Wild Wheels

1951 Mercury Lead Sled

Customized classic car with violet paint.
The classic Mercury automobiles have been a favorite subject of car customizers since the 1940s. This incredible chopped and channeled Mercury coupe demonstrated why. The eye-catching metallic purple paint matched the blooming Jacaranda trees in the background, which made a nice shot! Photographed at the 2016 Culver City Car Show.

1963 Corvette Stingray

A rear view of a silver 1963 Corvette at a car show.
This magnificent 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray split-window coupe was displayed at the Rodeo Drive "Highways to Heaven" auto show in downtown Beverly Hills. The car was the first incarnation of the legendary C2 styling, known as one of the finest body designs in automotive history. It's my dream car! Photographed in 2015 with a Fujichrome H3 camera.

Diamond T Fire Truck

Red antique fire truck at Alcatraz penitentiary.
This historical vehicle was the actual fire truck used at Alcatraz, America's most feared prison. When the penitentiary closed in 1963, the truck was a wreck. It was hauled away, and ultimately restored to original condition by Nevada prison inmates, which seemed oddly appropriate. Now the Diamond T Fire Truck is back at Alcatraz Island, and has been viewed by millions of visitors. Photographed in 2011.

Lil' Redd Wrecker

Hot rod tow truck
I photographed this outrageous hot-rod truck at the 2015 Culver City Car Show. The vehicle had a history as strange as its appearance. Originally painted blue, and named the Turnpike Hauler, it was built from scratch by Dick Dean from an Ed Newton design for Bob Reisner and Jay Ohrberg's California Show Cars in 1970. It was basically an "all show, no go" art car made for display only. Around 1974 it was acquired by customizer George Barris, who painted it red and renamed it Lil' Redd Wrecker, as a promotional tie-in with Redd Foxx, star of the popular TV show Sanford & Son. Barris brazenly claimed credit for building it, in lettered paint right on the vehicle, when all he really did was give it a makeover! Currently the Wrecker is owned and on display at the Galpin Auto Sports museum in Los Angeles.

Classic Corvette

Blue early model Chevrolet Corvette.
Behold this first generation vintage Corvette, an example of superb mid-century automotive styling! I am uncertain of the specific year it was manufactured, since the 1958-1960 models looked almost exactly the same. The vehicle was on display at the 2011 Culver City Car Show.

1936 Bentley Roadster

Crowds surround a vintage Bentley automobile.
Each year on Father's Day, the city of Beverly Hills hosts a high-end automotive show known as Concours d' Elegance. Spectators come from far and wide to see the amazing selection of exotic cars, held on the legendary Rodeo Drive, the playground of the rich and famous. This Bentley Roadster garnered a lot of attention at the 2015 show.

Calico Sufer

Cool surfer hot rod at a car show.
The 2014 Culver City Car Show featured this hand-built custom hot rod with a surf theme, which attracted a lot of attention. It was originally created in 1964 by Barris Kustoms for Calvin Clark, the publisher of International Surfing Magazine. The vehicle was more than just an art car, as it was designed for actual street use. They don't make 'em like that anymore!

Gold 1965 Mustang

Vintage Ford Mustang with gold paint.
While exploring the UCLA campus, I spotted this exquisite specimen of classic automotive styling. I photographed it with the best camera that I happened to have in my pocket, my iPhone.