Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

            In 1974, three artists from San Francisco found themselves in Potter County, Texas, burying ten Cadillacs nose first into a Texas wheat field alongside Interstate 40, an art installation that would eventually come to be known as Cadillac Ranch. This is an eventful week for the Cadillac Ranch, one of the most celebrated roadside landmarks in the country: on Saturday, the site celebrates its fortieth anniversary, and on Tuesday, Stanley Marsh 3, the art installation’s eccentric millionaire benefactor, died. Marsh’s legacy was tainted in his final years after a string of teenage boys  alleged he had sexually abused them.  (Read Skip Hollandsworth’s obituary of Marsh  here.) In the wake of those revelations, Amarilloans weren’t sure what to think of the Cadillac Ranch anymore (one even suggested  bulldozing it), but this unease largely lifted after a settlement to a lawsuit revealed that Marsh no longer owned the property. And so “the hood ornament of Route 66,” lives on, constantly changing as passing graffiti artists leave their stamp on it.

Amarillo native and longtime  Texas Monthly  photographer Wyatt McSpadden, who went to work for Marsh when he was nineteen years old, has been documenting the evolution of the art installation since before the first car went into the ground. “The Cadillacs were buried when I was 22 and just getting started as a photographer. Those pictures still have a life,” he said. In 1978,  Texas Monthly ‘s associate art director Nancy McMillen called up McSpadden and gave him his first assignment for the magazine: to photograph Marsh, whom he dubs “Amarillo’s Mad Hatter.” “All of this has been a huge thread in my life. I hate that he went out with such an awful stain but I have the option to remember the good things, and that’s what I’m doing.” McSpadden’s photos and captions of the Cadillac Ranch over the years follow below.

One of the few images that remain of Cadillac Ranch in its original condition, taken in 1976. Once the graffiti mobs got started there was no stopping them.

The last car purchased was the first car buried. Here Doug Michels of Ant Farm, the group of California artists that created the project, seals the deal on the 1949 model in an alley in northeast Amarillo.

The Cadillacs were buried in sequence from the oldest, 1949, to the newest, 1964. There are 10, each car representing the latest version of the famous Cadillac tail fin.

Members of Ant Farm moved to Amarillo for several months to plan, survey the property, purchase and bury the cars. This fellow is a neon artist from England, Roger Dainton, who happened to be in Amarillo on an assignment and became an honorary member of Ant Farm by helping to bury the cars.

There was giant party to mark the completion of the Cadillac Ranch in late June. Everyone was invited from the bluebloods of Amarillo, the hippies, and here a ranch foremen from a nearby cattle operation and his wife.

Cadillac Ranch 1990. The caddies were painted several times in a variety of colors and shades of grey. The pink period was one of the most popular. No paint job stayed unmarked for long.

Another version of the chameleon Cadillac Ranch. Probably taken in the early nineties.

Cadillac Ranch has been located in active wheat pastures in both locations. In the winter and early spring the rancher would have steers out grazing. Cattle out to pasture can be squirrely but this steer was very patient in posing for me. Perhaps it was his third leg that made him so agreeable.

Ant Farm artist Chip Lord returned to check on his herd a couple of years after they were buried.

Cadillac Ranch was moved in 1997 from its original site along Interstate 40 to a new spot two miles west along the interstate. The move was necessary because Amarillo’s growth was westward and the property where the caddies were buried was becoming increasingly valuable.

A Cadillac dangles from a crane during the 1997 move two miles westward along Interstate 40.

My younger son Stuart in 1989. He and his brother, Trevor, would join me on my picture making excursions to the ranch. I was using a special panoramic camera for a project and thought it would be a good format for the caddies.


Jamey is a good friend to us here at greaseralley and we want you guys all to meet the guy behind his killer work. Jamey is  from Meridian, MS, and has had a love of creativity all his life. He is a very skilled, talented craftsman who is the creative force behind HandmMade Seat Co. LLC, HandMade Media LLC, Jamey Jordan Signature Series LLC, and HandMade Art LLC.


