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: 24,142

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    I totally remember that yellow Chevelle from the show, I will look thru my pics but I don't think I snapped a picture of it...
     
  2. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 24,142

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    Yup, I looked and I don't have anything. I only shot maybe 2 rolls of film at each event. Probably didn't want to waste a shot on a stock pinstriped chevelle when there were real customs to shoot. admittedly the wide whites looked out of place to me on that car....
     
  3. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,400

    stanlow69
    Member

  4. What Ever Happened To..........? number 298.

    1950 Ford "Passion Pit"
    Owner: Jerry Pfitzinger
    St. Louis, Missouri

    For this week's custom I dug around the old wildcard bag and came up with this sharp '50 Ford. This is another car I've been trying to collect information on for quite a long time, and the trail has gone ice cold, so I thought it was time to put it out there and see what comes up.
    The car first made the scene at the Leadsled Spectacular in Holland, Michigan back in '88, but by 1993 it seemed to go away. Another one of those cars that came along and made a splash and then disappeared. I wasn't able to find any owner information on it, and the only shots I have of it are video stills. The shots are somewhat grainy (so what else is new?) so I wasn't able to see where the plates on the car were from. Nonetheless, it's a bitchin' sled that I think we'll all enjoy taking a closer look at.
    In Holland, my copy of the Spectacular was shot by @PasoJohn, and the stills I have are basically all that John filmed. In his defense, the '88 show looked big and I'm sure it was custom overload trying to take it all in, so some cars filmed were just "quickies". However, I am so grateful to all the videographers that shot these videos to give us views of the shows from way back when that we either didn't go to, or were there and the memories are starting to fade. Thanks guys!
    The first shot of the '50 was when it was just sitting in the shade in the fairgrounds. It was dripping with 50's kool with the beautiful miles deep black paint with traditional style flames.

    50 Ford Passion Pit a 88LSS.JPG

    In the next shot we catch a glimpse of the back. If you look close, you can see "Passion Pit" lettered off to the lower right of the trunk lid. In '88 there were no shots of the car with the top up or a Carson. What did it have? Hmmm........

    50 Ford Passion Pit b 88LSS.JPG

    Our last picture from '88 was a quick shot of the dash. I think the owner really dug flames!

    50 Ford Passion Pit c 88LSS.JPG

    In 1989 the black shoebox once again made the journey to the Spectacular. This time in Davenport. My video of this show was shot by "Video Bob" Huff. He got a few quick shots of the car as well. Nothing much different than in '88. Here we get a good side view of the flames.

    50 Ford Passion Pit d 89LSS.JPG

    Here is a shot of the owner cleaning or making some adjustments to the car getting it ready for the show 'n' shine. Does he look familiar to anyone?
    If you look close you can see there are no latches in the top of the header bow, so I'd guess either it had no top, or a Carson style top. It wasn't an original convertible. Note the frenched antenna on the upper edge of the quarter panel. It looked to have some decorative pinstripes around it.

    50 Ford Passion Pit e 89LSS.JPG

    Our last shot from Davenport is a close look at the lettering on the trunk lid. Sorry about the sunshine glare in the photo. I could see this car being a "Passion Pit" for teenagers back in the good ol' days.

    50 Ford Passion Pit f 89LSS.JPG

    In 1990 the Leadsled was once again in Holland, so the Ford went there yet again.
    Not a whole lot new from the previous two years, but" Video Bob" did get some good footage of the car in motion versus sitting in the show area. Seeing the car roll by on the video was a treat for the eyes!
    Our first two shots are as the car is approaching the camera cruising the fairgrounds. Look at the line of customs rolling down the road. So cool!

    50 Ford Passion Pit g 90LSS.JPG

    50 Ford Passion Pit h 90LSS.JPG

    Our next shot is of the owner waving to the camera. You will notice in these shots we are finally getting a look at the car with the top on it--Carson style all the way!

    50 Ford Passion Pit i 90LSS.JPG

    Our last shot from Holland '90 was towards the end of the show when many of the custom owners were headed towards the gates to make the journey back home. Here we get one more nice look at the awesome '50!

