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History The 2016 Customs by the Sea - Calling All Early Customs

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by SuperFleye, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. SuperFleye
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 2,020

    SuperFleye
    Alliance Vendor

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    East Coast. West Coast. This year we're doing them both!
    - June 4-5 the 3rd annual Customs by the Sea will be held in Wildwood, California.
    - October 15-16 our first Customs by the Sea will be held in Pismo, California.

    The rules are the same as last year:
    - Pre 1952 Custom Cars, restyled in a pre 1952 style.
    - No visible parts newer than 1952.
    - Pre registered cars only.

    Visit www.customsbythesea.com to sign up for a spot today.
     
  2. SuperFleye
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 2,020

    SuperFleye
    Alliance Vendor

    First Featured Registration of the season is Bill Pearce's 1939 Ford Convertible - a Hecienda Heights, California Survivor! Bill's Ford was restyled in the late 1940s or the early 1950s, and the list of modifications includes a channeled body, a chopped windshield frame and a padded top by Carson Top Shop. A great custom! The car is currently owned by Bill's grandson Duane Perdoza, who will attend the Pismo show with the car. More info on the Pearce Ford can be found here: http://kustomrama.com/index.php?title=Bill_Pearce's_1939_Ford

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    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
  3. VOODOO ROD & CUSTOM
    Joined: Dec 27, 2009
    Posts: 1,230

    VOODOO ROD & CUSTOM
    Member

    Wildwood, N.J. ??? not Cali....

    VR&C.
     
  4. fatty mcguire
    Joined: Dec 5, 2004
    Posts: 1,199

    fatty mcguire
    Member

    gotta read, hes doing 1 in wildwood and 1 cali, this ford looks like its going to be in the cali show
     
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  5. Jay71
    Joined: Sep 15, 2007
    Posts: 765

    Jay71
    Member

    Bummed my wagon can't be included in the show , but I'm still really looking fwd to the Pismo deal. Camping, surfing, and customs at the beach!? Should be great!
     
  6. SuperFleye
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 2,020

    SuperFleye
    Alliance Vendor

    Last year we had a parking area right outside the fence, reserved for the hot rods and customs that didn't make the cut for the show. We're working on similar arrangements for both Wildwood and Pismo this year :)
     
  7. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 21,693

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    Wow - both should have some terrific rides show up
     
  8. SuperFleye
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 2,020

    SuperFleye
    Alliance Vendor

    East Coast! We're proud to present the first Featured Registration for the 3rd annual Customs by the Sea car show in Wildwood! Ralph Tyrone Scarfo's 1950 Oldsmobile was supposedly restyled in San Diego, California in the mid 1960s. Modifications includes a 2 inch chop, radiused rear wheel openings and a partially shaved body. Even though the car was originally built in the mid 1960s it has a look and feel similar to the initial version Ron Dunn's 1950 Ford! Ralph is currently trying to find out more about the history of his car. If you know anything about it please let us know! More info and photos can be found here: http://kustomrama.com/index.php?title=Ralph_Tyrone_Scarfo's_1950_Oldsmobile

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  9. ELD
    Joined: Apr 11, 2008
    Posts: 653

    ELD
    Member

    For those that shun that social media site Facebook, Sondre has been posting some history on early customs and as to why the pre '52 cut-off. Aside from the fact that it is in keeping with the vibe of The Race of Gentlemen, these early customs deserve some attention that gathered in one venue will give them. So I ran the idea of posting his History of customs here for all those that may have missed them on that "other" site and he gave me the go ahead, so without further ado we begin classes.

