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Immortalized Exhibition is a winner!




Friday evening September 9th, 2011 at Cruisin’ Grand in Escondido was full of action. There were multiple layers of activity that when added together made for a memorable night. First, there was an opening ceremony (out of the ordinary for Cruisin’ Grand) that paid homage to those who serve their communities in the military and public safety sectors. It was also a reminder of the tragedy that was brought upon our country on September 11th, 2001 in New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania. Our National Anthem was beautifully sung by renowned vocalist Gloria Robertson. Scouts led the recital of the Pledge of Allegiance, and a flyby of a pair of World War II aircraft got things off to a great start.


Second, firefighters and the equipment that they use to protect us were the centerpiece of Cruisin” Grand. There was a great collection of contemporary and classic motorized and horse-drawn firefighting equipment on hand.  Some offered rides to spectators and provided a unique experience for young and old alike.  A huge flag of the United States was flown from the one hundred foot ladder truck of the Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Department right over the intersection of Grand and Broadway.  The equipment then staged at the east end of Grand and at 7 pm conducted a “Code 3” run, which means lights and sirens and all haste. OK, so it wasn’t extremely hasty, but it sure was heart starting. The run was lead by an Escondido PD officer on his vintage Harley-Davidson police Servi-Car trike followed by a three-horse antique pumper unit. The pumper was ably supervised by the classic Dalmatian riding alongside the driver. These were followed by progressively newer fire equipment.


Next up was the auto art exhibit at Arthatch Gallery entitled “Immortalized – Hot Rods and Customs of Distinction”.  The exhibit featured some of the most prominent car artists of today including Tom Fritz, The Pizz, Sara Ray, Chris Froggert, Steve Waldron, Kurt Lightfoot & Will Gibson, Victor Roman, BigToe (aka Tom Laura), Lawrence Gardinier, Sharif Carter and the infamous Robert Williams (who juried the works in the exhibit).  Cuties for a Cause pinup girls attended the event and assisted with exhibit entry chores. The band Gino and the Lone Gunmen provided live music on the street outside the Gallery.  Melissa Inez Walker and her ArtHatch staff did an outstanding job of pulling this show together.


And, speaking of outside the Gallery, a reflection of the automotive art hanging on the walls inside could be found on the curb outside. Hot Rods & Custom Stuff was charged with rounding up a couple of dozen of the coolest hot rods and customs to be found in southern California to anchor this artistic endeavor. We think that after you view the photos here you’ll agree that we accomplished our mission.  Hot Rods & Custom Stuff, ArtHatch Gallery, the exhibiting artists, and Cruisin’ Grand would like to thank the owners and their cars for contributing to the success of this momentous event.

They are:


Marie O’Dell: Larry Watson 1958 Thunderbird



Jim “Jake” Jacobs: 1928 Ford Model A phaeton “Jakecoupage”



Steve Sbelgio: 1934 Ford 3-window coupe “Millennium Kid”



Randy Clark: 1932 Ford Tudor



Roger O’Dell: 1957 Cadillac El Dorado “CaddyOO”


Roger O’Dell (driven by Bob & Megan Caughlin): 1938 Lincoln Zephyr “Zephlin”


Mike Bamber: 1932 Ford Roadster “Silver Dollar II”


Don Montgomery: 1941 Willys gasser-style coupe “Rockerhead”


Myron Reichert: 1949 Mercury coupe




Bobby Ruiz: 1949 Chevy Fleetline coupe



Gale Griffith: 1952 Chevy 2-door hardtop


Larry Johnson: 1940 Ford Tudor



Eric Preuss: 1929 Ford roaster (nee Sport Coupe)



Jim Sheridan: 1931 Ford roadster pickup



Mark Sweeney: 1932 Ford roadster



Rick Billuni: 1934 Chevy 3-window coupe “Killer Coupe”



Paul Bundy: 1932 Ford roadster “Move Over”



Mike Spellman: 1934 Ford 3-window coupe



Mark Hopkins: 1956 Ford Victoria “Victoria’s Secret”



Dave Iversen: 1934 Ford 3-window coupe



Chet Miller: 1930 Ford coupe



Dan Pegg: 1939 Ford convertible “Rumblin’ Rag”



Joe Free: 1941 Willys gasser coupe



Steve Waldren: 1946 Ford business coupe




We’ve got pictures of all of the cars, the firefighters, the aircraft, the hanging art, the band, and the crowd for your viewing pleasure




Hot Rods & Custom Stuff was proud to help sponsor this event and we thank and congratulate all who helped put it together and we look forward to a bigger and better edition next year. If you were there, you know how cool it was. If you missed it, you missed a spectacular evening so watch the Hot Rods & Custom Stuff website for news of next year’s show. You won’t want to miss it again.


Additional details of the art exhibit and commissioning of artwork by the exhibiting artists can be found at:  ArtHatch Gallery: http://www.arthatch.org/autoshow