Rick Rawlins has taken car collecting and made it an art. His collection of cars spans some of the most historically significant times in automobile history. With a keen eye and rock solid patience he has developed not only a car collection, but a network of friends that give all the pieces significance.
His awesome woody.
The stickers all mean something to a kid growing up throughout the birth of surf culture… It is no wonder that Ed Roth caught his eye.
Rick’s dad’s old truck.. He had ‘Balboa Island Speed Shop’ painted on the side.
Rick’s current woody- note the ‘surfite’ license plate… That is because he actually owns the Surfite car, created and by Ed Big Daddy Roth!!
This is a guy who knows what stylin’ is.
“I carved that emblem that is now inside this VW bus- it was hung on the front of the VW bus I had growing up as a kid!”
The ‘Surfite’ by Big Eddie Roth… A close friends and inspiration for Rick. Rick has kept it in pristine condition, even winning the grand prize at the Grand National Roadster Show in 1999.
Rick first encountered the Surfite, when making this model of it when he was a little kid!
Rick with Ed Roth
The Coathanger guy is the character Ed Roth made that is based off of Rick, because he has an amazing wire business- R&B Wire.
Rick in the Surfite in front of his office.
All original paint Porsche.. Adds even more yellow to the garage.
His Alpha Romeo
A ‘murdered out’ Bentley, “WAY before it was called ‘murdered out’”
Lucy Rawlin’s favorite! She probably looks pretty awesome boppin’ around in this little Speedster.
The Bugatti— It has been the poster car for The Quail car show.
He also has this car- which when this picture was taken, held the land speed record! It is an amazing looking car, but for some reason, I did not get a picture of it :( I’ll find one and put it up later..
The only S.P.O in existence.. how about those canvas fenders!
Rick on the right with his son, Grant Rawlins.
The Rolls Royce we pictured before- HERE
Barret Baker, keeps these beauties rolling.
Thank you, Rick for spending time showing me around! As always, it is a pleasure to see you and your family. All your projects are true inspirations.
Rick Rawlins in the back of one of Ed Roth’s paintings… Saying hi, while hanging ten!
This car is a totally reinvented machine… The Before pictures are HERE. To celebrate an entire re-structure on the inside, Julian Mann, requested signed up for an awesome new paint job.
It’s the best looking car on the track, and it won it’s first race!!!!
Yesterday, the Chuck Porter truck came into the shop… It is part of a trio of cars that made up Chuck Porter’s Bonneville entourage… Richard Munz just bought this from Debbie Porter (Chuck’s daughter)… This truck would push THIS car out onto the line up… Scroll down after this post- yesterday I put up some cool old pics of them… Also, stay tuned as we have more and more information about these beauties coming back to life!
Everyone is all excited to take a peak under the hood.
Like a bunch of kids in a candy shop.
Could use some fresh chrome!
Hippy, L.D… I mean, Mike Morrison sees what it is like to squat in the driver’s seat.
Let’s look at some old pictures and figure out what is different.
She’ll look like that, again, before you know it!
An old picture of the truck- I will be taking some before pictures, as it is a different color and needs some TLC.
This is the truck and the Chuck Porter Bonneville Roadster that had been purchased by Richard Munz and restored by Busby Racing.
It is now at the NHRA Museum in Pamona, Ca.
See it HERE.
A while back, Richard Munz had David Busby go to an obscure and disturbing location to dig this engine out of a garage… Braving dead rats, and live angry rattlesnakes- David managed to bring it back, duck tape and all to the Busby shop.
Well… After some serious elbow grease from David, the hunk of metal that seemed nothing more than an elaborate anchor- is now a show stopping beauty of an Ardun…
Now, that’s better.
The master at work, making this 4 Cyliner look like new as well… It came in around the same time;
David is responsible for re-building all the old engines that come to the shop, in addition to building some from scratch.
Check out THIS ONE he did.
A great example of technology and style- Built and designed by Busby Racing the worlds first jet powered dragster - 1967.
The rocket fuel was instantly shot into the chamber causing an 80 flame out the back!
Jim pulled over after a fellow driver at the Laguna Seca Raceway had some problems with their F1. Luckily no one was hurt, except that awesome car.
This is Jim’s GT Porsche that they won the GT division at Le Mans in 1982 with… Jim compared driving this car to driving a train. Nothing could stop it.
Driving the car in addition to Jim were; Doc Bundy, and Francios Minot.
BF Goodrich Advertisement featuring the Car
Model of the Car…
1943 the El Toro Marine Air Base officially opened… It had formerly been the largest lima bean farm owned by the Irvine Family. It officially closed in 1999 and is now called ‘The Great Park’ and is utilized by the city of Irvine.
In the end there were some really cool results- problem was, I only made it to the end to see the car get loaded up and listen to the awesome stories that had been created.
Rick Knoop drove the car- Jim Stepan drove the JBR rig for support, and Trevor got to go for a ride and enjoy the show!
See more ‘32 3 Window Stories HERE.
The Park’s signature Orange Hot Air Balloon attracts tourists to come see the historical site.
Old buildings are aging, and reminding us of days past…
Rick Knoop, Trevor, and Jim Stepan
Rick Knoop and Trevor
Look for the results and story in Street Rodder Magazine!
The First pro car they built- knocked everyone’s socks off, because it looked so awesome and different- however proved to be underpowered compared to the Supercharged Porches as competition… However, the Busby Racing Team placed 3rd at Elkheart Lake and 3rd at Ohio, despite this problem.
Happy Friday! Today I get to head up to Malibu with car collector and awesome guy Rick Rawlins, his wife Lucy, and his son Grant… He is pictured below with Kathy Busby (Jim’s lovely wife) and his Springfield Built- Rolls Royce… More about the car in our earlier post from Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance 2010 Here.
Today we are posting about a car that Jim’s brother in law- Mike Bartlett- For the past 50 years Mike, The Demerest Brothers, Les Hawkins, Gary Read and the gang have been building the legend of The World Famous 15 Ounce Coupe.
Mike is not feeling well, and we want to make sure that he knows we are thinking of him and his family during these tough times.
Here’s to an awesome guy and an awesome car.
(Make sure to also check out two earlier posts, with video of the car in action!)
We posted some awesome videos down below…