ARC Employee Profile: Shawn Creswell

We would like to introduce to you the newest member of our car family, Shawn Creswell. He has been employed with ARC since July 5th, 2019. We have grown very fond of him and plan to keep him around :) Shawn is very experienced in the automotive industry and car culture and has a very interesting past. Before joining our team, Shawn was a former volunteer structural firefighter for 13 years and an EMT-B for 5 years in the state of Oregon . We are excited to share a brief Q&A bio about this fun, kind-hearted guy.

Name: Shawn Creswell

Date of Hire: July 5th, 2019

Hometown: Bellflower, California

Siblings: Two brothers & Two sisters

Briefly explain your experience in the automotive industry: I've worked at a few shops that had very good clientel slowly progressing my interest and skills in all aspects of the ground up or minor r&r requirements but none of them have the drive and dedication as Anaheim Rod and Custom!

At what age/what got you into wanting to work on cars? I started building custom wagons and go karts with my dad when I was 2 years old. Going to Southern California car shows, showing off what he built and being around that quality of cars at a young age is what got me interested in building cars. Plus, you can't drive wagons on the road and we all grown up on the outside but we're all kids at heart.

Influences, mentors, or car culture icons that you look up to: I grew up around Larry Watson. My dad had cars painted by him in the late 50's and went to Bob's Big Boy in Bell Gardens when they would cruise around in the day. Bill Hines made numerous stops at our shop to chat and hang out and painted my first wagon my dad built. Ed Roth got me into pinstriping and gave me my first brush that I still use today. Llil Daddy Roth is a riot and I’m honored to know him on a friend base from shows as well. Von Hot Rod, Chainsaw Chuck, Jimmy C, George Barris, Gene Winfield are all originators of art and contributors to the automotive world and I have much respect for them.

Favorite car and why? There's to many lol but I’ll narrow it down to ‘54 Chevy, ‘64 Riviera, ‘64-66 c10, and ‘66 Impala

Favorite aspect of the automotive restoration process: Seeing the owner’s expression of what we have done and can do

Hobbies: Drawing, pinstriping, building anything from scratch and putting different twists on everything.

Tell us about your personal project vehicle: I have a 1964 c10 that I have built a frame from scratch, bbc, air ride front and rear and just to be different, right hand drive..The steering wheel isn't on the wrong side it's on the right side!!

Describe yourself in three words: creative, honest, confident

On a Sunday you can be found: FINISHING MY TRUCK!!!

Any other information or fun facts that you think our clientele would find amusing: I can wiggle just my pinky two on my feet (you probably just tried) and flip coins on my wrist..ask I'll show you lol!

4.5 yrs old receiving his 1st trophy- It was bigger than he is!

4.5 yrs old receiving his 1st trophy- It was bigger than he is!

9yrs old with the off road wagon for kids it actually raises up to 7' 6"

9yrs old with the off road wagon for kids it actually raises up to 7' 6"

Shawn and his bro building a minitrailer for owner of Lghtning Magazine in Japan to pull behind his moped

Shawn and his bro building a minitrailer for owner of Lghtning Magazine in Japan to pull behind his moped

Shawn with his 1st 2 wagons his dad built in 1992

Shawn with his 1st 2 wagons his dad built in 1992

Shawn with his dad Mike and Blackie Gejeian at Frezno Autorama

Shawn with his dad Mike and Blackie Gejeian at Frezno Autorama

Shawn color sanding on this 1965 Mustang!

Shawn color sanding on this 1965 Mustang!

Bali Bali Bay Pearl Island Girl

Duane Barbee’s 1960 Desoto Fireflight

Written by: Becky Sue Means Photos by: Heath Cofran of HMC Creative

Duane has always had a passion for 60’s Customs, specifically the finned cars from Chrysler. After his retirement from Boeing in 2005 he went car hunting at G&G Mopars in Colton CA. & while wandering around their yard he saw a ’60 DeSoto Fireflight sitting in the weeds on the outside edge of their lot. The DeSoto Fireflight has always had a bold, almost custom appearance to begin with, so, naturally it seemed to be a good choice for Duane to build a 60’s custom from. The exterior of the car was heavily oxidized and the gas tank and fuel lines were nasty from sitting for years in the SoCal sun but thankfully the car had minimal body rust. The chrome and stainless were heavily pitted but that did not bother him because he knew that he would be removing all of it anyway.

Now with free time on his hands and a car to customize, he enrolled in an all-ages ROP Auto Body class at Fullerton High School where his good friend Mike Doyle was the instructor. Mike in fact, had built Duane’s two previous mild customs a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere and a 1961 Pontiac Bonneville and he had encouraged Duane to get more hands on after his retirement. Topics covered in this all-ages collision repair class were: metal straightening, MIG and TIG welding, the use of fillers, use of abrasives, along with materials for painting and paint application. A lot of the high school students did not have cars to work on and eagerly helped Duane when he asked for their help.

The first thing that Duane and a couple of the students began doing to the Desoto was shaving all of the trim and emblems and filling in the holes. The next thing they moved onto was the rust repair. With that effort completed the front end customization began. This started with removal of all the stock hardware from the front end & grafting on a highly modified grill surround from a 2003 Ford F150. Next the hood corners were rounded, the original headlight mounting points and the fenders were tunneled out with the plasma torch to make the space for the meticulously hand formed headlight buckets, they would rest beneath extended fender eyebrows. The actual quad headlights filling the buckets are Harley Davidson. The Desoto also received a facelift with the aid of a new grill and front bumper.

