eddie

     Sometimes things turn out completely differently than planned. At SEMA in 2017, Greg MacPherson and myself courtesy of Brian Busby got an invitation to attend the BASF cocktail party and reception at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. Earlier in the week Greg and myself had been at the unveiling of two of the Ring brothers’ cars, Defiant 1972 AMX Javelin which was in the Preston booth and the Defector a 1969 Dodge Charger in the BASF booth.

     We felt that this would be an opportunity to meet and spend some time with the Ring brothers Mike and Jim and talk about the possibility of them bringing feature vehicles to Motorama in the future. Both Mike and Jim are down to earth, laid back car guys and everything they build is meant to be driven and driven hard. Greg and I felt comfortable that there was a good possibility that we would be able to do something with the Ring Brothers.

     At the BASF party I was at the bar getting a pop and struck up a conversation with a young gentleman also getting a stronger pop. It started with the usual questions, are you in Vegas for SEMA? exhibitor or spectator, etc.

    The individual was a car builder, and they were showing their latest build; a 1963 Corvette. The car was in the Billet Specialties booth. We talked for a while, exchanged business cards and I said that I would drop by the booth the next day.

     The BASF party was a blast it was held inside the MGM Grand at a driving range called TOPGOLF. The range was on the top two floors off a tower and you were inside the building when you hit the ball. I am not sure if we were on the 6th or 7th floor. My drives felt good, but I did not have a clue how far or how straight because being nighttime the backdrop for the range were the lights of the Las Vegas strip.

     The next day I dropped by the Billet Specialties booth and met with Eddie Pettus of Eddies Rod & Custom. Eddie is from Grand Rapids Iowa. On display was a stunning 1963 split window Corvette called Split Second. The Corvette had just been awarded Chevrolet Design Award for the Car of Year SEMA 2017. We talked about Eddie bringing the car to Toronto in March.

    Eddie explained that they had been so busy getting the car ready for SEMA that no thought was given to what happens after SEMA. It was agreed that when he got back to the shop and things settled down a bit that we should talk. Later in the year it was agreed that he would bring Split Second to Motorama in March. The reason in the delay was there was a conflict in dates. The World of Wheels in Chicago was the same weekend which is Eddies Rod & Customs home show.

     Not only did they show Split Second in 2018 but Eddies Rod & Custom was back in 2019 with the Goodguy’s Truck Of the Year a 1932 Willy’s Aviation refueling truck and tanker and in 2020 with 2 vehicles direct from SEMA  a Corvette and Sugga.  Motorama feels extremely fortunate to have met Eddie at the driving range that year.

     We met with the Ring Brothers again at the Detroit Autorama and with the help of Mike O’Connor, BASF and Prestone we were able to get Defiant the 1972 AMX as a feature for the 2019 show.

I would love to hear your Hot Rodding experiences. Please comment below or email me at sled1949@rogers.com

                                                                                                                                           For now,

                                                                                                                                                         Gary Challice

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