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Archive for the ‘Kustom Kulture Art and Collectables’ Category

Formally Mitchell Road Auctions, the Mitchell Road Emporium is still a great place to check out for great antiques and collectables. Overall downstairs is a fairly messy collection, the kind of place where it feels a bit like an adventure. Prices are good, but you generally have to make an effort to look for things. One area that has grown since their changes is their selection of pre-loved mid century furniture. Upstairs are the more formal vendors, where everything is laid out much better, but the prices aren’t as cheap. Well worth checking out if you’re in the area. Here’s a few things that caught my eye when we visited a few weeks ago.

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If you’re ever in the gorgeous alpine town of Bright in Victoria, you should check out the Coral Lee cafe. First of all it’s pretty cool, with its dash of 50s kitsch decor, like their vintage ceramics which are used for hot drinks. Secondly, and more importantly, their food and coffee is awesome!

My fiance is a self-confessed coffee snob, and searches out the best java whenever we’re somewhere new. She gave these guys the double thumbs up, which is a big call for her. Personally I was blown away by their banana muffins. The mix was one of the lightest and fluffiest muffins I’ve had in years, intermixed with small chunks of mushy banana. All topped off with a crusty top sprinkled with raw sugar. So damn good!

Check them out if you’re ever in Bright, pop into 8 Barnard Street and check them out.

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Traditional sign writing is a beautiful art. The imperfections are what make it unique and gives it soul, kind of like an old car. In a world where the focus so often is a quick turn around and maximising profits, something needs to be said for artwork done by hand. Is it worth the extra money? Give me two identical cafes but one has a beautiful hand painted shop front, well that’s the one I’m picking.  It might seem superficial, but it suggests that business has an eye for quality and detail.

Here are some neat short docos looking at traditional sign writing and the artists that create it.

 

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Melbourne is well known for being the cultural capital of Australia, so its no surprise that it has a thriving alternative culture as well. One of the best examples of this is the awesome street art culture. So when we went to Melbourne recently, it was one of my priorities to check out.

The way our schedule worked out, we had a single day to see as much of the CBD as we could. Hardly ideal, but sometimes you just have to make the most of what you’ve got. We got a Melbourne laneway walking tour map for free, which takes you through some of the great spots the city is famous for. The cool thing is you can amble along at your own pace, and there’s plenty of options for lunch and other treats along the way.

The laneway tour actually doesn’t take in street art, which is kind of funny. Our accommodation pointed us in the direction of Hosier Lane, which is the most well known street art laneway and right near Federation Square. The quality of the art is awesome too, with some amazing images.

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The nice surprise of the walking tour was the vintage clothing shops which it passed or were nearby. We visited both Retrostar and Out of the Closet. and both had an awesome range of clothes and styles with heaps of stock. Both are kind of hidden, so look up their locations before you go.

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And Out of the Closet.
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I’m pretty freaking excited to share these amazing pictures with you. I mean it’s not often you get the chance to do a photo shoot with your gorgeous fiance, a biplane, a bunch of cool vintage items, all shot by a fantastic photographer.

This story actually started a few years back when I met a girl on a forum. We talked online for a few months, and even though we lived interstate, I was pretty smitten. A friend was having a luau in Brisbane, and that was just the excuse I needed to fly up and meet this girl. Well it went pretty well, and for the next two years we did the long distance relationship thing. Our trips were coordinated around rockabilly gigs and hot rod shows in our respective states. Not to mention going for drives, hitting vintage stores, riding our cruiser bikes and just being dorks with each other. When she finished her degree, she made the gutsy call to move away from her family to Sydney. Needless to say it’s worked out great, and another couple of years down the track we’re engaged.

Our wedding photographer is the talented Jonathan from Jonathan David Photography. As part of his standard package he includes an ‘engagement shoot’. Basically it’s a chance for him to get to know us, and us to get to know him. This way on the wedding day we’re feeling relaxed and comfortable, which means less stress and better photos. As you can see the quality of his work speaks for itself.

For our shoot we wanted something that reflected our love of dusty and rusty old stuff, but also the many hours we spent travelling over those two years of long distance relationship. We were incredibly lucky to find Roy and Primrose Fox, and their B & B ‘The Missions 1937‘. Located at Wisemans Ferry, it’s a luxurious B & B and we highly recommend a stay. Their hospitality was fantastic, not to mention Prim’s cooking! And they were more than accommodating for us to do our shoot with their plane. The plane in question by the way is a DH 82a Tiger Moth, which was used extensively as a pilot trainer. All of the props we bought at various swap meets and vintage stores.

A massive thank you to Roy and Prim, Jono and Britt, and Jen for all your help in making these amazing shots happen. You guys are all awesome!

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The suburb of Alexandria in Sydney is the last place you expect to come across some old tin garden art. For those not familiar with this corner of sin city, it’s an old industrial area. It’s currently undergoing some urban renewal though. With new development taking place of the old factories, it’s becoming pretty cool.

