Showcasing classic American hot rods, sports cars and Musclecars, and supporting local charities and non-profit support groups, RODS & ROSES BLOOMS AGAIN IN CARPINTERIA, CA!

RODS & ROSES BLOOMS AGAIN IN CARPINTERIA, CA!Since 1912 the small seaside city of Carpinteria on California’s Central Coast has promoted its designation as the location of the “World’s Safest Beach” – and since 1997 the city has also been touting its Car Guy credentials as the home of the rad Rods & Roses car show. This popular community event has never been the biggest or baddest California car show, but it has always delivered a soothing blend of chilled vibes and head-turning stock and modified show cars.

This year’s show is the 27th iteration! It was held on July 6, 2024 and drew in over 200 cars plus thousands of show-goers from points near and far. There were hot rods, customs, classics, Musclecars, sports cars, imports, barn-finds, low-riders, and one beastly big machine! Since the show’s inception, one of its goals is to raise money in support of local non-profits like Carpinteria Cares for Youth, The Food Pantry, and Hospice of Santa Barbara.

As Saturday’s show wound down, the fun stayed ratcheted up for the annual Carpinteria Independence Day Parade that featured many of the award-winning show cars cruising slowly down Linden Avenue towards the World’s Safest Beach. One of the Old School hot rods that got my attention and serves as our report’s lead photo, above, is this radically customized ’27 Ford Model T High Roof Coupe. Model Ts were the first automobiles mass-produced on moving assembly lines, using interchangeable parts.

This was one of the sweetest hot rods I saw at Rods & Roses. It’s Jerry Friedrich’s Flathead-powered ’30 Ford Roadster and it’s sitting poised for action on Linden Avenue. You might have to be a bit of a fabrication geek to truly appreciate all the masterfully built components and details – like the rare ELCO finned aluminum Twin-Plug Heads, and numerous examples of engineering perfection. But even the average show-goer in Carpinteria appreciated its esthetic appeal. Well done, Jerry!

La Bestioni No. 8 is Gary Wales’ reimagined 1920 American LaFrance fire truck. This magnificent machine is Gary’s 8th Beast – and like No. 1, it’s a tribute to the famous 1910 Fiat S76 Beast of Turin racecar. No. 8 features a fully restored chassis and a 14-liter, water-cooled 6-cylinder motor. One of Gary’s biggest joys is watching his creations bring smiles to those lucky to encounter his Beasts. Sitting up high on La Bestioni is Gary’s constant companion and spokesperson, Kyra. Nice shirt Gary!

RODS & ROSES BLOOMS AGAIN IN CARPINTERIA, CA!BREAKING NEWS!: Surf shop employees spot powerful Cyclone near Carpinteria State Beach! Larry Schuss’ 427-powered ’65 Mercury Comet Cyclone charged the atmosphere out in front of Rincon Designs Surf Shop during RODS & ROSES BLOOMS AGAIN IN CARPINTERIA, CA! This meticulously crafted, hi-performance Merc took the Crown Classics Choice Award!

This pristine ’67 Porsche 911 may look like a nice stock survivor, but owners Mark & Brett Lyons were kind enough to send me a few of their recently completed 911’s specs. Its original 2.0 engine case is fitted with higher compression 2.2 pistons and heads are ported and polished. Plus, high-lift “E” cams, 123 electronic distributor and MSD box, PMO carbs and intakes, and an M&K Stainless steel muffler. Other upgrades include a 901 five-speed trans with J West short shifter, Tarett adjustable front and rear sway bars, MOMO steering wheel, and Scheel-Mann seats.

I wasn’t surprised to discover a Woody within walking distance of the World’s Safest Beach, but I was very impressed with the quality restoration of this stately ’48 Oldsmobile Deluxe Series 68 Station Wagon. Owner Greg Metzgus personally restored his Woody, using his master sheet metal and wood crafter skills to take the pile of weathered original wood parts crammed into the cargo bay of the unrestored wagon and turn it back into the shiny driver that it is today. Olds manufactured only 1,314 of the Deluxe Series 68, eight-cylinder, metal and wood wagons in 1948.

