Fragile Seconds Between Life And Death….

A few weeks ago we were on the way home from Seattle, WA. on a fast and furious Sunday. We delivered a customer vehicle to its owner that morning…


WB, Ellie and I got up super early in the wee morning hours and hit the trail to Seattle, WA. which for us is I-82 to I-90…about 200 miles, one way.

We were excited to deliver the outrageous, flashy red “69” Barracuda back to her owner, he was so excited to see his girl and drive her again! It was a joy to me to meet the owner and his lovely wife…and also their friends who had seen them through the Barracuda frame off restoration.


After unloading the Barracuda we went in search of a gas station that sold diesel…when we tow our triple axle 30′ car trailer with our crew cab dually, we are the same length as a semi truck and trailer…it’s hard to maneuver in tight places, which would be gas stations with lots of small cars running in and out, cutting you off.

All the delays we experienced on that Sunday morning, were a blessing, as the delays kept us safe.

We got back on I-90 about 11:50am….traffic was heavy but we were getting through it and closer to Ellensburg, WA. where we hoped the heavier traffic would disappear as we turned towards Yakima.


It was about 12:45 pm and I turned to check Ellie to make sure she was doing ok and then I heard WB say “HANG ON!!!”

I turned and saw several cars and pick ups crashing and one going backwards in front of us…no warning or time to react, it all happened so fast!


By God’s grace, WB was able to get us stopped, our empty car trailer has a weight of 6000 pounds. That’s a heavy load on the hitch and that weight pushes against us in stopping quickly…the trailer tires were ruined but we were stopped and alive! If we had a car in the trailer, adding more hitch weight on us, we may not have been able to get stopped.


Directly in front of us was a small white SUV…and then the massive wreck. You can see our pick up and trailer with our name on it and the small white SUV right behind the Washington Department Of Transportation truck. As soon as WB got us stopped…we both watched our side mirrors wondering if we would also get hit from behind or the sides. We had lots of smaller cars behind us that got stopped but were sitting  kittywampus or crooked, as well as RV’s and pick ups with boats…all miracles in that they were able to stop without warning like us.


Once we saw it was safe to get out, and no one was going to crash into us…WB grabbed our first aid kit and told me to sit tight with Ellie and pray…and I prayed and prayed hard.

The driver of the small white SUV that separated us from the wreck, told us later that he, his wife and two daughters were on vacation from Georgia, he told us”by God’s intervention, we got stopped behind him, as all he could see in his mirror was our big rig and he knew if we hit them it would not be good.” WB was ready to drive us off into the median to avoid hitting him or anyone and we agreed, God was there that day in all our lives!


As  a grateful cancer survivor, I know life is lived right now and in the moment…I truly appreciate it! We never know what today will bring to our lives…life is sacred with each breath we take!

My heart goes out to all the injured and their families…one passenger was gravely hurt, they did cpr for over an hour, unfortunately they did not survive. Those who had serious injuries went to the hospital once the medics arrived.

Traffic was backed up behind us 22 miles on I-90, as the freeway was closed for several hours. After three hours of waiting, they opened a single lane of freeway up so that we all could head for home.


I took the photos above and below when we got home that Sunday evening. No storm or rain and yet, the double rainbow lasted for several minutes. I felt it was God letting me know He was protecting us and He also had those who stepped into His arms in heaven.


We continue to pray for all of those who were involved in the wreck, the families of those who did not make it and also to those who did. I give thanks for those who helped, performing first aid until the paramedics arrived and to the nurse who stopped her vehicle in the opposite lanes and came to help. God bless all of you…I pray healing on all your lives.


And to my husband who was in control of our truck and trailer, he got us stopped safely, and then he went to help those directly involved. He has always been my White Knight and yup he still is!


I love you WB:)


Praying that you will be blessed wherever you are…wishing you a peaceful weekend! Your lives are precious…HRCG is over and out for now but hang on, I will be back!

Our “1859” Magazine Interview…Yee-Haw!

HRCG along with my hubby, Wild Bill, and our business Holton Secret Lab are featured in the current issue of the Oregon magazine “1859” which is a national magazine I might add!


You can click on the photo and the article to enlarge them:)

Do you recall my July 28th blog this summer when I mentioned doing a photo shoot here with harvest trucks running back and forth in front of our house…and the county doing a chip seal?

Scan-2.jpg HSL 1859

Ok good, I’m glad you are following here we are:) I love the article and the photo rocks too.


