Archive for the ‘Las Vegas’ Category

The crew here at Cool McCool’s Garage has had a VERY busy October, but we haven’t gotten anything done on either the Riviera or the T’bird. Instead, we’ve been camping, soaking up art in Grand Rapids at “Art Prize”, and took a trip to Las Vegas to visit our son Craig and his family. He and Kathleen recently got engaged, and we are excited to have our family grow!

While we were with Craig and his family, we drove to Burbank California, and visited our niece Meghan and her husband Ron, and got to meet their daughter Maren. She’s beautiful, and we got to hold a baby! As luck would have it, their home is only a mile from two great hot rod shops, “Hollywood Hot Rods”, and “Old Crow Speed”, so Craig and I took a few minutes and got great tours at both shops. Sadly, for me anyway, the ’59 T’bird under construction at Hollywood Hot Rods, inspired by the same artwork by Eric Black that got me to chop the top and cut up the quarter panels on mine, was out for paint, so I didn’t get to see that.

We’re back home, and today got some long overdue fall household maintenance chores taken care of, and I fired up the motor home chassis, pulled it around to the garage and stripped it of some wiring and am going to (finally) pull the 454 and Turbo 400 tomorrow at the shop at my dad’s place. It’ll be good to have that thing gone, I’m planning scrapping the chassis to help generate some cash to replenish the Hot Rod Fund, which was depleted with the purchase of the 5.3 LS motor and 4L60E trans we just picked up for the ’63 Riviera.

There are plenty of warm sunny days ahead (I hope) this fall before snow flies and the woodshed is full, so we’re ready now to get back at the T’bird, get started on the Riviera, and keep busy during the winter months. It’s gonna be a busy winter!

Stay tuned!

On the road to Milford and the Tin Can Tourists Fall Gathering, late in September.

On the road to Milford and the Tin Can Tourists Fall Gathering, late in September.

 

Joe Dirt meets Dog the Bounty Hunter.

Joe Dirt meets Dog the Bounty Hunter.

 

I picked up this hot chick!

I picked up this hot chick!

 

My favorite from "Art Prize"

My favorite from “Art Prize”

 

Bellagio in LV, where we got a private VIP tour to the cupola!

Bellagio in LV, where we got a private VIP tour to the cupola!

 

Hot Rod heaven.

Hot Rod heaven.

Of course, we found a brewpub, this one in Boulder City,  a favorite of ours when we're out there.

Of course, we found a brewpub, this one in Boulder City, a favorite of ours when we’re out there.

 

Old Crow belly tanker.  These guys have the coolest stuff...

Old Crow belly tanker. These guys have the coolest stuff…

Our beautiful great niece, Maren.

Our beautiful great-niece, Maren.

 

Craig and Kathleen, at Getty's Center in Hollywood.

Craig and Kathleen, at Getty’s Center in Hollywood.

 

The Rivieras new power plant!  5.3 LS and 4L60.

The Rivera’s new power plant! 5.3 LS and 4L60.

 

The Riviera, patiently waiting for it's new heart.

The Riviera, patiently waiting for its new heart.

It’s fall here, and that means that at Cool McCool’s Garage, it’s time for a road trip.  This year, I left Kim at home to keep the pellet stove going, and I went to Las Vegas to visit our son Craig.  We’d originally planned a grand tour of national parks but certain members of Congress (specifically the Tea Party caucus) shut down the government (and thereby the National Park system), requiring we come up with “Plan B”.

That turned out to be driving to Petaluma California, just north of San Fransisco, the heart of Sonoma County wine country.  After VIP tours and tastings a two outstanding wineries, “Ferrari and Cerano” and “Holdredge” wines,  we ate and drank our way from there down the California coast.  We spent a day in Monterey, with supper at our favorite restaurant, “Monterey Fish House”, and a beautiful drive down Highway One.   Spent a night in Pismo Beach and a day in San Lois Obispo wine tasting.  We had lunch in Malibu at “Neptune’s Net”,  and spent a night in Burbank with my niece Meghan and her husband Ron, with a side trips to “Old Crow Speed Shop” .  The next day across LA and finally got to meet my long time pen pal Larry Wood (of Mattel “Hot Wheels” fame) at Elwood’s Garage in Long Beach.

Back in Vegas after 2100 miles on a rented Impala, we took in a show, “War Horse”, visited the Mob Museum, and I wasted some time people watching and visiting “Counts Kustoms” and Ricks Restoration, made modestly famous by “reality” shows on TV.

Whew.

A picture is worth a thousand words, they say, so lets get started with the pictures…

A hearty breakfast is the proper way to start a road trip.

