Ride of the Week: Ken Hower and his 1948 STYLEMASTER

Going to car shows in SoCal is a unique experience in many ways, but one of the things I enjoy most is the unexpected. 

There’s always a car show unicorn that invariably appears and wows the crowd. But it doesn’t have to be a huge show. 

Last month, I headed up PCH to the Murphy Museum for a Chevy show. It was small, at about 15 cars, because of the overwhelming fire activities that were still going on. Those who did come just did so to get a break from the smoke and clear their heads. For me, I had gone about two weeks without seeing anyone smile, so it felt good to see people recovering and trying to make the most of their days.

While there, I met Ken Hower. Normally a printer repair technician, Hower has been on workers’ compensation for the last 17 months while trying to recover from a hand injury. So, a car show was just the thing.

Hower brought in an amazing and super rare 1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster sedan delivery wagon. It is a stunning piece of Chevy history, customized in a beautiful dark aqua and silver leaf. 

“Well, these cars were built on a car chassis as opposed to a truck chassis,” Hower explains. “They were used as work vehicles mostly in and around town for making deliveries, etc. You know, the local grocery store, the hardware store … that kind of thing. This is why they only have a 12-gallon gas tank and [are] not meant for long trips.” 

The car is unusual and rare because it came as a Stylemaster. Hower explained that as all the pretty chrome and stainless appointments. 

“Most sedan delivery wagons were ‘plain Janes,’“ he adds.

Hower has owned this SDW for less than a year and has done most of the mechanical work, fixing a cracked block and more.

“This car runs like a top now,” he said. “ … I actually got this car in a horse trade, so [I am] looking for a new home for it now as I have too many cars! It all sounds good, owning multiple classic cars like this but, truthfully, it’s hard to keep up on seven cars.”

According to Hower, he never saw himself owning this genre of car (known as a Bomb.) But having had this one for a while, he gained a new perspective. 

“I saw similar cars around in clubs and while I appreciated all their time and effort, was never on my radar,” he said. “When I drive it around town, it turns some heads for sure and attracts lots of attention.” 

The paint and silver-leaf striping makes the car a show winner.

But, let’s let Hower explain: “The paint, silver leaf, striping, and airbrushing really works. The paint is a stock GM Color from 1992 called Dark Teal Blue Metallic. There’s a small metal flake in it that really glitters. Depending on the light, it goes from a very deep blue all the way to a really gorgeous blue green. A guy named Mike from the San Bernardino area did the silver striping, but that’s about all I know as I found a receipt for it in the glovebox. Folks ask all the time who did it … and do I have his number.”

Hower basically cruises around to shows and fun events in hopes that his wheels will catch the eye of their next owner. But you’d have to be a very unique individual to own this one. It’s the epitome of “car culture.”

And finally, Hower’s best story goes like this.

“So, I go to the gas station and fill her up with gas and fill some air in the rear bags ([the car] has manual fill rear airbags),” he said. “Then I get ready to put the air in and actually start and the end on the fill line blows apart. The rear end drops down to about 2 inches from the asphalt. I look around and I find the parts, but can’t get the ferule back on correctly. So, [I had] no choice but to drive the car back across town with the butt dragging. Had to cruise and try not to hit any bumps or potholes. Was the weirdest ride I ever had and I was cracking up the whole way blasting ‘Low Rider’ by War.” 

And what does Ken love about driving in Malibu?

“It’s the epitome of the SoCal lifestyle,” Hower said. “When I take my ’62 Vette or the ’68 Camaro convertible out and head south to Malibu … the drive from Mugu Rock to Sunset just couldn’t be any better. Thought about moving once … but then I woke up and realized … it really couldn’t get any better than this.”

Gratitude goes a long way to making your life a complete package. Ken gets this and lives the car lifestyle. Hopefully, he can find someone who loves this car as much as he does. Have a great week, folks!

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

Ride of the Week… Paul Grisanti and his Unicorn AMG MERCEDES WAGON

There are two kinds of people here in the ’Bu.

There are those who move here, check it out for a while and realize that the salt air, beach life and PCH traffic isn’t for them, and then there’s the other kind. You know, the lifers.