RODS & ROSES BLOOMS AGAIN IN CARPINTERIA, CA!This Sassy Grass Green (1970 Barracuda FJ6 color) Plymouth Barracuda underwent a rotisserie restoration with the apparent goal of capturing the sex appeal and “street brute” swagger of a legendary 426 Hemi Cuda. This car is a 1973 model with a high-performance, dual quad 472 cubic-inch motor producing 550 horsepower. Matte black fender and door graphics and a Shaker hood provide “Look at Me” contrast to the electric paint scheme. Wheels are noticeably not stock. The car is currently offered for sale in Ventura, CA with an asking price of $179,999.

Bill Pitruzzelli’s low and racy ’56 Porsche 356 Carrera Speedster got a lot of love from showgoers at RODS & ROSES BLOOMS AGAIN IN CARPINTERIA, CA! – as well as the Classic Award from the judges. Bill’s Outlaw 356 features an aftermarket hard tonneau with an integrated, sweptback headrest fairing.

I had to do a double-take and then a triple-take when I spotted this classic ’55 Corvette adorned with a rare Bubble Top. As the story goes, GM styling chief Harley Earl commissioned approximately 20 plastic bubble canopy tops for the ‘54 Corvette, most of which went to special customers and dealers. A handful of aftermarket companies produced Bubble Tops and, while pretty cool looking, almost all had fitment problems – allowing water and wind to enter the cockpit. Another “small problem” was that the bubble top raised interior temperatures. Not cool!

This Satellite is not from the gang at Space X but rather it’s a mid-size model from our friends at Plymouth. Finished in Snakeskin Green this ’69 Plymouth Satellite gets its propulsion from a 6.1-liter Hemi V8 crate engine mated to a Tremec TKO 600 5-Speed transmission. This car and the ’73 Hemi Cuda were brought to RODS & ROSES BLOOMS AGAIN IN CARPINTERIA, CA! by the same seller. $119,995 is the Take It Home number.

RODS & ROSES BLOOMS AGAIN IN CARPINTERIA, CA!By today’s standards, Ronald Root’s ’58 Corvette looks somewhat tame and reserved. No carbon fiber chassis, no rear wing, no 800 horsepower motor, and mercifully, no $1,000,000 price tag. Still, 66 years since its appearance on the showroom floors, this C1 Corvette still quickens my pulse, still makes me wonder “Is it for sale?” So, thanks Ronald, and thanks to all of you Car Guys for being the custodians and proponents for these automotive gems!

I want to close this Car Guy Chronicles West Coast report with a little challenge. Now I’m sure many of our readers will get the answer right away – but I’m willing to bet some of us will have to take a minute or two to decode our memorization process and retrieve our stored enthusiast minutiae from behind those massive memory banks of passwords, cousin’s names and mixology formulas. OK, so the question is, “What car’s interior is this a photo of?” Bonus brainiac points if you get the year, make and model correct!

Words & Photos © Jim Palam,

 For more information on the RODS & ROSES BLOOMS AGAIN IN CARPINTERIA, CA! show, please visit


Umbrellas and spirits were up and the ‘Rain Gods’ failed to dampen the fun and excitement at the 2024 QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING.

Umbrellas and spirits were up and the ‘Rain Gods’ failed to dampen the fun and excitement at the 2024 QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING.

It’s not surprising that folks with a passion for motorcycles are a pretty rugged and optimistic breed. Sure, rain was predicted to start falling at around 10 AM on May 4th, the Saturday that the 14th annual 2024 QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING would kick-start in beautiful Carmel, CA – on the manicured lawns of The Quail Golf Club. And rain it did, throughout most of the day. (The Seeley Polished Bike, right.)

But those rugged bikers and ardent fans still came – with their prepped and polished collector bikes, race bikes, art bikes, prototypes, and unbridled enthusiasm! Those who had them, erected space-frame show tents and invited those without shelter to pull their show bikes alongside theirs. Most of the 1,000 attendees I saw were smiling while sharing stories, tech tips and hot beverages. I had arrived a day early to grab photos and insights during the early arrival’s setup hours – and early again on Saturday morning, show day. By the time the rain began to fall I already had about 6 hours exploring the show field.

