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Old 04-13-2011, 04:00 PM   #1
Liz
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Interview with Delmo

For several years we have entertained the idea of doing member interviews. With all the amazing talent on this site, it would be awesome to get to know them a bit better. How better to start off our new project, then an interview with Delmo, from Delmos Speed Kustoms in Ca. Delmo spends alot of time in the 60-66 area, and is a bit of a legend over there. Once you check out his project and build threads, you will see why.
Thank you Delmo for allowing this interview with you.




Can you give us a brief bio? Who is delmo?

Born a little fat kid in small town Alberta Canada. My Father was a huge gear head and it wasn't long before I was following in his footsteps. I grew up racing motocross and helpin my Dad on his hotrods, chopping roofs, pulling engines etc when I was 12 years old. I owned a big hotrod shop back in Canada with big budget cars and trucks, a half dozen employees and a ton of overhead. Business was good, won a bunch of awards and such. My wife and I moved to sunny California so she could work as a nurse and I could play around with old wrecks. It wasn't long before I got bit by the truck bug and got back to my passion of working on the old Chevys.




What was your first vehicle?

Technically my first truck was a 1977 short box stepside my Dad helped me drag home from the auto wreckers when I was 14. I chopped the roof 4 inches and took the springs out. That was as far as it went, haha. My first truck I actually built and drove was a 1963 short box fleetside. Purple with the typical 80's heartbeat stripe. The truck went through some changes through the years but overall was my daily transportation for many years.


What was the earliest age you repaired something? What was the outcome on that?

Well my memory isnt what it used to be but I remember back in grde 9 we had a great automotive instructor in shop and we actually got to rebuild a small block chevy from bottom to top. We used all old parts as was never meant to run but what a great experience. Plasti gauged the bearings and everything. i put a note for the next guys in one of the cylinders before i bolted the head down. Haha.


How much time do you spend hunting for your trucks? Do you look for anything specific, or just what happens to come along at the time?

I spend a good hour every night looking on the usual sites for trucks and find myslef taking the long way wherever I go just in case a good ol truck is sitting there waiting for me.



With an unlimited budget and resources, what would you do to your truck?

This is a great question because this has been on my mind latley. I stopped over at Nelson racing engines and seen my buddy Tom and he took me for a ride in a twin turbo car with 1750 hp. Now my brain is on overload thinking of a way to do a all wheel drive, mid engine twin turbo 1970 short box. I'm collecting parts. Muhahaha!



How did you find this site? How long have you been a member? Did you join right away, or lurk for a while before joining?

I found this site through a friend of mine who is a member and always told me how much info and access to parts were on the forums. After lurking for a couple months I signed up and quickly figured out how helpful the people in this community really are and how much the site can help a person out with the hobby.



Recently you posted that you were getting motivated to work on olí blue balls again. Is it hard to find the time and energy to work on your own projects, when doing customer builds?

Ol Blue Balls definatley needs some attention. I get emails allot from guys pushin me to get it on the chopping block. Between customers rides and the hotrod it's tough to find time for her but I'll dig deep this summer and figure something out. it's a great old truck and deserves some love.



What are the most common mistakes you see folks make in their builds? Any advice on how to avoid them?

Well I hate to be critical about how anyone does there thing but I can tell you how I get things done. The most important thing for me is to make a list, usually a parts list and a to do list. This is so important to keep everything on track. I do a mock up to do list then a final assembelly list. As I get things done I check them off and try not to move on to the next thing until it's done. And I never leave a nut or bolt loose and try to remember to go back to it. the Second most important thing for me when building is to keep my shop and parts ultra clean. Easy Peezy.



What are the most common mistakes you see folks make in their builds? Any advice on how to avoid them?

Well I hate to be critical about how anyone does there thing but I can tell you how I get things done. The most important thing for me is to make a list, usually a parts list and a to do list. This is so important to keep everything on track. I do a mock up to do list then a final assembelly list. As I get things done I check them off and try not to move on to the next thing until it's done. And I never leave a nut or bolt loose and try to remember to go back to it. the Second most important thing for me when building is to keep my shop and parts ultra clean. Easy Peezy.


Delmos Speed Kustom
How did you get into the industry?


I started working at a speed shop in a small town when i was young and got the feel for selling parts and dealing with customers. I met so many cool people with such a wide variety of styles that it became clear to me that this industry was for me. Been broke ever since.


What kind of services do you offer?

At my shop I can do pretty much anything but paint and body. Mig, Tig, metal fab and forming. I love to design and make sure things look good with each other and work well together. Chassis set up, electrical, final assembelly and engine work. I can do repairs to full restorations and customizing. Just don't ask me to do body work, I can do it but i hate it.