Now, the lifers are an interesting bunch. They don’t see the traffic. They don’t notice the salt air and how it permeates everything. All they see is Malibu — an overwhelmingly beautiful and tiny spot on the planet that, if they will allow it, will fill them with the kind of joy and peace that exists nowhere else on the planet. And when your head is in the stars and your feet far below the ground, it’s hard to notice the little irritations of life.

If you don’t know Paul (and Sara) Grisanti, then you have some work to do as a true Malibuite. The reason being that I’m pretty sure Paul has photocopied himself and is in virtually every corner of this town simultaneously.

And, as a result of this, Paul’s understanding of the streets, homes, addresses and current traffic snarls is unsurpassed. As a real estate broker (a la mode), it’s Paul’s job to know virtually every home in this town, and he’s being doing that for the last 40 years as a resident of the ’Bu. (Sorry, Paul, I had to give up the numbers.)

To get around, Paul has chosen a vehicle that scoots this town and its potential buyers into an automotive frenzy. Paul’s ride is a 500-plus horsepower Mercedes-AMG E63 S Shooting Brake Wagon with carbon ceramic brakes. (I only point out the brakes as the car tends to thunder up and distort time. Carbon brakes help to suck you back into this universe.)

The car and its launch capabilities is bone stock and all-wheel-drive. Right out of the box, it’s like the Starship Enterprise already at Warp 10. But let’s hear some more from Paul.

“I bought it through the Mercedes certified pre-owned program last spring when I sold my 2004 Mercedes E500 sedan with 220,000 miles,” he said. “I had been looking for one for about six months that was not black (too menacing), or modified. It came with an unusual interior (most are black or cream colored) and mine was Mystic Red.”

Think Merlot in a $10,000 Baccarat crystal glass.

“This is a unicorn car,” he continues. “It handles like a sports car but has room for clients, family and open house signs. TV screens on the seatbacks provide an entertainment source for grandchildren, too. At the same time, it is discreet enough to blend with traffic and not draw undue attention to itself or the clients within. Car people know what it is immediately and are enthusiastic about seeing it.”

I myself have ridden in this buster and immediately felt that I must respect it.

According to Paul, the best part of owning this car is being able to go to Cars and Coffee events, and seeing the reactions of fellow car guys.

“I use the car for everything short of going to the dump,” he said. “Plenty of room for a foursome and their clubs. With the seats down, my bike fits in the back without taking off the front wheel. When we prepared to evacuate during the fire, I was able to fit the essentials.”

Paul enthusiastically continues, “My clients are not opposed to riding in the car. I love the way the wagon handles on our curvy, mountainous roads without ever feeling tippy or uncertain.”

Further, the brakes are ready to engage when a distracted driver on PCH decides to pull a U-turn from the curb. Yes, people actually do that. In fact, they do a lot worse and it’s important to have a vehicle that can and does respond quickly.

“Despite all the performance of this vehicle, it is still possible to tolerate inching along in a traffic jam on the 405 without losing my temper or having the car misbehave,” Paul continues. “Malibu still has plenty of space between houses and lots of interesting roads in the surrounding hills and mountains. And they will be beautiful again.”

See what I mean? A lifer, Paul is. (Yoda-speak) And as a lifer, he’s seen it all, as I have. As lifers, we realize that our little corner of the planet is unique. And, being unique, it requires a ride that keeps us present in the moment, grateful and open to time travel.

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

Ride of the Week… Actor Badass PATRICK KILPATRICK and his 2017 Jaaaagggg…

You want to know how committed I am to writing Ride of the Week?

Well, as my fingers poke these keys, a massive fire is blazing its way through Malibu, currently at Pt. Dume. But people’s car stories are important, so I’m risking life and limb to bring this week’s column, featuring actor Patrick Kilpatrick and his 2017 Jaguar. Seriously, I gotta write this and then evacuate. So, let’s do this.

As an actor, Patrick has been around a long time, but, according to him, his name wasn’t always Patrick.

