Winter Hot Rodding Weekend

My apologies to faithful readers for getting this post out a bit late.  It was supposed to be done by it’s usual time of 1 a.m. Tuesday, but I somehow ended up in the hospital instead.  Hopefully this week’s, umm, car, will make up for it…

Winter is a terrible time to be a gearhead.  If it’s not so cold the motor won’t turn over, the gunk from melting snow makes a mess of your expensive detailing job.  Sure, it’s a great time to get some work done on your ride (or even build one in the first place) but it’s still a long, lonely season, even if you have a good message board to keep you in the spirit.  That’s why the DMK Customs open house this weekend seemed like the busiest weekend of the year.

California Dreaming by DMK Customs, Lockport MB

The open house was meant to give their big, beautiful, 1960 Chevy Impala one final goodbye before it’s shipped off to  (you guessed it) California.  

Or, at least, it was supposed to be.  When I got there on Saturday the car was up in the air, both front wheels were sitting beside the bathroom door, and the interior was piled on the roof of a Pontiac in the storage room out back.

Californa Dreaming by DMK Customs, Lockport MBThe paint, however, was finished.  The stunning mix of god knows what was done by none other than the legendary Gene Winfield himself.  Gene was flown in from California to layer the sweet colours that you see here.  Unfortunately for us, Rod & Custom magazine called dibs on this gorgeous machine, which means these two pics are probably more than we’re allowed to show you.

Even with a press moratorium on the car, the real story was getting a behind-the-scenes look at DMK Customs.  The tiny little shop in Lockport, MB is almost impossible to find;  there’s no website and no big fancy sign.  The only way to find it is to find someone that knows their phone number, and then call ahead to get directions.  Of course, once you get directions, you still have to find your way down the driveway, around the rustic old farmhouse, and through a maze of half-finished rides, awaiting the next stage of owner Pete Kroeker’s madness.

Pete Kroeker of DMK Customs, Lockport

The reason for Pete’s lack of advertising is simple:  he doesn’t need to.  His reputation as a builder/painter extraordinaire is enough to keep a steady stream of vehicles lined up in the yard (much to his wife’s chagrin).  At the time of this writing, there were nearly a dozen rides in various stages of rebuilding, just waiting for the DMK touch-and not just Kustoms-with-a-K like the Impala.  There was a Hot Wheels themed 1970 Olds 442 parked next to a VW Type-II pickup, parked next to an original Mini.  And that was just the front yard.

Ian Kroeker helping at DMK Customs, Lockport MB

DMK is a family affair, too.  Pete’s son Ian is an extremely talented pinstriper, who helps out when he’s not working on his own creations.  Here, Ian’s laying down the ink seen above on the hood of the California Dreaming Impala.  On a sidenote, Ian layed down green and white stripes on the most searched for car on this site-a tiki-themed black primer Vee Dub.

California Dreaming Impala from DMK Customs

So if you’re in the market for a really kick-ass machine, start searching for Pete.  It might take you a while, but his workmanship (and being an all-around great guy) is worth the search.

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By the way, DMK Customs can be reached at (204) 757-9273


2 Responses to “Winter Hot Rodding Weekend”

  1. 1 blasterhappy
    January 21, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Hope the trip to the hospital wasn’t serious. Great piece. I’m hopefully going to head down to New Orleans for The World of Wheels show in the Super Dome Saturday. It will be great to get out and see some cars.

  2. January 22, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Thanks man, I appreciate it. The hospital trip was more of a precaution-I have this fairly minor infection called Pericarditis, which feels like you’re having a heart attack. I had it a few weeks ago, and this was just a small flare up. I can’t wait to see the pics you bring back from the Super Dome, it sounds like an awesome time!

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