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Archive for the ‘Kustom Kulture Art and Collectables’ Category

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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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The Thrashlab is an awesome group from the states who make beautiful short films. They cover a range of really diverse topics so there’s pretty much bound to be something interesting for everyone. And often it’s the most out there topics that can be the most intriguing ones – from urban beekeeping in LA, to food trucks, sneaker collectors, graffiti artists, and the international beard championships – it’s pretty diverse.

We’ve selected a small handful of videos which I reckon will appeal most to kustom kulture fanatics, but be sure to check out more of their vids on youtube.

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You can usually get a feel for an antique store the moment you walk in. If you’re met with the musty smell of old books, they’re playing classical music on some AM station, and the old dude behind the counter is wearing tweed and peering over his specs at you, chances are you’re in a fairly traditional antique store run for collectors of ‘fine artifacts’. You might find some art deco stuff if you’re lucky, but you’ve got slim to nill chance of finding anything mid century modern! And other times you walk in and they’ve got some funky blues or jazz record playing, the guy behind the counter looks like he might have been a beatnik in his day, and he greets you with a smile, well chances are you’re going to find some great vintage items.

I find the Southern Highlands generally tends to have a lot of the first style of antique store. There are some gorgeous cottages and scenery and it’s a great place for a cruise, however the general vibe with toffs wearing their sweaters draped over their shoulders in their Porsche and BMW SUVs just makes a little vomit come up the back of my throat. However there are some cool things to find if you look hard enough. Here is some stuff which caught our eye last time we were there.

The details on this little boat like the wrap around windscreen, wings and sidetrim just scream 1950s. It was actually off a ride, I’d imagine something like a carousel.
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Old school pokie.
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Golden fleece sheep is apparently cast alloy, and wearing its original paint. Would look great on the shelf.
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This is an original shop display from the ’30s from Ballarat Bitter featuring ‘Ballarat Bertie’.
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Amazing mid century prints from Qantas, from the early ’60s.
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Arcade style shooting game.
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You sure get some funny looks when you arrive to pick up some building supplies or furniture and you’re driving an old girl like our EK wagon. I had a birthday back in December and needed some hay bales for the party, so cruised up to the local ag supplies shop in the EK to pick it up. Worked a treat, though I think I’ll be finding hay in nooks and crannies for months to come.

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The party had a bit of a country theme, the hay bails worked a treat along with the other assorted old junk we’ve got lying around the place. Good practice for decorating our wedding later this year.

 

 

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And as far as cool stuff I scored, I’ve been after a vintage bull in good condition for aaaaages, and scored this beauty along with the tiki mug. I also got a Shag print which looks great along with my Neo Dutch original and Weesner print.

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Baz Luhrmann’s latest epic, The Great Gatsby, is due to be released later this year. It promises to be dripping in lavish art deco style – from the cars, to the fashion, to the architecture. Filming was undertaken in Sydney, so it will be interesting to see if there is any recognisable ‘Sydney bits’ in the film, though I doubt it. The trailer is below.

We got wind late last year of a sale of all of the props used in the film. As luck would have it, it was on a Wednesday and I had some pretty critical work commitments I couldn’t ditch. Bugger. My fiance was more than happy to go along shopping by herself though! Disappointingly the antique dealers already had first pick of the lot, so all of the bargains were long gone leaving the general public to pick the carcass. There were genuine antiques on offer as well created props such as resin ‘ice sculptures’.

The only thing we managed to score was this cute cake tin. We’re gonna keep a lookout for it in the film!
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These cars were all for sale. They were asking for $20K for the Model A taxi, and $7K for the others.
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Hidden up the back corner of the warehouse and under wraps was the Deusenberg, rumoured to be worth a cool $3M. Well done to my fiance who ID’d it just from what you can see and the silhouette!