    50 Ford Passion Pit j 90LSS.JPG

    For whatever reason, either the car wasn't at the '91 show, or it just didn't get recorded. Hard to say. Like I've mentioned before, those old KKOA shows were really big, and it was quite easy for anyone to miss a car or two. Luckily, the car was captured on video for the 1992 Leadsled Spectacular that was in Holland one more time. This makes me think the owner of the Ford was from Michigan or one of the other surrounding states since he attended the show there three times. Maybe he just liked the Holland show. You never know.
    Here we have a few more shots of the flames on the front of the car. The black paint on this sled was flawless!

    50 Ford Passion Pit k 92LSS.JPG

    50 Ford Passion Pit L 92LSS.JPG

    50 Ford Passion Pit m 92LSS.JPG

    In '92 Bob managed to catch the interior of the car, so we get a good look at that. Here's a little better view of the dash.

    50 Ford Passion Pit n 92LSS.JPG

    The seats were done in a tu-tone red and white, and here we get a good look at the tonneau covering the back seat.

    50 Ford Passion Pit o 92LSS.JPG

    Next we get a nice view of the lettering on the trunk. The style is very distinct, and it looks like lettering that was done on many other customs we've covered. I don't know who the artist was, but it seemed like he did a lot of work on KKOA customs back then.

    50 Ford Passion Pit p 92 LSS.JPG

    In our last few shots of this car, we can see the only addition that was done to the car by video stills. It's hard to tell exactly when, but in 1992 we see the car has a Continental kit on it. It may have been on there prior to '92, but our lack of shots showing the rear of the car make it hard to say when it was added. Here is a shot of the car cruising around after sundown, and you can see the Connie. Also, it's a nice shot of the back of the top.

    50 Ford Passion Pit s 92LSS.JPG

    Here is a closer look at the spare tire cover.

    50 Ford Passion Pit t 92 LSS.JPG

    In the twilight of the evening, the art on the Connie kit is hard to see. Here is a shot taken a little earlier in the video showing a close up view of the striping, as well as the image of James Dean. I know many folks around the HAMB don't seem to like Connie kits, but I really do. I think the addition of one on this sled really helped it out in the style department, giving it that great, old time, East Coast look!

    50 Ford Passion Pit q 92LSS.JPG

    Our last picture tonight is of the car rolling through the fairgrounds just after dark heading out looking for adventure--or trouble (lol)! Can you imagine cruising around in this car and the looks it would get? Sounds like great fun to me.
    After 1992, the black Carson topped shoebox seemed to vanish. What could have happened to it? New owner? New paint and other more radical custom changes? Worst case scenario, was it wrecked and damaged beyond repair? Do any of you kustom kats recognize the owner from the one picture? I hope we can come up with something, otherwise we will end up with another unexplained custom legend!
    Mid July--already. Man, why is it that summer goes by so fast, yet winter crawls by? I guess it depends on what time of year you enjoy. Just a little over a week 'til the 42nd Leadsled Spectacular in Salina, Kansas. You getting ready to have your face in the place? Hopefully everyone who is going has all their ducks in a row or are getting close, it'll be here before we know it. Let's hope that many of us can drag our sleds to the middle of the country and have a great time. Hope to see you all there!
    'Til next time, cruise on! E
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2022
    Tman, John B, 54delray and 8 others like this.
  5. VEDETTE
    Joined: Oct 14, 2010
    Posts: 421

    VEDETTE
    Member
    from FRANCE

  6. Sum54ford
    Joined: May 24, 2012
    Posts: 271

    Sum54ford
    Member
    from St. Louis

    That beautiful Ford was owned by Jerry Pfitzinger in St. Louis Missouri, the car was originally a two door sedan. Jerry built a full custom Carson top for it. Jerry is still alive and well but sold the Ford around 15 years ago and I’ve never seen any sign of it. Apparently it went to the Chicago area I believe is what he said. My Dad and Jerry have been friends forever. Jerry’s son Scott also has a custom shoebox Ford that you can see through the window of Jerry’s car in one of those photos. 96BD4D71-1B60-4513-A81B-ECCF2D6745A8.jpeg

    This is a photo of Jerry’s Ford before it was fully customized.
    61F869AE-8D1A-4403-8510-86B74867C74F.jpeg
     
    chryslerfan55, Tman, Cooon and 10 others like this.
  7. Sum54ford
    Joined: May 24, 2012
    Posts: 271

    Sum54ford
    Member
    from St. Louis

    BAB3D914-6120-4E0D-8AF1-04FAE75816E8.jpeg Some more pictures I have of the Passion Pit.
     
    chryslerfan55, Cooon, John B and 5 others like this.
  8. Sum54ford
    Joined: May 24, 2012
    Posts: 271

    Sum54ford
    Member
    from St. Louis

    8E03CC16-BD3F-4338-8386-79B9C8FBEF15.jpeg
    Jerry’s Ford had a great traditional stance.
     
