Ride of the Week: Charting new territory in a vehicle made to EXPLORE…

Very recently, a couple uprooted and moved away from their home in Montreal, Canada, to start a new life here in Malibu.

Eric Dick and Celleste Dumouchel were eager to make their dreams come true through music and being around people who inspire them to greatness.

Now, Celleste’s career as a singer in Canada was booming, but California is where dreams truly expand. And having the ultimate car in which to plant roots in Malibu was a singular choice. Eric decided on a 2017 Jeep Wrangler Sport.

As a music producer/songwriter and director of Celleste’s career, it was important to have a car that could not only punish the hills of Malibu into submission, but take them to the Academy Awards when the time came..

So, a 2017 four-door Jeep in Desert Tan was it. And knowing that Jeep mods are aplenty from the factory, Eric settled on adding some knobby tires, American racing rims, front bumper with fog lights, rear bumper with reverse lights, fenders, light bar, tail light covers, door/side decals and more.

“I’ve had it now for seven months,” explained Eric. “Bought it in Thousand Oaks at Shaver Jeep, had the mods done down the street at Fantazy Motor Sports and worked with Zach, who was super. I love Jeeps and always have. I love the rugged factor, sitting high, lots of headroom, tons of cargo space for gear, and knowing I can drive it almost anywhere.”

Well, that’s an understatement. I’ve seen Jeeps do mind-boggling things.

But Eric goes on.

“I love the customization … been designing it in my head for a while, and it came out just as I pictured,” he said. “Also love that it’s manual … I’ve tried the automatics and they just don’t feel like a Jeep to me. But the best part of my Jeep is … that it’s a Jeep!”

But what does Eric really use it for primarily?

“Living now in Malibu and working from home, it’s definitely mostly used for exploring and ‘scenic appreciation,’” he said. “And with these surroundings, I find any excuse I can just to go grocery shopping!”

But, as you guys now know, no Ride of the Week is complete without the best short story. So here’s Eric’s: “It’s still early on for a best short story, but I would have to say that just being able to acquire it was a feat. There were no more Gobi-colored Jeeps in California, and very few manual ones even available in the US.

But Jimmy at Shaver Jeep bent over backwards for me and managed to get one of the last available from Arizona. It had to be Gobi and manual! Thanks, Jimmy!”

Well, some short stories are simply the fact that success and joy are inseparable — forever linked in the expectation that coolness and enlightenment are one and the same. Good job, Eric!

And finally, having moved to Malibu, Eric and Celleste are now suffering from a severe case of CSS (Constant Smile Syndrome).  “I love that beyond the incredible beauty, there are so many different areas — each with a VERY different feel,” Eric said. “Heading south (or east!), within 15 minutes, you can drive the coast for a taste of Italy, then head down luxurious Broad Beach, next get a farm feel in Malibu Park, take in breathtaking cliffs at Point Dume, head up Malibu Canyon for the most incredible mountains, and then ride through the banana tree jungles of Serra Retreat … and you’re only at central Malibu.”

Big thanks to Eric for taking the time to cruise in the Jeep and talk. Celleste will be my celebrity guest for the Father’s Day Wheels and Waves here in Malibu on June 17 at the Malibu Country Mart. Come join us.

Want to be featured in Ride of the Week? Send Fireball an email at askfireball@fireballtim.com.

Ride of the Week: Architect Steve Jones and his Jeep Lifestyle

It’s always interesting to interview designers. But nowadays, it seems that everyone’s a designer and that sentiment is actually true.

Human beings are creators. It’s what we do. But what sets us apart is our mindset and how we do what we do in our own unique way. Case in point: Stephen Francis Jones from SFJones Architects.

Jones has been an architect here in LA for many years and specializes in social spaces, basically extending your living room at home out among the world. It’s a place where you can gather with friends, eat, talk and swap stories for a time. Warm and inviting spaces that inspire creativity among friends, family and new acquaintances are Jones’s domain.

He’s created spaces for several places here in Malibu (Bui Sushi, for one), as well as for the likes of Wolfgang Puck and many others.

But when it came time for this successful architect to snag a cool car, he wasn’t interested in the likes of what many Malibuites clamor for. Instead, he pined for a bit of a grittier and textural option: the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara.