The Desoto was completed in 2010 & Duane loveingly named her Island Girl. In 2010 Mike also decided to retire from teaching at Fullerton High School. When this happened he and Duane rented a shop together in Anaheim where they could continue to work on personal projects and “The Man Cave” was born. This “hobby shop” as Mike referred to it, was located directly across the street from Anaheim Rod and Custom. It was this direct proximity that lead to the formation of a relationship with builder/fabricator/painter, Matthew Means. Their paths would cross again when Duane proudly displayed the Island Girl at the Tiki Highway event that Matthew Means put on in Huntington Beach at the now gone but beloved, Don the Beachcomber.

Duane cruised Island Girl from 2010 until 2013 when Island Girl was involved in an accident that took out both her left fender & door. It was then that Duane (now that he had his own shop space) decided to go thru her from top to bottom & update her custom image. This started with the installation of 1957 Chrysler Windsor grill wings inside the grill surround & filling the turn signal locations in the 1961 Buick LaSabre . With that effort completed Duane & Mike molded the front fenders into the rockers and cowl to continue her smooth lines. On the back side of the car, 1961 Chrysler Imperial tail light housings were used but they were installed upside down and 1959 Cadillac taillights with custom Blue-Dot lenses were mounted on custom stanchions inside the modified DeSoto housing.

“We were very lucky to end up in that space with Matt across the street,” says Duane. “We didn’t know it at the time but in hindsight it was almost a meant to be thing,” he continues. As Duane recalls, Matt wandered across the street one day to see what was happening at this building with the large “Man Cave” banner hanging above the bay door. He took an immediate interest in Island Girl and began helping the guys refine their long block and other body working skills. “Ultimately, I chose Matt to do the paint on my car because I trusted him. He said he could give me the paint job that I wanted. I explained that I wanted a fade with candy and pearls and he gave us physical spray samples. He absolutely nailed it when I presented my ideas to him,” Duane explains.

At first glance one might think to themselves that this is a Winfield or Watson paint job but one thing that makes Matt’s painting style different is that rather than laying the highlights on the tops of the fenders and body lines as his predecessors have, he flipped it and the car gets lighter as your eye moves down the body panels. There is a deeper tone of the pearl paint running down the center of the car rather than a highlight. Plus, all of the shades used are in the same color family one spilling into the other with a smooth transition and no overly defined highlight or lowlight.

Means, with a background in art, finds his inspiration in nature. “I have always been influenced by the work of Watson and Gene Winfield because their large, long gradients are the kind of thing that you see in nature. What I was thinking about when painting the Island Girl was the natural colors of the sky and the graduation of color tones in an ocean bay. The Island Girl to me is an orchid: it’s beautiful, it’s simple, while at the same time being complex.”
At the time he painted this car, the consensus about the new House of Kolor Shimrin 2 line was that it was too transparent so, Matt used this transparency to his advantage when layering, blending and fading in the various color tones on the car. This flawless finish was created by using 2 coats of KD3000 series custom mix seafoam sealer as the base, with 3 coats of iced mint (custom mix) pearl base, followed by 18 delicately applied coats of the custom Bali Bali Bay pearls. This was all encompassed in 3 coats of USC-01 clear then sanded flat with three more coats applied and all was finished off with meticulous color sanding and buffing. When Means was asked why he chose the name Bali Bali Bay Pearl for this paint job he said with a chuckle,

“Well, because the paint came out so nice I just had to name it twice!”

Duane Barbee would like to give special thanks to: Mike Doyle, Roger Underhill, Rick Morgan, Oliver Pendergrass, Bill Hernandez, Anaheim Rod & Custom, Jerry Guadao, Brian Adams & Richard Marmaduke “Duke” Langdale (RIP)

New Team Member Feature: Rose Varah

New Team Member Feature: Rose Varah

Roses typically grow in warm climates, and flower in the summer months, but some roses can grow where winter temperatures drop as low as -50 degrees Fahrenheit. Our new hire, Rose Varah, is like the latter, one hardy rose that is able to adapt to her surroundings and flourish beautifully. When her resume appeared in our inbox it peaked our interest. Though we were not currently hiring for a paint and body tech at the time, she stood out in our minds when it was time to fill an opening. How could it not? A female paint and body technician, graduate of Wyotech, that recently moved to Huntington Beach, CA from Alaska? That’s a pretty memorable applicant! Rose was working at European Collision in Downey as their production, CSR, quality control person at the time but was interested in making a move because hot rods are her first love. Rose obtained her diplomas in Collision & Refinishing, Specialized Technology, and Motorsports Chassis Fabrication from Wyotech. Additionally, she also has over 6 years of hands on work experience with restoration, paint prep, body work, priming painting and polishing, and even some metal and fiber glass body repair.

Our new team member Rose Varah is the real deal. She was born and raised in Alaska to a long line of hot rodders, both on her mother and her father’s side. Rose’s mother is just as car crazy as her daughter and even has the words “hot rod” with flames tattooed on her forearm. She described her daughter as, “Fearless, from a young age.” According to mom, “Rose’s favorite toys as a child were a little blue motorcycle and a hot wheel, probably left over from her brother who is 10 years older,” she said.