    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 1
    As some of you already know, we announced that we will hold two Customs by the Sea in the US this year, in collaboration with the Oilers car club and their Race of Gentlemen. One show in Wildwood, New Jersey, and one in Pismo, California! Great news for a small organization like us! We already have some great cars signed up, that we can't wait to share with you, but before we do so we will dive back in history! Many people have been asking about our Pre 1952 rule. Wondering where it comes from and why? For many 1954 sounds like a smarter choice. Well, the answers are many, and a complete answer would take a whole encyclopedia to fulfill Instead we have decided to spend the next weeks taking you trough the evolution of the custom car. Where did it come from, how did it evolve over time, and why we decided to stop in 1952. I have no good answer to where it all started and why, but have decided to start this journey in 1930! Customizing in the 1920s was mostly done for wealthy movie stars and executives that commissioned body builders such as Murphy.
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 2
    We're back with Part II in our Evolution of the Custom Car Story! Tag along to find out why we decided to go for a pre 1952 rule for the Customs by the Sea show in Wildwood and Pismo. The 1931 Ford Model A Roadster shown here was restyled by Frank Kurtis in 1931. Although a customized car, this is not what most people consider a traditional custom.
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 3
    This is part 3 of our history lesson, focusing on the Evolution of the Custom Car. So far we have been focusing on the early work of Frank Kurtis. In 1932 Kurtis left Don Lee and opened up his own body shop behind his house. One of his earliest custom efforts in the new shop was the Boattail Speedster shown in the upper left image here. Built on an Essex frame, the Speedster featured an Oldsmobile engine and a Cadillac grille. The Speedster in the two other photos were built in 1933. A hand built body was mounted on a LaSalle frame. The fenders were rescued from a dump, and the engine was from an Oldsmobile. Frank had a hard time making ends meet, so he returned to Don Lee Motors early in 1935. Do we accept custom built Speedsters into Customs by the Sea? Yes please! Bring em on.
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 4
    One of my all-time favorite customs was built as early as 1935! It was a labour of love between Frank Kurtis and George DuVall, another early custom pioneer! Frank and George built the car for the Southern California Plating Company. Completed in 1936, it was supposedly the first car ever to wear one of DuVall's famous windshields! George began working for the Southern California Plating Company around 1931, picking up and delivering parts. The owner of the shop, Leonard DeBell, saw the custom work George had done to his cars, and he decided to give him more creative work at the company. When George joined the company, they built a lot of race-car shells and other chrome necessities. In order to advertise the business, DeBell had DuVall hammer out new curves on his delivery trucks and plating fancy front ends. One of the trucks DeBell and DuVall built prior to the '35 Phaeton can be seen here: http://bit.ly/22TGkOG.
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 5
    It's time for Chapter 5 in the Kustomrama Kustom Car History Lesson! In Chapter 4 we presented the Southern California Plating Company Truck, restyled by Frank Kurtis and George DuVall. The truck was completed in 1936. Frank Kurtis' name has been popping up in all of our stories so far. According to rumors, Frank Kurtis was also responsible for the first inset license plate. This job was supposedly done in 1936, on an early Airflow DeSoto. The feature spread as wildfire, and was widely copied, becoming one of the most popular custom touches of the 1930s! According to Motor Life May 1955 the inset license plate more than any other feature marked the "California Car" back in the early days of customizing! Hopefully there will be many inset license plate at this years Customs by the Sea
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 6
    We're back with another chapter of our Custom Car History Lesson, where the goal is to show you a short version of the evolution of the custom car. This beautiful 1936 Ford Phaeton was restyled by Tommy "The Greek" Hrones of Oakland, California in 1937! One year after the So Cal Plating Special Phaeton was completed!
    In 1925 Tommy went to work in his uncle's auto paint shop. Shortly thereafter he began striping. Tommy went on to become a noted pinstriper, a pioneer in the custom pinstriping field. Tommy's interest for automobile styling led him to customizing as well, and his 1936 Ford was restyled by removing the running boards, adding a DuVall windshield, shaving the door handles, adding fender skirts and bobbing the trailing edge of the front fenders, similar to contemporary Cadillac and LaSalle styling. More info on Tommy The Greek can be found here:http://kustomrama.com/index.php?title=Tommy_"The_Greek"_Hrones
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 7
    One of the earliest East Coast Customs I have found is Bob Hart's 1932 Ford Roadster. A photo of the car appeared in Hot Rod Magazine December 1948! According to the caption it was restyled between 1938 and 1939. Custom modifications lncluded fender skirts, a narrow grille, repositioned headlights, and a windshield similar to a Hallock or boat window. The grille seems to be inspired by either on of George DuVall's early grilles, or the Fords built by Brewster & Co. The same photo was also used in the 1947 Almquist Speed and Mileage Manual! If anyone know where this car are today, please tell the owner to sign it up for out 3rd annual Customs by the Sea show in Wildwood
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 8
    We have spent the last week giving you brief introduction to customizing in the 1930s. It is important to understand where the custom car as we know it comes from, and how it evolved during the 1930s and the 1940s. We can't leave the roaring 30s without having a look at Link Paola's 1940 Ford convertible. Link Paola of Glendale, California bought the car in 1939, while working in the body shop of a Ford dealership. Back then, the new models were delivered to dealers before they were released to the public, so the dealers had time to arrange showroom layouts and plan the big opening day. According to Spencer Murray, the dealer that Link worked at got a load of 1940 Fords about a week or 10 days early. Link convinced the dealer to sell him one. He restyled it without the dealer knowing it, and on the day the '40 models were displayed for the first time, Link parked his customized Ford in front of the agency! Link's car drew a larger crowd then the stock cars inside, and Link was fired on the spot. After being fired, he opened up Link's Custom Shop in Glendale. Link's 1940 Ford was without doubt the first chopped 1940 Ford! It was restyled in 1939, so let's have a look at the modifications. The windshield was chopped and the car was fit with a Carson Top.(Glen Houser built his first non-folding padded top for a 1930 Ford Model A Convertible in 1935. So the first Carson Top saw the light of day 4 years prior to Link's Ford being chopped.) The car was then nosed and decked. The running boards were removed, and ripple bumpers and single bar flipper hubcaps were installed. It was painted Maroon! There you have it, a perfect recipe for a late 1930s custom! Glendale had some of the best customs back in the days, just check it out here: http://kustomrama.com/index.php?title=Glendale