Jamey graduated from Meridian High School in 1997 with an emphasis in Drafting Technology and from Meridian Community College in 2001 with a degree in Drafting Technology. He furthered his education in the automotive field by completing the Collision Refinishing/Street Rod Body Fabrication program in December 2002 at the Laramie, WY, campus of WyoTech. In the fall of 2003 he completed a nine-month program at Tulsa Welding School, Jacksonville, FL

After graduating from WyoTech and Tulsa Welding School, Jamey worked in several body shops in Mississippi and Louisiana, using the skills learned at Wyo. It didn’t take long before he realized that there was so much more that he could do.

In 2007 a friend asked him to build a set of seats in a bomber style. After that Jamey was hooked, realizing the creativity that he could put into developing his own style. Using a Mittler bead roller and dies that were available, he started HandMade. In the summer of 2012 Mike Mittler and Jamey joined together to create the JJ Signature Series product line of bead rollers and dies. The product line is now at over 60 items.

Last year Jamey had the opportunity to go to Blairsville, PA campus of WyoTech to work with students in different programs, teaching them the uses of the Bead Roller and the new Dies that he has developed.

His work has appeared on West Coast Customs, Powerblock, Search and Restore, Muscle Car, Stacey DavidGearz Speed Channel and Hot Rod Garage. You can also find him demonstrating his art at SEMA in Las Vegas, Goodguy shows and Art Galleries.

You guys get a chance check him out:





I found this video a couple of weeks… if not months ago on and thought it had a good vibe.

Ghost Car

Posted: March 15, 2012 in Art, History
Tags: ,

This is one that has been around a few times on the internet. I have been sitting on it for a bit, so I thought I would post it for you guys:

World’s only remaining ‘Ghost Car’ heads for auction. Incredible images of the Plexiglas Pontiac expected to fetch almost $500,000.


Unveiled at the General Motors Highways and Horizons pavilion at the 1939-40 World’s Fair in New York, the Pontiac ‘Ghost Car’ was buit on the chassis of a 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six. In collaboration with Rohm & Haas, a chemical company that had recently developed Plexiglass, the concept for a transparent car was conceived and it was the first one ever built in America.

This one-of-a-kind vehicle will be put up for auction on July 30, 2011 by RM Auctions in Plymouth, Michigan. The car is estimated to fetch between $275,000 – $475,000. Additional information and photographs of this beautiful vehicle below, enjoy!











– The highlight of the 1939-40 World’s Fair in New York and the first transparent car ever built in America – Series 26. 85 bhp, 222.7 cu. in. L-head six-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. – The structural metal underneath was given a copper wash, and all hardware, including the dashboard, was chrome plated. Rubber moldings were made in white, as were the car’s tires – Cost a reported $25,000 to build (using Consumer Price Index to estimate inflation, it is approx. $388,000 in 2010 US dollars) – Car still rides on its original white tires with odometer reading of 86 miles (138 km) – Does not have a conventional vehicle identification number












Our good friend Jamey Jordan has done it again ladies and gents! Always the outside of the box runner………Hand Made Seat Co presents Bar Stool Bomber Style!

Hand Made Seat Co or Check Jamey out on Facebook Telling you saw his stuff at greaseralley!


          Jamey “HandMade” Jordan is proud to announce the launch of his new custom interior company offering a full line of “HandMade” hot rod interior products. HandMade Seat Co. was established to give the serious hot rodder custom options to make the build and design of any interior stand out from the crowd. Beginning with a new spin on traditional Bomber style seats, HandMade Seat Co. is building new designs every single day to offer many unique styles to choose from.

     Or, if you want to depart from the standard designs, they will hand-build a completely one-off custom set, created to your exact specifications, that will never be rebuilt or sold to another customer even if requested, making your custom set truly one-of-a-kind.

 For more information or to place your custom order today, call 601.692.6448 or check out handmadeseatco  for photos of all the latest seats and accessories.

Despite his genius and popularity, Dutch never made any money from striping. Money was something he detested. In this quote from a 1965 article Dutch explains his thoughts on money.








