Page 1

Dec 2013

Volume 1 Issue 7

Jack crump’s

Evil SS Camaro Hoosier’s Hottest Garage

Wild Imports

Marcelo Pintado’s

502 V8 Boss Hoss

Thomas Woods’

1955 ‘Papa Smurf’

Region Renegade:

Carrots Rod & Customs



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Introducing Our New Menu and Witness the Anticipated Return of EC!

Thursday, Dec 12th • 9pm

6291 Central Ave • Portage, IN 46368 • 219-762-1900



December 2013 This month’s cover, Jack Crump’s 2011 Camaro SS, was shot on location in Crown Point at the Lake County Fairgrounds by Jerome Hindmon.

Our Team

Founder • Publisher Mark Halliar Publisher Rolando Martinez Contributing Writer Marisha Massie Contributing Writer Ray Saez Jr. Contributing Photographer Jerome Hindmon Contributing Photographer Jessica Halliar Publication & Ad Design Designs by Mark

Got a Cool Ride?

Send pics to

Interested in Advertising? or Call: 219.200.3877

In This Issue Works of Art in Progress


What is a Rat Rod

Bob “Rainbow Lungs” Special Article


Papa Smurf

Thomas Woods’ ‘55 Chevy Custom


Size Matters

Marcelo Pintado’s Boss Hoss Choppers 12

One Evil SS

Jack Crump’s 2011 Camaro SS

Region Renegade

Carrot’s Rod & Customs

18 22

Hoosier’s Hottest Garage

Wild Imports of Griffith 26

Rearview Review

A look back at the 2013 Season


Visit or our Facebook page to see extra content! Region Rides is a monthly publication by Region Rides LLC. All rights reserved. Production without permission is strictly prohibited. All photographs & articles submitted become the sole property of Region Rides Magazine.

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Works of Art in progress

The Man Who: Mike Gucciardo Town: Westville, IN Age: 35

The Ride

Got a project you’re working on? Send us pics and a brief description to:

Year:1987 Make: Ford Model: Mustang Paint: 2000 GM Nassau Blue Metallic Body: Notchback Suspension: Front: Racecraft k-member, Team Z control arms, Strange coil overs and Strange 10 way adjustable struts, Strange race brakes. Rear: complete UPR Pro Series tubular rear suspension with AFCO double adjustable shocks Engine: 308 Small Block Ford. All motor Trans: Promotion Prepared Tremec TKO600 Crashbox (yes it’s a stick shift car) Interior: Auto meter playback tach, autometer liquid filled pro comp gauges Other: Custom cage and chassis work done by DT Racecars, Holeshot wheels, full MSD Ignition, Custom Spec clutch, 3 inch stainless exhaust with x pipe and Dynomax Race Bullet mufflers, 5.14 gear (yikes!... its a blast to drive!) I would love to thank my wife Amanda, my parents, Justin at JPC Racing, and so many more people. Without them, absolutely none of this would be possible! Future Plans: To improve on what we have, look for future sponsors to help us with the 2014 race season, and be on our quest for the 9’s. Car has run a best e.t. so far of 10.42@ 129.9 mph. Please feel free to check us out on facebook (Mike”The Goose” Gucciardo/Halfsack Racing, or contact me at


What is a RAT ROD Written By: Rainbow Lungs I am sure a hundred times over the question has been asked, “Define what a RAT ROD is.” The question can be posed to 100 different people and you will receive 100 different answers. Ask a 100 different Rat Rodders what a rat rod is and you will find out just a bit more info on the dream they had, the cloud nine creation that became reality, the epitome of rolling cool. With passion and a smile they will describe the entire build in detail. So really, what is a rat rod? A rat rod is built for FUN. An idea pops in your brain and starts your wheels turning. You continue to think about this idea, adding more ideas, to create your ultimate dream. Then one day you see that old body resting and waiting for it’s resurrection with weeds protruding through the hood, a tree branch impaled through a cracked window, it’s perched on breathless tires in a farmer’s field, or it could be in an old barn covered with masses of dust, sitting just the same way the old