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 9
    It's time for Part 9 of our Custom Car History Lesson! We are entering the 1940s. The roaring thirties are over, and the world is at war! Around 1940 Norm Milne of Sacramento, California drove his 1938 Ford Convertible Sedan to Los Angeles to have it chopped and fit with a Carson Top. The rest of the car was restyled by a fellow from Sacramento, named Harry William Westergard. Harry, who began building cars in the late 1930s, dechromed Norm's Ford before he fit it with a LaSalle grille and an obligatory inset rear license plate. A funny fact is that Norm's Ford was one of a few known cars that Harry installed a LaSalle grille on. This photo shows the car as it sat in 1949....more info and photos of this early Westergard custom can be found here: http://kustomrama.com/index.php?title=Norm_Milne's_1938_Ford
    Two weeks ago we ran a featured story on Robert Martinez' 1950 Oldsmobile 98. Roger Honey used to hang around Styler's Custom Shop in San Diego when Robert worked there, and he told me that Robert always had a personal custom project in the works. In fact he can't remember seeing him driving a stock car. Looking trough "Trend Book 122 Custom Cars 1956 Annual" we stumbled across another one of Robert's customs, a nicely done 1949 Ford, so we made a little featured story on it...check it out here: http://www.kustomrama.com/index.php…
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 10
    Yesterday we presented Norm Milne's Harry Westergard restyled 1938 Ford convertible sedan in our Custom Car History Lesson. Norm's Ford was restyled around 1940. At the time Harry worked at a body shop in Roseville called Brown's Body Shop. A local kid, that we all know as George Barris, used to spend all of whatever spare time he could find hanging out at the shop, observing the guys do metal work. At last the owner put up with George and his endless questions, and he put him to work. He let George do a little welding, as he let him "set in" the license plate of a 1936 Ford. The shop owner was quite surprised at the fine job George did on the car, even if George had run into a lot of trouble. George knew after his first custom job, that restyling automobiles was the thing for him. Harry Westergard became a mentor for George at Brown's, and he began helping Harry whenever time would permit. Working at Brown's, George was able to save up enough money to buy a 1936 Ford 3-Window coupe. George's coupe became the first "real" Barris Kustom, and when it was completed in 1941 the list of modifications included an inset license plate, a chopped top, removed running boards, solid hood sides, a custom grille, lowering, skirts, ripple bumpers, flipper hubcaps, a spotlight, altered tail lights, shaved handles, push button operated doors and deck lid, and a nice lacquer paint job! George's '36 is the perfect example of an early 1940s Northern California custom: http://www.kustomrama.com/index.php?title=George_Barris'_1936_Ford_Coupe
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 11
    It's time for Chapter 11 in our Custom Car History Lesson! In Chapter 10 we had a look at George Barris' first real custom, a 1936 Ford 3-window coupe, that he restyled around 1940-1941. Around the same time the first customs featuring fadeaway fenders started to pop up on the scene. George liked the fadeaway fender look, and it became one of Barris Kustom's trademarks in the 1940s. George meant that giving a car fadeaway fenders sat it apart and stamped it as a kustom. One of the first known fadeaway fendered custom cars can be seen here, Butler Rugard's 1940 Mercury. Butler bought the car brand new in 1940. He had owned several customized cars before, and wanted this one to be restyled as well. There is no definitive documentation on the car, but it is believed that Butler initially just wanted a set of fadeaway fenders and that the customizing happened on and off over the next couple of years. The work was performed by George Barris' mentor: Harry Westergard! More customs featuring fadeaway fenders can be found here: http://www.kustomrama.com/index.php?title=Fadeaway_Fenders
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 12
    1941 is an important year in the history of the traditional custom car. 1941 was the year Northern California customizer George Barris completed his first real custom build. 1941 was also the year Southern California customizer Neil Emory completed his first custom build. Neil was born and raised in Burbank, California, and just as George Barris, he used to hang around local garages watching body men at work while growing up. One of the shops Neil used to hang around was coachbuilder Howard Darrin's shop in Hollywood. He also rode his bike over to Pasadena to the Bohman & Schwartz garage. He couldn't get inside these shops, but he peeked through windows and fences. In the 7th grade Neil took classes in carpentry, metal-working, and auto shop. Before the war Neil hung out at a garage building midget racers doing gofer chores no one else wanted. The garage was next door to CoachCraft. And that was no accident. The garage had a common wall with CoachCraft, and there was a door between the two, so Neil now had an access to the CoachCraft Shop, and could slip in there to watch the masters at work. In 1940 Neil set out to build his first custom, a 1937 Dodge convertible. Most of the work Neil did on the car was done in his shop classes at Burbank High. An inset license plate was a must, and at school Neil recessed both the license plate and his Throttle Stompers club plaque. He also added 1939 Ford tail lights, solid hood sides, fender skirts and custom hubcaps. Burbank Auto Body chopped the top for Neil, before Carson Top Shop fit it with one of their signature padded tops. An iconic modest early custom! In 1948 Neil went on to open up Valley Custom Shop with his brother in law Clayton Jensen. Located in Burbank, California, Valley Custom Shop is still known for creating some of the most beautiful and elegant customs of all time. Chopping, channeling and sectioning were specialities for the shop! Looking at the cars Neil and Clayton built, it is evident that the coachbuilders of Southern California left huge impressions with Neil. While coachbuilders mostly crafted bodies from scratch, Neil and Clayton reshaped factory cars to look longer, lower, cleaner and richer…just check for yourself at the Valley Custom Shop page on Kustomrama:http://kustomrama.com/index.php?title=Valley_Custom
    Hopefully we will have some cars representing the Valley Custom Shop look at Customs by the Sea in Pismo and Wildwood
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 13
