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History Larry Watson's Personal Photo Collection

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Rikster, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. sled
    Joined: Nov 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,076

    sled
    Member

    Rik,this thread is way off the planet,a real pleasure...amazing stuff that should make all custom guys thinkin hard ..all these cars were just wild ONLY with a paintjob,almost no body mods ...we should learn today ...
    and talkin about books all this Watson stuff you're showin us is more than good for a great book on the master,im sure it will be a best seller..did you ever tought about it?
     
  2. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,780

    Rikster
    Member

    [​IMG]





    I have shown a few photos of this 1958 Chevy Bel Air before but never an exterior photo of this version. The car is Danny Morgan's 1958 Chevy. I have shown the car in a candy green with gold outlines (see the photo of the white and fogged blue panel 1957 Chevy I posted yesterday) as well as an all gold version. This more darker candy green with a pearl lime gold top is the last version of this car I'm aware of. The photo of it was taken around 1960-61 in front of the Bill DeCarr/Watson shop at Artesia Blvd. The first version of the car in Candy green and gold outline showed the car basically as completely stock with a lowered suspension. On the next gold version Danny's car had some of the trim on the hood, front fenders and trunk removed and side pipes added. And in this last version Danny decided not to change anything but the paint. The car looks amazing in this photo with a slight Californian rake, perfect color combo and the Lancer hubcaps with color coded centers has never looked better on any other car.

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    1951 Oldsmobile "98" Holliday Coupe Hard-Top painted by Larry Watson. Another great outline paint job, this time outlined in candy red over a pearl white base. A rather unique color combination for this type of car, and paint style. The effect this color combination has on the nearly stock body is amazing. The body has been de-chromed a bit with the shave of the hood ornament and most of the trunk hardware. The car has been lowered a relatively small amount all around. Most likely the car was an every day user and needed to be practical. The only out of place things to me are the gold colored wheels. Seams like they came from an earlier version of this car with a different paint job. The color coded three bar hubcaps are however a very nice touch. The interior has been done in a matching white and red tuck & roll upholstery. And in another more rear angle photo from this same car we could see that the dashboard had been covered with pin-striping, but non on the outside. Another great custom car photo from the Larry Watson Personal Collection.

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    Larry Watson painted this milady customized 1956 Chevy Hard Top in a unusual but very attractive mint blue-green pearl on the top with a dark slightly blueish candy green on the bottom. An amazing color combination that must have turned a lot of heads back in 1959 when this photo was taken. The car has been mildy customized with some trim removal and a nosed hood and decked trunk. But the door handles remained on the car. Most likely for practicality, but I also like the looks on them on this type of mild custom. The car was lowered and set on a slightly forward (Californian) rake. A set of dummy lake pipes helps lower and stretch the car optical. The wheels where painted the dark body color and the hubcaps replaced by four bar spinners on the perfect size white wall tires. The taillights were customized with 1959 Cadillac taillights. (the 59 Cadillac was brand new back then so the lights were not yet overused as they are now) There is also an bullet shaped light on the bottom of the taillight assembly but I have not been able to find out where those came from. Not visible in this photo is the chrome tubular grille that replaces the original unit. The interior is done in white with horizontal tuck & roll panels on the seats. And the dash boar is painted mint green pearl with the dark body color fogged in around the edges. Another fine sample of Larry Watson's eye for the right color on the car. The photo comes from the Larry Watson Personal Collection.

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  3. 51wagon
    Joined: Oct 1, 2008
    Posts: 168

    51wagon
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from northwoods

    Rik,

    That is indeed an attractive color combo on the '56 Chev. In addition to the modifications that you mention, it appears to have non-stock bumper guards, also.

    I can't imagine the hours that you spend on documenting and preserving the history of custom cars, but we all certainly appreciate it.

    Thank you!
     
  4. firemangordy
    Joined: Feb 28, 2007
    Posts: 293

    firemangordy
    Member

    The rear bumper is off a '56 wagon. The bumper guards are shorter to clear the tailgate when it's down.
     
  5. Roger O'Dell
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 1,061

    Roger O'Dell
    Member

    No they used the wagon bumper to get the plate off the trunk
     
  6. firemangordy
    Joined: Feb 28, 2007
    Posts: 293

    firemangordy
    Member

    I know Roger, that's the reason I put a '55 wagon bumper on the back of my car. He thought the guards were modified.

