Register now to get rid of these ads!

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

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

  1. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 26,281

    Staff Member

    could Mr McPhail be related to Dennis McPhail????
    54delray, drdave and OG lil E like this.
  2. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 26,281

    Staff Member

    This has me wondering if my pic isn't earlier than I thought.....surely the orange version is after the gray primer. It does strike me as funny that they would paint over all that rough tacked together pop riveted body work....
    54delray, Sancho, drdave and 2 others like this.
  3. Man, we're gaining some traction on this one. Pleasant surprise as I thought this car wouldn't start much conversation.

    I think you're right, Doc. There couldn't be two of these Packard hearses around, let alone more than one in the bright orange.
    On a side note, how about those crazy fuzzy dice? They are huge! E

    Maybe Charles had future plans for some turn signals in there or something. Maybe he was just having trouble finding two more good teeth.
    I can't imagine having a '54 Chevy grille like that today what with the price of vintage grille teeth. Sure looks cool though! E

    I had thought of that, but figured it was just a coincidence. Somebody should ask Dennis. Maybe @Sancho? E

    That is strange. Maybe Mr. McPhail was going for an early (and I HATE to use the term) rat custom.
    The paint helped add to the "20 footer look" of the Merc, but if the car was to be all welded up and finished, removing all that paint for the bodywork added a ton of extra work to the project. Then again, maybe he was trying to protect the precious '49 Merc sheetmetal from the elements until he could get back at it. E
  4. I sent Dennis a message. I know he's driving out to Santa Maria so I'll let you know if I hear anything.
  5. fuzzface
    Joined: Dec 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,538


    The '48 Packard hearse has been on the Carnut site for a long time.

    last time I saw the hearse was on a you tube video a few years ago and it was at a copart auction site and looked like it was sitting there a long time already getting rough. remember it had a $20,000 price tag on the window.
  6. fuzzface
    Joined: Dec 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,538


    Ok just found it but it doesn't look bad in this video so maybe a saw another one later when it was rougher? or maybe I am getting my hearses mixed up?

    Look up copart walk around 1-25-2020 1948 packard flat 8 hearse
    OG lil E and drdave like this.
  7. fuzzface
    Joined: Dec 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,538


    Looks like the ebay ad came after it was at the copart lot so i am not sure where i am getting I saw it in rougher shape from? Unless my mind is gone.
    chryslerfan55 and OG lil E like this.
  8. Dennis said "No relation that I know of".
  9. What Ever Happened To..........? number 295.

    1946 Ford
    Owner: Mel "The Frog" Dollarhyde
    Springfield, Missouri

    Mel Dollarhyde was a pinstriper from the Midwest that seemed to be in the game for a long time. From what I've learned about him, he may have been more into the hot rod or street rod scene, but in the mid 80s he started to gravitate towards customs. This is where our story takes off. In 1985 the Leadsled Spectacular was held in Springfield, Ohio. Mel decided to take his wild taildragging '46 Ford to the show and check things out. Luckily Rowdie managed to catch up with Mr. Dollarhyde and had one of his gals do an interview. It seems like Mel did quite a bit of work on the Ford himself, and what he couldn't do he traded pinstriping work in trade. His efforts were well worth it as he had built himself one heck of a custom.
    The first thing that jumps out at you is the bright yellow paint. In the 70s and 80s yellow was really a popular color choice among car folks.

    Mel Dollarhyde 46 Ford a 85LSS.JPG

    In these first pictures we get a good look at the front of the '46. We can see molded and frenched canted quads that are incorporated into the grille opening. The grille is made up of a '54 Chevy grille with some extra teeth on top, and then two floating bars were added underneath. You can also see that the fenders were "pinched" inwards. This was a common trick on early to mid 50s Ford F-100 pickups when a custom grille was added. I can't say that I've ever seen this done on another mid 40s Ford car.
    We can also see Mel added some pinstriping here and there.

    Mel Dollarhyde 46 Ford b 85LSS.JPG

    As we move towards the rear of the car we can see that this Ford was chopped quite a bit. The rear quarter windows are very small as a result of this, as is the rear window. I'm sure getting the rubber mold/seal installed was a bear. We also see frenched taillights and license plate. The flared rear wheel wells are a little strange. You would think Mel would have had fender skirts instead, but, some guys don't like them, or maybe he had wheel clearance issues. In the 80s no respectable traveler would hit the road without a trusty CB radio. We see that Mel had his CB antenna mounted at the top leading edge of the trunklid.