A hearty breakfast is the proper way to start a road trip.

 My co-pilot Craig and his girlfriend Kathleen at Bellagio.

My co-pilot Craig and his girlfriend Kathleen at Bellagio.

On the road to Petaluma

On the road to Petaluma

Over 10,000 gallons of Pinot Noir.

Over 10,000 gallons of Pinot Noir.

I am trapped in a wine cellar.  Do NOT send help.

I am trapped in a wine cellar. Do NOT send help.

Craig and I at "Zazzle" in Petaluma.

Craig and I at “Zazzle” in Petaluma.

I become a migrant laborer

I become a migrant laborerFrank invited us in for lunch Frank invited us in for lunch

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Who has a Tucker in a wine tasting room?

Who has a Tucker in a wine tasting room?

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When  I come home to you, San Francisco...

When I come home to you, San Francisco…

Sea side, Monterey.

Sea side, Monterey.

Off Highway One, north of Big Sur.

Off Highway One, north of Big Sur.

We stopped here to let the tailgating car behind us go by.

We stopped here to let the tailgating car behind us go by.

Panorama prank

Panorama prank

Fly'n Brian flies from left to right.

Fly’n Brian flies from left to right.

National Forest Service site, "Mill Creek".  We moved the barricades and walked down to the sea.

National Forest Service site, “Mill Creek”. We moved the barricades and walked down to the sea.

They didn't know the shore line was closed either.

They didn’t know the shore line was closed either.

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Unfortunately, Hollywood Hot Rods was closed on Saturday.  So...

Unfortunately, Hollywood Hot Rods was closed on Saturday. So…

...we wrangled an invite next door at "Old Crow Speed Shop."

…we wrangled an invite next door at “Old Crow Speed Shop.”

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Another cool project, here a '36 three window.

Another cool project, here a ’36 three window.

Baby chicks, fresh eggs, delivered right to your door.

Baby chicks, fresh eggs, delivered right to your door.

I need this.

I need this.

Amidst all this tradition, a REAL hot rod engine.  LS Chevy truck engine.

Amidst all this tradition, a REAL hot rod engine. LS Chevy truck engine.

Larry Wood's garage.  I wonder where he used to work?

Larry Wood’s garage. I wonder where he used to work?

Who besides me crashes a car INSIDE their own garage by starting it in gear?

Who besides me crashes a car INSIDE their own garage by starting it in gear?

The wagon backed itself right into Larry's '34, taking the left front fender and hood with it.  Ouch.  Nothing money wont' fix.

The wagon backed itself right into Larry’s ’34, taking the left front fender and hood with it. Ouch. Nothing money wont’ fix.

Thank goodness this wasn't in back of the wagon.

Thank goodness this wasn’t in back of the wagon.

Larry's custom Spartan 5th wheel.

Larry’s custom Spartan 5th wheel.

Inside

Inside

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Back in Las Vegas, I took the short bus to Rick's Restoration's.

Back in Las Vegas, I took the short bus to Rick’s Restoration’s.

"But honey, I HAD to take their picture, they were TALKING RABBITS!

“But honey, I HAD to take their picture, they were TALKING RABBITS!

How to get all this home?

How to get all this home?

Hey!  They sell oysters in Vegas too!

Hey! They sell oysters in Vegas too!

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It’s all over now, other than paying the MasterCard bill and sorting through hundreds of photos. It was a great trip, Craig and I had a ball, and we drank a lot of really great wine. Maybe next year, Kim and Kathleen can come too!

Here’s your sign.

Posted: November 22, 2012 in Las Vegas, travel
Tags:

Yeah, I could make that.  During our recent trip to ‘Vegas, Craig and I redeemed ourselves by going with Kim to the Vegas Sign Museum and Graveyard.  Much to our (Craig’s and my) surprise, it was an afternoon well-spent.  Although, I have to say, that our first attempt to go, before it was “officially” open, still ranks as one of the all-time creepiest experiences I can recall.

Now however, they’ve got the display set up, the museum “lobby” (the entrance to a long gone, mid-century motel from the strip, the “La Concha”) set up, and the signs artfully arranged (piled-up?), it really was fun.  And, not scary. 

 

Hundreds of  mid ’50’s thru ’70’s Vegas landmark signage, in all their cheesy, dilapidated and patina’d glory, up close and personal.  It’s a great little stroll down a past that, even though I wasn’t there in the hey-day, is part of what I though of as really cool as a kid. 

 

So, here are a few more.  Maybe inspiration for your own garage wall art, or man-cave.  Enjoy…