Coming back

So, we have been out of it for about 11 months, with a small amount of posts and articles.

We are back, this time, I think for good. We have some things in the works to ensure that we can keep on going without another stop and look forward to bringing you more stories.

I first want to apologize to anyone who gave me information to publish and never saw it published. I am very sorry. I have looked back and I just cannot seem to compile a story for anyone, all of my data seems to be gone, or partial.

I was extremely busy with a new job that just didn’t allow me any spare time to write these stories. I got further and further behind, until I just lost site of what I was doing and became completely overwhelmed.

No longer am I in that job, or overwhelmed. I have begun to gear up production of the stories and some new things to ensure that they keep coming.

Let’s start this new year off right, let’s start telling the stories again and get some new material.

So, I am looking for any and all car owners. Tell me your story, let me write it down so others can enjoy your project/car/truck/bike and give encouragement to those who may be stuck, or thinking that they just can’t do it.

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2017 – A Year in Review

Well, another year has gone by and we have had some milestones happen. This has been a good year for us, so, in an effort to recap what has been happening, let’s look back at last years review. (Make sure to scroll down and check out all of the articles. Also, write a comment on your favorite article, or articles.)


You can click here to see last years review.

Disclaimer: Customs N Classics does not charge for any articles. These are free and are derived from emails, chat messages and other forms of communication. The details are from the owner/trustee and are not physically verified. Should there be any issues with this story, please let us know, privately and we will do our best to correct any mistakes.
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As for this year, well, let’s just say it started a little slow. January through April, we had a total of 1,019 views to our site. Four months and we barely had any viewership, which made me wonder if this was at all worth it.

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First camping trip of the year – Martinak State Park, Maryland

20170428_191326Well, I know it isn’t exactly a transportation post, but, it is about family and camping, which requires a vehicle to get there, Namely, my truck. So, there, I made this a transportation article.

On Friday, April 28, 2017, I took my three boys on our first camping trip of the year. This is something my family does every year, throughout the spring, summer and fall. We don’t take a camper or pop-up, we don’t rent a cabin, we pitch a tent.

Now, this particular event was for Friday evening through Sunday morning and included20170428_193525 the men from our church and their sons. There was 8 men and 8 kids, ranging from 3 to 17.

We all pitched a tent, in total, we had 3 sites with 5 tents pitched. We chose the middle site for the fire and the cooking area, which consisted of 2 EZ Ups, a picnic table and 2 folding plastic tables. We were pretty spread out, but, all of our social stuff was in 1 location.

Friday night was no more than set-up, prep and dinner. (Hot dogs over the fire) All of the tents went up prior to darkness setting in and the firewood was retrieved, (They require that campers get their wood from the park, not allowed to bring in outside wood.) The kids enjoyed roasting marshmallows and making S’Mores while the guys sat and relaxed.

20170428_202945(1)Friday night, after we were in bed, sleeping, a storm rolled in. The lightning was bright and the thunder was loud. You could hear the wind in the top of the trees and you could sense there was rain coming, but, it really never hit. (A couple of small showers was about it.) However, my youngest boys are easily startled by storms. My youngest usually cannot calm down during a thunderstorm, but, by God’s grace, he slept right through this one, however, my middle son could not.

I woke up to the sound of thunder, seemingly right next to our tent, and I rolled over to 20170428_203445(1)find my son standing over me. This would not have been as bad, except that a lightning bolt went through the air, right behind him, lighting his silhouette up at the same time. I flashed back to every horror movie you can imagine where the main characters are camping, or in a storm. I almost screamed, then I realized who it was. I finally convinced him to move his sleeping bag to my side of the tent and go back to sleep.20170429_103055

The next day was pretty relaxing. We got up and had breakfast, which was a feast. Understand, we had several instruments with which to cook and plenty of tables. Also, with it being under the canopies, it was easy to just gather there and pitch in.

One of the guys had a single serve water heater, run on Butane. It was amazing. I can’t tell you how much it saved us. All of us drink coffee, or tea, in the morning, so, when we found that we didn’t bring a pot for hot water, or a coffee pot to boil water over the fire, we thought we would have to deal with headaches and angry old men, then we saw his heater. He used it more on Saturday morning than he had ever used it before. You can get one here, I highly recommend it. They are quick and work wonders. I was amazed at how easily it stored, as well.

20170429_110629After we cleaned up from breakfast, we decided to go fishing. Yep, many of us, including20170429_102124 me, decided on Friday to pick up our Maryland fishing license so we could fish with the kids. It was fun, we caught several catfish and at least one small rockfish. We chose not to keep them, because, quite honestly, there were too many of us for the small amount we had. However, the kids had a great time, (Well, so did the adults!) and when we finally went back, several hours later, everyone had just about been fished out.

20170429_102141The rest of the day was filled with walks along the trails and a game of four square that lasted for several hours as people went in and out of the game. We even managed to get other campers involved and those who traveled by the game would watch and enjoy.