    Mel Dollarhyde 46 Ford c 85LSS.JPG

    Up next is a little closer look at the taillights. We also see some more of Mel's handiwork. Note the rounded trunk corners.

    Mel Dollarhyde 46 Ford d 85LSS.JPG

    Here we have a few pictures of Rowdie's gal Valerie doing the interview with Mel. When she asked him his name he mentioned that he was also known as "The Frog". She then asked him where that knick name came from and he said it was his pinstriping name, and that it was given to him by a few of his friends back when he was a kid. He said he started pinstriping back in the early 50s.

    Mel Dollarhyde 46 Ford e 85LSS.JPG

    Mel Dollarhyde 46 Ford f 85LSS.JPG

    After the interview, I didn't see Mel or his '46 on the '85 video again.
    In 1986, the Spectacular was held in Springfield, Missouri. In the video, I didn't see Mel's '46. He may have been there but the video camera's eye didn't catch his car. He may have also been there in another car. At any rate, I thought it was strange that he wasn't there since he was from Springfield, Missouri.
    In 1987, Mr. Dollarhyde did make it to the show which was held in Springfield, Illinois. There was only a little footage of the car, and it was shot when the cars came through the fairground gates and down a hill before they turned to go down another hill to go to the car show area. Mel's car had a unique and unmistakable look. The car was a true taildragger.

    Mel Dollarhyde 46 Ford g 87LSS.JPG

    Mel Dollarhyde 46 Ford h 87LSS.JPG

    After 1987, Mel and his wild, bright yellow sled seemed to disappear. I didn't see it on any later videos, or find any mention of it in a KKOA newsletter or any magazines. So where is Mr. Dollarhyde and his custom? Any of you custom faithful around Springfield, Missouri recall seeing this car? Maybe someone out there had Mel lay some striping on their car. It will be interesting to see if anyone can recall the yellow Ford and "The Frog".
    I hope everyone had a nice holiday of reflection and family time for Memorial Day. Our day was very nice. Always nice to pay respect to those that we've lost and those who have given us so much.
    The car shows and cruise nights are in full swing, and attendance this year seems to be up from the last few years, despite the crazy expense of gas right now. Nice to see people out and enjoying cars again. I hope everyone is having fun as the official start of summer is coming up on us fast. Enjoy it though, it really goes by fast! Keep cruisin' guys!
    I'll see you in two! E
  10. straykatkustoms
    Joined: Oct 30, 2001
    Posts: 18,964


    Another great post. I've known Mel for a while and I don't remember seeing this kustom before. He is still around and was at the SK500 a few years ago in a chopped late 40's Ford coupe with canted headlights. I'm wondering if it is the same one. It was afresh build painted purple. I'll see if I can find some pics.... Ya got me thinking...
    drdave, Sancho, 54delray and 2 others like this.
  11. straykatkustoms
    Joined: Oct 30, 2001
    Posts: 18,964


    Travis Miller took this pic a couple of years ago. Same car??

    drdave, Sancho, 54delray and 3 others like this.
  12. Hey Mick, thanks for chiming in. Nice to hear that Mel is still around. Always glad to find out when a custom elder is still in the game! I think you may be on to something. The purple Ford could definitely be the same car. Let us know what you find out! E
  13. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,708


    It was more of a pale yellow. Saw it in the modernized version a couple times in Des Moines Goodguys event in the last 5 years. I always thought it was the same car. It looks like I took this at the Springfield Missouri show, ED. It`s sitting next to another feature car, 51 Merc coupe converted to a convertible. Also, from Springfield. IMG_20200601_0002.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2022
  14. Nice pic as always Jim! Every time I look at this car I like the taildragger look of it, but I often wonder why it sat so high. Perhaps Mel should have lowered it all the way around a little bit, but kept the kool motor boat stance. At any rate, this car would have been a blast to cruise around in! E
    drdave, Sancho, stanlow69 and 2 others like this.
  15. I would wager it's the same car.
    Compare the cut lines for the tilt front:


  16. I agree with Sancho. Looking at the shape of the 1/4 window even in the hardtop version also appears to have the same shape. What are the odds the same guy builds two different cars with several similarities....more likely the same car continually changed and updated.
  17. What Ever Happened To..........? number 296.

