The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Ryan, Apr 24, 2019.
Ryan submitted a new blog post:
The Lee Pratt 1941 Buick
Continue reading the Original Blog Post
It was a huge damned relief to finally press "publish" on this one... And even though I didn't write much of a feature, it's a really good feeling of accomplishment. I loved doing this.... So much...
But before I step away from this god damned machine for a few hours, I do have one question for Lee that I forgot to ask?
Who took these photos?
Now that they are electrons, they will be 'forever', until something new comes along.
I have loved Aerosedans since the first time I saw Lee's Buick. I have owned two different wrecks, neither that got ever started, one I 'found' in the middle of a piece of empty property in Nevada (that is all I will say as the statues have not passed) and the second was a converted to a 'truck' for a turkey farmer.
Here in So Cal they are treasured by the Low Rider Crowd, so finding a cheap one is impossible,, still love them tough.
Again good save Ryan..
Now go back and fix the exposure and levels on some of them.
@Ryan first off thank you for properly cleaning these images! There are far too many people putting out images with dust all over them and printing or posting them. I guess they think that was how it was done. No self-respecting photographer would've ever done that in the hey day of film.
Pratt's Buick is one of the few cars of it's time that wasn't defined by the timeframe. So many of the cars I remember liking as a kid today look kind of goofy, but not this car. That thing would still knock socks off today!
Thanks man... And I have already fixed both on all of my hires... I just kind of wanted to present originality with these. Weird traditionalist in me.
Before I started the cleaning process, but after I got the stickiness issue fixed, I scanned the film just in case I screwed it all up with the tweezers. Here's an example of a before:
Not terrible relative to the 70 and 80 year old negatives I've dealt with before, but the super sticky film made it really, really hard to do. The trick was getting hold of the hair/dust with the very tip of the tweezer without indenting the film and leaving a mark.
I used some crazy fancy German made tweezers that I stole from my wife's work place.
I don't think I did any damage with the tweezers, but I did do some damage when cutting the strips. There are 34 total exposures and I needed to cut them into sixes to fit on my scanner bed. A few times the scissors stretched the edge of the exposure rather than cutting it. So the photos you see that aren't 35mm proportions are the photos that were hurt when cut.
Wow what patience! Those must have been excruciatingly painful to work on.
One wrong move and you damage or lose an almost 40 year old image.
I can never get enough of this car.
Thank you so much!
Man, I’m not the one with sore finger tips but it sure seems to have been worth the effort!
I have been play with film again and I found that too much work with photoshop gives a nice shot that looks digital,, I prefer to leave some of the patina of the original work to show it's history
Not to steel from you Ryan,
@Huntimerphotography I agree with that.
What I'm speaking to is when they don't bother to blow off any of the dust or clean off sh*t.
But then, I think it's silly when people don't wash the crap off of some car that they find sitting for ages.
Thank you thank you thank you!!
Wow Ryan, I'm overwhelmed and not sure how to respond to all this. First off thanks for taking the time to save these images. I took the photos at a office complex in West Des Moines with the intention of submitting them to a magazine for publication. Close to 40 years later my intention has finally been realized. These shots show the second version done a year after the original build. I was never happy with the paint when I first painted it and I found a set of fender skirts at the NSRA Nationals in Memphis which gave me a good excuse to repaint the entire car. I've never fully understood why this car gained so much attention. The only conclusion that I have been able to come up with is timing. I debuted the car at the 1979 Street Rod Nationals in St. Paul. At that time most street rods were restored cars with updated drivelines. This trend had been going on for several years and I think street rodders were ready for something different. Then again I could just be full of shit.
The thing that makes that '41 work is that the modifications are timeless. The Skylarks are the newest mods, on the exterior.
Nice work preserving these!
I used to drive by Lee's Buick all the time after Terry Cook bought it. It always sat outside in North Jersey not far from where I grew up. Such a cool and influential car to me
great job @Ryan , I still remember being sick to my stomach when I saw this car at a KKOA event after it had been purchased by Terry Cook. I think there must have been at least a thousand things glued to the dashboard ranging from little statues to elbow macaroni also the whole inside of the car was littered with trash and there was a shitty mexican blanket covering the front seat......
