Die Cast Diaries – Chapter 9
Hello family, friends and followers,
I’d like to welcome you to another chapter of Die Cast Diaries!
In this chapter, I will be introducing you to one of the most amazing customizers of Hot Wheels and other die cast cars and trucks in this amazing hobby culture. His pieces are so beautifully painted that you would think you are looking at real cars in a showroom. The flowing lines, the fades and shading are just top notch and very professional looking. The different colors of paint he uses and the way her layers it is incredible to look at. There are many great customizers out there that stand out due to their awesome paint jobs that they put on their customs, but the star of this chapter is just one of many that I have met during my time exploring this unbelievable hobby community. His story is incredible and so are his customs. I hope that after reading this chapter, that you will go and check out this man’s creations and get in touch with him about getting one made for your collection. Please enjoy this chapter of Die Cast Diaries starring Johnny Brashear of JLB Customs.
Me: What is your name and where are you from?
Johnny: My name is Johnny Brashear and I’m from New Orleans, LA.
Me: How old were you when you started playing with Hot Wheels?
Johnny: I got my first Hot Wheels in 1973 when I was 4 years old. Johnny Lightning case full of new redlines.
Me: How old were you when you started collecting Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks?
Johnny: I started collecting Hot Wheels in 1988 after I found an old redline Side Kick at a flea market for a dollar. I still have it today.
Me: When did you start customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks?
Johnny: I started to repaint Hot Wheels in 1997 when I was a painter at a Mercedes dealership. But only painted a few. Then started restoring redlines in 2016. That business did well and finally I started putting custom paint on new Hot Wheels.
Me: What got you interested in customizing diecast cars and trucks?
Johnny: I was a custom car painter. I thought it would be interesting to put candy and pearl paints on Hot Wheels. I had seen a few guys doing them on Instagram.
Me: Who was your inspiration or influence that got you into customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks?
Johnny: My best friend, Sid, convinced me that I should start painting and selling cars. I started selling on Ebay then made a website.
Me: Do you have a background in working on cars and trucks which helps make customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks easier and helps with your creativity on them?
Johnny: I’ve been painting real cars since 1994. I started doing metal flake and candy old school paint jobs a few years later.
Me: How long have you been customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks?
Johnny: I was able to showcase my work on History Channels Big Easy Motors for one season in 2016.
Me: What is your specialty in customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks?
Johnny: I’ve been painting Hot Wheels for a living since 2017.
Me: What makes your customs stand out from most of the other customs out there?
Johnny: I think my cars stand out because of the colors and techniques I use. I don’t share a lot of information about my process. I do tint my candies sometimes, shoot them over various sparkle base coats. I think my experience of painting cars for 20 plus years shows in my work.
Me: Is customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks a hobby or a full time job for you? If it’s a full time job for you, what is the name of your business? If it’s a hobby, what are your social media outlets where people can view and possibly buy your customs?
Johnny: My business name is JLB Customs. I have a Facebook page and a website: www.jlbcustoms.com
Me: Is selling your customs a second income stream or just a way to fund your customizing passion?
Johnny: I’m totally addicted to painting Hot Wheels and I sell a few every day. I paint 7 days a week, sometimes 10 hours a day.
Me: Which casting is your favorite to customize?
Johnny: My favorite car to paint in the ’55 Bel Air.
Me: Finally, what are your top 5 Hot Wheels of all time?
Johnny: My top 5 Hot Wheels would be: 1) Secondary Wind 2) Bye Focal 3) Custom Mustang 4) ’55 Bel Air Gasser 5) S Cool Bus
Me: Thank you for participating in my blog and helping spread the world of customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks to the general public. I appreciate you, your time and your customs.
In closing, I just want to say that what you’re about to see is going to prove that customizing die cast cars and trucks is an art and it takes talent, skill, imagination, passion and creativity to make these little cars and trucks look so cool. I don’t own any of his customs, but I wish I did. They are incredible works of painted art and would be awesome additions towards the ultimate collection. So, for your viewing pleasure, here are some pics of JLB Customs.