“Although, it’s a lease,” Jones explained, as we drove north on PCH. “We didn’t upgrade other than the lighting package, the sound system upgrade and the safety feature package.”

As the new Jeep is filled with thousands of Original Equipment Manufacturer options, modifying them isn’t all that necessary anymore and a lease makes sense.

But Jones goes on.

“I’ve only had it for two months, but we got it after we visited the LA Auto Show in January,” he said. “We were told that they were taking custom orders, so I went to Scott Robinson Jeep in Torrance with my daughter and we picked out the options we wanted. I especially liked the new safety features and light upgrade since my daughter just got her learner’s permit.”

But why this car for Jones instead of so many other SUVs?

“I have been a Jeep owner since I moved to LA in 1988 for grad school at UCLA,” he said. “It was a 1975 CJ-5 and was the only thing I could afford that was still cool.”

Ah, and here we have it. The car makes Jones feel a certain way.

“After I got married and had my first child, my wife made me sell the CJ-5 and get a more practical car. I did this with the caveat that one day I would get a new one. That day was after the recession when I had to downgrade from my Land Rover to something more affordable. My daughter talked me into looking at the Jeep … and after I drove it … [I] fell in love again.” 

“I love the fact that I can basically have a car that I can drive to a business meeting or take the top off and have an open air vehicle and scoot around my home near the beach,” Jones added.

Primarily, Jones uses his Jeep to commute to work and to meetings.

Occasionally he goes camping or on road trips to Palm Springs, Mammoth, or somewhere where he can load his bikes in the back and have a weekend excursion. And that, my friends, is what separates the Jeep from most.

The outdoor mindset of a Jeep owner says “I want to be in nature, any way I can.” And this, in many ways, also seems to inspire Jones’ designs.

“Since it is a hard top, taking the top off by myself isn’t all that easy,” Jones said. “So I devised a way to lift it off using a series of pulleys and ropes mounted to the ceiling of my garage. I can back it in and hook it up to lift it so I can drive out by myself.”

Of course, knowing Jones, the lift probably looks very cool, too. 

An avid cyclist, Jones mentioned that he always loved riding on PCH or through the Santa Monica Mountains.

“I love the ocean and mountain views and can decide if I want to ride my bike to the bottom of a hill and loop around or can just cruise down PCH,” he said.

It’s a good feeling to live in a town where people come to enjoy what we have. And we have a lot.

Cars can, if you allow them to, provide far more than transportation. They take us on a journey, but in the mind and in the body. And through that journey, our spirit is lifted into a kind of peace that at times defies description — like the moment when you catch a wave and everything goes into slo-mo. This is why surfers chase that high.

But the high doesn’t have to put your life at risk. It can quietly sneak in and bring you the present moment. And this is also why I like the Jeep so much, and it seems to be why Jones likes it, too.

Thanks Steve-o for hanging with me on the Vlog! Be sure to check out his awesome stuff at www.sfjones.com

Want to be featured in Ride of the Week? Send Fireball an email at askfireball@fireballtim.com.

Ride of the Week: Remembering Ken Freeland and his beloved AVATAR TRIKE

A few weeks back, my wife, Kathie, and I were doing our thing at Ralph’s here in Malibu.

As we came down an aisle, I spotted a very cute service dog. I love dogs, and seeing one at the store is always a treat.

As we approached and started to pet the pooch, the owner revealed herself to be Pauline Freeland, and she lived here in town. I introduced myself and she immediately recognized me from this paper and began to tell me the story of her ex-husband, Ken Freeland.

Ken lived in Sylmar and rode a trike with paintings from James Cameron’s “Avatar” movie. He belonged to a motorcycle club and many of their rides were through Malibu.

“He would ride to some of the special rides out of state with his [black cocker spaniel] Tucker in a dog carrier,” began Pauline. “It seemed he had a pretty special motorcycle prior, but he had to give up two-wheelers according to some of his motorcycle mates due to his age.”

But, as Pauline continued, I could see that the story was going to end sadly. 

“He was on vacation last September with a friend from the club who also rode a trike,” she said. “They had ridden to Canada and were on their way back in Oregon when he wanted to stop and see a lighthouse.”

