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.

This week’s Fireballer… Bob Ricewasser and his ScatPack Challenger

Car shows like mine here in Malibu bring out a lot of interesting people, including collectors who have amassed many different kinds of designs and nostalgic brands.

And as cool as classics are, every now and then you have to cover something new that someone has added to their collection.

This week we welcome retired car enthusiast and collector Bob Ricewasser and his sparkling, green 2018 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack. Yeah, it’s a mouthful, but oh-so-worth-it.

According to Ricewasser, this green machine has a 392cu Hemi MDS Powerplant with an eight-speed Torqueflight AutoTranny.

“It also has Bilstein high-performance suspension … Brembo 4-Pistons and an active exhaust,” gleams Ricewasser. 

“I am not planning any serious mods,” continues Ricewasser. “I am going to get a front license plate mounting bracket that attaches the plate to the lower grill so I don’t have to drill holes in my front bumper cover. That’s about it for mods at the moment.”

I’m both torn and relieved by that statement, as most true car guys can’t wait to get busy.

But since the green Hulkster was acquired on April 16 from Cerritos Dodge, snack-packing it into the garage only means that Ricewasser will have to share his time with his other rides. And, trust me, look at the photo and you’ll see what I mean.

But Ricewasser goes on.

“My big first attraction to this car was the color,” he said. “Known as F8 Green, a 1969 color. I first became aware of it when I saw a Challenger T/A in F8 Green at the LA Auto Show. My fascination with the color stems from my ’69 Dodge Charger (pictured) that is F5 Green, a few shades lighter.

For some reason, I couldn’t get this color out of my mind. Also, owning a muscle car has always been on my bucket list. I turned 75 in March, so I figured if I am going to complete this item on my list, I better do it now while I am in reasonably good shape and can enjoy this car. It is belated birthday gift to myself.”

Nicely done, Bob!

But Ricewasser also gets his twinkie turned because of the engine and powertrain, making this vehicle very exciting to drive.

“I plan on using this as a cruiser, visiting various Cars & Coffee events, (yeah, you better, buddy) car shows and taking some scenic rides in the local mountains and other places of interest,” he said. “It will not be a grocery getter or commuter vehicle. I have other cars for that role.”

Well, as much as I believe him, the wifeys have an uncanny ability to ask for groceries during drives out.

Ricewasser says that people are attracted to the color and what makes it look different is the stripe delete.

“I have also had a few people wanting [to] challenge me to a little acceleration contest on the street, which I have declined,” Ricewasser said. “This car is fast and with a slight blip of the throttle, it will throw you back in your seat.”

Thus, exactly why it’s called the Challenger, but a true enlightened person will know that he can, but never has to.

And finally, a bit of the ’Bu.

“I always enjoy driving in Malibu except when the high winds came up for a Wheels and Waves event a few months back,” he said. “I love cruising PCH when there is light traffic and no road construction.

I also like Mulholland, Topanga Canyon, Malibu Canyon, Stunt Road and ‘The Snake’ near the Rock Store. I have yet to cruise with the Challenger, but I plan on bringing it to the next Wheels and Wave in May.”

Very cool. Always fun to hear how someone is living their passion. Great job, Bob. Let ‘er rip.

This week’s FIREBALLER… Colette Brooks and her The 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

The best thing about my Wheels and Waves car show here in Malibu is the unique people who come and share their stories.

And although I look forward to each show, every now and then something truly cool appears.

The April 15 event brought a rather large car in my wife, Kathie’s favorite Malibu color. As I was handing out free coffee tickets, my eye spotted a gorgeous 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado in turquoise metallic.

Now, I haven’t seen one of these in many years and this was a treat, but even more so was the introduction to driver Colette Brooks. As Chief Executive Bitch of Bitchfix Chocolate, Brooks has spent her life as a uniquely creative person.

Bitchfix is an artisan chocolate company which delivers the tasty treat monthly to quell a woman’s hormonal swings. A strategically placed business model with a guaranteed captive audience. And 10 percent of all sales goes to spay and neuter rescue dogs. This was cool.

As we know, coolness attracts coolness, so it was no surprise that Brooks’ ride was this classic turq Toronado. And I got to work.

“This was Oldsmobile’s first-generation landmark personal luxury car,” began Brooks. “ … The Toro combined a 425 rocket V8 with a modified TH400 transmission (TH425) and a planetary differential.”

Whoa, this sounds like a spaceship!

“It’s all packaged in the engine bay, driving the front wheels,” she added. “The combination put out 385 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque.”

It was Motor Trend’s 1966 Car of the Year.

But wait, there’s more.

“The Toro featured the iconic vacuum actuated pop-up headlights, plus deluxe model features that included a Strato-seat with armrest which was posh in a luxury car of that period,” she explained. “Plus air conditioning, six-way seats and a power antennae.”

I’m pretty sure she’s describing the Jupiter 2 from “Lost in Space.”

And then Brooks’ story began.

