Vanning is a compulsion, an obsession, an occupation, an affliction, a fascination, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it, must. Those who don't, think it's a waste of time. For me it is a calling.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Saturday, February 18, 2017


         First in a new series of art prints. From the archives of  
                                 Ed "Big Daddy" Roth.

  In the early 60's Ed Roth was one of the premier custom car builders in the world. He built cars because he loved doing it. Car show promoters wanted him and his cars in their shows.  His way of making a living was to sell merchandise at these shows. He did a lot of airbrush t-shirts in those days. He came up with the idea of doing a caricature of a customers car.  Some with wild creatures protruding from the  top. Thus the monster shirt was born.
      But the most popular thing he painted was his iconic creation Rat Fink!. He soon was printing Rat Fink silk screen style on shirts. He soon augmented these with other designs and characters.  Ed created a lot of very cool art for these shirts. hundreds of designs thru the years.  Many had vehicles that were make and model specific. Some were general statements, patterned after the hipsters of the day. 
    As an artist I have come to love the art that Ed had created. He didn't actually draw all of it. He hired several artists over time to draw his designs, or rework existing designs.  In my opinion these designs should be preserved.  Many of the original drawings have been lost. Especially the ones from the early days.  Ed's art is as important to pop culture and modern art as the likes of Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali. The likelihood of his art surviving being printed on t-shirts isn't very high.  My intentions are to produce his art in a form that will insure its survival.
   These serigraphs are printed the same way Ed would have printed his shirts. One at a time. All by hand. 
   The first one done is the Dodge Van art.  Why?  Because I am a van guy and I have a couple of these vans. Artist prerogative I guess. But also because these designs were all but forgotten. Ed had hundreds of designs on screens that were on the shelf, but rarely got printed. I have been privy to a lot of these. There are many very cool designs that haven't seen the light of day for years.    

    The first time I saw these van designs they were on water slide decals that Ed had done. I am not sure when they were originally drawn. My guess is that they were drawn by Robert Williams, but I am not sure about that.
  The first serigraphs are all van designs. The Dodge, and Ford vans are completed. There will soon be a Chevy van and a Volkswagen bus, all original Roth designs. There will also be an original  Econoline van art drawn by me, included in this group. 
     The original drawings not being available, I had to redraw them in order to make the screens. Close attention was paid so as to make them as close to the originals as possible.
    There are 4 vans in this series I plan to do all of them this way.
It takes a fair amount of time to do one of these. Eventually I hope to do some more of the old designs.
      The original Rat Fink serigraph was done some 20 years ago, for the 30th birthday of Rat Fink. That is where the germ of this idea came from. It was done exactly the same way I am doing these designs. 

   I am patterning these after the series Ed did with Doug Nason in the early 90's. There were several runs of the Rat Fink. There were 63 of each run. One on a white background. One on black, and one that was the black line art only that Ed color bombed the same way he colorized the t-shirts in the early days of the Roth studios.

      63 was picked since the official birthday of Rat Fink was 1963. The serigraphs that we will be doing will be the same amount 63. There will be 50 of each in full color and 13 that will be line art and colorized using the same techniques that Ed used on his first series. 

     Each print comes with a certificate of authenticity on the back. complete with series info and artist signatures and signed by Ed's widow, "Trixie" Roth.
   The overall size of the Dodge print is 18 by 24 inches. The Ford print is slightly larger, 19 by 25. They were printed on 140 lb. cover style, archive quality, French paper. Using high quality aqua based printing inks.    

       It will be a while before the van series is complete. I am doing this with the help of a fellow artist, Matchstick. He is a screen printing and sheet metal artist working for Gene Winfield, residing in Lancaster California.  His help has been invaluable. 
     The price for these serigraphs is $100.00 each. Depending on how many are left when the van designs are complete, there could be a price for a complete set. That will be determined later.
      I plan to have them all completed no later than the end of this year. If you are interested, keep checking here for updates. They can be purchased at my on line store at

      Thank you for your time.  The Big Daddy Lives!.....   Coop

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The next adventure.

