A fleet of classic street rods will prepare for the first of seven weeklong vacation-style tours, beginning in Florida and stopping at street rod shows and car events across the nation throughout the summer. The entourage will be headed by the official PPG Street Rodder Road Tour car, a ’32 Ford 3-Window Coupe tricked out by Leonard Lopez and his crew at Dominators Street Rods in Brentwood, Calif.
The cherry vehicle was restored using finishes from PPG. Lopez called the vehicle a ’50s "Retro Clone," modeled after the famous McMullen Roadster from the 1950s. According to Street Rodder Magazine, “Tom McMullen was a founder of Street Rodder Magazine, and the original Tom McMullen ’32 Ford highboy roadster is an icon of rodding. McMullen and his roadster were well-known for their exploits on the street and on the strip, and for the roadster’s appearances between 1958 and 1970.” The paint scheme and classic flame design on the McMullen car were laid out and painted by Art Hinsel, of the Bay Area, and adjusted to fit the contours of the ’32 Ford. Hinsel also recreated the flames for a McMullen tribute car sponsored by Street Rodder several years ago.
The paint job was executed by Rick Valdez at Creative Images in Lodi, Calif. Valdez and his crew tore down and reassembled the car several times during the painting, sanding and clearcoating process. They used PPG’s DBU 9700 black as a base color for the vehicle and clearcoated with DCU2055, then began applying custom colors mixed with red and yellow toners, all matched to PPG’s “Blood Red,” the color featured in the flame design. “The entire paint job, including teardowns and reassembly, took nearly five weeks,” Valdez said. “The PPG products we used were excellent. We were very pleased with the finished look of this special car.”
The pinstriping on the car was a team effort by pinstriping whiz Herb Martinez of Herb Martinez Pinstriping and Signs, Livermore, Calif., and Jeff Styles and Tom Kelly of Kelly & Sons, Los Angeles, who applied the striping during the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, Calif., in January. Herb outlined the flames, Tom sketched the decklid design, and Jeff completed the pinstriping on the rest of this very rad rod.
“PPG is thrilled to be a part of this exciting tour for the 11th year,” said Cristina Fronzaglia, manager, refinish communications, N.A. “The vehicles in the road tour entourage are fabulous, and we are proud to be sponsors of this event.”
In recent years, PPG has introduced dozens of products especially for custom restorers. The Vibrance Collection of custom finishes includes unique effect creators such as Liquid Metal paint additives, Flamboyance paint additives and Luminescence II paints, which create a shimmering “color travel” effect. PPG also recently introduced VC5200 Custom Clear especially for clearcoating graphics.
“We invite readers of Street Rodder to take a look at this year’s road tour car and other custom vehicles participating in the tour to see what can be accomplished using the wide range of refinishing products available in the Vibrance Collection line by PPG,” Fronzaglia said. “Our unique line of finishes and additives offers the perfect way to create an awesome paint scheme for a custom refinisher’s prized possession.”
The upcoming weekend’s activities include a cruise on Canal Street in New Smyrna, Fla., on Saturday, a day cruise to the Don Garlits Drag Racing Museum on Sunday, and a cookout Sunday evening hosted by Total Performance and Classic Automobilia in Ormond Beach. On Monday morning, it will be time to head up the coast to Hilton Head, N.C., for the first night’s stay. This weekend’s events are just the beginning of a whole summer of touring, meeting street rod enthusiasts and attending a host of street rod and classic car shows.