    Customizing cars in the early 1940s involved a lot of experimentation. The rules of the game weren't defined, and styles and trends were still in their infancy. There were no hot rod or custom magazines around that you could draw inspiration from, and trial and error was common practice. In 1944 Dan R. Post of Arcadia, California began selling mimeographed custom pamphlets dedicated to custom restyling. Dan's books are the earliest known published pieces on customizing, and if you have read trough one of his books, you quickly realize that many early 1940s customs didn't look like the custom cars of Harry Westergard or George Barris. According to Dan's Introduction in the first pamphlet from 1944, "This manual offers an up-to-the-minute collection of ideas, devices and suggestions for customizing your car. With a few of the plans from this handbook worked out on your car, you will have one of the smartest looking jobs in town.” Dan’s mission was to teach people about custom restyling. What to do, and what not to do. In 2013 the Rodder’s Journal began selling a box set, containing reproductions of four of Dan’s pamphlets and six of his books. Any custom treatment you find in Dan’s early books are allowed in on Customs by the Sea in Wildwood and Pismo! If you haven’t bought the book set, you better check em out before they’re all gone. http://www.roddersjournal.com/shop/dan-post-boxed-set-of-reprints/
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 14
    Bob Creasman's 1940 Ford coupe is another early Los Angeles custom. Creasman began restyling the car in 1943, and according to Hop Up October 1953, it was the first 1940 Ford coupe to be channeled in the Los Angeles area. It was also supposedly the second chopped 1940 Ford in the Los Angeles area. An early version of the coupe appeared in Dan Post's Original Blue Book of Custom Restyling from 1944. By then the car was nosed and decked and shaved for side-trim. The taillights were shaved and replaced with motorcycle type units, the quarter windows were blanked, the running boards were removed. Custom accessory included fenders skirts and hubcaps. By 1948 the door handles had been shaved, and the car was fit with fadeaway fenders. This version can be seen in Hop Up October 1953. The car is still around, and if you know the current owner, please tell him to bring it to the Customs by the Sea car show in Pismo or Wildwood
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 15
    In September of 1945 a newly founded hot rod and custom club called Capitol Auto Club held their first meeting in Sacramento, California. Founding members were Harry Westergard, Norm Milne, and Dick Bertolucci. The meeting found place in Harry Westergard's chicken coup shop on Fullton Avenue. The club was later renamed Thunderbolts. Mel Falconer was another charter member of the club, and in 1945 he had fellow club member Harry Westergard restyle his 1939 Ford. Mel's Ford isprobably one of the most famous Westergard's customs of all time, and according to Pat Ganahl's book "The American Custom Car", it is also one of the first custom cars that featured solenoids to open the doors. According to old stories, the shaved door handles caused many a stare from bystanders at the time! Other modifications included the obligatory inset license plate, a 1940 Packard grille, filled hood, 1937 DeSoto bumpers, full skirts and leopard skin interior! The windshield was chopped 3 inches, and the car ran a padded top. The fenders were molded to the body, and 1940 Ford headlight rims were installed and painted for a cleaner appearance. The rear deck was filled, and the gas filler neck was removed and replaced with a 1941 Ford gas door. The exhaust was routed through the rear fenders, before the custom artwork was covered with several layers of black lacquer! Later on, Harry redid the car and made a steel lift-off top from a 1940 Chevrolet coupe for it. The car is luckily still around, and the last time I saw it, it was taking a rest at the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada. This is another old custom survivor we would love to see parked at Pismo Beach as part of our Customs by the Sea gathering of early customs, during the Race of Gentlemen in October
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 16
    We have reached 1946 in the Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson. World War II is just over, and mechanics, engineers and body men are returning from their duty. The custom scene is blooming, and new builds are popping up all over California. One of the most notable builds of 1946 is without doubt Jimmy Summers’ 1940 Mercury convertible, of Hollywood, California. Jimmy was no newcomer in the field, and he began customizing cars back in the 1930s. According to a featured story on Jimmy’s Merc in Popular Mechanics May 1947, Jimmy hand-tailored about one car per week for customers. In 1955, Motor Life magazine credited Jimmy with the first channeling job, so it is no surprise that his personal custom, the 1940 mercury was channeled 6 inches. The fenders were left at their original height, but reshaped to fit the altered body. After channeling the body, the hood was sectioned by removing material from the bottom. Other modifications included a handmade 1939 Buick looking grille, a chopped windshield frame, a padded Carson Top, removed running boards and gravel shields, shaved chrome, teardrop skirts, and 1941 Lincoln bumpers. The rear bumper center piece was custom made to hold the license plate and tail lights. Jimmy sealed the build with 60 coats of Ruby Maroon lacquer. A beautiful Mercury custom that has survived! Hopefully it will be back on the road in the near future, and yes we would love to see it in Pismo
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 17
    After moving South, to Los Angeles, George Barris realized that in order to get a profitable custom body shop up and running, he needed a car to promote his workmanship. He bought a 1941 Buick convertible, that he turned into the custom of his dreams. The build was completed late in 1947. In January of 1948 it was shown at the first Hot Rod Exposition in Los Angeles. At the show it won top honors. Winning the show put Barris Kustoms on the map, and George and Sam consequently moved their operations to larger premises at 7674 Compton Avenue. Looking back, this might be one of the most important Barris Kustoms of all time! This photo shows it as it appeared when it was first done in 1947...featuring blackwall tires, molded fadeaway fenders, a chopped carson top, a lowering job, frenched headlights, shaved doors, hood and deck lid, 1941 cadillac grille, shaved taillights, 1946 Oldsmobile bumpers, Appleton spotlights, large moon hubcaps and a deep Royal Metallic Maroon paint job! The car basically disappeared from the face of the earth when George sold it...do anyone know where it is? And has anyone ever cloned it? A great example of top of the line 1947 customizing that carried many Barris Kustoms "trademarks"! Salute to George and Sam!
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 18