According to the friend he was riding with, he may have turned too quickly, had the sun in his eyes, or didn’t give the trike enough gas, but he hit an embankment and fell off the bike, which went over a small cliff, Pauline shared.

“He was airlifted to a trauma hospital in Eugene, Oregon … where he passed away 11 days after the accident,” she said. “His best friend Dave and I were with him at that time. Our son and several friends had been there with him the week before.” 

Surprisingly, the bike survived fairly well and the person with him on the ride eventually bought the bike. It next appeared at Ken’s memorial, given by his bike club in Simi Valley recently. He was 80 years old.

“Kenny won many trophies for this trike, which I believe Dave or the club still have,” Pauline said. “It was also mentioned in a motorcycle magazine that Kenny showed me one time which he was very proud of.”

Now, in a case like this, the least important thing is what kind of trike it was. No one cares. What they do care about was that Ken passed away doing what he loved. And I’m pretty sure that is the dream of most people.

Many of us strive to give ourselves permission to enjoy our lives. Society has created two days out of the week and two weeks out of the year for vacation. But, eventually, you wake up and realize that life is meant to be lived. And you begin to shift the focus of getting things done to pay bills and just start living.

Every Sunday, I pepper my calendar for the week with things that I think will make me smile. Sure, there are things I need to do and responsibilities, but, somehow, they seem less burdensome when I get to look forward to some coolness.

Let’s let Ken be the inspiration for this week. Go out and do something today that you truly love — something that puts joy in your heart, a smile on your face and brings you peace. It’s what Ken did, and he had thousands of wonderful experiences. It’s time we did, too.

Want to be featured in Ride of the Week? Send Fireball an email at askfireball@fireballtim.com.

Ride of the Week! Nissan crafts MILLENIUM FALCON-inspired Rogue

I have always felt that cars are significant characters in a film.

After all, they have an active part in moving the story along.

These days, many films are automotively-inspired and have epic chase scenes, but for the first time in a Star Wars film, there seems to be a sequence that’s as automotive as you’ll get in a Galaxy far, far away.

It’s a Landspeeder chase scene from the upcoming film “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” and it looks to be just as good or better than any Furious film. But as we cannot ride in actual Landspeeders, Nissan took it upon themselves (as a Star Wars sponsor) to create this Millenium Falcon-inspired Rogue to help create excitement for the film.

Now, they’ve done a few Star Wars cars for the last couple films and they were interesting, but this one is a bit more fun.

It’s always a challenge to create a themed vehicle for film, and I’ve done hundreds over the years. But making a car look like a spaceship is tough, since spaceships fly and cars don’t. But this Rogue is fun for a couple extra reasons.

First, it harkens back to B-films of the ’80s when they didn’t have all that much budget to build a car and resorted to tacking things on (think Metalstorm). Although, on the Rogue, it’s a bit more refined in that the paint scheme works to hide the imperfections.

Dirty, yes. They’ve added a laser-cannon turret, windshield mask and lots of cool Star Warsian details.

But the bottom line is that it’s fun. Even the interior is full of bells and whistles like the Mask car I did years ago. You definitely want to hit some switches and see what it does, which I guarantee will get you arrested.

Themed design for film is an exciting thing. But themed design can translate into many variances. Restaurants, homes, clubs, toys and many other things. Design is design, but I learned a lot when I worked at Imagineering for Disney back in the ’80s.

Themed design tells a story, and takes the viewer on a journey. It opens the door to a world undiscovered and piques the imagination, inspiring us to head forth in the anticipation of coolness. This is what hopefully Solo will bring when it opens on May 25.

I am attending the premiere on May 21, so I’ll get an early scoop for you guys. The chase scene and all. And although the Rogue will not actually be in the film, it would be pretty cool to have it at my Wheels and Waves car show here in the ’Bu. Disney, are you listening? The people wanna go Rogue.

Want to be featured in Ride of the Week? Send Fireball an email at askfireball@fireballtim.com.

Ride of the Week! HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS at The Mullin Museum

The other day, I had an amazing opportunity to head north out of Malibu to Oxnard for the launch of an all-new French coachbuilt exhibit at the Mullin Automotive Museum. (Watch the Vlog!)

