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Projects Gene Winfield custom found

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by cabong, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. I am waiting for the full Paul Harvey version... "The rest of the story" !

    "Good day"!

    Posted using Full box of Crayons on the Kitchen Walls App!
  2. Good for you...this is going to be an awesome story.
  3. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,080

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    Very cool! Have you contacted Windfield about it? Wonder if he recalls the car?
  4. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,576

    Kan Kustom

    This is a huge treat for all of us to get to experience this finish to a part of history we all love, but in my opinion , what really matters is that Leland and Gene get to finish what they started while they are both still here. Thank you so much for helping two guys get to the finish line on this awesome project ! I am excited for both of them.
  5. SteppinOut
    Joined: Jul 19, 2008
    Posts: 542


    This is what keeps me believing that car people are good people. Thank you for sharing this.
    Would it be possible to identify the modifications that have already been done to this car since he bought it new? That would be great for those of us that have never been through a full out custom car build.
  6. REBEL43
    Joined: Feb 17, 2007
    Posts: 684

    from TENNESSEE

    Great story will be following along.
  7. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,632


    Nice project. I don't know if you, Gene, or Leland has a plan in mind for a grille, but I'd like to offer an idea that isn't overworked:


    This is the front end of Spence Murray's Chevy, featured in an ancient issue of Hop Up magazine. Merc grille opening, '51 Plymouth grille used with minimal modification. It's a rarely used combination of parts that should be locatable, and is certainly correct for an early '50s custom. I'm offering this just as food for thought.
  8. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,015


    Any time one of these jewel's is unearthed it's a great thing. And given the fact that both the major players(Builder and owner) are still with us makes it even better.
    Looking forward to seeing more.
  9. nvrenuff
    Joined: Mar 27, 2011
    Posts: 30

    from new jersey

    Awesome. Subscribed. Also-i haven't heard a Fat Boys reference in years. I have to find the movie Disorderlies.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  10. oldsrocket
    Joined: Oct 31, 2004
    Posts: 2,146


    I'm not a custom guy.... but very cool story and good on you for helping out the fella.
  11. cabong
    Joined: Nov 29, 2005
    Posts: 334


    Ironically, Spence is an old friend, and he shared many stories of this Chev with me. I looked at my pics of this critter when we started out on Lelands conv, but we are severly limited in what we could do because of the '55 Plymouth headlights. I am going to list out all original mods today. Thanks for the suggestion....
  12. cabong
    Joined: Nov 29, 2005
    Posts: 334


    Needless to say, I have not been involved with Leland and his convert for very long, and so I keep discovering new things about both with each passing day. Leland is fascinating, as he took his love of the custom to another level. We, Leland and I, will share his many, many life's moments in later posts. Home made mufflers using brass shavings pilfered from Schlage Lock in SSF........See what I mean!!!!!!! But, for starters, I would like to try and describe the many mods done to his "new" car. Based on the fact that Leland helped Gene move into his new shop from the "coop" in 1955, I figure the mods started in '54 or early '55. Moving from front to rear....The grille was opened by removing the original grille including the upper eyebrow, and enlarging the opening out to the headlights. A pan was fab'd to form the lower limit of the opening. The front fender "fronts" are '55 Plymouth, and extend back about a foot. The hood opening was left stock. The bottom of the Chev fenders were left in place, and can be seen in the photos. The front wheel wells appear to be '55 Chev (?), grafted to the Plymouth fender front sides (which were later cut off). The '55 Chev rocker panel flair continues back to the rear quarters. The stock hood had the center section cut out, and a '53 (?) Desoto hood center section with scoop welded in. The scoop was opened and extended slightly. The cowl and windshield are '56 Ford (OMG) which is chopped about 5". Who wuda thought that a wraparound windshield would look okay on a '50 Chev (we're talking sock on a rooster here). What made this work is the method of chop, with the bottom leading edge being moved back to accommodate the windshield with the bottom cut off. This, of course, minimizes the profile. Remember, this also shortens the dogleg at the front of the doors, which have been modified to accept the windshield shape. Are you following this?? The full '56 Ford dash has been incorporated to keep the correct cowl shape. Remember, there are no wierd angles used to mate this all to the Chev cowl area. Ot one point, Gene called Leland and mentioned that he had idea for the rear. At this time, the conv lived at Gene's and Leland would go down in his '40 Plymouth sedan delivery, which he would sleep in, and help out. Seems Gene had acquired a set of '51 Olds 98 rear quarters, brand new. They held'm up, and the rest is history. The fun was incorporating them into the Chev body. They included the loooong skirts that Olds and Cad are known for. Leland took a look at the gas door and said, no way, it's ugly. Sooo, the door was refitted to the inside of the fender, but the Olds door wouldn't fit, so the Chev door was used, and the filler tube turned 180 degrees to work. Then the taillights were formed and '55 Pontiac lenses fitted. I didn't realize at first what the use of Olds quaters did to the profile of the car. Chevs of this era had low rear fenders and high trunks. Not real appealing. Now that look is gone, and the rear of this ride is really nice. The last thing out back is the '51 Merc bumper. Bolt on, not hardly. This bumper has been narrowed and the ends reshaped to fit the Olds quarters. Now, Leland had always wanted a carson style top, but like the shape of the conv top. So, a top was made out of a old Dodge hood,and an old Chev hood, using a conv type rear window and the Ford header trim. I believe this is the best looking top I have ever seen on a kustom, albiet a tad heavy. Okay, my fingers are numb. More to follow about Leland, and the progress. By the way, I spoke with Gene yesterday. He likes our grille ideas, as it will finish out what he started and check this out. He has offered to paint Lelands car. Think about that, he would put this finishing touches on a car that he customized 60 years ago. That, my friends, absolutely blows me away!!!!!
  13. ol55
    Joined: Oct 1, 2008
    Posts: 475

    from Virginia

    Thanks, great story.subscribed...
  14. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,588

    from Denmark

    Not the biggest custom guy in the World. But this one is nice, and baby got back! That is a nice tush if there ever was one!

