Volkswagen Beetle – Restoration

08 March 2018

I found this 1968 VW Beetle in my parkade where it sat for 10 years. My neighbour Bertha bought it new from Clarkdale Motors in 1967. After offering to get it running for her, I quickly fell for the old car, and embarked on a full restoration. I have to thank the following people: My brother Greg Venturi, who has been there helping the whole time, buying me cool parts, offering advice, and keeping me honest. Troy Mazzucco, for his expertise in welding on a whole new nose and other finicky smaller repairs as well as opening his shop doors to me for almost a year and bringing me home cooked meals in the dead of winter. Gord Brosseuk for his beautiful bodywork and paint, Ken Reimer and Johnnie Balfour for help with the engine, Jackie Blackmore for helping motivate and support me, and California Import Parts in Langley, without which this project would  have been much harder to source parts for.

Vintage Scooters: Restoration & Modification

08 March 2018

These are my past, ongoing and current projects. I love to restore vintage scooters, bicycles and automobiles as my personal passion and hobby. When I’m not working on a show, I enjoy riding and socializing with my scooters and a very good group of friends with similar interests. We meet locally on weekends and appreciate the work we put into our bikes.

Mod Squad

26 January 2016

I’ve been obsessed with Mod Fashion since about  Summer of 1983 after we all saw the Who’s Film “Quadrophenia” at a Theater on Commercial Drive. It was a double bill featuring “The Kids Are Alright” as well.

We sat on the balcony, smoking and throwing popcorn. We also had dog-eared copies of Richard Barne’s Book “Mods!” to refer to for how to look the part.

I didn’t have a scooter yet, but it wouldn’t be long until that happened.

As far as our clothing went, we tried to emulate what we saw in the film, and did our best at a few “secret” used and old stock shops in town, like Budget Clothes in New Westminster, or Berlin and Cabbages and Kinks in Gastown. I came late to the party so the good parkas, suits, and shirts were picked over and gone. I had to be happy with a Canadian Army Parka with a plasticky coating, not a Genuine American M51 parka.

My first suit was really just an old tuxedo that my mom narrowed the lapels on, and a pair of black jeans she narrowed the legs of. Fred Perry tops were impossible to find, I would get them whenever I went to London, England.

I guess the clothing stuck with me… Now it’s way easier to get any specific clothing desired. Nowadays, I get suits and shirts made by a visiting tailor from Thailand. Here’s my latest one – Italian Cashmere Summer Wool with a nice red shirt…

How times have changed….

Working with David Bowie

26 January 2016

I had the Privilege and Honour of working closely with David Bowie on a photoshoot in 2000 for the film “Mr. Rice’s Secret. He was classy, professional, and extremely interesting. Full of passion for the project. What an amazing artist. Here is David on my Schwinn bike that I used as a prop, and the finished photoshopped “antique” picture. Truly an experience I am thankful for. Another set of images show Bowie dressed as a WW2 bomber pilot, with a beautiful Lancaster behind him. At first when I was asked to do the project, they just wanted the photographer to get shots of his head, so I could comp it in to the body of the people in the old photos they had found. I said “no way” and then promptly requested full hair styling, and full costumes for him, for each different picture set up. I knew he would give the poses more life if he was in character, and it worked beautifully. He was like a kid in a candy store – each time a new pose was needed, he would excitedly go into the back room where the costumer was, and get changed, emerging laughing and beaming and ready for the next shots! At first I was nervous, and would carefully ask him to move his hand a few inches one way, his feet over a bit etc… He motioned me over to him after a bit of this and said “don’t be afraid to touch me, just pose me like a mannequin!” I thought that was a good ice-breaker!