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先週末はイベントのハシゴでした

先週末は4つ、イベントに行って来ました。

今年のHOT ROD・Custom Show(以下HCS)にやって来るScottがこのイベントに焦点を合わせ製作しているChopperを持ってくる為、まずHCSポスター用の写真が必要なのと、そのイベントにCole Foster、Indian Larry Legacy(ILL)も参加予定との事。ILLのKeinoさんと打ち合わせもしたかったので7日(金) 朝6:45、Orange County Internation Airportを出発のAmerican-West機でArizona州Phoenixに向かうことにしました。

6:45発といっても7:00までは近隣住民との関係で飛ぶ事が出来ないこの空港、6:45発は何と20便もあるので、乗客が一人でも遅れてくると滑走路は大渋滞となってしまいます。また、飛び立つとすぐNewport Beachと言うUSAでも有数のお金持ちエリア上空を通過するため、飛行機は滑走前、エンジン全開でブレーキを一気に外し滑走しだします。そのGが結構楽しいのです。
住宅地に騒音迷惑を掛けないよう、そのまま急上昇。旅客機ではなかなか味わえない楽しい離陸体験が出来ます。僕はこの空港からの出発がちょっと楽しみなんです。
さて、Chopper Showはアリゾナ州フェニックスからサボテンを見ながらクルマで2時間、コットンウッドという田舎町で開催されました。
コットンウッド

イベントはHorse Magazine主催のThe Horse Backstreet Choppers “Smoke Out West 1″です。East Coastでは大きなイベントらしいですが、今年初めてWest Coastで開催されるという事で、West Coastの有名ビルダーが沢山参加したようです。

日本人ではUSAでもっともTV露出が多く、有名なChicaさんも来ていましたし、
Chopper Daveや
Choppertownで人気のKattyとSinnersのメンバー、
それにCole Foster、
ILLのKeino & Paul Cox、
人気雑誌のDice Magazine、さらに日本からEasy Riders社とTT&Companyさんもブースで出展していました。
HCS来日予定のBill Mizeにも会う事が出来、事前に色々話しが出来てよかったのですが、何とScottはこの日には到着せず電話したらまだLAに居るとの事。結局写真は取れず、HCSポスターは彼のバイクは無しでGO、となりそうです。HCSには間に合わせてくれないとこまるな~!
帰ろうと思ってゲートを出ると、ちょうどSinnersのDanny Takahashi君が仲間10台と到着。Californiaからどの位掛かったか高橋君に聞いたら12時間 掛かったって!恐れ入りました。

8日(土)はNHRA主催の”第15回 California Hot Rod Reunion”がCalifornia Bakersfeildで開催されるのでアリゾナから夜の便で戻り、8日は車で現地を目指しました。2時間半くらいのドライブです。
Von Franco &
Verne -Burbank Choppers
at Swap Meet
Dan’s Pan Head Keith & Dan

Gasserがブームになってきています。毎年少しずつですが増えています。
それとうれしいことに70、80年代のFunny Carが増えてきました。
HawaiianのChargerや
Pisano & MatsubaraのVegaなどの
Old Funny Carを見る事が出来ました。何か70年代に戻ったような感じになり、トレーラーで売っていたTシャツを思わず買ってしまいました。Old Funny Car Fanとしては嬉しい事です。

9日(日)はLong Beachで恒例のSwap Meetがあり、
その後、Irwindal Racewayで開催されていたVW Drag Dayに行き、Busy Weekendが終わりました。

VW Drag Dayに行く途中FWYでこんなハイリフトトラックを発見、ボディとシャーシーの間に入っているのは何と”木”です。強烈すぎるので、運転中でしたが思わず写真を撮ってしまいました。
昔々、大型トラックの荷台とフレームの間に木が使われているのを見た事があります。また僕もLowering Blockが簡単に手に入らない時代、木をブロックの代わりに使ったことありましたが、木を選ばないと木が割れてしまう経験をしたので、真似する時は良く木を選んでください。
I went to see four events on last weekends in USA.

I decided to go to Phoenix, Arizona by 6:45am American West flight on Friday 7th from the Orange County International Airport. There were couple reasons for visiting Phoenix Arizona. First, I had to take picture of the Chopper which Scott was taking to YOKOHAMA HOT ROD Custom Show 2006(HCS) for HCS poster. Scott was building to meet this show. Second, I had to see Cole Foster and Indian Larry Legacy(ILL) for a meeting as they were joining this show too.

Even though flight is 6:45am, this airport cant allow airplane to take off until 7am. And there are 20 flights taking off at 6:45am. so if one passenger gets late, there will be a heavy traffic at runway. Airplane fly over City of Newport Beach which is the one of the most rich residence area in USA. As pilot doesn’t want to take a risk of dropping in to this neighbor hood, the Air plane engine is REV to full throttle, before the brakes are released to run with max speed on the short runway. This G is some experience and to avoid noise to this residential area, airplane makes steep rise into the sky. Unique “take off” experience you can’t usually have on normal Airplane flight. So I like to take flight from this airport.

Back to the Chopper Show, it was hosted at town called Cottonwood which was 2 hours drive through the cactuses from Phoenix, Arizona. This Event was hosted by Hose Magazine The Hose Back Street Choppers “Smoke Out West 1”. It is famous event in east coast and this year was first time at west coast and many famous west coast builders joined this show.

There were builders and riders like, Chica who is famous in Japanese builders and the most appealed on TV in USA was there, Chopper Dave, Katty from Movie & DVD “Choppertown” and member of the Sinners, Cole Foster, Keino and Paul Cox from ILL, popular “Dice Magazine”, Easy Riders inc from Japan and TT&Company from Japan with booth. I had chance to see Bill Mize who is coming to the HCS and had good meeting prior to his trip to Japan, but when I called Scott from there, he was still in LA, California and I couldn’t take his picture so his Motorcycle may not be on the HCS poster.

News!, we took that on Monday! so he will be in poster and finally we can make poster! I hope he will make it to the HCS. As I was getting out of the gate to leave, the Sinners’ Danny Takahashi arrived with about 10 friends. I asked him how long it took from California and he told me 12 hours! That’s brave, amazing.

On Saturday 8th, The 15th California Hot Rod Reunion was hosted by NHRA at Bakersfield, California. So I took night flight back to California and drove to there. About 2 hours drive from shop. Gasser is getting popular in USA now. Every year it is increasing by little.

70’s and 80’s Funny Car is increasing which is good news for me. Old Funny Car such, Hawaiian Charger and Pisano & Matsubara Vega were able to see. Roland Leong, owner of Hawaiian has been elected as Grand Marshall this year. It was feel like back in 70s when I was at Orange County Int’l Raceway and I found myself buying T shirts at trailer, just like I did in 70’s. Used to be each racer has own designed T-shirts back then. So, design was all different. It’s really “Reunion”! It was a great event for the Old Funny Car Fan like me. I always wanted to go Funny Car Reunion in East Cost, but just can’t make it. So nice to see them in California for me.

On Sunday 9th, I went to the famous Swap Meet at Long Beach and I went to the VW Drag Day at the Irwindale Raceway after that and my busy weekend has ended.

On the way to VW Drag Day, I saw a Hi lift Truck on the freeway, the piece of block between the frame and body was Big WOOD. It was too amazing and I had to take a picture even though I was driving. I have seen Big Trucks with piece of wood used between the frame and body back in 60’s in Japan. Also I used to use piece of wood when lowering block was not easy thing to buy but please choose the right wood is important when you are doing so as wood may break in half.

Oh, what’s busy weekend.

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