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History Turnpike Cruiser/bubble Skirts on late 50's styled customs

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Roothawg, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,381

    Roothawg
    Member

    My wife has been researching cruiser skirts for her 1955 Ford Customline.

    The Ford is kind of a hard one, because the factory skirts are really short due to the curvature of the body. I am guessing that is where guys like Jimmy Jones came up with the idea of the bubble skirts.

    I am still kind of torn on whether I like them or not. I think they look ok with out all of the scuff plates and trim. I think they should flow out the body and sort of disappear rather than bling. The wife said she would rather run no skirts rather than factory/flush fit.

    Here's something from the archives to jump start your brain.
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/bubble-skirt-history.1057300/

    Let's chat about this.
     
    chryslerfan55 and OG lil E like this.
  2. straykatkustoms
    Joined: Oct 30, 2001
    Posts: 11,941

    straykatkustoms
    Member

    I really like the body line that runs on the top of the rear fender well. If it was mine (and its not) I wouldn't run skirts. on a '55 & '56 Ford. The after market skirts cover it up. I would accent the body line it with a mild scallop or pinstripes.
     
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  3. I’m with Mick. :cool: Although my car isn’t much of a kustom, I have considered and even been offered some original style skirts. I like it best just lowered some without skirts.
     
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  4. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 17,637

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    If it is going to be a tail dragger then it should have skirts. If it is going to have a nose down (hot rod) look then no skirts. Sometimes these days people think they are building customs when in reality they are building stock bodied cars with 100% of their factory ornamentation and are just lowered with wheels... I know that you are using 55 pontiac trim (looks best 2 toned IMHO) and hopefully there will be bodywork. (nosed decked shaved etc) because that is what makes a custom a custom..... unsolicited rant over, sorry.....
     
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  5. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 17,637

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    tail dragger, skirts, tutone ,white wheelwells, nosed , shaved handles, 54 grill, bitchin car

    ford.jpeg
     
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  6. I’m not a fan on Mild Kustoms...I’ve seen them on Jimmy Vaughn’s 54...ordered up a set and painted them for a buddy’s similar styles car and hated em..they were the stock flush mounts...on a more radical build I can dig em..and if I were fortunate enough to have a pair of Jimmy Skirts I would be doing backflips...

    Mark...I’m not a big fan of 2 tone Kustoms..don’t mind a different color roof.. I had 55 Pontiac trim on my 54 and I thought about it..I just didn’t like the hard 2 tone break at the end of the trim...just my opinion..
     
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  7. And then you post that up blow away everything I just said haha
     
  8. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 17,637

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    cars like that stop people in their tracks.....simple, tasteful , timeless.....
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
  9. I agree with Mickey. The cruiser skirts cover up the factory contour in the rear quarter. I looked for photos but most of the cars I found with cruiser skirts had continental kits. Here are a couple of examples:
    001.jpg
    55ford86000-3.jpg
    Now compare these two to the blue/white one Mark posted. Other than the lip for the tire clearance, the flush skirts together with the factory shape almost give the look of cruiser skirts. Especially since you said you preferred them without the trim.

    Bubble skirts could be cool too, still looking for one with them.

    Here's a Danbury Mint custom 1955 die-cast car.
    Danbury-Mint-1955-Ford-Crown-Victoria-Custom.jpg
     
    chryslerfan55, MO_JUNK, egads and 6 others like this.
  10. A couple of '56's with bubble skirts, the blue one didn't show them mounted....
    1956-ford.jpg
    Good photos of this one, shows the skirts from different angles:
    56-side.jpg
    56-front.jpg
    56-rear.jpg
    56-sideclose.jpg
    56-frontclose.jpg
     
  11. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,381

    Roothawg
    Member

    It will be slightly tail dragger stance.

    I have the 55 Starchief trim. I am filling all of the factory holes and punching new one. It's already been nosed, soon to be decked. I am attempting to install 41 Lincoln door buttons. I will retain the factory locks( for now) unless I can come up with a better latch. Bumper over-riders have been removed. I have a 54 Chevy grille and teeth in the works. I will probably french in a set of ribbed lake pipes. I'll end up building my own lake pipes, more than likely. The car is going to be pearl white with metallic burgundy scallops and interior pieces and dash. The interior will be white tuck and roll (pleats) with burgandy floral inserts. Padded white rear package tray.

    So, I am open on the skirts. The body line is about where the skirts hit, so I may have to build a custom set if I want to retain that line.
     