    Gordy
     
  7. I think that's my favorite batch yet. The olds is great and the merc is STUNNING!!!
     
  8. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,912

    need louvers ?
    Member


    Man, I couldn't have ever begun to say that better myself. I have been kinda hard on custom guys and even Rikster himself over the years, and it's kind of a reaction to the current state of customizing as you describe. I find that these picture of what Watson did with minimal changes and TONS of tallent really "makes" these cars for me. Rik, I've said sorry before for my mouth, but I gotta say that this really has become one of my favorrite threads here on the H.A.M.B. Thank you very much!
     
  9. Rocky Famoso
    Joined: Mar 30, 2008
    Posts: 3,015

    Rocky Famoso
    BANNED

  10. I love this thread. I have spent hours on it.
     
  11. Excellent thread - thanks for this Rik.
     
  12. gc427
    Joined: Aug 10, 2009
    Posts: 122

    gc427
    Member
    from SoCal

    I love this thread. Thank you Rikster!


    I wanted to share a really cool video that I found posted on YouTube by kideuce with Larry describing some of the cars that he painted.


     
  13. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,505

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    are there any more pics of the silvery blue with flames 1961 Dodge?
     
  14. Ebert
    Joined: Feb 13, 2006
    Posts: 1,916

    Ebert
    Member

    Love this thread!!!
     
  15. I have that original video that Larry sent me in the 90's. I sold his shirts and posters for years at the Turkey Rod RUn.
     
  16. gc427
    Joined: Aug 10, 2009
    Posts: 122

    gc427
    Member
    from SoCal

    Damn! This one is just way too cool looking.

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    rodncustomdreams likes this.
  17. PUMPKINHEAD
    Joined: Dec 16, 2007
    Posts: 438

    PUMPKINHEAD

    :DBTTT.....keep them pics coming:D
     
  18. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,780

    Rikster
    Member

    Here is another photo of the wonderful two tone green 1956 Chevy Hard Top that Larry Watson painted. This photo gives us a better look at the all white interior inside the car with the horizontal pleats. And the pearl mint green with dark green fogged dash board. The photo also shows the trim removal from the front and the clean tube grille. Everything about this car is just so perfect.
    The photo from the Larry Watson Personal Collection was taken at Larry'a Famous Bellflower, Rosecrans Blvd shop in 1959.

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    Dave Robertson from Hollydale, California, was the owner of this 1958 Chevy that Larry painted Cherry Burgundy over a platinum pearl base.
    The body has been mildly customized with a shave and scoops added to the front fenders and above the rear window. The front side trim was replaced with a rear section, which as a simple but very effective way to clean up any 1958 Chevy custom. the rear fenders where modified using 1959 Plymouth taillights and the gas filler door was closed and filler moved into the trunk.
    Barely visible is the lavender painted dash. The interior was done in white pearl vinyl with long and narrow pleats. The car is lowered with a slight California rake running on chrome reverse rims and medium white walls. Not visible in this photo is the tubular grille.
    Another photo from the Larry Watson Personal Collection.

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    Jim Skonzakes had his cars at the Larry Watson shop several times in the late 1950's early 1960's. Larry painted the Kookie Kar for Jim, as well as the Ford COE Golden Sahara hauler.
    This photo from the Larry Watson Personal Collection shows the Golden Sahara II in its early version at Larry's Rosecrans Blvd shop. Jim could not remember why the car was at Larry's shop then, but most likely because Bill DeCarr and Larry Watson were working on his COE truck.
    Bill did the body work on the truck, and Larry painted it a pearl white with dark magenta and gold graphics. The Golden Sahara II still has is "regular" custom hubcaps and white wall tires in this photo. Later Jim had Bob Metz create some amazing finned hubcaps and Good Year created the glowing glass tires for it.
    This photo gives a nice look at the unique Pearl Paint that Jim had put on the car in 1957-58 by Jim Roth.

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    With the Golden Sahara II finished by Bob Metz and at the Delphos Machine & Tool shop it was time to show the car all around the US. Jim Skonzakes had bought a brand new 1958 Ford COE truck especially for hauling the Golden Sahara. A special cargo body was built in stainless steel by a factory close to Jim's home in Dayton Ohio.
    In late 1959 it was time to have some custom work done on the truck as well. Jim figured he could not drive the Golden Sahara - one of the most customized cars ever - all over the US in a factory stock truck. He asked Bill DeCarr to customize it for him. Bill added some really nice touches including the 1960 Mercury grille and Cadillac bullets on the bumper as can be seen in this photo.
    Larry Watson was hired to do the really great paint job in pearl white and fuchsia and gold graphics. The truck was a fantastic sight on the roads, and it must have been even more amazing if the Golden Sahara was unloaded from it.

    This photo from the Larry Watson Personal Collection shows the almost finished truck (spotlights and a few other details are still missing) at the Bill DeCarr/Larry Watson Artesia Boulevard shop in early 1960.

