Traditional Kustoms: Fall, 2015


After Issue #7, Traditional Kustoms started to shift a bit. We’d had a great run through the Summer of 2015 then things started to slow down.

The Art of Risk

I originally wrote The Art of Risk article for issue #7 but it was so long I divided it up into two parts. I eventually posted a two part series (part 3 was never completed) on our blog here and here and received a great amount of super feedback.

These articles were borne from discussions with friends over feeling frustration from the types of cars we weren’t seeing at the shows.  If you haven’t read those yet and you dig traditional kustoms – be sure to check them out.

Issue #8 Highlights

Bozarth & Berg Kustoms

We photographed Ray Bozarth’s ‘51 Buick, Myrna Bozarth’s ‘57 Olds, and Merlin Berg’s ‘55 Chevy on the same day in Iowa (before hustling off to shoot John Crain’s ‘54 Merc in Illinois later that day!) The heat and humidity were punishing yet we kept the shutters snapping in order to capture the feature pics.

Here are some of our favorite photos that didn’t make it into the eighth issue.


Frank & Louise Ledesma’s ‘50 Chevy

Frank & Louise’s beautiful Chevy ended up being the final kustom we shot for the magazine. As always, it was sometimes difficult to choose which pics would make it into the magazine. Typically we’d have about 20 pics we’d want to include for various reasons then we’d whittle down from there. Here are some of the pics that didn’t make it to print…

Frank & Louise Ledesma's '50 Chevy with Danny Dornan's 1961 Chrysler - Traditional Kustoms

Renewal Rumblings…

Backtracking just a bit, we had sent out renewal cards along with issue #6, paid for more follow-up reminder cards, and several reminder emails before issue #7. Just over 45% of our issue #1 subscribers renewed.

We sent more renewal cards along with issue #7, paid for more reminder cards, and sent another round of reminder emails after issue #7. Once again, our renewal rate was just over 45%.

We vowed to soldier on while we could but we just couldn’t seem to rally the previous support we’d thrived with. Our social media pages were booming but the dollars to print were not. If you can’t print then you can’t travel either so this put a significant damper on the expansion of the business. Signs of things to come.

Issue #8 Ships

We did our best to get issue #8 out on time but were met with a few challenges. Show coverage we were waiting for was delayed due to a temperamental east coast storm. Then I managed to fall down one night in October, breaking several of my front teeth in the process. I decided to take a few weeks off to recover which unfortunately delayed the issue shipping until November.

The Survey

I put together a survey at the end of December, 2015 to get our community’s feedback on ways to expand the business. We wanted to get people’s opinions on how to grow the magazine.

We received roughly 400 responses to the survey. Here’s what we learned:

  • 90% said no to incorporating an online format
  • 25% suggested that we give away either free t-shirts or aluminum plaques along with their subscriptions and/or subscription renewals
  • 15% suggested that the price of the magazine be reduced and/or have more pages

It was time to move on to issue #9…

Issue #9 Highlights

Wayne Bolon’s ‘52 Chevy

Here are some of the shots Wayne submitted to us for consideration as a feature kustom. We always appreciated submissions and Wayne’s shots fit the bill for issue #9.


The Rocketeer

Trent Sherrill’s photography returned in issue #9 of Justin & Nova Marler’s ‘50 Ford, built at Murpho’s.


Kustom Kurt

Kurt and Amy McCormick opened their home and garages to us so we could photograph several cars in their amazing kustom collection.

Here are some of favorite shots from that (hot & muggy) day in June…

Kurt McCormick Kustoms - Traditional Kustoms
We used this image (cropped) on the cover of issue #9.
We used this image (cropped) on the cover of issue #9.
Shooting is done!!  Time for some tall glasses of iced tea!
Shooting is done!! Time for some tall glasses of iced tea!

One To Go…

There’s just one issue left to look back to. Stay tuned for our final blog post…

#8 - #9

Have these issues in your collection?

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