“I make a point of staying right at the edge of poverty. I don’t have a pair of pants without a hole in them, and the only pair of boots I have are on my feet. I don’t mess around with unnecessary stuff, so I don’t need much money. I believe it’s meant to be that way. There’s a ‘struggle’ you have to go through, and if you make a lot of money it doesn’t make the ‘struggle’ go away. It just makes it more complicated. If you keep poor, the struggle is simple.” – Von Dutch

Every so often he would double his rate just to weed out the undesirables. So many were demanding his services that he just couldn’t stand it anymore.   It didn’t work! No matter what he charged, they just kept on coming! He hated the commercial aspects of what he did. He believed that you couldn’t focus on doing good work if you worried about the money, and ‘good work’ was everything to Dutch!

Von Dutch was a multitalented artist. In addition to pinstriping, ha was also a gunsmith, kustom painter, knife maker, sign painter, inventor, customizer, and a fine artist. Von Dutch also did a lot of special effects for movies, and was a consultant for period movies because he was a gun expert. The man was a genius, and could make something out of anything. He was mostly interested in motorcycles, but did also customize some cars. One of the cars he restyled was based on a Cord and a Cadillac, so he named it the “Cordillac”. Another automotive creation by Von Dutch was his truck the “Kenford”.

Von Dutch was known as an eccentric artist. In an interview with Hot Rod Magazine March 1977 he tells about a guy visiting his shop bugging him to stripe his car. He really got him mad, so he decided to give him a little surprise, as he put cobwebs and spiders all over his car. Another customer who was foolish enough to pressure Von Dutch into a quick job he didn’t want to do got a striping job that wouldn’t dry, as Von Dutch had mixed a lot of oil into the paint. In Hot Rod Magazine April 1989 Pat Ganahl also tells stories about a fire truck Von Dutch was hired to do traditional pinstripng on for a station in Arizona. Once completed Von Dutch had flamed the truck instead. When racers brought him grille inserts from Model A’s or 32s, half the time he would stripe them upside down. Pat had also heard a story about a customer that got a car striped. When the customer got back to the shop Von Dutch had pinstriped one side of the car differently than the other. When brought the car back to Von Dutch, Von Dutch would tell him: “Who can see both sides of your car at the same time? Why should they be the same? This way, you get two different designs on your car to enjoy for the price of one”.Also if somebody tried to dicker on price, Von Dutch would raise the figure instead of lowering it.

Von Dutch got a little too moody and eccentric for Barris Kustoms, so he moved his operation uptown to “The Crazy Arab’s” Competition Body Shop at 7201 West Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles in 1955.  After Von Dutch moved, George Barris asked Dean Jeffries, aka “The Kid” if he would sublease a shop space in the Barris Kustoms Lynwood shop. Dean Jeffries used to hang around Von Dutch in the beginning of his career. In the book Dean Jeffries 50 Fabulous Years in Hot Rods, Racing and Film Dean admits that it was Von Dutch that learned him to pinstripe. As Dean spent a lot of time around Von Dutch, the duo became known as Von Dutch and “The Kid”. Before Dean “Jeff” Jeffries rented space at the Barris Kustoms shop he was working out of George Cerny’s Custom Shop.

In 1955 Von Dutch made a personal appearance at the 1955 Motorama where he striped a 1927 Studebaker for 10 days, he achieved national fame in Car Craft February 1956.

According to his sister Virginia Howard Reyes most of the stories being told about Von Dutch are just stories. Some are somewhat true, but almost all of the stories on him are all different because he never gave a straight answer, and liked to play with you. When he told you something, you believed it, and he got a kick out of it. According to Virginia he never lied, he hated liars, and was very honest. He wasn’t eccentric as a young boy, but since he was quite different from the norm, his family always knew he had something special in him.

After a controller from the building inspector’s office started bugging Von Dutch for having antiquated machinery in his shop, he decided to move into a 1954 public transportation bus, since there is nothing in the vehicle code  that says anything about how old the machinery can be.

One of the things Von Dutch enjoyed doing most was building and working on machinery. Building an engine from scratch, see it grow, have it make heat, and power, would beat Frankenstein’s monster to Von Dutch.

