The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by steveb, Dec 18, 2017.
The cars that were detailed everywhere were show cars. The ones that were taken to shows and were featured in magazines. Back in the 50`s. The parking lots were full of cars with skirts and flippers . Very often, the older crowd come up to me and tell me that most customs in there area had primer spots. Only the rich kids had fully painted cars and chrome was an added bonus. These older gents said they barely had money to put gas in there cars. Times were tough back then and there parents barely got by. Cars that are featured in magazines are the best of the best. In the last 35 years, there has only been one chopped Merc in our 4 county area. Of coarse different parts of the country are different.
I can only comment on Southern California during the fifties/sixties, so perhaps things were a little bit different elsewhere....
I personally didn't know any "rich kids", but eventually everybody's car was "fully painted." Our cars reflected who we were, and also represented our unique individuality. Our cars were painted, and kept clean and nice so that we could get GIRLS. Everybody knew "that guy with the slammed red '51", but not everyone knew his name. Our cars defined us.
You couldn't/wouldn't get a date on Saturday night, if you had no gas money or a shitty car. At least that was my experience ...
Surely a show car, but Moriarty does drive this one...
...AND this one!
With my 56 F100, the chassis was painted endure gloss black, the drivetrain components were gunmetal grey powder coat with polished coil overs. The truck was less than 5 inches off the ground (no bags, just good ole suspension geometry).
The engine had a certain amount of bling and detailing:
The '52 Belair is also very low but the whole underside is flat black, no bling.
The engine though has some bling and lots of detailing:
I think I'm missing something here...but I'm not a custom person. You remove / modify the exterior chrome and dress the underside..... WTFO is" unique individuality"? Sounds like " I wanna be different like everybody else".
I can see both sides as far as show underside or street driven underside of a custom. I recall seeing pictures of customs where they would be jacked up on show stands or have a wheel removed to show chromed out suspension components etc. so i guess the question is what do you want to build a show car or a driver? So even in the case of a driver tastefully bling on top looking down but that stops at the oil pan. One of my favorite customs touches was pinstriping the inner fenders firewall and even sometimes the rear ends or gas tank, bottom line is its your car so building it the way it suits you
As I reread this thread, I remember what some of the "old guys" selling stuff at KKOA meets back in the 80s and 90s always told me........ That back in the day, the custom guys "wouldn't spend shit" on stuff that didn't show. I heard that from a lot of guys who were there in the early custom days.
I would leave the girl on the side of the road if they were that shallow and thought like that.
We wouldn't ever "leave girls on the side of the road" in this part of the country, regardless of the circumstances.
Let me put it another way so that you can hopefully understand this. Following WWII, during the "baby boom", there were literally millions of young folks with the same relative demographics living in California, and it created what would best be described as a "competition" for the attention of the opposite sex. Our rides were a reflection of who we were. Not unlike the plumage on a peacock...
Of course, this was California and not Iowa, so everything was substantially different. You should also consider the fact that we get about as much rain here in twelve months, as Iowa can receive over a weekend, so keeping our chassis clean and detailed took little, if any, maintenance. Different time, different place, so comparing your own life experiences to mine, isn't of much use. YMMV.
It just seems unfinished to me if you don't add some extra details , clean on the bottom and it's been driven
I think this is the tell-tale gist of the thread.. Those almost new cars had no need in sprucing up the working portions of the vehicle. Any mods to suspension or motor mounts etc. were done to be functional and safe not necessarily attractive and finished looking. Time and money were better spent on the parts of the car that were visible to the masses such as styling, paint and upholstery. I believe more sections of the car began to get attention (as hot rodders had been doing earlier) when competition at shows began to play a more important part in the hobby as the '50s moved along. JMO of course.
An interesting debate and interesting to hear the recollections from the various parts of the continent..
I actually have seen street driven customs with the entire under carriage painted and pin stripped. Others with chromed A arms and etc. I think is more of a Mexican thing though.
Why would you put a body on that????
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Too keep the wind from blowing your skirt up.
Speaking of "Bling" some of the Low Rider type cars are total to the max "Bling" At the Milwaukee World Of Wheels 2001 or so, had my roadster in, was checking out cars and started a conversation with a young man polishing on a 64 Impala, chrome everything including frame, engraved, gold accents, beautiful paint/interior with all the tricks, my comment was WOW your Dad must own a chrome shop, his reply was, Yes he does, we have this car on the show circuit to generate future business for our shop and handed me their business card, very nice young man. Are Low Riders a subject HAMB does not speak about ? not my style of car, But I surely recognize their time, effort, style and $$$ involved and at different shows always courteous, respectful in conversation, a group used to show up Solid Gold McDonald's on cruise night along with motorcycle's, Harley's, crotch rockets, a pretty big deal weekly all summer, Hell of a good time, show no longer active at that location.
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