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Features The Ugliest Kustoms of the 50s

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Jive-Bomber, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,320


  2. Butt ugly wasn't limited to the '50s, there's more to be found in the '60's as well. It takes more than time and money to create a beautiful custom, it also requires taste!
  3. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,483


    Never saw the X2, but I'd drive that. Looks like a futuristic movie prop from a crappy 50's Sci-Fi movie. Definitely not for the fan of mild or subtle customs, but an impressive build for sure, a lot of work.

    Modern Grecian is a shame, especially because it wasn't a bad looking car in it's first version, especially considering what a stock one looks like.

    As for the Merc, I kinda like the rear pan setup and the tail lights. I think if it had a different front bumper, grille opening, and a few other details were tweaked, it could be real nice.
    TheFish likes this.
  4. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 5,949


    I totally get this thread but I can see the misinformed trying to include the good ones. I hope that doesn't happen!

    I almost like the rear-end of Jim Doyles Merc. If it didn't have the side nerfs and gas door i'd be cool with it. The front end though...

  5. CanUFelix
    Joined: Jan 29, 2009
    Posts: 496

    from venice CA

    I kinda feel that as the fifties wore on the thing that drove a lot of the styling and ideas on these cars was the influence of Sci Fi movies rather than the latest styling trends from Europe and Detroit......these cars bare testimony to that. The Grecian always reminds me of a Sci Fi bug monster like "The Fly"......
  6. hugh m
    Joined: Jul 18, 2007
    Posts: 2,142

    hugh m
    from ct.

    Where is Frank Marratta's pink forties Ford (or Merc?)? You west coast guys are missing the boat here....
  7. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,840


    50s, 60's, and onward, some guys just like building stuff that looks like it belongs in a Flash Gordon episode.

    OK for a car show, embarassing on the street or at valet parking.
    57JoeFoMoPar likes this.
  8. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,343


    I can usually figure that if my buddy tells me a car is "so radical" that I and most Hambers will think it is butt ugly and ruined.

    The best customs have always been the ones that are still clearly identifiable as to the make and model they started out as while the ugly ones are usually the ones that the "builder" decided to change so radically that you can't recognize what they were to begin with. Some of the worse ones were built with an ISCA judging sheet tacked to the shop wall and used as check list to make sure that every source of show points had been covered without any consideration for ascetics or how said modification flowed with the rest of the car.
  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,343


    One of those cars that was built to and did run up massive scores on show judging sheets.
  10. You really know how to bring back "UGLY"
  11. I am not sure I agree with this thread at all, most of the cars mentioned were built to win shows...the more mods the more points! Not really right to pick a certain era, and call out the ugly ones! There are ALOT more ugly piles being built now then ever! I thought the HAMB was starting to go in the right direction as far as Kustoms were concerned, you just took three steps back! Dreddybear is right people will get the wrong impression from this thread!
  12. 1927 Death Trap
    Joined: Jan 19, 2008
    Posts: 355

    1927 Death Trap
    from CT


    It's got some good ideas, but in my opinion it's just goofey looking. My good buddy owns it today and I always bust his balls about it. Not really ugly, just silly really. Also it's pretty interesting to see what the fit and finish on these cars was back then. Either way, love it or hate it, thought it was a good addition to this thread.
  13. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 5,705

    A Boner

    The 1955 Lincoln Futura to Batmobile was criminal.
    dan c and Maverick Daddy like this.
  14. Ahh...thanks for that. I don't believe in sacred cows. It's a breath of fresh air to hear someone come out and say it. Of course, beauty is still in the eye of the beholder. I certainly don't have the skills to build a far out custom but my opinion is that just because a builder may be highly skilled and put a lot of time and money into a custom, does not make it a tasteful work of art. Neither does that fact that it was done in the 50's or 60's. Some customs seem to be tasteless attempts at shock value in an era of excess and had "a face that only a mother could love".
    Of course, this is just my opinion.:) That being said, I also realize that someone must have thought it was cool.

    HAAA! This thread is probably going to cause a shit storm.
  15. boldventure
    Joined: Mar 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,766


    Some of the Kustoms from the early era look to me like they were done in the same manner as kids building model cars. I know I did it. You start with a vauge idea and work on one part at a time. When you get it done, or as in my case almost done, and then you stick it in a box hoping you can use the best parts for something else.
  16. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,664


    I wouldn't even classify the X-2 as a custom.

    It isn't a customized production vehicle.

    It's more of a scratch built prototype used to showcase advanced engineering.

    You have to dig that sliding roof.

    I'd drive it!