  12. razoo lew
    Joined: Apr 11, 2017
    Posts: 388

    razoo lew
    Member
    from Calgary

    If you have lakes pipes you gotta have skirts. Cruisers with minimum trim like the pink/black one above, or bubbles like the Great Imposter. The Factory version will not do. Sounds like it will be a nice car.
     
  13. I prefer the factory style skirts on a 55-56.
     
  14. Bubble skirt are the worst custom accessory ever created IMO. I have never seen a car that looks better with them on and there is no need to post Dave Jenkins Chevy to convince me otherwise. I don't like them on it either. They make a car look like a baby with a full diaper. I appreciate their history etc but I have always hated them.
     
  15. Jacksmith
    Joined: Sep 24, 2009
    Posts: 310

    Jacksmith
    Member

    I've got 2 cents I'll toss in; If the car sits right, skirts can look good. (I don't want to see the center of the wheel below the skirt!)
    I agree that the contour on the lower 1/4 panel is tasty, but the cruiser skirt enhances it even though it covers it. Having said that: Factory skirts; yup. Cruiser skirts; yup. Bubble skirts: no thank you.
     
  16. I'm with K13 on bubble skirts, kinda put them in the same category as sun visors.
    I'm not too crazy about cruiser skirts either but it ain't my car.

    Mick
     
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  17. straykatkustoms
    Joined: Oct 30, 2001
    Posts: 11,941

    straykatkustoms
    Member

    You had posted that before and it was one of the reasons that I took mine off. It got me to thnking,. Not just to make ya happy but I keep seeing a full diaper. Lol!
     
  18. derbydad276
    Joined: May 29, 2011
    Posts: 1,304

    derbydad276
    Member

    Roothawg likes this.
  19. Jacksmith
    Joined: Sep 24, 2009
    Posts: 310

    Jacksmith
    Member

    Swweeet car! (Doesn't need the mis-placed dummies, though)
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  20. HAHA. Sorry to ruin your thinking on them. As you can tell they are not my favorite. I was going to use an anology about yoga pants and two sizes too small but didn't want to offend. :D
     
  21. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,381

    Roothawg
    Member

    I may mock up a set of stock flush mounts and see what can be done to improve them. They are cheap enough. I have been building this in my head, because I am trying to get my nephew's 58 out of the shop. I can only focus on one car at a time.
     
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  22. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 4,147

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    Scan0268.jpg Sorry guys, I like bubble skirts. On Jenkins 57, the skirts upper contour should match the contour of the stainless trim. That 59 Chevy with scallopes from Michigan in the early 60`s should be cloned.
     
  23. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,982

    Gman0046
    Member

    55 Ford 2 doors are short and cruiser skirts are too long for the car. Just my opinion. If you must have skirts make them the flush ones. Doubt I ever saw a car that looked good with Bubble or Cruiser skirts.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
  24. stubbsrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,192

    stubbsrodandcustom
    Member
    from Spring tx

    HAHA, I didnt like them before, now I really cant see them without thinking of dragging diaper....

    Flush skirts or no skirts...
     
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  25. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 17,637

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    I think bubble skirts are terrific on the right car....


    59skirt.jpg
     
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  26. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,381

    Roothawg
    Member

    I really don't have a preference. I am brand new to the custom world, so you guys are molding my small mind in the formative years!
     
    Okie Pete, stanlow69 and Sancho like this.
  27. And that's where opinions differ (which is good) because nothing about that droopy sagging skirt looks better to me than a nice flush fit skirt would.
     
  28. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,381

    Roothawg
    Member

  29. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,280

    Squablow
    Member

    I have a set of the really long steel cruiser skirts and a really cool custom made pair of bubble skirts that I like on their own but I've tried them on a bunch of cars I've had and have yet to find the car they really work on.

    Also, I mocked the bubbles up on my Packard once and I couldn't figure out how to mount them safely. Seems like a long metal channel would have to be attached to the quarters that the upper edge of the skirts would drop down into, and then clamp or bolt at the bottom. I ended up using some aftermarket overlay skirts and I liked that look the best.

    IMG_4278.JPG
     
  30. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,982

    Gman0046
    Member

    Roothawg, your posting the picture of the 55 confirms everything most posters are saying. Thats not the car I'd put skirts on. Your car, money and decision.
     
    chryslerfan55 and Roothawg like this.

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