Born in 1929 as Kenneth Howard, Von Dutch was the man who brought pin-striping as a high art from motorcycles to automobile bodies. He took his nickname from his stubbornness. “Stubborn as a Dutchman” is a by now quaint ethnic slur. But beyond stubborn, Von Dutch became insufferable. He was the quintessential cliché romantic artist, selfish inside his own vision, alienating family, friends and customers alike. Part romantic, part beatnik, part general pain in the ass, he was a racist and prima donna, he managed to irritate almost everyone who admired him—and in the best esthetic mode, somehow made them admire him more in the process.

He died in 1992, leaving two daughters. At the end, he was drinking heavily, holed up in an old Long Beach city bus. For years he lived at the museum called Movie World, Cars of the Stars and Planes of Fame in Buena Park, California. He had become paranoid and he spent time elaborately engraving and painting knives and guns as well as cars.

 Michael Cassel, a maker of surf clothing, established a company called Von Dutch Originals in 2000 and opened the store on Melrose Avenue a year later. He brought in a man named Tony Sorensen who in turn hired designer Christian Audigier. Audigier worked for Diesel and Fiorucci. Casel’s notion was to tap the hot rod set; but Sorensen and Audigier aimed at wider, fashion audience.

From what he have heard through the grapevine the clothing line was started by his daughters  in 1996 with Michael Cassel with the rights being sold in 2000 and  Tony tossing Cassel out around 2001. The  family business the “family”  honestly,made NO money compared to what that company made and is still making.

No discussion of Von Dutch would be complete without touching on the subject of his famous Flying Eyeball logo. According to Von Dutch, the flying eyeball originated with the Macedonian and Egyptian cultures about 5000 years ago. It was a symbol meaning “the eye in the sky knows all and sees all”, or something like that. Dutch got a hold of this symbol and modified it into the flyin’eyeball we know of today. He always believed in reincarnation, and the eyeball, somehow, was tied to that.There have been numerous “incarnations” of this design over the years. It still remains an icon of the ’50s and ’60s street rod crowd.

vintage tattoo postcard Al Schiefley Les Skuse

Dueling tattoo legends & bosom buddies– Al Schiefley (left) & Les Skuse (right)
Yep.  On a tattoo kick again.  Check out these sick pics and you’ll know why.  This ain’t no Miami Ink — this is Olde School, Hard-Ass Tats.
The legendary tattooist, and founder of the Sandusky Tattoo Club, Al Schiefley lived and worked out of Sandusky, Ohio where he opened his famous Pearl Street shop that dutifully operated for over a quarter of a century.  The photo above was taken back in mid 1950s during Al’s travels abroad, and shows him seemingly double-teaming a well-inked young lady (with a strange sense of humor) alongside his host and fellow tattoo master — Les Skuse, President of the famed Bristol Tattoo Club.  While in Bristol, Al had the honor of being tattooed by Skuse, as well as the respected London tattooist, Rich Mingins.
Les Skuse tattoo parlor
The Skuse family have a rich heritage in the art of tattooing — dating back well over 80 years. It all started with founder Les Skuse, who started the Bristol business back in 1928. Through his years of inking that brought him recognition in Bristol and abroad, Les Skusee was ultimately awarded the title of Champion Tattoo Artist of all England for his advancements in tattoo artistry and techniques.

