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Classic & Kustom BOMBS Magazine Review

Classic & Kustom BOMBS Magazine Review

Classic & Kustom BOMBS magazine is a high-quality, quarterly publication that is about a year old.  Their 4th issue is now out on newsstands.  I spoke to the Editor-in-Chief, Steven Caudillo, during a photoshoot at the Grand National Roadster Show in January at the Los Angeles County Fairplex.  He is excited about the possibilities for this magazine’s success.  It won’t be easy because the competition is fierce and on-line websites are eating into the business of print magazines.  Classic & Kustom BOMBS has its own website as well.  Caudillo has been working in the magazine business since 1978, and has also owned his own custom car shop, so he knows the business and what his public wants.  He has also put together a good staff and they have contacts throughout the Southwest, from Texas to California and beyond.  One of the staff members is Mitzi Valenzuela, who is the new Chief Photographer.  Valenzuela also owns Mitzi & Co, a photography studio that specializes in vintage women modeling and custom car photography.  She is one of the best at her trade and a case could be made that she sets the standards for the industry.  I would recommend this magazine just on the abilities and contacts that Valenzuela brings to this publication.
Caudillo also has a large number of contacts in the Kustom car world and on this particular photoshoot he and Mitzi were taking photos of Michael Hurtado’s sea green painted, low slung ’50 Merc, with reddish/pink flame stripes.  Mitzi was taking the photographs while Ashlyn Coco and Lindy Sue were her models.  Hurtado reminded me of a young Danny Trejo or Edward James Olmos.  “I show my car at Cruisin’ for a Cure in September and the Los Vegas Rockabilly Show,” Hurtado told me.  Mitzi finished photographing and the models strode off to change into modern clothing.  But Mitzi wasn’t done; she disappeared into the car and began shooting the interior.  She is thin and agile and motioned to me to look at the car’s ceiling.  It was obvious that she enjoyed her work and her ability to fit into tight corners allows her to pose the models inside the cars in all sorts of angles.  Mitzi has a sizable list of models that prefer to work for her.  Valenzuela is quiet, yet focused and she barely has to nod or utter a word and the models are in sync with her.  Classic & Kustom BOMBS winter edition ran to about 100 pages and is filled with photographs.  The quality of the photos is excellent and the posing of the cars and models are superb.  Advertisers will love the layout designs.  The ads fit right into the surrounding articles.  Unlike some magazines that are nothing but advertisements, Classic & Kustom BOMBS had only about 12 pages of ads and even they were interesting in and of themselves.
The textual stories were well-written and on nearly every page.  Some of the writing was expanded captions, but in many cases there was at least a quarter to half a page of text.  I found the balance between the photos and story to be easy on the eye and easy to read.  Caudillo is after a larger market than just Texas and California.  He has stories and photos that are global and aims to penetrate the markets in Japan, Australia, Sweden, England, France, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, and other vintage and classic car areas.  He also wants to make Classic & Kustom BOMBS popular in a diverse market, including Kustoms, low-rider, classics and vintage cars.  Classic & Kustom BOMBS focuses on pre-1960 automobiles and the models are also dressed in vintage 1940’s and ‘50’s clothing, hair-style and make-up.  This gives the magazine a classy, pert and sassy retro look.  There is something special about the people at Classic & Kustom BOMBS; they are reaching out to people like me who know little about air bags and how low a car can go before metal scrapes the pavement.
I also liked how they portrayed the models.  Yes they were beautiful, but they fit into the scene as if that was the expected norm.  Some of the models were famous, such as Miss Miranda, who is a well-known model and burlesque performer who has traveled all over the world in her profession.  Others are mothers and homemakers who want to try modeling work.  Then there are group photos showing your normal car club, shows and events where people meet.   Classic & Kustom BOMBS has a family feel to it.  There is a special column set aside for the BOMB Garage and in this issue they interviewed Jim Ramsey of Huntington Beach, California.  Also spotlighted was the Duke’s car club of Ventura County.  I counted over 40 car shows and individual car and owner articles.  
Classic & Kustom BOMBS has a distinctly Latino look to it, but they are trying hard to welcome in a wider audience and frankly, I think they will succeed.  I give this an 8 out of an 8 sparkplug rating and suggest that you pick up a subscription.
  Classic & Kustom BOMBS can be reached at P.O. Box 7640, Torrance, California 90504, or call 310-367-8439.
Gone Racin’ is at [email protected]