Finally, the evening meal came and we had tacos, (over Frito’s!) and some other small things and the fire was started. By this time, I can tell you, we were all tired, but, everyone just kept staying out and enjoying. The fire finally went to embers and we found sleep. (However, I really wish I would have set up our air mattresses, I may have actually slept!)20170429_112122

20170429_134216Sunday morning was early, as we all had to break camp, clean up and head to church. (The Pastor was with us, so, he had to get cleaned up for the sermon.) Clean-up took a couple of hours, as you can imagine, but, we were not going to leave a mess. We got it all packed and the place looked a bit better than when we had gotten there.

20170429_134238All-in-all, I think it was a successful camping trip. My tent, which is getting old, didn’t leak, but, the boys hadn’t done the best job getting the floor dry before we went to bed the first night. We had a little water left from when I had put it up in our yard to “dry-out” and it got wet. Since I packed it back up about an hour before we left to go camping, I had the boys go in and dry the floor. They got most of it.

Basically, all of our stuff is in good shape, still and we will be camping more often. I do 20170429_134119think we may be looking for a new tent for next year, though.

What tools do you carry when you travel

How to Make an Emergency Kit for Your Car__car-tools-qm-fmt-eq-jpeg-amp-wid-eq-350-amp-hei-eq-350-amp-qlt-eq-90,0-amp-resMode-eq-sharp-amp-op_usm-eq-0.9,0.5,0,0,-amp-jpegSize-eq-100-amp-So, since we have started the Spring time fun, the beginning of Car Show season in most areas, it has been a thought for me to see what everyone carries in their car/truck in the way of emergency tools, should something happen on the way to or from a show.

I know that there are several different types out there, who may have several different answers, depending on the car/truck and how it is transported to the show. A lot of folk who enter into the shows are only going short distances, maybe a local show, or a county over and do not see a real need for a lot of tools, but, there are also those of you who travel extensively and have a list of “must-haves”.

So, in an effort to get a good idea of what may be needed, please let me know what you carry, or, wish you carried. Also, how you get to and from these shows, trailer or driven.

 

 

2016, A Year in review, What did we do?

So, what did Customs -N- Classics do this year?

What, if anything, did we accomplish?

I’m glad you asked!

We started with a dream, well, actually, I started with a dream, to do written interviews with car owners, those who don’t make it to the magazines or car TV shows, but, who are the heart and soul of our small town, community car shows. Those who have spent their hard earned money and their precious time in restoring or rebuilding a car, just so others can see it. That was the start of my dream, my desire to write about and take pictures of the vehicles we all love to see and know about.

I have to stop here, because, there is a lot of little things going on in the background that you may never know about, unless you meet me at a show. I have a lot of support from some amazing people.

My wife, Mary Lou, has been great. I think she sees that this is bringing my son and I together, so she feigns interest and that is encouraging to me. I tell her what is happening and she tells me how good it is.

Where would I be without my church family. Shore Christian Fellowship, in Queenstown, MD. The Pastor, Pastor Tom Chandler and the elders have allowed me to twist their ears off with this and they smile and listen. It has been great.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled end of year post.logo

Of course, I launched with an article on Wes Malek’s Jeep. Still unfinished, as Wes just graduated college and is looking at his future and what options there are. I look forward to seeing it finished in the future, but, I am not seeing it as a 2017 article. We will be watching for you to finish, though, Wes. (Go ahead and click the link above, we’ll wait for you to read the article. We won’t go anywhere, we are patient like that.)14111655_1807494912815687_2037460678_n

Now, as with any good dream, it is always fun to add more people to your path, whether they are along for the ride, or are a part of your destination. I did just that. I added my oldest son, Aaron, to the mix. It became a father/son team and we ran with it. (Of course, my 3 boys are usually with me at the car shows, but, they just want to look at the cars and play, my teenager, however, has gotten to like taking pictures and videos, so this became an outlet we could both draw closer together with.) Aaron helped with the first 5  video interviews, which have replaced my poor attempt at just taking pictures and trying to remember everything about each car. Our first 5 videos are up, on YouTube, for you to check out. (Make sure you subscribe, as we will be having more videos throughout 2017)

After Aaron and I took to the car shows, gathered photos and video footage, I began to edit and post. Didn’t see much happening, then, I realized that there was another person who might work into this plan I had. One of the older teens at my church was into stop motion videos and creating videos for YouTube, so, I asked him if he would come along and help us, maybe get Aaron up to a point where he could take over, since this teen would probably be going to college and would not be able to do it anymore.

Jacob agreed and is now the production manager at Customs N Classics. He took the last 2 videos that Aaron and I shot and made them very nice. (Video 1, Video 2) He also did the video and voice over for a video we did for an Artist, David Chesnutt, a cartoon artist out of Sterling Heights, Michigan.

