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History Larry Watson's Personal Photo Collection

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

  1. Lukydevl
    Joined: Feb 23, 2010
    Posts: 700

    from Arizona

    Fantastic stuff Rik.. thanks for sharing...
  2. slammed
    Joined: Jun 10, 2004
    Posts: 8,161


    That delivery is a masterpiece. Dang, this one hurt's good.
  3. Tom davison
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 5,425

    Tom davison
    from Phoenix AZ

    Here's my snapshot from the Mickey Thompson show at the Great Western Exhibit in the spring of '67 showing the detail of the first lace job. In my mind, one of the best lace patterns I've seen. It inspired me to go back to Kansas City and lace the flat side panels on the '66 Riviera that I acquired that fall. Unfortunately, I neglected to take photos of the Riv. Note the Watson price lists scattered in the angel hair.
  4. slammed58buick
    Joined: Mar 14, 2005
    Posts: 274


    Great pictures and stories! Thank you for sharing this segment of customizing history.
  5. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,780


    A few more photos from Larry's Collection.

    Here is a great - black and white - photo from the Larry Watson Collection. Calvin Wiekamp 1955 Mercury mild custom which was nosed and decked, lowered and a Watson lavender pearl with silver and purple faded striped scalloped paint job. Larry outlined the oddly painted scallops in white striping. The car was called the Snake wagon... for obvious reasons. This great shot shows Larry's Grapevine in the back ground...


    Here is a rare photo that Larry took of his Grapevine Chevy showing the gold wheels with the hubcaps and skirts off. Perhaps he took the photo with the car just being put together after Damon Richey had painted it with 1956 Olds Rose Mist metallic below the trip. And a dark metallic purple that Larry had custom mixed by Joe Sheline. Larry got inspired by the colors after seeing Jay Johnston's 1950 Shoebox. Jay's Shoebox was Purple with a lavender top before Jay painted it Coral and orange as it was on the Car Craft cover. Later on Larry learned how to paint from Jay.
    This picture of Larrys car was taken at Bellflower High School, where Larry went to school, and which was close to his parents home. He didn't graduate though, he would park his car in the corner of teachers lot. The principal told him not to park there or he would be suspended, he said he had a business going and needed to advertise with his car. And he didn't need a deploma to make money.


    Al Lazarus and Larry Watson where very good friends. Larry had a 1955 mild custom with shaved, nosed and decked body. Lowered full chromed suspension and a nice white and light blue interior. In 1957 Larry painted a set of what we now call seaweed flames, in Silver and green. The flames covered the complete body. In this photo taken outside Larry's shop we can see half of the body all ready taped and covered with news papers. The passenger side is drawn up, but not taped yet... To bad the photo is a bit over exposed, but still great to see...


    Parked in front of the Bill DeCarr & Larry Watson shop at Artesia Blvd is this wonderful chopper painted by Larry. A very nice chopper with some really nice body work, and of coarse Larry's wonderful panel paint in Fuchsia over pearl white. And another feature I really like are the clear red plex, custom shaped pedals. Also notice the 1946-48 Ford bumpers on the 1940 Ford Coupe sitting in front of it.


  6. 49SUPER6
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 297


    Thank you Rikster, fantastic
  7. bob-o
    Joined: Aug 12, 2007
    Posts: 311


    Hey Rik, how about some detail shots of some veiling or some cob-webbing? ;)
  8. Awesome! How do you get any sleep? I'd be up all night just looking over those pics and searching out all the details night after night. ;)
  9. Rocky Famoso
    Joined: Mar 30, 2008
    Posts: 3,015

    Rocky Famoso

    Thank you once again Rikster.
    Anticipate every addition you post on this thread!
  10. lanny haas
    Joined: Nov 1, 2008
    Posts: 560

    lanny haas
    from Phoenix AZ

    Not real sure how that Rainbow paint would go over today. Since rainbows now have a different meaning
  11. You'd certainly be the hit of certain parades. ;)
  12. twisted sister
    Joined: Sep 18, 2008
    Posts: 170

    twisted sister
    from chicago

    this thread is bitchin!!!!
  13. Thanks for another batch of these great Watson pictures.These are killer shots that I havnt seen.
  14. banditomerc
    Joined: Dec 18, 2005
    Posts: 2,109


    As always,you don't disappoint Rik
  15. I had the honor of Larry giving me a personal tour of his museum a few years ago, and over the years, he had taken literally hundreds and hundreds of pictures and saved nearly every one of them. He had photo displays (if you went to this year's GNRS you saw them) of cars, bikes, and boats that he had painted that I could have spent DAYS gawking over. The guy was amazing. Not only was he an incredible painter, but he had an amazing memory. He could tell you what day of the week he shot the car, the weather, the paint mix, etc. I just stood there with my jaw dropped, trying to soak it all in. I always loved his reference to anything non-lacquer........Communist paint and communist clear. He was a real detail freak, and everything he had from his house to his hair reflected his pursuit of perfection. Everything was spotlessly clean and perfectly positioned. That's usually not the case with most painters.