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  19. ynottayblock
    Joined: Dec 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,954

    ynottayblock
    Member

    thanks Rik, that 56 is rolling art
     
  20. The Golden Sahara is cool, but I would love to see more pics of this truck.

    Thanks for posting these Rik.
     
  21. knotttty
    Joined: Sep 2, 2010
    Posts: 422

    knotttty
    Member

  22. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,780

    Rikster
    Member

    Several people asked me for some more photos of Jim Skonzakes his 1958 Ford truck. So here is another photo of this really great looking Golden Sahara hauler. This photo was taken shortly after Larry Watson had finished the paint on the car, but before he had added the striping to accentuate the graphics. The other customized parts like the Mercury grille and roof scoop and interior are also still missing. Later on the huge wheels would be send out to be plated as well. Jim told me that before this truck he had a customized School bus which he used to haul his custom cars and parts around when he was unable to drive them to shows. When he bought the Ford truck he gave away the school bus to his friend and master customizer Bob Metz.

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    This fantastic mild customized 1956 Chevy custom belongs to Harvey Buthoff. One of the first things you notice when you see this car is the excellent paint work which was done by Larry Watson who once again proofed his great eye for colors and lay out on Harvey's Chevy. Larry used an pale banana pearl color on the bottom and candy orange on the top portion of the car.
    combination. Typical Larry Watson thing on the car is the way the color separation between the two colors was handled using the side trim. Nothing new, but the way Larry continued the upwards curve of the lower portion of the side trim at the front is really brilliant.
    The heavy outlined flames with the black faded outlines are almost cartoonish, but fit the car perfectly. The same black fade was repeated on the scallops and outline portion on the front of the car. But before Larry applied his magic to the car Harvey had his Chevy customized with the use of Chrysler grille bars, the body was smoothed with all the emblems and handles removed. The car was lowered all around and a set of Plymouth hubcaps, white wall tires, full size lakes pipes and Bellflower tips give this car a even longer and lower feel. The interior was upholstered in white Tuck&Roll with vertical pleats. And the set of Spotlights - most likely dummy's - was still mandatory in 1959 when this photo was taken.

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    Larry Watson painted this 1961-63 T-Bird in a wonderful dark candy red, simple but very effective. The car itself is mildly customized. The factory trim has been removed, the stance has been adjusted a little and the owner added double lake pipes, landau irons on the rear pillars, dummy spotlights and chrome wheels with 6 bar spinners and chrome bullets. I'm not sure if Larry was also responsible for the light blue 1953 Chevy parked behind it. Very nice mild custom nosed and decked, Appletons and what looks like an custom upholstery in white and dark blue. In any event another nice photo from the Larry Watson Collection showing these two mild customs parked in front of Larry's shop.

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  23. Rocky Famoso
    Joined: Mar 30, 2008
    Posts: 3,015

    Rocky Famoso
    BANNED

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    Has always been one of my favorite '56 Chevy customs.
    Thanx for posting, much appreciated Rik!
    .
     
  24. froghawk
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 845

    froghawk
    Member

    Cool stuff, Rikster! Love the color combo on '56 Chev.

    I think the T-bird is wearing '60 Chevy dog-dish caps with a bullet in the center on its chrome wheels. Kind of a cool combo!
     

    Attached Files:

  25. dirtybirdpunk
    Joined: Jun 24, 2006
    Posts: 303

    dirtybirdpunk
    Member

    Larry Watson painted this 1961-63 T-Bird
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    I'm going with 1961, the trim between the roof and body as well as the hood are 61 only.... Beautiful bird!
     
  26. Roger O'Dell
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 1,061

    Roger O'Dell
    Member

    Harvey Buthof ( the 56 chevy owner) was Larry's very first customer. He had Larry stripe his shoebox to prove that Larry had striped his own chevy (later known as the heartless, and grapevine), and not Von Dutch.
     
  27. And here is a video of Larry telling the story that Roger is talking about....straight from the master!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBdOvrZCmCo
     
  28. Lurker McGurk
    Joined: Apr 8, 2011
    Posts: 159

    Lurker McGurk
    BANNED
    from next door

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    Came across this picture and I am curious if it is a Larry Watson painted car.
     
  29. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,780

    Rikster
    Member

    No, Joe Bailon built and painted that car.

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  30. Lurker McGurk
    Joined: Apr 8, 2011
    Posts: 159

    Lurker McGurk
    BANNED
    from next door

    Thank's Rik for the answer. It's a pretty cool car. I like the way Joe did the taillights.
     

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