Head honcho Peter Mullin and his wife, Merle were on hand to introduce us to the new featured cars.

About 50 cars were on display, ranging from the late 1800s through the ’20s and ’30s art deco period. Now, I’ve been to the Mullin before and seen their Citroen exhibit, but this new one capped it by Peter and Merle displaying incredible examples of rolling sculpture from coachbuilders like Voisin, Bugatti, Chapron, Bertoni and others.

Overall, hundreds of millions in incredible art.

Also featured was painted art from artist Keith Collins, who revealed two new massive pieces for the museum. I spent the first hour with professional docent Tessa Crane as she took me through the site and spoke in detail about each vehicle’s history and its ultimate landing there. My favorite story was that of the 1939 Delahaye that sat in a barn in Fresno for kids to play in for years.

I am super grateful for the team at the Mullin and Kahn Media for inviting me up, but the best part was hanging with Peter and hearing the story of his favorite car, pictured here. It was a teardrop Talbot Lago that captured his heart and set him on the French car journey.

There are very few car museums that really hyper-focus their lots like the Mullin Museum does with French cars. And what is on display is, it seems, a small part of Peter’s collection.

We had an incredible lunch and perused the collection for several hours. If you’re so inclined to experience a wonderful and historical account of French automotive history, then head to Oxnard’s Mullin Museum for a rich meander through design, art and coachbuilt execution. You’ll be glad you did.

And this brings me to my final thought.

Peter and Merle have been known as generous philanthropists for many years. And as people do different things with their collections, the Mullins have created a space that educates, entertains and sends the viewer through a historical account that would otherwise be lost.

A stunning display, much like the Louvre, the Mullin Automotive Museum gives an incredible presentation where one can get lost in the moment. This has become a personal journey for them, steeped in love, art and passion.

Peter’s desire to share and give his connection to the French sculpts heightens the awareness of visitors.

Again, I’m truly grateful to them for their invitation and eloquent service to the automotive enthusiast.

For an inside look, watch Episode 717 of my show Fireball Malibu Vlog online or on The Auto Channel. If you’re up in the air about making the drive, you won’t be for too long. It was worth every mile.

Want to be featured in Ride of the Week? Send Fireball an email at askfireball@fireballtim.com.

Ride of the Week… 1948 Chevy Fleetline Fastback

There is literally nowhere you can go on this planet to see what we see here in Southern California.

I mean there are wonderful places in the world for sure, but if you love cars, then all you have to do is literally step outside your door and you’ll spot something cool.

The other day, I was traversing around and just getting some errands done. It was not an eventful day, but after a couple hours I ran across a very unique car. Pictured here is a 1948 Chevy Fleetline Fastback.

Now, at first glance, you may say that it’s just an old car. And you’d be partially right. It’s not even restored. But let’s take a closer look, shall we?

The Chevy Fleetline was made from 1941-1952. Only 11 years, but keep in mind that this car was state-of-the-art and the best that Chevy could produce.

It was introduced late in the 1941 model year as a four-door and as a fastback two-door “Aerosedan.” And in 1947, it made up almost 72 percent of Chevrolet’s sales. But production was delayed in 1942 due to WW2 after 110,000 were made.

It was called a “fastback” because of its sloping roof to the trunk lid. Really the first of its kind and made famous by the 1968 Bullitt Mustang. This makes the Fleetline series highly collectable and lots of them are made into street rods with Chevy 350 small block V8s.

It’s a car that you really have to go to a car show to see … unless you’re in SoCal and Malibu like us.

The fascinating thing about cars like these is that, of the millions of cars that exist on the road today, none of them existed at the time that this one was built. This was new, fresh and the best. They were hand-built without robots or computers.

Dipped in paints that were toxic, cigarettes were en vogue and some cars even had beer taps on the inside. There were no seat belts or virtually any safety features at all.

And this was the norm. We’ve come a long way in our automotive mindsets for what is acceptable and normal for today’s standards, which makes this car and cars like it truly unique.

It’s not about the car, but about the mindset that created it.

And as it stood there in the parking lot, I felt like I was looking into history. A time of World Wars, new roads, families and I wondered how things were different. Of course, technologically we are vastly different, but has the world really changed all that much? It’s a question only to be answered personally.

