This image had been marinating in my head for a while. It started with a weird dream I had; I was at a car show on a huge field of grass, just walking around reveling in the orgy of kandy and metal-flake and next thing you know, the grass erupts in flames. Everyone scrambling to drive their cars off the burning field while I stand there taking photos, immune to the conflagration. It was one of those vivid dreams that you can’t get out of your head. In the following days/weeks/months, I caught myself constantly looking for burned-out locations where I might shoot a car but nothing seemed right, I wanted fire and all I could find was crispy aftermath.
One day, I was talking with my friend Rob McDonald, he had just finished building his ’60 Chevy, “Stay Loco” and we were discussing location possibilities to shoot a magazine feature. I mentioned how cool it would be to get the wagon in front of a grass fire or burning building but short of luck or arson, we’d have to come up with something else. Turned out Rob has a friend who’s a honcho at the Kern County Fire Department. He made a phone call and managed to get us access to their training facility along with a station crew and their equipment for a ‘training session’. They piled some pallets in their concrete burn-building, doused them in diesel and lit them off just as the sun was hitting the horizon.