The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Rikster, May 4, 2011.
Oh.I look forward to seeing your progress!
I really like this style too!I'd like to see more done in this style.I wonder if a sedan with the top cut off would look right or if it would have to be a convertable or coupe.
Lets give this post one more boost...
Pat also send me a nice large scan of the trophies in front of the Matranga Merc at the 1951 Oakland Roadster show.
This is the photo of the Merc at taken at the show day, not the set up day where more trophies and a jack could be seen in front of the car.
We are not sure if the trophies shown here are actual won at previous shows - it could very well be since the car was stunning - or if George Barris put some previously won awards from other car in front of the Matranga Merc just as a marketing thing. We have heard the stories George did this, but even though this scan is nice and crisp, and showing a lot of detail I'm unable to read any details on the awards. And it could even be possible that some of the plaques are still blank... dummy's.
Doe anybody have any more photos taken at this 1951 Oakland roadster show, and preferably of the Customs at this show... and even better of this Nick Matranga Mercury? If so, please post.
Scan by Pat Ganahl
It looks like Geroge definitely got some mileage out of the trophies as a couple of the same trophies appear to be in this picture of Jerry's Merc. The two large ones at the back in this picture look the same as the big ones in the Matranga picture.
They might be the same... but it looks like some engraving was added when they where used in the Montebello Tent show. It also looks like the one on the left says Barris. So perhaps it was a special Barris award?
EDIT... I now do remember seeing some trophies as Jack Stewart's place which he won with his 1941 Ford. It also says Barris on them. So I think the trophies where engraved after the show, and the owner, or builders name was engraved in them.
cool trophies..heres a couple of close up shots!
That Merc looks awesome in white.
As to the mystery of the 46 Cadillac custom that nobody seems to put an owner to, I can offer the following. After conversations with both Bart Bartoni and Jesse Lopez, their concurring opinion is that the car was built and owned by George Barris. Jesse thinks that it was the car George had after his 41 Buick. He will check with George and confirm this and I will post the results. As to the identity of Hector & John: Hector Savadra and John Manok (formerly Manokian) were bodymen at the Barris shop on E. Florence Avenue in Bell, CA. Their name appears on the business card that Nick gave me that I sent you a scan of. John Manoks brother, Ralph, was also a Barris shop habitué. Jesse also tells me that he and his high school buddies from Bell High School, Hector, John, etc, along with his friends Nick Matranga, Bill DeCarr (aka Ortega), as well as Johnny Zaro, and other custom guys would caravan in their cars to Balboa Beach and gather in the parking lot of the swingin Rendezvous Ballroom. These impromptu shows of some of the most fantastic, iconic, and beautiful customs would attract huge crowds. The guys would have a whale of a time drinking, dancing, and chasing skirts. Apparently they did this at least three or four times a year. By mid-1950 it was off to Korea, and it was all over. Wouldnt it be fantastic if somebody had photos of any of these gatherings? I hope this is informative.
Barris-Hector-John 46 Cad Card
Considering how affordable a 1936 Ford tudor is, I don't understand why more people don't build cars like this? Tommy's phaeton is drop dead gorgeous!!! When it's time for me to consider another car, I know a 36 tudor is one of my first choices...heck I almost bought one just before I bought the 49 chevy
Great information David! I guess this means that they were only 4 people working at the E. Florence Ave Bell shop, George, Sam, Hector and John? Do you know if hector and John are still around? I guess they may have some stories to tell and maybe even photos to share about their time at Barris Kustoms? That would have been so interesting information
And about that 1946 Cadillac, it makes a lot of sense that it was George's own car as it was used so frequently in advertising (ads, business cards, receipts ++)....but that also makes me wonder why it hasn't been mentioned in any of the Barris books?
I hated to see this thread end, it has been so cool ........Today I received some photos that I want to add, and bring it back to the top! These are more photos from the 1949 Oakland Exotic ,Custom, Roadster Show. Special thanks to Mike Peters for the loan of his Fathers photos!
An interesting note , "Photo by Rick" is Hot Rod photographer Eric Rickman early in his career when he still lived in Nor-Cal.
