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History What Ever Happened to..........?

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by OG lil E, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. Great find John! Glad to hear the Calatos are fine and still doing their thing.
    Looks like the Galaxie has progressed with some cool scallops and cruiser skirts! I haven't seen the Galaxie at any show in recent times at all. I wonder if they frequent any shows nowadays. E
     
  2. Great info @John B

    You guys know how much I like '59 Fords!
     
  3. John B
    Joined: Mar 9, 2001
    Posts: 1,270

    John B
    Member

    Another picture taken by Grant Deffinbaugh, this time in 2016 JoeyCalato1.jpg

    Then I creeped his Facebook page some more and stole this because he looks like a guy who would be fun to be around. I believe this is from just a couple months ago.
    JoeyCalato2.jpg
     
  4. Just a little information on the old custom '56 Mercury Montclair, "HEART AND SOUL" .Last week, my wife and I were able to finally buy our old girl back. Today we are happy to say that we have it safely locked in our garage again after being gone for 35 LONG years!!! We were amazed to find how close to the same it still is. Whom ever has had it the past 35 years has taken VERY good care of it. Thank YOU!! Only a few things were changed over that time. The biggest change seems to be the continental kit. I like it! I know it passed through at least 5 owners after we sold it in 1984. It seems like they loved it as much as we did. I do understand that thinks come up in your everyday life that requires a person to make changes. In 1984 we had to sell it, but that doesn't mean that we didn't miss it. Our whole family is overjoyed to have him home. THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO TO CARE OF HIM ON HIS JOURNEY!! Clarence Crayton "Lumpy" a.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2019
  5. I'm sorry all the pictures are the same. I usually can't get one to post...now I get 9. This old dog can't learn new tricks very fast. "LUMPY
     
  6. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 14,154

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member


    Hey Clarence. did you win the lowering block trophy for the best engine at the 1983 kkoa leadsled show in Springfield Ill. with this car?
     
  7. No, we won best mild custom at '82 in DesMoines and best mill in Ohio in '83. All trophies are gone. The best mill trophy was earned by my late best friend Wayne "WEASEL" LeQuire. He did my machining on the finned aluminum. He earned it, so I gave it to him. He past away about 12 years ago while having a angiogram for a heart problem. I miss him dearly!! He was the BEST friend I have ever had!! I think the low trophy at Springfield went to a chopped Merc called " LATER". It was a pearl light yellow car.
     
  8. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 14,154

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    4CE8B05D-3E7D-4057-A215-3587390F62B7.jpeg


    No no you don’t understand, all of the trophies in those days were lowering blocks. That is what the trophies were made to resemble. I have your 1983 best mill Trophy. I bought it on eBay a long time ago. If you want it I will sell it to you for what I paid for it... 50 bucks
     
  9. WOW!!! After my friend Weasel passed all those things vanished. I would love to buy it back. Could you contact me on my email? mccrayton@aol.com Thanks!!!
     
  10. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 14,154

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member


    email sent
     
  11. You're a class act, Mark.....
     
  12. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,165

    Slopok
    Member

    Clarence, what even became of your white 49 Merc? That had to have been the most sanitary engine compartment I ever saw especially for that time period.
     
  13. I traded the white Merc "HEAVEN FORBID" for a '49 Anglia gasser and a bucket of money to a guy in Aurora, Il. The last contact I had was that a guy in West Chicago Il owed it. It was the old Tom Hickle Merc out of St Louis. I bought it as a basket case from Kurt McCormick. Of all the people I have dealt with in cars, Kurt was one of the fairest. What a gentleman!!
     
  14. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,165

    Slopok
    Member

    I've never seen it after you owned it, and never forgot it either.
     
  15. KustomLincolnLady
    Joined: Oct 17, 2003
    Posts: 977

    KustomLincolnLady
    Member

  16. Just a little information on "Heaven Forbid" (the white Merc). The "56 nailhead that was in that Merc was taken out of an old street rod by Kurt McCormick. It came with the basketcase. I wanted an automatic in the car because I was a truck driver and shifted gears all day long. I wanted a TH350 in it but couldn't find anyone that made an adaptor for the early nailheads at that time. My BEST FRIEND "WEASEL" took 1 inch aluminum plate and a steel chunk and made an adaptor for that trans. Runout was to be held at .003 inch. His was .001 inch.on a Craftsman bench lathe in his basement. We NEVER had a problem with it. He charged me a handshake.
     
  17. Austinrod
    Joined: Jun 14, 2012
    Posts: 1,586

    Austinrod
    Member
    from Austin

    WOW


    Sent from my iPad
     
  18. John B
    Joined: Mar 9, 2001
    Posts: 1,270

    John B
    Member

    Mark is a good guy.

    I hope we get to see pictures of the car and the award together when they are reunited.
     
  19. What Ever Happened To..........? number 168.


    1953 Ford Convertible "My Way Elvis"
    Owner: Phil Iturbide
    Madison, Wisconsin

    This week's custom is another one that seemed to come onto the scene and then within a few short years vanished. I have been researching this one for a long time and I'm going to go ahead and post it without much to go on.
    The first time I saw this car was on the 1986 Leadsled Spectacular video from Springfield, Missouri. The only shot of the car was when it was rolling into the show. This was the first version of the car. I think it may have been transitioning from one style of custom to another.

