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State of Speed: Billy F Gibbons’ ’58 Ford Thunderbird Mexican Blackbird
%3Cimg+class%3D%22aligncenter+size-large+wp-image-10114%22+src%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Fbillygibbons.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2019%2F08%2FSoS_BillyFGibbonsTBird-0046_1-940x627.jpg%22+alt%3D%22%22+width%3D%22940%22+height%3D%22627%22+%2F%3E%0D%0APhotos+Credit%3A+Alex+Maldonado%0D%0ASTORY+BY%3A+Tony+Thacker%0D%0A%0D%0AIn+the+period+immediately+following+World+War+II%2C+there+was+a+cultural+explosion+in+Los+Angeles+as+service+men+and+women+returning+from+the+war+sought+escape+and+excitement.+Many+found+it+in+the+burgeoning+custom+car+and+motorcycle+scene+of+Los+Angeles.+But+why+LA%3F+Why+not+Detroit%2C+Houston+or+any+other+city+where+returning+soldiers+settled%3F+Well%2C+LA+had+it+all%3A+Sun%2C+sand+and+surf+and+as+a+consequence%2C+a+blossoming%2C+eclectic+car+culture+that+ranged+from+drag+racing+and+dune+buggies+to+customs+and+low-riders.+LA+had+it+all.%0D%0A%0D%0A%3Cimg+class%3D%22aligncenter+size-large+wp-image-10129%22+src%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Fbillygibbons.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2019%2F08%2FSoS_BillyFGibbonsTBird-002-940x627.jpg%22+alt%3D%22%22+width%3D%22940%22+height%3D%22627%22+%2F%3E%0D%0APhoto+Credit%3A+Tony+Thacker%0D%0A%0D%0ALA+also+had+a+thriving+art+scene+and%2C+of+course%2C+it+had+Hollywood.+Throw+all+that+in+a+Petri+dish%2C+stir+vigorously+and+you%E2%80%99ve+got+the+gene+pool+that+gave+birth+to+the+likes+of+Kenneth+%E2%80%98Von+Dutch%E2%80%99+Howard%2C+Ed+%E2%80%98Big+Daddy%E2%80%99+Roth+and+Larry+Watson.+None+of+these+guys+were+schooled+in+the+automotive+arts+but+they+all+had+a+cultural+impact+way+beyond+their+Made-in-Detroit+palettes.+Dutch%2C+of+course%2C+originated+modern+pinstriping%2C+Roth+went+on+to+create+some+of+the+most+outlandish+and+iconic+custom+cars+ever+built+and+Larry+Watson+wielded+a+spray+gun+like+no+other+painting+some+of+the+best+custom+cars+ever.%0D%0A%0D%0A%3Cimg+class%3D%22aligncenter+size-large+wp-image-10130%22+src%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Fbillygibbons.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2019%2F08%2FSoS_BillyFGibbonsTBird-004-940x627.jpg%22+alt%3D%22%22+width%3D%22940%22+height%3D%22627%22+%2F%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3Ch3%3EWhen+he%E2%80%99s+not+rockin%E2%80%99+the+world%E2%80%99s+stages%2C+Billy+is+cruisin%E2%80%99+low+%E2%80%98n%E2%80%99+slow.%3C%2Fh3%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%3Cimg+class%3D%22aligncenter+size-large+wp-image-10128%22+src%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Fbillygibbons.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2019%2F08%2FSoS_BillyFGibbonsTBird-003-940x627.jpg%22+alt%3D%22%22+width%3D%22940%22+height%3D%22627%22+%2F%3E%0D%0A%0D%0AWatson%E2%80%99s+trademark+was+what+they+called+back+then+%E2%80%98panel+painting%E2%80%99+as+he+marked+out+panels+on+the+car+that+were+painted+in+contrasting+Candy+colors+over+silver%2C+gold%2C+copper+or+pearl+bases.+His+first+panel+job+was+on+his+own%2C+brand+new+%E2%80%9958+Thunderbird+that+he+initially+painted+pearl+before+adding+the+burgundy+candy+panels.+It+was+an+immediate+hit+and+has+been+copied+numerous+times+since+not+least+of+which+by+Billy+F+Gibbons%2C+front+man+of+ZZ+Top.%0D%0A%0D%0A%0D%0A%0D%0A%0D%0A%3Cimg+class%3D%22aligncenter+size-large+wp-image-10127%22+src%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Fbillygibbons.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2019%2F08%2FSoS_BillyFGibbonsTBird-0113_1-940x627.jpg%22+alt%3D%22%22+width%3D%22940%22+height%3D%22627%22+%2F%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%0D%0ABilly+had+owned+the+%E2%80%98Bird+for+some+years+and+it+was+sitting+in+one+of+his+storage+facilities+unused+until+he+and+the+late-Pete+Chapouris+decided+to+de-mothball+it+and+give+it+the+Watson+treatment+and+reference+Billy%E2%80%99s+song+%E2%80%98Mexican+Blackbird%E2%80%99+found+on+the+band%E2%80%99s+1975+album+Fandango.%0D%0A%0D%0A%0D%0A%3Cimg+class%3D%22aligncenter+size-large+wp-image-10126%22+src%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Fbillygibbons.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2019%2F08%2FSoS_BillyFGibbonsTBird-0084_1-940x1410.jpg%22+alt%3D%22%22+width%3D%22940%22+height%3D%221410%22+%2F%3E%0D%0A%0D%0AChapouris%E2%80%99+%3Ca+href%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.est1946.com%2F%22+rel%3D%22noopener+noreferrer%22+target%3D%22_blank%22%3ESO-CAL+Speed+Shop%3C%2Fa%3E%2C+Pomona%2C+CA%2C+began+with+some+subtle+fifties-style+body+mods+that+included+replacing+the+front+bumper+overriders+with+bullets%2C+%E2%80%98pancaking%E2%80%99+the+hood+%28the+removal+of+the+factory+scoop%29%2C+the+addition+of+a+small+peak+along+the+hood+centerline%2C+and+the+removal+of+the+five+trim+bars+at+the+bottom+of+the+doors+along+with+a+lot+of+other+minor+trim+parts+and+doodads.+Note%2C+the+door+corners+along+with+the+corners+of+the+hood+were+rounded+in+fifties%E2%80%99+style.+Under+the+hood+is+a+rebuilt+factory+352+cubic+inch+V8+with+chrome+accessories.%0D%0A%0D%0A%3Cstrong%3Econtinue+reading+original+article%3A+%3Ca+href%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Fstateofspeed.com%2F2019%2F08%2F08%2Fbilly_f_gibbons_mexican_blackbird%2F%22+target%3D%22_blank%22+rel%3D%22noopener+noreferrer%22%3Ehttps%3A%2F%2Fstateofspeed.com%2F2019%2F08%2F08%2Fbilly_f_gibbons_mexican_blackbird%2F%3C%2Fa%3E%3C%2Fstrong%3E%0D%0A%0D%0A%0D%0A%0D%0A%3Cimg+class%3D%22aligncenter+size-large+wp-image-10125%22+src%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Fbi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