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MOON Garage Goshu's USA Trip Report

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Hello, this is Goshu from MOON Garage.
This US Trip Report, I attended Kutty Noteboom's HIPPY KILLER HOEDOWN even as well as met with a few of this year's Hot Rod Custom Show US Guests.

My trip report started on April 12 (Thurs) when I left for USA. I arrived in the afternoon at MOONEYES USA, I spent the rest of the day preparing for the HIPPY KILLER HOEDOWN with other Mooneyes staff members.
On Sunday that same weekend there was the Pomona Swap Meet so we were also prepared a booth for that as well.

April 13 (Fri) Day 2

Then on Friday, a day before the big event, it poured down rain! It was cold too! The Chevy Van and HHR we had packed up the night before didn't get a move on until 3PM Friday afternoon. Getting to Hemet where the event was held was congested with traffic too so we didn't arrive until sometime around 7PM. Our drive to Hemet was with all the Southern California drivers heading home for the weekend so it was heavy traffic all the way. I couldn't imaging how it must be for people that have to go through this every Friday. The Dice Party was held the night before the event too at a bar located where the event was held. There were a lot of people there.

At the bar was, of course, the main event organizer Kutty and the party host Dean of Dice Magazine. Others included Southern California car/bike builder & Tattoo artist Dan Collins, Sinner's member Cole Foster from Salinas Boys as well as Aaron Elliott, CB Custom Leather worker Duane Ballard and his wife Lisa, Dean's beautiful bass player Tammy from his band Black Tibetans and tons of other car and bike related persona. There were many that traveled from far away too. A group of three drove all the way from Canada. With a drink in one hand I enjoyed the night hanging out with everyone and having a great time. There was ever Karaoke.


Mingling with the crowd, before I knew it, the other Mooneyes staff members had left to the nearby hotel. I was left with any transportation and the remaining people were mostly the campers. I initially thought I'd have to stay the night too but when I was talking with Cole Foster, his friends were generous enough to offer me a ride. The 3 guys were local car-guys from the area. They were very kind and dropped me off at the hotel.
They asked me why I was left behind and my only reply was, "That's how it always is."
By the way, the pickup truck used on the cover poster of the event is owned by one of these guys.

April 14 (Sat) Day 3 - SUNNY WEATHER!
With the clearing skies, the weather for Kutty's HIPPY KILLER HOEDOWN looked promising and everyone seemed very excited and relieved. I thought as the day progressed, it would get warmer and more people will come but the weather was actually cold! There were heavy clouds that blocked the sun. It wasn't until the afternoon when the masses of people started to come.
Compared to last year, the Mooneyes and other vendor booths were more crowded this year. Maybe because there were more visitors from outside of California.
Inside the event area was a main stage and the band playing was really awesome.
In such a large area it was fun to roam and check out all the cars and bikes packed in the parking lot area.
There were a lot of familiar bike vendors, starting off with Kutty Noteboom's Hippy Killer Garage. His father is a car and bike builder and you can see the resemblance. Cole Foster's Salinas Boys had a booth as well as Aaron Elliott, Duane Ballard, Rico Fodrey, Shawn Donahue, Dean Micetich, Dan Collins Old Gold, Loser Machine, Mike Davis and Grant Peterson of Born Free 4 plus many others.
The ending time of the event was shortened from 10PM that night to 7PM.

April 15 (Sun) Day 4.
A picture perfect Southern California image, Sunday's weather looked great.
The '72 Nova at Mooneyes USA is very popular right now. Everywhere we go, there are people that wave and give a thumbs up gestures.

The first destination for Sunday was the Pomona Swap Meet. MOONEYES USA has a booth setup here and this weekend they brought the big trailer and huge tent. I walked around and checked out the cars for sale.
Although I heard there were a lot less cars now a days, there was still so many lined up to see.
However, a lot of the cars were out of my price range or the condition of the cars were in really bad shape. That said, there was nothing that really got my attention as a possible purchase.
But still there were a lot of people looking with interest.





Next stop, NHRA Museum.
I got to actually see the MOONBEAM and Original MOONEYES Dragster, both came all the way from Florida just for the MOONEYES 60th Anniversary exhibit. Truly amazing to see in person. You don't really get an opportunity like this to see these legendary vehicles so I took as many pictures as I could and they even dropped the chain barriers for me for the photos.


