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Shop Tour Du Jour

Tokyo's Premier Pinstriper Visits Hot Rods & Custom Stuff

By Rotten Rodney

The older hot rodders will tell ya that back in our hobby/sport/occupation’s formative years, the players didn’t necessarily know each other—at least not too far outside of our own towns. These days partly due to global circulation of our fine American print publications, and of course the worldwide web, the world is a much smaller place.



Let’s start this off with a picture from my new digital Brownie. From left to right: meet Mrs. Rotten, some hobo, and Hirokazu “KID” Iwaki—Tokyo’s premiere pinstriper. Now I’m still not completely sure how it happened, but us Rottens were beyond flattered that we’d ended up on Kid’s list o’ folks he wanted to meet. So what can we do for our distinguished guest from afar? Take him to work—to Hot Rods & Custom Stuff!


Here in the parts department, Randy takes a break to chat. As it turns out, he and Kid had much to talk about as they discovered they had a thing or two in common. This was just before the shop tour du jour, which you’re all invited to follow along for.


Meet HR&CS crew member, Juan. Ordinarily, Juan can be found in the paint shop, as he’s the man responsible for colorsanding, buffing, polishing and detailing chores—the final finessing that makes HR&CS finishes all that they are. Kid was already familiar with HR&CS’s over-the-top-quality paintwork, as well as Tom Medley’s recently reincarnated ’40 Ford coupe.


The shop tour du jour continues right across the parkin’ lot. Here HR&CS media blaster, Zach shares an insider view of his department. That’s a Lamborghini on the cart right there.


As we make our way to the paint department, it’s no surprise to see that Kid is attracted to flames, as that’s one of his own specialties. Here Kid stops to examine bits of Pete “Hot Dog” Finlan’s latest HR&CS flame job.


Here’s a better look at the flamin’ ’33 Ford Tudor, which originally came to HR&CS for unfortunate collision repair. On the upside, the car will be better than ever, and its owner gains an over-the-top-notch Finlan flame job.


This in-the-works ’59 Cadillac project is receiving some custom alterations, which include a tuck ‘n’ trim of both bumpers, improved attitude for its grille, and better-than-Cad’ quarter skirts, all by HR&CS metal man, Scott, whom you’ll meet in an upcoming project update.


I’m so glad y’all could be here to witness the priceless look of astonishment on Kid’s face as he’s trying hard to grasp what HR&CS mechanic, Chris is wrenchin’ on…


Neatly nestled in the engine bay of John Perez’ ‘65 Mustang; that’s a 3-litre, twin-turbo Toyota 2J2-GTE mill—lookin’ right at home.


As we close this particular chapter, we hope y’all have enjoyed the first of a series, shop tour du jour. Kid will return in December of 2013, and perhaps we’ll have him drag us some lines here at Hot Rods & Custom Stuff. Kid’s work beautifully reflects the styles of his American influences; like Kafka, Finlan, Fisk and of course, Von Dutch. If y’all will remind me, I’ll get some examples posted before his next visit.