The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Rikster, Mar 25, 2011.
Great thread, I would love to find a painter like Larry today!
The blu dragster was the metal processing car as for the body, the location is bugging me I see laakewood blvd, kirby was on clark. Must be at another shop.The owner of the blue dragster lives in Lake Elsinore and still a hot rodder, Larry and I went to visit Doug Thorley a couple of times ane talked about the old times. Roger
I have already show this photo before, but I wanted to show it again so that you can compare it with how the car looked like when Dick Ward customized it in 1953-54.
I have always liked this car a lot, especially since it still had that early 1950's custom feel. The car was originally owned by Dick Ward who customized it with a Mercury grille surround molded in and a 1952 Oldsmobile floating grille. He created wonderful bumper guard taillights which are visible a bit in this photo. When first finished the car had a nice speedboat stance with fender skirts. But by the time Harold Johnson of Long Beach had it the skirts where removed the back raised a little and Harold repainted it in Mother of Pearl Nitro Lacquer. Larry Watson added the really great scallops in candy green with candy root beer tips and pinstriped them in black.
And here is the front of Harrold's Chevy which shows the very nicely done Mercury grille surround and 1952 Oldsmobile floating grille bar. It also shows the root beer tips on the scallops a bit better. The interior was done by Gaylor's in dark green and white tuck&roll upholstery in 1954.
And this is how the car looked when Dick built it at his Dick's Body Shop in Long Beach, Ca. the first time in 1953-54.
Amazing thread. It's amazing how Watson achieved a custom look just in paint alone. Most of theses cars didn't have much fabrication going on, yet with the paint he laid down it all looks pretty custom. Thanks Rik for the pics
Or Kenny Ellis?
LOL...Yea, you maybe are right.
A great sample of a mild but perfectly restyled 1958 Chevy Impala painted by Larry Watson in a Candy red with slightly soft gold/pinkish pearl top. The cars has one of the best and easy custom trick on a 1958 Chevy. The replacing of the bulky front fender side trim with a rear fender unit. This created instant style to any 1958 Chevy. But this car has more custom work done to become ultra clean. The door handles and name emblems where all shaved, the headlights where molded in, and what you cannot see in this photo are custom made taillights fitted into hand shaped openings. The lake pipes where nicely integrated with the curved round rods just behind the front wheel openings. And another classic trick is the 1960 Mercury grille which fits these cars so gorgeously. The car was lowered and runs on medium white wall tires with 1959 Dodge Lancer hubcaps. In 1960 you needed to have a set of dummy spotlights, and a full tuck&roll interior… in white…. what a great custom car, with a perfect balance in smoothed body panels and left or modified chrome trim.
Roger Miller of Bellflower, California owned this 1953 Ford. The body work was done by Ed Schelhaas. Rounded hoor corners and eye brows added to the front fenders above the headlights. The grille opening was reshaped using round rod and the gravel pan molded into the fenders and new grille surround. A new grille was built using chrome plated tubing and 1949 Chevy parking lights. The grille was filled with chrome plated mesh. The same mesh was used at the rear fenders where Ed created extended fenders with a new large opening that would hold lenses from a 1954 Olds as well as the exhaust tips. When the body work was completed Ed's painted George Newton painted the car in light teal blue, and Larry Watson pinstriped it in Navy blue.
It just keeps getting better....Happy New Year Rik.
Everytime I see a new Watson car it gets my mind back into a creative mode. Terrific subject and as you can see it has a big following. Thank you!
Thank you for taking the time to share all this Watson history and photo's.
Very enjoyable thread.
Rik along with these pictures was a receipt for painting a dragster body $60 for "Grohs Texaco" dragster old time team. Roger
The funny car body at the " Body & Paint Studio" is the Trojan Horse, Keith Doheny & Larry Fullerton team
Maybe Don Porterfield on the hamb could identify
Automotive history never gets old. It just get's older.
Do you have other pics of this car Rik? I love it!
