West Coast Customs — the world-renowned auto customizer to the stars — received a welcome to Burbank from the Road Kings car club at Bob’s Big Boy Toluca Lake on Saturday afternoon.
The Road Kings are taking a year off from hosting the annual June car show because Johnny Carson Park is under renovation, so members and friends celebrated the club’s 63rd year in town by packing Bob’s parking lot and car-hop area with about 100 classic vehicles.
Road Kings President “Fast Eddie” Salvatore and car show chairman Don Baldaseroni conducted a brief ceremony congratulating West Coast Customs officials for moving the business from Corona to Burbank. It specializes in customizing new cars and restoring classic cars.
“It’s really nice to have another automotive-related hot rod shop in Burbank,” Salvatore said. “We have a few but this is really great for the company, the city and the Road Kings and that’s why we are honoring them today.”
Burbank Mayor Bob Frutos, who drove up in his sapphire 2014 re-introduced Corvette Stingray, came out to lend his support. Having West Coast Customs move to Burbank is good for the local economy, he said.
“There’s a market for it with the studios and everything,” he said, adding that bringing a business of this caliber here provides more jobs in Burbank. “We’re the media capital of the world, whether it’s Comcast-NBC-Universal, Warner Bros., there’s a demand for these fast and furious-type vehicles.”
The car show was also a way to bring together those who love classic cars and fans of modern vehicles, like those that can be seen at West Coast Customs.
“We have a younger generation that maybe doesn’t appreciate the very classic cars like my friends here who like the futuristic cars,” Frutos said. “We’ve always been a very traditional classic car town but now it’s also looking at the younger generation folks — the millenniums — and their passion for exotic vehicles. So I think this is great for our city and it’s great that the Road Kings put this event together to bring the old but also the new — it’s all inclusive and that’s why I’m here.”
West Coast Customs was founded in 1993 by Ryan Friedlinghaus, chief executive officer. Its new location is at 2101 W. Empire Ave. They have lots of events planned, such as a car show on the first Saturday of the month.
Plaques were presented to officials with West Coast Customs from the Road Kings by President Salvatore and Leo Matias, day manager at Bob’s Toluca Lake. Matias also presented the auto customizer with a trophy from both Bob’s Big Boy and the Road Kings.
“I want to dedicate this plaque to West Coast Customs and thank you guys for letting us have this event here at Bob’s Big Boy,” Matias said. “We support all the car clubs like the Road Kings. This is where we have the best car shows in the world.”
President Salvatore presented a plaque that reads “Welcome to Burbank West Coast Customs!”
It was the second time Frutos welcomed the company to the city, he said.
“I know we had the event a year ago but we want to make sure we cement our relationship and appreciate having you here because we are a car city,” he said. “Remember cruising started here in the San Fernando Valley and so for me to be here as the mayor of Burbank and basically being honored here with you together for our city is awesome. To the Road Kings — thank you so much Don and Fast Eddie … for what you do for the different nonprofit organizations in our city and all the club members who are here. You guys are awesome. This is a rare opportunity for me to thank you for what you do and I support the car culture in our city.”
Cheryl Lynch, chief marketing officer with West Coast Customs, thanked everyone for the recognition.
“Super super thank you so much to everybody on behalf of West Coast Customs,” she said. “The shop is really something to see. For any of you who are car aficionados or just want to come and look at some really different stuff we have a 60,000-square-foot facility, tours every day. Come on by. We are going to display these [awards] right in our lobby. When you come in, you will be able to see them. Thank you all so much again!”
Burbank has been a perfect fit for West Coast Customs, said Hunter Clancey, who is in charge of client relations.
“Burbank is such a car and TV-based city and that is essentially our company in a nutshell,” he said. “TV is what we’ve been doing for years now so it goes hand in hand — cars and entertainment.”
Having Bob’s Big Boy and the Road Kings welcome the company to Burbank gives it a great big stamp of legitimacy, Lynch said.
“Right? Like OK, they are here, they’re cool, they’ve arrived!” she said. “The Road Kings have been super supportive and the mayor was at our opening in December. And kind of our first little foray. I know Ryan [Friedlinghaus] has come here for the car shows on a couple of Friday nights, so it is all working seamlessly.”
The car show culminated with Bob’s Big Boy Manager Leo Matias presenting trophies to the owners of the best cars in six categories. Winners were Larry Tadlock, Manager’s Choice; Frank Pucio, Best Cruiser; Ismael Ruvalcaba, Best Classic; Sal Moncibais, Best Custom; Ed Tucker, Best Truck; and Donald Lo Bue, Best Hot Rod.