Gordon McCall and his hard-working Peninsula Signature Events team had promoted a 14th Gathering that would showcase four featured classes, ten traditional classes, special anniversaries and marques in motorcycling – and ultimately have over 300 bikes on display. With the sketchy weather, that count dropped to around 200 and attendance no doubt took a hit as well. But the fun and enthusiasm were never dampened by the rain. People got wet, but they also got stoked about participating in “The Gathering.” I grabbed shots of some fantastic bikes – like the 500cc ’55 McSquid’s Red Special Velocette featured as our report opener. I also ran into old friends and motorcycling celebrities – and developed new friendships and many more reasons to look forward to the next Gathering. If you haven’t attended yet, make sure it’s on your bucket list. You won’t be disappointed!

David Mathison, Ph.D., M. Div. is a Professor Emeritus at Loyola Marymount University. He’s also a classic motorcycle enthusiast, dog lover, and a consummate gentleman. Our conversation about his beautifully restored ’49 Vincent-HRD Rapide was interrupted often by his faithful four-legged companion White Shadow – who after a few investigatory sniffs of my camera decided I should be lavished with kisses and a sentinel post by my feet!

It was early Saturday morning, as storm clouds began covering the few remaining patches of blue sky, when I spotted eccentric bike builder and assemblage artist Keith Young riding his impossibly long and low Rat Bike onto the show field. His brassy Steampunk creation sports an air suspension and is powered by a Honda 550 Four. Keith returned to The Quail where last year his audacious machine took the Arlen Ness Memorial Award.

 2024 QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING.In 1969 Honda brought 4 pre-production CB750s to America. That same year 7,414 “Sandcast” CB750s were produced. In 1970 Honda built 650,000 “Diecast” CB750s. But it was 1968 when this bike, the very first CB750 Prototype was shipped to America for three reasons: to excite the U.S. and world market, to conduct a two-day test in the no-speed-limit Nevada desert, and to allow just one motorcycle magazine, Cycle World, to do an in-depth road test feature. And in 2024, Vic World of World Motorcycles completed his authentic to every component and detail restoration of this historic bike… and it took Best of Show at The Quail!

The beating heart within this fabulous metal craft masterpiece is a ’73 Norton 750 with a custom monocoque chassis. This polished metal head-turner is the ’73 Vintage Seeley Racing Chassis Custom and it took The Spirit of The Quail Award at The Gathering. It was fabricated by Evan Wilcox Metal Crafts and is owned by director, bike lover and TV personality Barry Weiss. Some of you may remember Barry from his flamboyant appearances on the hit TV series, Storage Wars.

After studying the details of this low and stretched ’47 Harley Davidson Knucklehead Chopper I believe I have uncovered the design influence for the controversial Tesla Cybertruck’s pyramid profile design. Check out the gas tank! I photographed this Chopper Class Award winner on Friday, before the rains came and while the yellow polishing clothes were still stuffed into the velocity stacks. This wicked chopper is owned by Richard Best.

Jason Mamoa is one of Hollywood’s go-to blockbuster actors. Better-known for his long hair and ripped Superhero body, he is less-known to the general public as an avid motorcycle rider and collector. His patina-rich ‘29 Brough Superior SS680 looks like it may have been used as a submerged prop in Jason’s movie, Aquaman. It was prepared and displayed at The Quail by acclaimed bike builder Max Hazan of Hazan Motoworks who also brought two more of Jason’s ‘Hazan’ bikes to the 14th Gathering. Jason’s ‘38 Hazan Motorworks JAP 1000 (JTOS) took 2nd Place in the Custom/Modified Class.

As the rain continued to saturate the grass at The Quail Golf Club, I continued to explore the display tents. That’s where I met restoration artist Greg Saule from San Diego who was displaying his beautiful ‘26 Moto Guzzi C2V racer. He described how he had intentionally left the crankcase and petrol tank empty for this show, having just finished his restoration. He apparently didn’t account for the combustive power of WD40 and when the judges asked him to crank the motor it fired-up, albeit just for a few seconds. Seems this surprise was enough to fire-up the judges, who awarded the Moto Guzzi the Antique 2nd Place Award.