    Rik- Do you have a picture of the candy-painted light bulb display? Larry had a display at the shop where he had a bunch of powered light bulbs all sprayed with all of his available candy colors. He said that he would flick the switch and all the light bulbs would show the colors. He said that he used to get tons of paint jobs from that display.....

    Somebody really needs to make a book out of all of these pictures. It would be THE reference guide on how a true custom should look, created by one of the Masters. The time that Larry perfected his craft was my absolute favorite era of customizing.

    I miss Larry. He was always a fun guy to talk to. He liked to talk about himself, but that was totally OK with me!
  16. Roger O'Dell
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 1,070

    Roger O'Dell

    The lights would not light up, that was a joke with Larry. The original light/color board is still in his Hollywood shop across the street from Paramount Studios. (Theatritical Auto Body). He started the one you seen at his house, because he used to do them for colors on my car as a favor, after he had several he decided to make a new board , it set in my bedroom a couple of years with the first four bulbs. Roger
  17. Mr.Musico
    Joined: Jan 7, 2007
    Posts: 1,576

    from SoCal

    very cool, thanks
  18. jmh
    Joined: Jun 30, 2008
    Posts: 446


    Please keep posting pics!! John
  19. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,780


    This photo was taken at the Theatrical Auto Body shop

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



    And I think I posted this one before... but you asked for it.

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


    And here are some more....

    Larry Watson and team taping the flames on Pinky Richards 1957 Corvette. No fine line tape back in the late 1950's. Larry's flames are so stylish, and always perfectly shaped.


    In this photo we can see Larry Watson lay some very heavy yellow lines around the black Pepper flames that Larry had just painted on Pinky Richards 1957 Corvette. This photo is not staged like some of the Watson at work photos we have seen. This is Larry at work doing what he does best.


    Another photo of Larry's Grapevine.... LOW

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


    Another photo of Ed Roth at the Bill DeCarr/Watson Artesia Blvd. shop working on his Rotar. Ed is marked in this photo, but I have no clue to who the other people are in this shop. But I do know that if these people are still alive today they most likely will remember this wonderful time the rest of their lives. How great it must have been to walk around in one shop and see the great man Ed Roth, Larry Watson and Bill DeCarr doing their magic...


    And one more photo of Pinky Richard's 1957 Corvette getting flamed by Larry Watson. Again this is not a staged photo, but this is Larry actually spraying the paint for the flames.

    Last edited: Apr 17, 2011
  23. Thanks for continuing to update this thread Rik. Some really great pictures and as you said what an amazing time for custom cars.

    The unstaged pictures are really cool yet kind of sad at the same time knowing what we now know about the lack of safety equipment that was used back in the day and the effect it has had on a number of the old customizers over the years.
  24. vein
    Joined: Aug 9, 2005
    Posts: 479


    OUTSTANDING! thanks for the amazing pictures rikster!
  25. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,988

    Member Emeritus

    Thanks Rickster for posting all of these wonderful old photos. What a great time for the craft seeing the greats emerge to become the icons we hold dear today.

  26. Boones
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 9,559

    from Kent, Wa

    the nomad on cragers is so cool
  27. Theo Douglas
    Joined: Nov 20, 2002
    Posts: 807

    Theo Douglas

    I'm not positive, guys, but I BELIEVE that the super bitchen Triumph in this photo belonged to Jim "Bones" Noteboom.

    I visited his son Kutty Noteboom's house once, about four years ago, and I remember seeing this photo. I totally geeked out on it--'cause it's awesome--and I think that Kutty said it was his old man's bike.

  28. mazdaslam
    Joined: Sep 9, 2004
    Posts: 2,525


    AMAZING Thank you Rik.
  29. chevydave1965
    Joined: May 2, 2010
    Posts: 370

    from Iowa

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