A few weeks ago somebody asked me if the Harry Westergard built Gene Garrett and George Barris built for himself 1936 Ford Cabriolets where the same car. For some reason George Barris - and others as well - mixed these two cars up in his memory and published some incorrect information in his books. When Pat Ganahl did his excellent article about early custom cars in The Rodder's Journal #12 (long time ago, they are working on issue #47 right now) he already mentioned this mistake in some of the Barris books. But he did not show both cars together to point out the differences between the two. I was quite surprised to see a photo of the Westergard built Gene Garrett 36 Ford in Gene Winfields book being credited to George Barris. And when a friend asked if the two cars where the same I figured it was time to show these two cars together and hopefully the two cars can be given the right credits from now on. In the December 1989 issue of Rod & Custom magazine Pat wrote a short (to short) story on the Gene Garret 1936 Ford. Pat has been in contact with Gene and Gene gave him the two photos of his car. Gene told the whole story on the car and how Harry Westergard built the car for him in 1943. R&C article scan Then in 1996 Barris produced his fantastic Barris Kustom Techniques of the 50's books (four) And on page 14 of the second book he shows 3 photos of a 36 Ford Cabriolet and claims it was his own personal ride. Built at the time he was working at Brown Brothers in Sacramento, and probably at the same time he was hanging out and working with Harry Westergard. Barris book scans In the intro of this page George mentions others photos of his 36 For used in volume 1 of the Barris books. The photo below is one of two shown in volume 1 This 36 Ford is a different car than the once shown before. I agree that the two cars do look a bit like each other.... but there are some clear differences. We will get back to that later. When I had read my Barris books I already thought George was mistaken on this car, but I knew for sure when TRJ #12 arrived in my mailbox. Below is a scan of a section of the Pat Ganahl article in TRJ #12 In which he does mention this mistake in the George Barris books. To me the TRJ and especially Pat Ganahl are a sort of gospel.. and I assumed that after his comments regarding this car everybody into early customs would know the differences between the cars. So I was surprised when I received my Gene winfield book with a photo of the Gene Garret car with George name on it.... The editors of the book clearly had looked for information in the Barris books. Below is the scan from Gene Winfield's book This case of mixed up identity of early custom cars is a rather rare one. Sure it happened before, but in this case there are a few photos (two that I know of) that show both of these cars in one photo. Unfortunately I'm not allowed to show these photos since they will be used in an upcoming article in the Rodder's Journal. So we have to do it with details of the photos that can be shown. The similarities on these two cars that are rather unique is that on both cars the character lines in the door above the belt line where filled in. There are photos of the Gene Garret Ford where this has not been completed, but in finished form these lines where filled just as on George his '36. Both cars have the headlights molded into the front fenders. But on the Gene Garrett car the headlights where molded onto the top portion of the fender, and on George his car they where molded in on the lower portion of the fender closer to the grille. Both cars use 1934 Pontiac hood sides. Both cars have the running boards removed and a new body panel to cover the frame below the body. And both cars run fender skirts with upside down Buick trim. But on George his car there are no rock guards to protect the rear fenders. And if you look close to the photos below you can see that the front fenders are sort of flat where the running board used to be. One the Harry Westergard Garrett car the front fenders where extended at the bottom where the running board used to be. The Garrett car uses a '41-'42 Packard grille while George own car uses a '39-'40 Nash grille (even though he calls it a '41 Packard Clipper grille in Volume 1) Both cars use '37 DeSoto ribbed bumpers and run ripple disk flipper hubcaps. As far as I can tell the George Barris car never had a lift off metal top like the Gene Garrett Ford had. All photos I have seen show a padded top on George his car. The location of the Appleton Spotlights is also different on both cars. Okay... this has been a little longer than I had anticipated... but I wanted to clear this minor mistake in early custom car history.... Here are some more photos to compare Front 3/4 views of both cars. George Barris Car. Westergard Garrett car Side views Barris car (sorry for poor quality.. all I have) Garrett car Rear 3/4 view Barris car Garrett car This photo shows the unfinished Gene Garrett Ford before the door lines where filled in... The photo below was offered on ebay a long time ago... I did not have the funds to buy it so this low res image is all I have. But it looks like the Gene Garrett car is fitted with a dark color padded top here. And the last photo is of the George Barris 36 ... nice birds eye view.