HERMISTON - all it three degrees of Bruce Lee.

Clarence Helmer trained with a guy who trained with a guy who trained with Bruce Lee.

"It's not the same as actually knowing the guy," he said. True enough, but Helmer has taken his admiration for the martial arts master a step further then most fans by turning his car into a rolling shrine to Bruce Lee.

It's a 1999, 35th anniversary, Ford Mustang with a dizzying array of vinyl Bruce Lee decals emblazoned on the exterior. A frightening purple dragon looms out of the door behind the master himself, creating the kind of car that makes people stop and stare.

"A lot of people take pictures of it," Helmer said. Once a whole family stood in front of the car for a family vacation photo he said. "I don't care at all."

The idea for the round-house on wheels came from Helmer's desire to stand out from the crowd.

"I noticed there were a lot of Mustangs around town and I just wanted something different," he said. "I like dragons and I like Bruce Lee, too, so I just decided to combine them."

Since he has transformed his car, Helmer has become known around town as "they guy with the car."

"It's amazing how many heads turn," he says.

Helmer says he has always been a creative person since his days growing up in Seattle - another connection to the Jeet Kune Do fighting icon.

"You're only limited by your imagination. No one else in the world is going to have this because I designed it."

Helmer designed the images himself, a task taking somewhere around 30 hours to complete. He has gotten so much positive feedback that he is interested in starting his own business designing similar images for other car enthusiasts.

His next project?

Helmer's girlfriend has been asking him to design Scooby Doo decals for her Spider Eclipse.


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