Thank you to Gwen Shoemaker and your right hand man Brent, for the incredible photo shoot.

Scan-2.jpg HSL 1859

Thank you to Vanessa Salvia  for your amazing words that fit our life and who we are!


Thank you “1859” for the interview…we hope you all enjoyed visiting our “Secret Lab!”


 And speaking of that “1970 SS Chevelle”…ya know the one that I mean…if not then read the article above!


The “1970 SS Chevelle” With A Stock 454/360 Horsepower Engine…


The finished “1970 SS Chevelle” With A Ramped Up 454/570 Horsepower Engine…Built By HSL.


HSL performed a full frame off rotisserie restoration on this incredible SS Chevelle…I love this car!


Zooomm Zoom!



Wherever you may be I’m wishing you a Marvelous Magical Monday followed by a Totally Terrific Tuesday!


Ellie and HRCG over and out for now but not for long:)

The Hot Rod Part Of Hot Rod Cowgirl!

The Hot Rod Part Of Hot Rod Cowgirl Is Still Rocking On!!!!!!


I know I know…as usual I have been running like a crazy country girl here…


Don’t give up on me, as yeah I’m here…me and Ellie have been reading all your blogs:)


I have had a huge writers cramp this last year since we lost our sweet Minnie…it has been tough guys…she was our sweet kitty girl and she loved this time of year! My heart misses her so much…and my writers stuckness comes and goes with many tears…


Do you remember last summer I posted about shooting three different videos out here at the ranch?


 Each video showcases one of our customer vehicles, that my hubby “Wild Bill” restored and built.


The videos took blood, sweat and tears with a few cuss words…and now they are live on YouTube!


Each one is pretty cool…and yes the red 1955 T-Bird is mine!

Click on the link below…

Turn up the sound…enjoy!


The first video is of this incredible 1933 Ford Roadster…


The second video is this sweet black 1930 Ford Tudor….


And lastly, the video of the 1935 Dodge Pick Up, with the before video and the after video. I love this truck, it is incredible!


So now ya know…when you do not see me consistently…


It is due to life at the “Secret Lab”….


HRCG and Ellie over and out for now but never for long…

Hot Rods Of This And That On HRCG!

Hot Rods of this and that on HRCG is another segment of photos taken the last few years and it may explain the Hot Rod Cowgirl name of my blog.


If you are a serious car guy you will love this post…you can double-click on my photos and they will enlarge:)


In this post I want to share some of the restored vehicles that my hubby has created for our customers.


I hope you enjoy seeing a few of these incredible restorations, custom builds and amazing rides.


Hang on and here we go…Zoom Zoom!


We attend many car shows during the year to display our workmanship and to showcase the vehicles. This is our display at the Portland Roadster Show…we often showcase some of the recent customer vehicles to show the quality of the restorations we do…and people love to walk through our 30′ car trailer as we have photos displayed inside of various cars we have restored and built. We run videos of the vehicles through out the restoration…some restorations have 1000 hours in them from start to finish.


Portland was the beginning of many large car shows to follow…


As well as summer shows that are held in smaller towns with a sense of community and country fun…often the shows attract well over 350 cars with the show held in the downtown area which is nice, we women can shop!

Roadster Show 3-1-06 028

The photo above is one of my favorites. It was taken at the Portland Roadster Show the year we took 10 of our customer vehicles that WB restored…every car you see was restored and rebuilt to perfection. We brought home 12 trophies that year!


The first year we attended the Portland Roadster Show, we took three of our restorations to display etc. I had been diagnosed with bc a few weeks before the show…WB said no we can not go…I told WB nope we are going to the show! This is the part of the business that is my part, I had approached the Roadster Show about coming…and it was an honor to be chosen to display our work and we were going!


Only the vehicles which show complete perfection are selected to attend…so in a way you have already won to a degree if you are chosen to display your cars. We had six customer restorations displayed at the 2010 Roadster Show…we won six classes and brought home six trophies!


 WB is giving me “The Look” as  he does not like me taking pictures of him….ha! The cars right behind him were our display that first year…1931 Blue Ford Tudor…1948 Red Chev. Pick Up…1946 Ford Tudor with the flames. Guess what? All three vehicles won Best Of Class in their respective classes and that is out of 550 cars, it was the 50th Portland Roadster Show! We were so pumped!!!