2024 QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERINGThere’s no doubt that The Quail Motorcycle Gathering is a big deal to bike enthusiasts, but the structure of its stature comes in all sizes. Take Josh Rogers’ ‘46 Vespa V98 for instance. This leaning scooter is The First Vespa! It is powered by a 98cc engine that delivers a whopping 3.2 horsepower at 4,500 rpm. It was produced for two years and yes, it did not have a kick or center stand. On the outer edges and underside of the floor pan a half-oval shaped bumper provided the separation of the scooter from the road. Apparently, the accepted parking technique of the time was to simply lean the scooter against a curb. Josh’s fabulous motor scooter won the Vespa – Decades of Scooter Fun! Award.

Malanca was an Italian moped and small motorcycle manufacturer that was founded in 1956 by Mario Malanca, who started his company building motorcycle parts. This sleek 1971 model is the Competizione that featured a small 50cc motor and the rear-positioned foot pegs that would later be found on the more successful Testa Rossa models. Malanca made its racing debut in 1968 winning six championships in the 50cc and 60cc classes. Mario’s son Marco took over the company in 1978, changed the company name to Malanca Motors SpA and focused production on the 125cc models. The company later struggled in the larger-engined bike market and eventually closed down in 1986.

Since we’re on the topic of small bikes, how about a really small, really cool Indian? I met big Robert Johnson early Saturday morning when a good portion of the show field was still empty. He had just finished placing his very small and very cool ‘69 Indian Mini Bambino in the center of a wide swath of manicured grass. Robert went on to tell me how his very first bike was exactly the same as this 49cc kid’s bike. When he found this one, he just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make it his.

For me, much of the joy I get from covering motorsports events like The Quail is the time I get to interact with the owners, drivers, mechanics, fabricators and custodians of these marvelous machines. Case in point is good-natured Tom Dressler, who trailered his beautiful ‘92 bimota DB2 all the way from Virginia. This effort was as much an homage to the bike’s previous owner, a close friend of Tom’s, as it is the DB2 itself. This iconic bike sports serial number 00100, a carbureted, 900cc, 4-stroke, 2-valves-per-cylinder 86 horsepower engine, and a full fairing.

Inevitably, transformation happens. If you love Triumph motorcycle engines but you’re seeking a change in your bike’s appearance and performance, you might set your sights and dreams to Tamarit Motorcycles in Spain. Boasting the best team of engine and bike ‘transformers’ on the planet, Tamarit promises to make what you’ve always dreamed of a reality. At the 2024 QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING, I grabbed this close-up of their ‘05 Tamarit Thruxton’s motor. Might this be the ultimate in motorcycle Eye Candy?

One of the sponsor displays at the 2024 QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING this year was Indian Motorcycle. I captured this shot of six shiny Indians lined-up alongside Indian’s merchandise and information tent. Perhaps like me, you’re drawn to the ‘Wall of Death’ Indian Scout. I’d absolutely love to ride this bike – along a scenic canyon road or coastal Highway 1. That ‘Wall of Death’ ride will have to wait!

If there’s a photo in this report that could convey the spirit of this year’s Gathering, it’s this candid shot of three happy participants checking in and getting ready to ride their vintage Bultaco TSS Racers on to the show field. I shot this fairly early on Saturday. The rain was still in the clouds and the enthusiasm was just revving up.

Not to be outdone by the guys, artist, bike fabricator and reluctant motorcycle model Lily Key didn’t just ride her art bike out of a trailer, but left Los Angeles in the wee hours and rode her two-wheeled draconic beast over 350 miles in the damp and dark cold to be a part of the 2024 QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING in Carmel. I encourage you to discover how much a true biker Lily is by checking out

Lily Key video @

And I encourage everyone to get out to the shows and on the road as often as you can. Thanks for riding along with us on this special CarGuyChronicles report!

