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Features The Ugliest Kustoms of the 50s

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

  1. Sean
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 718

    Sean
    Member

    Jay. My brother. We are on the same page. Modern Grecian should have never hit the show circuit. People always forget that there where two brothers with the last name Barris.

    Bill Hines. We all love that little hunched over cigar smoking gent. But admit it, he has built some FUGLY cars.

    My gist, don't build a ugly custom. Learn from the mistakes. Take from the good. Build your beauty.
     
  2. SuperFleye
    Joined: Jul 17, 2005
    Posts: 2,033

    SuperFleye
    Alliance Vendor

    Since people started customizing cars, there have been ugly customs! Heck I'm surprised with all the knowledge we have today, and all the inspiration that can be found online and in magazines that people still build ugly cars :) I guess it all comes down to bad skills and bad taste. I agree, some of the customs back in the late 1950s and 1960s were butt ugly, but the guys were experimenting, competing with the "wild" cars coming out of Detroit, and competing for attention and prices at the shows....what I have learned is that you sometime have to see the cars with your own eyes before you can judge them...since I first saw the Trendero in Piero's Mad Fabricators DVD I have always thought that that car looked like a freak...seing it in person made me change my mind.... I can't say that it is a beauty, but I liked it after I saw it and "experienced" it at the Kustoms Then and Now show:

    [​IMG]

    The same goes with the Joe Wilhelm built Mark I Mist...I must admit that it's not a beauty...but I wouldn't judge it until I have seen it in real person...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. ausbuick
    Joined: Jan 31, 2011
    Posts: 676

    ausbuick
    Member

    Rik your one funny bugger hahahahaha

    :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
     
  4. I can't speak for the fifties. I was not there.

    But my fifteen year old mind remembers seeing a few full- on customs (of the time) and thinking- 'that sucks- no way around it'.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  5. This grille looks like Narcissus drowning under the spell of his own reflection. Hey, you'd get home at night. And otherwise OK proportionally- is it a Studebaker ?

    Don't rubbish Studes. It's Edsels that are fugly. Like a bad one- night stand.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  6. BHfanGB
    Joined: Jun 22, 2009
    Posts: 243

    BHfanGB
    Member

    I don't know if it strictly fits the category as a Kustom since, in the mind of the builder it was a prototype, but Father Alfred Juliano's 1957 Aurora "safety car" does display some rather questionable styling. Can't post a pic because I'm on my iPod, but Google it if you are unfamiliar with it and you will see what I mean.

    I'm sure it was considered wild stuff for the time, but looking at it now.....

    Funny thing is that it is another '50s era Connecticut project, like the Marratta Merc. Maybe it was something in the air or water up here back then!
     
  7. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,072

    Ned Ludd
    Member

    Admittedly I tend to like weird.

    Most of the cars pictured on this thread can be saved, albeit some of them with major surgery, but they won't be non-weird. They'd be weird and cool rather than weird because someone was trying something that didn't work and then defied all with menaces to say a word ...

    For some guys on here "weird and cool" is a contradiction in terms, though ...
     
  8. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,310

    pwschuh
    Member

    Since beauty (and therefore ugly) are in the eyes of the beholder, it's kind of pointless to have this discussion.

    People are going to build what they are going to build. Even though 90% of HAMBers may agree that something is ugly, the person who built it, and some like-mided deviants, may not share that opinion.

    Instead of insulting someone else's hard work, I would prefer to simply not continue to look at it. It's just like TV: if you don't like what's on, there's alway something on another channel. When I'm at a car show and I see something that is (in my opinion) hideous, I don't take a picture of it.
     
  9. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,059

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    This car looks like a 40 Ford had sex with a Facel Vega and this is their kid
    [​IMG]

    I totally understand why Rik posted what he did. I'm hoping many others did as well.
     
  10. Thanks Kiwi Kev.... I just shit my pants when I saw that....
     
  11. BLAKE
    Joined: Aug 10, 2002
    Posts: 2,772

    BLAKE
    Member

  12. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,092

    Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Member

    No, don't close the thread. It's a perfect "How not to".
    As someone mentioned in the thread, these cars were entertaining back in the day and are entertaining now.

    I can understand someone missing the mark with their idea of what a "Custom" should be but good Lord, some of this stuff looks like it drove out of a DR. SEUSS book!

    The picture of this 55 Chevy convertible should have a caption of "I fully realize i'm fugly, but can we be friends"?
     

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  13. Nads
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 11,630

    Nads
    Member
    from Hypocrisy

    Joe Bailon kinda never knew when to say when.
     
  14. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,331

    The37Kid
    Member

    Is that in fact a Facel Vega nose? That has been the first reaction I got from the first time I saw a photo of the car. If anyone thinks a Facel Vega is guly and wants to get rid of it send me a PM. Bob
     
  15. Bullet Nose
    Joined: Nov 20, 2001
    Posts: 2,041

    Bullet Nose
    Member

    Don't you just love that he added Olds flippers to make it cool?

    Sort of looks like someone tried to update this Stude custom they bought from a used car lot .....
     
  16. Bullet Nose
    Joined: Nov 20, 2001
    Posts: 2,041

    Bullet Nose
    Member

    Don't know why the attached photo went away .....
     

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  17. Bullet Nose
    Joined: Nov 20, 2001
    Posts: 2,041

    Bullet Nose
    Member

    [​IMG]

    I wonder what every other guy in Connecticut thought when they saw this cover of R & C.

