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Misha Munoz and Divine 1 Customs Transform T.J. Lavin's Tudor into Art for SEMA 2012

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The sliding ragtop and carefully riveted sheet-metal required hours of detail minded attention - SEMA 2012
The sliding ragtop and carefully riveted sheet-metal required hours of detail minded attention - SEMA 2012
What is art? Leo Tolstoy wrote "Every work of art causes the receiver to enter into a certain kind of relationship both with him who produced, or is producing the art, and with all those who, simultaneously, previously, or subsequently, receive the same artistic impression."

Art whips up emotions, it inspires conversations, and it moves you. Semantics aside - Misha Munoz is an artist and Divine One Customs is his studio. Think of him as fashioning combustible sculptures, poetry in motion, rock and roll with actual torque and horsepower.

"For me every build must be equal parts creative and mechanical, and I believe my specialty is both," said Munoz.
The chopped roof and olive-drab paint provided the Tudor with a appropriately menacing profile - SEMA 2012
The chopped roof and olive-drab paint provided the Tudor with a appropriately menacing profile - SEMA 2012


Munoz and Divine One Customs opened their doors in 2006 and every year since they have displayed their automotive art at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. They have in fact developed into southern Nevada's premier "one-stop" full auto customization shop. Their 2012 SEMA production was a crowd stopping 1951 Ford Tudor, created for the car's owner, Thomas Joseph Lavin, better known as T.J. Lavin. Lavin is a BMX rider, professional musician, and host of MTV's "The Challenge."

This 1951 Ford Tudor was not much before its arrival at the 2012 SEMA Show
This 1951 Ford Tudor was not much before its arrival at the 2012 SEMA Show
"T.J. called me one night and said 'I found the car.' He had been searching for a 'shoebox' type car for a few years. Something for a 'rat rod' type of build," explained Munoz. "I drove to his house, hooked up a trailer, and we drove to Bakersfield, California to arrive at a private residence at 2 a.m. This car was in bad shape. Rust, a horrible chop job, bad bodywork, and no interior. I knew we had a serious project on our hands."

For the duration of their drive from Bakersfield back to Vegas T.J. and Munoz had already thrown around a bunch of ideas. The design and creative process had officially started before they had even taken the car back to the shop. "He wanted a WWII type of bomber plane look," said Munoz. "We bounced a few ideas off each other during the course of the build, but ultimately he let me 'do my thing.' We actually didn't even talk about the car for six months or so and when he came back from his latest MTV filming shoot I had something concrete for him to look at, and he loved the direction I was headed. A few months after that the car was complete and ready for debut at the 2012 SEMA show."

No detail was missed while Misha Munoz put this 1951 Ford together for SEMA 2012
No detail was missed while Misha Munoz put this 1951 Ford together for SEMA 2012
The finished 1951 Ford features a newly chopped roof, shaved keyholes, custom handles, and custom created trunk and wipers. The military inspired olive-drab paint scheme with airbrushed pinup artwork and lettering captures the WWII Bomber theme perfectly. And the air-bag suspension and sliding ragtop hints at the contemporary technology hidden beneath the historic camouflage. "It takes a team of dedicated individuals with a commitment to perfection to build a car for SEMA," remarked Munoz. "And getting ready for SEMA involves long hours and attention to the details."

It's hard to imagine that only six months before the 2012 SEMA show this 1951 Ford bomber was a rust bucket
It's hard to imagine that only six months before the 2012 SEMA show this 1951 Ford bomber was a rust bucket
During the show the interior details of the vehicle received the most attention, with the Kicker CVX 10" woofers designed as bombs, the meticulously riveted sheet-metal door panels, bomber style gauges and aircraft carrier seats. Center stage under the hood Munoz positioned a K&N chrome air filter. "Because when it comes to filters, K&N is the best," he adds. Munoz and Divine One Customs have only used K&N products since the day they started.

Munoz's fascination with cars surfaced early. "I started getting hands-on at the age of 14 and continued doing it as a hobby until I started my company in 2004. Then Divine One Customs opened in 2006 and the rest is history I guess."
TJ Lavin's 1951 WWII themed sled caught much attention at SEMA 2012
TJ Lavin's 1951 WWII themed sled caught much attention at SEMA 2012


"I think our specialty is the attention to detail we put into each and every build. We build anything and everything. We have been called to the design table to do a number of off the wall designs, and or to come up with creative ideas for jobs that don't necessarily have anything to do with vehicles. But cars and trucks are my passion and I try to surround myself with individuals who I can work with that feel the same."

Auguste Rodin looked at a hunk of rock and saw "The Thinker," Munoz was given a tarnished four-wheel heap and envisioned a show stopping custom Tudor. Given the choice between a painting of a soup can or a bowl of fruit, Munoz's form of artistic expression wins hands down.

Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 30 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit knfilters.com.