Greg is an Army veteran, a local MATCO Tools distributor, and the owner of a beautiful 1965 Chevelle Malibu SS drag car that he frequently races at tracks all over Texas.
After seeing some of my pinstriping work at a local dealership, Greg reached out to me with an idea he had to personalize his race car with a design that would honor his career in the Army, pay homage to a family friend’s race car, and show off his love for vintage aviation nose art featuring classy pin-ups.
After curating a few inspiration photos for the initial pin-up design, I got to work creating a sketch that would combine a military inspired pin-up girl and a drag racing tree. Greg’s creative idea was to have the pin-up’s touch lighting up both red lights on the Christmas tree at the same time (something that is impossible to do in drag racing).
For the lettering, I took Greg’s lined paper sketch and created a 1960’s inspired “name tag” for both front fenders. In the final pencil sketch, we had three lightning bolts drawn at an angle off the letters.
However, after we applied the chalk sketch to the car and came back the next day, Greg’s creativity stuck again! We ended up turning the letter ‘T’ itself into the lightning bolt. This design element change serendipitously complimented the painted name from his dad’s best friend’s car called “Chevy Thunder” which is what acted as our original inspiration anyway.
For the final paint job, I transferred the pencil sketches to the cleaned surface on the car with Saral paper and used Alpha 6 Enamels to paint up all of the designs. For the pinstripe illustration of the pin-up girl, I used 3 different sized brushes from the Virus brush set by Mack Brush, and the Monster Stix brush set by Tidwell/Mack Brush. My carbon fiber mahl stick from Alpha 6 Corporation came in handy! My lettering brushes are well-worn and are missing the brand and size on the handles, but I believe I used 2 different sized French Masters brushes for “Lil’ Miss Thunder” type (time to order new ones haha!).
This job took me roughly two days and it was a joy to have Greg and his son, as well as my husband and my son, hang out in the shop with me while I was painting. I even got to share my brushes with Greg’s son who took interest in what I was painting. It was cool to see his eye light up as he painted on his dad’s car using enamels for the first time.
With some stories that Greg shared with us over morning doughnuts, I think it’s safe to say that this custom artwork will hold sentimental value to him and his family for years to come.
It is amazing how cars have the ability to bring people together. It’s even more special when we can all rely on each other’s specific talents to customize cars in different areas. From fabricating and engine building, to body work and pinstriping, each person who applies their craft to customize a car becomes a part of it’s story. That’s why I love my job; My small touch on a car like this is only one of many that came before me.
The Tools I Used to Make This Art (Please note, these are all affiliate links) :