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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. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,228

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Those bubble skirts have always looked stuck on as an afterthought and take away far more from the looks of the car than they add. That 59 that Moriarity posted in post 25 is prime example of an added accessory drawing too much attention away from the total car and not being a flowing component of the car. You see bubble skirt and then you see car.
    I'm not a fan of skirts at all except those on 49/51 Mercs and a few others that have been flush fit. Paul Harper did that on Barb Johnson's 51 and it looks perfect that way.
    [​IMG]

    Not a fan of cruiser skirts on cars that are too short in the tail end. The Turnpike cruisers they originated on between 57 and 59 have long quarter panels and that is why they look so good.
    My theory on items on a custom or hot rod for that matter is if your eye focuses on a particular component on the car before you see the whole car as a unit it probably doesn't belong on that car.
    My best bud used the term "radical" on cars that I knew before I saw the photos had some part that commanded your attention away from the whole car such as a blower scoop sticking though the hood of a low slung late 59's Caddy coupe. I knew if he raved about this "radical" car I wasn't going to like it.
     
  2. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,111

    Roothawg
    Member

    That's a good litmus test. I like that.
     
  3. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,508

    williebill
    Member

    I'm voting for bubble skirts, cruiser skirts, and factory skirts.. I've got 2 sets of steel bubbles, one aftermarket NOS, and one set of Jimmy Jones. On the right car, I don't see a full diaper, I see a badass custom.
     
    chryslerfan55, Roothawg and OG lil E like this.
  4. wingspread7
    Joined: Mar 29, 2009
    Posts: 849

    wingspread7
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  5. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 16,959

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    This is going to be your wifes car... Instead of asking us, ask her...
     
  6. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,111

    Roothawg
    Member

    She isn't sure either....
     
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  7. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 16,959

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    one of the keys to successful car building is knowing what it is going to look like before you begin. It saves a lot of undoing and redoing certain details....study the old magazines , collect every 55-56 ford picture you can and let her pick what she wants before you start....but that is probably exactly why you are doing these threads isn't it?? did ya show her the turquoise and white car I posted earlier? honestly that car could be your blueprint assuming she likes it....
     
  8. Sum54ford
    Joined: May 24, 2012
    Posts: 84

    Sum54ford
    Member
    from St. Louis

    It sounds like with all the custom touches you are doing to the car skirts are a must. 55 and 56 Fords look great with skirts. E2C62140-E826-41AD-B400-5C653F2FD6B0.jpeg Chis has the best looking 56 Ford. Also if anybody has a set of cruiser skirts for sale shoot me a message. I’ve always wanted a set for my Shoebox.
     
    MO_JUNK, OG lil E, Elcohaulic and 2 others like this.
  9. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,130

    Squablow
    Member

    I want to make clear, I am in no way anti-fender skirts, I have run them on several of my cars and I really like the look. But I do have this '55 saved in my inspiration folder, and it really speaks to me. I really love this car, it's got spots and lake pipes but no skirts and it looks just right to me. Even if it had just a solid color and not the wild paint, I think I'd still love it.

    green55.jpg
     
  10. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 4,020

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    Somebody post a pic of the purple 50 Merc with scallopes from Michigan with bubble skirts. That Ford coupe above has the wrong kind of bubble skirts, have seen a lot better. A good looking bubble skirt is custom made to fit the car. Not an aftermarket style. There is a difference.
     
  11. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,111

    Roothawg
    Member

    Ding Ding.......you are correct sir.
    Yes, she likes that car a lot.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
    chryslerfan55, Sancho and Moriarity like this.
  12. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 19,111

    Roothawg
    Member

    That car is one of my favorites. It's my model for scallops.
     
  13. DIYGUY
    Joined: Sep 8, 2015
    Posts: 791

    DIYGUY
    Member
    from West, TX

    If you get a set of stock skirts you can put them on or take them off to suit your/her mood.
    That’s my plan anyway.
     
    Roothawg likes this.
  14. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,831

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    Only cars I like skirts on are late 40’s -early 50’s fastbacks or cars done up to a semi fastback like the 51 Mercury above. When you get into more formal rooflines , skirts to me make the top look like a box sitting on the body. I’m not a big fan of factory skirts on 50’s and 60’s either, with maybe a few exceptions.
    And those bubble skirts do look like a diaper full of poop! Or a skinny kid with the mumps!
     
