Bob’s Summer? Not a Bummer

Bob’s Summer? Not a Bummer

Hot rodding and customizing have never been the cheapest pastimes, and they’re especially difficult to get involved in when you’re a kid with no job. Unfortunately, that’s where Bob McGinty stood in 1954. You see, he had just purchased a four-year-old Chevy convertible, but he couldn’t stand leaving it alone. It was nice, no doubt, but he wanted to make it his own—make it custom.

In those days, Bob lived in Santa Monica, California and knew of a body shop in town. Rather than pay for the work, he figured he could arrange some sort of trade with the owner: his labor for their expertise. And so, that summer, Bob pushed a broom to help fund the customizations on his Stovebolt.

With their teenaged helper close by, the folks at the unnamed body shop treated the Chevy to a wealth of mild-custom modifications from stem to stern. Up front, the headlights were frenched, the hood was nosed and a tasteful ’54 Pontiac grille was choosen to fill the opening. Along the flanks, the handles were shaved, gravel pans molded and ’51 Merc skirts were put into service. The windshield was a one-piece Oldsmobile item.

The most striking customizations, however, took place out back. For a fully streamlined look, the trunk was shaved, exhaust tips relocated (into the bumper) and the stock taillight openings were filled. Bob mounted a pair of motorcycle taillights on either side of the license plate to appease local law enforcement. When it was all said and done, the car was painted what looks to be white.

It’s no secret that I tend to lean in the hot rod direction, but I will say that McGinty’s Chevy has a great deal of appeal. It’s clean. It’s simple. And above all, it’s certainly custom. Not a bad way to spend a summer, right?

Joey Ukrop

 Photos from Car Craft, June 1955

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