Lee Pratt Is Dangerous | The Jalopy Journal The Jalopy Journal

Lee Pratt Is Dangerous

In 2010, I had a Leica M3 stolen from me. I had actually sold it on eBay only to have the buyer claim it was never received – despite the fact the tracking number showed it had. I spent the next three years google searching the serial number hoping it would show up somewhere online. And then, three years later, it did… The camera was being sold by a pawn shop in Mexico City – the same buyer that had claimed the camera never arrived.

I contacted the pawn shop via email and explained the situation – hoping it was just a misunderstanding of some sort. Their response was not what I expected:

“Este es tu problema. No la nuestra. Vete a la mierda.”

And that’s how the Great Leica M3 War of 2013 began. It ended after a collaboration with a Mexican HAMBer resulted in both an arrest and the liberation of my camera. I was so grateful to have it back that I didn’t waste any time putting it back into my rotation. As soon as it was out of the shipping box, I headed over to Lee Pratt’s shop and set up camp. He was thrashing on his Nomad in preparation for the 2014 Roadster Show and I figured the setting would be perfect.

It was.

I still own the camera… and I think this is probably my favorite film shoot of all time. Not because the photos are all that inspiring, but because they capture Lee exactly as I think about him when he’s in his element. There is NOTHING conservative or safe or conforming about Lee Pratt trouble shooting the hydraulic system of his traditional low rider. It’s pure punk rock in its rawest form. And to me, this is what hot rodding, customizing, and Lee Pratt is all about.

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