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History 1954 Chuck DeWitt Shoebox | Thrifty Store Auto Show Trophy

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Rikster, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,793


    James Washburn send me a PM last week about some trophies that a friend of him bought at a Garage sale in Richmond Ca.
    Several years ago James had mentioned to his friend – a fanatic Garage/Estate Sale buyer – that whenever he would come across some old car related stuff as Trophies at a decent price he should buy them for him.
    Years go by and nothing was found, some time ago the friend dropped off a box with 8 very nice trophies in it. And out of those 8 four were particular interesting.
    The garage sale was held by family members who's grandfather had passed away and the attic was cleaned.



    The first one shown here is a trophy from the 1954 Thrifty Drug store parking lot car show. This show is especially interesting for me since I spend weeks colorizing the photo below in 2006. And I never even knew that this was an award type show. Possebly Chuck deWitt won this award with his Barris built 1950 Ford Convertible.



    Here is one of the two photos we know about that was taken at the Thrifty Drug Store parking lot show held on Saturday May 15 1954. This store was located at Rodeo Rd and LA Brea.

    At least we think this trophy went to Chuck DeWitt. His car was at the show as we can see, and there is one other trophy in the box that has Chuck's name engraved on it. So most likely all, or most of the trophies once belonged to Chuck. At this point we do not know if the grandfather who passed away was Chuck DeWitt, or if he perhaps had bought Chuck's Ford in 1954-55 and that is came with all the trophies.


    Here is another trophy from James his collection from the 1954 Sacramento Auto Show. "Hard Luck Award" with the name of Chuck DeWitt engraved into it. Makes me wonder what happened at the show he deserved this award. Anybody knows something about the Chuck DeWitt Ford in some trouble at the Sacramento Car show in 1954?




    A very nice wood based trophy from 1954 from the Kustoms of America club.



    This a bit simpeler trophy was from the Norwalk Motorcade held on August 28-29 in 1954. Wonder if there should have been some engraving in this one as well. The brass plate is there, but nothing engraved. Perhaps there was no time after the show to have it engraved.



    This one with the same 1936 Ford Coupe model on top was for the first place from the Orange County air port Drag Races.

    The trophies made in those days are so nice, real wood, real metal and hand engraved personal text on some.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  2. rockguy92
    Joined: Jul 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,141



    This is so cool. Thank you for sharing.

    The Rock
  3. Wow, what a find. To find these with the name and a car that we all recognize from the era. I think that is one of the best looking shoeboxes ever built.
  4. What a cool collection of hardware. Awesome find. Thanks for posting it up Rik.

  5. Now that is very, very cool....Great find
  6. Neat trophies.
    James could do some researching of obituaries to see if Chuck had indeed
    passed on about the time he received the trophies. Or further research
    about Chuck's life if possible. Maybe the friend remembers where he
    bought the trophies. Several ways to maybe follow up. Might be more
    interesting info there.
  7. Great find, it's amazing these were saved. Hard for us to believe, but so many people would have simply thrown them out.
  8. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,231

    from Burton, MI

    Man. I need to hit more garage sales. What a find!!!
  9. Theo Douglas
    Joined: Nov 20, 2002
    Posts: 807

    Theo Douglas

    That's amazing! What a great find.
  10. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,938


    Awesome. Thanks for posting,Rik.
  11. backyardbeliever
    Joined: Sep 15, 2006
    Posts: 299


    The Trophys were actually dumped on my porch about a year and a half ago. It took about 2 months before i found out who did it. and he told that he found them at a garage sale in richmond and he paid a buck a piece for em. By the time i taked to him he really didnt remember much about the sale as these were the only things he bought.
    I couldnt find anything on the net about Chuck Dewitt then. So I stashed them away. When i was at the LoneStar Roundup last year i saw Rik Hovings Poster from TRJ hanging in Avenue Barber shop and remembered the Thrifty Trophy. I thought man that would be WEIRD if my trophy was from that show. I sorta Didnt think much more about it till last week since im moving i ran across the box of trophys again. So i did some more searching on Chuck De Witt and i kept getting Kustomrama and riksters site poppin up Well shit here was what i was hoping for Hard evidence. Im Happy as hell it worked out to be such a cool car and a Barris Kustom at that !