“Everyone assumes Patrick Kilpatrick is my made-up stage name, but the truth is a bit more strange,” he explains. “I was born Robert Donald Kilpatrick Jr., but no one ever called me that. That was my father’s name. I was called Pat from Day 1, then ‘Killer’ from age 9 through college.

“At 13 my social security number became Patrick Kilpatrick, then my driver’s license, then passport, marriage certificate all became Patrick. It floated into legality. More easily done in pre-Patriot Act America. When I became an actor, they asked me if I wanted Pat or Patrick for Screen Actors Guild. I chose Patrick — been that way ever since.”

By way of professional evolution, Kilpatrick has been a truck driver (without a license at age 14), dishwasher, camp counselor, swimming/tennis/rowing/sailing instructor, advertising writer/journalist for nearly every magazine in New York City (and most of the ad agencies), playwright, theater founder, assistant director/director on and off Broadway, lead actor in about 160 hit films and TV shows, screenwriter, movie producer, entertainment teacher. (OK, hold on as I need to take a breath.)

And now you can add published book author. But he’s largely known for playing villains against nearly every leading man on Earth (and some leading ladies) and in cinematic outer space.

And what does a villain choose to drive but a 2017 Jaguar XJ with a 340 horsepower V6. Kilpatrick picked up this beast from Galpin Jaguar in Van Nuys. They are very good friends of mine and I recommend them. According to Kilpatrick, “It was love at first glance. I’m a design guy and I really appreciate the lines and details.”

“After putting two fine boys (now young men) through expensive schools and three thrifty Toyota Priuses, I decided I needed to start living in sexy, sleek, deceptively awe-inspiring fast, elegant luxury automotive comfort,” Kilpatrick said. “One look at the car — inside and out — and I knew I was home. One drive and I arrived in engineering heaven. My back and overall health rejoiced and do every time I take it out. I don’t get 50mpg anymore and my insurance went up, but it’s well worth the extra money for the exuberant joy of living. Life is too short.”

But why this particular Jag? Kilpatrick speeds on.

“There are so many truly superb components,” he explains. “I appreciate quiet, stay the line, hyper speed. Everything about the car sings elegant performance precision. The look — black exterior, black leather interior with discreet white piping — is a delight. The dials and circle centric instrumentation are fantastic in simplicity and dynamic visual appeal. Roomy, four doors, electric universe — duel front and rear moon skylights. I can’t say enough about the rich experience of driving the car. All this and more at about half the price of a Tesla. At 110 it feels like you’re doing 50. Excuse me, officer but you’re interrupting an exquisite bonding moment between man and machine.”

This guy has got it goin’ on.

And what do you use it for primarily? Just errands, visiting his sons in Santa Barbara, dinner/movie dates with his fiancé, to slide to the gym and to diss BMWs, he said.

“Every day I will be in the car and imagine I want to be there, I press the accelerator and I am there.”

And, as we drove PCH and did an interview for my show, it felt as if the rest of the town was whizzing by in a panic. (Kind of like right now with the fire!) But to Kilpatrick, Malibu is “the ocean air and view of course, all along Pacific Coast Highway — night, day, sunrise, sunset. In the movie business we call it ‘magic time.’ Glide down the windows, breathe cool negative ions coming off the sea, slide gently but masterfully along the long genteel curves in light. It’s like a massage of the soul, makes living seem infinitely more perfect.”

We had a great time together, just driving and talking about the biz and his new book “Dying for Living.” Grab a copy on Amazon if you want to learn about reincarnation the Hollywood way. Kilpatrick has died and come back to life in so many films that he should start selling lemonade to St. Peter. Now I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again for anyone who loves being evil in movies. “Fall down, pick up check.” There’s no better way to live, die, then live again.

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

Ride of the Week… EFRAIN MORALES and his ’64 Chevy Fleetside

“The truck was a gift from my dad. He found it up in Fresno back in 2010.”

These were the first words spoken by Efrain Morales, whom I met recently at Wheels and Waves here in Malibu. He’s a super nice guy who, in my opinion, performed the perfect truck rescue.

