Denton, MD Cruise-In – June 2017

20170609_200344On June 9, 2017, Denton, MD hosted there June Cruise-in. This event happens from 6 to 9 pm and is located in downtown Denton. There is food and music available, not to mention, there is a town of shops you can browse in between looking at the cars.

(Photos of this cruise are at the bottom)

(You can view the video of the Ocean City Cruise here.)

Cruise-in plaqueI took my oldest son, Aaron and my youngest son, Benjamin with me. They were tasked with taking some pictures while I spoke with some of the owners. We got great new contacts and had some great conversations. I have new business cards I have been handing out, thanks to Aaron, who helped me make them.20170609_195010

We got there a little before 7 and walked the length of the street before I started taking pictures. I didn’t count how many were there, but, it took over an hour to get photos of all of them and to have se20170609_194550veral great conversations. These guys were here for some socialization and to just enjoy the evening showing others their car and seeing the other cars..20170609_194708

Most cars and trucks there were pre 1970, however, there was definitely a presence for later models and they all seemed to show well. It was a small crowd of people and I did see some cars leaving before and during my time there, but, for the first cruise of the year, (The May one was canceled due to rain.) I thought it was pretty good.


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Ocean City Cruise week – 2017

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Ok, so, we tried something a little different. We got some new equipment and decided to do a video blog about our trip to Cruise week.20170518_183700

See the Video Blog Here.

We decided to go down, on Thursday, May 18, 2017. We went down for the afternoon, thinking, (My first mistake), that we could use the daylight to park and talk with owners, then hit the vendors in the evening.

20170518_195250Unfortunately, in OC, trying to do a video interview is almost impossible, but, we did get 4 of them from the Ocean City Cruisers, prior to actually getting to the show.

We tried to make it like a trip, so, you could see what we saw, but, you have to remember, we are not paid professionals, we do this because we enjoy it, so, no critiquing my skills. lol.20170518_200253





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Rick & Kimmi Lynn and their 1930 Ford Model A “The Dirty 30”

Please enjoy today’s article. This is a Rat Rod that was brought back to life and is dearly loved, as you can soon read in the interview.

Make sure you go to the bottom to see all of the pictures of this great car!

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Annette Marie modeling the “Dirty 30”

Annette Marie is the feature model in the pictures.

Photos taken by Gem City Pin Up Photography

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_MG_2290-EditWhat type of vehicle Is this?

 1930 Ford Model A “The Dirty 30”

Who is the first owner of the project and is it still their project? 

This car came from an original hot rodder that loved the car dearly and put a lot of custom touches on the car.  When the opportunity came up to get my hands on this thing, I didn’t spare one minute.

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 When was it purchased?  The Find

I acquired the car this winter. (February 2017) This car was in storage for 5 years and had been buried in tons of dust and clutter and just forgotten about.


Gage helping his dad refinish the headers!

Was this a father/son, Daughter project?

Not as of yet, although my son has been very active in helping bring the car back to good mechanical working order.  I plan to do a total overhaul of the car in the future and plan for the whole family to take part and have an interest in the build.

Why this vehicle?

 I have always been a huge fan of the rat/rod style.  This is a huge change coming from the muscle car genre, that is where my love for cars started.  Let’s face it I am not getting any younger and I want to enjoy life to the fullest.  _MG_2698

While I am a huge fan of Built not Bought, this car demanded to be brought back to life in the way it was intended when originally built.  Just like the puppy that is sitting at the shelter begging to be adopted, this 30 needed a good home and a little loving.

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Give me some backstory, are you a mechanic, do you like to fabricate, are you really good at body work, etc. Some info about you. Info about the vehicle prior to starting it. (i.e., condition, missing parts, just needed paint, no engine, etc.)

