The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Ryan, Nov 6, 2017.
Ryan submitted a new blog post:
Ray Erickson's 1952 Ford
Continue reading the Original Blog Post
Wow - very Cool ride - so great to read stories like this one.
Ray called the car "Whistle Bait" because his wife Joan drew a lot of attention driving this car. He was a fast-talking, car-building sparkplug who built a lot of cool stuff over many decades, and he did it all "on the side" as he was an engraver for Hallmark Cards. A great guy.
I dig this era of Ford/ Merc. I certainly overlooked them for many years. Now I’m building a 53, because I see great potential.
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Here's that "WHISTLE BAIT CUSTOM" article:
Those cars make great Customs, the sedans are easily as good a canvas (if not better) as the hardtops. Great example of the potential in the 52-54.
Love the photo of Ray working (I assume) Lead with a propane torch. Old school.
Doesn’t seem like he’s been gone that long but I suppose the dates do line up. Seems like it was only a few months ago in my head.
He built quite a few radical cars
Here are some bits from a conversation I had with Ray in early 2011, when he was recovering from knee surgery, before the cancer diagnosis:
Ray: Whistle Bait, I chopped it when she [Joan] was gone to the coast, California, with her folks. And she doesn't like it that it [the magazine article] says "She didn't know about it." She knew about it. And I chopped it like you saw me in the one photo there, leading it, there was no body putty back then. Leading the door posts, the B-pillar in the back yard, in my neighbor's yard, in the dark.
Ray [about painting Whistle Bait in the street]: Yea, yea, that compressor . . . cord ran from the upstairs bedroom window, where we rented, went out to the street. It's a diaphragm compressor and in the picture it's sitting on the street in the front of the car. I hadn't chopped it yet, that was '54. Couldn't paint it in the back yard because that was dirt. You painted it on the street and when the cars went by you just stopped and waited until they went past.
Ray was born in 1928, so he was a first generation hot rodder and customizer, and he had some great takes on various subjects, flatheads vs. overheads, split manifolds, etc. but what really set him apart was his range of projects that he undertook. He was a prolific amateur customizer, from Devins, to Porsches, to Packards, English Fords, Desotos, motorcycles, yard tractors, you name it. Somebody could do an interesting little book about his love affair with gas-powered machinery. RIP Ray
Nice write up Ryan. I carry Rays funeral service booklet in my club jacket as a reminder of him. I met Ray when I started hanging out with the Misfits Midwest and was lucky enough to be able to chat to Ray most weeks at our clubs meeting. Often Ray would bring photos or articles along, which I would borrow, scan, put em on our website and email him copies. It was fascinating to learn a lot of Hot Rod and Kustom car history around KS and the midwest.
The Misfits submitted him to the KKOA for hall of fame consideration, he was a nominee for 2 years before he passed away, but didn't get the nod. I thought it was a shame as he was more than worthy. But perhaps I am biased.
Here are a couple of pics I didn't notice in the above article and links. The first couple are from The Great Bend, KS, Nats in 1955 showing the 52 Ford in towing a pop up type trailer (a show car and a daily driver!). The next one is from "Rod Builder & Customizer March 1957" which has an article "The 10 Basic Customizing Steps" and features a small photo of the 52's tail light treatment (middle of the 3 tail light photos).
You said it Rikki, Ray was a great guy and a real gentleman!!!
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