  9. Sum54ford
    Joined: May 24, 2012
    Posts: 271

    Sum54ford
    Member
    from St. Louis

    17E2CED5-B351-4FE4-A4E4-A54F23DA464F.jpeg

    Out on one of the many Gateway Ford Mercury Club Runs in St. Louis.
     
    chryslerfan55, Cooon, John B and 6 others like this.
  10. Sum54ford
    Joined: May 24, 2012
    Posts: 271

    Sum54ford
    Member
    from St. Louis

    89795927-9E3E-4583-9E36-28EAED9B820F.jpeg 59BE8BCC-AEBC-439B-B31D-CF349B4A70D6.jpeg
    Here is an article on the Ford from the How to Build Shoebox Ford & Mercurys Tex Smith book. If you are familiar with the book it has a red chopped mono chromatic shoebox Ford on the cover, while the cover car doesn’t have HAMB friendly wheels the car does belong to Jerry’s son Scott.
     
  11. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,400

    stanlow69
    Member

    Some more of my pic`s of his Ford. Scan0602.jpg
     
  12. Sum54ford
    Joined: May 24, 2012
    Posts: 271

    Sum54ford
    Member
    from St. Louis

    29E979DA-75AF-4979-BE90-592BF503CFF0.jpeg
    Here is a picture of Jerry from a couple years ago at his shop that he and his son run. Still playing with hot rods and kustoms.
     
  13. Wow, you guys are all over this one!

    @VEDETTE, thanks for chiming in. It's been a while since I saw the pictures you posted and the link. I never put the two together that this was the same car. Now I (and we) know. Thank you! E

    Jim (@stanlow69), great pictures! I figured you would have something on this especially since the car was at a Davenport Spectacular. As always, thanks for your participation--much appreciated!

    Man @Sum54ford, you get the gold star this week! Thanks for all the great pictures and information. So glad we now know that the car was built by Mr. Pfitzinger of St. Louis, Missouri. I am also happy to hear that he is still in the game building customs and hot rods. We came a long way in just one short evening! I'll update the header information on the post--one more mystery solved! Thanks again!
    Now, I just wonder where "Passion Pit" is today..........E
     
    chryslerfan55, Cooon, John B and 7 others like this.
  14. Well that didn't take long. LOL Too bad the trail goes cold, but having been around still 15 years ago, it's a safe bet the car still exists even if it's been changed up a bit.
     
  15. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,400

    stanlow69
    Member

  16. Sum54ford
    Joined: May 24, 2012
    Posts: 271

    Sum54ford
    Member
    from St. Louis

    F09F4975-1911-43B5-A1F8-D41A362A37A7.jpeg
    Not my picture but one I came across over the years.
     
    chryslerfan55, drdave, John B and 4 others like this.
  17. 392
    Joined: Feb 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,207

    392
    Member

    I’m not sure how to post obituary but Jerry passed July 6. I lived just down the street from him growing up and his rides were always around and this Ford in the picks brings back lots of memories. Great guy
     
  18. Sum54ford
    Joined: May 24, 2012
    Posts: 271

    Sum54ford
    Member
    from St. Louis

    Wow! Terrible loss in the car community there. Growing up in St. Louis Jerry and Scott’s cars always had an impact on me.
     
