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.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

          Every once in a while something comes along that you never expected.  Such an occurrence happened to me today. I have been into the custom paint thing since I was about 20 years old. I didn't know much about it at the time. but I wanted to do cool things with my rides. I was never into the go fast thing. I was more into how it looked rolling down the street.
 Being a young kid ,living in Columbus (read that cow town)  Ohio. I was about as far as you could get from the heart of the custom car culture. The big daddy , rat fink  and the like, may as well have been on another planet.
         I was first exposed to the pinstriping world when I came across an article in Hot Rod magazine about Von Dutch. That was in the 70's.  It had a brief history about the man who is credited with starting the custom pinstriping art form ,and several pages about the basics of striping.  What paint to use, brushes, thinner, technique etc. It was enough to get me to buy some brushes and play with it.

       A short time later I started my correspondence with Ed Roth.  He really was the one to teach me most in those days.  As many of you know I was asked by Ed and his wife Ilene to paint his casket when he passed away. That was an honor that I still can't believe was given to me. 

       Well, today I was honored to be asked to do some striping on the newly restored Von Dutch bus.   If you wrote a movie script using Dutch's life it would be so far out there, not to be believed. He was a character to say the least.  Not only was he a famous pinstriper . He also loved to work in metal. building vehicles from scratch. Knives and guns were also a favorite of his.  His knives alone command a healthy price now, into the thousands of dollars..
       For many years Dutch lived in this bus and would park it in the desert and create in his portable machine shop.  After he died in 1992, the bus was stripped and was left sitting in a field. years later,  Steve Kafka bought the bus and restored it. He found a lot of the original machinery and parts and put the bus back the way it was when Dutch was living in it, complete with some of his cigarette butts on the work bench.  lol.

    My bud Magoo ,from Vegas ,was also to do some work on the bus, so we met up at Steve's shop near Phoenix today and went at it. I was to do some striping on the panel that was just above Dutch's  bed.   The design I was asked to do was, the some what famous Dutch design, of "Harvey shaken by cross breeding". 
It was an almost spiritual experience being in his bus and striping on a wall panel having gotten started 40 years ago with advice from him.  That along with my association with Ed, I am humbled to have ended up here.