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History Top Ten kustom icons of your youth

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by 'Mo, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 15,476


    I was born in 1980 and had subscriptions to Rod & Custom and Custom Rodder in the early 90's, I very much remember following along on the build of the '57 Imperial and hearing about the restoration of the Hirohata by the guy who bought it off of a car lot cheap in the late 50's. Those two definitely come to mind.

    I can't think of any local cars that really grabbed me, there wasn't much around here that wasn't a muscle car, restoration, or the occasional monochrome easter egg.
    loudbang and Sancho like this.
  2. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,431


    And what says "Kool" to a kid better than lots of Karbs? (At least to "My Generation".)
    Hub's got'em in Spades!

    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
    pitman, loner2, 49toad and 6 others like this.
  3. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,467


    This is the one that got my kustom juices flowing- Roger Ryan's 1957 Chevy...
    Ryan's .jpg
    I had a three year-old 1957 150 two door model as a senior in High School (1961) in Iowa...and when I saw this car in an Omaha, Nebraska car show (70 miles from my home) I couldn't stop looking at it...It was the best kustom I'd ever seen and to list the other Top Ten would be insignificant because this one was the B-E-S-T...

    In my life I've owned 31 1957 Chevys (all at once), redid a radical chopped and molded '57 Chevy (1984-1990) originally built in Milwaukee in 1965 and built a "contemporary" '57 Chevy kustom (1992)(but I cannot post photos of either here simply because of the mods-my last post got deleted because Ryan's '57 was shown with billet wheels)..suffice to say, I'm still into kustoms to this day as you can see by my avatar.

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
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  4. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,431


    I interpret, and appreciate, this site as a sixties movie, and any deviation as a breach of continuity.
    I also know, and appreciate, your Chevy, its history. and its significance in the continuum of customizing in the world that exists outside the confines of the splendid period movie which is the HAMB.
    Thanks for sharing your inspiration. In sixties speaak, "Bitchin'!"
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
    Joined: Oct 30, 2006
    Posts: 1,096


    Boy, I really like this car......the Mercury tails and the moulding to the tail fins was done very tastefully. Super nice!
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  6. KustomLincolnLady
    Joined: Oct 17, 2003
    Posts: 1,020


    Sent from my SM-G935V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    loudbang likes this.
  7. mercman@bulldog
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 906


    I believe this shot was taken in 2004 “Rebel Run-Lima, Ohio” Me & my Bro coming in the entrance... IMG_0438.JPG sorry bout the quality of this picture of a picture.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    pitman, loner2, 'Mo and 1 other person like this.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,300


    I'm as much a mess on customs as I am on music. I like too many variants, and I know the focus here is not limited to but directed at a specified era. Understanding that, some of what I mention will make sense, some maybe not. I got started here:
    Ray Dietrich, a designer from the pinnacle of coachbuilding. Those that carried his name were of the finest proportion and restraint. Who agrees? The one shared is my favorite body style, the 2/4 coupe:
    "Dutch" Darrin should be a "Need I say more?" addition. While I love where he was going with many of his designs, in practice they garnered a comment from none other than Clark Gable."It looks better the farther you get from it." Packard sent production of the Darrin to Hess and Eisenhart for 41-2 and it was miles ahead of what Darrin was doing.

    T. "Bob" Gregorie, who's iconic Continental set a standard encouraged by Edsel Ford. Can't say anything that hasn't been said before. Beautiful, but likely the most limp-wristed performer of it's time. The Packard above would kick it's ass easily, 0-60 or top speed. However, being chopped, channeled, sectioned, shaved, who could argue it's beauty. Postwar not so much but the 41 was and still is an art form.

    Having shared those images and knowing the short list after requires no reposting of pics, the customs that bumped my rev limiter still remain in my tachometer's memory. They'd be:

    The Hirohata Merc. Dad always got the magazines and one of them had done a "revival" issue, way back before I had a license. That one notched a permanent spot in my view of customs.

    The Ala Kart. Yeah, just like others say, so why say more.

    The Lil Coffin. Over the top, built from a stogy old sedan, slicks, and a skeleton for window dressing in the promo pics and with the model. Kool...

    Moonglow Chevy. The 1st version was the best, the cleanest, but I get why they had to change to stay in favor with show promoters. If a plain ol family hardtop can be sexy, he nailed it.

    The Beatnik Bandit. Impractical, odd, overpowered, kool paint, but more than all of that it was Ed "Big Daddy" Roth. That's enough for me.

    I'd get booted for posting too much to go on, and I could fill a page with the cars that shaped my automotive soul. A number of them don't belong here in these pages but did indeed have an effect in what I feel and how I see things. Those designers I shared above, they helped create this whole thing well before it became a "venue" of it's own. Fade away fenders, chopped, channeled, sectioned, long flowing lines, much of it was due to wanting the mundane daily driver stand out like those expensive icons from the glory days of coachbuilding. Those guys, that list, it too could fill pages of both hot rod and custom influence. Maybe it's a blessing that I screw around in that sandbox daily, maybe it's the reason I'm such a mess and couldn't possibly pick a favorite, but it's nice to know that by and large we're all in good company. Nice topic, thanks...
  9. mercman@bulldog
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 906


    Well said @theHIGHLANDER. I agree with everything that you posted. When the coach builder was commissioned, we got to see a true factory commissioned custom. Designed to be a fresh portrait. Then when KustomLand was in it’s heyday....well Kustom Culture was really being formed and defined. Anybody that hasn’t picked up a copy of KustomLand, really should if your into the History of this hobby. Pretty Cool. Your post @theHIGHLANDER is very insightful, it’s apparent your a thinker and a reader. Thanks for the food for thought, the H.A.M.B. is one of the best forums because of contributors like you. Later-mercman@bulldog

    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
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  10. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,431


    "Who agrees?" Well, How's this?
    I haven't worked with model cars in a decade, but the last one on my table was the mother ship of the fleet...
    '48 Continental, chopped top, "Darrin dip" doors, and fade-away fenders. I dubbed it "The Dietrich".