  19. On man, so sorry to hear. I'm always tickled to hear that a custom elder is still living the custom life. It's getting to where there aren't that many guys from the early days of the KKOA that are still around.
    Those that have been following this thread since the beginning or have been watching for a long time may notice that there have been a number of times where we have discussed a feature car only to find the owner/builder recently passed away. Here is another one as Jerry passed away just a few weeks ago.
    My deepest condolences to his family and friends. He will be missed. Vaya con Dios Mr. Pfitzinger..........E
     
  20. Austinrod
    Joined: Jun 14, 2012
    Posts: 2,173

    Austinrod
    Member
    from Austin

    This 40 just came up for sale
    Unfortunately it’s in pieces
    CD034F53-622F-4410-8648-75E5D6665B55.jpeg 1BF2D674-9416-46A8-945B-A82EC590D825.jpeg CE6D174B-E4FB-4533-AE0C-1E0E3FDB6636.jpeg CE608479-C587-490B-859A-960A0B851C82.jpeg C6C94F36-B5DB-4D00-86B9-ECDE42A3BE7F.jpeg 681DCD8E-E332-4741-AF67-B02D8D6CBDDE.jpeg 656A48EA-9DB2-40F0-B4B0-3CDBFD82D9E4.jpeg BBA423C5-343C-4220-8E36-B127BB3397CC.jpeg 77D7059D-E099-4BFA-A120-0F818AE5763F.jpeg
     
  21. What Ever Happened To..........? number 299.

    1950(?) Mercury Convertible "My Special Angel"
    Owner: Ed ? ? ? ? ? ?
    ? ? ? ? ?, Illinois

    Since we had such good luck on a mystery wildcard feature last time, I thought I'd throw another out there this week. It didn't take long for you kustom faithful to come up with the information about who the owner/builder was of the '50 Ford shoebox known as the "Passion Pit". It was nice to find out that Mr. Jerry Pfitzinger put this neat car together many years ago. The bittersweet part of the feature though was finding out that we lost Jerry just a few short weeks ago. Rest in peace sir..........
    This week we have a tasty mild custom '50(?) Mercury convertible that was at a handful of Spectaculars throughout the 80s, and then, you guessed it, disappeared. The first sighting of the car was at the 1984 Leadsled Spectacular in Des Moines. I don't know if the car was a fresh build at that time, but it didn't have the iconic lettering on the bottoms of the fenders at that time. More on that in a bit. The thing that makes me think the car at the '84 show is this week's feature car is the way the hood is scooped. It was very unique, and it was the same hood on the car in all the pictures from all the years it was at the show. In our first picture we see the car cruising down the main street of the fairgrounds in Des Moines. We can see the car was nosed, had shaved door handles, frenched headlights, dummy spots and lake pipes.

    My Special Angel 50 Merc a 84 LSS.JPG

    As the car passes the camera, we can see a pair of frenched antennas and the hood scoops I mentioned. Dig the Olds Fiesta flipper 'caps!

    My Special Angel 50 Merc b 84 LSS.JPG

    The last shot from '84 catches the back of the car. We can see the trunk was shaved. It sure sat high for a custom.

    My Special Angel 50 Merc c 84 LSS.JPG

    This video sequence was the only time the car was on the video. It took me quite a while to make the connection that this car was "My Special Angel".
    In '86 the Mercury was once again at the show--this time in Springfield, Missouri. At that show Rowdie caught the car when it was parked and got some great footage of it while it was parked. Unfortunately there was no owner interview. The mystery continues.........
    In the first picture from 1986, we get a view of the car with the top down. It looks relatively unchanged from '84, except you can see the lettering on the lower front fenders.

    My Special Angel 50 Merc d 86LSS.JPG

    Here we get a view (although it's a bad one) of the new lettering on the fenders. Sharp eyes will also notice the Olds 'caps are gone replaced by what almost look to be '63 Chevy Impala hubcaps. I could be wrong on that, but we know the Olds spinners are gone.

    My Special Angel 50 Merc e 86LSS.JPG

    Here is another shot of the back of the car. I never could get a clear look at what the taillights were. The red paint combined with a red lens on grainy 30 plus year old video tape never gave me a definite glimpse at the lights. They looked like '49-'50 Ford units, but they very well may have been custom handmade one offs.

    My Special Angel 50 Merc f 86LSS.JPG

    Here we finally get a better look at the lettering on the fenders. There was the words themselves, along with a little angel and a few music notes. 50s style all the way!