Words & Photos ©Jim Palam

For more information about The Quail Motorcycle Gathering and The Peninsula Signature Events, please visit


Vintage Japanese vehicles shine at the 35TH ANNUAL SOLVANG DATSUN ROADSTER CLASSIC, held in the Danish capital of America!


35TH ANNUAL SOLVANG DATSUN ROADSTER CLASSIC You could say that the 35TH ANNUAL SOLVANG DATSUN ROADSTER CLASSIC organizers and participants have a cozy relationship with their host city, Solvang, CA. Allocated just one street in the heart of The Danish Capital of America, 75 vintage Datsun roadsters, sedans, coupes, trucks and Zs performed an early morning ballet of parking precision as they snugged-into their assigned spaces on First Street, right next to Solvang Park.

This popular two-day event attracts participants and fans from all over the world. The itinerary included a “Meet & Greet” dinner on April 28th at Mendenhall’s Museum of Gasoline Pumps and Petroliana in Buellton, the outdoor “Show & Shine” on Saturday the 29th in Solvang, and a post-show banquet held at the Solvang Veteran’s Hall. Part of the proceeds from the event are donated to the American Diabetes Association.

As in year’s past, the lion’s share of the entries in the show are not surprisingly Datsun Sports convertibles, which are now better known as Datsun Roadsters – like the three I photographed very early on Saturday morning for our report’s lead image. First released in the 1960s, the Japanese domestic market roadster was badged Fairlady and featured 1500 and then later, 1600cc motors. It was also exported to Australia. In 1967, before the 1968 emissions and design changes, Datsun unveiled one of today’s most sought-after collector models, the 2000 Roadster. In 1952 Datsun had produced a predecessor to the Fairlady, the 20 horsepower DC-3. Only 50 were ever built.

35TH ANNUAL SOLVANG DATSUN ROADSTER CLASSICBeginning in 1969, Datsun unveiled its game-changer 240 Z Series. This 2-door, 2-seat, rear-drive, high-performance “economy” car sold over 160,000 units in the United States in just four years of production. I’m excited about presenting two 240’s here in the show report.

As you scroll down, you’ll discover engineer Rick Johnson standing by his gray ’73 240Z.35TH ANNUAL SOLVANG DATSUN ROADSTER CLASSICThis car may look like a docile Datsun but one look under its hood reveals part of its street and drag strip, built-for-speed secret – a 350-inch, 410 horsepower Chevy small-block.Please enjoy this 35TH ANNUAL SOLVANG DATSUN ROADSTER CLASSIC Gallery. Some of my favorites are the right-hand-drive ‘59 Datsun 1000 sedan sporting fat whitewalls that went on to win the “Pre-’63” category, Larry Knorr’s black ’67 ½ Datsun 2000, Steve Pharr’s time-capsule, custom ’73 Datsun 620 pickup with a ’73 Yamaha 175 Enduro in its bed, and Solvang UPS Store owner Christian Tokchia’s very rare, right-hand-drive ’71 Datsun 1600 SSS “Bluebird” Coupe. That’s Christian in the Datsun hat and sunglasses, standing next to his “I’m leaving everything as is…” pale-yellow Bluebird.




Words & Photos ©Jim Palam,

For more information about the 35TH ANNUAL SOLVANG DATSUN ROADSTER CLASSIC, please visit


Jim Palam moseys over to the Red River Ranch in Los Olivos, CA, and rustles up some tasty images from the CARS & COWBOYS’ BENEFIT FOR MEALS ON WHEELS.

CARS & COWBOYS’ BENEFIT FOR MEALS ON WHEELS.There are over 31,000 residents in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, which includes the communities of Solvang, Buellton, Ballard, Santa Ynez and Los Olivos. It is also home to the Santa Ynez Chumash Indians’ reservation and casino.

If you’re out and about in the Valley you will inevitably encounter winemakers, farmers, equestrians, gamblers, and dusty-booted cowboys. In the 11 years that I’ve lived in the Valley, I’ve had the privilege of meeting a small but active community of local carguys who have tucked in behind their businesses, homes, and ranches, an exceptional collection of sports, classic, exotic, historic, rare and racy cars. So, I suppose it was just a matter of time before someone would connect the dots and bring together Cars & Cowboys for a major attraction that would benefit members of the community who need a helping hand.