Rose’s great uncle on her mom’s side had a body shop in Palmer, Alaska. He had six brothers, who were all into cars, one of which is the Hot Rod Hall of Fame painter & customizer, Bill Reasoner, who wildly enough began painting cars with a bug sprayer! When Rose was 5 years old her uncle Bill was hired by John D’Agostino to build the 1940 Mercury Stardust and has built numerous well known cars over the years. Rose’s dad, aptly named Rod, is a gear head that knows everything there is to know about engines. He watched his father rebuild motors right in their kitchen! Rose spent hours on end with her dad in the garage.

“I was into cars right out of the gate,” Rose tells us. “My favorite car is an Olds 442 because it is a family car but it is still a hot rod. Plus, my dad has one that is in need of restoration. I am looking forward to restoring it with him. I went into paint and body to bring something new to the table, contribute to the hot rod family. It is fun being able to teach my dad a thing or two now when it comes to cars.”

Another fun fact: It is shocking how many people can not operate manual cars right? Well, Rose was driving stick shift at the ripe old age of 7, and a ’78 Firebird at that! Growing up Rose was told that she was allowed to drive anything if she could start it.

“Daddy wasn’t too happy when I started up his Chevelle!”, Rose exclaimed. “I had to learn to drive really young. I drove a bull dozer to clear trees in the drive way. Growing up in Alaska was rough. My chores were shoveling snow and stacking firewood. We used to have to haul water and get our electricity from a generator. In Alaska, you learn to live off the land and you have to know how to drive in the snow. When I bought my ’79 Camaro at age 18 I drove that for two winters in a row!”

Adventurous and explorative Rose eventually decided to pack her paint suit & make moose tracks. She was heading for Surf City USA to take the hot rod world by storm! As she made her southern migration equipped with the knowledge that she had learned from Wyotech, plus the experience that she had gained working for a variety of automotive shops in Alaska, she chanted her mantra: I am here to rebuild American muscle!

Additional fun facts about Rose: She is an avid reader, she enjoys snowboarding, traveling and tattoos. She describes herself as spontaneous, while at the same time loyal. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have this passionate wild Rose as a part of our extended automotive family! In just the 3 months that she has been here she has already been an instrumental help in our paint department. We are looking forward to getting to know her better and seeing beautiful automobiles built at the hands of Rose in the future!


     We have a few new team members here at Anaheim Rod and Custom and over the course of the next few weeks/months we will be publishing blog articles highlighting each individual. The first team member we would like to introduce to everyone is our administrative assistant, Becky’s right hand girl, Makayla.  Makayla has been working with us at the shop on an official capacity for roughly 9 months now so she is certainly not brand new but she is the new kid on the block when you consider her experience in the automotive industry.

    We were first introduced to Makayla by her mother, a client of ours that we repaired not one but two vehicles for. Her mother, Shannon chose to have her father’s 1963 Falcon Sprint given a mechanical over haul as a sweet 16 gift for Makayla to drive two years ago. (click here to see the YouTube Video coverage from that delivery party)  It wasn’t until just recently when we swapped the transmission for a automatic that Makayla was comfortable driving it to and from work. Let’s let her tell you about her time with her classic, our company and our family:  

    “I have been driving my 1963 Falcon Sprint to and from work and let me tell you something! That is the most awesome vehicle to drive!,” exclaims Makayla. “Driving a classic car really does do something to your ego. When I’m driving it I feel like I am on top of the world. I hold my head a little higher and walk with a sort of confident stride. I will say, its a head turner. When I go back to driving my normal Jeep, it is weird. With the manual steering in the Falcon, getting back into something that has power steering really messes with you. The vehicle also has some get up and go to it. It sounds amazing. Runs amazing. Now the next thing is to get it looking amazing! I can not wait to take it to more car shows in the future. One of which is Rhythm and Collision in January of 2019! That has become an annual girls trip with none other than Becky Sue, her mini boss, Presley, my Mother, and myself! I also love opening all the windows and letting the breeze run through my hair. Get that classic California blow out!”
    Makayla is a very hard-working young lady that helps Becky with everything under the sun!  Before working at the shop, Makayla started out by helping keep a watchful eye on Atom while Becky Sue would set up and run around the client delivery parties and shop’s annual open houses.
    “Now that Atom is in pre-school  I do not get to watch him as much, but when I do, boy do we make memories! All I have to say is that those kids are something else. There is never a dull moment. They keep you on your toes. Oh, and god forbid if you show one more attention than the other! It is surprising how those kids become part of your life so easily. Nothing brings me more joy than coming to work everyday and seeing the Princess of Anaheim Rod and Custom, Presley Mae.

    Since working in the office, I have gotten to see many spectacular vehicles come in and out of the shop. I have also met many people who are very passionate about their vehicles. There have been many laughs at the shop as well. It has been said that if your work doesn’t feel like work than you’re doing something right. Let me tell you guys something, it does not feel like work here. Getting things done on a daily basis has never seemed so rewarding. Even when I arrive to work mad, I always leave with a smile. Its something about making memories with some fantastic people that just leaves you with a smile on your face.