The 1948 Fleetline is officially 70 years old now. Seventy years of progress has changed our automotive world dramatically and makes me wonder what the next 70 years will bring? 2088? Sounds like science-fiction.

But one day, they’ll look back on this time and I’m pretty sure there’ll be a Fleetline around for them to see. I just wonder if there will be a 2018 Corvette. Will plastic last that long?

Want to be featured in Ride of the Week? Send Fireball an email at askfireball@fireballtim.com.

Ride of the Week: Being Present on PCH

Let’s face it: Malibu PCH is actually a car town more than it’s a Hollywood town.

And although there are thousands here in the film industry, their garages are filled with amazing vehicles that have to get them to and from the studios.

But along with getting into town, we have to join potentially hundreds of thousands of people passing through Malibu to get to where they’re going. It’s an ordered chaotic mess that, when no one acts like an idiot, actually works pretty well.

Sure, there’s traffic and it takes a while, but there can be good things about it, too. Let’s explore this for a jiff.

The root of driving fast (not on a track) has to do with something we’re all battling from time to time. Where we get into trouble is when we fall out of the present and concern ourselves with the future.

Now, I’ve always prided myself on being on time, and this is for two reasons. One, is that I can relax on the journey and two, I send a message of respect to the person or people I’m meeting.

Nothing says “I don’t really care” more than being late. Sure, there are times when it’s unavoidable, but I’m talking about being consistently late.

Fear is what causes drivers to drive fast. It’s a vicious cycle that begins with being late and leads to frustration, anger and sometimes pain.

When we’re in fear as we drive, we are tempted to do things we wouldn’t normally do like cut corners, run yellow lights, shave, put on makeup, text or anything else that distracts from the main task of driving.

We do all these things and drive faster than normal while doing so.

Sometimes, we get really angry at those people who drive down the middle of PCH to skirt past everyone else, but don’t let that action pull you into their world of fear. Let them go.

Pull yourself back into the present and focus. It’s where the money is, people.

So here’s the good side to this story. When you make extra time for yourself, that’s when the gifts come. You have time to stop for coffee, pull in to get some gas, buy a lotto ticket, and maybe even win.

You can hear your favorite song on the radio, or you can call in as the 10th caller and win a trip to Aruba.

Or, you might just catch dolphins playing in the surf on the way down, spot a cool car, see a surf woodie, and get a glimpse of a new picnic spot or some restaurant that you missed when you were in a hurry.

Here’s my point. Being in a rush pulls you out of the present and brings fear of the future. “I’m going to be late, fired or worse.”

And this concern for a worrisome future actually brings that future. But taking extra time brings gifts. Which one do you want?

Like me, I know you want the gifts. So join me in the cruiser revolution. Drive aware. Don’t let someone else’s shenanigans ruin your day by allowing what they do to be a point of focus for you.

Keep your mind right by focusing on the good, and then watch good things happen.

Want to be featured in Ride of the Week? Send Fireball an email at askfireball@fireballtim.com.

Ride of the Week… What is the Best Character in Movies?

Here in Malibu, we are inundated with cars and movies.

On virtually every corner of this town, we can name a film that was shot there, a memorable scene or a moment in Hollywood history. It’s an amazing place.

And although you may not know it, Hollywood has been successful for one simple reason: it shows us the hero’s journey.

Now, not all of the journeys have been successfully portrayed, but most are and it is enough to keep Tinseltown going. It’s kind of like a surfer chasing that perfect wave. They may run across a few less-than perfect ones, but it’s not about those. It’s about the Holy Grail of waves — the one which makes you feel alive.

Hollywood works in this way, and many films have been very successful in doing this. And to my delight, they’ve used cars not only in the films, but as the actual hero as well.

Here, you will see a shot I took of the “Back to the Future” DeLorean from the third film. And although it’s the story of Marty McFly and his journey, it’s also the story of the DeLorean and how it became Marty’s trusty steed, never failing him (although, it didn’t start a few times).

Cars in film have been a staple since the beginning. In fact, the first actual movie car appeared in a Laurel and Hardy film. It got squished like an accordion and had to be built that way. But car people gravitate to certain brands, types and scenes.