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  15. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 4,020

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    57 Fords look good. Scan0692.jpg
     
  16. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 4,020

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

  17. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 4,020

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

  18. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 717

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    I always wanted a 57 Ford...

    I would start with the shorter 2 door Club Coupe. Then add either chrome reverse, same color steel wheels with chrome lug nuts or full Moon discs.. Painted Maroon or Custom Color Emerald Green with black high grade vinyl interior, Lee flat tail light lenses, antenna in the rear, 54 Chevy grill, recessed headlights.
    Tri Power 352/390 with a solid lifter cam, 3 on the tree, duals with Porter Steel Packs..
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2020
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  19. X2...If my car wasn’t an original-paint survivor, it might look a lot like that green 55. It is the one that stands out to me at least in the style I would shoot for.
     
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  20. Is this the Merc you're talking about Jim? Love this car! The Jimmy Jones needle nose skirts are pure rolling art! E

    Dick Baily's Merc a.jpg

    Dick Baily's Merc b.jpg
     
  21. Jacksmith
    Joined: Sep 24, 2009
    Posts: 275

    Jacksmith
    Member

    I like 'em...
     
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  22. egads
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 582

    egads
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm biased, but I like your color choices: (White Diamond pearl and burgundy pearl)[​IMG]
     
  23. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,360

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    I like cruiser skirts, and fender skirts in general, on the right cars. I think the turnpike cruisers and bubble skirts look great, but only cars that aren't minimalist. If you've got some wild paint, spots, and especially a continental kit, then the skirts look great. If the car is too mild, it's a clash of styles in my opinion.

    Here's my 57 for consideration.

    37561_784832801724_3724913_n.jpg
     
  24. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,360

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    One point I'll make in fender skirts generally. Whether you use them or not (skirts of any variety, including stock skirts) should be dictated by your car's stance. The whole purpose of the skirt is to accentuate the "long and low" style by extending the bottom of the car basically from the bottom of the front wheel arch all the way to the back bumper largely uninterrupted. The proper stance is to go back down, or uniformly low. If the car has any forward rake at all, it's a big no-no with skirts. Also even if the car is level, if it's not low and a significant amount of tire is protruding or visible, the skirt will only accentuate the height of the car. Look at this thread here, the cars that look best you can barely see the back tires. You should only be able to see a hint of rim, if not less.
     
  25. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,130

    Squablow
    Member

    I do like the purple Merc with the skirts, that particular paint job really ties it together. And I like the cruisers on the '57 Fords shown above since the shape works so well with the side trim/upper quarter panel moldings. Those are good examples of doing it right.
     
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  26. I find it interesting that every picture of a good version of bubble skirts the skirts are scalloped which visually helps distract from the skirts bulbous look. To my mind if you have to try and hide what they look like with graphics they aren't that great looking to start with.

    Sent from my SM-G950W using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  27. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,394

    40StudeDude
    Member

    I hesitated to post pix of my skirts simply because they aren't bubble or cruiser...however they do resemble cruiser skirts more than bubble. These are hand built and are 74 inches long and make the car look longer than it is...of course, a '55 Cadillac does not have a body line around the wheel well but I feel the skirt adds to the quarter in lengthening it.

    DPP_0003.JPG

    And...just to give you a comparison, my friends '56 Cadillac has modified 'Cruisers" on it...partially fitted flush to the car...and minus all the trim. IMG_5049.JPG
    For additional comparison, my brother's '54 Caddy uses the stock skirts only these we sectioned and added three inches to them to bring the lip closer to the bottom of the car... IMG_8633.JPG


    In short, and this is my opinion, I believe your '55 Ford two door would look best with stock skirts...even if they are sectioned and the lip lowered...if it were a hardtop, then it would looks best with Cruiser type skirts …

    R-
     
  28. I want to point out, because I am coming across as a negative nancy on this thread, that I am glad guys like different build styles This particular one (bubble skirts) is not for me. It would be a pretty darn boring hobby if everybody built a car exactly like I or anyone else would like to see it.
     
    OG lil E, Roothawg, brad2v and 4 others like this.
  29. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 717

    Elcohaulic
    Member

    There all so nice but the Caddo just makes my heart skip when it comes to the "down low"... The women who designed those cars designed them around the "classy low" look..

    Peoples spirits were on right back then, these cars are a direct result of living right..
     
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  30. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,548

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    in my professional opinion these look OK, though I like the standard skirts:
    [​IMG]

    and these look like a loaded diaper:
    [​IMG]
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.

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