RockabillyView By Jennifer Allsup

Chris Murphy’s Note: Rockabilly and Classic cars are part of who we are here in Modesto USA. We celebrate anytime a business opens that showcases our history, art and our music. The legendary Gene Winfield began creating some the world’s most famous custom cars in here in Modesto in the late 40s. (See our Walk of Fame story on page 17) Modesto is the birthplace of Rockabilly and it is only fitting that this new business opens with a Rockabilly and Blues show put on by classic car lovers and musicians.

Modesto Rod and Custom Keeps the Music Alive Graffiti Month is soon underway, amongst the many tributes to our wonderful graffiti city between cruising, old doo wop & Rockabilly music, poodle skirts, Pendletons, leather jackets and bobby socks, ponytails flying in the wind with your big rimmed glasses and cherry lipstick classic cars and hot rods. Brings us to meet a new shop in town owned and operated by: Kirk Westerink and Rob Olgiati, Modesto Rod and Custom located at 1295 Emerald Ste R Modesto Ca.

Met up with Kirk to chat about their new adventure and their passions for old school remodels. “We have been involved with hot rods and custom cars our whole lives. It might be a new business but we already have the shop booked. We have both been building cars, and our reputation, for many years. After long ago outgrowing our home spaces, Modesto Rod and Custom was born. There is a combined 40+ years of experience at work here. We specialize in lowering, air suspension, sheet metal fabrication, body, and paint. Whatever you can dream, we can build!”

Kirk and his partner Rob decided when they completely outgrew our home garages, and felt there was enough business to justify the shop. “I had a ton of equipment and 2 cars stuffed in my garage and it was cramped. Business has been pleasantly brisk. Guitarist Eli Lester rebuilds old cars as well and has visited a couple times. He’s a way cool dude and we are definitely glad to have his support” said Kirk.

I asked if they have a favorite car they rebuilt? “I don’t know if I have a favorite ride I’ve worked on. You kind of bond with all of them. I really miss my ‘65 Buick though. We will be taking the 39 Chevy to Graffiti and probably the Model A and the ‘67 Caddy. Everyone has a vision for their own car. My job is to make it a reality. I. Would never hesitate to add my thoughts and opinions. We’ve all seen a lot of cars over the years. There are good ideas in most of them”. Kirk continues.

They will be hosting a gathering after the cruise on June 7th @ 4pm at the shop, kind of like a grand opening in celebration of Graffiti. With a BBQ and live music featuring some of our local talented artists: Tiffany Rose, The Pendeltons, Big Earl and the Cryin Shame & Eli Goodtimes & the Oldtimers. That will be a party in itself!

If you have a classic or maybe even something newer that you need to be revamped, go support a cool local businesses! Or just stop in a take a gander what might be in store for you and your ride.

Hope to see you all hoppin’ and boppin’ in the month of Graffiti June! Keep your eyes glued to Modesto View for all the Graffiti activities you don’t want to miss out on.

Who doesn’t love Rock & Roll and Custom Cars!!!!



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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.