    We have mentioned George Barris several times in the Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson so far. In 1942 George's elder brother Sam, graduated from San Juan High School and he joined the Army. George wanted to go as well, but he was turned down. He turned to the Merchant Marine, and was subsequently told to go to Los Angeles and await assignment to a ship. George never made it onto a ship, instead he spent most of his time building customs, teaching Southern California teenagers about Northern California custom trends. In the Navy, Sam became friend with Jim Kierstead of Inglewood, California. When Sam got out of the Navy, George persuaded him to join his custom venture, despite his lack of experience. Jim Kierstead, who had bought a 1939 Mercury coupe after getting out of the Navy, was impressed by the work the Barris Brothers did in their shop, so he decided to have his Merc customized as well. Sam helped Jim with the build, and Jim's Mercury is rumored to be the first chopped 1939 - 1940 Mercury that the Barris Brothers did. The build was completed in December of 1947. A couple of days after it was completed, tragedy struck, Jim was t-boned by a Duesenberg on Sepulveda boulevard. Jim was killed, and the Merc was totaled. So far we have not been able to locate any photos of the completed build, but we encourage you all to check out our story so far on Kustomrama for more info and photos of this rare early custom http://kustomrama.com/index.php…
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 19
    In Chapter 18 of the Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson we had a look at Jim Kierstead's 1939 Mercury coupe. Completed in December of 1947, Jim's Mercury is rumored to be the first chopped 1939 - 1940 Mercury that the Barris Brothers did. Today's featured pre 1952 custom is Sam Barris' 1940 Mercury convertible. Sam's convertible is, as far as we know, Sam's first full custom! Gene Winfield snapped a photo of the car, running blackwall tires in 1948. As you can see it has a beautiful speed boat stance. Modifications included a chopped windshield frame, a padded Carson Top, molded fenders, shaved handles and emblems, 1937 DeSoto ripple bumpers, shaved taillights, dual Appleton 112 spotlights, whitewall tires, flipper hubcaps, and a blue paint job! Being Sam's daily driver, the Merc was a work in progress. He had to sell it to pay his bills, and the whereabout of the car is up until now unknown!
    Custom cars with modifications listed above are welcome to sign up for Customs by the Sea in Wildwood and Pismo. More info here:www.customsbythesea.com
    More info and photos of Sam's Mercury can be found here:http://kustomrama.com/index.php…
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 20
    1948 is an important year in the custom car history, and the evolution of the early custom car. In 1948 Wally Parks organized the first Hot Rod Exposition in Los Angeles, and the very first Hot Rod Magazine was created as a program for the show, selling ads to vendors. Hot Rod Magazine focused on hot rods, but did also feature a custom every now and then. Thanks to Hot Rod Magazine the popular California Custom was now showcased to gearheads all over the US, and cars like the iconic Al Andril and Johnny Zaro 1940 Mercurys flabbergasted men and women all over the continent. We could spend weeks presenting custom cars built or completed in 1948, but Customs by the Sea in Wildwood is only 3 months away, so we have to move on! In 1949 Harley Earl and the GM Styling division gave America a more modern Chevrolet. In 1954, Alfred P. Sloan, the President of GM, said that his primary purpose for 28 years had been to lengthen and lower the American automobile! Marcia Campbell supposedly bought the first 1949 Chevrolet convertible ever to be delivered to the state of California. Having a passion for custom cars, she drove the brand new car straight to the Barris brothers to have it customized! Modifications included a 3 inch chopped windshield, a padded Gaylord top, a molded hood, shaved body, 1949 Cadillac grille, 1949 Buick front bumper, modified rear fenders, 1950 Chrysler taillights, 1949 Oldsmobile rear bumper, custom upholstery and dual spotlights. A beautiful, modern Barris custom. 1949 is the beginning of a new era in the evolution of the custom car. From now on, lower, longer and more modern looking cars, such as the Chevrolets, Mercurys and Shoebox Fords began to dominate hot rod and custom gatherings! More info and photos of Marcia's Chevrolet can be found here:http://www.kustomrama.com/index.php…
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 21
    I must admit that our Custom Car History Lesson up until now has been dominated by Barris Kustoms. Yes, George Barris was a marketing wizard, and yes, Barris Kustoms received a lot of magazine ink due to his talent behind a camera, but if you dive into the history of the early custom car, you will also see that Barris Kustoms were true innovators in the field. Their cars were experimental! Just like Detroit designers were working on their 1955 models in 1952, it seems like George and Sam also were ahead of most other builders. If you take the time to go trough the links below you might understand what I'm talking about.
    We can't leave the 1940s without mentioning the Ayala Brothers, so let's take a look at Gil Ayala's 1940 Mercury custom. Yesterday we had a look at Marcia Campbell's 1949 Chevrolet, a longer and lower Chevrolet, introduced by Harley Earl. Cadillac was the first of the GM cars to receive this modern look in 1948. The 1948 Cadillac is also known as the father of the tailfin! When Gil Ayala began restyling his 1940 Mercury in 1948, he went for a chopped top, fadeway fenders, and Cadillac tailfin inspired fenders. The first version of Gil's Merc was completed on New Year's Day 1949. An old custom in new wrapping, the end of an era!
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 22
    In 1950 George and Sam Barris gave us one of the most famous custom cars of all time: The Matranga Mercury! Impressed by Johnny Zaro's 1940 Mercury, Nick decided to buy one for himself that George and Sam could restyle. The three of them discussed ideas for the build, and after mocking the chopped top up to find out how low they wanted it, Nick told George that he didn't want to put the post back. With this in mind, George came up with the design for the curved hardtop windows....the rest is history! The Matranga Merc is the most cloned and copied 1940 Mercury custom of all time, so hopefully one or more Matranga inspired builds will find their way to our Customs by the Sea show in Wildwood or Pismo
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 23
    Chopped, channeled and sectioned! When Joe Urrita's 1941 Ford convertible sedan was completed in the first half of 1950, it became the most radical Barris Kustom ever built! Total height of the build was 49 inches high. More customs built or completed in 1950 can be found here: http://www.kustomrama.com/index.php?title=1950
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    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 24
    In 1949 GM and Ford gave customizers all over the US a new type of car to play around with! A more modern canvas. I don't want to start another discussion about which 1949-1951 Mercury that was first chopped, but it is worth mentioning that it took some time before the first chopped 1949 Ford, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile and Mercury coupe's started to pop up on the custom scene. Convertible's with padded tops can be seen immediately after the launch, but it took a couple of years before the coupes came along. 1951 was a good year for Mercury customs, and three of the cars that made it's debut that year was Jerry Quesnel's 1949 Mercury, Sam Barris' 1949 Mercury, and Wally Welch's 1950 Mercury. Check em all out here: http://www.kustomrama.com/index.php?title=1951
    #24.jpg