You have had some amazing projects outside of the truck niche. If you got another project vehicle, what would it be?

Currently I'm building myself a Model A roadster with a hopped up original 4 banger with a 1957 Kaiser super charger. I'm trying to keep it period correct, it's tough.


Do you get frustrated watching TV auto restoration shows? Do you change the
channel, or do you talk to the TV?


Well I loved Overhaulin when it was on, I actually was on an episode and had a blast trying to keep up with Chip. Since then I've cursed and yelled at the horrific things I see on these shows now. Now I watch American Idol. LOL


So many folks would kill to be able to fabricate and customize their trucks as you do. Do you enjoy having the ability to be able to do that, or is it simply a job to you?

I absolutley love going to work everyday. Some days when things aren't going well or that last bolt you were putting in stripped it can get pretty frustrating. But then I sit and think about my buddies who are working 12 hours a day doing something they hate. Then I go grab an easy out and get back to work.



Do you do a rendering of your customer vehicles, or is it all in your mind? Do you change gears as you go, or stick with your original plan most times?

It's all in my head, sometimes it's been inthere for years. Like how I keep the shop organized with lists etc I usually stick to the plan that's in my head when building a car or truck. Small details may change but the overall design usually stays the same.



What is the coolest thing you have done to a customerís truck at your shop?


A couple pretty neat tricks latley have been the e brake shifter inthe 65 and the flip up bed wood gas door in Blackbird. There is so much custom stuff that leaves the shop that is cool it's hard to say.


One of your builds was recently featured in custom classic trucks. How did that feel? Was it the first time you had a feature in a magazine? Did the publicity from that have any effect on your business and or online dealings?

The Custom classic feature was great, it felt good to make a mag with such an old wreck. I've been in mags before with some of my cars like the 62 Impala I sold to Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top. It's pretty amazing the feedback and positive response you get from being in print. It really did help my business.




What is your favorite shop tool, and why?

My favorite shop tool would have to be Sioux 90 degree drill. i can drill a hole anywhere with that little sucker. If you don't have one, get one.


We always hear folks saying " you get what you pay for" .. What is the cheapest tools you use to save time and money?

My brain, it's not worth much but if I use it properly it saves me more time and money than anything in my box.


Has the effects of the economy the past few years had an impact on your shop and your builds? If so, how do you counter that to keep going?

Obviously the economy is or at least was in the tank, but ya know I just went with the flow. Instead of building 250 K cars I scaled it down and built old school hotrods and pick up trucks. The market was always there and the clientel are far esier to deal with.


[B]Trends, they come and go with every generation. What do you expect to see as the biggest changes in build trends in the next 3-5 years?[/B

]I think the days of spending crazy money (100+ k)on any custom car is fading fast. It seems most are going towrds more affordable and driveable cars. Patina is showing up more and more but also I think people are happy with less flash these days and more class.


Where do you see yourself in 20 years?


In 20 years I think I'll be in Bonneville on the salt flats going at least 400 mph with no regard for my safety what so ever.

Cheers you crazy truck guys.
DELMO






Thank you Delmo for taking the time to let the members get to know you better. We wish you the best for years to come and look forward to seeing you in Bonneville!
We will close this up with some photos Delmo shared with us.










project ol blue balls

blackbird

65 Pickemup project
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:51 PM   #2
hotrodhomi
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Re: Interview with Delmo

Good interview.
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:06 PM   #3
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Re: Interview with Delmo

Cool story!
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:28 PM   #4
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Re: Interview with Delmo

Great story and great idea!
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:34 AM   #5
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Re: Interview with Delmo

nicely done son!!!
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:00 AM   #6
JOHNORO
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Re: Interview with Delmo

Great to have people like Delmo on this board
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:42 AM   #7
jimmydean
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Re: Interview with Delmo



Nice write up, thanks!
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:56 PM   #8
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Re: Interview with Delmo

Way Kool Hope to meet ya SOON !!!!! Great Write up !!!
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:03 PM   #9
FRENCHBLUE72
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Re: Interview with Delmo

Delmo you sound very down to earth.... Great interview..
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check out my build http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=267665



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Old 04-17-2011, 09:15 PM   #10
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Re: Interview with Delmo

you da man Delmo
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:34 AM   #11
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Re: Interview with Delmo

Whoda' thunk that young pup drivin' his hotrod truck around Rocky would end up being famous. You still look the same as you did back 25 years ago.
Excellent write-up.
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:47 PM   #12
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Re: Interview with Delmo

Awesome, i had no idea.
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