Now you don’t throw a shindig like the Cars & Cowboys Extravaganza 2022 in The Valley without having fun as one of the goals. In addition to the show cars on display at Red River Ranch in Los Olivos, there was also numerous appetizer and tasting stations set up – along with two live bands, silent and live auctions, craft and clothing vendors, a bountiful, sit-down al fresco dinner and stagecoach rides – plus trick roping and horsemanship exhibitions. But the main goal of the event was to raise funds for the SYV Meals on Wheels program that serves seniors and veterans in the Santa Ynez Valley.

The CARS & COWBOYS’ BENEFIT FOR MEALS ON WHEELS Extravaganza drew in over 350 attendees. It wouldn’t have happened without the tireless efforts of a lot of amazing volunteers, sponsors, donors, community members, and businesses. Special thanks have to go to Al & Denise Frink who opened up their beautiful Red River Ranch for the event, C&C committee co-chairs Pam Gnekow and Kathi Heringer, Pete Thomsen who wrangled the show cars, and the support of the SYV Community Outreach Program that helps subsidize the cost for the Meals on Wheels operations.

Car Guy Chronicles is honored to bring attention to this special event. Word is already out that there will be another C&C shindig next year, so stay tuned. If you weren’t able to attend, here are some tasty event images rustled up by our contributor Jim Palam for you guys to enjoy. The original Elvis shirt was one of the unique auction items on display.




Words & Photos © Jim Palam,

For more information about the organization and CARS & COWBOYS’ BENEFIT FOR MEALS ON WHEELS, please visit

To learn more about the SYV Meals On Wheels program, check out


We asked CGC West Coast contributor Jim Palam to scoot up to the Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, CA and bring back a special two-wheel report for the 12TH ANNUAL QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING, the return of two-wheel splendor to the grass of Carmel Valley. Mission accomplished!


It was Friday-the-13th when I drove past Valhalla Drive in Solvang. I was on my way North to cover the 12TH ANNUAL QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING in Carmel, after the show was put on-hold for a two-year hiatus thanks to Covid. For a moment I couldn’t escape the irony that according to folklore, Valhalla was where the 13 Norse gods were having a death-arrow dinner party and the superstition of Friday-the-13th originated.

This harbinger of bad luck quickly faded when I reached Carmel Valley Road, turned into the bucolic setting of the Quail Lodge and headed onto the manicured show area where they were beginning to set up for Saturday’s much anticipated event. I thought how good my fortunes actually were as I watched some of the best bikes in motorcycling history being carefully rolled off their trailers and moved onto the beautiful show field. This was going to be special.

By noon on Saturday some 3,200 motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world had gathered to enjoy The Quail’s events – which included the display of 250 iconic motorcycles from the last 100 years, appearances by icons of motorcycling history and design, vendor tents, a silent auction – and tasty offerings of unique foods and beverages. Judged motorcycle classes included British, Italian, Other European, Japanese, Competition On-Road, Competition Off-Road, Antique, Custom/Modified and Choppers.

Special thanks as always to Gordon McCall, Director of Motorsports for The Peninsula Signature Events, the hard-working event crews, presenter GEICO Motorcycle – and of course all the owners, builders and restoration experts who put endless hours and resources into making The Quail Motorcycle Gathering one of the best, two-wheel show events in the world. I’m already looking forward to 2023!

Mat Hazan ‘s stiletto-shape, custom ‘51 Vincent Rapide took not only the “Best of Show” honors, but also the “Design & Style” award. Now many would argue that the Rapide – or any Vincent for that matter – is already a fully-realized and strikingly-beautiful motorcycle, and that altering it in any way is sacrilegious. But Mat’s fabrication skills and customization visions are quite possibly heaven-sent and arguably beyond reproach.