    As far as "posting too much to go on"...Who's ta 'boot' ya? To quote Buddy Holly, "Rave On!"
    Great post!
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
    loner2, loudbang and mercman@bulldog like this.
  11. Where I live in Pa there were no customs when I had youth. Mostly Road Runners, Z28's and Mustangs. There are hardly any now so I am building one out of a 51 Dodge truck. Weird choice but it is a custom. dodgegrill.jpg
    pwschuh, loner2, Bowtie Coupe and 3 others like this.
  12. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,213

    from Burton, MI

    I love Jimmy Vaughn's green Caddy ( and most all his cars). I get beat up on here every time I mention CadZZilla but to me...that car is it.
  13. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,431


    Your truck looks great. :cool:
    Keep going. and it will one day certainly be "the one" that some youngster will always remember!
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  14. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,431


    I surely won't be one who's throwing stones!
  15. Lessee, top ten kustom icons of my yoot..

    1. A. bros. Golden Indian
    LousGoldenIndian copy.jpg

    2. Local guy from down the street (Terry Torvik) had a Butternut yellow '60 Pontiac convert. with white tuck and roll, spots, chrome reversed & lake pipes. Drool..
    :( pic

    3. A. bros. Victorian
    i-gMxZhZV-L copy.jpg

    4. Fellow across the street (Garry Porter) had a black custom '56 Vicky with '54 Chev. grill, spots, square "bisquit" upholstery, lake pipes & Merc wagon tail-lights. Again, drool..
    DragginsVicky copy.jpg

    5. My friend's (Ian MacDonald) green '59 Impala with Cal Custom tube grill, pancaked hood, scoops in the leading edge of the fins, tunnelled antenae, Astro Supremes (with spinners!), white interior, spots & lake pipes. Yup, drool..
    Ians59_JAppleby copy.jpg

    6. Cushenbery's El Matador

    7. Cunningham's sedan
    Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 10.30.43 PM.png

    8. Roth's Beatnik Bandit [AND his Excalibre (Outlaw)]
    i-LRjmkQt-L copy.jpg
    Screen Shot 2018-03-19 at 10.32.52 PM.png

    9. Barris' Ala Kart
    Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 9.18.36 PM copy.png

    10. Stuckey's Li'l Coffin
    Lil copy.jpg

    Like the rest of us, I could list many more, but because these came to mind first I'd say they were the most influential ones.

    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  16. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,431


    Tiago's Ranchero blew my teen-aged mind. I had never seen so many tail lights on one car!
    (Think about it.)

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
  17. Dave I find it interesting that none of your influences really jive with the type of custom you built. All cool cars but definitely from a different era than the era you decided to replicate.
  18. I am still young.....

    Cole Foster '36

  19. You're right! Go figure.. As I grew (much!) older the little books I got at swaps impacted me more and rather than have a large '60s car (which I've had in the past), I began to lust over the earlier customs. Like most of us I'm sure, I have this custom car disease which means I just can't chose one era over another, nor one style over another - I just like 'em all darnit!!

    p.s. Trucks too! ;)
  20. I've thought a lot about it and there are certainly some memorable/influential cars, but really, what started me on the custom road was the Grease Machines book. I had always been into cars, cars, cars, cars. Had hot wheels from the year they were introduced (I was 3), started building model cars with dad's help when I was 4. Tonka trucks, the whole car works. Dad got all the custom van mags in the 70's, so devoured all those. His first car was a '51 Merc in '57 and of course I knew about that (his AMT Merc model he built in the 60's sat on my dresser). But, in 7th grade, my best friend got the Grease Machines book and I put it at the top of my Christmas list. All those customs with Larry Watson paint jobs. Man, that was it. So, my top ten "starter" influences would be all the cars in that book. Naturally, Larry's Grapevine is pretty close to the top, his '59 Caddy, Jim Doss's '58 Impala, Floyd De Boer's '58 Pontiac....I flat wore that book out. Kinda funny that now I drive a near Grapevine clone and sit in Larry's 59 Caddy as my desk behind his paint shop facade.....influenced me just a wee dad. LOL Not long after I discovered Classic and Custom at the magazine store and fate was sealed.....I was a kustom guy.
  21. Freddy Rowe, Barris, 51 Merc
    lurker mick and LOST ANGEL like this.
  22. Nice to see Ian's Chevy on the list. I never actually saw the car in person, but many many pictures, and tales from Annie!
    Joined: Jul 19, 2013
    Posts: 67


  24. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 5,928


  25. Lot of influential cars listed in this thread...but I'm wondering if some are not fitting the definition of a Custom as I understand it. See Ryan's Guidelines in the Customs Forum. ( But as long as we are at it...I'll throw in one...Darryl Starbirds Predicta. Not a traditional Custom...but futuristic in its day. )
  26. 55bird
    Joined: Feb 14, 2012
    Posts: 353

    from Spokane WA

    It was my cousin's '56 Chevy, a gift from his father when he turned 16. It was mild, with a dark blue metalflake paint job by Joe Bailon and a blue and mostly white interior, mild rake, chrome reversed rims and whitewalls, Lee Plastics taillights, if I recall. I don't remember anything about the engine, but it had glasspacks. He sold it to buy a '62 Impala 409, which I thought was a mistake. Anybody could just go out and buy an Impala, but his '56 was special.
    drdave and stanlow69 like this.

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