boy parked it 30 years ago, and you say to yourself. That’s it! That’s the rusted piece of steel I need to make my dream a reality. You tow it home. It sits in the garage. Every day you stare at it, mentally adding the ideas form your head onto your steel canvas. You see your vision starting to take shape. Your next journey is parts collecting. It is a mission to acquire the exact same parts were in your dream. These parts are the paints for your steel canvass. You name the rat, it is your signature. Ratters are the guys that can grab something at a flea market and make it functional in there ride. Why do they add these grotesques’ objects? Somewhere down the line it had a special meaning to them. It may have been something as far back as the first car they owned or a special event that has happened in their lives. Another reason is funding. Less is best but safety is always first.

They bring these heaps of steel back to life. RATS are the cars people stop and look at during the shows and cruise night because of their uniqueness. You will never see two rats the same, why? Because no one has the same imagination when building a rat. You build a completely safe drivable ride to the vision you conceived in your head that first day. You find odd items to personalize your ride. Be it a boy scout bugle for a working horn, a glass door knob for a traffic light reflector, that farm sickle shifter or any other piece you add from your dream to complete the car or truck. A RAT ROD is a poetic license in car creations; it is a true art form as seen by its creator. It is an idea one day that grows into a sculpted piece of rolling art. I don’t own a RAT ROD……I own an ART ROD! - RR


AND FIRST ROUNDS. Stacked logo with gold drop and slight gradation on red

Stacked logo with gold drop and no gradation on red

Horizontal logo with gold drop and slight gradation on red

Horizontal logo with gold drop and no gradation on red

Horizontal 2 color Stacked 2 color

Papa Smurf Written By: Ray Saez, Jr.



Photos By: Jerome Hindmon

Thomas Woods is, quite frankly, the type of auto enthusiast I want to be when I grow up. Thomas is a retired steel mill worker who, when not driving the awesome ’55 you see before you, tools around in a more “plain” 1972 Buick that he picked up in 2004 from a co-worker. He’s the second owner, and the car is still bone stock with almost 100,000 miles on the odometer. He’s even left the factory 8-track stereo in place. Thomas’ truck, nicknamed Papa Smurf, is not only cool, it’s almost a part of his identity. I guess that happens when you own the same vehicle for over 30 years. That’s right. Thomas bought this ’55 Chevy all the way back in 1978. He was tipped off by his cousin in Alabama who also has a love for vintage trucks, but in a different way. His cousin is an all-original kind of guy (not that there’s anything wrong with that… we just prefer the custom stuff here at Region Rides). Anyway, long story short – Thomas asked his cousin to help him find him a truck, and he did. Before Craigslist, eBay, AutoTrader, and even the advent of the Internet itself, Thomas was buying his truck from halfway across the country from a mill worker in Montgomery, Alabama. To top it off, he bought the truck right before he was supposed to be going on vacation with his wife of 44 years, Patricia, and she was not only OKAY with that, she WENT WITH HIM! It’s a good thing, too. Thomas’ truck was previously owned by an over-the-road truck driver, and his wife was getting tired of looking at it. Had he not intervened, her plan was to take the truck and turn the bed into a rose garden. After rescuing the truck from its fate, Thomas began to restore it, and completed the initial restoration in 1983. Like all true enthusiasts, though, that wasn’t enough. The paint job you see today, of

course, is not from 1983, but is from

cubic inch engine under the hood

better when he’s not soaking up his

2008 – and it’s the third respray for

was built in the mid-1990s, and

retirement going on trips with his wife.

this very special ’55. The interior

is still running strong. To put that in

The next plan, he says, is to re-finish

pattern was designed and chosen by

perspective: there are BONE STOCK

the bed in some nice stained oak. In

his wife Patricia, and she also stained

cars from the mid-1990s that are

the meantime, Thomas is enjoying the

and shellacked the wood in the bed,

barely managing to stay on the road.

truck as-is, taking it to as many local

so this truck is truly a joint effort.