Stopped by, 21st YOKOHAMA HOT ROD Custom Show 2012 (HCS2012) guest, Dale's house to say hello.
Dale is the owner of one of the cars that will be at HCS2012 come December 2.
Having the chance to show this awesome FX race car in Yokohama is very exciting for everyone involved. He really loves this 1964 Mercury Comet he calls, "the Rocket". It is not only a race car and "driver" but also a show car. The detailed body and high gloss shine is something to see and appreciate in person. But again, it is a performance machine that's well balanced. Currently runs the quarter mile in the 10 second range. You will all have the chance to see and hear this machine up close when it makes its way to Yokohama in December.


Visited Shinya Kimura's Shop, Chabott Engineering.
Went to see what last year's HCS guest, Shinya Kimura is up to this year. He will take part in this year's Motorcycle Cannonball. The endurance run is coast to coast across the USA on pre 1930 vintage motorcycles. He plans on riding an 85 year old advanced racer machine. It promises to be an amazing journey.


We then stopped by Shraders shop which is located right near Chabott Engineering.

This shop is run by the owner and puts out some major work building hot rods.

In the past, he built a 1932 hot rod that got a lot of attention and ever since then, he's been busy cranking out awesome work.




April 16 (Mon) Day 5.
Another great day in LA. Headed to Pomona again, this time to SO-CAL Speed Shop.
Pete Chapouris has been a guest to many of our shows in Yokohama. He was there last year at HCS2011. This past January at the Grand National Roadster Show, the shop won the AMBR Award with an awesome Speedster. He has been very busy with non-stop work since then showcasing the car.


Stopped by Shawn Donahue's shop which is also located in Pomona.
Shawn was a guest last year at HCS2011 as well. His shop has a frame jig and was hard at work on a '70s frame he stumbled upon in Northern California.


Also in Pomona, close to SO-CAL Speed Shop are the Kennedy Brothers.
They were previously a guest at HCS2005 with a '32 Ford Coupe hot rod they built. Their shop is a speechless wonderland of collectibles. From rare parts, collectibles, bicycles and of course hot rods and customs. Currently being worked on were several cars including a Woodie Sedan, '36 Ford about to get chopped and a '32 3-Window Coupe just to name a few.



Visited Dale's shop again. The day before there was an old police car inside one of the trailers. It went to get reupholstered. Dale does metal work and outsources things like that. On this day, it was back in the shop getting work started again. Dale also shares part of the work area with a friend that builds desert buggies and sand rails. Then Dale took me to a local place to eat. Dale said he grew up eating here.


April 17 (Tue) Day 6.
Confirmed bike builder guest to HCS2012!
Scott Jones of NOISE Cycles in Santa Ana has been confirmed a guest to this year's YOKOHAMA HOT ROD Custom Show 2012! We stopped by his shop to check out his recently completed chopper. The photos don't do this thing of beauty justice, you will have to see it in person! More information on Noise Cycles soon! Be sure to check out our website and the HCS official homepage!



We then stopped by Nostalgia Speed and Cycle shop.
Originally from the UK, Steve Carpenter focuses on custom Honda CB machines.


Our next stop was Cycle Lodge with Mike Davis.
At the end of June, Mike and Grant Peterson will hold Born Free 4. The winner of the best of show will be a featured guest to HCS2012! While we were at Cycle Lodge we checked out Mike's latest project. He's been collecting Triumph parts and has just started. Can't wait to see what it turns out to be.



At the end of the day we visited Gabe and Mark. They have been featured guests at HCS multiple times. Currently, Gabe is a full time bar owner and occasionally performs live. He performed an acoustic live on stage for us while we were there. With his guitar, he did a few country songs. It was a great solo performance!
Mark is busy at the swap meets buying and selling, in the process of his next project.



April 18 (Wed) Day 7.
On this day, it was time for me to head back to Japan. I was flying on Singapore Airlines so my flight leaving LAX was at 15:45.
This trip featured a wide angle view of all kinds of styles, bikes and cars. It was quite an experience for me personally and I enjoyed every minute of it. I hope we all have that fighting spirit to push the boundaries even more.
Thank you for reading my USA Trip Report.
See you next time!

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