 

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Some days you look out the window and say to yourself ‘bugger it, lets go for a drive and see where we end up’. Today was one of those gorgeous sunny winters days, so we fired up the EK and headed into the city with no particular plan.

First stop was Birkenhead shopping centre to check out a couple of shops. Got to love when they scan them up at a bigger discount than marked! Did some present shopping and grabbed some lunch while we were there. And then we decided to head to the beach, so off to Manly it was.

Anzac Bridge.

Past the city.

Over the Harbour Bridge.

While travelling up Military Road we saw signs saying there was a bad crash on the spit, so we decided to divert past Mosman and down to Balmoral Beach.

What’s nicer than parking up at a gorgeous little beach with your old car and best girl, and sharing a tub of ice cream in the sun?

While we were there we checked out Bradley’s Head.

And for those that aren’t familiar with Sydney, here we’re looking out the entrance to Sydney harbour. I think sometimes we forget how gorgeous this place is to live.

And headed home…

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The good folk over at Sydney Antiques Centre are putting on a neat event to help you prepare for the upcoming 50s Fair at Rose Seidler House. They’re having a vintage fashion bazaar and all of their clothing stalls are stocking up on fabulous 50s threads just for the occasion. Pia Andersen (singer, stylist and vintage culture junky from “Vintage Allsorts”) will be speaking about 1950’s fashion at 2pm on the day, and there’ll also be static displays for you to check out.

When: Saturday 4th August
Time: 10am-5pm
Where: Sydney Antique Centre, 531 South Dowling Street, Surry HIlls – lower level in the Vintage Fashion Emporium
Cost: Free entry to the Bazaar and the 1950’s talk
Enquiries: (02) 9361 3244 or c_repose@bigpond.net.au

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You gotta love a weekend that combines some old car perving, great tunes, vintage shopping, cool house scouting and fine food! We just got back from a weekend that combined all that.

I got word form my brother that The Fumes and The Blackwater Fever were touring together, both of whom I’ve been jonesing to check out in person for a few years now. With my partner’s work schedule, the best gig for us was down at Austinmer, so we thought what the hell and decided to have a short weekend away and stay the night.

Venue for the gig was the Heritage Hotel at Bulli. It’s an old school pub who always seem to have a great calendar of quality gigs coming up. Food was honest good quality pub food. The Blackwater Fever were great, the singer’s husky vocals a perfect match for their haunting guitar and primevil drums. The Fumes were awesome, despite only knowing a handful of their songs the two piece completely blew me away. With a battered guitar held together with tape the lead was the perfect frontman with his awesome handlebar mo and truckers cap and powerful voice. The gig definitely left me a massive fan! If you like blues which is covered in dirt and oil, maybe slept a few rough nights on the street, and has an odour of bourbon you’ll love both the Fever and the Fumes, check em both out. A decent gig review would have pics and a set list, but this isn’t one.

The next morning, this was the view that greated us from our doorstep in Austinmer. With a day like this the road was chockas with bikes and cars fresh from an early morning blast through the Royal.

Brekky was a cool little cafe in Austinmer called the Fireworks Cafe. Hidden off the main drag and located in a historic old butcher shop, it still had the vintage tiles bearing the marks of years of service. The menu is seasonal and updated regularly, so they just write it direct on the tile walls! Despite it getting some hit and miss reviews online, we found it great and will definitely look to check it out again.

After brekky we went for a bit of a cruise and spied some cool cars like this Mustang at one of the beaches and this neat lowlight baywindow kombi.

We took the long way home and headed down the coast and back up through the Kangaroo Valley. If you do a little sniffing around there’s a tight and twisty backroad from Berry to the Valley which is great fun. If you’re in Kangaroo Valley I highly suggest you check out The Nostalgia Factory, they’ve got some awesome vintage items and their prices are pretty reasonable. Check out these old car ads and mens mag.

And a couple of classics we also spied around Kangaroo Valley.

And with that we hit the road and made a beeline home. A top little weekend away!

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