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History WES GAUNCE..........THE ORIENTAL

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Austinrod, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Austinrod
    Joined: Jun 14, 2012
    Posts: 1,913

    Austinrod
    Member
    from Austin

    Since no one has done a thread on THE ORIENTAL I thought it should be done great car but better interior.
    The history


    The 1955 Buick is the really wonderfully restyled 1955 Buick Wes Gaunce from Ohio. Wes did most of the restyling on the car himself and included 1959 Lincoln grille and headlights, 1959 Plymouth front bumper, extended and reshaped rear fenders with a custom made pan and hand made taillights. Shaved hood, trunk and rest of the emblems and handles created a smooth looking base for a startling gold metalflake. The interior was another highlight of this car and was upholstered by Jim Hayden’s trim shop in Norwood, Ohio. The february 1964 Car Craft article mentioned that Wes spend more than 500 hours in the design, carving and dying the leather panels in the upholstery for the totally unique Oriental themed interior.

    Fully detailed and upholstered trunk with upholstery by Jim Hayden.

    Wes showed the car intensively on the show circuit in the early to mid 1960’s. One version of the car was painted black with gold outlines and scallops pinstriped in bold white lines. This version also had the pancaked hood.
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    Car craft feb.1964
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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
  2. Austinrod
    Joined: Jun 14, 2012
    Posts: 1,913

    Austinrod
    Member
    from Austin

    The Oriental when found
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    Sent from the KUSTOM
     
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  3. Austinrod
    Joined: Jun 14, 2012
    Posts: 1,913

    Austinrod
    Member
    from Austin

    Happy owner
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    Sent from the KUSTOM
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
  4. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,608

    williebill
    Member

    More of the story, please.
     

  5. Austinrod
    Joined: Jun 14, 2012
    Posts: 1,913

    Austinrod
    Member
    from Austin

    I'll try too find more
     
  6. hdman6465
    Joined: Jul 5, 2009
    Posts: 651

    hdman6465
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    More pictures on Mark Moriarty's coverage of the CCR 2017. Shows updated resto on this fine custom. Wes is 95 now. Jim Wilkens is still the current caretaker and custodian.
     
    Sancho and Austinrod like this.
  7. The original interior of that car was incomparable! I've never seen anything come close since!
     
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  8. Austinrod
    Joined: Jun 14, 2012
    Posts: 1,913

    Austinrod
    Member
    from Austin

    Exactly


    Sent from KUSTOM
     
  9. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,899

    El Caballo
    Member

    That is kanji writing and it is Japanese, from top to bottom is Sun, Book, Power, Car. Perhaps said together it will have a clear understanding in Japanese, but that is about as far as I can go with that one.
     
    Austinrod likes this.
  10. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 2,513

    rudestude
    Member

    Austinrod I'm back on it... I run across some stuff on the Oriental ... I have more I will post as find it...cool car.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my QTASUN1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  11. LONG
    Joined: Aug 20, 2011
    Posts: 292

    LONG
    Member

  12. Austinrod
    Joined: Jun 14, 2012
    Posts: 1,913

    Austinrod
    Member
    from Austin

    Most recent this year
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    Sent from KUSTOM
     
  13. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 2,513

    rudestude
    Member

  14. Amazing car! and glad to see it's still around. Anyone know if the exhaust is functional??
     
  15. Cincinnati Slim
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 331

    Cincinnati Slim
    Member
    from Cincy, OH

    My parent's house is a block up the street from where Wes lived and built the Oriental. I grew up idolizing this car and wanting it someday. It was "lost" for years (sort of a long story)
    I know after retiring from show life, it became just "another car" and his daughter drove it for a few years. Think that is after the motor caught fire.
    Jim recently received all the trophies it had won...yep Wes kept them all these years even after selling the car.
    Jim told his daughter that when he is gone, I get the first call if I want to buy it... Him and I are probably the only two that truly appreciate it as the most important car to come out of Cincinnati. I might have to sell a kidney, but I did finally get my first ride in it at the CCR.
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  16. Thor1
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,488

    Thor1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Slim,

    I for one would like to hear more of the story about this car. How did it become "lost". What happened to it while it was lost? How was it found?, etc.

    Is there any light you you can shed on this story?

    Thor
     
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  17. Black Panther
    Joined: Jan 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,638

    Black Panther
    Member
    from SoCal

    Totally beautiful...interior was amazing!
     
  18. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 2,513

    rudestude
    Member

    Cincinnati Slim that's cool you got a ride it, like going back in time.......Hey about that kidney , my doctor says I will be needing one in a few years .....just saying....

    Sent from my QTASUN1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    Cincinnati Slim likes this.
  19. Cincinnati Slim
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 331

    Cincinnati Slim
    Member
    from Cincy, OH

    Thor,
    Some of the story of the cars' 'lost" years has to do with families and drama, that I won't post on the internet. There is a story of Jim finding it that Rik has on the Custom Car Chronicle.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  20. AlkyWagon
    Joined: Aug 13, 2014
    Posts: 99

    AlkyWagon

    Without the original style interior, there's nothing Oriental about it. Glad someone saved it, though.
     
  21. Mark in Japan
    Joined: Jun 19, 2007
    Posts: 1,466

    Mark in Japan
    Member

    First two = Japan
    together....Japan Power Car......but the kanji are not put together in any kind of way that a Japanese speaker would ever naturally do, so most likely chosen out of a tattoo shop catalogue of the era = Cool!!!!!
     
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  22. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,094

    Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Member

    Incredible car, paint and that interior is something else!
    Hope plans are to eventually replicate the interior details (if someone can be found to do such work) and paint (I vote black/gold version).

    Any details on the original upholsterer? Who it was and examples of their other work along these lines?
     
  23. Austinrod
    Joined: Jun 14, 2012
    Posts: 1,913

    Austinrod
    Member
    from Austin

    Fully detailed and upholstered trunk with upholstery by Jim Hayden.


    Sent from my iPad using H.A.M.B.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  24. NWRustyJunk
    Joined: Jan 2, 2017
    Posts: 343

    NWRustyJunk
    Member

    Very interesting. I wonder how many famous customs from back in the day are still out there, stashed in barns and haven't been discovered yet.
     
    loudbang, steinauge and Austinrod like this.
  25. Cincinnati Slim
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 331

    Cincinnati Slim
    Member
    from Cincy, OH

    I just learned that Wes passed away this Wednesday at the age of 93.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
    Austinrod likes this.
  26. That's too bad. He built a unique car back then as his legacy. R.I.P. Mr. Gaunce.
     
    Bowtie Coupe likes this.

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