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Questions for the Custom crowd..

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by mojodaddy originals, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Hey everyone,
    I've been considering the era I want to focus on when I start building my 54 Bel Air. I want to give the car a classic custom feel. I've been searching for images of customs out of the early 50's and even ventured into some of the classic lowrider looks from the early 60's. I don't want to build this car in a style that is way outside of the time period that is correct for it. So I guess the basic question here is which period do you guys feel is appropriate for a '54, the late 50's custom scene or the early 60's lowrider scene? Any pics that relate to this time period would be incredibly helpful and much appreciated!:D
  2. Kustom Kid 53
    Joined: Feb 9, 2011
    Posts: 188

    Kustom Kid 53

  3. Kustom Kid 53
    Joined: Feb 9, 2011
    Posts: 188

    Kustom Kid 53

    check out the moonglow and larry watsons grape vine two great kustoms form the late 50's early 60's
  4. im building my 53 with the idea it would take moonglows spot of the cover of car craft in 57

  5. Kustom Kid 53, Thanks for the pics and info. the Moonglow is definitely a classic custom Chevy. Pretty cool link there!
  6. larry woods
    Joined: Jan 20, 2010
    Posts: 566

    larry woods
    from venice fl

    Excuse my dementia but i seem to be missing something. i missed type of car- convert, 2dr post, "hardtop", 4DR. i wouldn't do a "moonglow" to a station wagon. no silk purse out of a sow's ear and all that stuff. best wishes on your build and keep us posted.
  7. Sorry it's a 54 Bel Air 2dr hardtop...and I don't plan on making another Moonglow clone...just looking for inspiration towards customs of the Mid 50's to early 60's.
  8. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,431


    Personal preference is a factor here.

    Keep in mind that custom trends developed rapidly through the fifties, partly in response to Detroit's increasingly lavish offerings, and through competition on the emerging car show scene. Elegant simplicity quickly emerged into an orgy of excess. Scoops, peaks, scallops, pipes, lights,etc. ..
    if two were good , six was better!

    For example, note these renditions of some cars already cited.

    "Moonglow" (early):

    "Moonglow" (2nd rendition):

    A third version also appeared, with a tasteful solid paint job, but featuring peaked headlights and Buick portholes in the hood.

    Watson's "Grapevine" (before):

    And after:

    Here is the Barris built Larry Ernst Chevy:

    Second version; scooped, toothed,and three tone paint:

    Keep in mind that these changes happened extremely rapidly, as fad followed fad. Cars that didn't keep pace were quickly passe. (Check out the evolution of the "X-sonic",
    yet another well chronicled example.)

    By the mid-sixties, the Detroit muscle car era had begun, shifting emphasis to performance, and factory backed drag race involvement. The custom era had ended, and you couldn't give them away. (Around 1960, present owner Jim McNeil reportedly paid $500 for the Hirohata Merc from the back row of a used car lot!:eek:)

    The current trend seems to be back to the simpler style, which is my personal preference.

    Perpetual thanks to Rik Hoving for his indispensable archives.;)

    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  9. 'Mo thanks for some excellent history and imagery. I prefer the more tasteful customs as well. They seem to be more stylish than the over the top, although I do enjoy seeing a good Watson ride every now and then! I just feel by keeping it mild and sleek I won't get tired of it as easy as something more over the top and gawdy. I will be viewing Rik's album a lot more to study some history!
  10. Gator
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,016


    Check out Rikster'sFANTASTIC site, he's got pics of cars sorted by the era's they were built in, customizer, manufacturer, etc.

    I'd also stock up on 'little books' from the period you're shooting to emulate. They're usually easy to find at swap meets, on ebay, etc.
  11. codeblu
    Joined: May 11, 2006
    Posts: 606


    A buddy of mine is contemplating a Moonglow style 54 Chevy Sedan Delivery.
  12. slick39
    Joined: Jan 20, 2008
    Posts: 695

    from dallas ,ga

    Hey Gator thanks Rikster has a cool site

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