...That was for 'The LOOK!' I hate it too...
Sorry if it's been asked or covered elsewhere -- Does anyone know if the car still exists in some form or fashion?
Good save, Ryan. Good photos, Lee. They sure look good, 39 years later!
Last I knew it's in Northern California and is now a full on low rider, candy red with dark red fenders, 13" Daytons. I'm happy to know it still exists and looks the way it does. My fear was that to the uninformed the changes that Terry made to it were the way I originally built it. It always was a low rider at heart.
He explains it all in some detail here.
I had MADE myself forget what Terry Cook did to that poor old Buick. It all comes rushing back now. Wow.
Man that’s fucking awful.
The Fonz guy referenced in the link was on American pickers a few years back I believe.
Thanks Gotgas. I saw it at a Mass. car show years ago. I did not notice the interior being that crazy but still loved the car. Snowman
One of my all time favourites, I somehow always knew that the Terry Cook mods were non-original.... so good to see this photos...and glad to hear it still exists in a lowrider guise.
I think the style worked so damn well (even with the Nomad) as it's a subtle mix of kustom and lowrider with nothing too flashy and perfect colour choices.
Can we get Terry Cook and tar and feather him for what he did to that beautiful car ?
These photos are from 2008:
"Can we get Terry Cook and tar and feather him for what he did to that beautiful car ? "
Too late, I already got him. He came to my house to buy my old 39 shark-nose Graham one winter evening. I had to move my 33 ford pickup to get the Graham out of my garage. When the Graham was all tucked in Terry's enclosed trailer I tried to drive my 33 back up my steep driveway to put it in my garage but it had been snowing for about an hour and I just spun the tires. I backed off and got a run at my driveway with Terry pushing behind and he took a severe coating of slush and snow to the face and body. Man, he really got slimed! He ended up crashing on my couch that night.
Lee...when I saw your Buick in DesMoines I knew I wanted something similar. Being a Pontiac guy I stumbled on to a great deal on a bone stock 48 Pontiac. I had it at DesMoines and also at the Led sleds in Springfield, Illinois in 86 or 87. Love the styling on these big GM cars
Your Buick blew me away!
I grew up in Midland/Odessa... So I'm a bit biased, but that's pretty hot. Not as good as the original, but not bad either!
Great work, Ryan! Glad to hear you were able to save the negatives. The shots are awesome. What more can you say about Lee's Buick? That car flat rules! You could cruise it to a custom show on Saturday afternoon, then creep through the barrio Saturday night! Puro chingon!
We can't be too hard on Terry for what he was doing. He was good friends with Joe "The Fonz" Carloni who was and still is a legend on the east coast. Joe had a way of doing things his own way, while having a great time all the while. He was an original greaser from the 50s. Not an act or playing dress-up like you see so much of nowadays. He worked on his own cars and drove them all year 'round in some rough New Jersey winters. He was different from most, and he was hardcore, like it or not.
Maybe American Pickers referenced to The Fonz, but he couldn't have appeared on the show as he passed away in 1999. I would have liked to have met him. I remember reading an article written about him but unfortunately I can't remember what magazine it was in. It was hilarious. The guy was a real character!
Some people into cars are way too serious and they can't seem to let go and have a good time--almost like they are at work. The Fonz was the type of guy that let loose and had fun all the time. I think that's why he always had a lot of people hanging around his car at big shows like Lead East.
Here's a few pictures of him. One of him standing by one of his many Mercs:
And another of him sitting in one. You can see the direction Terry was going with the Buick. Of course, you can see Joe's Merc was way more rough around the edges than Lee's Buick.
I went ahead and scanned an article from the KOA's May-June 1999 StyleLine. Aden Rush (a.k.a. @40StudeDude) wrote a nice tribute article about Joe after he passed away. Many people on the east coast and abroad were very sad to hear of Joe's passing. He was a legend that can never be replaced. A true one of a kind.........E
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