As you may or may not know, 10 percent of our proceeds in my business goes to a Dog Rescue called Hope for Paws in LA. And in many ways, Efrain (Efro) did the same thing with this 1964 Chevy Fleetside Long Bed C10 Pickup.

“It was a farm truck that someone had abandoned at a mechanic shop for over 20 years,” started Morales. “The owner of the shop was getting ready to retire and just wanted to clear out his shop, so my pops got it for $1,000.”

And that, my friends, is what we call a steal.

As the owner of Morales Transport Corporation, Morales is now the proud owner of this big window C10. And since purchasing the “Trokita,” some of the upgrades he’s performed are a 350 engine with 700R4 transmission, front disk brakes and 2 1/2” drop spindles.

“Also, a 2” body drop,” adds Morales. “It’s been C-Notched and bagged, allowing me to lay frame.”

And that, my friends, is what we call slammed. Welcome to the cool school.

Then Morales began to give me more of the background story.

As the owner of a fleet of big rigs, it’s very typical to spend Saturdays driving around picking up parts for his mechanic to keep the trucks on the road.

“I guess you can say it’s a necessity,” Morales said.

“But the best part of my truck is when it takes people on a trip down memory lane,” he said. “Typically, the older folks have the best stories.”

But how does Morales primarily use this truck? His favorite thing to do is to take it on a Sunday cruise, such as one that recently brought him out to Wheels and Waves here in the ’Bu.

But how about a funny story?

“The first cruise after getting it bagged was from Boyle Heights in Venice Beach,” starts Morales. “After hanging out at the beach, I was heading to the freeway at about 2 [inches] off the ground, thinking I looked cool, when I hit a metal plate on the road. It literally stopped me and it felt like I hit a wall. Not having any real way of knowing how low I was, the metal plate made it clear that it was too low. I quickly aired up and drove off.”

And that, my friends, is what we call an oops. I’m sure he left a little C10 divot in the road for good measure.

But, as we always wrap up Ride of the Week with a little love for the ’Bu, according to Morales “the best part about driving from the Boulevard up PCH to Malibu has to be the scenery. A beautiful backdrop for a quick photoshoot. Also, you got to love nicely paved roads where you can cruise low to the ground and enjoy the ocean view.”

(Yep, that’s a plus and what we call freedom.)

Check out Morales on Instagram @efro64 to see more pics of his “Trokita,” from start to finish. And take a moment to ponder how you’d perform a horsepower rescue. Somewhere out there is a lost, lonely vehicle in need of freedom. And you, my friends, are the rescuers. And that’s what we call done.

Have a great week, folks!

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

Get Fireball’s All-New SHARKS Coloring Book! Available now on Amazon!

Ride of the Week: Catching up with a CUSTODIAN of COOL…

When I was a child, I spent many hours under our olive tree with my toy cars — Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Corgis and Dinkys.

I would clear out the leaves from the root systems and create a trail to which I would drive each car completely through. This was what I could control in a family of seven where the unpredictable was predictable.

But I wouldn’t get up until each car had its turn, and I had about 100 cars. So it would take at minimum an hour. When we moved from Palos Verdes to Ojai, I set out to find a new tree, but alas, they were oaks surrounded by ivy. So there were no root systems and I had to find a new car hobby in which to immerse myself.

My parents weren’t into cars, but I was. And I was in deep. I spent my childhood with model kits, car movies, go karts and drawing. Drawing, drawing and drawing.

Guess what? Now, my life is about driving up and down on PCH in a different car every week. And still drawing, drawing, drawing. Seems like a good life, eh? I mean, I was surrounded by all those toy cars my entire upbringing and it’s brought me tremendous joy. What could be better?

Cut to: Pictured here is tiny Max Neel sitting in a 1956 Lincoln Continental. And compared to me and my experience with cars, this kid is a hundred-fold. He spends his days with his dad driving classics, muscle, vintage trailers, classic trucks, antiques and more. I give him my books so he colors like the wind. Every day, he races around a car museum owned by his pop, climbing in and out of every car, capturing the feel, scent and sound of them all. His playground is over 60 years old.

