Sunday, February 25, 2007

a ROCKIN' team: Metallica's James Hetfield and Scott Mugford (Blue Collar Customs, Sacramento)

San Francisco's own James Hetfield is the main songwriter, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and a founding member of Metallica. I earlier blogged about his lavender-color '53 Buick which created such a stir at the SF Rod & Custom show at the Cow Palace earlier in the year.
I saw Hetfield's latest ride-to-be, a impossibly air-riding low, extended-cab 1956 Ford F-100, at the Sacramento Autorama's "Suede Palace." For almost two years--maybe more--the big hot rod shows like the Grand National, the Fresno Autorama, and Sacramento have created a comfortably low-key, up-close-and-personal showcase for ol' skool creations. Myself, I was most impressed with the just-on-the-ratty-side-of-funk full-building display at the SF Rod & Custom show, as well as the Billetproof outdoor event in Antioch, CA last September (where the ROCKIN' book effectively made its debut).
To do justice to the pickup, Hetfield once again has teamed up with Scott Mugford (the two of them are shown here at the Sacramento Vintage Ford historic-rods display at the Autorama; Hetfield is wearing his car club's Beatnicks from Koolsville jacket, Scott is turned toward him on the right). Scott is partners with Phil and Rob Cannon (same last name, but not brothers actually) in Blue Collar Customs. Their shop (see photo) is in Sacramento, and it's where Hetfield's '36 Ford (shown here in the BCC yard, on the street, and at Billetproof--and you can see other photos by Brent Rector from Paso Robles, where it debuted, on ROCKIN's page 233) was truly created; it apparently began its 'new life' elsewhere, but was given a much more complete build-up and refinement at BCC. In the next year, according to Scott, the '36 will really come into its own (there's a rumor it will re-appear in a magnificent metallic flat purple).
Mugford himself drives the "Watson & Young" B/GS Model A, a vintage relic from the '60s which was discovered by family members down in Graham, TX and was left on a pallet for several decades. You see it here at the Sacramento show, near Hetfield's '36, as well as in profile. It's a soulful machine, absolutely feel-good in its authentic street and drag garb.
The vision-thing for Hetfield's F-100 is really beginning to take shape now. You can see how the bed and rear of a '57 Ranchero was grafted-on beyond the extended cab. "James has a good eye for cars," says Scott. "Plus, gotta say, he's a cool guy himself. I think we work well together because we both have an appreciation for the traditional styles which are on their way back. This may well become a daily driver for him." I myself have had the pleasure of rounding a corner in San Rafael--where the Grateful Dead long had their office, a few small towns and cities north of the Golden Gate Bridge--and seeing the '36 headed straight at me, so I know Hetfield puts his rubber on the road.
Mugford will be profiled in an upcoming, June-release book, HOT ROD KINGS, authored by Kevin Thomson with photos by Vallejo-based David Perry (you know his HOT ROD PINUPS book). Here, "all-steel apostles" Cole Foster (who's built for Mike Ness), Gary Howard, Keith Tardel (son of the famous Vern Tardel), the Kennedy Brothers, Jimmy White, Mike Smith, Rudy Rodriguez, Mercury Charlie, and Scott "get to the heart of what makes builders worth watching." Be sure to check it out!


Anonymous said...

Grandma Novack says GREAT JOB to her Grandson, Scott Mugford!

Speedmaster67 said...

Deanne Murphy says there is no end to the talent of James Hetfield with a little help from his friends! Just awesome work.
Bowen, Queensland, Australia

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