I love this 1946 Ford Tudor, it’s a go fast and has all the comforts of today’s car, plus WB’s flames…and Wild Bill is famous for his signature flames!


 Mr. Blue has won six times at the Roadster Show with us over the years…this 1931 Ford Tudor is incredibly cool!


Another one of my favorites and I would LOVE to drive it:)


TV interview day in the Secret Lab with Wild Bill! I love this…my entire married life to WB I have waited for this to happen! I love seeing WB get credit for the work he has done over many years….and I love seeing him talk…hee-hee…he is not a talker and was a nervous wreck!


My hubby is MacGyver to the car world as he has the vision to see a rusted pile of junk restored into a regal vehicle.


The first night of set up at a smaller show of 200 cars….we took the Ford Tudor to display and also some of our flame plates. Wild Bill does a lot of flame plates for the customers in their choice of colors so they can see the color and decide if it is the right one for their car.


I am planning to do a post on one vehicle with before photos and during photos…


This GTO had major rust and the quarter panels had to be changed as well as the floor of the entire vehicle.


And after photos so you can see the process…as it is amazing!


Hang on as we are going to switch gears grabbing more horsepower!


Whew this tire cleaning is hard work and I need a break…


Ahhhh…just what I needed:)


Have a great weekend! HRCG over and out for now…but never for long!

Hot Rod Cowgirl Is Still Blogging!

As you know WB had neck surgery a few weeks ago…and my blogging ability has slowed down a bit…but…please keep hanging with me. WB has always said I have at least 10,000 words each day to say and if I were to stop writing…he would go deaf and I would feel awful!!! Don’t give up on HRCG’s slower posts:)

WB and I are survivors and this is October, the one month a year that is all about PINK.  

This is the last day of October so I think I will have to carry this on one more month:)

I am way late with this mention….with WB’s surgery I do not know where the last month went??? Hot Rod Cowgirl Ding A Ling:)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I am a SURVIVOR, so is my Wild Bill…he went through every biopsy…8 of them being diagnosed high risk in 5 years…and then he went through the big one….20 hours of surgery the first 48 hours…believe me he too is a survivor:)

I am modeling for the Pendleton Woolen Mills in the above and below pictures for a local fund-raiser for all kinds of cancer.

I am standing at the end of the fashion show with other cancer survivors and we are one tough bunch!!!

Check out our YouTube Video as our cars modeled for The Pendleton Woolen Mills 100th Fall and Spring Catalog Homecoming Celebration…

WB says that I am doing the MJ smile:)

Happy Terrific Thursday…Wishing You A Fantastic Weekend:)

I am praying for all of you on the East Coast of the US. God Bless You and Keep You….know I hold you all tightly in my prayers…I can not imagine what you are going through. Hugs and huge prayers for you.

Love, HRCG

Magical Country Nights With My Car Guy

As spring slowly slides into Juniper Canyon, the evening light has become softer with golden highlights…perfect light to capture pictures of the various customer vehicles we have built. This “1951 Chevrolet Pick Up” came to us from Calgary, Alberta and it was time for pictures as the owner was on the road headed to our shop to take his truck home, as the job was complete:)

The late day light makes the colors pop…which I love!

The chrome grill and rounded nose of this vintage truck rock with artistic design!

This is one very classy Chevrolet, completely restored to stock. The owner bought this truck at the Barrett Jackson Car Auction in Scottsdale, AZ. and once he got it home decided that it needed some TLC. He did some searching and  found “Holton Secret Lab”…that is our business here…he loved that we were the “Secret Lab”.

We restored a “1948 Chevrolet Pick Up” a few years ago and took it to the Portland Roadster Show several times winning Best of Class. Both pick ups are almost the same color etc. and they are both restored to stock. You can take a look at the “1948” on our website under portfolio and also awards on It is on the second page of the Portfolio.

I do love taking pictures of the work my hubby does as when the vehicle is finished it is amazing as I know how it looked when it came into the shop. WB has incredible vision and can see through the rust and nasty looking vehicles that our customers often bring to us to make them new again. Kind of like me with salvaging some of the antique furniture we have…when I begin to restore an ugly piece of old dilapidated furniture I can see the end result even if no one else can:) WB puts his whole heart into the customers dream vehicle…doing what he said he would do…and he does it with perfection:)

Very cool shot…check out the headlights…and all the amazing chrome:)

When I first married WB I had allot to learn with Hot Rods and Customs. Thankfully on my own accord in High School I fell in love with the love of automobiles and cool cars….of course my parents did not allow me to have anything cool…geesh. I wanted a “1966 “396” Chevelle” for my car on my 16th birthday…I heavily hinted this to Mom and Dad as their very good friend owned a Chevy garage and on his used car lot he had this exact car…a dark black cherry color with black interior…I even test drove it…hoping beyond hope…instead they bought me a three speed on the column “1966 Dodge Coronet” or I could drive my Dad’s Chevy Pick Up or his Chevrolet Blazer…which was pretty cool in “1968-1969” as they were unique.

