Local artist keeping the art of pinstriping alive

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The network of hot rod and low-rider car buffs throughout Southern California is like a brotherhood, and none of their cars is complete without a touch of pinstriping.

The network of hot rod and low-rider car buffs throughout Southern California is like a brotherhood, and none of their passion-projects-on-wheels is complete without a touch of pinstriping.

"Pinstriping is an art form on vehicles that's been around for many years," said Danny Alvarado. "It was done on horse-drawn buggies. They would pinstripe the wooden wheels, the wooden carriages, and that is still done today on cars."

Alvarado, known among car enthusiasts simply as "Danny A," started pinstriping at 16 years of age. He would approach customers at a local car wash and offer to pinstripe their low-riders in exchange for gas money. He went on to master the art and become one of the most sought-after pinstripers in the Los Angeles area.

"It's all freehand and it's done with the concept of customizing and embellishing components on the vehicle -- whether it's door handles, around the hood ornaments, or down the body of the car to accentuate the body lines," said Alvarado.

"Pinstriping brings out the inner beauty of the car," said Paul Roa, member of the Old Memories Car Club. "It's their own touch, it's their own lifestyle on there. And when you have an artist like Danny doing it, that brings it out even more."

"I took my buddy's recommendation on Danny, and I couldn't be more proud of my motorcycle now. I get so many compliments," said David Boggio, President of the American Legion Riders in Newhall.

Inspired by his love of pinstriping, Alvarado began mentoring a young group of pinstripers to pass on his passion and help keep the art alive.

"It's not just guys out here striping, it's also females doing it. It's amazing," said Alvarado. "It's an upcoming art, it's not a dying art anymore by any means. There's a lot of youngsters learning this art and they're taking off with it."
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