    1949 Mercury "Pop's Toy"
    Owner: Kenny Fergus
    Warminster, Pennsylvania

    This week's custom is one that may have been around for quite sometime, but my search for information turned up nothing other than the one sighting at a KKOA show. It may have been at many other KKOA events, but the videos I have never captured the car anywhere else.
    Kenny Fergus dragged his wild '49 Merc to Sled Scene East in 1994. The car was shown a few different times on the tape, but getting good shots was tough as the camera always seemed to be in motion making for some less than perfect still shots. In the first picture you can see the car had some heavy traditional leadsled modifications done to it. Aside from the obvious chopped top, we can see it was hardtopped and had rounded hood corners and frenched headlights. It had the prerequisite molded lake pipes and a tu-tone paint job that was separated by '55 Pontiac side trim.

    Kenny Fergus 49 Merc a 94SSE.JPG

    As we get a peek at the back of the car, we see a '55 Pontiac rear bumper and a set of stock Merc taillights that were frenched in with some molding work. We also get a look at the mural on the trunklid which is blurry at best. I have a few better shots of the artwork coming up.
    You will also notice the wild skirts that appear to be homemade. If these are metal they must weigh a ton as they are quite large. They don't call them leadsleds without a good reason!

    Kenny Fergus 49 Merc b 94SSE.JPG

    Later on in the video, "Video Bob" Huff caught up with the car while it was sitting in the show area. Here we get a good look at the front end showing many of the traditional custom mods. When I see a Mercury like this it always reignites the fire and my love of the old bathtub Mercs!

    Kenny Fergus 49 Merc c 94SSE.JPG

    Next is a close-up of the frenched headlight and the pinstripe work some skilled artist laid down.

    Kenny Fergus 49 Merc d 94SSE.JPG

    As Bob's video camera panned the car, we get a look at the front of the car. Rounded hood corners and the Chrysler grille catch the eye.

    Kenny Fergus 49 Merc e 94SSE.JPG

    Bob continued around the car where he came to my favorite area of the build. The Pontiac trim separating the pink and gray paint create quite a contrast. 50s style colors with a little modern twist as the gray had quite a bit of metalflake added to it. You can't see the 'flake in this shot, but it was there. You can also see more striping by the handmade door buttons similar to Lincoln style ones. We can also see the molded lakes shroud at the bottom of the shot.

    Kenny Fergus 49 Merc f 94SSE.JPG

    Here we go, I told y'all it had flake! In the early 90s about the only cars that had flake were cars from the lowrider set. This was just before metalflake made it's big comeback with customs later on in the 90s.

    Kenny Fergus 49 Merc g 94SSE.JPG

    In back we get a little better view of the mural and lettering on the trunk. Lots of work went into the taillights. They turned out great!

    Kenny Fergus 49 Merc i 94SSE.JPG
    This is the best shot I could get of the art on the trunk in a video still. We see Kenny's Merc on a lonely road somewhere with the custom's nick name glowing beside it. Notice the flake here as well.

    Kenny Fergus 49 Merc j 94SSE.JPG

    One last look at the rear of the car. I wish this shot wasn't so shadowy. I would have really liked to see the skirts a little better. It would be interesting to know if these skirts were fiberglass or metal. We may never know.

    Kenny Fergus 49 Merc h 94SSE.JPG

    On the inside it was pretty much business as usual. All the necessities to hit the highway on the road to a cool custom gathering somewhere. Get the keys Kenny, let's go cruisin'!

    Kenny Fergus 49 Merc k 94SSE.JPG

    My last shot tonight is of Mr. Fergus wiping his pride and joy down in the show area. With a Mercury like this how can you not love even the work of waxing it up and wiping it down? Kenny was a lucky kat!