    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 25
    We have reached 1952 in our Custom Car History Lesson. 1952 is the year we decided to draw the line for our Customs by the Sea car show. It wasn't an easy decision, but after going over the evolution of the custom car, it felt like a natural year to draw the line at. Customs by the Sea is dedicated to early customs. Custom cars based on automobiles built in 1952 or earlier, built in a 1952 or earlier style. The Hirohata Mercury is probably the most famous custom car of all time, and the most famous Barris creation after the Batmobile and the Munsters Koach. Completed in 1952, the car hints about a new era for the custom car. An era where it becomes important to gather points at car shows, and constantly innovate in order to differentiate. A two tone paint job, air scoops dressed up with chromed teeth and a pinstriped dashboard is something not commonly found on customs prior to 1952, so we considered drawing the line at 1951....but who can say no to the Hirohata Merc? Not me at least! Done the right way, all of these modifications are allowed at Customs by the Sea
    #25.jpg

    Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson no. 26
    Ron Dunn's 1950 Ford is another milestone custom completed in 1952. Restyled by Valley Custom Shop, the car has an European look, featuring a sectioned body, unchopped topped and radiused wheel wells. The car was featured in Hop Up February 1953, and according to Dean Batchelor, "A wheel is not ugly, why cover it up?"
    So what does this mean for Customs by the Sea? It means that early styled custom cars with radiused wheel wells are allowed into to the show! Sectioned or not! More customs built or completed in 1952 can be found here: http://www.kustomrama.com/index.php?title=1952
    When we defined the rules for the second Customs by the Sea car show in Wildwood, we were considering 1949, 1950, 1951,1952, 1953 and 1954 as cut off years for the show. Many people are still wondering why we went for 1952, and not 1954 or 1955? It all has to do with the evolution of the custom car and the American Automobile in general, so in the next few chapters of the Kustomrama Custom Car History Lesson we'll have a look at what happened after 1952, and why we decided to make it a wrap with 1952.
    #26.jpg
    Stay tuned....
     