One of the best examples of that urban renewal is The Grounds cafe. Built in an old red brick factory, it’s got a great vibe with a relaxed outdoor eating area and some great industrial design inside. The old Bedford sitting out the front looks like it’s been there for years, actually the whole place does. As you can see the food is awesome, but be warned it does get packed on weekends.

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Just up the road is one of our fave antique stores Doug Up On Bourke. If you’re looking for cool industrial pieces, this is the place to go. Check out this developer poster we found for Neutral Bay, and the pair of taxidermied eagles. So freaking cool!

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The best looking beach cruiser frame around, in my opinion, is the Dyno. Originally a sub-brand of GT, the Dyno’s have a classic cantilever frame with sleek and smooth lines. They look awesome stripped down to their basics, or loaded up with full beach cruiser style guards.

 The grand-daddy of the Dyno’s is without doubt the Roadster model. Coming in at a massive 2.2m of length, the Roadster is like a 9 foot longboard or a Cadillac, just laid back and cruisey. So how the heck did a mainstream bike manufacturer get the balls to build such an awesome bike? Well the guys were bike nuts, and Jeff Souceck one of the original guys involved posted this story below on a website dedicated to Roadsters, both stockers and customs. By the way Jeff Soucek is now the Director of R & D at Felt bikes, which I think explains part of the reason they’re the guys leading the current market in cool bikes. Over to Jeff:

“It is great to see an appreciation for this bike after all of these years.  Let me introduce myself, my name is Jeff Soucek and I actually designed that frame while working for GT bicycles between the years 1992 and 1998.  I thought I could share a little incite to the project and how it became.

The idea of this Roadster frame actually was conceived after Sean Flickinger (one of the other GT Industrial Designers) designed the standard Dyno cruiser frame.  I was responsible for the geometry of that bike, and at the time we wanted a standard cruiser that would simply blow away the old Schwinn cruises that were so popular at that time.  We kept kicking the geometry back and slacking out the frame until it had –what we called at the time “6 pack geometry” This meant you could be half lit and still ride it to the liquor store and them back with one hand on the bar and a six pack of beer in the other.

The next part of the story goes like this.  Bill Duehring (Director of R&D at GT, and now President of Felt Bicycles) knew we had just designed a great cruiser, and wanted to create something to stir up the excitement of this new “standard” cruiser.  We really wanted to highlight the new “six pack” geometry of the new bike.  There was a small custom builder in the Huntington Beach California area where our office was, called HB CRUISERS.  This guy had made some super stretched out cruisers that we had seen the locals riding down at the beach.  This gave us the idea to take our standard cruiser design and “six pack” geometry and stretch it out to the Roadster length, creating a “show bike” for the Interbike release that year in Aneheim California.  This would be such an obviously different bike that it would help draw attention to the “standard” cruiser line.

So I went to work hand building the first prototype of this Roadster with the help of Dan McGrew (master frame builder in the GT tooling room).  We hand formed, bent, flared and machined everything from scratch.  Next we had the front half of the frame chrome plated and painted it custom with classic chrome darts, electric blue pinstripes, and black from there back. Even the front fender and chainguard were half chromed and painted.  It was a beautiful job done by the Custom GT paintshop in Colorado responsible for all of the Custom frames made by GT at the time.  All of the other bits were triple chrome plated to car show quality, down to the 12 gage spokes and nipples.  It even had an internal generator front hub with a headlight and internal wiring.

Once the bike was complete, everybody was freaking out about how cool it was, so it was time to show it to the boss Richard Long (owner and president of GT)  We approached him with the bike the day of the yearly sales meeting where all of the sales reps from the entire country were in the building.  We brought it up to the meeting and called Richard into the hallway were we had the bike sitting to surprise him, and as him for permission to show it to the Sales reps.  I still remember his words when he came out and saw it “Are you Fucking serious, you actually think you can sell those”.  We said “let us bring it in and show the sales reps and see what they say”.  He reluctantly agreed, and we left the meeting with the Reps cheering.  The bike was now set to be shown at the Interbike in Aneheim.  Needless to say the bike caused quite a stir at the show.  When we noticed the big guys from most of competition was in our booth checking it out, Richard had us pull the bike from the show after the first day and gave us the go-ahead to make a production bike.  The rest is history with this bike surprising all with the numbers sold over the few years it was in production.

Pretty interesting side note:  Bill Duehring the director of GT R&D during this time is now the President of Felt Bicycles.  Some of the same guys who worked on these bikes at GT now work with Bill once again for Felt.  It is cool to see that the Felt Forks/Bars, Tires, cranks and other misc. parts you put on your custom cruiser are actually designed all by the same people.  It is almost like a continuation or evolution of the bike.

Thanks for keeping it alive and we would love to see more of your work.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Best Regards. Jeff

Jeff Soucek / Felt Bicycles
Senior Design Engineer”

Anyway, here’s some pics of my Dyno Roadster I took the other day with our EK.

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