Black and white contact sheet photo of the 1949 Chevy of Jerry Miller. Larry Watson painted some nice and typical Watson scallops in silver with fading red tips on this all black coupe. Larry outlined the scallops in white. The cars has a nice California rake, Olds hubcaps on wide white wall tires, lake pipes and a set of real appleton spotlights.
Al Lazarus with his 1955 Chevy Hard-Top - in an early Watson paint job - polishing in his drive way. Very unusual color combination with a silver base and a light Olive green pearl with black outlines. Notice the small dent in the front fender just next to the parking light. Things like this eventually led Al to repaint the car. The new paint job by Larry in deep black with light green pearl and silver flames outlined in orange all over the body including the roof would make this car really famous.
several lifes of a kool kustom ! kool
The Trojan Horse body at post #563 is in front of Watson's 5576 Melrose shop. The stop sign is on Gower which runs beside the shop. The sign on the pole across the street says 'Larchmont Bl' which is the next intersection to the left on Melrose. The buildings in the background are all still there.
The Corvette pictures at post #504 are also at the 5576 Melrose shop. Audio Arts was at 5611 Melrose which Google Maps puts right across the street from 5576.
Here are two photos from Larry's Collection showing this Melrose shop.
And here is a google Maps view of the shop in recent years.
I love this card
Another photo of Al Lazarus his 1955 Chevy. This photo - taken by Al - at a 1958 outdoor show held at Excelsior High School in Norwalk shows the car in its most famous second version. Larry had painted the car super black in 1957 at his Long Beach shop, and covered it was would become known as seaweed flames. Al and Larry where very good friends, and they had discussed Al's idea of having flames all over the body on his 1955 Chevy for some time. Larry's long swirly flames where the first of its kind, and became a huge success. They where painted in Olive mist green metallic tipped in silver and pinstriped in imitation gold. Larry mentioned that the only real expense on paint jobs like this was in the huge amounts of masking tape, and of coarse the hours taping it. The guys at the Watson shop nick named Al's 1955 Chevy the "Seaweed Wagon" Al's 1955 Chevy was nosed and decked, and had the door handles shaved, but the Bel Air script on the rear quarter remained in place. The interior was redone in mist blue tuck&roll and the car was lowered by C'ing the frame in the back and cut coils in the front, with chromed undercarriage, hence the removed rear wheel in this photo. The car was very low for a daily driver, and the lake pipes made it look even lower. The custom grill is actually a stock 1955 Chevy grille with most of the vertical bars removed. Hubcaps are 1956 Dodge lancer, mounted on medium size white wall tires. Al's car was always a strong contender in Mild Custom.
Another Gull-wing door Mercedes done by Larry Watson. Larry did a couple of these cars in some pretty amazing colors that would certainly far from amuse todays classic Sports Car collectors. But I really enjoy these customized by paint Sports Cars. Unfortunately there was no info with the photo on this Mercedes. It looks to be painted in a Platinum Pearl with a bit of a dark blue tint in it. I think it looks really sinister with its all black wheels and tires.
Rare color photo of Danny Purinton's 1956 Mercury. The photo was taken by Lou Helms in 1957 at the Compton car show held at the parking lot of Compton Collage. Danny had Ed Schelhaas do the mild custom work on his car. Ed molded in the headlights surrounds on the front fenders. The hood was smoothed, and he rounded of the rear corners of the hood. The grille opening was reshaped to accept the grille of a 1955 Lincoln. At the back Ed extended the rear fenders and installed 1955 Lincoln taillights. Door and trunk handles where shaved. George Newton, Ed's painter, painted the car in a lustrous Bahama blue metallic lacquer. Later George added the mother or pearl white sections. Larry striped the car in imitation gold at night just hours before the Norwalk Motorcade in 1956 would open. The 1957 Ford to the right is Buddy Alcorn's, Dick Jackson built Custom.
Thanks for posting these pix of Al Lazarus's '55, Rik.
It's interesting to learn that the "seaweed flames" on this car were the first Larry did in this style. While nicely done they don't seem to flow with the lines of the car as well as the ones on Jack James' '57 Buick - his real masterpiece of flame painting!