This spectacular ‘15 Henderson “Long Tank” may look like a stretch of the imagination, but it was actually shortened six inches during its restoration. In its unmolested configuration this Henderson would have had a 65-inch (axle-to-axle) wheelbase. I was lucky to grab photos of this Machine Age classic on set-up day, because it didn’t take long for the Henderson to fade from view thanks to an ever-present wall of admires on show day. The Long Tank was on the judges short list, as it earned 2nd Place honors in the Antique class.

12TH ANNUAL QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERINGThe ‘06 Ducati Fuse from Revival Cycles of Austin Texas and designer Ed Boyd burned its way into the hearts of the judges, winning AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Heritage Award. The Fuse started as a Ducati Monster with an 1,100cc motor. There are few parts, if any, that weren’t custom made by the artisans at Revival. I regret not dragging a ladder along to grab a bird’s eye view of this tapered red rocket. It’s from above that its unique shape truly astounds.

There was intense competition in the Japanese Class as there was an impressive turnout from the Honda collectors and enthusiasts – in addition to a strong showing of Suzukis, Kawasakis and Yamahas. Perhaps it was because my very first motorcycle was a ’73 inline-four CB500 that this ’82 Honda CBX Super Sport from Scott Steel’s collection got my heart pumping and my camera clicking. With six cylinders, six carburetors, 24 valves, two overhead camshafts, 100 horsepower and two upswept-3-stacks of chromed exhausts blasting chasers from behind, the CBX in its 1982 configuration was an unfortunately short-lived and pricey Sport-Touring experiment. It sold for $5,600 before taxes and fees.

Now this is BIG! Originally presented in 1961 as an attraction at Honda’s Tama Tech amusement park in Hino, Japan, this tiny bike quickly garnered praise and press – so in 1963 Honda began mass production of a street-legal Honda CZ100 Mark I Minibike. It was outfitted with a 49cc motor, a 3-speed semi-automatic transmission, 5 inch wheels, a white and chrome tank and bright red frame. The CZ100 was only available in European and Asian countries. Thanks to Joe Carrillo for bringing this rare icon to The Quail.

It’s been over ten years now since ARCH Motorcycle Company co-founders Keanu Reeves and Gard Hollinger took their shared dream of building a sleek and powerful bespoke motorcycle of unbeatable quality from idle chatter to high-revving, head-snappin’ actuality. I had the pleasure of spending a little time with Gard– pictured here on the right – and his company’s Client & Communication Manager Jordan Mastagni as they indulged my set-up day questions and showed me two of the company’s latest offerings. My ARCH pick for The Quail show was the bike in front of them – the ARCH 1s high-performance Sport Cruiser. The fit and finish of each ARCH motorcycle is carefully tailored to its owner.

Speaking of partnerships, in the world of motorcycle collecting and show circuit competition it is more often than not, a partnership of a discerning and motivated collector with a master level restoration shop or craftsman. Leather-clad collector Eric Meithke is pictured here with Tony Digati, his – and I’m quoting Eric – “Michelangelo of Motorcycle Restoration.” Before them is just one of their many projects, a spectacular ‘68 Suzuki Cobra 500. It features a duplex cradle frame, has a 492-cc two-stroke twin, does the quarter-mile in 13.2 seconds and has a top speed of 105 miles per hour!

12TH ANNUAL QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERINGEach time I’ve seen Clay Baker at The Quail Motorsports Gathering he’s brought with him impeccable, show-winning Honda motorcycles – like this very special ‘67 450D Super Sport. There are only 35 known 450 “D” bikes in the 450D registry. This one was made even more rare by the orange paint “D-Kit” conversion. The 53-part kit was a dealer option to help sell off their 4-speed black bombers by converting them to 450 Scramblers with components like a revised gas tank and side covers, braced handlebars, shorter seat, Scrambler exhausts and bright colors.

Aesthetics has always played an important role in the marketing and sales of motorcycles. When Honda executives took notice of the bizarre colors and styles of the psychedelic era, they figured they could boost their American and European market sales by offering special paint kits to their dealers. Swirling paint for Honda tanks and side covers were offered as kits under the name Flying Dragon. This close-up of Steve Adler’s pristine ’73 Honda CL350 K5 Flying Dragon shows the gold and purple color scheme, one of three different combos available.