If you’re a muscle car aficionado, then you’ll be interested in seeing a movie with muscle cars. It’s pretty simple really.

But there’s a more complex action going on here. If you reverse engineer a few Hollywood success stories, you’ll see why they’ve been successful. And you’ll notice that virtually every Hollywood property that has been long running has had cars in droves.

Let’s take a look.

Example No. 1 is James Bond. Jimmy’s movies have virtually all been successful, which is why this year will launch his 25th film. And the reason is that there are consistent compartmentalized components. Jimmy never changes and always falls within what he naturally would do.

And he wouldn’t wear a cowboy hat. But the key integral components of the films never change. Jimmy himself, exotic locations, gadgets, girls and cars.

Example No. 2 is Fast and Furious. Although virtually the same, cars are the main ingredient here. Everything else comes secondary.

Example No. 3 is Star Wars. OK, now you sitting there and saying “Wait, there’s no cars in those films, Fireball!” To which I would respond, “Hold on a tick, lil’ compadre!” George Lucas is a huge car guy and has filled his films with automotive reference.

Case in point is Luke’s Landspeeder and many other automotive design languages. Even the new upcoming Solo movie has a Landspeeder car chase. So there.

Example No. 4 is Back to the Future, and actually many others. My point is, the hero’s journey is a person facing insurmountable odds to overcome and prevail. And it’s clear to Hollywood that he or she needs a cool car to do that.

And who am I to argue?

Batman, Jurassic Park and Marvel films all incorporate vehicles of some sort. And as a result, butts land in the chairs in droves. Films have even been done without actors at all and just cars.

It makes one wonder. What films could have been more successful had they added some kind of vehicular contraption? Hollywood, are you listening?

I may not be a lot of things, but what I am is the King of Car Culture. And I say that humbly, because, as such, it’s my job to share the stories of those who love cars. And filmmakers better listen up, because if adding a cool car into your flick is that powerful, then I’ll help you put the butts in the chairs, including my own.

Want to be featured in Ride of the Week? Send Fireball an email at askfireball@fireballtim.com.

Ride of the Week: ‘Ruby’ Woodie provides a Smooth Ride down Memory Lane

They say a smile is worth a thousand words.

Well, it seems fitting when you look at the photo accompanying this week’s column. The smile on the driver behind this week’s Ride of the Week says it all.

This is Rick White, aka Ricardo Blanco. White is in the construction industry, operating in sales with Larrabure Framing.

“We frame large multi-family projects,” he begins to explain. “Mostly in DTLA and Irvine, we are a digitizing manufacturer of framing components manufacturing off-site, then assembling and building on site.” 

But in his “non-assembly” time, White has another job: inspiring others with a gangbuster smile while driving his 1950 Ford station wagon woodie named “Ruby.”

White goes on to tell me that “Ruby” was purchased in original condition from her original owner.

“When we rebuilt the engine, we went old school with a flat head, modified with 3/4 cam, aluminum heads, dual carbs, headers and a hot ignition,” he explains. “I bought it about 26 years ago as a family car to raise our two kids, Kyle and Karina, plus dogs Nikki and Buddy.”

Even in 1992, this woodie epitomized coolness.

“This car is a throwback to a friend’s Woodie I used to cruise in Malibu at 14 years old,” White said. “We would come to Malibu with his sticks (surfboards for you non-carvers) and spend the day at the beach.”

For White, the best part of his car is the patina of 26 years of life, cruising to Santa Cruz in the summers, down to Encinitas for the woodie shows in September, and up to Santa Barbara for club meetings and another Woodie show in July.

“‘Ruby’ is a weekend car and a great source of entertainment,” White said.

“One year, my wife, Elaine, the kids and I all headed to Santa Cruz and decided to take Highway 1 through Big Sur. While navigating the curves and the cliffs of Highway 1, I realized that the turning and swaying might be leading towards some car sickness.“But, afraid to say anything, I casually glanced over my shoulder to see the kids happily engaged in their music and videos and not unhappy in the least. That’s when I knew they were totally into the woodie and not the inconveniences of no A/C, stick shift, and a car made from a tree.”

When you hear stories like that, you appreciate the power of the present moment and how a car can add to your life. White gets it and does whatever he can to share the feeling.

