Set approximately halfway down California’s West Coast, between San Francisco and Los Angeles, is the small coastal town of Morro Bay, you can’t miss it, just drive South down PCH 1 until you seen the big rock sticking out of the ocean, and you’re there. That’s what we did a few years back, when we first saw a hot rod parked in a quiet side street with a sign propped next to it pointing to Bear Metal Kustoms. Naturally, we went to take a look and the next thing you know, the owner Jason Pall and his wife Rochelle, were taking us to lunch beside the harbour.
We kept in touch of course, and we even bought a Model A Coupe barn find that Jason located locally, and imported it to the UK, (you’ll be seeing it soon in our next UK Garage Tour post). We knew we’d be back again some day, and so last year we arranged to hook up with Jason again when we got to the Reunion at Bakersfield, plus we also made plans to stop by the shop once again and hang out in Morro Bay for a spell later on the trip. On this post we’ll take a look at Jason’s shop, and then we’ll be doing another, when Jason showed us around the local scene.
Bear Metal Kustoms is one of those shops where you never know what you’re going to find being worked on, Jason doesn’t advertise a particular angle or speciality, in fact he doesn’t advertise at all, he and his team just build cool stuff. He’s been approached several times by ‘reality’ TV shows, but he’s not interested, that in itself tells you a lot about the guy and his approach to his business.
When we were there, a stock looking Nash Rambler was on the ramp having had a Chevy V6 and T5 transmission installed, the owner planning on using it as a daily driver. In the stall next to it, Bear Metal are ground-up building a ’61 Ford Unibody Pick-up for a customer, this truck will be bad to the bone, it is already sitting on a police interceptor chassis, and has a custom bed and tailgate, cleaned up under the hood and installed a John Kaase Boss 9 crate motor, a replica of the legendary Ford Boss 429 SOHC motors that will put out an estimated 925bhp. Since these pics were taken, the truck has also been chopped.
Also in the shop was this tough looking ’32 3-Window Coupe, reputed to be an old race car, it was already chopped when it arrived at BMK, but has been updated with a Merc Flathead, a T5 transmission and a ’40 Ford rear end with open drive and lots of vintage parts. Of all the cars in Jason’s shop, this is the one we’d happily take home.
In keeping with the traditional theme, this chopped ’50 Shoebox had just arrived and was in for some mild kustomizing, before it left, BMK frenched the headlights and taillights, shaved the hood and installed a custom Buick grille with vertical teeth instead of the stock spinner. A little floor and transmission tunnel work and she was good to go.
We’ll finish up with this just completed ’51 Chevy that had just been updated for reliable cruising with the addition of Mustang II independent front suspension, a 350/350 engine and transmission combo, a new interior and custom mixed two tone paint scheme, although Jason usually farm’s these last two job’s out to trusted local specialists.
I’d normally say thank you at this point to the shop owners, but seeing as we were sticking around for more fun with Jason and Rochelle, we’ll save it for the next post from the Central coast.
You can find Bear Metal Kustom’s at
1147 Scott Street, Morro Bay, California.
or call them on
or even check out their website at www.bearmetalkustoms.com