    Bill ----- 53 Ford a  86LSS.JPG

    I apologize for the quality of the picture. This is another "cheat" shot taken of the car with my VCR paused on my rickety old RCA television.
    You can see the car was dark blue with white flames with blue fades around the edges. If you look at the picture closely, you can see the car had cruiser skirts on it that had a ton of louvers in them, as well as a '59 Caddy bullet taillight pointed rearwards at the end of each row of louvers. On the video you could tell the skirts were primered.
    I think this was one of the last times the car was seen in this version at a big show. The next sighting of the Ford was on the 1987 Leadsled video from Springfield, Illinois and in 1988 at the Spectacular from Holland, Michigan. It was on these videos where you could see the car had been changed up quite a bit. The biggest change was the reworking of the rear end. The quarters were extended and the taillight opening was made kind of an oval shape to accept a pair of '59 Cadillac taillights on each side of the car. On the lower quarter it was extended rearward and a '59 Corvette taillight was mounted on each side. The trunk was louvered and a Connie kit was added.
    The car was repainted silver with burgundy flames with fades similar to the style of the flames on the blue version.
    The interior was done in red and silver velour in a button tuck style with the use of triangular shaped trim. The interior had a similar style to the '63 Galaxie of Bud Roberts (W.E.H.T. #161).
    I also found the car on another video and that's where I got most of the next pictures. Phil (sorry folks, couldn't find his last name) attended the Sterling/Rock Falls (Illinois) Custom and Lowrider Car Show. This event took place on the weekend of July 22-24, 1988. I know this event was mostly a lowrider show, but many of the customs from the midwest area showed up in force to attend and support the show. Judging from the video, it looked like a GREAT show that would have been worth attending.
    A big car show, lots of concert acts to watch, muffler rap contest, flamethrowing, hopping and the big cruise out to a nearby lake on Sunday morning for a big breakfast, trophy presentation and the closing ceremonies. It looked like a well planned show with lots to do.
    Before I continue, I must again apologize for picture quality. These were taken from the DVD paused on my computer. I found no pictures of the '53 online whatsoever.
    This first picture was on Friday evening of the show. There was a kick off cruise night at a local A&W and Phil had gone to Kalamazoo to pick up Bob McVey. Bob was an Elvis impersonator and judging from his performance on the DVD, he was a pretty darn good one! Here they were making their entrance into the drive-in.

    Bill ----- 53 Ford c 88RFLR show 88.JPG

    The next picture was when the Ford cruised by Video Bob filming. You could see "Elvis" riding shotgun. You have to admit Bob looked a lot like "The King"! This is one of the few times I ever saw the car with the top up.

    Bill ----- 53 Ford d RFLR show 88.JPG

    The next picture was when Phil parked the car and "Elvis" got out to perform a few songs. Finally a shot showing the crazy work on the rear of the car. Another rare shot with the top up.

    Bill ----- 53 Ford e RFLR show 88.JPG

    The next group of pictures was from Saturday morning when Phil and his wife(?) were cruising into the show. Looks like they were ready to show and shine with the top down and the matching top boot installed.

    Bill ----- 53 Ford f RFLR show 88.JPG

    Bill ----- 53 Ford g RFLR show 88.JPG

    The next two shots were from Saturday evening as Phil was heading out of the show to go to the big Saturday night concert. You can see by the light that the sun was going down.

    Bill ----- 53 Ford h RFLR show 88.JPG

    Bill ----- 53 Ford i RFLR show 88.JPG

    Like many guys that travel long distances to shows, Phil pulled a little trailer behind his Ford. I wish I could have found better footage of it. I know I have it on one of my videos, but I couldn't find it. I'll keep looking and I'll post a few pictures once I find it.
    It was basically made out of wood with various pictures of Elvis on it. They appeared to be small posters or magazine pictures that were cut out, glued on the wood and then were decoupaged over to protect them from the elements. The wheels were covered with little louvered fenders that sat so low it almost made the trailer look like it was floating on air with no tires. I wish I could have found the footage as the trailer was actually pretty cool!
    This last picture was taken from the end of the DVD. This was the Sunday morning cruise out to the lake for the end of the show. This is my favorite part of the video. Video Bob used to film out of his van through a large sunroof. As the cars cruised by you got a cool bird's eye view of each one as it passed. He had "Samba Pa Ti" by Santana playing as background music as the cruise ended and all the participants got to the lake. Very cool setting with the location, setting and the choice of music. Very well done.
    You can see the little trailer behind Phil's wild sled.

    Bill ----- 53 Ford k RFLR show 88.JPG

    I did manage to find one nice shot of Phil's car in a magazine. This picture was from one of the magazines of the Custom Painting by Hot Rod series (1988). This was from page 9 where they were showing examples of flames. You can see the great style of flames with the darker shaded tips as well as the super rare bubble headlight covers.