IMG_2894 I am a mechanic by trade. My love for working on vehicles started as a child.  I would spend hours out in the garage watching and helping my uncles build and repair cars. I loved the whole environment of the garage, the sounds, the smells and most importantly the time I got to spend with my uncles. Oh the stories I could tell, but to keep this family friendly I will spare the details.  _MG_2700

I consider myself a Jack of all trades in the garage (mechanic, fabricator and restoration), but a master of none. I currently am a Euro auto mechanic which required detailed diagnostics and overly used computer controls, so getting my hands into a good old American Built, not frills kind of motor is my way of relaxing.  American classics are simplicity at its finest.

IMG_0020What have you done to it so far?

When I purchased the car it had been confined in storage for 5 years.  Time was not kind to the engine, suspension, and it needed some TLC, while I was refreshing I went with classic timing upgrade and added gear drive.  The car additionally had alignment issues that have had to be fixed to make this car road worthy again. Updated all new suspension up front.

 Where is it now, in the rebuild stage?  IMG_2860

Current state is, road worthy, but a project is never done My ultimate goal is make this as custom to my personality as I can without ruining the integrity of the original build. Projects I am currently working on include: updating the gauges IMG_2865to 12v working gauges with a GPS speedo, overhauling the wiring throughout the whole car (current state is what I like to call a bird’s nest, this is a huge peeve of mine). Future project is to upgrade the power train from a small block 305 to a small block stroker 383 Chevy, because you can never have too much power.

Any special parts you have used?

 It is a rat, so anything I find laying around in a junk pile could be considered a part.   The webbing inserts for the windows were made from old election poster metal rods that we had laying around. _MG_2878

Any help you have gotten? (i.e., friend(s), a garage, body shop, parts supplier, box store or online, yahoo videos that were helpful, etc.)

_MG_2282 I am very lucky man to have amazing friends to come help be tinker on the 30 on the weekends.  Sometimes it takes two people to solve even the simplest of problems. Additionally I would like to thank Shane Syx out of Fairborn, Ohio for laying down some amazing art work on the door panels.

Below is the photo montage for you to go through. Please let us know what you think.

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Other Rat Rod Articles you may like

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Gavin Smith

Gavin Smith & his 1947 Ford Rat Rod

In this article, we will meet Gavin Smith and talk about his 47 Ford Rat Rod.

What type of vehicle is it?


My rat rod is a 47 ford

When was it purchased?


How it looked when first purchased

I got it about 2 years ago, (2015) but did not work on it at all last year due to work.

Was this a father, son/Daughter project?

No, I’ve done most of the build myself with the occasional help of my younger brother who has since joined the Navy.

Give me some information about the condition of this project when you first bought it.

I found it as a rolling project on my local classified.


It came as a cab on a rolling frame that originally had a ford 9 inch rear end and a ford straight axle up front on leaf springs.

The cab had a bunch of random mostly useless parts. Once i got it home and inspected the frame i decided it needed to be redone completely.


So, with the condition you got it in, what have you done to it so far?

I built a new frame out of box tubing.

I fabricated a bed for it out of sheet metal I got from the floor of a storage warehouse I helped demolish.

The engine I decided to use was a jeep 4.0 out of a rock crawler that I had sitting in the back yard. I found an ax15, 5 speed manual transmission out of a 2wd Jeep pickup in the junk yard. After I had fabricated mounts and a cross member I decided it would be fine to use the jeep axle. That way I wouldn’t need to have a special drive shaft made.

It has a locker and 4:10 gears in it already. When I did the axle swap i decided to go 4


link. I found a kit on e bay for $180. With some fabrication work for new axle mounts it worked out perfect.

I had to dumb down the previous fuel injected motor to run off a carburetor setup. This took some thinking outside the box. The answer was a HDI style distributor and an older after market 4 barrel style (liquid cooled) aftermarket intake.

I then had to convert it all to v belt rather than the original serpentine style because I wouldn’t be using the A/C compressor or power steering.

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With an electronic inline fuel pump I started it up for the first time in December one year after i originally bought the project.


Where is it now, in the rebuild stage?
All I have left on it to run/drive is some wiring for lights and the charging system, brake lines and a proper fuel system that can handle boost.