What will life be like for Max in 40 or 50 years? Because of his upbringing with cars, love and passion of his parents and hanging with guys like me and my team, it boggles my mind as to what this kid will be up to. My son Sean was immersed in art, sculpture, movies and Malibu. And now, at 31, he’s a professional sculptor in the film industry having just worked on Star Wars and is a dad himself. And yes, he loves the ocean.

So this week’s Ride of the Week is dedicated to little Max here. And it will stick with him until he’s 50 for sure when he pulls this article out and shows it to me when I’m 90. “Remember this, Fireball?” he’ll say. And on that day, I’ll have the widest smile possible.

Fill your life with those things that give you joy. Immerse your time with those that share your passion. Spend your days doing what you love and loving what you do. And start right now because, in a blink, you’ll be 90, too. And you better hope to God that you’re smiling. I know I will.

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

Ride of the Week! David Neel and his 1964 STUDEBAKER AVANTI…

Classic cars are a big responsibility.

Keeping them clean, restored and fully functional can be a huge headache for some and can take a lot of time. But none of that seems to matter if you love cars.

I mean, who cares really, because the advantages of having a classic car and what you can do with it so far outweighs any headache that it’s not even worth mentioning. Sorry I did, but I have a point and this is Ride of the Week. So, let’s get into this before Christmas shows up.

This is David Neel and his ocean turquoise 1964 Studebaker Avanti R2. Neel is owner of Neel Lighting & Controls (a Ventura County based lighting and controls consulting firm) and executive director of the Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard. According to Neel, both are full-time jobs.

But having known Neel for several years now, I can attest to the fact that he never seems to stop smiling. I would too if I got to play with cars all the time. (Oh wait, I do.) Neel understands the tremendous value of classics these days and the joy they bring. It helps to be near Pacific Coast Highway and the beauty of Malibu, but it’s clear that this man has found his passion.

The Avanti is a factory supercharged car, yielding 290 horsepower from a 289 cubic inch engine and is automatic.

“The car has been rebuilt from the ground up,” starts Neel. “And the builder made sure he built it to factory specs and factory colors. I have the original window sticker and added reproduction Halibrand rims a few years ago. These were a Studebaker dealer option at the time so they are legit to the car.”

Neel has had the car for about five years and it has always been on his checklist of cars to own.

“I ran across it during a car show on the roof of the Petersen Automotive Museum,” he explains. “The owner had it for sale and was taking great care in the presentation and authenticity of the car but was ready to find a new home for it. I knew it was the car for me, called him a few weeks later, and cut a deal. The former owner and I have become good friends and keep in contact from time to time.”

But how about a little bit of Neel’s automotive history? Where did his passion for cars begin?

“When I was a kid walking to the bus stop every day, a lady in the neighborhood would drive by from time to time in her Avanti (this was in the mid 1970s),” he recalled. “I had never seen such a car and was enamored with its one of a kind style and hoped someday I could have one. I have several cars but one thing they all have in common is they are all American brands, unique and built in limited numbers. This makes for better conversation at car shows.”

And there it is, folks. Classic cars give you a chance to share your story. And trust me, people want to hear it.

“It’s one-of-a-kind uniqueness,” David continues. “Every part of the car has a reason for its design. It was designed by famed industrial designer Raymond Loewy and does not have any straight lines, has elliptical wheel wells, pinched Coke bottle design at the center doors when looking down on it, and no grill. ‘Grills are for sewers’ he was quoted as saying.”   

About 5,000 Avantis were built by Studebaker in a two-year period and of that, few were built with a factory supercharger. That makes this very special car. And by the way, it’ll be on display at the Art Center Car Classic on Oct. 26.

“I take the Stoodee out occasionally on pretty weekend days, car rallies and neighborhood car shows,” Neel said. “The demands I place upon it are relatively minor, but it’s always ready to go.”

And Neel’s best short story?

“It’s a recurring story,” he explains. “Most folks under 50 years old do not know what it is, think it’s from an Italian manufacturer and once I tell them it’s a Studebaker, they always respond, ‘Who built Studebakers?’ If you can answer that, then you get a lollipop.”

