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Art & Inspiration 1960's Show Rod Postcards

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 17,536

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

  2. Slim Pickens
    Joined: Dec 15, 2008
    Posts: 3,336

    Slim Pickens

    Thanks Ryan,
    I like how you expressed a negative feeling of yours in a positive start a conversation. I’ve dug these creations since I was a kid in the 60s. But as time moved on I started to appreciate kustoms and hot rods. Its all a learning experience. Thanks again and thanks to COOP for these images. COOL. Slim
  3. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,917

    need louvers ?

    I thought the same for most of my life, but lately the sixties show stuff has really grown on me. It's kind of a stretch for me to leave my "clean coat of primer" hot rod thinking, and embrace the whole "candy coated streamlined flecked" kinda thing, but slowly it's happening.
  4. Tom davison
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 4,523

    Tom davison
    from Phoenix AZ

    You are right about that Ryan. That's a pure position with complete merit, hands down.

    I look all rods and customs as art. "Show rods" and the "form follows function machines" being but two genres within the automotive art form.

    The Outlaw is the perfect header for your piece. As art, Ed started a movement with the creation of that car.

    As for fuction, well, the Outlaw wasn't driven and probably didn't even run. The antithesis of functional form. But still fun to look at and marvel at Ed's sheer audacity!
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    Joined: Aug 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,261


    I've always been the opposite, it dont matter how it runs as long as it looks good? I have an old postcard of the Druid Princess from Cars of Stars from back in the day!
  6. jerry sezar
    Joined: Oct 12, 2005
    Posts: 95

    jerry sezar

    During their day "those" kind of cars to me were a little too "futuristic" for me. I would actually park my roadster away from Birdman's MOD ROD whenever he was hanging out at the local drive-in, Jerry's Beefburgers. I was more into the drag racing venues where more motor and less FLUFF was better. Over the years I have softened and "those" kind of cars actually bring a smile to my face. This hobby of ours sure has it's twist and turns, wonder what will folks will be building forty years from now? Thanks for the trip back in time.
  7. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 5,857


    I love the audacity of it. It's another form of racing. You have chrome valve covers? I'll chrome the heads! Tuck n roll your interior and I'll tuck n roll the whole engine bay. It's just great. I used to hate it. I thought it was ugly. Now I can't stop thinking about it.
  8. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 17,536

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Well said Tom.

    I'm not purely focused on Hot Rods. I love early customs... In the 40's and much of the 50's, the idea was to improve upon the line of the original car - not shock and awe. I love a simple/tasteful custom... They hit me on my less sensible side - looks over performance. The car that comes to my mind first and foremost is the Matranga. Like just about everybody, I love that car regardless of the way it performs on the street.

    I guess when I trip up is when we get to the era that these cars became un-driveable. They became sculpture - not cars. I'm just not all that into it.

    Of course, the argument against me is that I'm not complex enough of a person to really understand sculpture. And you know what? That might not be far from the truth.
    Moriarity likes this.
  9. BeatnikPirate
    Joined: May 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,414

    from Media, Pa.

    It totally makes my day to see stuff like this. Another reason why I love the HAMB. Thanks for posting!
  10. 60s Show Rods, my favorite!
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 6,930


    I love 60's kustoms (spelled right) and that whole "angel hair" era where clean and shine was the order of the day. I can't in good conscience just say I love em all. Some cars from that time are just a myriad of good ideas turned into one bad one. Clearly some of Coop's pics show us that, but they show us some icons too. Cars that did indeed set the bar a tick higher. "El Matador" is pretty damn kool, the "Outlaw" and "Beatnik Bandit" were always favorites, and Dean Jeffrie's "Manta Ray" isn't bad either. For TV cars "Dragula" is it only because it upsets me just a bit what George did to Chrisman's car, still a close second due to what it was. My 1st memories of the Detroit Autorama were seeded in the 60s. I got to see the Ala Kart in person as well as the Munster Coach and Dragula, but the Ala Kart will probably always be the best of the my mind and in the pics shared. Thanks guys.
  12. Some amazing efforts during this period - not my personal taste but, still fun to remember.
    Interesting to me that the photos of the Mysterion, (as well as the Dream Rod and Stilletto on Coops site), were taken in the middle of the Ford test track facility in Dearborn - wonder why? Perhaps some Ford sponsorship on the builds?
    Thanks for the pictures.
  13. SinisterCustom
    Joined: Feb 18, 2004
    Posts: 8,250


    FUNCTIONAL 60's "show" cars rule.........a car that may not win the BIG trophy, but is nicely finished and runs like stink......
    1959 to @ 1963 seems to be my favorite "era", as most of the cars ya see in old show coverages weren't all "gussied" up too bad....just clean candy paints and lotsa chrome...
  14. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,917

    need louvers ?

    You know it's very true about the two schools of thought in our little world. I'm very much a "make it go fast and handle unbelievably" kinda guy, and one of my best friends is a sixties show car kinda guy. His influence has kind of rubbed off a little on me in the last couple of years with my new found acceptance of the sixties show car stuff. But, for me it's the technical end of it. It's how you do a multi layer flake, candy, and pearl paint job more so than the bubble top, over the top showmanship of it. That said, He and I can't travel to outdoor shows together anymore because our personal tastes make it tough to look at the same stuff. I don't go to LARS to see big, puffy, flaked customs, and he sees primered hot rods, no matter how well done, as "why didn't they bother to finish it"? Gets pretty frustrating!
  15. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,917

    need louvers ?

