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Ben Kahan & Robert Williams

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Jun 30, 2021.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,850

    Staff Member

    Ryan submitted a new blog post:

    Ben Kahan & Robert Williams


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
    shortypu, fauj, LOU WELLS and 8 others like this.
  2. bowie
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 2,777


    Very cool! Albeit a little deprived!Thanks
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2021
  3. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 21,972


    He does a lot of stuff on youtube. He has some decent stuff, except for he seems to just interview family members.
    fauj likes this.
  4. Great stories from a great man. I used to love William’s artwork for the Roth advertisements in the hot Rod magazines. By happenstance, I dropped into an art gallery in Laguna Beach, just down the road from Fuel Injection Engineering’s building (Hilborn Injection). It was probably in the early seventies, and it had a wonderful exhibit of many of his great pieces. I could have spent hours looking at the wonderful detail of each piece. I am a fan.
    fauj likes this.

  5. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,924


    Gee, wonder what the connection is? ;)

    I enjoy his stuff. Wish we had this technology when I was his age.
    fauj likes this.
  6. Sakke
    Joined: Mar 12, 2011
    Posts: 235

    from Finland

    Robert Williams has done so many great paintings so it would be cool to heard backround about them. He is the Dali of Kustom Kulture
    fauj likes this.
  7. y'sguy
    Joined: Feb 25, 2008
    Posts: 478

    from Tulsa, OK

    Great to watch and hear this artist again! Somehow I thought he had died recently but possibly it may have been his wife. Anyway I was wrong.
    His artwork has always stood out from all others of this style. It is not just his technique but his creativity is far beyond most of any those that pick up a brush.
  8. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 13,395

    Jeff Norwell
    Staff Member

    No one better than Robt. Williams.
    fauj and LOST ANGEL like this.
  9. It doesn't hurt that he comes from hot rod royalty. He has quite a bit of content on YouTube. I'm a big fan of this one he did on Jon Fisher and his coupe.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2021
    Tman and kidcampbell71 like this.
  10. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 12,952

    from KCMO

    Yeah Ben’s stuff is always great, the recent addition of story time is wonderful. His grandpa had some good stories as well. Always looking forward to his next video as the quality is always getting better.
  11. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,229




    Perhaps your timeline was a little skewed as the Hilborn Company was not “just down the road…” from the art galleries in Laguna Beach. It was quite a drive 12 miles plus down a narrow two lane road in the 60s and in the 70s, was widened to two lanes each way to Coast Highway 1 and then heading North to Laguna Beach city proper.

    If you check out the previously posted stories about the art work of Robert Williams, you will see that it was in the early 90s and it was a first for Laguna Beach history. The 70s art galleries, which my wife and I attended weekly, were still ocean influenced art/beach scenes that a gazillion or so people flocked to Laguna Beach to purchase.

    We have lived in that area that you are mentioning for plenty of years from our 20 something times to the year 2000. The Hilborn Injection Company (Fuel Injection Engineering) was built on a back-filled plateau property overlooking the whole Capistrano Valley, down the I-5 freeway to the ocean. It was on the corner of Cabot Road and Crown Valley Parkway.

    Everyone that lived in that area was calling it Laguna Niguel, but on the county tax records, it was unincorporated area as part of South Laguna Beach. (Then, they moved to a modern industrial complex in Aliso Viejo, about 5 miles away to the West, prior to being sold to Holley.)

    The view from the parking lot was outstanding, but a little scary as the brick wall holding up the cliff was super tall. It looked amazing, but, in a huge earthquake, it was not the best place to be as most people who saw the place.

    Right next door, but on the normal elevation of Crown Valley Parkway was the original Clark Surfboard Foam Company manufacturing plant and offices. Today, it is a huge multi-story apartment complex that eliminated the huge cliff and dug down deep for the apartment foundation.

    Whenever we were going out to the freeway or inland places, we drove right by that tall red brick wall with the Hilborn sign sticking out on the surface. Back in the early 60s, we had visited the Clark Foam Company to get some surfboard blanks for our experiments.


    The art world and the local So Cal hot rod folks flocked to the opening of the Laguna Beach Art Museum’s Kustom Kulture event. It was one of the best shows put on in Laguna Beach.

    "Kustom Kulture: Von Dutch, Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth, Robert Williams and Others," opening Saturday at the Laguna Art Museum, attempts to show the influence of the Southern California custom car culture of the 1940s, '50s and '60s on the art scene of the area and beyond.

    "A lot of people tend to view (custom car culture) as being extraneous to what was going on in the fine art world," guest co-curator and artist Craig Stecyk said recently. Critics see it as "a bunch of greaseballs doing this horrid, tacky stuff in the '50s. But I think it has had an incredible influence on contemporary art" in terms of materials, techniques and attitudes.

    Co-curator Bolton Colburn, the museum's curator of collections, asserts in the exhibit's catalogue that "the main influence on the art of Los Angeles in the past four decades has come from car culture."

    What is custom car culture, known as Kustom Kulture in the lingo of the day, and how will its influence be illustrated through roughly 200 artworks and objects by 43 artists and car fanatics?

    If you're at least thirtysomething, you may not need much explanation. You probably know that Kustom Kulture represents a nationwide renegade phenomenon with roots in 1920s Southern California, and that it's synonymous with super-speedy or pin-striped driving machines agleam with multiple coats of bright paint and high-gloss wax."
    Irish Mike and Rolleiflex like this.
  12. Ebbspeed
    Joined: May 7, 2007
    Posts: 91


    I have a few of his prints hanging in the garage. I like his stuff. 20210701_085756.jpg 20210701_085807.jpg

    Attached Files:

  13. j hansen
    Joined: Dec 22, 2012
    Posts: 2,379

    j hansen

    I think I bought my Robt.Williams back in -78 Skärmavbild 2021-07-01 kl. 16.39.32.png
  14. You are more likely correct than I am. Memories get corrupted over time. Thanks for your history lesson, I always learn from your posts.
    jnaki and Irish Mike like this.
  15. I've been a Robert Williams fan for a few decades and met him and Suzanne in Bonneville in 2013. We ended up hanging out for a few nights in a row, just hanging around listening to stories and drinking more than a little bourbon.

    When I came up for the idea for my greasy little book I sent an email to Williams' rep to see if he'd participate. I got an email back, "Robert wants you to call him" and his number (no I won't share it). Holy shit.

    We ended up talking on the phone a few times and once he determined that I wasn't selling kiddie porn or some sort of Nazi sympathizer he agreed to be in my book... "you know I normally get paid for this sort of thing, right?". For me it was kinda like having Don Garlits stop by to help change my oil.

    3dnsouth, razoo lew and Jimmy B like this.
  16. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,229


    Hey RB,

    Not a problem. That Fuel Injection Engineering place stood out like a sore thumb and was a marvel of engineering. But, consider your memory as cool and good as not too many remember that tall brick wall. At least you remember the location of Fuel Injection Engineering. Most remember the L.A. shop and the last one in a new industrial area in Aliso Viejo before abandoning So Cal.

    So, any memory of that wall and tall plateau for the main building is good. Just yesterday, we drove by on the Toll Road and since the Toll Road 73 was built back during Thanksgiving week in 1996, it has totally blocked any view from that old Hilborn Injection site. Even the tall apartment buildings that took the property area have a hard time looking toward the ocean, down the freeway.

    The Clark Foam building and complex it also gone. So, the surfboard guys are getting their foam from other sources. If you have any photos of that tall brick wall for Hilborn Injection... please let me know. Those photos are hard to find in the research parameters.

    History live in our memories these days...

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