    Another thing that I really love about working at this shop is that it is very family friendly. The fact that the dogs are able to roam around, keeping an eye on everything is bring me joy. I have a special place in my heart for animals and I recently got accepted into a Veterinary Technician Program at a local college.  I will begin taking my classes in September and will be working at the shop in the afternoons. My dream is to own my own shelter or veterinary clinic out in Wisconsin. Yes, I said Wisconsin. Truth be told I am a country girl at heart even though I may be mistaken for “hardcore”, due to my colored hair and multiple piercings. I wear cowboy boots five out of the seven days a week. I tend to be judged at first glance because of exterior features but when people start to get to know me, they find that I am a total sweetheart. Though if you do anything to hurt the ones I love, or any animal, I can get a little aggressive. I am a person who wears their heart on their cheek (the opposite of heart on your sleeve), I don’t like showing any sort of weakness.                                                                                                                              

      Working at the shop has provided a lot of experience for me in the professional field. With being a direct assistant to one of the owners, it gives me insight on processes I would need to go through to run my own business. I am thankful for everything that this shop has provided me and for the friendships I’ve made. I am truly excited to meet more of the clientele and their awesome vehicles. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll ring the shop and it will be me answering! Though I know sooner or later I will be packing my bags and leaving the Anaheim Rod and Custom team to start my own adventure in life, there is no where else I’d rather be working for the time being!”

     Having Makayla as a part of the Anaheim Rod and Custom team has truly been a great help! Without her we would be one set of hands shorter of picking up parts, ordering parts, filing documents and photos, doing social media posts, cleaning the vehicles and cleaning the shop in general and so much more. Plus she is just so darn good with our babies both the human and K9 variety! So next time you visit the shop you will have a little bit more insight on this talented young team member of ours. We are looking forward to sharing additional feature stories with you about the rest of the A Team!




     This past week was the first of what we hope to be MANY family vacations in our 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V. For her maiden voyage we chose Palm Springs.  We enjoyed the drive there and back and the heat was no feat for us thanks to the breezeway and electric side vent windows. The styling of the '60 Lincoln seem so at home here parked in front of the mid-century modern homes found throughout Palm Springs.  We photographed the car in driveways in the Movie Colony tract. We snapped a quick pic of her with the view up by the Bob Hope house as well as other retro housing tracks.  Plus, we stopped at iconic hotels like the Parker.

     Our love of tiki culture led us to the tiki bars that Palm Springs had to offer: The Tonga Hut, Bootlegger Tiki and to the new Tommy Bahama Grill in downtown P.S. We tried a Mai Tai at each location and we enjoyed Tommy Bahama's the most. Their poke bowl and the lump crab with avocado salads were extremely delectable as well! The tail end of our week long family trip coincided with Tiki Caliente 10, a weekender held at the Caliente Tropics Hotel. It was here that we ran into friends that we used to enjoy rubbing elbows with at our old watering hole, Don the Beachcomber (R.I.P).  It was great to see our friends from Dead Head Rum here. We LOVE the new TIki Mug and are so happy to see it in our mug collection! It has such a great grip, feel and look to it!

     Besides lounging at the pool and splashing around with our kids at the resort other highlights of the trip included enjoying a Mother's Day dinner with both Matt & Becky's parents present. For those of you that don't already know, Matt is a mean chef. He prepared us rib eye steak, with caprese salad, grilled shrimp and veggies.  We also enjoyed a couple delicious meals at Sherman's Deli and Bakery  but the part of the trip that really took the cake was the moment when we were photographing the car in front of the Palm Springs City Hall building and a couple German tourists began photographing us with their Hassleblad film camera and an 8mm video recorder! They said that they will send us images after they get them developed at a special place in Belgium! We look forward to sharing those with you soon we hope!

     Other than a couple weekenders, we have not been on a vacation since our honeymoon five years ago! It was time well needed and well spent relaxing and enjoying moments together as a family and making memories. We appreciate the support of our staff for keeping things running while we were away and to all of our clients a big thanks for your patience and understanding while Team Means was unavailable during this past week and this week while we get caught back up. We are looking forward to the opportunity to take our amazing 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V on more family road trip vacations in the future and we know that this would not be possible without the support of our hard working staff and car crazy clients. Mucho Mahalo!


Guitars, Cars, and Tiki Bars- Written by guest blogger Matt Marble (aka Spike) The Hula Girls lead singer & guitar player

     Matt Marble (Spike) lead singer and guitarist for The Hula Girls has been using his 1961 Ford Econoline as his musician-mobil for years, hauling gear from gig to gig.  Our Matt, at Anaheim Rod and Custom, recently took Spike's fade to the back flat black paint and brought it center stage with the awesome atomic aqua that it adorns today! We recently caught up with Spike at his 40th birthday party and asked this talented artist/gifted photographer/ writer to contribute to our company's little blog to let our reader's know a little bit about his lifestyle. This article is written from his driver's seat point of view and his experience with cars, guitars and tiki bars. Enjoy! 

     When I first bought my 1961 Ford Econoline, it was a bit of a mess… The carb was screwy, the trans, sticky, you could see through rust holes in the sides of the body, and there were a whole host of other issues as well… but though those early days of owning the truck, it served me well. Even more than that, it was my daily driver for about 5 years. It was even fine with me when it had rotted quarter panels and chipped black paint… It was meant to serve as a gear hauler. It was cool looking, rough, utilitarian. Let me share with you, a few stories about this truck.