    Thanks Rikster Great Post Great Job as allwase
  12. NashRodMan
    Joined: Jul 8, 2004
    Posts: 1,779


    Do you see Chuck's car in the picture? Is it the maroon colored one on the right?
  13. backyardbeliever
    Joined: Sep 15, 2006
    Posts: 299


    [ QUOTE=NashRodMan;8326059]Do you see Chuck's car in the picture? Is it the maroon colored one on the right?[/QUOTE]

    Yup Thats the one....What a Beauty.... Im still suprised that it won over the Hirohata Merc
  14. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,427

    51 mercules

    Too cool!Thanks for posting.
  15. TheGreat Conspiracy
    Joined: Oct 4, 2002
    Posts: 16

    TheGreat Conspiracy
    from Benicia,CA

    Wow too cool! Now the question is if anyone knows what happened to this car?
    Is there any history on it? or was it totalled on the way to Sacramento where he won the "Hard Luck" award?
  16. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,226

    from California

    seeing these trophies that came from an estate sale makes you wonder what else Gramps had saved for 60 years. most people throw away lots of good stuff when someone dies. they thought those trophys were only worth $1.00 each, where do you think they were going after the sale???? right in the trash.

    anytime I see car stuff at a yard sale I ask if there is any more. you just never know what you might find.
  17. chop32
    Joined: Oct 13, 2002
    Posts: 1,077


    I briefly spoke to James a couple weeks back about his trophy score.
    The Thrifty car show was mentioned, but I dont recall Chuck Dewitts name coming up.
    Looks like he contacted the right person...hopefully someone will chime in with more info!
  18. customcory
    Joined: Apr 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,832


    Another piece in the big puzzle, thats cool Rik!
  19. poorboy
    Joined: Feb 8, 2003
    Posts: 1,437


    cool pictures and story
  20. J.B.
    Joined: Jan 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,246

    from Sweden

  21. Wow !! I just found out about this thread thanks to Rik.This is just heavy history right here and I had goosebumps reading this.Where is the time machine Delorian when I need it.I have always thought that early style of customs that we love so much went up till about 1954 and this thread is the proof.

    Thanks to all involved in this thread.
  22. backyardbeliever
    Joined: Sep 15, 2006
    Posts: 299


    Up ......still hopeing for some more info
  23. gr8ness13
    Joined: Aug 28, 2008
    Posts: 405


    HOLY CRAP!!! love this history!!
  24. backyardbeliever
    Joined: Sep 15, 2006
    Posts: 299


    Here is an email i recieved from Rik Hoving it appeares that 2nd place has now been unearthed. Man it is just too Kool that these trophys have shown their face after 59 years.

    Hello James,

    Well I have finally some more info on the Thrifty Drug Store trophy I spotted at Jack Stewarts place.
    Jack could not remember the trophy, but since it is sitting in his home we all guessed he won the award (second place) with his MG Roadster. The award has the same etched plaque as your award has, only engraved for second place in the cup, and a Roadster on the top instead of a coupe like yours has.

    Attached are two photos I took at Jack's place.

    Best regards


    Attached Files:

  25. backyardbeliever
    Joined: Sep 15, 2006
    Posts: 299


    I wonder if we will ever know who won third place.
    I must confess 1st and 2nd place suprise me.
  26. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,820


    that is Kool Karma right there..... i'm goofy for stuff like that. i don't have any to speak of, but seeing related articles from historic cars and personalities years later and miles apart is just spooky sometimes....

    they might only have cost a buck or so, but they're actually priceless to the HAMB community!
  27. Bullet Nose
    Joined: Nov 20, 2001
    Posts: 2,128

    Bullet Nose

    I love this photo and the fact that there were more customs than hot rods in it.
  28. backyardbeliever
    Joined: Sep 15, 2006
    Posts: 299


    My mind is totally blown by all this..really i just cant believe the turn of events that lead to this.

    Sent from my DROID device using the TJJ mobile app

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