“We love the drive through Malibu for the scenery, our Malibu friends and the memories of freedom and summer’s days,” White said. “The woodie lifestyle has kept us together as a family enjoying surfing, the beach, summer nights, and a culture of fresh air and having fun.”

What else could you possibly say to affirm the power of automotive beach life? Big thanks Rick for helping to inspire a culture that embodies so much positivity.

If our society could share that sentiment in this way more often, there’d be a lot less suffering in the world — and a lot more woodies.

Want to be featured in Ride of the Week? Send Fireball an email at askfireball@fireballtim.com.

Ride of the Week… Marc Magid’s 1959 Chevy Impala Wagon

As the writer for Ride of the Week, I get to meet a lot of interesting people and see amazing cars.

And, as you know, the whole point of this column is to share those stories and hopefully inspire you guys to do the same, to get out into the world and create positive change.

Now, you can do this in a very simple fashion, as all it really takes is to share what you love with others. And when someone approaches me with a cool car and story, I’m grateful and appreciate their desire to share.

So this week’s Ride of the Week goes to Marc “Squid” Magid and his 1959 Chevy Impala Wagon.

Magid, a frequent attendee of my Wheels and Waves show here in Malibu every third Sunday, revealed to me the story behind the minty green Impala and what it took to build.

“Ross Peterson took two years to build this,” he begins, noting that Peterson used three different cars to build the one-of-a-kind automobile.

“A ’75 454 was punched out to 468ci,” he said. “An Edelbrock 75 carburetor on the stock four-barrel intake. Chevy aluminum valve covers and a Mooneyes air cleaner, coupled with a chrome water pump, alternator, brackets and A/C compressor make it all fancy.”

Ooh, now we’re talking.

“A new stock 700-R4 transition had a shift kit added before it was attached to the big block,” he continued. “Interior is period stylish with seats adorned with metallic mint to green designs and all gauges have been updated to digital Dakota, filling the stock dash. Scott from Hot Rods & Hobbies out of Signal Hill gave this ‘green machine’ a total makeover and many, many layers of pistachio paint.”

Seriously, you want to walk up to this car and just lick it.

The car ended up in Magid’s hands a little more than four years ago.

“My neighbor saw it at a picnic in the city of Hawthorne and I knew I had to have it,” Magid said. “I grew up delivering newspapers with my dad out of the back of his station wagon and this car brings me back to a much simpler time in life.”

And there it is. A key point in restoring cars always seems to bring us back to a positive time when things were good, thus putting more love in the world.

“The best part about this car, besides it being totally unique, is that I bought a ’46 woodie and brought it home, told my wife that we had to sell the ‘green machine’ now and she refused to let me,” he said. “Can’t beat having a car that the wife loves!”

Yeah, that’s an understatement in a massive way, considering that many of my friends were given the ultimatum of “the car or the wife.”

But Squid’s favorite story was picking up the “green machine” from Hot Rods & Hobbies as they were going with them to Good Guys in Del Mar.

“We knew it was a special car when their guys were taking pic[ture]s of the ‘green machine’ as we drove off,” Magid recalled. “It was a fabulous weekend with them and we won Builder’s Choice Award out of over 3,000 cars! The feeling of driving through the tunnel to accept our award from Charley Hutton was unforgettable.”

Again, the feeling behind having these cars is what keeps car culture alive.

And Squid confirms something else: the love of cruising the coast with car club friends and going to different shows.

“I never was able to play Little League growing up because I was delivering newspapers with my dad and I never got to win a trophy,” Magid said. “And now, since I got the ‘green machine,’ I’ve won several. I feel so lucky and humble.”

You guys getting this? Do what you love, and good things happen. Yep, that’s the ticket. If only more people would understand that what you put into the world is what comes back to you in droves. You have to be conscious.

Squid’s parting thought references our love of this town.

“I love coming to Wheels & Waves in Malibu and cruising the wide open highway with the surfers over our shoulder,” Magid said. “Fireball has made this a monthly tradition to meet up with some good quality people who care about keeping the car culture alive. The laid-back vibes of Malibu reminds me of surfing with my buddies and you can’t beat PCH at 7 a.m. when no one else is on the road!”

As always, thanks for coming out, Squid!

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