He’s not done with the truck, though.

shows and gatherings as he can. -RR

My favorite part of this restoration

Like any true car guy, he’s always

story is the engine, though. The 327

thinking of ways to make the truck

Ride Specs Who: Thomas Woods What: 1955 Chevy Pickup nicknamed “Papa Smurf” Where: Gary, IN Engine: 327 SBC Trans: TH350 3-speed auto Rear End: ’68 Nova posi rear.

Interior: Custom blue Leather with Diamond Upholstery Pattern Wheels: 15x8 and 15x10 Cragar S/S wheels Suspension: 1969 Camaro front subframe with Disc Brakes Paint: Gloss Blue with hand-painted Pinstripes

Size Ma Written By: Ray Saez, Jr.

We’re no strangers to craziness here at Region Rides, but Marcelo Pintado and his pair of Boss Hoss custom motorcycles just may take the cake… in the best way


possible. Just look at these things. This isn’t your grandfather’s Goldwing. These are street legal missiles for the blacktop. The black bike, named Amanda,

has been in Marcelo’s stable since 2009. It’s powered by a re-worked 502 cubic inch big block Chevy motor. That means there’s 645 horses sitting between his legs at

atters Photos By: Jerome Hindmon

any given time… and that’s before the 100 shot of nitrous. Coming in at around 1600 pounds, this rocket ship can sprint from 0-60 miles per hour in a little less than 3 seconds. It

took you longer than three seconds to read that sentence. That’s how fast these bikes are. Marcelo isn’t COMPLETELY insane, however. The second bike, Red Tail, “only” has

525 horsepower. How does a person get interested in motorcycles like these? Well, for Marcelo, his Boss Hoss customs are just a continuation of his

lifelong hobby. He’s been riding motorcycles for 34 years, and owns a few other collectible bikes. However, he’s 6’5” tall, so that means he needs a big bike. Well done, my friend. It doesn’t get any bigger or badder than these two rig ht here. When asked what drew him to the Boss Hoss, he chuckled and said, simply, “I like speed,” before briefly discussing his other project – a 1972 split bumper Camaro with a 383 stroker. Originally from Italy, but raised in Argentina, Marcelo has been around engines and workshops for as long as he could remember. His father was a racer in Argentina in a circle track series not all too unlike our American NASCAR. When Marcelo was younger, his father would take him for ride along laps in the race car. Even after getting his Ph.D., the enthusiasm never left. In fact, looking at these two bikes here, I’d say it grew even stronger. Back to the motorcycles, though. Marcelo has a laundry list of people to thank for making these two street beasts possible. Among them are Lanny at Accurate Engines, who did the motor work on Amanda, Dawn and Brenan and Lumen Exports, who made a custom harness for the exterior LED lighting on Red Tail, Raving Psycho, a shop that did a great deal of custom machine work for mounts for his iPhone, radar detector, and more, Chopper City, who helped custom build the automobile tire



Red Tail

on the rear of Amanda, and last but not least there’s Siron, from Bloomington IL, who assisted with electrical troubleshooting. It takes a great deal of time, effort, and dedication to put together a bike like this… and these people did two. Chopper City also handles the maintenance on these bikes. That might not sound like much, but on a Boss Hoss, it’s quite an undertaking. To access the engine for repair or maintenance, the modified frame actually splits into two separate pieces. Then, once the bike is disassembled, you can get to the heart of the beasts before surgically reattaching the two halves. Having a shop that’s able to handle this kind of work is essential, especially when there were only 642 Boss Hoss big block motorcycles produced during their six year run. When not tearing up the pavement on the bikes, or taking them to shows (where he has already won 11 trophies and counting), Marcelo is hard at work in the medical field, or spending time with his family at home. His wife, Joni, likes to ride motorcycles too – but not the Boss Hoss pair. She says they’re too big for her. His nine year old son, Lorenzo, rides his own 50 cc mini chopper and goes to every bike show with dad. He’s anxiously awaiting his turn at the Boss Hoss – and he just may get it, but not before he’s 18, says dad. - RR 16

