March '18

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MARCH 2018 THE SHOP 53 Marilynn shortly before she died, would be the centerpiece of most people's homes. Wales keeps it against a wall and next to a table because, "you don't want to walk into it in the middle of the night—or you'll be singing soprano," he states like a man who knows exactly what he's talking about. Those privileged to see the beautiful cars made by The Prince of Wales owe Marilynn a debt of gratitude, as she was the one who got Gary into the automobile fabricating business. Decades later, this retro-futurist is still hammering and welding his mag- nificent creations. His goal when entering car shows is to win one singular prize: "Smiles. Because, if I make you smile, I've already won!" In fact, if you ever see a Prince of Wales creation at a car, show, you don't need to look around for its creator. He will be right there and he will be telling at least a dozen people all about the car that he (and Andreas) created. Andreas Aranda is the mechanical mind behind each Prince of Wales creation. While it's Wales who dreams up the vehi- cles, does the fabricating, painting and all of the bodywork, it's Aranda who makes them go. Many of his engines are over 900-ci with massive parts—many of which have rusted over the decades of neglect that bring them into the shop. It's Wales and Aranda's job to bring them back to life. In fact, soon the Rustys will be going to market. "I send cars to Barrett-Jackson all the time," Wales notes. When asked why he would get rid of such marvelous and unique creations, his reply is "I've owned over 500 cars in my lifetime. There's no way I could've done that if I held onto them." Not to mention that it wouldn't set well with his neighbors. We asked him how he gets away with cutting, grinding and welding in such a ritzy neighborhood. We soon found out that his relationship with some of his neighbors hasn't always been rosy, but "I was here first," and that's part of why they've never been able to stop his projects from coming to fruition. Car lovers—and those who enjoy a good story—are glad that's the case. JOHN MCCABE is a Los Angeles-based auto and tech writer and filmmaker. He can be reached at

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