  17. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 5,949


    I think this thread is going to be impossible. It starts out with good intentions, but will end up with half the people feeling justified bashing the Golden Sahara and the other half rolling their eyes in disbelief.
  18. Luke4554
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 213


    Although they arent in my taste .. i cant help but to always give props to people for trying. All it takes is one accidental "out of the box" cut or graft to turn heads and have people thinking "holy crap!? how did i never invision that this way?" . It takes a whole lot of messing up to come up with the best ideas.. and one accidental idea could totally change the culture.

    Props for the confidence to try .. but i still have reservations about painting and final finishing something like that after its done, you stand back and actually look at it and know in your head .. "its just weird" !!

  19. Doctor Detroit
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,013

    Doctor Detroit

    I'd like to think that regardless if how bad the end result of a kustom is, I can pick out certain parts of it that I do like. That would be a difficult task on the X-2. The Grecian fails as a final product, but if those silly butterfly wings were pulled off, and the headlights were changed to the standard frenched '52-'54 Merc, that would improve the look 352%. Paint the Grecian a nice deep blue, and I bet I would actually like it quite a bit. Finally, Doyle's '52 Merc is dying for some real chrome bumpers. Those little tube bumpers make it look fragile. Chop the convertible top another two inches to get the proportions better.
  20. froghawk
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 849


    Yep, those are pretty horrible all right, but hands down one of the ugliest has got to another Bailon creation based on an unfortunate '58 Impala...


    Mr. Bailon built some nice cars in the early '50s but most of his later work seems really crazy. What happened?

    Sadly, bad taste wasn't just a late '50s thing, with the bubble top X-sonic and many others in the '60s, and the much more recent "Thunderflite" and "Freakshow" customs of today.
  21. rbantique
    Joined: Jun 12, 2008
    Posts: 6,396

    from maine

    Gotta love this Cover Car !!

  22. I think you just have to consider some of 'em as 'art' cars. Not really a custom. You can appreciate the effort and labor it takes to do some o' that stuff. I know we've stood and looked at some examples of this at a show, said "Man, that took a lotta work", then shook our heads and walked away. In the Custom category, there will always be folks that prove the old saying "Different is not necessarily better".
  23. If we were to give props to those that created these vehicles mearly because they were making an attempt... then wouldn't we have to apply that same logic to those that created the much hated r** r**'s?
    I prefer to call a spade a spade...
    Ugly is as ugly does!
  24. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 5,949


    Hands down ugliest? See this is what I'm takling about!

    If I found that Impala in a garage I would be STOKED! I would drive it with pride.

    X Sonic is cool.
  25. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,854

    from DFW USA

    The customizers weren't the only ones making ugly cars in the '50s.


    Although, I see a lot of parts that would look good on a custom. :D
  26. not scared
    Joined: Oct 28, 2012
    Posts: 31

    not scared
    from green bay

    I look at the cars as a rolling masterpiece. every one has a different taste and thats a good thing. otherwise we would all be driving the samething.but what do I know they banned my builds on here.....
  27. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,729


    The way I look at a car is whether I would want to own and drive it, or bury it. Some recent customs fall into the bury category as well.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,056


    While it's all certainly a matter of taste and personal vision, there really were some flat out ugly "customs" done toward the end of that era. It seems as though shock and awe were the order of the day rather than improving proportions and features. Interiors weren't exempt from bastardization either. Roulette wheels, fake phones and TVs, fur carpets and seat covers, seriously awful stuff I'd be ashamed to be seen in. Later we had "show rods" that were actually understandable, but still way, Way, WAY out there. As far as that Bailon 58, sure, it would be nice to find it as a survivor. Does it make it any better today? Nope. Some of these look like too many kool ideas thrown into one big bag, shake it up and spill it out on the floor, there's you a custom car.

    Frankly, the era that so many here literally swoon over, post war from say 46 through 52, there's some pretty awful looking cars from that time too. Mostly the grilles and top proportions in those. Some of the fade away fender cars are way off too simply because they weren't long enough to support that style. Still, almost anything from that time carries saint-like status just because it was from that time or a notable builder. I especially despise excess chops with drip rails removed and filled in 1/4 windows. Mucks up the whole car.

    Frankly many of these builders/owners ignored the golden rule, or the most important discipline in customizing. Restraint. 6" chops look good at Bonneville but look dumb on the street. If 4 headlights are kool, then let's use 12! At least they exist to remind us of what NOT to do, and that too can be a good thing.

  29. I like this one, with a few changes
  30. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 5,949


    You just named off some stuff that's going in my car! I have the phone and fur, would love to find the right TV. I love this stuff.

    Lil Nugget:

    The more you guys hate on the Bailon impala, the more I like it!:D

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