Monday, December 28, 2009

Von Dutch Monday XIV

You have probably seen pictures of Stan Betz's '82 El Camino before, but this is the feature article on it that appeared in the April '83 issue of Truckin' magazine. Coincidentally, this is also the issue that Arlen Ness' chopped, sectioned, and lowered '77 Ford E100 van was featured, too. I'll save that one for another time, OK?

Betz took the Elco to Dutch when it was a very new truck, and it's supposed to be the very last full-on job like this that Dutch did for anybody. So, we can assume that this was also the last Betz shop truck that Von Dutch did as well. I'm going to take you into some trivia on this paintjob that wasn't in the Truckin' article, and you probably don't know about. Let's look at the B&W page first. I've put A, B, and
C on the photos to guide you.......

On the top Photo A, you see what looks like a flamed panel, with Betz's shop name, with a lot of flame licks. If you look really close, right near/between the flame licks of the panel itself, you'll see some red and yellow shapes, that have EYES. Those are SPERM swimming!

In Photo B, you see the "head sperm" on the Lt. front fender, and he's turned around, and he's saying something to the other sperm swimming towards him. You can't make it out, but if you look right by his mouth (?) there's some lettering. What he's saying is "TURN BACK, IT'S A BLOWJOB!"

Now, in Photo C, you can read the description of the "3D effect", and the "real" look that the spider on the top of the Lt. front fender has. This wasn't planned by Dutch. Evidently, right before he turned the truck back over to Betz, Dutch somehow took a big chip out of the fender there. To cover up and fix the chip without repainting it,(Dutch did a lot of covering up fuckups like this, on his work), he mixed up a blob of fiberglass resin, put it over the chip, and then painted the blob to look like a spider after it dried. That's how he got the "3D" look to it.

Now, let's look at the color page. In the upper R/H corner, we see the 3D spider that was referred to on the B&W page, in Photo C. In the bottom photo here, I've circled the approximate location on the top of the Lt. front fender where it was located. You can also see a little clearer the red and yellow sperms swimming in this picture, too.
Here's what Betz said about the paintjob (from The Art Of Von Dutch) :
" In 1982, I took my El Camino to Von Dutch for painting. It only took 10 days for Von Dutch to completely custom paint, stripe, and letter the pickup. In those days, that just wasn't heard of. There weren't too many painters who could do that......Two months after the truck was done, it got in an accident and was never repaired. Since the truck was unfixable I ended up cutting the truck into pieces to save Dutch's artwork".

Now, according to Pat Ganahl, in his book Von Dutch - The Art, The Myth, and The Legend, he says that there was an accident before the one Betz talks about, in which just the left front fender and hood needed to be replaced, but were never painted to match afterwards. Evidently, Betz is talking about another collision that involved the truck, and this was the one that I've heard totaled out the truck. Some vehicles are just like that. That also means that Betz's El Camino had ceased to exist long before this feature article even appeared in print, too!

Betz had the two quarter panels, the right fender, and the tailgate attached to his shop's storage racks for a long time, and then I remember a few years ago, seeing them all up on Ebay in separate auctions. They all sold, and god knows where they wound up today.


huduguru said...

Hi Rich--Most of these panels sold in the Bonhams Auction at the Peterson Museum, 10 Nov 07. They were item #s 670-673. It doesn't look like the rear quarter/sail panel sold, but both doors sold for $4095 each, and Tailgate for $9360, inclusive buyer's premium of 17%. They still looked cool, even with missing paint in various places--

JW in MN

Irish Rich said...

Thank you, John!

If I remember right, there was a link up at the HAMB, for when they were first on Ebay, but I may have seen it on another board. Plus, I used to just punch in "von dutch" on an Ebay search from time to time, just to see what was out there. Maybe they never hit the reserve on Ebay.

Ganahl has a good photo of both quarter panels roped to Betz's storage racks, in his book.

Moldy Marvin said...

This is some good stuff! I also remember either the hood or one of the doors displayed at that Dutch exibit several years back...



cantstayjose said...

i saw that camino for years i grew up in orange and use to go with friends and family to by material at betz...