    Ford provided the engines and drivelines for all three of those cars. Most of them also toured with the Ford "custom car caravan " in '63 and '64.
  16. That's when I was growing up, Late 50's early 60's in Wichita. First 60's custom that got my attention was the Dream Rod. I was more in to model airplanes but a friend had built the model and I was hooked, at least on the Dream Rod. Looking back I wish I had been a little older to appriciate that scene. I was too young to know the hot rod/custom car legacy Wichita had back then. Pretty cool looking back. I remember the vibe of the era. I like all types and eras of cars but the early 60's rods are kind of nostalgic for me.
    Great thread Ryan.

    I do remember buying some Rod and Kustom Bubble gum cards. Some of those cars wuz coyote ugly.
  17. Tom davison
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 4,523

    Tom davison
    from Phoenix AZ

    These ran. The Boothill Express made one cackle run.


    This one, the companion piece, didn't see the street, but it was driven into the hauler van instead of the standard winching.

  18. Steve 38
    Joined: Jan 5, 2007
    Posts: 490

    Steve 38

    I LOVE them, even though they go against every fibre in my being. I don't like cars that are built not to be driven. The automobile is a mode of transport first and foremost. But I grew up in the 70s, and to me 60s show cars are giant Hot Wheels cars, or real life 'Wierdos' cars without the monsters. The more ghastly and pointless, the more I love them.
  19. classicfins
    Joined: Dec 16, 2006
    Posts: 592


    PT Cruisers? :confused:
  20. jonzcustomshop
    Joined: Jun 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,927


    I also see them as a gateway to real functional rods and customs.
    I first got into show rods in the early 80's when I was 8 years old, at that time I didn't understand that those cars that had 3 blowers stacked on top of each other didn't run... I just knew that they were the coolest things i had ever seen!

    I searched for pictures of more. and spent alot of time at swapmeets finding model cars and old car magazines....
    gradually I evolved into functional rods and customs, but it was the show rods that first got my attention, and started it all.
  21. 3rd Gen Hot Rodder
    Joined: Jan 8, 2009
    Posts: 400

    3rd Gen Hot Rodder
    from Indiana

    As crazy as it sounds now...yes, they will be showing PT cruisers 40 years from now. But, they will also be showing 32 Fords as least if I have anything to say about it (I will be 80 at that time):)
  22. autobilly
    Joined: May 23, 2007
    Posts: 3,081


    <HR style="COLOR: #e5e5e5; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #e5e5e5" SIZE=1> <!-- / icon and title --><!-- message -->
    I guess if you were a "Gearhead" kid during this period, you were impressed by the sheer specticle of these cars. A bit like extreme "Rat Rodz" (minus the imagination, inganuity and finnish) and many kids of today. Apart from respect for the fore mentioned imagination, inganuity and finnish, '6o's Show Rods represent little more than a mild interest for me.
    Anyway, I can't believe there's no postcard of Darryl Starbird's Super Flex Moon Bird!:D
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  23. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,062


    I wouldn't drive one of those cars,but they're great to look at.
  24. str8 6 str8 edge
    Joined: Sep 7, 2006
    Posts: 230

    str8 6 str8 edge
    from Tampa

    It's possible for the appearance of a car to be it's function. It is a matter of personal taste but a custom can fail if it is designed poorly. Some of these cars work and some don't. I think the designs that are balanced with all the elements working together work. We should also remember that a lot of the products and techniques of the time were developed by Hot Rod guys taking their drag strip mentalities to the car show. Home garage innovation.
  25. RJP
    Joined: Oct 5, 2005
    Posts: 978

    from PNW

    the over the top custom cars showed us what cool was all about. While the speed crowd showed us that six 2bbls could be made to provide the power, it was the over the top crowd that showed by chroming those same carbs your automotive status grew a little larger at the local drive-in on a friday or saturday night. Nothing drew a quicker crowd than a radical idle and a chromed to the hilt power plant.
    And by the way, nothing is non-functional if it makes you step back and think about it bit. And those 60's and 70's show rods certainly made you THINK.
  26. Dakota Kid
    Joined: Feb 20, 2007
    Posts: 524

    Dakota Kid

    I see history having a place for these cars and creations. I see alot of great parts that are now nostalgia pieces used on these cars which is what I like to see. Lots of magnesium, early injection, lots of chrome, GMC blowers and so on.

    What were these cars seen as back in the days they were built to other hotrodders and hardcore drag racers of the era? Is it what some see as Ratrods today?
  27. Royalshifter
    Joined: May 29, 2005
    Posts: 15,254

    from California

    I grew up with show rods thanks to Blackie Gegeian. They are forever stuck in my brain.
    Moriarity likes this.
  28. Okie Pete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2008
    Posts: 2,463

    Okie Pete

    The Outlaw is one of my favorites . Thanks for posting this discussion .
  29. Gahrajmahal
    Joined: Oct 14, 2008
    Posts: 292


    Ryan, for me the show rods just represent my early youth. In 68' I was 10 years old. The "old type" toys we were exposed to those days were pretty boring. Hotwheels cars were metalflake and candy with big exposed engines and you could actually race them! The bike I wanted was one of the "crate bikes", but of course the one I got had full fenders and whitewalls! So, I did as I have continued to do my whole life, I took a cue from those exotic show cars. I chopped my fenders off with dads hacksaw, tore it down so I could spray it metalic candy apple red, bought a banana seat with sissy bar and a set of ape hangers. In the winter we would go to the "Cavalcade of Customs" at the convention center where we could get in free if we entered the model car contest and we hung around those cars and their mohair. In the summer we would beg our folks to take us to Edge Water dragstrip, where we would be dropped off (no adults, oldest 12 yrs, youngest 7) only to be picked up by midnight.
    So, Ryan I think a lot of us old timers are a product of the times, and boy were they great, just like today.

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