Car culture has always been a fabric of our American society and is definitely alive locally via weekend vintage car shows and the backyard garages of Western PA. We sat down with with local artist Pete Maguire to talk about his love of all things hot rod and the art he creates with that inspiration. Whether it’s a Hot Wheels inspired painting or a custom “Carciture”, this is one man that definitely has motor oil on the brain.
CC interviews…Pete Maguire!
I think the love of cars usually begins at an early age. Who got you interested in cars, or did it just happen on its own?
My dad instilled the love of cars at an early age. I can remember driving around in his ’67 GTO convertible. Our street would enter the main road on a steep hill, so he would light the tires up while starting up the road. As a child I loved it. As an adult I still do!
I’m assuming you grew up admiring people like Ed Roth, Von Dutch and others. Do you draw a lot of inspiration from the classic car artists?
Ohh yeah! All of them. Especially Roth and Barris. I used to build their model kits. I was lucky enough to get to meet “Big Daddy” before his passing. What a great guy. A couple years back at our very own World of Wheels I had the pleasure of meeting and getting photos with George Barris and I in front of the Munsters coach (love that rod). As a young dude my mother would get me the cartoons comic every Christmas. That’s when drawing really became a big part of my life. I still try to collect these books today.
I know you’re big into collecting Hot Wheels. Does it ever affect the home life?
I don’t think so, but don’t ask my wife. No sir…once she realized the value of these little cars, it changed the game a bit. It’s almost better than to invest in vintage toys than the stock market, and much more fun.
Hot Wheels or Matchbox. Does it matter?
Hot Wheels all the way bro! Redlines, Redlines, Redlines.I do have some really nice Matchboxes but they just don’t do it for me man. Johnny Lightnings are real cool as well. I love to collect anything I can remember as a kid. Bad habit!
You also recently made an investment in a vintage piece of Americana. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Early this year I purchased a 1960 GMC fire rescue truck (basically a panel/suburban truck) and it was a Burkettsown Vol. Fire Dept truck . Bone stock and it’s going to stay that way. I plan to use this for marketing my art and custom “Carcitures” at local art shows and art exhibits, etc. And of course I named her “Blaisy”. Look for her at most local shows.
When did you start doing the “Carcitures”?
I started about 4 years ago, sketching on my free time. With my love of hot rods and automotive art I knew I wanted to pursue this as a career. Drawing came pretty naturally to me and I used to always draw friends cars in high school.
Did you ever draw/paint on your parent’s car when you were a little kid? No. i got my first inspiration tracing my Hot Wheels at about 9 years old, chaging them into what I would like to see. My first flamed paint job was a soap box derby car back when I was 11. Second flamed paint job was my ’76 Cougar XR7 when I was in high school.
You can check out some of Pete’s work this weekend at Zombo Gallery’s First Annual Hot Rod Kulture Show.
For more info you can email Pete at: firstname.lastname@example.org