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History Flames on a custom ?

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Hemi j, Sep 28, 2013.

    Joined: May 11, 2001
    Posts: 992


    Flames are life? Wow, that's deep..
  2. To me flames are just like any other mod, they either work for me or they dont. Just depends on the application. Bad Bobs Merc flames are perfect. There have been several shoe boxes posted on the board over the years with incredible flame jobs that go over the whole freakin body .... love em...Ok I guess I just love flames =)
  3. BRENT
    Joined: Jun 22, 2005
    Posts: 252


    good one lol!
  4. el diablo
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 229

    el diablo
    from Norco CA

    Your gonna hate my shoebox after I paint it :)
  5. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,175

    51 mercules

    Flames on a custom are traditional!One of my favorites is Carol Lewis 56 Chevy done by Dean Jeffries.

    Attached Files:

  6. xhotrodder
    Joined: Jul 2, 2009
    Posts: 1,609


    To me this flame job sucks. But that is just my taste. I've loved flames on any car most of my life, as long as they are the type I like, and the colors work for me. But, it isn't up to me how the owner has his car painted. I just know what works for me. Powell's flames in the 60's & 70's work for me, Wade Hughes, flames work for me, Bob Taylor's flames in Louisville I grew up seeing. Other painters, not so much. The point is, it has to work for the person viewing the car, and that is the only time it works. Not everyone is in to flames.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  7. Karrera
    Joined: Jan 19, 2008
    Posts: 170


    How about a flamed 300SL Mercedes by Von Dutch?


    Here's Dean Jeffries Flamed 33 Ford - how flames should look...

  8. Hemi j
    Joined: Sep 17, 2009
    Posts: 389

    Hemi j
    from Colorado

    If you look at Jeffries 56 there is no body mods it's just a 56 with a flame job, same with the Mercedes its my worthless option that there not really a custom. Taking your car to some painter and throwing some stupid flames on it and not spending countless hours staring at a car and then spending countless more hours cutting,welding and hand forming your body to make your dreams come true now that's a custom. No matter what other people think about it !
  9. bigern007
    Joined: Feb 8, 2008
    Posts: 51


    Hey man why don't you tell us what you really think!

    Fortunately none of these folks worry about the guys that never will understand
    or respect different tastes
  10. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,175

    51 mercules

    You're right there are no body mods on the 56,just some mods to the grill,spots added,hubcaps changed and a custom interior and paint.Here's the Ayala Bros shop truck with body mods.

    Attached Files:

  11. If everyone had the same taste Detroit with only have to build one car.
    I love flames so why would I care whether you like it or not?

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!

    Attached Files:

  12. Kripfink
    Joined: Sep 30, 2008
    Posts: 2,040

    Member Emeritus

    Wow, it must be really great being the boss of everything !
    Very many mild customs through history with flame jobs and dismissing the work and influence of geniusis like Jeffries and Watson and a host of others as "not Kustom" seems a little disrespectful to me. But that's just my opinion, not a bold statement of fact.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,185


    Since I began this shit as a finisher I have a different perspective. To me a car is a clean sheet of paper. As a finisher, seeing a car primed and ready for whatever it's going to get has it's own mystique. Here's all that lovely surfaced metal ready for the artist's vision. Now that surface might be a chopped shoe box or Merc, maybe a lowly little Model A, perhaps the most modified sheet metal ever done, anything. The owner has their vision as well, but it's lame to focus on personal taste only because that's obvious. Doesn't belong in a proper discussion about a select art form.

    And that's it right there, flames are an art form. True enough, to some it's a tattoo on a woman's otherwise perfect body, to others it's a decoration. Some customs need to use the same restraint in the finish that was used in the mods. Some are kept clean, basic mods, devoid of most bright work, and they become a custom canvas for such an art form. When you see a chopped shoe box flamed from front to back it should look as though that was the intent right from the start. Here in these pages we've all seen stellar examples of just that. At the same time, Royalshifter's shoe box would look awful that way. The earliest flame jobs are simply horrid in my opinion. The Ayala shop truck is anything but good looking. Sure we respect that it was early, done by a renowned customizer, but who can raise their right hand to say "That's EXACTLY what a good flame job should look like!", and truly mean it? Same with the wagon shared on this topic. As it should be, the art form has advanced to something that really does look good. Some go so far as to make both sides exactly the same. Decades later the fading trend of true fire came along too. Properly applied, fitting to a cohesive design, that too is an awesome art form. Applied to something grounded in tradition? Sorta dumb in my opinion. Truth be told murals also fall into the basis of this topic. It would be silly to see one on the deck lid of a period built chopped Mercury. Not so bad on their canvas of choice, a mid 60s lowrider. Whether you like it, or even respect it, isn't the point. Even if you'd never have it on yours there's been some done worthy of any enthusiast's admiration. I've done a few in my years but not once have I decided I have to flame one of my own. Well, I actually have to finish some of this shit first!

