Steve's car, The Marquis De Soto, won a first place award, which was a dream of his since he was a little kid. (see photos) A perfect analogy would be that of a first time filmmaker winning an Academy Award, which is how important this award is for Steve.
After the awards show, I shot a short interview in which George Barris and John D'Agostino congratulated Steve and told him how much they liked his work. Can you imagine having one of your heroes wrap his arms around your shoulders and tell you how wonderful you are? That's the kind of thing that repeated itself throughout the weekend for Steve.
During the awards ceremony, when Steve's name was announced, he ran to the stage like a little kid on Christmas morning. He really didn't believe he was going to win anything, so it was a complete surprise for him. He was beaming as he stood on stage and raised the award above his head. I was really proud to be with him, to share the moment, and to congratulate him. The owner of the car, Steve Luth, was so gracious that he wanted Steve to go onstage and accept the award. Luth is a super guy and it was fun hanging out with him for the last two days of the show.
We had a wonderful time meeting so many fantastic people at the show. Everyone of them was kind and generous with their time. At one point we shot a scene with another of Steve's heroes - the famous painter Larry Watson. Larry really liked Steve's car and was quite a character.
I personally got to meet great builders like Gene Winfield, Blackie Gejeian, Bo Huff, great pin-strippers like East Coast Artie, the guitarist Jimmy Vaughn, the actor John Schnieder from the Dukes of Hazard. The show allowed me to live, for a short time, in a special sub-culture of car fanatics, which includes, hipsters, beatniks, artist, designers, builders, painters, technicians, promoters and fans of the automobile in all its many guises.
Next up for the Marquis is the Sacramento Autorama (Feb 19-21, 2010)