“My friend Anjel says she wants to paint your Chinook! You’d like her, she rides a Ducati to work and when she unzips her riding suit she’ll have a dress on underneath!” This from my close pal Camille, who I’d just picked up from her apprenticeship at Olive-Route. Camille went on to explain that while I’d been on the phone waiting for her, Anjel had come out to take a look. She thought it would be a cool project to work on, as she’d just taken an auto-body class.
I couldn’t believe my luck. Sure, it was love at first sight when I saw the Chinook, but partly because I could see passed the 1976 veneer to what could be- a much hotter little earlier-vintage-styled number. And in spite of the fact that I have painted the interior and exterior of my house, have ripped up carpets, sanded and installed floors, installed a toilet and sink, made furniture, roto-tilled soil, smashed and removed concrete- you name it, with my own hands- I did not have the bandwidth to take on a first-time do-it-yourself project alone with all that I had to do to get ready for my road trip. At best I was hoping to do it along the way or get a sponsor to do it.
But I didn’t have to, and the Chinook would be better for it! After a few email exchanges and meeting in person, it was clear that Camille was right, that I had the perfect partner in crime- someone who shared my love of rat rods, and had the skills to transform the Chinook. And the cool surprise? Anjel and her husband Connal write a travel blog! They’ve had some pretty fantastic adventures like traveling the world for over a year, clocking many of those miles on their motorcycles. Checkout their site 35 Summers to learn what they’ve done and about the foundation they’re starting- it’s amazing.
And what became of the Chinook is pretty darn amazing too!
Here are some photos of the process:
Anjel and I suited up and ready to go (photo by Connal Hughes)-
Anjel using an eraser to get rid of the trim line-
Sanding, and removing the raised Chinook logo (photo by Connal Hughes)-
A little Nevr-Dull on the hubcaps makes ‘em shine-
A wire brush drill bit removes sharp peeling chrome-
Anjel carefully taping off lines for the stripes-
Starting to paint the grates-
I stuck to the prep and rims and let Anjel handle the expert stuff. Doing the primer-
Finally- Paint! My goal? Make it match my lips –
Um, yeah, I may have slept in this strange creature that night-
Ready for some before and after magic??
Cheers! That’s victory wine in there…we should have worn dresses!
Amazing right? I’m so grateful to Anjel for volunteering her time and skills, to Connal for helping so much behind the scenes, and to Via and Chris for lending us their driveway…for days…and for meeting new friends to share traveling adventures with. Thanks to them, I can take my road trip in style. And to think, it only took a couple hundred bucks, some sweat and a few days…and Anjel’s mad skills. What do you think? Like it? Ready to hire Anjel to pimp your ride? To tackle your own DIY project? Now just wait til I get my hands on the interior…