On Malibu — a paradise where Neel visits frequently — Neel says he enjoys “the amazing scenery, picture opportunities and driving with the windows down, radio off and listening to the supercharger whine.”

It’s pretty clear why we have a hard time getting anything done, but when it comes to putting joy coins in the bank, we’re rich as can be.

Thanks, David. If Rocky were a car, he’d be your Avanti.

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

Ride of the Week… A DATE WITH CHRISTINE!!

Pretty much everyone on the planet knows of Christine, the 1957 Plymouth Fury who terrorized a small town with her jealous, flaming rage and left havoc in her rearview mirror.

But, I’ll bet you didn’t know that Christine is a very different lady on the weekends? Much more subdued on the jealousy angle than most might think, yet she seems to cause a bit of mayhem wherever she goes.

I got a chance to interview her and take a spin (shotgun of course) and speak with this evil harlet of the silver screen on her likes and dislikes, and what she does around Halloween in the ’Bu. And of course, why she loves Malibu (in a slightly dark, sinister and comical way).

On the outside, while Christine sits still parked at the Country Mart, fans gather and take pictures. But one thing that Christine loves most is that the moment she moves, everyone around her scatters like bugs. Sitting still, she’s an innocent classic, but the moment her tires roll, her movie character comes to life and people really freak. I got to see this first-hand.

“With the slightest roll, I can move everything and everyone out of my way,” Christine said. “It’s a plus when I need to pull out of tight places. People think I’m going to burst into flames and chase them. It’s funny … yet, I might. All depends on how annoying they are. I don’t mind selfies, but don’t sit on my hood or I’ll give you a free ride to the morgue!”

Yeah, that was a little unnerving for a first sit down with Hollywood’s favorite evil car, but I cautiously went with it.

Once on the road up PCH as the sun began to set, I started to wonder what I had gotten myself into. But the interview just kept rolling with some of Christine’s likes.

“I like Tesla and think it’s about time for self-driving cars,” she said. “I’ve been doing this since 1983 and it’s why John Carpenter tapped me for the role in the movie. The tech is there and I’m proof. But I just had to get him over my arrest record. I’ve been towed more times than I can count! But sitting on the side of the road in the dark seems to scare people, and I tend to do it in lots of creepy places. I just like the darkness … and, during Halloween, it gets much, much darker.”

We rolled into Pavilions at Point Dume and as the car wound through the parking lot, we got a combination of smiles accompanied by moms grabbing their children and running.

“If I pass someone in a parking lot and then suddenly stop, they scatter like I’m gonna back up and eat them with my trunk,” Christine said. “I might!! But I have to shop also and don’t need a bunch of people trapped in my trunk while I do it. What kind of sense would that make!”

Yeah, I wasn’t really sure how to respond to that, so I just smiled and prayed that I’d make it back home and not end up as a real Fireball. But Christine’s dislikes were far more interesting.

“I don’t like passengers that leave trash on my dashboard or eat in my seats,” she said. “They do that … and I’ll turn them into a charred McNugget, and have. You won’t be seeing them any time soon, except maybe during Halloween as a ghost or goblin,” she said, with a smirk on her polished chrome bumper.

Pretty sure she was kidding. I think.

“I don’t like drivers on PCH who pull U-turns on the bridge, make left turns in the middle of the highway with their butts sticking out or speeders,” she continued. “If I catch you, I won’t be giving you a ticket, but a one-way trip to St. Peter without your car.”

Carpenter will attest to that, as some of his crew would randomly disappear during the shoot.

“I have no recollection of that,” said Christine. “Maybe they just didn’t like working with a star like me. I can be a bit of a bear in my trailer when I haven’t had enough oil.”

On Malibu, Christine’s favorite spots are corner lots in the dark, long driveways of random people’s houses and overgrown backyards.

My time with Christine revealed a lot of things. Mainly, I saw my life flash before my eyes and thanked God I got back. But, also, she revealed to me her inner charm and evil, funny humor regarding everything from Starbucks to zombies. She’s a Zombie Uberist on weekends and likes the fact that they don’t talk much, but tend to leave a few parts behind in the backseat. Not like she can do anything about it, as they are already dead. She’s building up a collection though.