    Nice topic. Hope it doesn't turn into a flame war...:cool:
  14. the Highlander dropping knowledge again, I always appreciate your viewpoint sir. Funny this topic has come up as my wife has decided she wants to flame her 57 Bel Air wagon. It's gotta hopped up vette 327, Chrome wheels, narrow whites, lowered and will have some minor body mods. Early to mid 60's styling, I'm curious as to what would have been "correct" style wise from this time period. Time to dig through the old magazines, I'd love to see some more pics from that era if y'all have any...Hope I'm not hi jacking TH thread, just trying to expand what we already know with facts.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,185


    The copper 57 Nomad from the west coast would be a good start for you. I forget the name and recreation was featured in TRJ not too long ago. There was even a model kit of that one. Nice car...
  16. Interesting topic and wise words from the Highlander !
    I have bought my 1950 Mercury with a flame job and I sometimes I am unsure whether I like it or not.
    My car is also a mild custom with very few body mods.

    I would not have added the flames if I had painted the car but now they are there and as the paintjob is still very presentable I won't change anything soon.

    I often wonder if these flames can be considered "traditional"?

  17. hugh m
    Joined: Jul 18, 2007
    Posts: 2,142

    hugh m
    from ct.

    That's what I was gonna say....
  18. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,389


    I can think of two good reasons to flame a kustom:
    1) Paint and/or body damage to the front of the car. Better to flame than to try to touch up some paint jobs!
    2) So people know it's customized! This may sound dumb, but stay with me here. It's kind of odd to spend hundreds of hours on body mods and most people think it's "just an old car." Adding flames to any car instantly makes most people realize they're looking at a modified car. (Yeah, I know, "it doesn't matter what Joe Schmo thinks" but sometimes you want recognition.)
    I didn't do it on purpose, but when I added the spray-can scallops to my primered roof on a whim suddenly I got very different responses from The Public and it was kind of nice. I'm not a flames kind of guy, but I can see someone going for it.
  19. Gabe1775
    Joined: Jun 26, 2013
    Posts: 49


    I agree flames done right look good. Problem is when I go to Back to the 50's car show. I would say about 50% of them are just horrible. Too thick, or laid out wobbly, not the right kind or curves.
  20. Surfcity, "traditional" to what era? I would say your car has a mix of influences, and the ghost flames are a more modern touch.

    Just like I'd say my car has a lot of early to mid 50's influences but some modern touches like the radials, spider caps, and driveline. :)

    I like Bob's car and it's a mix of 50's styling + newer style flames. His car is 'traditionally styled" for me based on the flames.

    In the end whatever makes us owners happy. I can't bring myself to do 50's hub caps everytime I buy a set everyone things they look boring (including me). Spider caps keep winning.
  21. Me too but only if I can go with brad and lori. ;)

    Flames on a rod can be done all willy nil and no one cares, flames on a custom are an entirely different story. There is an art to flamming to not take away from the car, properly don't flames can enhance the lines of the car.

    Now we are getting into opinion or taste when it comes to flames. Jeffries had his own style of flames as did kenneth. I have seen Mr Howard quoted as saying that flames should never cross but should look like lobster claws (or maybe it was crab claws). There lies the rub, Jeffries would run a more sublime/refined flame job where as Dutch would run a primitive looking chunky flame.

    Dutch was more in tune with rodding and jeffries was more of a custom painter.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  22. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922


    Great colors. And the flames outa the headlights are bitchin !!
  23. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    Guys just need to grow a pair and build what they like and finish it the way they like. Flames are art. Art is meant to evoke a response. Be it good or bad, that's the point and purpose. The variety in cars would be so much greater, if people built what THEY like instead of what's popular. That shit breeds the "cookie cutter" cars. Seeing so many cars built to please the crowd at the burger joint or show is boring.
  24. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    Probably not, but who cares?
  25. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,432




    AFTER (No foolin'):

    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,185


    So much better minus those flames. Yet now it has that clean sheet of paper I was eluding to. Given my way with that white 60, I'd panel paint it 'backwards' for lack of a better term. I leave the white the majority color and do the edges in something radical like small flake/kandy, cobwebs, maybe something geometric, but as if the panels were added in white over the rest. Think KIRK's "May Cause Dangerous" in reverse. Looks awesome like it is but...
  27. Karrera
    Joined: Jan 19, 2008
    Posts: 170


    Well done flames are great - admittedly some of those early flame jobs looked pretty bad.
  28. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,703

    Tech Editor

    I believe this is the same car, before the flames.

    Just to compare the two versions...

  29. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,943

    from DFW USA

    Flames got much, much better in the '70s. :D
  30. Church
    Joined: Nov 15, 2002
    Posts: 2,817

    from South Bay

    MO' ..... Great example, but as opinions are like assholes, I think that car is better WITH the flames. I'm not sure if it's because they they add weight to the bottom of the car to help ground it. OR if it's because the original flamed incarnation I saw back in Paso in the mid 90's is how I will always want to remember it. It feels a bit nekkid to me right now. That said, perhaps scallops in place of the flames will would unify it with the scallops on the hood and give it the weight I'm currently not seeing.

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