Gavin’s Rat Rod build is not his only build. He is also working on a motorcycle , which will be addressed in another article. Check back to see the future article on The Bullet Bobber and on his earlier motorcycle built, Aftermath. Both will be coming shortly!


Gavin’s “Bullet Bobber” The other build in his life.

Gavin’s fabrication work and use of non-traditional features and parts is consistent with the original intent of the Rat Rod. You can see my article on Rat Rods here.

Below are the pictures of his project to view

Feel free to leave comments below, let us know what you think.

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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.





RestorationAs car guys/gals, we hear this word a lot. We hear about the restoration of a car, or truck. We hear about how an engine or transmission was restored, or we hear about how a stolen vehicle or tool was restored to it’s owner.

A 1929 Austin 12, family ownership since 1950s, real barn find, requiring full resto. £2,000-2,400 at Charterhouse - 6Restoration is something we, in the gear-head society, are very familiar with. Something we can see and feel, something we are familiar with.

So, what if I told you, there is another restoration that you, as a car nut, should want to go through? What if I told you that where you are now, no matter the age or level of societal success, is the old that needs restored? Would you call me a nut? Would you share your story of success and brush me off?

Ok, so, it is true. No matter where you are right now, you are like a rusted out hunk of scrap metal. You are full of rust and wear, your tires are flat, your engine is only running on some cylinders, if at all and your brakes are either locked up, or don’t work.

No matter how well you have done, how nice you, or your world, look right now, it is just a nice paint job over bad body work and sloppy welds. Your living a life that has been fed to you, but missing out on a life that has meaning and purpose, with a great eternal reward.stacks_image_1417

I know, you are probably thinking that I don’t know you, I don’t know your world, family, situation, etc. You are right, i don’t, but, I do know that this world is temporary and nothing you have done here will last forever, but, there is a forever and I know how you can get there, or, be restored here so that you can enter into eternity with hope.

a49bd31b139c909752881218dfd71944Consider this, when a car is built at the factory, it sets off on a destination that will inevitably result in mechanical failure and rust. The paint will chip and fade, the engine will wear down, the transmission will wear out, the tires and brakes will need constant replacing and the metal will begin to rust. The environment with which we put it in is not nice, it will tear it down.

This is how the world is with us. We come out of the womb, only to begin a life that brings pain and death, we wear down, get hurt, get scarred and eventually die. (Yep, no one makes it out alive.)

Also, just like a car, there are issues with us right from the beginning. We are not perfect 45137602-mechanic-changing-brake-pads-on-a-carjust like no car ever manufactured, is perfect. Only, our imperfection is called sin. This sin is why we begin to deteriorate as soon as we take our first breath and why, no one makes it out alive.

Sounds pretty hopeless when it is put like that, right? I mean, at least with a car/truck, we can fix the problem, cut out the rust, weld in a new panel, change the brakes, tune-up the engine, etc. We can restore a car, usually, better than it was originally.

But what about us? What hope do we have?

cross_full_fullThere is one, who can restore us, better than we could ever be. Actually, He alone can restore us. He alone can take away the condemnation we are under as a result of our sin. When he cuts out the rust, he welds in a perfect piece that is better than before, with an absolutely perfect weld. No mistakes, no issues, just perfection.

You see, God has made a way for us to enter into His Heaven, even though we are full of sin. He did this through the work that was done with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yes, this is how we are made whole, fully restored, better than original.

If God restored us to original, we would still have all of the original issues, i.e., sin. We would still be broken and God would not have done what was needed. No, He has made us a new creation! He has replaced sin with Holiness and began to work on all of the issues that make us broken.salvation

However, we need to understand that this only happens if we surrender our lives to Christ. Repent from our sinful ways, accepting that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. That the work has been done on the cross and that there is nothing we can do ourselves. We have to trust in Him alone, not the world, not our friends and not ourselves, but in Christ alone.

