Monday, November 27, 2006

New & Improved bonspeed!

Everything is new at bonspeed; a new website, new products and a new catalog. Check it out and let us know what you think? You could even shop online while you are there!

CLICK HERE: Visit the new website
CLICK HERE: See New T-shirt Designs
CLICK HERE: Order the bonspeed Catalog

Edsel Ford's Hot Rod Has bonspeed Wheels!

Edsel Ford II, the grandson of Henry Ford is a real car guy, but he is also a giving guy. The bonspeed boys have had the opportunity to get to know Edsel. When asked if we would create a set of wheels for his charity '32 roadster we jumped!

Wanting the car to have the right look Edsel asked for a set of bonspeed's. We built a set of 18" wheels for the front and 20" wheels for the rear. The style is the bonspeed "V8", our retro inspired kidney bean, baby moon look. The Hot Rods and Horsepower built roadster debuted in the Ford booth at SEMA and Edsel had a big grin.

Edsel's charity is the JDRF, (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), and he has teamed with Hot Rods & Horsepower who will build the cars. This first car, #7532001, will be signed and driven on-stage by Edsel Ford II, at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, January 2007. The entire proceeds will benefit the JDRF. In addition to the premiere vehicle, Edsel Ford II will sign an additional 9 cars, each with a $25,000 premium that will be donated to the nearest local chapter of the JDRF to where the purchaser resides.

Learn More:
bonspeed Wheels

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

When Muscle Cars Cruised The Streets!

Are there any real cruise nights anymore? Not the fairground cruises that Goodguys and NSRA promote. Those overly structured, local parking lot gatherings do not count either. What I am seeking is a place where every week, on a given day, street machines, muscle cars, hot rods and barely street legal race cars just know where to go and when to be there.

No glossy advertising, monthly magazines or even a flyer, you just know. That is how it was on Van Nuys Boulevard, or Central Avenue in Phoenix, Arizona and even one of my stomping grounds Dodge Street in Omaha, Nebraska.

Towns big and small around the country all had a local cruise night. Some cities had numerous cruise night locations! It was just a known fact that places like these existed. They were unorganized bastions of youth rebellion where your shouts were made with Hooker headers and screeching tires.

Like I said, Dodge Street in Omaha, Nebraska was where I learned the ways of real car cruising. Every Friday and Saturday night, from the first night in April (above 45 degrees) until late Fall, we gathered on Dodge. I learned quickly that parking was done in a hierarchal manner. Just pulling in anywhere could get you at best, leering stares, at worst a fight. On Dodge, it was Big O Tires, McDonalds, the Music Store and National Automotive. Sure there were other places to park but these were where “The Cars” parked and National Automotive was “The Show”.

During my second season of Dodge Street cruising, I was asked by a guy with a notable LS6 triple black 1971 Chevelle SS if I wanted to park at National? No need to ask twice, I was in the show!

That night, my 1967 Chevelle SS drove down Dodge with a newly found swagger. I pulled up to the driveway of National and inched my way into a parking space. The night was warm and humid the exhaust fumes just hung around and made the night air grey. The haze was no annoyance, this was the spirit of horsepower.

My Chevelle was ready for this night, the car was unmistakable with a bright Vega Orange paint job that sat in stark contrast to the Blue, Black and Red muscle cars of the day. The big block was bored .40 over, with an Holley 850 double-pumper, Hooker headers, a Powerglide with a high-stall converter, B&M shifter and 9” slicks wrapped around Corvette rally wheels. Ready, if someone wanted to meet at Abott Drive by the Airport for a late night street race.

Nothing worth mentioning happened that night. But, I can still remember seeing my car parked at National amongst the best cars on the street. Nowadays, that collection of cars would command millions at Barrett Jackson.

Cars like “ThunderColt” a Pearl White Mach 1 Mustang, a Black 1969 COPO Camaro, Hemi cars of all types, a flamed H.O. 455 Olds, the dual-quad Galaxy lightweight that ran pop-can Thrush glass packs. So many notable cars that were impressive then for their command of the street not the auction block.

I guess those days and those cruise nights are gone forever? Today, liability limits the parking lots and corporate-minded promoters organize the cruise. I’ll keep searching and if you know of a place that still exists, let me know. Maybe I will visit it sometime!

Barrett-Jackson 2006 Revisited

Every January Barrett-Jackson plops a giant tent in the Arizona desert and sells some of the finest cars, trucks and motorcycles in the world. This year bonspeed brought five concept cars and Sammy Hagar's GT500 Shelby to the event.

It was hard to see these cars cross the auction block. Each represents hours of fabrication, our original ideas and the collective creative soul of the bonspeed crew. The cars included the 2004 bonspeed X-Type Jaguar, 2003 "Speed Cult" Pontiac Sunfire, 2004 bonspeed "Banshee" F 150, 2005 bonspeed "Black Rose" Mustang GT and the 2003 Saleen "bonspeed Edition" Thunderbird.

Sure we emptied the warehouse and refueled the bank account by selling these cars. Still it was difficult to see the cars drive away. in one case literally. The new owner of the F-150 drove his new purchase home, even after I advised against it. The bonspeed concepts are not just show cars they are one-off vehicles built for the factories and really represent part of american car culture and history. It was nice to know these enthusiasts bought our cars out of the 1500 or so at the event, but deep down I had hoped they would go to a museum or maybe a foreign country. Some place I could visit them regularly or that far off land where I would never again see them.

The F-150 buyers trip home, Phoenix to Palm Springs, it is just what the truck was built to do, however, I recommended, after you familiarize yourself with the GT motored six-speed road demon. I also directed him to the fiberglass front fascia and like all of the bonspeed concepts, it represented the only one in the world. A late night run across the desert might prove fatal to such a part!

Maybe I'm just an automotive parent who hates to see the kids leave or maybe deep down I wish they still had a place in my warehouse?

It was the Monday after Barrett-Jackson and the phone rang at the office, it was him! I wondered, what happened is my truck his truck wrecked? Worse, maybe it was something mechanical and he was stranded in some desert town and totally pissed at me. I picked up the phone and his cheery voice exclaimed something to the effect of, "What a truck! I got 18 miles to the gallon and it drove perfect, I love this thing.

I hope the other cars are appreciated and will be put to good use, I even hope to see them again some day. Now it is time to begin filling that warehouse again and we have already begun working on two new concept cars here at the bonspeed studios. When the time is right we will tell you about them here. We will design them, build them and some day sell them.

See the cars at:
Also Visit the new bonspeed homepage