     I’ve played hundreds of shows with my band, The Hula Girls, all the while using the Econoline to drag amplifiers and go-go boxes to gigs as far away from Orange County as San Diego, Palm Springs, and Downtown LA. I’ve been under the truck, screwing with the trans linkage just about as much as I’ve been in it, driving. I can’t count the number of flatbeds its been on… There was a moment on PCH where the carburetor got stuck wide open. The truck was just continuing to accelerate until I put the clutch in…. Then it was just revving violently fast. I finally turned the key off and it stopped with a big, loud backfire! Hell, the battery box even caught fire once… and it’s located under the driver’s seat! It’s to the point where I’ve just about replaced anything that can and has failed on it… water pump, fuel pump, rebuilt trans, new carb, custom aluminum radiator, rewired the whole vehicle and a whole bunch of other stuff that I have since (thankfully) forgotten. These days, it’s pretty reliable.

     A particularly long journey, brought forth by my tiki collecting obsession, took me in the Econoline, all of the way out to Palmdale. I was in search of a fairly valuable ‘Witco’ tiki bar. Somehow, I stumbled upon this vintage tiki bar on Craigslist. Witco happens to be the same company with which Elvis decorated his Jungle room in Graceland. Palmdale is a long, slow, uphill drive past LA and into the desert. It was during a dry fire season and I remember rumbling past areas next to the freeway that were on fire. My inability to roll up windows while driving, had me making a smoke mask out of my tee shirt. I bought the bar for about $200 and a 1950s fridge was thrown in for another $50. They both fit in the truck, but the tonneau cover that I built for the back, was propped way up in the air. I couldn’t see anything behind or to the right of me. It was a long, scary drive home. I had to pull over a few times on the freeway, just to make sure everything was cool in the back of the truck, the traffic flying by at 80-90 miles per hour…

     Another time, in San Diego for the Tiki Oasis festival, I was driving with tiki bar builder, Bamboo Ben. We were exiting the freeway rolling up an off-ramp when all of the sudden, I felt my transmission linkage pop out. That meant that as soon as the truck stopped rolling, I wouldn’t be able to drive it forward, put it in park, or otherwise secure it from rolling. Thinking quickly, I had Ben jump out of the truck and put a mic stand bag behind the rear wheels. While he was using his cell phone light to direct traffic away from running into us, I crawled under the already super low truck, burning myself on the lake pipes. I grabbed the greasy linkage, stuck it back into the slot in the transmission, and tightened it up with a wrench that I carry with me. Hastily jumping back into the truck, I left my favorite hat on the roadside in San Diego. …but that’s part of owning an old car, I guess.

     Finally, after all of that, my buddy, Josh, and I decided that it was time to actually ‘finish’ the truck. We created a custom dash from a ’61 Ranchero rear window surround and a ’58 Edsel cluster and speedo. We fixed the big rotted side panels by welding on new patch panels… but lowered them 4”. We made a grill using chromed rebar. Glued up a white faux fur headliner and had the seats upholstered in ‘warp speed white’ metallic vinyl with silver piping. Matt, at Anaheim Rod and Custom, mixed up a custom paint color of candies and metal flake and sprayed the truck. I found some vintage 1960’s ‘Single-Rib Radirs’ to finish off the look. With all that we’ve been through together, she finally looks as good as I’ve always felt about her.    -----To learn more about Matt Marble and his band visit their website they will be performing at Don the Beachcomber 10 Year Celebration this March 30th & 31st You don't want to miss it!


Happy Valentine’s Day to all the Car Lovers

Good things come in pairs. For instance, gloves, work boots and even coveralls come in a pair.

    Ok. We don’t always have cars on the brain, with Valentine's Day being tomorrow, we do have couples, and love and passion on the brain! A couple of Buick Rivieras, a couple of F100 series trucks, a couple Chevy coupes and a couple Cadillacs. Why settle for one when you can have two? That seems to be our motto lately when it comes to client cars. Not that we are getting two of a kind in a a time but it is not uncommon for us to have two of a same yr/mk/mdl or at least two of the same makes in the shop simultaneously.  Just as we are wrapping up on one Cadillac for instance, another rolls through the door!

    As we were finishing up Tonya Kay’s Buick Riviera (click here to see more about this one of a kind lady and her Grape Space Coaster)  a new client, named Joe from Laguna Niguel, hires us to finish the restoration and repairs of his 1965 Buck Riviera —the same year, make and model as Tonya’s. Can you believe it? And Joe did not even know about Tonya’s car (despite the fact that she has been great about posting and sharing photos and stories and mentioning us on social media). Joe did find us online however, and his car is what we would consider as a project completion under our list of services offered on our website. A “project completion car” is perhaps one that had been started at another shop but the work did not progress as the owner might have hoped or maybe the previous restoration company just gave up or sometimes the shop goes out of business before the car is completed. Joe and his Riviera had been in one of these types of situations. Despite a sour taste left in his mouth he decided to take another leap of faith and chose us to help him bring his car back to the glory that he once desired. We welcomed this poor neglected car with open arms into our shop six months ago. Since then we have made tremendous progress which in turn has made the owner feel happy and excited again about a car he previously experienced feelings of contempt and resentment for after feeling as if he had wasted time and money elsewhere.  

     In addition to the pretty pair of Rivieras, we also happen to have two 1960s Ford trucks in the shop at the moment. A 1965 Ford F250 and a 1967 Ford F100. The F250 is in the final stages of completion — after sorting through, sandblasting, powder coating, chroming, painting, color sanding, polishing and reassembling the pieces that another shop had left it in we are just wrapping up a few loose ends to get a few final systems functioning.  The F100 is one that was granddad’s that our client wants to see on the road again to be used as a daily driver. In order to make this happen it is undergoing numerous system repairs, replacements, rebuilds and even some performance upgrades.  Stay tuned for full feature articles on these two fun Fords and the owners that love them!

