keeping the American Rod Kulture alive and thriving. It is great to see the talent and inspiration that can be found in some of these builds. It is also a great example of how a cool car can be built without a big budget, which in my opinion only helps inspire more involvement in the Kulture.

One example of creative ingenuity is this build, that I came across at the Rockabilly Hot Rod Rumble this year. The builder of "Rats Ass" took re purposing to a new lever. Notice the frying pan used as an air cleaner cover, the Cragar Spinner from a rim used as a gas cap, the tractor front end being used as the radiator cover and front end, or my personal favorite the rain gutters being used as exhaust pipes.
So love them or hate them, it looks like the rat rod is going to be around for a while. Rather than just pass them by, why not take a little time and really look them over, you may be surprised, amused or even blown away by some of the creativity that goes into building these unique and often one of a kind customs.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pin Up Girls from the Rockabilly Rumble

The Karb Kings were at it again. This time the crew from the VA chapter was in charge of the festivities and they threw a great event The Rockabilly Hot Rod Rumble. Of course the cars and bikes were top notch, and of course you will be seeing plenty of them from this show, on up coming blogs. But today I have to shout out to the ladies of the show, the Betties, the Pin Ups. Seeing these girls at a show help bring it from a good show to a damn good show.

Between their vintage looks and and rockabilly tastes, they add a special element to an event. I don't know how they do it, but the Karb Kings events always attract some of the best pin ups around. It could be the prestige of winning their pinup contest, it could be their greaser good looks or maybe they just love fast cars...I'm betting it a combination of all of it. Either way this show did not disappoint. Every where you looked their was something beautiful to see, from 4 wheels, to 2 wheels, from tasty one-shot lines being laid down or beautiful rockabetties posing for pictures.

I really would like to thank the ladies for being so gracious and adding that right touch to an event that seems to get bigger  and better every year. You can be sure of this, I won't be missing next years show, and after seeing these pictures I bet a few of you won't be either. a big thanks to the Karb Kings, VA for hosting the show.

I'd also like to thank the Pin-Up Angels and I highly recommend you check out their site Their fundraising efforts support the troops and they worked their butts off at the show raising money. All American girls supporting the boys over seas, can't think of a much better cause than that.
Watch for more from the Karb Kings Rockabilly Hot Rod Rumble as well as The Mobtown GreaseBall in upcoming blogs. Don't forget to Support Your Local Business & Keep Kulture Alive.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Each One , Teach One & Keep the Kulture Alive

While walking around the Mobtown Greaseball show and taking in all the sights, I ran across this scene, a father teaching his son about cars and the Kulture.

It got me thinking about how important it is that those with knowledge and passion of the Kulture  pass it on, or it will just fade away.
So many times people are so wrapped up in just owning their car or bike that they forget how impactful just seeing it can be to the next generation or other people in general . Many of us are into the Kulture because of seeing or hearing, or riding in, or being around one car or bike or group that triggered our desire to own an old piece of American iron, or become a Kulture Artist or whatever.

How often do we forget that the hot rod Kulture can be a family affair. Sure its fun to hand with your buddies, shoot the breeze and talk shit, but what about passing the torch. Most kid's knowledge of cars today stop at what they learned from watching The Fast and the Furious or from the latest video racing game. Why not bring the kids out to a show to see the Kulture, or how about just inviting your kid to come out to the car or bike while your fixing it or just tinkering with it. Your passion and knowledge may just help the future generation love and appreciate the old iron and keep it going.

Don't let your knowledge or willingness to pass it on end there either. Share it with others too. A great example of this was my running into the guy who owns this driver 60 el camino. I was in the parking lot checking the car out, snapping a couple of pics and thinking how nice is was to see this rough el camino being used as it was intended. I also thought how cool it was that I was out driving my 84 el camino and we were both just in this random thrift store parking lot at the same time. How often do you run into a 1st generation and last generation el camino without being at a cruise-in or show.

  As I was checking out the car, the owner came out of the store. We shot the breeze for a minute, and I asked him if it was a 59 or 60. He explained to me that is what a 1960 and that the way to tell was that the 1959 had a flat rear quarter panel , not a raised one and that the rear fins came down the rear hatch more, as well as the lights on a 59 were more cat's eye shaped in-line with the fin shape as opposed to the 1960 having the round rear lights and shorter fins.
 Here is a perfect example of somebody taking the time to teach, rather that just mumble hello and jump into the  car and drive off.
Now because of his quick 5 minute lesson I know more about the cars I love, my passion grew a bit deeper and I can quickly tell a 1959 from a1960.  Here I am a 40-something year old guy being taught more about the Kulture that I live and love every day. So imagine how much we could teach the next generation let alone others who want to know or have an appreciation for our old car or bike.

Maybe next time when a kid or somebody else comes up to you and says " hey nice car/bike, what year is it"  we can remember to take an extra minute and teach a little, rather than saying " yeah thanks" and driving off. You never know what fire you can set with just one spark of knowledge and sharing.