The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by SuperFleye, Mar 5, 2015.
Thanks for the kind words folks!
The Kustomrama Dream Truck is not only a tribute to the Maze, it is also a tribute to late 1950s customs, a somehow overlooked era, and the way customs were built back in those days. We wanted to use old technics and tools were that was possible
June 20, I took a trip to Fyresdal to see how the build was progressing. Fyresdal is located about 6 hours from Oslo. We took it for a spin around town that night, and this photo is taken in front of the lake Fyresvatn.
A photo of the Ranchero taken on historic ground. In 1978 the first official dragrace event of Norway was held at the airstrip in Fyresdal. The event was called First Go! This was four years prior to me being born!
June 25, two days before the Coupe Devils Bonanza, Olav sent me a status update from the paint booth at Momrak Verkstad.
A couple of hours later I received an anticipated update
48 hours the white primered version of the Ranchero was finally shown at the 6th annual Coupe Devils Rod & Kustom Bonanza, just outside of Oslo. This was a major milestone in the Kustomrama Dream Truck Saga!
Here's the annual Coupe Devils club shot from the 6th annual Coupe Devils Bonanza!
What happened then?
Well, after the Bonanza show, Olav turned his nose towards the high mountains of Telemark. He rode the Ranchero into the sunset while I was left behind gazing!
Shortly thereafter I become the father of a healthy little boy named Mikkel. Around the same time I was invited to host a customs car show in Wildwood, New Jersey during the Race of Gentlemen weekend. The next couple of months were spent giving child to the Customs by the Sea show! We went to Wildwood in October, had a blast, returned to Norway, and packed the Ranchero away for the Winter.
As I mentioned earlier, we kept updating Jerry DeVito as we progressed with the build. In July of 2014 it had been a while since I have heard from him, and I was starting to get worried. I was able to trace his daughter trough Facebook, and she could tell me that Jerry had had a heart surgery and that he was very sick. Jerry was in a convalescent so I sent photos to Ronda so she could keep him updated on the build.
I spent the Winter chasing down parts for the car. I had a list of parts I needed, and on the top of that was a Cal Custom tube grille, like the one Jerry ran on the Maze. I searched high and low, on eBay, the HAMB, Craigslist, you name it. I had no luck at all, and I started to look for companies making reproduction grilles....
Awesome build, thanks for sharing with us! You really have taste and style!
Last year my buddy, and fellow Coupe Devils member Tom Røine bought a 1956 Plymouth that he started to restyle in a late 1950s style. While chasing down parts for the car on eBay in October he came across a listing for a NOS Cal Custom tube grille for a 1957 Ford. What? For real? I could not believe it! He sent me the link, and my jaws dropped when I saw it. The price was still fair, so I decided to go all in! One week, and 9 bids later I had become the proud owner of the grille. I paid less for the grille then it had costed me to buy chromed tubing, so it felt like I had won the lottery....again!
..below are some close up shots for the custom-accessory geeks
Damn this is cool
I'm not the only one that the Maze put a spell on. When Jim and Adrienne Hooper of Saginaw, Michigan had their 1956 Mercury restyled by Cooper Body Shop in 1959 the paint job it received was very similar to the one Bob Heinrichs gave the Maze in 1958. I first saw Jim and Adrienne's Merc on the cover of Custom Cars April 1960.
The only info I had on this old Michigan custom came from this magazine. I researched the car without being able to find any more information or photos, so I decided to do a featured story on it on Kustomrama, to see if anyone could provide me with additional information!
I put the bait out in December of 2013, right before we started the build. In August of 2014 I caught the big fish when retired Lansing, Michigan pinstriper and custom painter Jerry Drake sent me an email! This is how the email from Jerry started:
My name is Jerry Drake (aka Spider the Crazy Painter). I was the person who laid out the maze design, Larry Cooper of Cooper Body Shop shot it and I finished striping the creation. This was the second time this car was custom painted. The first time it was scalloped and either Adrienne or her husband, Jim, drove it into a telephone pole.
The car went back to Cooper Body Shop for repairs. Jim, armed with a magazine of Jerry DeVito's 1957 Ford Fairlane with a maze paint job by Bob Heinrichs, said to me, "This is how I want the Mercury to look like. The first paint job wasn't wild enough." So, that comment also generated the new name of the car.
Sadly, what you can't see is on the bottom of the reversed Studebaker grill shells is a series of "Cave Men" doing a lot of crazy things. They were the "Wild Ones."