    My Special Angel 50 Merc g 86LSS.JPG

    Our last shot from the '86 Spectacular is probably the best clue as to who owned this car and where it was from. The car had a personalized plate from Illinois with "EDSLED" on it. I assume the owner was Ed, but Ed who from Illinois, and what city?

    My Special Angel 50 Merc h 86LSS.JPG

    It seems like the owner of this Mercury went to the show every other year, at least that's the pattern the videos seemed to follow up to this point. No sighting in 1987, but "My Special Angel" was at the show in Holland, Michigan in '88. No new changes that I could spot. At any rate, the car was a real looker!

    My Special Angel 50 Merc i 88LSS.JPG

    One more peek at the lettering on the fenders. The music notes are much more visible in this shot.

    My Special Angel 50 Merc j 88LSS.JPG

    As our sighting list dwindles down, the car finished off the 80s with an appearance at the '89 Spectacular back in Des Moines. This shot was almost a dead ringer for the shot from '88. Same angle and everything. Back to back years at the show, there went my every-other-year theory I guess.

    My Special Angel 50 Merc k 89LSS.JPG

    I couldn't find interior shots of this car anywhere except for this one. It was a shot of some fancy stitch work that was on one of the top corners of the convertible top boot. The upholsterer did a great job matching the artwork on the lower front fenders.

    My Special Angel 50 Merc L 89LSS.JPG

    And as quick as the '89 Leadsled Spectacular ended, this car cruised off into the sunset seemingly to never be seen again. What happened to this great sled? I thought maybe he was a member of Lincoln Land Kustoms, but the car never had a plaque. My hours of searching magazines and books came up empty. Sadly, it seems that this car may no longer exist. So, how about you guys out there in cyberspace--anyone recognize the car? Maybe you can remember an Ed with a really cool Mercury 'vert--ring any bells? I hope we find out as I'd really hate to leave this wildcard wide open.
    Another Leadsled Spectacular is in the rear view mirror. Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend because some work related stuff came up--darn it. But, judging by the pictures, it seemed like there was a nice gathering of customs among all the other iron there. Attendance looked like it may have been a little down this year, but pictures can be deceiving. Not to be Debbie Downer or anything, but lately I've been thinking about the status of the KKOA. Jerry Titus isn't exactly a teenager anymore and a show like this is a Herculean task to pull off--even with a small army of helpers. I wonder how many Leadsled Spectaculars may be left. If the club changes hands will big changes be coming as well? Will the show continue to be geared towards customs even though the custom draw has been dwindling over the last number of years? These are some things I've been kicking around lately. Just some food for thought.
    As we shift gears towards the end of summer, what are your plans like? Maybe one more road trip or just cruising around the familiar roads of your home town? Personally I'm leaning towards the latter myself. The rest of my summer looks way too busy to be able to get away. I told y'all summer goes by fast, and here we are in August already. Labor Day is on the way! Get out and enjoy the weather man!
    Until next time, stay cool! E
     
  22. 54delray
    Joined: Dec 18, 2004
    Posts: 1,367

    54delray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Fremont NE

    Here's a more clear pic from '84 Des Moines. As noted, no lettering on the lower panel yet.

    01162017_0017.jpg
     
  23. Great pic Bill, thanks for sharing! Such a cool Merc! E
     
    54delray, Moriarity and John B like this.
  24. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,400

    stanlow69
    Member

    Here is a pic Dad took in the same location where bill took his pic. With no My Special Angel. My dad did have his 51 Vicky at that show in 84 IMG_20220803_0001.jpg with My Special Angel on his car. Dad mentioned he must have liked the name. Or was it coincidence.
     
  25. Another great picture from the infamous wall of photos in Jim's shop. As always, thanks for sharing Jim (@stanlow69)! E
     
  26. One of these days I've got to get up there to see the photos...
     
  27. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,400

    stanlow69
    Member

    The door is always open for anybody who wants to come by. Just like @Moriarity says. IMG_20220805_0001.jpg
     
  28. As long as you're home, that is. LOL
     
  29. John B
    Joined: Mar 9, 2001
    Posts: 1,383

    John B
    Member

    Our club had our Hoodlums In The Holler Car Show & Extravaganza over the weekend. We had not one but two of the past What Ever Happened to featured customs there. Made for a good day.