    That picture of the 40 plymouth sedan delivery in front of THE chicken coop,
    The most famous of them all, can you post that?

    I'm not with you on the headlights, bit everythings else is spot on.

    All though I'm not a big custom fan, I Respect and admire the Hard work and craftmanship that goes in them!
    And for some reason Gene Winfield is the one that made me come around. I open every thread I see with his name on!!
    I absolutly love his 35 show/shop truck!

    But back to the car; does it have a name?
  15. This will be a great build.
    I can feel it in my old bones.
    With Leland feeding info for the build
    and you following instructions.. lol
  16. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,015


    Definately a radical custom in it's day and it still is.
    It would be very appropriate for Mr Winfield to be the one to paint it.
    Looking forward to watching it all happen.
  17. captainjunk#2
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,364


    I enjoy first hand stories about customs , and people finding them and freshening them up again , a great thread ,
  18. Lobucrod
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 4,120

    Alliance Vendor
    from Texas

    IMHO a real custom is one that most people have a hard time figuring out what it started life as yet it all flows well and doesn't look like its just a bunch of scabbed together car parts. Gene did his magic on this one for sure. Its amazing the broad range of make of the parts used and it still came out great.
  19. cabong
    Joined: Nov 29, 2005
    Posts: 334


    Okay, now down to the real work. First, in answer to a question, I will have to ask Leland if he ever named this puppy. This was a personal project, and a driver for some years (only has 32,000 mi), and was never in "car shows", so a name wasn't that important. Also, the sedan delivery picture was taken in front of the new shop. Stay tuned for the Leland stories, and again, any kudos should go to him, as he is responsible for this great piece. He is reading all posts, some with laughs, some with tears. Me too.....

    This picture shows Leland's 40 Plymouth delivery in front of Winfield's shop.
    That Chevy convert in the picture is not Leland's. Leland's chev was in the shop.

    Anyway, back to the work. Remember, no upgrades to this critter, simply unwinding some years, and finishing the way that Leland and Gene would have done. No old stuff is being changed. Well, maybe one wee thing. More on that later.
    The first line of business was to remove the "upgrades" Again, thought was good but the product, not so....The raising of the bumper to cover the "pan" necessitated cutting off the front fender bottoms between the wheel opening and the headlight. then what was left was narrowed at the bottom (don't ask how) in order to use the stock bumper, which along with the rear bumper, was painted. You can see in the full side view just how stubby this all made the front end, and raised the bumper to nose bleed height. The radiator and dust shield, along with suspension components, were all visible from the front. The hard part of deconstructing all this was biting into all that 60 year old lead. That was tough, emotionally. Gene put it all there.
    Then we scrounged some Plymouth fenders to use for the new extensions. Seems easy, 'till you realize that the lip section is totally different. A mere hill for a high stepper!!!
    Once this was completed, the quest was on for a grille assembly. This would take input from Leland, Gene, and a whole host of pics from our favorite websites.
    The story continues......
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  20. capt ronn
    Joined: Nov 30, 2013
    Posts: 31

    capt ronn

    Subscribed! Great story.
  21. Brilliant story, great to see the old girl is to be finished the way it always should have been done..
  22. super cool! cant wait to see how this one turns out!
  23. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,289


    Thanks for letting us in on your story. Fascinating and what a great save!
  24. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,588


    This is awesome, great looking car then and no doubt will be again. Keep it going!
  25. W Scott
    Joined: Mar 19, 2007
    Posts: 120

    W Scott

    Thanks Bruce for sharing the beginnings of this extraordinary story up in our neck of the woods. It will be fascinating to watch you re-create and preserve many ideas of the past and tie in some tasty enhancements that will certainly create a new chapter in the life of this very cool custom. Glad to see someone like yourself bring this car back to life. Also want to wish the best to Leland - I'm sure he is quite the character, someone who is full of stories about the early days of hot rodding/customizing. We look forward to seeing it on down the road. Your friend, Scott
  26. T&A Flathead
    Joined: Apr 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,783

    T&A Flathead

    Best story I've heard in a long time. Keep up the great work.
  27. Unks37
    Joined: Dec 22, 2013
    Posts: 2


    Great story, subscribe!
  28. MEDDLER1
    Joined: Jun 1, 2006
    Posts: 1,593


    Definitely subscribing to this one! Thank you for posting it.
  29. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,722

    from Oregon

    I'm not into customs, but this is a great thread, and I love the history here! I'll definitely keep watching to see it to the end! Very cool old Chevy!
  30. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,588

    from Denmark

    I know that picture of the car in front of the Winfield shop. I read it like you had a picture of the sedan delivery infront of The Chicken Coop. Pictures is on kustomrama?

    I Think this thread needs mor pictures of that car! In the side view the headlights looks much better. It's actualy the only thing I dont love. But overall the car is appealing.
    How is the interior?
    How long has it been since Lelan could drive his car, or does he still take it out?

    And Subscribed!

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