  It has been quite a while since I have had the opportunity to do anything with this blog. I want to update you followers as to what has been going on.  When I was in Vegas for the S.E.M.A. show, Scotty and I went down to Parker, Arizona to visit my buddy, Jimmy C. He has a 1965 Dodge A100 van that I have been bugging him for years to sell. While we were there I wanted him to show us the van.  It was in a storage lot where it has sat for over 20 years.  the van had 2 inches of dust on it.  The tires were rotted away and anything rubber had since turned to concrete.  But, the body was in excellent shape.  Very little rust.    After some haggling and working on Dena,his wife. Jimmy sold us the van.  the problem is that we both wanted the van. so we bought it together!  since we had the trailer with the vans from the sema show we loaded the Rainbow van in the back and I drove the A100 pickup back to Ohio. More on that later.

 We had the Surfink and the L600 at a show in downtown Vegas.  We were a hit.

On the way into Vegas we were stopped by the biggest DOT asshole I have ever come across. After an hour of harassment he finally gave up trying to pin something on us..

into the trailer she goes

there were a lot of doodles on the dash and the walls.  They looked familiar 

After some research we have been told that this van was the Roth Studios shop truck in the mid 60's. WHAT A FIND.  You have no idea how excited I am about this one!

guess we're gona leave it like this for awhile. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Heading west

Heading west to eventually arrive at the SEMA Show..  Making a stop near Salt Lake City for the Kulture Krash car show.  A bunch of my pinstriping bretheren put togeather a show in Riverton , so we decided to hit it on the way.and of course, a stop at the  In n out burger

Thursday, July 10, 2014

This was a delivery that I did several years ago.  It was repaired and I got to do it again.

I have made a lot of progress on the early Dodge
I took off the exhaust system to polish it., touch up paint, and install shocks.
all shiny   lol

got the seat trims installed.

the door handles are painted.

the last major thing to finish is the bed top.

I took the I.D. plate off to paint the door jams.

one of the last things to do.
The sign board is finished.
 I wanted a retro look for the dash so I used the stock dodge steering wheel.  add a chrome horn ring from the custom model{ thanks scottie} and you get this!   

Next time, finished pictures of the Surfink!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

 It wont be long till I have this baby on the road.   I am workin' hard to get this done for the Nationals and it looks like I just might make it., The interior is close to being finished.
Down to the last headliner panel.
The engine cover is done Got to put everything together, to make sure it will all fit. Got the rubber gasket installed. .

The center panel goes up.  This is tough when you do it alone!
The side door panel is the last major piece left of the interior. I had to take the door off again to get it fit and install the door gasket. 
Headliner done.   comin out just fine!

padding the front of the bed .

I've got 2 surfboards that go with the van one inside and this one I will use for a show sign.

using up some of the paint layin around
The engine cover fits together pretty good.
door panels are installed.  The speaker covers arrived too!

Ron is fitting the carpet. I am fitting the carpet on the wheel wells

This board is going to hang on the wall. I carved the design into it and glassed it

and a little one shot.

Cut the wood for the floor and glued it into place.
It is starting to come together  I am trial fitting it all.
Chris and Kenny are the local glass gurus. They are installing the windshield. Gona do some tricky stuff!

Brown glass?????

The hope is to set the windshield with urethane and eliminate the ugly wide rubber gasket.

This was the first cut. Makin me nervous!

Hmmm.  not bad.

After it was cut they install a trim gasket and set it in black urethane.

And Blacked out the edge just like the new cars come. The center is sealed with urethane,thus eliminating the vertical rubber in the center.

Man I'm lovin this

The bottom of the overhead console will go on last.  Most of the electronics are under here.  The controls for the windows and side door, switches,receiver for the remotes, Sirius radio, and more, may need more work.

Ron cut the carpet and bound the edges. If you have been paying attention, you will remember there is a battery box recessed below the floor. It is much better that the stock battery box that is inside the van behind the driver. The problem is the box is right where you kneel to get in the van.  Instead of trying to hide the access to the box I decided to make a cover that fit into the carpet made out of foam rubber.  I made a plug original of Rat Fink and Tikis and made a mold. Using that I cast this kneeling pad from flexible foam.  It works nicely.
It's thick and quite easy on the knees.

With all that I have to do yet, I most likely will not have the opportunity to post again before the Van Nats, where I intend to premier the Surfink. I have a lot of finish work to do yet. Polishing and detail underneath.lots of striping to do yet. A sign to do,as well as regular work, a show and the Rat Fink Reunion coming up next month.If you don't make it to the Nationls I will be posting finished pics after.