    Next up on the list are the Cadillacs. When it comes to Cadillacs, I’d say we have had quite a fleet of them come through the shop. More than a pair, multiple pairs of Caddys in fact! What can be said about that? Well, they are great and popular classic cars. Since there are so many variances in the Cadillac from year to year it makes them somewhat of a burden to work on but we have happily and successfully assisted numerous Cadillac owners.

    The last good looking pair that I will mention is a couple of cool custom classic Chevy’s that we have the pleasure of performing a ton of rust repair and metal fabrication on! If you follow our social media pages you are sure to have seen photographs of the progress made on the 1950 Styleline and the 1951 Fleetline. Owner, and operator Matthew Means, loves all things automotive but metal fabrication is what he is most passionate about.

    Everyone at Anaheim Rod and Custom has at least one special car in their life that they love, so we get it. For some of us, it is a love that is hard to describe in words. It seems to be an unspoken love and mutual respect understood by one car lover to another.  We understand that our clients are passionate about their cars and we love that they have chosen us to work on these vehicles that are so near and dear to them. The majority of us out there are not just monetarily invested in our car’s progression or restoration but also emotionally invested, which can cause us to experience a wide range of emotions during the progression ( I can honestly relate). The process of a vehicle restoration is never an easy one. Not just from the builder’s standpoint but for the owner’s either. But in the end these vehicles have evolved into something that both parties are proud and passionate about, even more so than when they started. That’s what it is all about!

So with Valentine’s Day a day away we look around at all these lovely pairs parked in our shop and smile as we reflect on all of the love and passion that will surround each and every one of them for as long as they are on this earth!  




New Additions to the Family: New Babies, New Cars, New Equipment, Oh My!

We are happy to share with you some new additions to the Anaheim Rod and Custom family which include: new babies, family four doors and four post lifts! As Benjamin Franklin once said, " Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning," and we couldn't agree more! Transitions can be a struggle at times but they are so worth it!

Since our annual open house this past June business has been bussier than ever and on the morning of July 18th Becky Sue was busy gaving birth to our beautiful baby girl, Presley Mae Means. During the same time frame that Becky was out we were preparing Tonya's Buick Riviera for her Pinup Pole Show Buick Reveal Party (see the YouTude video here) along with preparing Brian & Deanna's Cadillac complete build for the SEMA Show's AirLift Performance Suspension booth. We are happy to announce that Becky is now back from maternity leave and would  like to thank all of our clients: current, past and potential for your patience with us during this time of transition and adjustment. Now with Presley by our side, we will be focusing on following up and scheduling new projects.

With the addition of one more child to our family we decided to add a new family four door  to our fleet, a 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V. Matt has dreamed of owning one of these babies for a long time and he took a pilgrimage to Nebraska for this special all-original car. The Lincoln and Presley's debut car show was the Cruisin' for a Cure show at the Orange County Fair Grounds.  We have since enjoyed taking the kids out in our new family car to local cruise nights, cars and coffee events and parading them down the streets of Anaheim in the annual Anaheim Halloween Parade. Our two new babies have added a lot of joy to our lives! 

The recent installation of some new Bendpak 4 post lifts in the shop has given us the opportunity to make way to welcome a few more cars to join the Anaheim Rod and Custom family!  We look forward to finishing up existing client's cars so that they can take them home to drive and enjoy for the holidays because that's what it's all about! We anticipate taking in some additional new builds at the beginning of the year. Becky hopes to blog about the projects and share more photos on our social media with you all on a regular basis.

Now in the month of November, we are presently counting down the days until one of our techs, Jon Van Hesteren's, wife gives birth to their first son! With Thanksgiving right around the corner we are counting our blessings and have so much to be thankful for.  Foremost we would like to give thanks for all of our clients and supporters for without you none of this would be possible. Wishing you all many blessings as we approach the holiday season!



The Grape Space Coaster

Many of you may recognize the unforgettable Grape Space Coaster, a fixture at local car shows and the North Holywood car scene or from its appearance on Episode one of My Ride Rules. The famed '65 Buick Riviera was originally bought and owned by Beverly Hills Buick dealership owner, Harold Wyatt. As with many cars, they rarely stay with one owner and Chris Dursa of Ohio was lucky enough to acquire the Riviera in 1993. Chris had plans of drag racing, so he not only did a frame off restoration, but he also did some engine upgrades to unleash the previously untapped power potential. In 2009 this hopped up Buick and its eye-grabbing purple color change was ready for a new home - Enter Tonya Kay, who fell head over heals for the car on first sight.

Tonya, who not only LOVES purple, is also a well-known professional dancer and actress. Best known for her roles on TV shows such as ABC's Criminal Minds and Fox's House MD also tours the world as creator and producer of her very own Tonya Kay's Pinup Pole Show. Dubbed, " The Most Dangerous Woman in Hollywood" Tonya Kay and her Pinup Pole Show troupe puts on performances locally around Hollywood and Long Beach often incorporating the custom car culture scene at her shows.