Now, during this time, I didn’t just sit here and do nothing, I created a Twitter account that has grown quite large and a Facebook page that is also growing quite large. I am working on Instagram and Pinterest.

We also have begun to partner with Racers for Christ, a Christian ministry that serves NASCAR and NHRA as well as smaller tracks and events, and an offshoot ministry, Rodders for Christ, which serves the car shows and ride in’s.

We have posted many times a link to a ministry that we feel very strongly about, GoServ Global. They do real ministry, build housing, teach farming techniques, genuinely help those in areas that are to poor to do for themselves. Haiti is the area we learned about them because of a team from our church, (Of which, my son Aaron, was a part.) This ministry could use all of the help they can get, so check them out and invest.

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Tobias Mann

One of the biggest events for Customs N Classics has been adding a guest author to the blog. Tobias Mann, Author of Adventure Bent blog, came along and wrote a great piece on the Jeep Wrangler. I would highly suggest you go over and check out his blog, he has some great outdoor adventure articles and wonderful insight. I am so glad he chose to write for us.

To end this wonderful year, I am hoping to see my Twitter account reach 1000 and the Facebook page to go over 200. These are small milestones, but, we just went live August 22, 2016. A little over 4 months and we have a following worth more than you can imagine and a site worth writing for.

What will I do next year?

Wow, such good questions, you have. Well, let’s just say, I want to go big!

I want 2017 to be the year that my son and I share the Gospel with people. That this platform God is giving us will be used to minister to people, which means that we will pray for people and share hope. (The Gospel)

I want to see more Christian car owners share their testimonies with us, on video. So that the car community can see that being a car nut and being a Christian are NOT exclusive to each other, but, can actually be a great place to be.

I am hoping we can cover more artists and possibly some of the custom shops in the area. Maybe get them to share their stories of how they started and show some of their favorite builds.

One of the biggest written interviews will hopefully be coming from across the great pond, (The Atlantic Ocean). One Man and a Mustang. I look forward to working with him on that.

I’m thinking that I have shared enough. It is still 2016, until 12:01 am, so, I hope your safe and with family and friends.

So, let me just say, goodbye 2016, you’ve been a good year, I expect you will be a good memory. I appreciate what time you’ve offered up for me to use.

Hello, 2017, I look forward to stepping into the time you have available and exploring it. I expect great things from you, because, to expect anything less would be a travesty of the time God will be giving me.

To you, my beloved readers, I hope and pray that you know God’s love and peace in 2017.

Until next year!

 

 

 

Raising 3 Boys

I know, this site is supposed to be about cars, trucks, racing, events and to a lesser degree, anything else. It seems, as I have posted, that this site is about things that are mechanical and either gain ground or go fast, but, I think this is about so much mg3jeeps-flying-jeepore.

Recently, I allowed a guest author to post. What an amazing article and it generated a lot of views. He wrote about The Jeep Wrangler. His site is about the outdoor lifestyle, the Jeep, the 4×4, etc. He is an amazing writer and I like his style, he comes at it from a personal tone and I think it really works.

So, let me change things here, up a bit. Let me start writing about my boys, our adventures. These will include car shows, camping, adventures, yes, many adventures.

My oldest, Aaron (14family), is helping me with the car shows/interviews. He likes to see these cars/trucks and has asked me if we are going to build a hot rod together. (Imagine my pride when he said that, like I actually know how.) He loves to build, mostly Lego’s, but, I watch him draw and he started getting into video making, so, I started this to give him an outlet. (That is what dad’s do, they help their children learn and grow.) Of course, he is limited to what he can, or is allowed, to do. He just got an email account and is allowed some access to the internet. (We do limit screen time, as we see that other activities are extremely important.)

My middle son, Zachary (12), is into extreme sports, BMX Biking, skateboarding, stunt riding, etc. He is an outdoors type person, all the way. He would rather be outside than inside, unless I say he can play video games. That’s when I get a vegetable staring at a screen. He is great at following direction, especially with models, erector sets and Lego’s. Now, he likes the newer cars, though I don’t hold that against him. He likes the curves and the looks, but, still enjoys a good car show.

My youngest, Benjamin, (14 Named Ben Jamin’), is my little buddy. He was our surprise and our miracle. He showed us, at birth, that God is in control, not us. He was born 2 1/2 months premature, so, he is a bit small still, but, he has adapted like a champ. I don’t think there is anything he can’t do, (except math), if he puts his mind to it. He is definitely our challenge, but, he is also our joy. I’m not quite sure how to explain Ben, he is himself. He does like cars and he likes having a lot of attention.

As a family, we love to go camping. Not in a camper, mind you, in a tent, on the ground. We go all over, different campgrounds and have a blast. Our tent is humongous and takes about 40 minutes to put up, with my wife helping, about an hour if the boys help.

So, you have an idea now, about how this blog is going to go. We have a lot to write about and a lot of adventures to have. A lot of them may include something automotive, so, keep checking us out, we are going to take you with us.