Here’s the story of a really cool light painting of an amazing 1940 Chevrolet 2-Door Sedan. This stunning restoration of the car that’s named “Tinmama”, was done by Luke Merrill, owner of Tinman II Kustoms in Isanti, Minnesota.
I met Luke as a result of his “Best of Show” win with “Tinmama” at Motorhead Madness in Duluth, MN, this past March. Motorhead Madness literally ends once the awards presentation is over on late Sunday afternoon. I think that’s where the “madness” part comes from! As soon as everyone walks out of the awards presentation, they pack up everything and go home! It’s crazy!
Motorhead Madness – Best of Show
I donated a light painting gift certificate to the guys that run Motorhead Madness so that they could sweeten the pot for the “Best of Show” winner. That winner for 2022 was Luke for his amazing work on Tinmama.
Once the awards presentation had concluded, I went up to congratulate and introduce myself to Luke. In the chaos of him getting his picture taken and all the excitement, I had to ask him where his car was located in the Duluth Convention Arena so I could at least see it. At this point, Luke also had no idea what he’d won from me! He wouldn’t know that for a while yet.
The Spring That Never Really Came
As you all know, spring 2022 really didn’t arrive on time, if at all. We kind of went straight into summer once mid-May got here. So, that meant not getting Luke’s 1940 Chevrolet 2-Door Sedan light painting scheduled to be done until early July. I sent Luke some links to some light paintings that I’d done, so he’d have an idea of what we were going to do with his creation.
We also spent a couple of hours in late June driving around Isanti and Cambridge looking for a spot to light paint Tinmama. We settled on the property of First Baptist Church in Cambridge, MN.
Across the street from the church, they have this unique building. It’s a former lumber yard, and looks pretty cool! We talked to a gentleman that was doing some work there, and he set us up with an impromptu meeting with the pastor, who, in turn, set us up with a meeting with the church property manager, Matt. All of these meetings happened right there in front of the former lumberyard in less than 30 minutes!
Pastor give his blessing (pardon that pun), and Matt was good to go as well. Once we had a date, I texted Matt, so he would know to expect us that night. The weather cooperated, and we got the light painting of Luke’s beautiful 1940 Chevrolet 2-Door Sedan completed on a nice summer night in July.
Just the Facts
Here are some of the interesting tidbits about the work that went into creating the Tinmama:
This Chevy 2 door is the result of more than 1,000 hours of extensive bodywork, including a chop, widened modification on the front/rear, shaved, smoothed, wretched lights, pancaked, and more.
It has a 2107 Mustang IRS graft and a 1970 Nova IFS graft. An Air Lift Performance air suspension keeps the ride low, and a Chevy 5.7L V8 powers this classic.
There’s a one-off dash, custom leather interior, custom wheels, and Summit Racing Paints, and parts were used throughout. Luke personally did 95% of the work on this build in his backyard garage.
1,000+ hours of metalwork by Tinman
All steel, every panel has been modified
Chopped top (4” front, 3” rear)
The front clip was widened 8”
Rear fenders were widened 3” each
Front fenders were re-peaked to tuck tires
Front valance/nose & fenders stretched down 3”
All of the wheel openings were reshaped for flow
One-piece front fenders & filler panels
Steel body lines added to cowl for flow
Hood: One-pieced, pancaked, shaved clean and body lines extended around the nose.
Shaved: Headlights, blinkers, door handles, door hinges, trunk hinges, trunk handle, cowl vent, wipers, bumpers, all trim, and dip rails.
Relocated Hagan gas door
Off rear roll pan
Frenched License Plate
Tuliped drip rail, rear taillights & exhaust
Door corners were rounded to flow better
Handmade running boards
Modified Chev’s of the 40’s Billet Grill
Reshaped & stretched hood-side panels
One-off inner fender panels
Oracle Headlights relocated behind the grill
Homemade taillights with Oracle bulbs
Custom Pearl Metallic named “Sinful Seaweed” (Bench mixed using Summit Racing Paints)
Body/Paint by Tinman & Friends
Wet-ended Ceramic Coat by M&B Paint Correction
Luke’s Art Meets My Art
All of that hard work is what went into Luke’s winning the “Best of Show” in Duluth. It also is why my completed light painting of his 1940 Chevrolet 2-Door Sedan looks so amazing too! Thank you, Luke, for allowing me to create this for you! I do hope that we get to do another one together down the road!