There’s always a point when I’m covering motorsports shows that I either want to jump in or on the machine I’m photographing to see what she can do. That was my first inclination when I spotted this limited-edition Diavel 1260 Lamborghini Ducati. One of only 630 units produced in 2021, this Diavel represents a fusion of Italian design and performance excellence. It’s chiseled, fighter jet lines are inspired by the Lamborghini Sian FKP 37. The Diavel’s thoroughbred sports engine produces 157 horsepower and 95 pound-feet of torque. It has a dry weight of 485 pounds and a 2021 price tag of $31,995.

Crocker Motorcycles were manufactured in Los Angeles from 1936 through 1942, at which point the plant was reconfigured to support the war effort and motorcycle production ceased. During that short period of time less than 100 Crockers were produced. Back in those days a Crocker had a top speed of 140 mph. This rare ‘39 “Small Tank” Crocker is from Mike Madden’s collection. Its 61 cubic inch motor produced about 50% more horsepower than the Harleys and Indians of the era. In fact, they were faster than almost every production automobile on the road in the 1930s!

This is one of the reasons I love hanging out with car and motorcycle enthusiasts: they are passionate about their vehicles, they are skilled, and they are often lovers of art. When Ron Wilcox replaced the ‘85 Yamaha RZV500R engine in his project bike he didn’t just hide it away in a dark storage area, he built a sturdy tripod for it so it could be displayed in all its “Heart of the Beast” artistic glory. Thanks for hefting this art to The Quail, Ron!

12TH ANNUAL QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERINGIt pleases me to no end that there is still a Chopper class at The Quail Motorcycle Gathering. I’m from the Easy Rider era and most bikes I saw on the streets and highways back then were home-garage-fabricated Harley Bobbers and Choppers. If there was one bike on the field at The Quail that could transport me back to the Harley Heydays it would be Big Danny Marquis’ drop-dead gorgeous ’37 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead. Every inch of this bike is perfection.

That it took 1st Place in the British Bike class is really no surprise, because Phil Lane’s ‘72 Dunstall Norton 810 MK 2 is an icon. In 1972 it was hailed as the fastest standard motorcycle ever produced and that’s the year Phil bought this bike. Dunstall Nortons were designed and built by Paul Dunstall, a specialist tuner with a knack for building fast, race-winning motorcycles. Dunstall also built BSAs and Triumphs, and would later move on to Japanese marques before leaving the motorcycle world for a career in property development.

Gard Hollinger of ARCH Motorcycles checks out some of the tantalizing detail in Brian Fuller’s ‘51 Fuller-Vincent Black Flash. This bike received the Art Center Award at The Quail in the Custom class. As some of you know, Brian Fuller has been appearing on television for years now on car shows where his assured demeanor matches his skills in automobile and motorcycle building and fabrication. He currently appears on MotorTrend TV’s show Car Fix with co-host Jeremy Bumpas. To see more of Brian’s fabrication magic, visit his website at

Allan Christie’s sublime ‘14 Yale 37 took 1st Place in the Antique class at the 12TH ANNUAL QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING. This award was presented by Bonhams. Yale motorcycles were manufactured by the Consolidated Manufacturing Company of Toledo, OH. They had acquired the rights to the California motorcycle which was the first internal combustion vehicle to cross the American continent in 1903. The Yale 37 sported a V2, four-stroke 1000-cc motor capable of propelling this Sport bike to a top speed of 71.5 mph.

I wanted to end my coverage of the 12TH ANNUAL QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING where it all began – with this simple image of this simply wonderful Bultaco that was the first photo I took on the set-up day. The crowds and celebrities had yet to arrive and the show field was almost bare, but most certainly beckoning. There was nobody polishing or prepping this bike, nobody guarding it. It was all I would have needed to make an escape – from the daily routines and our complicated world. It’s estimated that there are over 200 million motorcycles, mopeds and scooters on our planet right now. Perhaps I’m not the only one looking to escape!

Words & Photos © Jim Palam

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