A Trip to Bonneville in a Westergard Custom

A Trip to Bonneville in a Westergard Custom

Rik Hoving has been a dedicated custom car historian as far back as I remember. In fact, I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve dug around his massive ‘Rikster’ photo archive, looking for period images of a particular 40s or 50s built car, and read his stories on the Custom Car Chronicle. One place that I didn’t know Rik had a page was on YouTube, and from his paltry 415 subscribers there, it looks like not many other folks knew that he has content there, either.

On Rik’s page I did find this color 8mm footage of a young Leroy Semas driving to Bonneville for the SCTA Speed Trails in his ’37 Chevrolet custom. The Packard grille, ’37 DeSoto bumpers, the Appleton spotlights and the sunk-in headlamps show the strong Westergard influence, and indeed Harry actually built this car in the early 50s. In Rik’s words: “Harry Westergard restyled Leroy’s ’37 Chevy 5-window coupe by filling in the rear quarter windows for a sleeker look. Harry then went to work at the body sides completely removing the factory molded in character line and belt-line for an ultra smooth body. The character line on the lower edge of the hood was also modified to fit the new smooth body sides. He also removed the running boards and created filler panels to cover the frame and molded those into the body The filler panel Harry created almost looks like a belly pan with the lower parts rolled under, a very nice touch. The front and rear fenders were molded to the body and extended down where the running boards had been and nicely rolled under.”

More on the car here.

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