    Kenny Fergus 49 Merc L 94SSE.JPG

    So "Whatever Happened To..........?" Kenny and "Pops Toy"? Is it still prowling the streets in PA, or did some custom enthusiast from overseas make him an offer he couldn't refuse and it's living over there? Any of you east coast custom faithful recall this car in all of your years hitting the custom heavy east coast shows? I hope somebody has more on this one. I'd really like for everyone to see some nice clear pictures of it as my blurry video stills do this kemp no justice!
    Just a few short weeks to one of my favorite holidays, Independence Day! Here in Colorado things are so dry that it's starting to look like we won't have any fireworks shows this year. Bummer. I guess that means more cruising around and checking out things around town. But, with gas hovering at right around $5.00 a gallon that will kind of put a kink in that too. Oh well, you've got to make your fun where you find it. At any rate, I hope everyone gets to get out and celebrate Independence Day! Be safe and have a great holiday. I'll see you guys on the 5th.
    Happy Birthday America! E
  18. John B
    Joined: Mar 9, 2001
    Posts: 1,384

    John B

    With a last name like Fergus you'd think he'd be easy to find in a Google search of the Warminster township (pop 32,000) but nothing comes up. I even tried it as Ferguson.
    54delray, stanlow69, OG lil E and 2 others like this.
  19. I did some looking around for Mr. Fergus before I posted his Merc on Tuesday and came up empty as well. The mystery continues..........E
  20. Ltorch
    Joined: Jun 8, 2009
    Posts: 333


    Kens merc was bought by a guy name bill from ohio he changed it around little bit and painted it black least that is what ken told me years ago .

  21. Thanks for the information @Ltorch! The updated version of Ken's car looks great! Also nice to see it in clear pictures. Again, thanks for sharing! E
  22. I sure hope that if the Jones Mercury does sell it gets purchased by somebody that isn't going to change it all up and "make it their own". This car is a piece of history and it would be a shame if it were lost to a "visionary". E
  23. Adam Irwin
    Joined: Jun 26, 2022
    Posts: 1

    Adam Irwin

    This is the correct guy. He was my dad
  24. I just came across this photo on the site. Mel's Ford at the KKOA Merc/Deuce Reunion 1979 (Kansas City).

    Definitely has a "Wichita" look to it....
    @OG lil E this explains the wheelwells/flares.
    Also note the Thrush sidepipes.

  25. Yep, Wichita style all over. Funny how that look has never really come back much. It was definitely a Wichita phenomenon! E
  26. What Ever Happened To..........? number 297.

    1964 Chevy Chevelle Convertible "Lemon Drop Kid"
    Owner: Dave Losen
    Chillicothe, Illinois

    For this week's custom we are going to revisit a custom owner who we have discussed before. For those of you that have been following this thread for a long time, you may have read the heading and thought "Dave Losen, man that name sounds familiar." Dave Losen was the owner of a nice mild custom '55 Ford known as "Sugar Daddy". His '55 was W.E.H.T. #44. Since that feature was way back in January of 2017, I'll include the link so you can go back and check it out just in case you missed it or weren't around the thread back then.

    I had seen Dave's other mild custom, this '64 Chevelle on a few videos, but I had no idea who the owner was until I stumbled upon information on the car while doing research for other feature cars. The first time I saw the car on video was on the 1987 Leadsled Spectacular video shot in Springfield, Illinois. Fitting that Dave was there since he lived in Illinois. The thing that caught my eye was the bright yellow paint on the car. It wasn't a close up shot of the car as it cruised by, but it was in the background of another car that Rowdie was filming. The car that was being filmed close up was Perry Miller's '52 Chevy the "Ramblin' Rose" which was W.E.H.T. #253 featured back in February of 2021. Here's a link to that write up for those that may not remember Perry's '52 Chevy.

    This was the only time I saw the Chevelle on that video. Back then, the later model cars didn't seem to get much coverage, as it was chopped 40s and 50s custom overload. There was only so much a guy could put on a two hour video tape.

    Dave Losen 64 Chevelle Vert a 87LSS.JPG

    We must understand that Dave most likely drove "Sugar Daddy" to most of the Spectaculars he went to, so lack of sightings of the '64 is understandable. I think it simply wasn't driven to many of them.
    The only other Spectacular I found video of the car was in 1989 in Davenport, Iowa. My copy of the '89 Spectacular was given to me courtesy of @PasoJohn Tretten. John caught a few images of the Chevelle, but to my knowledge, it never had a "video photo shoot" or a magazine feature. All that being said, I only have a few shots of the car.
    Here's a shot of the car prowling the fairgrounds:

    Dave Losen 64 Chevelle Vert c 89LSS.JPG

    In this shot, Dave was showing the engine to another guy at the show.