Ride Specs

Who: Marcelo Pintado Where: Crown Point, IN What: Boss Hoss Custom Motorcycle - “Amanda” Engine: 509 CI Big Block Chevy w/ 100 shot nitrous Transmission: Boss Hoss 2-speed with reverse Wheels/Tires: Custom one-off 275/65 18 automobile tire Suspension: Adjustable heavy-duty hydraulic spring suspension Brakes: Brembo six-piston calipers custom made for Boss Hoss Paint: Custom airbrushing by Kenny Dean @ Razor

What: Boss Hoss Custom Motorcycle - “Red Tail” Engine: 502 CI Big Block Chevy w/ Holley 850 Transmission: Boss Hoss 2-speed with reverse Wheels/Tires: 300mm rear tire Suspension: Fully adjustable air bag suspension Brakes: Brembo six-piston calipers custom made for Boss Hoss Paint: Custom airbrushing by Kenny Dean @ Razor

One Evi

Written By: Ray Saez, Jr.

il SS

Photos By: Jerome Hindmon





see some sort of hot rod here. A chopped and channeled lead sled, a T-bucket, or maybe a sweet ’34 Ford is what you’re probably thinking should be gracing these pages, but no. This is a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro – but its story is just as interesting and important as anything else we’ve featured here. Jack Crump of Kouts, Indiana is the proud owner of this Synergy Green Chevy. Aside from its exceptionally loud factory paint job (which we love, by the way), when you open the door, you’ll notice that there’s some





machinery attached to the pedals. In 2000, Jack was working on a job site as a union carpenter when he fell from some scaffolding – 45 feet in the air. He was injured badly in the incident. His spine was severed by five inches, both of his lungs were punctured, and he spent four long months in the hospital. To top it all off, as a result of the accident, Jack is paralyzed from the chest down. What you see on the inside of his Camaro is a set of hand controls from The Wheelchair Shop. Despite his injury, he’s able to pilot the Camaro as he pleases. It’s no surprise to us that Jack kept his interest in cars after the accident. His father was a mechanic who also raced dirt cars and competed in demolition derby events, and Jack helped out in the shop as much as he could. He

could do a complete brake job by the time he was 12, and by age 14 could disassemble an entire engine. As he put it, “Part of this has always been in my blood.” In fact, Jack has restored cars as a hobby for most of his life. He started with a 1969 Pontiac Firebird that he prepped for paint, but after the accident, he ended up selling the car. He says that was his biggest mistake. Instead of putting himself down, Jack

has a very positive outlook on life. In his words, when it comes to car restoration, “I can still do these things, I just have to do them differently.” He carried his positive outlook into a full restoration of a ’69 Camaro, then a 1969 GMC Pickup, and finally a 1978 Trans Am. But then, to ease the work load, he bought a 2010 Camaro – a white one with orange stripes. He enjoyed it… until one day he saw the green

beast that’s laid out on these pages. He had to have it, not just for the awesome one-year-only paint, but the addition of the Heads Up Display. Like any hot rodder, Jack just couldn’t leave well enough alone. After having the hand controls fitted to the car so he could drive it, he redid the stitching on the interior in green to match, added some green LED lighting accents over the car, painted the shifter bezel and more. He’s added a nice and subtle

ground effects kit, a cowl induction hood, and some underhood bling to accentuate the 400+ ponies contained within. There’s also a wicked sounding exhaust system with high flow catalytic converters (because, hey, it IS green, after all). His wife of 20 years, Angela, frequently asks why he’s tearing apart and modifying a brand new car, to which Jack replies, “Because I can. I could have bought a Corvette…”