This Halloween, Christine will be cruising up and down PCH, doing her best to scare as many people as possible. Her record is 2,100 and she plans on beating that to a pulp. For some reason, I believe her … and will be on high alert.

Thanks Christine for taking the time to cruise with Fireball! I’m very grateful not to have become a McNugget. And I won’t be pulling any U-turns anytime soon!

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

Ride of the Week: Getting revved up for OCTOBER CAR SHOWS!

Every month in this town is filled with car shows.

But, as the holidays approach, the celebration gets epic as the thematics of the traditional show changes. You may have a Corvair or Chevy, but after you get through with it, it may look like Popeye or Superman.

Halloween starts out a level of shows that are more fun than the previous year as (if you let it grow), and the holidays ratchet up SoCal’s excitement. So, for this week’s Ride of the Week, I thought I’d give you a head’s up on what you can do with your car this month.

Most people know that Supercar Sunday happens at the Topanga Mall every Sunday. But this month they are gearing up for their Motor4Toys event in December. That means it’s a good time to start gathering gifts as they accept thousands for charity. Starting early makes it easy.

On top of the 2018 Hot Wheels Convention on Oct. 3-7 comes the Galpin Car Show, which also hits on Oct. 7, with over 1,000 amazing cars and a day filled with carnival activities.

Further, Oct. 7 also brings the Rider Roundup at Paramount Ranch for those with two-wheeled demons. A great show in an Old West setting, exchanging the horses for bikes. Very cool.

Oct. 13 brings the Winfield-Watson Show from Master-Builder Gene Winfield in the Mojave, featuring incredible cars and amazingly talented people. Also, on Oct. 13 is the Momentum Car Show in Ventura if you don’t want to drive to the desert. It’s a more traditional show by the water and it’s super awesome.

Also up in Ventura is the Ponies By The Sea in Channel Islands. All Mustangs right on the water. It’s a great muscle car show with food, vendors and awesome sights.

On the same day is the Steampunk Festival in Oxnard, which features rat rods and hot rods, plus some seriously crazy steampunk stuff.

On Oct. 20, at The Murphy Auto Museum, comes the Cory Iverson Rally, celebrating the firefighter who lost his life in the last Ventura County Fire. A great cause and super fun with the likes of Team Dragg and the George Barris Clan.

Oct. 21 is my Wheels and Waves show here in Malibu, followed on Oct. 26 by the City of Malibu’s Trunk or Treat Carnival. I’ll have cars and our new Halloween Coloring Book at both for the children, but it’ll also be candy galore!

And finally, on Oct. 28, is an incredible show in Pasadena called the Art Center Car Classic. It’s a show I’ve done for many years, this time celebrating designers from the college.

Now, you may notice that all SoCal shows seem to surround Malibu. Why is that? Well, it’s just another example of Malibu being the center of car culture in the world. And as self-appointed captain of this ship (no one else wanted the job, as there’s too much to do!), it’s my job to help you guys have fun. So, get out there with your car and play. Live every day as a gift and remember to do what you love and love what you do! Happy October, people!

Check the CALENDAR here for links…

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

Ride of the Week… The FALL and RISE of VINTAGE TRAILERS

Imagine 230 vintage, classic trailers from all over the country heading west and landing in SoCal.

Sounds like what they did in the 1880’s with wagon trains, right?

But, alas, this is a thing. It’s an event that takes place every year in Buellton, just north of Malibu. And as Malibu has a very unique trailer park, many of them head up for this event. But the big question is why? Why are people nowadays so into vintage trailers?

I grew up in the ’60s with big Lincolns, slab-sided Mercury Marquis station wagons and Chrysler Town & Countrys. These were the cars that you took across country, slept in the back of and complained the whole way.

But in the ’50s, travel trailers were new, in-style, colorful and exciting. Families were purchasing Shastas, Airstreams, WeeWinds, TravelBoats, Holiday Houses and many others to make their travel dreams come true.