This multi-talented babe is no stranger to getting her hands dirty either; when Tonya isn't performing or producing she can be found making bio-diesel from vegetable oil for three of her six-vehicle fleet. After several years of cruising the boulevards, Tonya has decided to give, "The Grape Space Coaster," (this is her name for her beloved Riviera) some much needed TLC. We are thrilled that Tonya chose Anaheim Rod and Custom to preform a list of upgrades to this famed Buick which include: engine, electrical, wheels, tires, a custom grill, paint and body repairs and interior upgrades to name a few. The Grape Space Coaster will soon be back on the streets cruising So Cal and turning heads as it has done since 1965.  Keep an eye on our social media feed for updates on the progression of this cool car!

To learn more about Tonya Kay visit her website or the Grape Space Coaster's Website:

A match made in Heaven

2017 is in full swing, and there is a lot in store for ARC, including a full frame off restoration on a 1963 Cadillac, which is scheduled to be in the Airlift Performance booth at the 2017 SEMA Show. The owner, Brian Henderson, has been a car enthusiast most of his life and owned over thirty classics in the last ten years.  Nothing seems to get in the way of his passion for cars, not even women. There is only one woman, who comes first, and that's his wife, Deanna. Brian found out quickly that Deanna shares the same passion as he does. 

Brian randomly found a listing for a Cadillac for sale, and the two ended up buying it together 50/50 after only dating for one week.  It was a match made in heaven!  Deanna's dad thought she was crazy for buying a car with a guy she just met but was excited they'd be joining the family tradition of participating at local car shows.  Deanna's parents have a '63 TBird, her brother has a '66 Nova and her sister has a '63 Nova convertible.  Car shows have become a big event for their family over the years from the Seal Beach Car Show to Viva Las Vegas.  Brian and Deanna have put a lot of love into the '63 and enjoyed driving it for many years. Since then, it's been sitting among the other cars in his collection, and they have decided that it is time to put some love back into it. 

The Hendersons came to Anaheim Rod and Custom just to discuss getting the '63 running again. Before the discussion was over, a complete overhaul was the car's destiny. The Cadillac had spent no time in the bone yard and was stripped down to the chassis before it made it through the bay door of the shop. We are on it! A new Chevy Performance LS3 with velocity stacks, 4L60e trans, new suspension upgrades, and all around six-piston Baer brakes and of course a top of the line Airlift self-leveling suspension will be installed in the car. Lots of subtle changes will be taking place in the interior, Currie Enterprises rear end, Borla Exhaust, Choppin Block chassis kit, and a deep House of Kolor Burple Kandy paint job with various colors of blending meta jewels will adorn the exterior. It's going to be cosmic! The best part is... you'll get to see it in person at the SEMA show this year! Keep checking back for updates and be sure to stop by the Air Lift Performance Suspension booth at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV. 



2016: A Year in Review

It is hard to believe that the year is already over. Time flys when you are having fun! At first thought it seemed short, but the thought quickly flees our minds as we begin to look back at all that was accomplished during the past twelve months.  Since we have not been posting blog articles throughout the year about what we had been working on there is A WHOLE LOT to update you on! 

A couple notable projects that we completed at the end of 2015 that have been touring around the states and gaining attention are the Ducati Scrambler and the Ford Focus Rally car.  The Ducati Scrambler's custom pattern, disassembly, paint and reassembly all occured in house at hte end of 2016/beginning of 2016.  This unique bike belongs to a motorcycle race driver and has been seen on race tracks all over the place and is to be featured in a couple major magazines. More news to follow on this!   The Ford Focus Gundam Style body kit and paint was apartnership with Rally Innovations for the SEMA Show at the end of 2015 and it continues to travel all over the country being displayed at Ford booths and creating interests in more products like this.

    Nothing makes us happier than to see a classic or custom hitting the streets and this year we put quite a few beauties, both the two and four- wheeled varieties out there for all to enjoy!  The year started off with getting some repeat business and finished and delivered the 1938 Buick Special restoration project that we had begun last year.  Shannon who owns the 55’ Bel Air that you might have read about in our blog decided that she wanted to have us make another one of her father’s old cars, a 1963.5 Ford Falcon Sprint roadworthy.  This project was to be completed in time to give the car to her daughter Makayla for her sweet 16 as her first car.  (Here is a link to the delivery party and Shannon and Makayla’s testimonial).  While ‘sprinting” through the Falcon build we simultaneously completed the paint, wiring, and mechanical system upgrades to Larry’s 1938 Buick Special that we started on last year and hosted our first delivery party of the year dubbed “Larry’s Luau”.  This was a just as much a celebration for the vehicle owner as it was our team of technicians that worked on the project.  Clients both past and present and friends and family were in attendance dawning leis and enjoying mai tais and island dogs.

    The second piece of repeat business that we started the year out with was the 1968 Dodge A100 Sportsman.  The proud owner, Rob, enjoyed spending a good part of 2015 cruising all over in this van and when a fuel delivery problem left him stranded at the Mooneyes Christmas Party, it was motivation enough for him to bring the van back our way to have us do more cosmetic and performance upgrades to it before the next wave of car shows were to begin.  A few of the upgrades included installing a custom painted gold metal flake short block with all the trimmings, exhaust, new interior including a color matched floor treatment, new wiring the list goes on and on(click here to see a full list ofthe van’s build details on our gallery page) Rob has been enjoying his new and improved “Mystery Machine”, taking it to numerous SoCal events all year!  Check back on our blog for a feature on this cool client of ours and his unique vehicles.