    Bill ----- 53 Ford b CPainting by HR 1988p9.jpg

    That is about all I found on this one everybody. Like I mentioned before, I never found Phil's last name, or what town in Wisconsin he was (is?) from. I only got the Wisconsin location from license plate research.
    I hope more information on this '53 Ford comes forward as it deserves more attention. It screams late 50s! Doesn't it looks like the type of wild show car that would have been in an east coast little book in about 1960? Hard to believe such a wild car could just fade away..........
    I hope all of you custom faithful are well and getting some good cruising time in as the weather seems to finally be warming up. We all look forward to summer so much!
    Until next time, have fun! E
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
    Ron, drdave, BigO and 11 others like this.
  20. 54delray
    Joined: Dec 18, 2004
    Posts: 642

    54delray
    Member
    from Fremont NE

    Wow Lil E, that is so unique ... I've never seen such a rear quarter treatment, with the 'vette lights. Someone has got to know where it is.
     
    OG lil E, Sancho, loudbang and 3 others like this.
  21. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 3,274

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    From Springfield Missouri KKOA show. More to come later. He was as wild looking as the car was. Didn`t know he was an Elvis impersonater, but that explaines it. Scan0331.jpg
     
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  22. Cincinnati Slim
    Joined: Jun 26, 2007
    Posts: 316

    Cincinnati Slim
    Member
    from Cincy, OH

    I remember seeing it at the James Dean Run in the early 90’s. I remember the bullet headlight covers and it had a life size dummy of Elvis sitting in the back seat. I just don’t remember flames and thought it had scallops.
    I thought I seen it just a few years ago there again and thought to myself “wow, haven’t seen this one in awhile”. But, after going to the James Dean Run for almost 30 years, they all start to run together.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  23. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 14,154

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    I totally remember that car....never understood putting tail lights on fender skirts or punching louvers in a trunk lid but, maybe that is what makes it an unforgettable car?
     
    Ron, chryslerfan55, drdave and 5 others like this.
  24. Such a tease!
     
  25. I agree Bill. The rear end of the Ford is awesome! E

    Great pic Jim! That's the best image I've ever seen of the blue version. On the '86 Leadsled video you couldn't see the rear of the car so I assumed the rear of the car was customized when the car was redone in silver. I was wrong. It was already wild before the repaint!
    Bill went all out when the car was changed to silver. I see in Jim's picture the interior was blue and silver. The interior was all changed to red and silver when it was repainted. That was a lot of work and expense!
    By the way, Bill, the owner of the car wasn't the Elvis impersonator, it was a guy named Bob McVey. If you look at the fourth photo I posted, you can see Bob getting out of the passenger side and Bill is getting out of the driver's side. All the "B" names makes it confusing, doesn't it? E

    Ah yes, Mark, the uniqueness of customs. Like this car or not, all the wild little twists and turns on it would make it easy to remember and even harder to forget. I'd love to spend some time looking at the car in person. I'm sure there were a lot of little details to take in. E

    (Lol!) Too funny! Maybe Jim will post a clearer pic of the little trailer.
    Still searching for video. E
     
  26. a990hemi
    Joined: Sep 3, 2009
    Posts: 155

    a990hemi
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Phils 53.jpg
    Phil Iturbide of Madison, WI was the original builder of this wild '53 Ford convertible. He and his friend and local kustomizing legend Al Abel transformed a very mild blue flamed '53 Ford into the wild silver n flamed Elvis tribute car over about a 6 year period. Phil owned and operated Ace Auto Upholstery in Madison, hence the wild diamond tufted velour upholstery and Carson style top, and was a founding member of the Klassic Kruisers C.C. This incredibly colorful character passed away about 4 years ago, but both of his sons are very talented kustom auto upholsterers still in the Madison area.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
    chryslerfan55, drdave, BigO and 7 others like this.
  27. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 3,274

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    If I remember right, he looked like a greaser straight from the 50`s. With slicked back hair and cuffed blue jeans. Was pretty thin too. Upholsterers do some wild things. Maybe my car needs an update from it`s 25 year version. Hmmm.
     
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  28. a990hemi
    Joined: Sep 3, 2009
    Posts: 155

    a990hemi
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    Phil Iturbide.jpg
    Phil grew up in the 50s and held on to all that kulture right to the end. The man could dance, built numerous Kustoms and was one of the original flamethrowers in our area too.
     
    chryslerfan55, drdave, BigO and 7 others like this.
  29. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 3,274

    stanlow69
    Member
    from red oak

    Another one from the same show. The only thing that`s missing is curb-feelers. The car has everything else. Scan0937.jpg
     
  30. Thanks so much for the informative posts a990hemi! We enjoy hearing custom history from those that were there and it's always nice to put names and faces with the owners and builders of these great customs.
    I thought I heard Video Bob mention on the Sterling/Rock Falls Custom Car and Lowrider Show DVD that the owner of the '53 Ford was Bill, but with the information you posted I'm sure I had it wrong. I'll update the post.
    So sorry to hear that Mr. Iturbide is no longer with us. It is something we hear all too much of nowadays. Rest in peace Phil..........E

    Boy, you said a mouthful! You know how those upholstery guys are (lol)! E
     
    chryslerfan55, drdave, BigO and 6 others like this.

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