    And just how many of us have had our car on the cover of a magazine?
     
  18. cosmic12
    Joined: Oct 16, 2011
    Posts: 422

    cosmic12
    Member

    Great thread and proves to me what Custom is all about and what You believe it is, ugly to you may be beautiful to me. I respect the work and creativatiey of one or the other I may not agree with it but I respect it.
    When I was a kid 13/14 I saw a 58 Pontiac at a show that just blew me away and I stood stareing at it for hours trying to understand how the hell he did what he did with body work and paint. Some people hated the car actully most everyone I was with. I have never ever seen it posted anywhere when the custom thing comes up.
    A couple years ago I was in the car line waiting to get into the Syr Natonals at 6 in the morning and there it sat just like it was over 40 years ago I was just amazed at how beautiful it still was, unchanged through the years and being driven. Here are a couple shots of that day anybody know the car and what do ya think? Ugly or a work of timeless art?
    The Chief.
     

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  19. ynottayblock
    Joined: Dec 23, 2005
    Posts: 1,954

    ynottayblock
    Member

    Well Jive Bomber I gotta give you respect for doing a thread like this. Too many cars are given a pass on "cool" because it was "made back in the day" or by a famous builder. Ugly is ugly no matter how you present it...no matter who built it. I give respect to these guys for building something unique and trying to push the limits, but they are still ugly. I love how some guys will defend something so positively ugly because a famous builder built it. Every artist has produced work they arent proud of or something they think is ugly, nobody is perfect and nobody is incapable of producing something ugly. If half of these cars got posted on the hamb today by a nobody building it in their garage they would be torn apart and sent packing by the hamb faithful.
     
  20. Bullet Nose
    Joined: Nov 20, 2001
    Posts: 2,041

    Bullet Nose
    Member

    In addition, you must remember that the "famous builders" may have been taking directions from the guys paying the bill for the changes THEY wanted.
     
  21. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,310

    pwschuh
    Member


    This Olds is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. I don't like it. (I mostly can't stand the color/paint. I might have a different opinion with a different paint job.) But do my feelings invalidate the manhours that the builder invested decades ago?

    No.

    He thought it was cool when he built it and obviously cosmic12 still does think it's cool. I can appreciate the effort but I would simply prefer to look elsewhere. Those who enjoy should be free to keep looking and not be ridiculed for their tastes.
     
  22. Rikster
    Joined: Dec 10, 2004
    Posts: 5,781

    Rikster
    Member

    Dave Crook 1958 Pontiac. Dave is a fantastic builder... and great guy.
    This is how the car originally looked.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,292

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    The only man that never made a mistake, never made nothing. When you go out on a wing and a prayer, trying to create something no one else ever created, it's a gamble.

    That is the glory of customizing. If there ever was such a thing as artists in this world, those guys were artists. They had enough old cars, tools, talent and materials that they could take a chance. They could visualize something and they could create it, with no committee, no permission from a Government Board of Artistic Correctness, no nothing. Just get out there and light the torch.

    When you do something nobody else ever did in this world, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. If it turns out great, wow what a hero. If it doesn't go get another car and try again.

    It's easy to see why someone would stick with it when they win. But what about when they fail? What if you poured all your money talent and time into a car and it sucked? Then what do you do?

    I guess that's when you find out if you are a real car guy or just a wannabee. If you go that sucks, the hell with cars that tells you one thing. If you go I think I see why that didn't work, the next one will be a real knockout that tells you something else.

    You can also chicken out, never take a chance, and just copy something somebody else did 50 years ago. You may be a craftsman, you may even build a reputation, but you won't be an artist.

    So here's to great art, great inspiration, great triumphs and great failures.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  24. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,310

    pwschuh
    Member

    See, that's exactly what I was talking about! That Olds looks so much better in the solid gold paint Rik posted. Still not a ravishing beauty in my eyes, but I would spend more time looking at it.
     
    dan31 likes this.
  25. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,007

    koolkemp
    Member

    LMAO Kev ,you made me spit ginger ale on the keyboard at work!!
     
    loginrc likes this.
  26. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,007

    koolkemp
    Member

    I got to see it years back in Syracuse , I still like it but I would definately rework it back to its original state if it was my car. These ugly cars still hold there place in kustom history, especially if they managed to survive to this day, ugly or not I just cant hate them ;)
     
  27. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,007

    koolkemp
    Member

    Its a Pontiac, 58
     
  28. Saxon
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,157

    Saxon
    Member
    from MN

    I like the 50-60s aero spaced-out cars. Granted some of them can be a little funky. But they were influential.

    [​IMG]

    1955_Ford_LaTosca concept car.
    [​IMG]
     

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  29. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,310

    pwschuh
    Member


    Same thing, right?
    .
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    .

    I kid, I kid!!!


    Sorry, I'm not a big GM guy.
     
  30. goetzcr
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 123

    goetzcr
    Member

    I KNEW I recognized that look! :p

    Well said. I think it's OK to say that these guys missed the mark sometimes. Anyone in a creative field can miss from time to time. That's what pushing the envelope is about. I think that's why the masters are remembered (fairly) for their best works. It's the "ugly" ones that let us know they were working hard, because even for the best "beautiful" wasn't automatic.
     

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