Their two children Dylan and Jayla, also have their dad’s gear head blood flowing in their veins. Dylan is interested in sport compact tuner cars, and Jayla has an interest in 4x4s. If this particular Camaro looks vaguely familiar, you may have seen it in our September 2013 issue. Jack is a member of the Headhunters car club, and his ride can be seen in the background in several of the photographs used. When not taking

the car to shows, or out with the club, Jack can be found with his friend Dave from The Wheelchair Shop. Together, they started a support group to help people who are struggling with their way of life after their injuries. No matter what he’s doing, one thing is for sure: Jack is going at it full throttle, with no plans on stopping. - RR

Ride Specs Who: Jack Crump

Rear End: Stock

What: 2011 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS Custom

Interior: Hand Controls from The Wheelchair Shop

Where: Kouts, IN

Wheels: Painted stock wheels with Synergy Green Accents

Engine: 6.2L with PCM tune, Exhaust, and Cold Air Intake Trans: 6-speed auto

Suspension: Stock Paint: Synergy Green w/vinyl striping

Region Renegade - Larry Hausen

Carrot’s Ro Written By: Marisha Massie

Upon approaching Larry Hausen’s shop, Carrot’s Rod and Custom in La Porte, IN - I felt like I was going to an underground party. There were no flashing sign’s or marquee indicating the location but I knew I was in the right place from the custom made Chevrolet bench sitting outside. It was cold the day of our interview but inside the shop was toasty. There

were multiple intriguing sights that caught my eye which I couldn’t wait to ask about. Larry’s demeanor was calm and he gave off a vibe of an intelligent guy who eats, breaths, and dreams cars. (It was immediately evident why the shop is called, “Carrot’s Rod and Custom” - from Larry’s hair color!) Once he began talking it was apparent he has been around

the block and his background confirms that. His custom car work has been featured in high profile publications such as NSRA StreetScene Magazine, Car Craft, and Chrysler Magazine (and now Region Rides!) Not only can you see his work on the roads, there is a chance you can see it in the sky as he has used his skills to customize planes too!


od & Custom At age 5 his life path was dramatically changed when he met a childhood babysitter’s boyfriend who drove a dark blue 1965

GTO with aluminum wheels. Larry muses, “That car is what tripped my trigger.” From that day forward Larry’s love at first sight would bloom into a full blown passion. Granted, he couldn’t drive yet but his time would be spent obsessing over car magazines, toy cars, and car related media as well as reading articles by hotrod legend Lil’ John Buttera. Around age 13 he used his allowance to by a copy of Peterson’s Publishing “how to” guide on cars and his fascination went off the charts. By 15 years old he found a local body

shop that would further fuel his fascination. “I would ride my bike up there and just sit and observe. At one point, they asked me what I was doing and I let him know, just watching.” He ended up getting hired for $1.50 an hour and his dream career began just like that. By the time high school body shop class started Larry was already accustomed to the car world. However, he had never painted one and there at La Port High School was where he learned that he was a natural at spraying coats of paint! He even ended up

teaching some of the class and had painted three cars by the time graduation rolled around. Naturally, as you may have expected by the time he was 17 he had a 1969 Chevelle. (He has the hood from that original car hanging as art in his shop!) Then, he joined the Air Force where he specialized in body work and lettering for transportation support vehicles. Nowadays he spends his time going to car shows pretty much every weekend and his weekdays are spent doing custom body work fabricating, chopping tops, painting, repairing trim, cutting/installing glass, collision work and fixing upholstery. While I was there a young man came in and sheepishly thanked Larry for helping him jump his car the night before. He shared that he had a bad night that could have ended worse but thanks to