Simple times…simpler days…no iPod or iPhone or high-tech stuff installed on this dash…just get in and enjoy the drive:)

I love that the wood is oak with chrome strips…what a flash!

Ahhh…the good ol’ days!

Had to throw this in so you would not get too bored with car stuff…this was last night between storms…we now seem to get mid-west weather…wild clouds and wild weather…hoping we do not get tornadoes next or something crazy…weird clouds and storms are enough…perfect for a country cowgirl camera addict:)

Ok time to put her away…

Hmmmm? I wonder what he is seeing or thinking?

My car guy…love you WB:)

After 35 years you still make my heart pitter patter:)

It’s Fabulous Fantastic Freaky Friday!!! I am wishing you an incredible day filled with lots of good belly laughs with plenty of sunny sunshine!!! No matter where you are…there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow if you look for it! It may not be actual money that you find but something very special and meaningful:)

Look deep into my eyes…the force is with you…Happy Freaky Friday!!!!!!

Portland Roadster Show 2012….Part Two

The Portland Roadster Show opened to the public last Friday at noon and ran until 7:00 Sunday night. It draws around 40,000 through the gate each day and with 500 custom, restored, classic and beautiful cars…there are some incredible cars to see and drool over…it is a fun show as we have gone enough that we know some of the people and that makes it special to us.

I love seeing the new cars that come to the show with the various modifications and the creative touches…however it is hard to leave our display as Wild Bill is always in demand to talk to about either restoring someones car or building a dream car or doing a frame off restoration on a car that has been in the family for years, so each night when we leave for the hotel we walk a different route so that we can see more of the cars.

Before I show you some of those I want to show you the 1956 F-100 that we took and also a few more pictures of  the 1972 Bronco…they both won Best of Class in their classes which was awesome for the owners and awesome for us too:)  It is fun for us when the owners tag along with us to show their cars as we have a chance to know them more as friends and share some laughs and memories plus we get to share in their joy when they win!

1956 F-100

The Roadster Show was the F-100’s first show debut…Wild Bill was still putting the last bolts into the hood after we got it unloaded…it is that fresh of a build….in fact it is back in our shop today as we have to finish the wiring yet. It was a show stopper as the color is incredible…the silver looks like chrome in person under the lights…and we used a blend of colors in the blue FORD on the tailgate that makes it pop out.

I love how the motor reflects into the firewall…and the glow of the unusual color as it shines like a jewel. Winning Best of Class was the icing on the cake for Stan and Marie…we were thrilled to see Stan float up to the stage to accept his award. He was here today in the shop to see WB and he is still floating:)

We had a perfect amount of space to display both vehicles in a good way…and parking at a slant was good too as it was not the usual line of parked cars…I like different:)

Look at the color of the Bronco, it is a custom color…in person it is even prettier and has incredible depth…almost like it is 3D…winning Best of Class two years in a row is very cool:)

Lots of colors and various styles of cars…

I love this car…very rare…and the color is gorgeously incredible!

And this car was in your face…outrageous and my hubby loved it.

And then we found this one that emanates “Bad To The Bone.”

I love the paint and the flames…and the look:)

“Quit taking my picture Cowgirl…Grrrrr”…he really doesn’t mean it:)

I took a picture of this very cool Chev. Pick Up as the color on it is British Racing Green. We are considering painting “Jagged” this color as he is a

1928 Dodge Coupe with a V-12 British Jag motor in him, compliments of Wild Bill. Until we saw this color, we were leaning towards black. Now we are re-considering…what do you think?

This morning when we woke up,  “Hello Winter…sorry to tell ya but Spring is here…so vamoose!”

 Have a Fantastic Friday wherever you are…I took a bunch of cool pictures coming home from Portland…so stay tuned:)

And yes I’m still a Cowgirl…just have a bit of Hot Rod too:)

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: