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History custom Car builder Spotlight: WESTERGARD/BERTOLUCCI

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Rikster, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. rodbuilder
    Joined: Oct 1, 2002
    Posts: 269

    rodbuilder
    Member

    WOW, this is a cool post....I can give an honest report on how Westergard did his work after working on the 41 Cad for Kurt...He was amazing!! Especially for his time and the crude tools they had, this work was very nice, you could kind see through the fade a ways, that it looked like they might have shaped them with a brake then ground the endges off, they were shaped very nice and even through the bend through the length. We tried to save as much of the original stuff like even the lead, luckily the car was very well cared for over the years and major rust out and lead contamination was not a problem. Kurt and his buddy did do some top reshaping on a couple bows and I added a few things on it just to make it a better top, the original top design had a wood bow which was kinda above your head if you sat in the rear seat, that was the last bow then the top fabric was just stretched to the beltline and snapped on, I build another stell bow that followed the beltline all around so the top fabric could fasten to that, this way the top holds it shape even at the rear if the top is ever taken off. Alot of the inner supports of the fade a ways were pretty crude with being made from angle iron but there is cool little filler peice that go in the areas so you can't see in the fade a ways when the door is open. The over all metal was shaped very nice, but up close the door fit , skirt fit, and fender fit left a little to be desired, I work for along time to get the skirts to fit nice and flush and the bottom of the body to be one smooth flowing line along the bottom, it was of 1/8" here and a 1/4" there, but workable.
    I think these 2 you are talking about had the best style, I wish Westergard would have lived longer...what was he planning next??
    Its funny, guys came into my shop when I was working on the 41, they thought they were kustom guys, all you have to do is mention Westergard, and see the look on their face, if they new who he was, their face would light up, if they really didn't know kustoms, then they didn't know who I was talking about...seperated the men from the boys if you will, of all the guy that came through I think less than 5 knew who he was...
     
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    Last edited: Sep 2, 2012
  3. attitudor
    Joined: Sep 28, 2004
    Posts: 2,977

    attitudor
    Member
    from Finland

    Westergard is my hero.
     
  4. speedaddict
    Joined: Sep 28, 2002
    Posts: 2,420

    speedaddict
    Member
    from Austin, Tx

    every now and then, I have to look at this post...I love the cars
     
  5. Skankin' Rat Fink
    Joined: Jun 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,465

    Skankin' Rat Fink
    Member
    from NYC

    Faith and begorrah! A four door! I think all the naysayers should have a good look at this one ...
     
  6. Thanks Rikster for some cool memories.
    Do you have any idea of how long it did take Harry Westergard to build and complete a '36 Ford coupe or sedan? Thanks for your help.
    Rags
     
  7. punkabilly1306
    Joined: Aug 22, 2005
    Posts: 2,655

    punkabilly1306
    Member
    from ohio

    i have heard a lot about the "westergard" style and have had a general idea of what it was, but after researching and seeing this thread i am blown away...the attention to fit and detail is amazing, especially the car with the shoebox taillights on the low part of the rear quaters, WOW!!!!
     
  8. merc-o-madness
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,544

    merc-o-madness
    Member


    wow that car really survived, and what year was this done with all that roll and pleat interior
     
  9. Thanks for the great history lesson.
     
  10. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,793

    Rikster
    Member

    The Leroy Semas 1937 Chevy was built in the mid/late 40's. I dont have an excact date when it was built but in one of the Don Montgomery books it is shown o one of the dry lakes in the late 40's.
    The photo below was taken at a 1950 Sacremento Car show.

    [​IMG]


    And this photo might even been older since it has single bar flipper hubcaps instead of the Cadillac Sombrero's in the rest of the photos. The Flipper hubcaps where very popular in the 40's.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. 49 lincoln
    Joined: Feb 28, 2006
    Posts: 251

    49 lincoln
    Member
    from reno

    Wow. Thanks for the history lesson here everybody. I think I stared at the 39 Ford at the Auto Museum here in town for half an hour. Way ahead of his time! With a company like Coker around today, you'd think they could do something about those tires!
     
  12. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,793

    Rikster
    Member

    Totally agree the wheels/tires do this masterpiece no good at all.

    These photos below where taken at the Pebble Beach concours where the Taildraggers where a theme in 2005. The Mel Falconer 1939 Ford was on display only. Thanks to the Museum the car is in good condition, but they really need to replace the UGLY wheels and tires and back date it to how it looked in the early 50's....!!! (at least I'm glad they put the bumpers back on after the car lost them in the 70's)

    (CaddyDave Photo)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    (KustomBuick Photos)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Durod
    Joined: Aug 20, 2005
    Posts: 809

    Durod
    Member
    from DFW, Tx

    that car is intimidating as hell....too beautiful.
     
  14. straycad
    Joined: Apr 23, 2008
    Posts: 18

    straycad
    Member

    Rick, i think this is the finished product. I could be wrong. interesting anyway.

    [​IMG]6w

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,793

    Rikster
    Member

    I just came across this photo... I had heard Dick had found his old custom 1938 Chevy Coupe a while ago.. and planned to bring it back to how it used to look... but I had never seen photos of it... until now...
    This one looks so right.

    [​IMG]


    And how it looked in its glory days... (Color Photo from the TwoChops Collection, black and white photo from hausdorfstudios.com)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,006

    koolkemp
    Member

    Wow thats cool that the car still exists !! Will you have access to some resto pics Rik??
     
  17. Thanks Rik. Sure hope we get to peek in on the restration of this one as it goes along!!!
     

  18. Thank you for sharing that pic, Rik...I've talked to Dick many times about the '38, but still have yet to see it in person. I'm not sure I'll be able to remain upright if the opportunity arises...

    Attached are a pics of two '40's Chevy's. One Bertolucci, one belonging to HAMBer Cleatus. Same location, just a handful of decades apart.

    Bryan
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
    Dangerousdan likes this.
  19. SuperFleye
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 2,049

    SuperFleye
    Alliance Vendor

    Hi folks, i thought I would chime in on the Leroy Semas coupe. I just recently bought this photos showing the Semas Coupe on the Bonneville Speed Week in 1949:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Really cool photos, and it shows the car with caddy sombreros, filled hood sides and dual spotlights.

    This photo posted by Rik shows the car with louvered hood sides and flipper caps prior to the spotlights were installed, so I reckon this photo is older then the one I have from 1949:
    [​IMG]

    This photo shows the car at the first Sacramento Autorama in 1950 with dual spotlights, caddy sombreros, and the louvered hood sides re-installed.
    [​IMG]

    Just plain custom geekiness, but it helps explain the life span of this great car. I have started to create a page on the car here:

    http://www.kustomrama.com/index.php?title=Leroy_Semas'_1937_Chevrolet

    So if anyone have some additional info on it let me know so that I can add it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2010
  20. Gambino_Kustoms
    Joined: Oct 14, 2005
    Posts: 6,561

    Gambino_Kustoms
    Alliance Vendor

    thanxs for bringing this back to life
     
  21. radio_king
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 398

    radio_king
    Member

    That`s a 37 LaSalle grille,-38 is wider.This car has been a huge inspiration on my build(-36 Dodge coupe)I somehow forgot about this thread,thanks for bringing it back.Subscribed!!
     
  22. heywacha
    Joined: Feb 19, 2009
    Posts: 295

    heywacha
    Member
    from Orange, CA

    Have any of you seen this one around? Ive seen it in the Bakersfield area. Its a cool Westergard style Plymouth. I want this car!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  23. cleatus
    Joined: Mar 1, 2002
    Posts: 2,277

    cleatus
    Member
    from Sacramento

    Hey, here's some new info from the bookstore interview here in Sac with Dick a few nights ago:
    When talking about this 38, Dick said that he chopped it, but, was more into another car he had at the time, so he then gave the 38 to his dad (who was also very into hot rods/customs) and that it was his dad who then installed the Packard grill and welded the 40 Chevy head light buckets to the fenders, and then Dick leaded them in for him. So it appears that his dad deserves some of the credits for this car.
     
  24. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,937

    pimpin paint
    Member
    from so cal

    Hey,

    Now how kool is that?!!!!!!

    Thanks for the post and picture.

    ' looks like the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

    " Meanwhyle, back aboard The Tainted Pork "
     
  25. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,793

    Rikster
    Member

    Thanks for that really great story Cleatus. I had never heard that.
     
  26. SuperFleye
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 2,049

    SuperFleye
    Alliance Vendor

    Just found this cool photo over on the AHRF website. The photo shows Ohanesian Merc on Bonneville in 1951. As you can see this photo is taken before the exhaust was routed through the rear bumper. The photo is a little small, but it also seems like the car hasn't been fit with 1946 Ford taillights yet! A neat photo that helps us date more of the evolution of this car :)

    [​IMG]
     
  27. banditomerc
    Joined: Dec 18, 2005
    Posts: 2,356

    banditomerc
    Member

    All this info on these great customs of the past are great to read and look at,keep them coming.Thanks Rik
     
  28. dwrfab
    Joined: May 21, 2006
    Posts: 407

    dwrfab
    Member
    from Dallas TX.

    I did a lot off work on this car for the late Ed Blassengame formerly of Texas. Ed did have a good eye for what looks correct.
    dwrfab Don Ross
     

    Attached Files:

  29. Kuul thread!

    But does anyone know anything about the two guys behind these great builds?
    Wonder if Westergard is a decendant from Northern Europe, perhaps even danish family, and Bertolucci sounds Italian - can anyone clearify this for me?
    Thanks in advance!
     

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