    stanlow69 likes this.
  10. SuperFleye
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 2,020

    SuperFleye
    Alliance Vendor

    Thanks for taking the time to add all these stories Poppa! Excellent work :)

    Today we have revealed another Featured Registration for the Pismo show. Like James Dean, the Matranga Mercury had a short, but fast paced life. It was completed late in 1950, and wrecked while street racing in 1952. For many years the Matranga Mercury has been considered one of the best 1939-1940 Mercury customs to roll the face of the earth, and it has inspired countless builds all over the world...that was until Kevan Sledge came along and changed the game. We're excited to have Kevan and his Merc amongst the registered cars, and we can't wait to see his Merc at the beach in Pismo!
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. SuperFleye
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 2,020

    SuperFleye
    Alliance Vendor

    [​IMG]

    It's Friday, and we're back with another Featured Registration! John Deren's Glasspar G2 was supposed to attend Customs by the Sea in Wildwood, New Jersey last year...BUT...Hurricane Joaquin had something else in mind!

    A couple of years after the end of World War II, the sports car craze hit America. Buying a British sports car like the Jaguar XK-120 cost a lot of money, so many enthusiasts decided to build their own sport cars. Many home built Sport Customs featured mechanical components from the likes of middle-aged Fords and Hudsons. As we want to showcase all aspects and sides of Early Customs at Customs by the Sea, we are working on hunting down pre 1952 styled Sport Customs. One of the cars we have been lucky to get is John Deren's Glasspar G2, a Mercury powered fiberglass custom built sports car. Glasspar G2's were produced from 1951 - 1954 in Orange County, California, and it is recognized as the first production fiberglass sports car made in America!