WOW Ron... those are amazing. Makes you wonder why not more of this 1949 Oakland show where ever published. Probably becuase there just where not to many magazines out there at that time. And by the time '52-53 more magazines where out nobody really was interested in these old photos anymore.
Photos ike these are just so great, they show some of the creativity some of those early builders had. The custom car creations might not all have been works of art as it comes to design, but they sure where not afraid to experiment.
I had an interesting discussion with Jesse Lopez the other night. I had asked him a few days before to quiz George about the Carson topped 46 Cadillac that was on his business cards early on. This is what Jesse said; George says that was no 46. That was a 42 and that was my [Georges] car. I was looking at the photos of this 46 Cadillac and noticed that the front view revealed that it had a 47 grill. My theory is that George is either mistaken or he upgraded a 42 Cad ragtop with a 47 grill and other trim. Jesse also gave me the whole story in great detail of how Georges 41 Buick was wrecked. Jesse was standing there when it happened. What was most interesting about the end of that story is that Jesse says George refused to drive the car again after he repaired it and subsequently sold it. I will further investigate this Cad convertible and eventually pin it down.<O
Very interesting info David... Thanks for passing it along, and thanks to Jesse for asking George about it.
It would make sense it was George his car, the car was used on the business cards, and letter head and invoices for quite some time. But its so odd the car is never mentioned in any of his books.... Hopefully the full story on it will come to us one day.
The 2dr hardtop uses the same body and doors as the convert. Simply removing the top at the windshield header and rear should expose the hidden convert. that you want. Most converts have rust in the floorpans the hardtops not so much...
Hello Rik & Ron!
Has anybody else ventured an opinion as to the Cadillac on the early Barris business cards? As I mentioned to you before, Jesse Lopez asked George about the car directly showing him a photograph at the same time. George said it was "his '42 Cadillac". While there are very few pictures showing the side of the car that are not blurry or in shadow, I believe it is a '42, because of the visible flair at the bottom of the door that can barely be seen in this photograph. 1946 & '47 did not have that feature. The grill, as I have mentioned before, is definitely not a '46, but a modified '47, in my opinion. This coupled with the fact that the '42 Cadillac would be a much cheaper buy for George in the late 40's, a '46 or '7 would have a higher blue book (resale) value. This is not the definitive answer, however barring any further evidence I think it's safe conjecture.
I was wondering how the '40 Merc is coming.....the last time I saw it was at Bobby Walden's shop 2 years ago. I couldn't believe it was my old car. I still have mine, there's just something about a '40 Merc that is like flypaper I just can't part with it. I'm Ill.
Safety Harbor, Fl
I showed a photo of this Cadillac to Jack Stewart, and he also claimed it belonged to George Barris. So the chances this was a George Barris car are pretty big.
The only question is why did George never write about this car in any of his books or magazine article back then or now?
Maybe he just owned for a very short time. PIERO, can't you ask old George? Also ask him if he has some photos of it for us...
Perhaps... but he did use the car on his business card for two shops, with three different kinds of card.
And he also used this car on his invoice paper - as you know!
That all makes it very strange he would forget about it?!?
Maybe he didn't have enough pictures of it that he felt were worth putting in the books.
Certain things seem to get forgotten, while other stuff is remembered in great detail.It was a long time ago so ............
Any info on this car?
Photo by Fred Klyver www.FredsSlides.com
Pierre Paul 1941 Buick. Piere Paul was a Custom builder from Oakland Ca.
A couple more photos of the car can be found on my site here.
I have a copy that I bought in 1951, and read thousands of times. It's covered with Scotch tape and half the pages are loose. It's in truly terrible condition, but I'm too sentimental about it to discard it.
I have a second copy that I found at an antique show in CT about 1980; it was absolutely mint. I never open it, but it's a great comfort to know that I have one that will last the rest of my life in nice condition.
Thanks for the post. Great history! Very informative.
Thanks for the greetings.
I'm glad you still have your Merc.
There is no association whatsoever concerning my '40 Mercury and that shop.
My project is in my own and a few other fellows' capable hands.
It will be finished soon.
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