Almost looks like Al and Danny were sharing one set of wheels and tires!
I should have known. I thought the street sign said LAKEWOOD, and I couldn't place the buildings. I didn't spent to much time in that area. Larry and I would sometimes just go for a ride. It would not be politically correct for me to repeat the stories Larry would tell me about that shop. We also visited some of his old homes in that area. My favorite was a glass house, you could look right through it. It was on top of the hill , looking down on hollywood. Bill Decar's daughter works across the street at Paramount Studios. Larrys original light bulb/paint display is still there.
I used this photo in one of the Larry Watson articles I created for Kustoms Illustrated. When I used it in the article I had no idea who's car this was. But since then we have learned that Jim "Bones" Noteboom was the owner of this really great looking Chevy Hard-Top that Larry Watson painted. Not much has been done to the body, perhaps the hood was nosed, but other than that the car is just lowered to the max, and the lake pipes make it even look lower. And the 1953 Cadillac Sombrero's never looked better. The house in the background makes this such a perfect photo.
In progress photo of the Terry Holloway 1957 Plymouth at the Bill deCarr shop on Artesia blvd. Larry had painted this really great mild custom for Terry in cream with a sort of olive green. Fantastic colors with a really perfect outline/panel paint job. But it was time for an update and a fresh car for another car show season. Perhaps the paint which was not the very best quality in those days had started to fade, or crack. So Bill reworked the front and rear with these new canted bumper surounds. I wonder if it was hard for them to put the sander on such great paint work...
Some of the T-SHirts Larry produced for his shop promotion over the years. The one with the Koloring by Animal is the one that stand out the most. He made that one while he was in his Lakewood Shop. Larry Watson's shop on Lakewood was one he stayed pretty long, at least for Larry. From 1962 till 1966 he had his shop there, and in 1966 he also had a shop on Van Nuys Blvd. Here is a photo of some of Larry's T-shirts he had over the years and the Koloring by "Animal" shirt is marked 1966.
A nice black and white photo from the Larry Watson Collection. And this time a car that Larry had not really anything to do with. this very nice 1950 Mercury Convertible was owned by Larry Lorenzo of North Long Beach. Lorenzo worked for Larry Watson when he was in his Long beach shop, they both worked long hours at that shop and became good friends. After work they would cruise in Lorenzo's Merc, and according to Larry they had really great times in this Merc. The car looks to be customized on the early 1950's with its chopped windshield and nicely shaped padded top, rounded hood corners and molded in grille shel with a floating grille created from bumper overriders with some extra teeth added. The door and trunk handles are shaved and the spotlights are genuine items as well. At the rear a set of 1949 Buick taillights was installed vertical - much like Barris did on the Ralph Testa mercury. Unfortunately not much is known about this great custom, when and by who it was built. But we do know that once the car was painted black the very nice flames/scallops where added by Dean Jeffries. The design on the flames is really nicely done, a combination of crab claw and sea weed that flows into a scallop surrounding the side trim, and around the belt-line chrome. The flames/scallops on the trunk, not visible in this photo are very nicely shaped, and look very graphic, more scallops than flames. The flames where done in a metallic gold with red highlights and a fat white outline - the last being a Jeffries trademark.
Rik, great thread and I don't mean to hijack, but when you posted the T-shirt pics it reminded me that Larry gave me a couple color T-shirt heat transfers when he was planning on using my Merc in his movie " the Spray Booth".
These are printed backwards so you could iron them onto a plain white shirt.
The colors have kinda bled on each other as I just had them in a drawer for years.
This would have been in 1979 or so, when his shop was on Melrose in Hollywood.
What was Watson's interriors?
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All I have.. Roger will probably know more about it.
I LOVE the businescard
Any chance there are more pictures of the Cameo lurking in the background of this shot? It looks like it's all taped up waiting for some Watson magic.
Rik, any chance you can hook us up with some pics of Larry's work from the late 60's? Please and thank you
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