Cool Desert Nights schedule
Today:All-city cruise starts at 5:30 p.m., leaving from TRAC in Pasco and ending at the Richland Dairy Queen, 1313 Jadwin Ave., for a mini-show from 7 to 9 p.m.
Friday:Desert Wind Winery mini show and shine, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 2258 Wine Country Road, Prosser; Richland city cruise from 7 to 9 p.m.; street dance with Dance Maxx, 9 p.m. at the Uptown Shopping Center parking lot on George Washington Way in Richland. Cost is $10.
Saturday:pancake breakfast 7 to 11 a.m. at the Jefferson Park gazebo across from the Uptown off George Washington Way at Symons Street; show and shine from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Jefferson Park and Uptown; slow drags begin at noon on George Washington Way; poker run from noon to 3 p.m.; awards ceremony at 3:30 p.m. at Uptown; street dance with Petty Fever, a Tom Petty tribute band, at 8 p.m. Cost is $10.
Dozens of hot rods and cool cars will rule the roads in Richland today through Saturday, but the coolest of them all may be Bob Maiuri's Super Bee.
The sizzling red 1969 Dodge hardtop, complete with the traditional black band across its hind end, is the poster car for this year's annual Cool Desert Nights car show.
Maiuri's red hot Super Bee is the epitome of what America expected from Detroit during the muscle car era -- unrestrained power packaged in big iron.
A creation of the Holton Secret Lab in Helix, Ore., the 383-cubic-inch powered Dodge is a jewel to behold and awesome to hear as throaty exhaust tumbles out of dual pipes.
Boasting black interior and a complementary black fabric overlaying the sleek hardtop, the Super Bee's Viper red exterior is a seductress for motorheads like Maiuri, who keeps his road queen garaged in Walla Walla.
Bill Holton, who with his wife Marcy operate a hotrod builder shop on the outskirts of Helix, which is about 17 miles northeast of Pendleton, created the one-of-a-kind Super Bee five years ago.
Maiuri said the traditional yellow had to go. His car would have the traditional look, but with eye-popping quality in red.
The naked steel body spent three weeks in the Holton Secret Lab just to perfect the prep with tedious hand-sanding.
"It's a by-the-numbers car," said Maiuri, noting that all the detail, trim and driveline components are exactly as originally existed when the vehicle left the assembly line 41 years ago.
The time, money (and lots of it), along with Holton's renowned skill as a painter still is paying dividends after a half-decade.
The red Super Bee was a top winner at last year's Cool Desert Nights, and took a trophy at this year's Portland Roadster Show, proving that quality hotrods are hard to beat.
"It's a beautiful car, classic or not. There aren't many of them around," Maiuri said. He said the Super Bee was Dodge's answer to General Motors' GTO and a big brother to another well-known muscle car cousin, the Plymouth Road Runner.
Holton's shop has turned out more than 50 hotrods for clients in the 12 years since the husband and wife team opened for business. The shop is an add-on to the 100-year-old Terjeson family ranch where Marcy grew up loving horses.
But when she married "Wild Bill," as his friends call him, Marcy had to learn to love a different kind of horsepower.
Bill learned how to bump car bodies and wield a welding torch while growing up in his father's auto body shop in Vale, eventually taking over the family business. When it was time to move to the ranch, Bill brought his trade and tools along.
The secret lab is all about custom body work, be it a chopped Model A Ford two-door sedan, a meticulously detailed 1972 Ford Bronco or a 1935 Ford pickup redone as a retro 1950s hotrod.
The lab has work stations for each stage of the process to create a masterpiece motor vehicle.
There are areas for tear-downs, metal fabrication, media blasting, a large ventilated paint room, and facilities where complete car bodies are mounted on large rotisseries so they can be tilted for easier access.
Holton's latest personal project is a barely recognizable 1928 Dodge coupe, wedded to a custom frame and hitched to a 12-cylinder Jaguar engine.
Dubbed "Jagged," the creation is straight out of Bill's imagination. It has more louvers than can be seen from any one perspective, covering the hood, roof and even a full underbody belly pan.
More than cosmetic, the louvers direct air for cooling to specialized fans that help keep the temperamental V-12 and the transmission from fatal overheating.
Jagged is coming together piece by piece, from its 1935 Chevrolet grill to the custom rolled rear panels that conceal a complex cooling system.
A pair of custom exhaust pipes, cut and tuned to flow the V-12's hot gases in stages to the outside world, and a set of intake manifold tubes designed and built by Holton that lead the air/fuel mix from a hefty Edlebrock four-barrel carburetor into the 12 combustion chambers demonstrate the maker's creative finesse.
"The cool thing about Bill is he has the vision. He can put this all together," said his wife admiringly.
Jagged is destined to be the signature creation of the Holton Secret Lab.
"You got to have something to show that is unique," said Holton, who would like to finish Jagged in time for next year's granddaddy of West Coast hotrod shows -- The Oakland Roadster Show in California.
But that all depends on how many customer projects roll through the door in coming months.
"About 10 a year would be nice," he said.
-- On the net: For a closer look at the secret lab, go to www.holtonsecretlab.com
-- John Trumbo: 582-1529; email@example.com