....amazing! The incredible Maze had introduced me to another old unsung hero. Me and Jerry stayed in touch, and he has filled me in on his custom paint job career! Jerry has hundreds of photos from the 1950s and the 1960s. With the help from a good friend he scanned them all and sent them over so that I can publish em all on Kustomrama. Below is a page from Jerry's photo album on Jim and Adrienne's Wild Ones Mercury:
Another featured story on this one will soon be up on Kustomrama. In the meantime, be sure to check out the page we have on Jerry on Kustomrama so far: http://www.kustomrama.com/index.php?title=Jerry_Drake
I wonder if there any other the Maze inspired custom creations out there?
This will be a good build. 1shot
Very cool build so far. Can't wait to see more of the story!
Great, great stuff. Thanks so much for taking the time to post!
Wonderful! I was hoping this wasn't going to be in "real time"! I can't wait to see the results!
So as I told you, the Ranchero was put into storage for the winter. When I went back home to celebrate Christmas we drag it out of the barn to take some photos.
I sent a couple of the photos to Jerry DeVito's daughter Ronda, so she could show them to Jerry. Ronda told me that Jerry loved the photos! I guess the real the Maze never saw much snow. Ronda did also tell me that Jerry was now on hospice, and that the doctors had given him less than 6 months. Ronda did also tell me that people have surprised the doctors, so hopefully Jerry is a hard nail!
So where does this leave us now? Shocked by the sad news, me and Olav are doing our best to complete the build so that Jerry can see the final result! That would mean a lot to us! Olav has been working on the bodywork for about a week no, fixing some bugs and making it ready for paint. Olav are you ready to take over the thread and keep people up to date on the progress?
This weekend we sat down with some color maps and decided on the base color for the car. That was not an easy task!
Just what I've been waiting to hear! What could be more life affirming in one's waning hour?
You, Olav, and Kustomrama seriously ROCK!
Thanks a lot buddy
Truly inspiring and a great read. Thanks for all your effort posting so we can enjoy your tribute to the maze!
So kool to see all the Nice comments and that this build is inspiring others as well. I feel honored that Sondre believed in me to do this build, and hopefully I got the skills able to make this a jaw-dropper!
I did a lot of the finished body work this summer before I painted it white after hours working at the local bodyshop, Momrak Verkstad. I had a tight schedule doing so, so I skipped adjusting the door jambs, Hood and tailgate. I adjusted them as good as I could, however, it needed more work done to it, such as grinding and Welding. Brad Masterson showed me how to make those old 60+ jambs nearly. Usually you can adjust it so it fits like it should. Now this was not the case on this 57.. I seemed like the door was too big, and there was not enough Space for it. When I started on it, the doors were full off chips on the edges. The sollution to this was to grind away metal from the edges of the door skins, splitting the skin from the structure, and then gas weld it back together again. I'll post photos later on how I did it, however, I'm at School now, teachjing a class about social science.
I decided to become a teacher, and I enrolled School this Autumn in Telemark. After study hours, I built this 1931 Model A that I sectioned last Christmas. It is also channeled, and features a lot of small renderings.
The Ranchero was up in the Mountains, 2 and a half hour from where I live at, and there were no time finishing it at the farm. Now I'm home until over easter, teaching 5-10th graders. So hopefully I'll manage to do some finishing work at it.
Holy S**t that A is killer...I dig the way you say "I'm gonna become a teacher" it's like someone saying "I'm gonna take a leak" you have a awesome attitude and your work is outstanding
Thank you sir for The Nice comment just wrapped up The last class, so i brought The Ranchero to the oldest shop in Fyresdal, Bondal. Bondal has been there ever since the 1940's and they got the equipment and tools for gas welding. Just took care of welding up the right door skin.
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You guys have sure got it going on.
I, too, dig the A.
Reminds me of this early version of "Lil Coffin". (But better. )
Good thing you liked it Mo!
As you can see, I had to grind off metal to get them Nice gaps! The outer skin is then grinded loose from the structure.
A bitch to mig weld, but easy as pie to gas weld!
A little grinding then we're set!
The front of The door also needed to be filed and welded!
It had a strange hump, and it did not follow the fender. Fixed!
A student of mine, Carl is learning The trade of gas welding! I'm helping him turn a stock Yamaha Virago to a chopper.
Gotta get back to work, have to drive to Bø where my paint gun is! Plus my chick has dinner ready at 7! Don't wanna miss that, she's a dish
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