WHITTIER, CA – Several years ago, my feller and I went to a Wanda Jackson concert at a small bar in Long Beach, back before Facebook took over the world, before Instagram or Twitter, back when My Space was still the thing. The moody lighting of the parking lot falling over the row of classic cars compelled us to photograph them. The cars belonged to the Black Widows Car Club, an all-female club based in Los Angeles. Inside the dark, crowded bar, at a booth on the upper levels sat the girls, wearing their distinctive club jackets with the webbed logo on the back. I thought they were so stinking cool. Still do.
After the concert, I wanted to share one of the photos I took of a green Ford owned by one of the Widows and somehow found Eunice on My Space. We’ve been social media friends ever since.
Not only does Eunice have the world’s most adorable smile…
…and cutest critters (another passion of hers, she’s a big supporter in the “No Kill Revolution” click the link to check it out)
…she also has an amazing Kustom car, Lucille, a ’55 Ford that has gone through several transformations in the thirteen years since Eunice brought her home. Clearly the car thing is not a passing phase for her.
Her passion for classics began when she fell in love with the cat eye taillights of her mom’s 1960 Comet. Combine that with the joy she felt in her grandfather’s “beat to hell” 50s Chevy pickup, and a car girl is born.
In 2000, after seeing a 1955 Ford Fairlane for sale on the Internet, her then boss convinced her to buy the car and at last fulfill her classic car dream. Eunice and Lucille have been inseparable ever since.
By 2004, she’d become enamored with Kustom Culture and the amazing work of East LA masters like the Ayala brothers. She became obsessed with the notion of designing a car to her liking, to…
[quote]…express the uniqueness of every car to their owner. It inspired me to prove to myself that I could design a car that no one would ever think was owned by a Woman, only that they would appreciate the vision I’ve had in my head for so long. Whether a male or female owner…it’s about the car and the beauty of it.[/quote]
She was seriously hooked on the idea, and Lucille’s transformation began, from the shaved door handles and Packard taillights, to the Lake Pipes and extended Fender skirts, through body work and several paint jobs.
Every year before a big car show, Eunice set a goal to have Kustom work done. Her friend, Joseph Garcia from the Drag N Shop, helped her with ideas and ALL of the Kustom work.
[quote]It’s a really expensive hobby, so it hasn’t been easy to always put money into her. But I had a vision of what I wanted her to look like, and that kept me motivated. All that’s left now is the interior.[/quote]
Her vision paid off. Eunice and Lucille’s first award came in 2009 at a small show in Manhattan Beach, the “Blessing of the Hair,” judged by Kim Lenz, rockabilly singer extraordinaire, who fell in love with Eunice’s ’55.
[quote]I’ve loved her music for years, so it made it that much more special for her to choose my car for Best of Show.[/quote]
See? There’s that adorable smile again! In 2010, at the Ventura Nationals car show, she and her car won 3rd Best Mild Kustom.
But the most exciting award for Eunice came this year. She’s has been making the drive north to the West Coast Kustoms Cruisin’ Nationals show since 2000 when it was still in Paso Robles, and cites the first time she drove Lucille there in 2001 as her most memorable drive.
[quote]That drive was serene and relaxing just listening to my rebuilt 312 purr all the way there.[/quote]
It’s only fitting that, with fresh paint by Ralph Ascencio, Lucille won Top 5 Mild Kustom at this year’s Cruisin’ Nationals show.
[quote]I definitely did not expect the award because she’s not completely finished. It was also a humble moment for me because I’ve been building my ’55 for myself (not expecting awards) for so many years, and to have someone like West Coast Kustoms and Penny Pinchette recognize her beauty….was a dream come true.[/quote]
Every car person has another project in mind. The love rarely stops at one car. Eunice and I share the same dream of a future project: A ’63 Thunderbird (what I was actually looking for when I bought my pickup). And I really hope she gets one because I’d love to see what creative vision she’d apply to the sleek, futuristic lines of a Rocketbird.
And yes, Eunice is still a Black Widow, a member since 2007.
[quote]What I like most about the club is that we all truly have a genuine love for our rides. We can talk shop just like the guys do, and we learn so much from each other. Whether it’s about cars or life in general.” You can visit with Eunice and the Black Widows at the annual Mooneyes Christmas show, a show they never miss.[/quote]
Happy anniversary to the Black Widows, and to all… a very Spooky, Motor-Filled Halloween!
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