    Barbara Ann.jpg JimZim.jpg
     
  30. What Ever Happened To..........? number 300.

    1939 Mercury
    Owner: Connie Winkler
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    This week I thought we'd go back and cover a car that has been mentioned here in this thread several times as well as many times on other threads all over the HAMB. I wanted to try and get a nice gathering of information on this car, as well as the owner Connie Winkler and his other customs as well.
    Those that have been around this thread since the beginning may remember the name Connie Winkler. Connie had a wild '59 Buick that was one of the early W.E.H.T. cars, #8 to be exact. We covered it way back in June of 2016. I didn't have much information on the car at that time, but you custom faithful chimed in and we got a lot of information about the Buick. We found out it's whereabouts and eventually learned about how Connie was a huge custom guy that was a legend in the Milwaukee area. Here is the link back to Connie's '59 Buick to refresh your memory:

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/what-ever-happened-to.1016572/page-4#post-11559469

    Connie Winkler '59 Buick SPC.jpg

    Connie also had a '51 Oldsmobile ragtop that was a true 50s survivor car. I don't know when he acquired the car, but he had it at the time of the first Leadsled Spectacular in Wichita back in '81 which he attended. All through this thread it has been very rare to find anyone who was at the 1981 or 1982 Leadsled due to no known video existing. Add to the fact that the magazine show coverage of those events only covered what I like to call the "heavies" which were sleds built by famous people, or magazine quality cars. Lucky for us, Connie was cruising around town at the '81 Spectacular and he caught the eye of "Two Tall" Pat Ganahl who was there covering the event for Hot Rod Magazine. Pat snapped a picture of Connie driving by in the dark that was published in one of the best custom magazine issues of all time--that being Custom Cars By Hot Rod published in 1982. I've mentioned it before but it's been a while so I'll mention it again. I bought this magazine off of the newsstand back in '82 with my own lawn mowing money. It is one of my most treasured magazines as it brings back many fond memories of me dreaming about kustoms as a teenager too young to drive yet. If you love customs and don't have this issue, find one and buy it. You won't be sorry you did!

    Custom Cars by Hot Rod 1982.png

    I couldn't drop a teaser of the picture of Connie cruising the Olds without posting the pic, so here is that too..........

    Connie Winkler 51 Olds b Custom Cars by HR 1982 p.51 81LSS.jpg

    Sometime after the '81 Spectacular and before the Sterling/Rock Falls Illinois Lowrider Show in July of 1988, Connie sold the car to John "Shaggy Dog" Jordan. It made it's debut there in an all new look from the way Connie (or the original builder) had it. I, like many of you, liked Connie's version better, but it was good to see the car was still alive and well in '88. This is yet another W.E.H.T. car that we covered. It was feature car #58 back in April of 2017. This was a rare two-fer Tuesday that I did back when I had custom information all over the place. I paired the Olds rag with John's slick '40 Ford coupe that was W.E.H.T. #57. Here is the link to those customs:

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/what-ever-happened-to.1016572/page-39#post-12015828

    By the way, at the time of that post, it was reported that Mr. Jordan was still with us. I hope he still is!
    The next car that I'm including for this collection of Connie Winkler information is a car that he had a hand in building, but it wasn't his. It was his son's '52 Ford convertible affectionately known as "Tuff Enuff". His son was a pinstriper and he traded his skills with other guys to help get this car done. Connie must have rubbed off on him as the car was a true 50s style knock out. When we covered this car the owner/builder of it was a mystery, but thanks to you custom faithful the information eventually came out and the puzzle pieces fell into place. Ronnie Winkler's Ford was W.E.H.T. #174 covered in June of 2019. Here is a link to that write up:

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/what-ever-happened-to.1016572/page-121#post-13138464

    Sadly, through the information gathering, we learned that Ronnie passed away suddenly back in October of 2014 in his early 50s. I was saddened to hear the news because I can remember the interview one of Rowdie's gals did with him at the '86 Spectacular. He was a young man in his mid 20s at the time. I did a little bit of internet sleuthing, @Sancho style, and I found his obituary. Rest in peace Ronnie.

    https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/encinitas-ca/ronald-winkler-6170216

    I thought I would include a great still shot taken from @PasoJohn Tretten's video of the '86 Spectacular with Connie and Ronnie caravanning around the fairgrounds. Good times.

