Iron Orchid: tricked-out 1935 Ford coupe

Coop snapped this shot of the gorgeous "Iron Orchid," a masterfully decorated 1935 Ford 5 Window Coupe, built by Dave Shuten of Galpin Auto Sports. I don't give a darn about cars, but this one? Hubba hubba. (here's another view).

The Iron Orchid, built by Dave Shuten.


  1. I really hope that’s a reference to Jherek Carnelian’s mother, from Michael Moorcock’s “Dancers at the End of Time” series.

    1. That “Fin” is the hood.  On that era car the hood folds up and out of the way.  In this case the hood is open to display the engine which has the same level of detail as the rest of the car.

  2. Ahhh…The airbrush paint job looks like some you’d get a t-shirt booth in Panama City Florida over spring break….all it’s missing is “Stacy” in large loopy letters. 

  3. it may not matter to the majority of BB folks, but this is a dead-on modern classic, in the vein of vintage show cars. dave shuten is a master of style and execution. coop knows some shit, too.

    1. I was gonna say.  The ’35’s grille isn’t nearly such a perfectly gorgeous shape.

      Still, for not being a car guy, Cory’s taste is exemplary.  I kinda miss the fenders, myself, and the paint will look dated entirely too soon, but the quality is way up there and the ’34 Ford 5-window is timeless.

      1. I’m not a fade and lace man myself, but I can absolutely appreciate the vision and tenacity required to stick to a theme like this. Kudos to the builders.
        Watson’s Tbird is not my cup of tea either, but I can only imagine the impact it made in 1958.

  4. This is exactly what is wrong with Hot Rods. That car was not driven to that show and will probably never see a street mile. The owner most likely did none of the work on it and may not even know one end of a wrench from the other. He didn’t sand the bondo that smoothed the body, didn’t pull the harness that wired the car, didn’t sew the leather that makes the interior. He has taken an amazing functional object and turned it into a huge gaudy paper weight.

    1.  Do an image search on “rat rod” for some maker-made cars that may be more to your liking.  They are to mine.

    2. i don’t see how any of those things make this piece of art, less of a piece of art.  eye of beholder i guess

    3. Well, I have no doubt that human hands somewhere did the actual work, and those hands belong to people who love (and actually drive) cars like this.  Sure, most cars built to this level aren’t intended to be actually driven on a road (however capably they might fulfill this function if the owner ever wanted to risk it), but that doesn’t bother me anymore.  There is a ton of effort and artistry put into this vehicle, and if someone wants to protect their investment in that artistry, it’s no skin off my nose.  Where I get irritated is when I think about the first muscle car to be worth $1 million (which subsequently went on to become the first muscle car to sell for $2 million).  Two years ago, somebody paid $1.7 million for a 1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda convertible with 19,000 miles on it.  It’s been restored, but still completely bone stock, like you could have bought it off the dealership floor in 1970 (although they only made 14 convertibles with this engine, so it probably wouldn’t have been on the floor at your local dealership).  Yes, it’s nice and shiny and clean, and the Hemi engine sure is impressive, and I do love to tool around with the top down, but I still can’t understand why anyone would want to pay well over a million bucks for what will fundamentally always be a Plymouth built during Nixon’s first term.  No customized anything on it.  Just another product from the assembly line, not intrinsically more valuable (certainly not by two orders of magnitude) than any other Barracuda that came off the line that day.  But there has grown some form of consensus over the years that the ’70 Hemicuda convertible is more valuable than, say, the ’70 Mercury Cougar with the Boss 429 (rarer; only 2 built and 1 extant), or the faster ’70 454 Chevelle, or even the more wildly overdesigned ’70 Superbird.  So investors trade the Hemicudas back and forth, interested only in their current market value.  And that’s just weird to me.

    4. “The owner most likely did none of the work on it and may not even know one end of a wrench from the other.” 

      That’s like complaining that pope Julius didn’t lend a hand painting the ceiling of Sistine Chapel. They’re called patrons, and Hot rod builders need them just like any other kind of artist. I assure you that Dave Shuten has been responsible for plenty of wild cars all on his own, as well as restoring several famous hot rods & customs including Ed Roth’s “lost” car, the Orbitron.

      Oh, and both Dave and Beau drive the shit out of their cars – I’ve seen the Iron Orchid do some wicked burnouts already.

  5. I like cars quite a lot…and this ride is obviously the result of many, many skilled man hours. Kudos to the maker!

    But…the 30’s era hotrod, while I will not gainsay it…does not appeal to me so much. Perhaps because I’ve never touched one, or sat in one…or had the pleasure of lowering my right foot in one. Plus…that paint scheme makes my eyes spin. For me, with a salute to the finned behemoths of the 1950’s…the best years of American automotive fabulousness range from about ’65 to ’72…some of the best dinosaurs emerge right before the extinction. And I’ve been blessed with the chance to drive and stick my head under the hoods of a few cars from that era (mostly as a youth) so that connection will always remain strong.

    That being said: we have Caturdays and Friday Freakouts…and the ever loving Mean Monkey Mondays: why not Radical Ride Thursdays? Or at least Lowrider Lent or Hot Rod Hanukkah…?

  6. My brother does custom car work, and I’m sure he’d love this one… He’s done some from many different eras (1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and even a 1970s Triumph); they all have their charms.  Looking at the craftmanship is great; I like them better when they are “daily drivers” (i.e. in use) – however, maintaining such a beauty requires extra work and care, and if, like me, you tend to treat your automobile as just a tool for getting some where, you probably don’t want to own one.   That’s why I admire them from afar.

  7. You don’t have to dig cars to appreciate a good paint job. Just like you don’t have to be a firearm enthusiast to geek over the filligree work in some of the flintlocks at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

  8. That paint is hideous. The ’34 has amazing lines. There’s no call to hide them with a paint job that looks like it was dreamed up by a 16 year old.

    1. A 16 year-old who dreams of getting lots of tattoos and pit bulls, and possibly marrying Sandra Bullock for a brief period of time.

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