Written by Eric Becker
There has always something to be said of fine craftsmanship; the world is aplenty with craftsmen who take from their mind’s eye and translate it into a work that others never imagined possible. No matter the medium, it boils down to putting the wood, the metal and the music together in a fashion that breathes life and creates art. And that’s exactly what Barrett-Jackson is doing.
The company’s newly launched in-house custom builds shop, Barrett-Jackson Builds, will be working on in-house projects and looking towards creating vehicles to sell at the auctions for special causes, as well as building unique vehicles for corporate sponsorships, which is where the team’s first real project comes into play.
Few things flow together better than hot rods and rock and roll; there’s something that beautifully entwines the rhythmic thumping of an American V8 and the lyric of a rock power ballad. That’s why, for the upcoming Barrett-Jackson Builds project and the video series that will document it all, Barrett-Jackson is teaming up with the Fender Musical Instrument Corporation – better known simply as Fender – and giving one lucky bidder the chance to own the ultimate instrument: a kitted up 1969 Ford Mustang Resto-Mod, along with a matching Fender amplifier and guitar. “We’re really excited to begin this project with Fender,” said Barrett-Jackson Chairman and CEO Craig Jackson. “For years Fender guitars and muscle cars built the soundtrack to American culture, and this project presents a wonderful opportunity to pay homage to that time and showcase the skill inherent at the Fender Custom Shop and the Barrett-Jackson Builds team.”
The soon-to-be-launched video-streamed series will take viewers on an eight-episode journey following the parallel paths of these two state-of-the-art custom creations. And while the end result may be as distinct as roiling Detroit muscle and the plaintive guitar callings of Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Buddy Holly, it is the entwined pathways and process that will be highlighted. The series will be set to a bed of era-defining classic rock instrumentals recorded and performed by members of the Fender team. Barrett-Jackson Builds is all about illuminating the journey from project plan to final execution. It’s a series dedicated to highlighting master builders, one that explores their vision and complete commitment to excellence. Whether working with metal, wood or synthetics, Barrett-Jackson Builds is ready to delve into what makes them tick and the common roads they travel.
At the helm of the Barrett-Jackson Builds team is shop foreman and Mustang builder extraordinaire, Jason Aker, known to many for his work on the Discovery TV series “Fast N’ Loud.” No stranger to the Barrett-Jackson family, Aker has worked to restore several top-tier Mustangs alongside Barrett-Jackson Chairman and CEO Craig Jackson. New to the Barrett-Jackson team and joining Akers is Tony Cano, also of “Fast N’ Loud” fame. Building cars since the age of 18, Cano brings a laser-focused attention to detail, as well as years of experience in fabrication and painting. The guitar will be built by Fender’s Custom Shop director and Principal Master Builder Ron Thorn. With over 800 bespoke guitars to his name, Thorn brings his rock-driven, hot-rod-shop-ethos to the craft in a stunning blend of precision and soul.
Be sure to keep up with the story as it unfolds by subscribing to the Barrett-Jackson YouTube Channel, and follow @barrett_jackson_builds and #BarrettJacksonBuilds on Instagram for all the latest updates and a peak behind the scenes. Expect full-length episodes and more to appear via the Barrett-Jackson website.
From “Mustang Sally” and “Maybelline” to “Truckin’” and “On The Road Again,” there’s been no shortage of rock songs celebrating our favorite mechanical pastime, and the Barrett-Jackson Builds team is ready to build something that not only honors these two great traditions, but also allows one lucky bidder at Barrett-Jackson’s 2021 Scottsdale Auction to rock on with it.