Larry he made it home safe. The shop is also filled with very unique art structures like a Studebaker grill made into a wall hanging as well as custom furniture. I also spied a birdhouse he was working on. Even the shop is custom, he turned a 3 bedroom house into his garage by gutting the whole thing, adding a heated floor and up-cycling beams for reinforced support. Carrot’s Rod and Custom is ran on word of mouth as he has no website, Facebook, or the likes. But, it doesn’t matter because his work speaks for its self and the business has reached success on a bigger level than Larry could have hoped. His word is worth its weight in gold. He delivers what he says he will, when he says he will. The work that he produces has won heaps of trophies and awards. It stands out because it is seamless and

it is super obvious he takes pride in what he does. His grandson Mason is two years old and his granddaughter Abigail is three. Larry exclaimed, “They are already car nuts! I hope they can be wrenching with us in a few years!” Considering Larry’s son was 6 when he started welding it just might become a reality! Carrot’s Rod and Custom can be reached at 219324-5053.-RR

Carrot’s Rod & Custom


The hood from Larry’s first car - 1969 Chevelle

Hoosier’s Hot

Wild Im Griffith, I Written By: Marisha Massie

Since the year 2000 Wild Imports in Griffith, IN has been providing quality work for the Chicagoland and NWI’s import scene. Shop owner, Jeff Kovecsi not only sells the parts you need to make your import the fastest and best looking car, he also provides the installation services - making it a one stop shop. You may have seen Wild Imports featured in the DVD, Under The Hood which was distributed in the region. Next door to the shop Jeff also owns a used car dealership. Kovecsi Auto Sales is the temporary home to all types of automobiles as well as some of Jeff’s custom work. Specializing in turbos, Jeff is no stranger to speed and his turbocharged 1995 Mitsubishi Mirage with an impressive 550 horsepower and Eagle Talon pushing nearly 700 horsepower are proof of that! But, performance modifications aren’t the only thing Wild Imports provides. Customers can also purchase body kits as well as many other stylish parts like carbon fiber wraps, hoods or trunks to spruce up your ride.  If you don’t have the knowledge or time to install the body kit yourself, Jeff can do it for you.  Not only does his shop cars have a lot to look at under the hood, the exteriors are immaculate as well with blazing graphics to in-house paint jobs. While there is a monster selection of turbo parts for sale, do not get it twisted. Jeff doesn’t only care about helping you with the performance on the race track but also making the overall ride a work of art. So, even if you prefer to cruise the speed limit and just want a “looker”, Jeff offers 26

ttest Garage

mports IN

custom paint and body work that’s

went to automotive school, growing

Mazda MX-6 which was mostly just

sure to make people look twice when

up with his five brothers who loved

a show car with a body kit and bolt

you roll by.

to build and restore classic cars gave

on parts, then it took off from there,

Jeff didn’t start with imports though,

Jeff lots of hands on experience which

literally. His first shop car built at Wild

his first car was a 1969 Plymouth

helped him develop his talent from a

Imports was a 1991 Honda CRX with

GTX, followed by a Prostreet 1969

young age. Eventually the hobby led

custom fitted Ford Focus headlights

Chevy Camaro. Although Jeff never

to Jeff purchasing his first import, a

and Acura RSX tail lights as well as a

full custom interior.

make parts for so make sure they sell

name Wild Imports seemed fitting

Some advice Jeff offers newbies that

what you need to build your ride.”

and we agree!

are interested in building their first

Regarding how he came up with the

When you are ready to begin your

car is, “Do a little homework and

shop’s name Jeff said, “When people

next custom project, make sure to pay

make sure they make parts for the

looked at the cars I had at the time,

a visit to Wild Imports at 503 East

car you would like to build. I have

a common thing they would say is,

Main Street in Griffith, IN or give

many customers with cars they don’t

‘that’s wild!’” So, he thought the

them a call at 219-922-0864. - RR

Jeff says this AWD Talon is around 700hp and runs 10’s in a 1/4 mile

Review wAeLook ivrBackaateRthe 2013 Season


Region rides - Dec 2013