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Old 03-30-2007, 10:16 AM   #1
Kilroy
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Default Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

First, thanks for the pic Rickster...

Lately I've been admiring this 1947 Buick built in 1949 by the Barris Brothers for furniture maker Ben Mario.



I love the lines...

The proportions are perfect, everything flows really well, it just is really pleasing to the eye...

So much so that while looking at the car, I couldn't for the life of me remember what a '47 buick looks like from the factory and I knew I'd seen many of them. So I went online and found this pic of a stock 1947 Buick Vert.



I was instantly confronted with the fact that I really like 47 buicks and have studied them a lot. I was amazed at the way the extensive mods made to the Mario Buick worked so well in the final product. The one exception being that I think the Cad grill is a little small for the car. I'd like to see a 49 Olds grill surround up there but that's just me...

I love the Hirohata Merc, the Matranga Merc, and Sam's merc amongst many others, but I think the Ben Mario Buick might be the best example to come out of the Barris shop of how to make extensive custum touches work with the original body. I also think the creativity involved in selecting the right parts is genious.

What do you think?

Last edited by Kilroy; 03-30-2007 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 03-30-2007, 06:22 PM   #2
lurker mick
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

Kilroy, Ben Mario's Buick has always been a favorite of mine as well. Barris built several early Buicks in this same style, using cadillac components. Here's three that were pictured in some early magazines

The first two pics are of Ben's car, and the next two pic's are of Don Vaughn's 47 Buick that was almost identical to Ben's, except for the absence of the outside hood latches, the parking light placement, newer (52) taillights and the barris crests. Even the gaylord tops looked the same, and both cars were painted purple although I believe different shades.
The last two pictures are of George Sinamark's Buick that Barris did similar to the two others but used a 49 Cad grille, a more conventional Gaylord top and different side trim separating the charcoal and copper paint scheme.
Mr. Sinamark was a snappy dresser and looke dto be a real party guy!!

Mick
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Old 03-30-2007, 09:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

Gotta Love Them Buicks Man....






Rafa.
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Old 03-30-2007, 09:19 PM   #4
lexistars
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

buicks are just nice looking rides
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Old 03-31-2007, 03:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

One of my favorites. Very well proportioned in both version.

Here is a rare photo of the Mario Buick shown in front of the Gaylord shop with its dark colored stock height top up.

(thats Gaylord 49 Merc in front of it)




Top down, same location




Cover of the February 1950 Motor Trend magazine. Thats Ben Mario's lovely wife.




Same location, some photo shoot different angle.
The Cadillac grille, frenched headlights and reshaped moldings on the hood are gorgeous!




Gaylord was responsible for the chopped top and full custom interior in white and gray.
Combined Barris Gaylord ad in Motor Trend magazine




Now with an plex glas wrap around rearwindow chopped Gaylor padded top...



At an early 50's indoor car show...






Below is the Kolorized Kustoms photo of Ben Mario's Buick as I made it for The Rodders Journal article.




And a detail from my site




As far as I know Ben still has his Buick, and it is still in very good shape, although it has not been seen for many years... unfortunately!
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Last edited by Rikster; 12-13-2011 at 03:59 AM.
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Old 03-31-2007, 12:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

Rik, just one correction, the full side shot that you posted is of Don Vaughn's Buick, not ben mario's. Note the outside hood latches are removed and the 52 taillights. Both cars were stunning!!

Mick
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Old 03-31-2007, 12:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

Quote:
Originally Posted by lurker mick View Post
Rik, just one correction, the full side shot that you posted is of Don Vaughn's Buick, not ben mario's. Note the outside hood latches are removed and the 52 taillights. Both cars were stunning!!

Mick
Corrected... thanks

Here is one more difference between the two. The hood moldings are reshaped on the front of the hood to form a point ending just above the Caddy grille.
Also the parking lights are a different.

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Last edited by Rikster; 12-13-2011 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 03-31-2007, 10:01 PM   #8
Kilroy
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

Thanks guys!

Now I think I like Don Voughn's better... I really don't like the hood latches.
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Old 04-06-2007, 12:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

Bttt, one-mo-gain...
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Old 04-06-2007, 03:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilroy View Post
Now I think I like Don Voughn's better... I really don't like the hood latches.
Well since its back up.... here are some photo's of Don Vaughn's 47 Buick...







In front of the Barris shop...






Beeing cleaned for a car show... (thats Dale Marchall's 1950 Mercury in primer parked next to Don's Buick)








Motor Trend Pin-up...

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Last edited by Rikster; 12-13-2011 at 04:00 AM.
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Old 04-06-2007, 03:36 PM   #11
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

I agree that this may be Barris' best.
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:25 AM   #12
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

It doesn't get any better then this......... End Of Story
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:29 AM   #13
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

As of the early to mid ninety's Ben was still around and still had the car. Has anyone heard anything at all? I heard he was still in the L.A. area.
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Old 12-19-2010, 03:15 PM   #14
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

B.t.b.
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Old 11-24-2011, 01:01 AM   #15
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

Has anybody heard of a 46 that was almost exactly like this, owned by a guy named Lon Allen?? I was told it was at the Pan Pacific in the early 50's ? say between the years 50-52?
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Last edited by JeffSled; 11-24-2011 at 01:42 AM.
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Old 11-24-2011, 04:32 AM   #16
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

Ever since I've seen the shot of the Buick on the golf course, I think I've seen the same golf course used in a Little Rascal's episode, it looks like the same place. I've never been able to figure this out, and it bothers me for some reason. Off topic , I know.

Last edited by customcory; 11-24-2011 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:54 AM   #17
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffSled View Post
Has anybody heard of a 46 that was almost exactly like this, owned by a guy named Lon Allen?? I was told it was at the Pan Pacific in the early 50's ? say between the years 50-52?
....
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Old 12-13-2011, 02:34 AM   #18
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikster View Post
Well since its back up.... here are some photo's of Don Vaughn's 47 Buick...

In front of the Barris shop...









Its a badass car for sure, but I wouldnt say it was Sam's best. That top just doesn't flow to me. It looks better with out the top on. Might have looked better proportionally if they moved the rear window forward like 5".
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:10 AM   #19
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

thanks for sharing blokes
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:34 AM   #20
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Default Re: Ben Mario's '47 Buick: Possibly Barris' Best Kustom

WOW great photos guys,thanks for posting. Yup I agree ,ya got to love those art deco aerodynamic Buicks. George Barris and his brother built some beautiful Kustoms. I am truly honored that George picked my Airflow for his Barris award at the KKOA leadsled show.
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