All the big names in car customizing are here---- Gene Winfield, George Barris, John D’Agostino, Rick Dore, Chip Foose, pinstriper extraordinaire East Coast Artie… the list goes on and on. And Steve's car, The Marquis DeSoto, just being included here, is an equal to them all. He's one of them.
Before we got here, though, we took the Marquis DeSoto on one hell of a ride. We accompanied East Coast Artie to a meeting he had in Santa Maria, to meet Penny Pichette, who runs WEST COAST KUSTOMS. Artie is going to put together a stripers charity auction at Penny’s event this Memorial Day. And then Artie took us to meet Steve’s idol, Gene Winfield. The ride itself was amazing, going over the Tehachapi Pass, where we ran into fog that made visibility non-existent. But we made it through and got to Winfield’s shop in Mojave in early afternoon.
The great Gene Winfield, now 82 years of age and still building custom cars, greeted us and looked the Marquis over. He was impressed. Which sent Steve to the moon. Gene was busy, preparing for the show so he just let Steve wander around. Steve couldn’t believe how many cars Gene had in his shop, all at various levels of completeness. We stopped to talk to some of his crafts people who were working on the fiberglass Chopped Mercury bodies that Gene produces. That was really something to see.
We showed up here in Pomona hours before the Marquis De Soto would be driven into the building, but Steve wanted to just be around all these amazing car builders. He’s always so happy and humbled when people remember him, which is so funny because almost everyone does. Martha came down to meet us and Steve insisted on showing her every car in buildings 5 and 1. Steve just kept saying how happy he was to have her here, at this show with him. He’s been here many times, but Martha never has. Her eyes were glazing over by the time Steve said he was hungry. She promises to take her time and see most of the show today.
If you’re in Southern California this weekend, please come by the show and find us. The Marquis De Soto is in Building 5, and we shouldn’t be far or hard to find!