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  1. #1
    Top Of The World
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    Fraulines und Kinder First
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    Somebody Get Me A Panzer
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    [img]graemlins/sleep.gif[/img]
    Hot rods 'n' roll: Van Halen bassist's OC play
    Orange County Business Journal; Newport Beach; Jan 27-Feb 2, 2003; Jennifer Bellantonio;
    Volume: 26
    Issue: 4
    Start Page: 1
    Copyright CBJ, L. P. Jan 27-Feb 2, 2003

    Custom car and automotive-inspired apparel designer Bonneville World Wide Inc. has a big backer.

    No, it's not Ford Motor Co. or General Motors Corp., though Bonneville designs sleek, limited edition cars for the automakers.

    It's Michael Anthony, the hot rod driving bass player for mega rock band Van Halen.

    Anthony started Anaheim-based Bonneville seven years ago with Brad Fanshaw, a former auto aftermarket executive and clothing designer who styled out Van Halen with Vision Street Wear garb in the 1980s.

    "I was looking for other things to become involved with outside the band," Anthony said: "It was perfect. It is something that I have a passion for, like playing in the band. I don't see it as a job."

    The company makes Bonneville and bonspeed brand watches and apparel. Some of its timepieces go for $25,000 a pop. They're worn by racers, including those for the racing team of La Habrabased Kugel Komponents Inc., a provider of hot rod parts and customizing services.

    Anthony sports bonspeed clothes and watches at home, car shows and on stage, he said. He even featured his 17year-old daughter, her boyfriend and their friends in the company's latest catalog.

    Anthony's stature and input is key to Bonneville, Fanshaw said.

    "When you look at the entertainment and music industry, they're always on the very forefront of innovation and style and what trend is coming up," he said. "Because Michael is actively involved and traveling the world, I use him as a resource."

    Bonneville designs custom cars, including its latest venture with Irvine-based Saleen Inc., a special-edition Thunderbird. It's being sold through Salem-certified Ford dealers across the country.

    The company straddles the worlds of OC's apparel industry and its teeming automotive design and specialty products niche. Like Salem and Kugel, the company is one of several catering to Southern California's car culture gone mad.

    "Orange County is becoming more and more a hotbed for the automotive industry," Fanshaw said. "It's a great area for a company like ours."

    The company's alter-ego apparel business has more in common with the edgy sports fashions of Foothill Ranch's Oakley Inc.

    Then there's the Van Halen tie.

    Anthony and Fanshaw met, in the 1980s, when Fanshaw was vice president of marketing and business development at Costa Mesabased Vision Street Wear. He and Anthony became buddies, he said, and shared interest in exotics-roadsters and Ferraris.

    Things grew from there.

    In the 1990s, Fanshaw became president of Stanton-based Boyds Wheels Inc., which grew out of hot rod king Boyd Coddington's custom car shop. After going public in 1995, mounting losses forced Boyds to file for bankruptcy in 1998. Fanshaw left in 1996.

    Coddington, who filed for personal bankruptcy in 2001, now works at Boyd Coddington Wheels and Boyd Coddington Garage in La Habra.

    Fanshaw said he helped design a car for Anthony while working at Hot Rods by Boyd Inc., a predecessor to Boyds Wheels.

    The rock star has 11 custom cars in his collection, "much to my wife's dismay," Anthony said. Among them: a 1933 "Fire" Roadster designed by Boyd with flames painted across the front.

    When Fanshaw started Bonneville in 1996, Anthony said he wanted in. He described himself as a "full partner" in the venture, but neither Anthony nor Fanshaw offered details on his ownership stake.

    Anthony said he works on Bonneville projects and visits the Anaheim facility "now and then."

    He said he gave some design tips on Bonneville's collaboration with Salem on the Thunderbird. The car is built around a custom set of bonspeed 19-inch front and rear forged alloy wheels. Plus, Bonneville put its touch on the car's interior and sleek exterior.

    The company, which counts about 10 workers, also has built show cars for Ford and General Motors. It recently licensed its name to Huntington Beach-based U.S. Wheel Corp., an aftermarket wheel supplier.

    "We're in our second year of producing bonspeed alloy wheels:' Fanshaw said. "We do the design and marketing, but they do the actual production and sales. We see that as a large growth area."

    Fanshaw said his goal is to create a "lifestyle" brand for automotive enthusiasts, much like what Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. did for surfwear.

    Fanshaw started out in 1996 with a luxury line of watches called Bonneville Watches, which are big in Europe. They range from $695 to $25,000 and are made in Switzerland.

    The company also makes sport watches under the bonspeed name, which range from $155 to $495 and are sold mostly in the U.S.

    Both lines are inspired by cars, Fanshaw said.

    Take bonspeed sport watches. One style has carbon fiber dials, a material used in racecars. The company also makes watches for automakers such as BMW AG.

    "We get a large percentage of our business from collectors because all of our watches are numbered and signed," Fanshaw said.

    Next month, Bonneville plans to unveil a new line of bonspeed apparel at the MAGIC fashion tradeshow in Las Vegas. It features Tshirts, hats and jackets with automotiveinspired graphics and designs.

    "We're taking it from garage to mainstream," Fanshaw said.

    One reason: some retailers, such as American Eagle Outfitters Inc., are selling their own variation of hot rod T-shirts, Fanshaw said.

    "Once I start seeing it in those types of retailers, I see there's obviously a need for itand a customer who's coming in looking for it," he said. "If we don't do it now, there's going to be a lot of competitors. All the well known clothing brands will start looking at it as a niche."

    Bonneville plans to target specialty boutiques, action sports and mainstream retailers, and start with a tight offering, Fanshaw said.

    "Next year at this time we'll probably introduce more cut-and-sew products," he said.

    And Anthony probably will be first to try them out.

    "I've got a bonspeed shirt on as we're speaking," he said last week.

    As for Van Halen, the group known for inner turmoil is on "hiatus" right now, Anthony said. But he's been touring with former Van Halen singer Sammy Hager and making guest appearances with bands such as Tribe Of Judah, fronted by another onetime Van Halen singer, Gary Cherone.
    Musical equipment I own dat legitimizes mein post. Tuba, clarinet, und electric glockenspiel.<br />Der Lord liebt einen beschäftigten Mann. Nicht vertrauen whitey. Sehen ein Doktor und erhalten gereinigt es.<br /><br />"You're a towel!" - Towelie

  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing! Zahzoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    04.19.01
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    09.03.16 @ 05:50 AM
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    I think it's pretty cool Mike's automotive and clothing projects... But Hell Martha I'd sure like to hear some new kick-ass music!!!

    Maybe it's time for a Mad Anthony solo album...?
    Woke up this mornin, got Blue Moon in your eyes...
    http://www.myretrolounge.com

  3. #3
    Good Enough
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    06.29.07 @ 02:57 PM
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    Originally posted by SgtSchultz:


    The company makes Bonneville and bonspeed brand watches and apparel. Some of its timepieces go for $25,000 a pop.
    Wow....I guess that I wont be seeing Mikey's watches for sale at Walmart anytime soon......

    Help a brother out Mikey!

    [img]graemlins/brickwall.gif[/img]
    From 3-13 to 10-6 and NFC South Champs.....go Saints!

    My Hurricane Katrina pics

  4. #4
    Top Of The World
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    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I 100% guarantee that Mike knows the exact reason for the VH delay, but he is keeping his mouth shut...

    Fuck, I wish he would let something slip one day...

 

 

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