It all started with a 66 Mustang

I’ve been working on cars since I was 13 years old. It started with helping my older brother work on his 1966 Mustang. I fell in love with the car and when I graduated, he gifted me the car as a graduation present. That set the fire in me to continue working on cars. After working at several auto shops in Carpinteria, I opened up my own hot rod shop called, Steve’s Rods N Customs. I had it for a couple of years before closing the doors due to poor economy and the fun of building had gone away.

I relit that fire and started building cars for myself in my garage and have been doing so for over 25 years now. During that time I’ve had at least 20 cars and have built several cars for friends. Although my full time job is in construction as a General Contractor, I enjoying building cars for personal use.

This is my 18th year participating in Rods and Roses. The first car I entered was a red and white 2-door coupe 1955 Belair hot rod that I built. The following year I had built a 1956 Chevrolet Belair 2-door coupe which was beautifully painted by local painter Albert Bustillos. I entered that car for a couple of years then got into a 1940 ford coupe that I restored into a hot rod.

After a couple years I sold the car at the Rods and Roses show and moved onto a 1939 ford coupe from a man in Colorado that I built from ground up. The car was completely turned it into a show car and car won many trophies at several shows. The next car I restored and showed was a 1963 Chevrolet Nova SS convertible. That car was so clean and perfect that someone bought it on the spot at the Rods and Roses Car Show. The funny thing is the car wasn’t currently for sale. The guy who bought it told me his wife fell in love with the car and had to have it – he wasn’t leaving with out the car. That was a good day for me and I was paid top dollar for the car.

The next car I built for the show was a 1956 Ford pick up truck that did well and was awarded 2 merchant trophies. I traded the truck for a 1959 Chevrolet Impala Wagon that was all restored and entered the following year at the show. Following that was a 1950 Mercury I had been building for a couple of years. The car did very well and trophies were awarded. After a couple years I sold the car to a guy in Texas. At the time I was building another Mercury so wasn’t too bummed out about selling the car.

Over the next couple years I had several different cars in the show; 1967 Chevy Nova SS and a Prostreet 1955 Chevrolet Belair. After selling those cars I’ve been concentrating mainly on building 1949 -1950 Mercurys which I have entered into Rods and Roses for the past 12 years. I’ve started a car club called Carp Cruisers and we now have a number of cars entered in the show every year.

Look forward to seeing you all at the show in June!

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