    Connie Winkler n Ronnie Winkler a 86LSS.jpg

    I really don't have much early information on Connie's '39, but through research of posts here on the HAMB, I found a picture that Rikster posted up of the coupe at the 1977 Street Rod Nationals. The car leaned toward the street rod/hot rod side of the hobby in those days. Matter of fact, I have no idea if Connie even owned it at that time. The distinctive top is a dead giveaway that this is indeed the same car.

    Connie Winkler 39 Merc a1977NSRA SRNats.jpg

    If we fast forward to 1982, I found some more pictures that are courtesy of Rikster and the Custom Car Chronicle. Rikster had a story on how a guy named Phil Waters travelled from overseas to attend the 1982 Leadsled Spectacular in Des Moines. This first picture is one of Mr. Waters'. You can see that the '39 transformed from a rod all the way over to the custom side, complete with bright yellow paint and a great scallop job!

    Connie Winkler 39 Merc b 82LSS CCC phil waters Rikster.jpg

    Here is another shot from the Rikster collection. It may be another Waters' picture from '82, but I can't say for sure.

    Connie Winkler 39 Merc c CCC Rikster.jpg

    On Rikster's fantastic picture site I found another picture of the car, this time courtesy of the Scott Pavey collection. Dig the yellow!

    Connie Winkler 39 Merc d 82LSS SPC.jpg

    After 1982 the car went through a big change. It was completely repainted a candy root beer brown, but the scallops looked the same. I don't know for sure, but it looks like the scallops were masked off and worked around, and possibly the yellow was used as a basecoat for the new brown paint. If the scallops were redone, they look to be the exact same layout as when the car was in yellow paint, with the exception of some fogging to them here and there.
    Here is a shot of the car rolling into the fairgrounds at the '83 Spectacular in Springfield, Ohio.

    Connie Winkler 39 Merc e 83LSS.JPG

    In the next shot we get a little closer look at the car. Maybe Connie ran out of money or time, but the tires were changed from whitewalls to blackwalls. Gotta scratch my head a little about that. You will also notice the car had triple cap lakers on it now as well.

    Connie Winkler 39 Merc f 83LSS.JPG

    The car was absent from the Spectacular for a few years after '83. I'll explain about that in a bit. It once again made it's return to the show in '87 in Springfield, Illinois. The next picture is of the car just after it rolled down the hill from the fairgrounds entrance and is making the turn to go down another hill towards the show area. I'm happy to report that Connie had put whitewalls back on the car. It looks so much better!

    Connie Winkler 39 Merc g 87LSS.JPG

    The next picture is a still shot from the fairgrounds cruise that Rowdie used to do at every show. We can see the '39 sitting out in the sunshine while Connie was out and about at the show.

    Connie Winkler 39 Merc h 87LSS.JPG

    The best picture I found of the coupe at the '87 show was one I found here on the HAMB. I can't remember who originally posted it, but it was later reposted by our very own Sancho. Here it is sitting next to another custom coupe that I remember seeing on the '87 tape. Such an awesome pair of early customs!

    Connie Winkler 39 Merc i 87LSS.jpg

    The last Leadsled Spectacular that I found the car at was in 1989 in Davenport, Iowa. The car looked to be relatively unchanged, and was only on the video a few times. Here are a few grainy stills.
    The first shot is of the car sitting in the show area on the grass..........

    Connie Winkler 39 Merc j 89LSS.JPG

    And the other is of the car zipping down the fairground road taking in the sights.

    Connie Winkler 39 Merc k 89LSS.JPG

    I don't know what year or show this next picture was taken, but it is such a nice shot I had to include it. This is another shot courtesy of Rikster.