Les Skuse

This 1950s pic of Les Skuse and members of the Bristol Tattoo Club shows them holding their club’s calling card. For recognition purposes, every member is secretly inked somewhere on their body with the club insignia — a black bat.
From The Skuse Family History–
Les Skuse was born, lived and died in the port town of Bristol, England. He became the town’s most famous tattoo export and was almost as well known on American shores as he was at home. He visited the United States in 1956 and corresponded with many American tattooists. He was a big admirer of the Coleman School of tattooing as practiced by Paul Rodgers, Huck Spaulding, Al Schiefley and others.
In 1956, Skuse stated in a letter: “English tattooists were using a single needle. This caused a lot of bleeding and pain. This finished design looked very thin and scratchy when compared with the strong, well-shaded designs done in the United States.”
tattoo parlor vintage postcard
The right-handed Skuse started his tattoo career in 1928 at the shop of Joseph Hartley, who was probably Bristol’s one and only tattoo artist before Skuse. Hartley was a long time tattooist/supplier in this area and was located at 2 Blackfields, near Stokes Croft, Bristol, England.
Skuse stated: “Professor Joe Hartley fixed me up with a Japanese hand tattooing outfit, and began to work on some of my friends. It was not long before I had earned the price of a six-volt combination tattoo machine.” Skuse is said to have stayed with Hartley until World War II, when he enlisted in the Royal Artillery. After five years of tattooing the troops, he got out, settled back into Bristol and opened his first shop. Les Skuse was located in at least three different storefronts in Bristol; 57 and 97 Lower Ashley Road, and 71 Mina Road.
Bristol Tattoo Club Les Skuse
Undoubtedly two of the major accomplishments that etched Les Skuse’s name into tattoo history were the formation of the British Guild of Tattooing and the Bristol Tattoo Club. These organizations were given worldwide publicity by both the British and overseas presses, and kept Skuse in the limelight during the 1950s.
Riding on this wave of popularity, Skuse was voted the Champion Tattoo Artist of All England in 1955. The next few years brought an international exchange of tattoo ideas, with Skuse visiting the U.S., and Milton Zeis and Al Schiefley visiting England.
Les Skuse died in 1973. The most fitting tribute I can find for Les Skuse died from a 1957 letter: “I have always been ready and willing to learn, never thinking I knew it all and continually searching for ways in which to improve my work and equipment. It is my firm belief that the more tattooists meet, correspond and exchange ideas, the better it will be both for the individual and the profession.”
When Les Skuse died in 1973, Les Skuse Junior (Danny) took over his shop on Mina Road. Danny worked up to 1990 when he retired from the day to day running of the studio. He did however decide to work along side his lifelong friend Ron Ackers of Portsmouth and traveled around the world working at conventions, which he is still doing today. Danny is Jimmie’s Father and Brother of Billy.
At the time when Danny took over the Mina Road shop, Les Skuse Senior’s other son Billy was tattooing in Aldershot, Hampshire, alongside his wife Rusty Skuse, who was featured in the Guinness Book Of Records for being the most tattooed woman in England. Billy is Jimmy’s Uncle and Brother of Danny.
Jimmie Skuse started tattooing over 30 years ago when he worked alongside his father Danny at the age of thirteen. Jimmie established the Temple Street shop in 2004. Prior to that he worked as a guest artist in many studios throughout the West of England. Jimmie is the Grandson of Les Skuse.
danny billy skuse al schiefley
Les Skuse Bristol Tattoo Club
les skuse tattoo parlor vintage postcard
les skuse bristol tattoo clubles skuse bristol tattoo club
Les Skuse tattoo parlor
les skuseLes Skuse

 Janet "Rusty" Skuse

The legendary Janet “Rusty” Skuse

tattoo postcard ron ackers

Another English tattoo legend – Ron Ackers


Artist: Heather Holyoak

Armando Huerta is “The Dark Lord of Pin-Up”. And by that name, he is known throughout the art world. With his incredibly meticulous attention to detail, Armando creates some of the most beautiful and alluring Pin-Ups the world has ever seen.

At a very young age, Armando found out that he had the drive and the passion that it takes to be a leading Pin-up artist. With a start in modeling clay, Armando soon found out that the ability to draw and paint something and make it look 3-D was a more satisfying challenge.

Born in Mexico, Armando began his official art career as a graphic designer. With clients like Coca-Cola and Playboy, Armando soon had a name for himself. Once his artwork was spotted in the USA, Armando soon found himself on numerous comic book covers and a hit at Comic Book Conventions and Tattoo shows nationwide. With his growing popularity it is no wonder how such an accomplished artist could pick up collectors world wide who not only collect one or two pieces, but commission custom art regularly.


For more information, shows and events check