Car groupies are going nuts over this sexy baby, and not just because of its rock-star credentials. The award-winning Black Pearl is the pride and joy of James Hetfield — the monster voice and rhythm guitarist of hard rock mega-group Metallica — and it’s coming to the Los Angeles Auto Show www.laautoshow.com to steal the spotlight November 18 through 30.
Built from the ground up and designed by custom-car devotee Hetfield with rock-star car builder Rick Dore, the Black Pearl has been turning heads and collecting awards at auto shows all around the United States for the past year. The Black Pearl has made award winning appearances at The Grand National Roadster Show, winning the 2014 Al Slonaker, Blackie Gejelan and George Barris Kustom awards; and The Goodguys, winning Mother’s Custom of the Year and Best in Show.
With its fastback roof and sleek lines, the Black Pearl was inspired by some of the early concept cars of the 1930s, while the chassis is based on a 1948 Jaguar. The body was completely hand built and shaped by Marcel and Luc De Lay. “As an artist myself, I see the passion, dedication and perfectionism it takes to be good at your craft. I’m humbled by their gift of metal sculpting.” Hetfield says. “The fact that they started with an 8×10 drawing and ended up with a complete car is a testament to the ability of the human mind and hands. It still blows people’s minds when they ask what body we started with and we say ‘steel sheets.’”
Rick Dore Kustoms built the rest of the project before the lustrous black finish was applied by Daryl Hollenbeck. “We initially had been taking other vehicles and cutting and pasting,” Hetfield explains. “This one we actually started from scratch. We started with a ’48 Jag and basically tried to work it down to frame and build it up from scratch from a drawing. It took it to a whole new level of car building.”
“It is a real honor to have the Black Pearl included in this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show,” says Dore. Founded in 1907, the Los Angeles Auto Show is one of the most-influential and best-attended auto shows in the world and spans more than 870,000 square feet. Each November the show attracts a who’s who of the auto industry to unveil the future of mobility in the car culture capital of the world. As the nation’s biggest car buying market, the Show’s trade days draw more than 12,000 auto industry decision makers and influencers from more than 50 countries.