    John's G2 was originally built by Harold "Shorty" Post of the Post Body Shop in Orange, California. Back in the early 1950s, people such as Doug Hartelt and Chuck Potvin built engines and bodies in Post's shop. Their most outstanding creation was the Post Special Streamliner which recored 222 mph at Bonneville in early 1951. The Glasspar that John is bringing to Wildwood sits on a custom Post frame. It has an early 1940s running gear and a 59A Mercury engine. Most Glasspar's were racers, but many were Hollywood type made to turn heads with their style and color. They were forward looking because there was nothing like them before. In 1951, one was a big hit at the Petersen Motorama. The unique history of John's Glasspar makes it perfect for a "guest" spot at Customs by the Sea, and we can't wait to see it parked in the sand as a backdrop to the race! More info and photos here: http://www.kustomrama.com/index.php?title=Harold_Post's_Glasspar_G2
     
    ELD likes this.
  12. SuperFleye
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 2,020

    SuperFleye
    Alliance Vendor

    ELD likes this.
  13. SuperFleye
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 2,020

    SuperFleye
    Alliance Vendor

    [​IMG]
    Bud Unger began practicing custom body work in 1947, and he spent the next 9 years building some of the finest custom cars on the East Coast. Bud has been a supporter of Customs by the Sea since we hosted our first show together with the Race of Gentlemen in Wildwood, New Jersey in 2014. We feel that Bud is the Godfather of Early Customs on the East Coast, so we are extremely happy to announce that we this year will hand out the BUD UNGER PRESERVATION AWARD at the Customs by the Sea in Wildwood! The Bud Unger Preservation Award is two-folded, and it will either be handed out to someone that has done an excellent job preserving an old custom OR someone that is preserving old custom technics, keeping the torch and tradition alive in 2016! Thrilled about the show, the concept and the award, Bud wanted to attend this years show to personally pick his winner and hand out the first award, so his family has been working on getting him to Wildwood. Bud is now 95 years old and enjoying life in Arkansas. Unfortunately, because of his current health condition he is not able to attend the show himself, but as you can see here he has hand signed the Certificate that we will hand out to the winning vehicle. We will stay in touch with Bud during the weekend, and let him pick his winner based on photos of the attending cars!
     
  14. SuperFleye
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 2,020

    SuperFleye
    Alliance Vendor

    [​IMG]
    Ray Giovannoni's 1936 Ford Roadster was the pride and joy of Bud Unger. In 2012 Bud told us that Ray's 36 was the best custom that he ever did: "I never put as much into any other custom as I put into Ray's. I welded solid and hand leaded all four fenders to the body.I did the same with both 1/4 panels, front aprons and running boards after narrowing them. I cleared off the back deck, moved the tail lights into the bumper, and made a new back splash pan that housed a license light before I finished it off with a 20 coat jet black paint job. Oh yes, I did a major reshaping of the grille area to incorporate a Packard grille." He also told us that he preferred milder changes in body design, and a lot of small changes as opposed to a major one: "In my humble opinion I think that a custom car should be practical and functional. So many customs are too far out, not practical for street use. Some are too radical- too low to the ground, etc. But as the old saying goes- To each his own. These various designs give variety to the business! After I did simple surgery to Ray's 36. I think I improved the over all appearance of the car over it's original design. The car now has simple beauty, flowing lines, gracious looks and oneness and unity!, and yet you can tell that it is still a 1936 Ford roadster." More info about Ray's roadster, and photos from Bud's personal photo album can be found here: http://www.kustomrama.com/index.php?title=Ray_Giovannoni's_1936_Ford
     
  15. SuperFleye
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 2,020

    SuperFleye
    Alliance Vendor

    [​IMG]

    Next Featured Registration for Wildwood is Jim Stockton's 1939 Ford convertible. A beautiful 1940s custom all the way from Springfield, Ohio! Anyone remember this one from Hop Up #1 in 1994??
     
  16. 1blown57
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 834

    1blown57
    Member
    from Florida

    2016 Winner Of Bud Unger award Is My 1935 ford called the Chalifoux Special 35 Ford 6.jpg ( Built By a very good Buddy Glenn Chalifoux).It Was such a honor .Thanks Customs By The Sea and Bud Unger
     
  17. 1blown57
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 834

    1blown57
    Member
    from Florida

  18. I note that the Pearce '39 has Olds Fiestas. I run them on my '49. Can we fudge on the hubcaps, a little? I'd love to bring my Olds.

    I note that the Pearce '39 has Olds Fiestas. I run them on my '49. Can we fudge on the hubcaps, a little? I'd love to bring my Olds.
     
  19. 1blown57
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 834

    1blown57
    Member
    from Florida

  20. 1blown57
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 834

    1blown57
    Member
    from Florida

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