“I bought the Toro in Santa Paula, California, in 2001 and completed the restoration in 2002,” Brooks said. “I have all service records, magazine spreads from 1966 and even the original bill of sale from 1966! After 17 years, I’ve decided to sell my beauty because I have horses that need to get ridden, and simply don’t have the time to get her out as often as she deserves.”

Sounds like a serious opportunity for someone!

“When I was 8 years old in 1966, my girlfriend’s father brought her to school in a brand new Toronado,” she said. “My jaw dropped when I saw it.”

The best part of the car?

“The lines of the Toro are so beautiful that it turns heads and spurs conversation whenever I’m behind the wheel,” she said. “So, the best part of owning and driving this car is the people I meet along the way.”

But more often than not, it elicits broad smiles and happy flashbacks accompanied by the comment “My dad or my uncle had a Toronado.”

“I also get unsolicited quips out of car windows (usually Porsches) ‘first front wheel drive car,’ to which I respond ‘wow, you know your cars,’ and then I punch it and leave them drooling in the dust (for about 2 seconds until they shift into second gear),” she said.

Yeah, that’s the deal, folks.

Brooks cruises on weekends and errands now and again here in the ’Bu.

“I’m actually getting more use out of her in the last six months while I’ve been waiting for my Tesla Model 3 to arrive,” she said. “In fact, the parallels between the Toro and the Tesla are staggering. Both feature breakthrough technology that turned the auto industry on its ear. I’m anxious to see them side by side in my garage.”

Cars have certainly come a long way, but the Toronado literally was a 1966 Tesla with all its innovation.

“Since my other cars have been biodiesel and electric for the past 14 years, I toyed with the notion of turning the Toro electric … for a minute,” Brooks said. “Then I decided that would be a travesty and, instead, remain faithful to the original design and technological innovation that was so ahead of its time. You’re welcome, world!”

And what does Brooks love about driving here in Malibu?

“Malibu, like the Toro is perfect for cruising,” she said. “On PCH, I get a lot of head turning, thumbs up and conversations with other car enthusiasts. On the winding roads of Malibu Canyon, Latigo and Kanan, I sit back and let her do her thing. Next to the Tesla, it’s probably as close to a self-driving car as it gets!”

I’m so grateful to have met Colette and have heard her stories. And now that you have, it’s clear why Malibu is the No. 1 town for cool cars on the planet. And it looks like Colette’s the queen.

Want to be a featured FIREBALLER? 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.

Rides of the Week… TransAm, ElCamino, Porsche914, ModelT, VWBus, SmartCar

All this hubbub, judgement and criticism over color, shape, attitude, stance, flare, style and modification…
Of course, you think I’m talking about cars since this here is Ride of the Week, but I’m actually talking about people. The world encircles fear like a magnetic ball, throwing out constant judgement about what we look like, where we’re from, what our political stance is, what our attitudes are about a given subject.
Then, they tell us we’re wrong or something is wrong with us for having these opinions.
If only they’d look at the world through the eyes of car people. No criticism, but respect for what you love. No hubbub over color or shape because it’s just plain cool to have what you love and share it with the world.
No stance is wrong… as it’s just right for you and you gotta love a person that stands strong and is confident. Flare, style and modification is all applicable to your way of life. No one has to agree, disagree or judge.
Just drive and feel good. Just be… and feel good.
The other day, I held a contest on my show. Send in your Best Car Photo and you could win one of my coloring books. Six shots came in, all representing something that these guys loved and all cool as you can see here.
From Dan Ray’s MicroBus VDub to Bob Ricewasser’s Antique Classic. Ben Deutchman’s Trans Am to George Lake’s Muscle El Camino. Autocross Racer Will Wassennaar to Jerry Crocker’s Smart MicroCar.
Every one of them different, yet put them all in a room together and they’d swap stories for hours.
They all look different, feel different and have different stories, yet they come together through LOVE.
So here we have our answer. LOVE is the essential ingredient for balance, harmony and success. Love what you do and good things happen.
Put anger, rage, judgement and disharmony into the world and you create chaos. Primarily for yourself.
But instead of chasing that guy down because he did you wrong, maybe just let him go so that he can eventually wrap himself around a tree.
Metaphorically speaking of course as I don’t want any trees to be wrapped around, but my point is that cars (or things that we love) shared, brings people together. Binds us like the Force, keeps us in harmony and helps the race expand and evolve.
Isn’t that what we want? I mean, seriously… don’t we all want things to get better? Is it as easy as going to a car show, a pie eating contest, Mermaid Festival or Concert? Is the key to living the Malibu Dream… actually doing what you love?
Why yes, my fine feathered friends. It is. The key to all success is THINKING thoughts of kindness, taking KIND actions and putting more LOVE into the world. Whether it’s RIDE OF THE WEEK, MONTH, YEAR or DECADE.
Be like these genuine souls and SHARE what you love with the world. You never know, you might win a contest. 😉

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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