By Bradford Hornsby

Rock music and cool custom cars have been associated since the first electric guitar got cranked up to eleven and Metallica’s James Hetfield is a true custom collector.

The Bay Area native and his custom “Black Pearl” – yes, like Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean – recently walked away with the award for GOODGUYS’ 2014 Mother’s Custom of the Year award during the GOODGUYS 32nd annual All American Get-Together.

Unlike a lot of rockers custom cars, the Black Pearl was built from scratch and designed by Hetfield and Rick Dore. The body work was done by Southern California’s 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 am humbled by their gift of metal sculpting.” Hetfield commented on the De Lay’s, “The fact that they started with a 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.’”

James Hetfield's Black Pearl (GOODGUYS)

James Hetfield’s Black Pearl (GOODGUYS)

The exterior is deep black with brushed brass contrasts. Under the hood, the Pearl features a 375-horsepower 302 cubic inch Ford V8.

See more pictures of the Black Pearl and learn about GOODGUYS Rod & Custom Association at

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