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History The Kustomrama Survivor Truck - 1955 Ford by Barris & Dick Richardson

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Kvipt, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. [​IMG]

    This is my new truck. I will tell you guys the tale how I acquired the truck, and about the former owner himself.


    This was my past dailydriver that I first bought when I got here to the US last autumn. I needed a car to go back and forth to college and Brad Masterson shop in Lynwood.


    I loved that wagon, and the girls did to!


    However, while I was in Norway during christmas vacation building this 57 Ranchero for my older brother Superfleye, somebody decided to steal my wagon.


    I went searching online for a new old daily driver, because I can't stay in California without a decent ride. I found an add on Craigslist, with this crappy photo on. At first, it looks like a worn out farm truck.


    I clicked on the add, and found this photo. Suddenly the old farm truck became more interesting.


    I browsed on to the next photo, and this popped up. Now it became really interesting. I was sitting at the airport in Oslo when I discovered it, and I thought about that car the whole way over to California. I was so curious about it's history.


    Eager as a stallion, I filled up Brad's truck with gas and headed to San Bernardino where the truck was located.


    I met the owner, George Contaoi. He is born in 1934, and is still young at heart. He was tinkering around with a 1972 Chevy C10 in his backyard when I came. It turned out, he bought the truck brand new off the show floor in 1955. He immediately had it customized by his friend Dick Richardson of San Bernardino. The first time, he only shaved the emblems, installed chromed running boards, dual spotlights, and painted it Cadillac irresendant gold. Later on in 1957, Barris filled the tailgate, made a roll pan and rounded the corners on the bed.


    George told me that the striping was done by Von Dutch. He took the truck to where Von Dutch worked at a Maserati shop in Hollywood to have it striped. He striped the outside as well.


    On the tailgate, he made this funny man with a snake biting his hand off.

    But let's rewind back to the 1950's, when George was my age. This photo was taken in 1957, at 11070 Atlantic Ave, Lynwood. The exact same walls as I work within this very day today. 57 years later. I've heard about the murals that Jeffries did on the walls, but I have never seen a photo of it. This is from when George was down there to have his truck modified. That is actually him standing in front of the wall. Luckily for us, George sits on a lot of photos from those days, I have got some of them, but he has the majority of them stored away in a container.


    This is George's high school ride. I knew there was a club in San Bernardino at the time called, the Krankers, and I asked if he knew about them. He got all exited when I knew about them, and he opened up about his past. He even told me a secret even his wife did not know about! He was a founding member of a motorcycle club in 1949, that we all know as Hells Angels. Dick Richardson was a member to! At the time, he was 16 years old, and had a 1935 Harley Davidson. They never did anything bad, they just drove around with their bikes and had fun.

    The 1941 Ford he had was nosed, decked. It was heavily lowered, and featured pin-striping by Von Dutch.

    George actually knew Von Dutch quite well, through the motorcycle scene.
    And Von Dutch painted his bike for him as well, in the mid 1950's.


    In 1952, George bought a 1947 Mercury. It was lowered when he got it, but him, Dick Richardson and Al Andrade turned it into a full blown custom. The top was chopped and hard-topped, and it featured a curved windshield from a 1952 Studebaker. He said that George Barris really liked how they did the hardtop, and fit the curved windshield. He never told Barris what windshield he used, according to George, Barris came up there two times trying to figure out how they had done that. The 1940 Ford next to it belonged to Jim Dramgool of Forest Falls.


    The Mercury ended up as Hells Angels mascot car, and he claims it is still around today, tucked in a safe place.


    In 1955, he bought this 1949 Oldsmobile. It was mildly customized, and carried a hot Rocket engine. He won every race he claims.


    When he went into the millitary, he bought this 1957 Ford, which he also had customized. The headlights were rendered by installing 1956 Ford pickup headlight rings. It was nosed, decked and had electrical door openers. It also was repainted in a fancy lacquer job. He made the fake spotlights from a set of real Appleton S 552

    There's more photos and information comming, but I have to get some shut-eye before I got class in a couple of hours..
    Floater03, Nobey, Hamtown Al and 5 others like this.
  2. fat141
    Joined: Jul 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,575


    By golly mate, that is a very interesting tale. Thank you
  3. fleet-master
    Joined: Sep 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,770


    Awesome story, awesome cars! looking forward to more ...
  4. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,022


    The real deal. Keep the posts coming...

  5. olcurmdgeon
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 2,101


    now that is the definition of hot rod provenance, backed up with pics! Thanks for posting.
  6. This is great! Thanks for posting.
  7. nowaxn5
    Joined: Apr 15, 2007
    Posts: 813


    Wow Olav! Congrats on the find and thanks for sharing. The pics are incredible.
  8. Dooley
    Joined: May 29, 2002
    Posts: 2,659

    from Buffalo NY

    Wow, I had to check the date, as I thought this was an April Fools....nice score!!
  9. Super cool! Thanks for sharing!
  10. Hot Rod Cowboy
    Joined: Jan 2, 2010
    Posts: 231

    Hot Rod Cowboy
    from Dallas, TX

    Fantastic. Looking forward to the rest of this tale.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  11. Finnrodder
    Joined: Oct 18, 2009
    Posts: 2,960

    from Finland

    Thats a cool story with a nice score!
    Losing your wagon sucks,but without that you never had bought the truck and heard that cool story.
  12. Aaron Kahan
    Joined: Apr 29, 2011
    Posts: 123

    Aaron Kahan

    Wow! Congrats. Coolest story I've heard in quite a while. Amazing Von Dutch stuff I've never seen before. That tailgate is amazing!
  13. Wardog
    Joined: Jan 12, 2010
    Posts: 2,328


    Awesome, Keep the updates comming.
  14. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,588

    from Denmark

    This is SO cool!

    Come on, tell more and show more!
  15. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,854

    from DFW USA

    I'm blown away. Looking forward to seeing more of these great old photos and a little progress on the Ford.
  16. emiliedk
    Joined: Dec 29, 2004
    Posts: 614

    from denmark

    cool as hell Olav..congrats!
  17. 46fatford
    Joined: Jul 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,058


    I love the way the top flows on that 47 merc. Are there anymore pics of it?
  18. Thats a good read with some great pictures and an amazing find! Congrats!
  19. Wow! Love the story, love the pics. Thanks for sharing!
  20. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,198

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

  21. What a great story with real history, this is good stuff. Congrats on the truck .
  22. jwcaddy
    Joined: Jul 31, 2007
    Posts: 261

    from golden,co.

    Congrats on the truck and did u ever find your wagon? Last year saw your wagon in the Rio parking lot in vegas. Hope you keep an update with the truck.
  23. aircoup
    Joined: Aug 13, 2009
    Posts: 898


    yesss another f-100 is being resurected,,, love it
  24. 51 mercules
    Joined: Nov 29, 2008
    Posts: 3,033

    51 mercules

    Congrats!Cool score and not to far from my home.That glovebox door looks similar to this one.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  25. 50 customcoupe
    Joined: May 8, 2011
    Posts: 412

    50 customcoupe

    Sorry to hear about wagon, but what a wonderful story about the truck and it's history. The pictures make me feel 16 again. Thanks for posting !!
  26. Incredibly awesome!

    Thank you, and George, for letting us in!!! :D
  27. Wow thanks so much for sharing this with us. I sure hope George shares more of his wonderful photos with us.
  28. Blownfuel
    Joined: Jun 16, 2005
    Posts: 1,269


    Sweet! Subscribed!

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  29. Very, very cool! Thanks for sharing, congratulations on the new truck! Hope you're wagon turns up some day soon.

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