    Dave Losen 64 Chevelle Vert b 89LSS.JPG

    In the few pictures I found, you can see the car was very mild. It had whitewalls, skirts and a few add-ons (much like "Sugar Daddy"), but it still had the door handles and all the trim. Still a cool ride in my book! After the '89 show, I didn't see the Chevelle on any more videos. Dave must have been getting plenty of time behind the wheel in the '55.
    Later on in my research I came across a letter that Dave wrote in to the KKOA that ended up being printed in the Kemp Gazette. In the Volume 6 Number 2 issue from 1990, Dave's letter and picture were printed on page 5. Dave gave a quick run down on the story of the Chevelle, and touched on "Sugar Daddy" as well. Note the city was printed as Rome, not Chillicothe. When Mr. Losen passed away it said he was a resident of Chillicothe. Maybe Dave left Chillicothe for Rome, Illinois for a while and then moved back, or maybe it was just a type-o. We may never know.

    Dave Losen 64 Chevelle Vert d  KempGaz V6N2p5 1990.jpg

    As you all know, I research a lot and I'm amazed at what I find sometimes. Most of the time it's just blind luck, but thankfully the ol' memory banks still work well enough to put things together when I stumble upon something. I knew Mr. Losen had passed away in 1999, but I really didn't know much other than that. One evening when I was looking through my later KKOA newsletters, The Trendsetter, I came across an obituary for Dave. It sounds like his passing was unexpected, and he died fairly young. The obituary was in the January/February 2000 Trendsetter, Volume 20 Number 1 on page 9. Nice to see the KKOA remember a fine man who was a true custom enthusiast!

    Dave Losen 64 Chevelle Vert e Obituary TS V20#1 JanFeb 2000 p9.jpg

    As I do research, I use a number of different resources. I have magazines and newsletters from different organizations and clubs that I'm always browsing through searching for that forgotten little tidbit that many might have missed. Recently I found a second obituary for Mr. Losen. This time it was printed in the old Kustoms of America newsletter called the Styleline. It was nearly the same article, but I thought that Dave must have meant a lot to many people for him to be remembered in two different custom organization's club newsletters. This obituary was in the January/February 2000 Styleline on page 13.

    Dave Losen 64 Chevelle Vert f Obituary KOA SL JanFeb2000 p13.jpg

    And there we have it. We know that Mr. Losen passed away many years ago now, and from the W.E.H.T. write-up on the '55 "Sugar Daddy", we found out the whereabouts of that car. But what about the Chevelle? Is the "Lemon Drop Kid" still in the Losen family? Was it sold and some muscle car nut took it back to original? Did any of you custom faithful that went to many KKOA events over the years happen to snap some decent pictures of the '64? There has to be more on this cool 'vert out there somewhere!
    And to Mr. Losen, thank you for the mild custom legacy you left--even though you probably never knew it. We appreciate it! Rest in peace sir.
    I hope everyone had a great Independence Day. I did, but I must say that it was probably the most uneventful 4th I've ever had. Heck, maybe I'm just turning into an old fogey, I don't know (lol). I've always said that the Fourth of July is my unofficial middle of summer event, and here we are, one day beyond that. Man, summer goes by way too fast! I hope you guys are making the most of it, because it won't be long and we'll be talking about how Labor Day was and thinking about the cooler weather and winter just down the road. Not looking forward to that at all. Yuck!
    But, 'til then, have fun guys! I'll see you in a few weeks! E
  27. This one will be tough. Any distinguishing features?
    @stanlow69 post some clear pictures so I have something to work with! LOL

    @OG lil E the count down to Salina is on!
  28. I knew this one would be tough, Bill. I found very little to go on and since the car is pretty mild, it could have easily been changed and made unrecognizable.
    Yep, should be rolling out of town three weeks from today. Got a few snags going on over here, but hopefully I'll make it. E
    stanlow69, 54delray, John B and 2 others like this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.