A car that is running rough and full of rust can not, in any way, fix itself. It is a complete impossibility. Even if we created a car that could detect something wrong and correct itself via its on-board computer, it would not be able to replace a physical part. It would be hard to even imagine that it could happen, but, we think we can fix ourselves.

We go to counselors, buy self-help books and watch webinars to be better, to learn how to correct behavior and to become stronger. These are ways we try to self-fix us.

God wants us to stop trying to “fix” ourselves and to trust in His power. He will begin to work in you. There is nothing you can, or need to do, to earn salvation. Rather, you need only to repent, (Turn away from your sin) and confess it to Him, ask for His forgiveness and allow Him to be your Lord. (Allow Him to be in control) If you confess with your tongue and believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is your savior and Lord, that the work He did on the cross is sufficient for your sins, that He is also sufficient for your salvation, then you will be saved.

I would love to talk more about this with you, feel free to leave a comment, or, message me on Facebook, via, Customs N Classics.

Also, you can get on the contact page and send me an email.

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Cruise-In’s and Car Shows

Well, yes, it is that time of the year again, here in the North East and, quite frankly, probably everywhere else, too.

That time of year when the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, the indoor activities get put on hold and the outdoor activities become a priority.

For me, this time of year brings several offers of joy. Multiple arenas to find some enjoyment. There is camping, fishing, gardening and one of my all time favorites!

1957 Chevrolet Bel-Aire-3That’s right, Cruise-In’s and Car Shows! The best way to see and hear classic and custom Hot Rods, Street Rods, Rat Rods, Motorcycles, Antiques, trucks, Dragsters and so on and so forth! More metal that the scrap heap, arranged in such a way that your eyes just can’t take in all of the excitement and details!

My wife has found that this is a place I truly enjoy and has even gone with me to the Ocean City Cruise-In for the last few years, on our anniversary. (I know, she’s a keeper!) We go down for the evening, meet up with some friends who take their truck down, then go out for

1962 F-100 Unibody

My friends truck, 1962 Ford

dinner. We sit there, watch the cars go by and enjoy. Sometimes, we even get to see other people we know, as we live only an hour and a half away.


I try to hit up several car shows throughout the year, since this area seems to have at least one each weekend, within an hour or so of where I live. I don’t get to go to all of them, but, I do go to several, which is usually enough for me. (Of course, I can’t wait for the season to start again and I feel like I haven’t been to enough shows, halfway through the winter.)

Understand, our winter, the end of the shows, can sometimes creep into December, though, I have seen it go even farther, but, not often. I know there are several indoor IMG_20141019_150144shows throughout the country, but, the exciting ones are outside, in my eyes. That is where folks allow their engines to roar and the smell of gas and burnt rubber permeate the air. Not sure how much better than that it could be, unless you’re ate a drag racing track.

Most of you reading this are probably excited for the season to start, as well. Maybe you have a ride you can’t wait to take to a show or three, or, maybe you want to take your family and show them what a real car looks like. Either way, you probably just want to get out, in the warmth, feel the sun on your face and enjoy these mechanical wonders. Can’t wait to hear your stories and see your pictures. Enjoy the show, enjoy the time. Make it a family event, invite your friends, have a lot ofIMG_20141019_145039 fun!

Remember, most of these guys/gals who are showing their stuff off, have put a lot of time and money into their rides, show them appreciation and courtesy, try not to point out defects or how something may not be consistent with the time period, instead, show them and tell them how much you enjoy seeing what their hard work has accomplished.

Sometimes, cars may come out, to the shows, unfinished. These are the guys who just couldn’t wait to drive it, to feel the power they are creating and figure that you will enjoy seeing the work, in progress. This same car may make it back, next year, finished and ready for awards, but, you got a sneak peak at it during the process. What a thrill!

Also, let us know about your experiences and your travels to these shows. We would love to do a series of articles on how you got to the show, what you did while you were there and what you saw, so, contact us with your story, we’ll have fun writing it.