    After completing Makayla’s Falcon and before finishing Rob’s van a 1947 Chevrolet firetruck “squeezed” into the shop. Pun intended. Not only was this LARGE vehicle physically squeezed in, we had to be flexible and work with our client’s time constraint. For a premium this expedited project was completed in a just a matter of weeks. We turned this historical vehicle into something cool, modern and functional by removing the old water tank and creating a conference center in the back fully equipped with charging ports, USB connections and switches to operate both the siren and lights.  That about covers the first quarter of the year!

    June is the month of weddings and we happen to have the pleasure of completing some work on a 1968 Lincoln Continental for a good friend ( another repeat client) just in time for him and his new bride to ride off into the sunset in style. Matt literally stayed late and finished the work on this vehicle so that he and Becky Sue could deliver it to the Navy golf course in Cypress on the couple’s special day!  Matt parked the Lincoln in a way that the groom was able to see both loves of his life as he walked down the isle.  
    By July we were ready to host our official Grand Opening Celebration.  We were just about finished with our 2 year long shop restoration which includes some items like: office and restroom remodels, completely repainting the interior, exterior and gates on the shop, installing all energy efficient LED lighting and other electrical upgrades, complete spray booth renovations, new cabinetry and electronics, a new candy painted front door and much much more!  The shop was not the only complete renovation that was finished and ready to show off in July.  The Oldsmobile Cutlass was complete and what better stage to debut the car that started it all than at Anaheim Rod and Custom’s grand opening! (click here for video footage about the Oldsmobile and how we got our start)  A big thank you to everyone who came out to our party to see and support the shop.  We had a great time and a great turn out! For those of you that weren’t there, you sure did miss out, but don’t worry, we plan to host an annual open house similar to this at the shop every year.
    In the month of August we celebrated the second birthday of our pride and joy, our baby boy Atom Ford Means with a choo choo Atom’s two themed party, fully equipped with a trackless train to drive him and his buddies around in!  We had the pleasure of doing work on a 1937 B12 Cord this summer too.  We did mechanical repairs and adjustments along with some final finishing to help a widow prepare this beautiful vehicle to be sold.  The 1960 DeSoto Fireflight aka The Island Girl’s painstaking bodywork,  multi candy pearl blended paint, and color sanding and buffing was compete in the month of August.  Te owner, Duane Barbee has been turning heads in the town of Mentone where he lives ever since.  Both these two door hardtops, the Island Girl and the Oldsmobile Cutlass have been killing it at car shows this season.  The Cutlass has won 3 or 4 trophies already and the DeSoto has been photographed for a feature in a nationally distributed automotive publication.

    A second expedited project successfully completed this year was the overhauling/project completion of a 1956 Mercury.  The owner wanted us to do numerous upgrades to improve the comfort, performance and styling of his car that he had just purchased one week prior.  We got this extensive project completed in just about 2 months, another cause for celebration.  This delivery party being in the month of October and the Merc being a copper color, we chose to tie in a pumpkin carving contest to this party.  A taco guy served up tasty plates of food to the crowd which consisted of the owner of the car, his friends and family our friends and family and past, present and potential clients.  Keep an eye out for a feature article to hit the newsstands about this ultra cool Merc and its owner in 2017.  Since we enjoy throwing a good party we also hosted the gang from Coast Airbrush and it’s annual Rendezvous attendees at our shop for a drive-in movie experience with Italian food, open bar, popcorn and candy!  It was great getting the opportunity to socialize with this group of both up and coming and prestigious artists.   

    Other artists that we had the pleasure of collaborating on projects with this year included both Deus Ex Machina's motorcycle design director Woolie and British Customs-who specialize in modified Triumphs.  We have completed paint projects on six of Dues’ motorcyclesover the past two years and 6 British Customs bikes this year alone!  Other notable vehicles that rolled or were towed in and drove away from Anaheim Rod and Custom this year were: A 1960Cadillac Coupe De Ville which belongs to the founder of Black Flys Eyewear; a 1929 Model A owned by Steve “Carpy” Carpenterof Carpy’s Cafe Racers and another cool Caddy driven around Anaheim by a local firefighter.
    We rounded out the year by installing some traction bars on Becky Sue’s ’61 Comet to get her ready to drag race at the Mooneyes Christmas party during her birthday weekend and finished up a number of upgrades and modifications to 1965 Cadillac- details and photos soon to be seen on our website.  2016 was truly the year of the Cadillac!  In addition to the three Cads already mentioned in this article, we have two full frame off mid-sixties Caddies and a 1949 Cadillac Limousine dubbed “the countess” that we are doing some paint restoration on.
    The 1934 Ford pickup complete custom build involving numerous hours of metal fabrication is almost ready to go into the paint and interior phase.  Other projects that we continue to progress on are a Ferrari Dino Kit Car and a ’79 Trans Am.  We are excited to continue to transform our 1933 Franklin into a one-of-a-kind roadster and the Duster into a hellacious 70s-style dragster!  

    A big thank you to everyone who made 2016 so great especially those who have taken the time to post such tremendous reviews on Yelp and to the others who have spread the word about our family run business.  We wish you all a healthy and prosperous2017.  We have had a blast working on all of these cool cars and putting them out there for all to enjoy and are geared up to tackle the new projects that will be put in front of us in 2017.  Remember, in your travels you may come across some bumps along the road but we at Anaheim Rod and Custom are here to help keep your ride rolling on!