Over the next few decades and into the ’80s and ’90s, travel trailers weened, many falling into disrepair, junk yards and unsavory homes. Think “Breaking Bad.” But in the last decade or two, travel trailers have made a massive comeback to where it’s the ultimate “glamping” experience.

And the Buellton Vintage Trailer Bash is one of the largest gatherings of these amazing, fully-restored and period correct trailers.

So, what was my job? Well, I’m glad you asked. As I’m in cahoots with David Neel at The Murphy Auto Museum in Oxnard, I was tasked with several things, all of them geared toward creating the best show possible. And that involved this breakdown for the Sept. 22 open house.

I Vlogged each day for our show, cruised in a scooter at 6 p.m. with Fireball Scooter Shots (Fireball Whisky), gave out awards for best trailers with my good friends and peppered the entire massive show with our new “Vintage Trailers Coloring Book.”

On Saturday as I stated, it was the open house for all to come see these fabulous trailers. Unfortunately, by the time this article comes out in print, it was last Saturday. Sorry about that, chief. You missed the Gilligan’s Island party, fashion show and multiple sundowner parties. Maybe next year.

The connection people have to their vehicles, whether it be cars or vintage trailers, harkens back to old memories.

What seemed like a simpler time, but was in fact just at its essence love on wheels. Traveling has always meant joy for me. Discovery, wonder, clean air and new things.

The Buellton show is one of the best, most positive places to go on the planet. A little place called Flying Flags in a town that most people have never heard of, but as love knows no bounds, the beauty of sharing and experiencing this show with your friends really encompasses the meaning of life.

Do what you love, and all good things will come. Even if it’s in a traveling, period-correct tin can.

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

Ride of the Week… The Bright Side of PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY

Although not every Ride of the Week works out, I do take a lot of photos and many times the owner is no longer available for a full interview.

So, I cannot get the story and have to tell my own.

The other day, I was coming back from Oxnard on Pacific Coast Highway and spotted this stunning 1958 Chevy Impala owned by Miguel Rocha.

It occurred to me that PCH is a viral highway. A living, breathing center that flows like our veins, pulsing with beauty and vibrant energy.

I floated around the car as my friend spoke with the driver and, just watching, felt the importance of the present moment. Life can get very overwhelming at times and can feel that we have no choices.

It’s a very difficult way to look at things and can feel very real. I, myself, have had many instances where the wall was so high that I didn’t think I could climb it. The anxiety of the future and the challenges of locking ourselves to something in the past can seem like a prison.

Cars are my outlet. PCH is my outlet. Putting as much love into the world as I can is my outlet. I’ve been very fortunate in my life for many things, and I’ve done my best to be grateful for what I have.

And the realization that in the present moment is where creativity lies. The creative process begins with our thoughts about the world and ultimately leads to manifestation. Miguel Rocha’s ’58 Impala is his manifestation.

You have to realize that someone who owns a car like this does so because of their thinking, belief in the future, actions and words. And if those things do not line up, then things can go astray and it takes longer to manifest. Or it may not even come at all.

In the present, your words are like tiny spears of pain or titanium ropes of success. They go out and bring back their likeness. Your actions speak volumes and keep you going in the direction of your desire. But taking no action leads nowhere.

Your beliefs can either hinder you or hurl you into greatness. And finally, your consistent thinking keeps you focused. But all of these things are generated in the present and can lead to many things. Miguel’s led him to a ’58 Impala. What are yours leading you to?

Driving PCH (and being present) can be a recipe for success. But you have to do it for yourself and no one else. You can’t move forward based on what others think of you. You have to do it for yourself.

1958 was an amazing year for cars. Not sure if they knew or ever contemplated that this car would represent such beauty in the 21st century. And it makes me think of what will be considered beautiful in 2200.

But in my life, and in yours, beauty exists now. Or it can, but you have to choose it. You have to believe in it. You have to speak about it and take actions to bring more of it into your life. It’s why I love PCH. It’s my action.

My attempt in bringing more beauty into my life regardless of how tough things get. I can simple take a deep breath, and keep driving.

You never know what you’ll see, but it’s Malibu. And that my friends is why we live here.

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