    Connie Winkler 39 Merc L Rikster.jpg

    A few of you will remember me mentioning the interview of the "crazy Buick owners" at the '85 Spectacular in Springfield, Ohio. Connie was in that group with his '59 Buick, and he mentioned that he had been to every Spectacular up to that point. I went back and checked out my records and I can account for him being at every Spectacular in the 80s except for two, and, according to his interview at the '85 show, I narrowed that down to him possibly missing just one! Here's my list of the 80s Leadsleds and what he drove there that year:

    1981: '51 Olds Convertible
    1982: '39 Merc
    1983: '39 Merc
    1984: ?
    1985: '59 Buick
    1986: '59 Buick
    1987: '39 Merc
    1988: ?
    1989: '39 Merc

    That's quite an impressive list! I wonder what Connie drove in 84. I didn't see any of his cars on the '84 video, the same goes for '88 in Holland, Michigan. He may have been there for that one. Anyone recall seeing any of his sleds there? By the way, after the 1989 video I didn't see any more of Connie's customs at the Spectacular. I wonder what happened. Maybe a new custom? Who knows?
    I guess by 1990 Connie was ready for a change. I found a classified ad for the Mercury in the KKOA Kemp Gazette, Volume 5 Number 10 from 1990 on page 12. Connie decided to part ways with his beloved little Mercury coupe.

    Connie Winkler 39 Merc m KempGaz V5N10 p12 1990 bb.jpg

    I don't know how long it took for the car to sell, but I believe it eventually did. Once again courtesy of Rikster's incredible research, I found a picture of the car taken at Lead East. I don't know what year this was taken, but I know this is Connie's coupe. Aside from a color change, the car looks about the same. The only other cosmetic change I can see is the addition of turn signals under and off to the side of the headlights.

    Connie Winkler 39 Merc n LEAD EAST Rikster.jpg

    Nice to see the car prowling around the East Coast a while back, but is it still out there? Has it changed hands again? "What Ever Happened To..........? Connie's sled? Anyone have a recent sighting?
    As for Connie, a few years back someone mentioned that he is still doing well, playing harmonica in his blues band, but unfortunately at that time he was "sledless". Maybe he decided his custom time was over. At any rate, we wish Mr. Winkler well, the coolest, almost unknown custom legend of Milwaukee!
    Number 300. Did you guys ever think we were going to get to this point? I didn't either. It has taken a long time to get here. I've been doing some soul searching and I've decided that #300 will be the last custom feature I do on this thread. This has been a very hard decision for me as this thread has become a big part of my life. Through it I have made many friends that I get to see in person once in a while, as well as many folks that I've never met but just share messages and e-mails with. I have a large custom family and I appreciate you all. The reality of it is that I really just don't have the time to do proper research anymore. A few months ago I took on a part time job to help make ends meet--living in Denver is getting really expensive. As luck would have it (or maybe it's bad luck), about a week before the Spectacular, my boss's nagging back injury took a turn for the worse and now he is laid up. Because of that, I'm having to work between 10 and 12 hours a day, couple that with my part time job which is a few nights a week and weekends, I'm left with very little time to spare, let alone think. For about the last year researching these customs has become much more labor intensive as the information on them is very hard to trace. Some cars I'd have 20 plus hours of research in. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy it and love the challenge, but time is at a premium now. My research materials are getting thin as well. Then, back in May my VCR conked out, and about three weeks ago the DVD player in my computer quit working. Maybe it is a sign that it is time to call it done, and be proud of the fact that we covered 300 customs. Of the 300 we found the owners, builders and the car's whereabouts on many of them. If I had to guess I'd say better than 75%. I think that's great considering these cars were built so long ago.
    So, before I close, I want to thank a few folks. Thanks to Doug "Rowdie" Reed (@49toad) for all his hard work way back when making these videos. Without them this thread would have been nowhere. Also "Video Bob" Huff who put out a large number of videos too. These two men helped chronicle custom history back then keeping much of it from being forgotten. Also, @PasoJohn Tretten, my longtime friend that had a nice go at making videos as well. John put many miles under his tires and many hours holding a camcorder to get us great shots of long forgotten kemps at many, many shows.
    A big thank you goes out to @Rikster. I don't know if he is on the HAMB much these days, but his influence in custom history really helped me along during this thread. Thank you for all you do!
    Next is my custom family. There are way too many of you to mention, but you are the reason this thread has gone on for over six years, 168 pages and over 600,000 views. Unbelievable! Thank you all so much.
    There is a little group of guys that I want to personally thank, as they were a big part of helping with research as well as morale when things got bogged down.
    @Sancho, who I still say is THE BEST internet sleuth I've ever seen. If he can't find it, I don't think it ever existed! Thanks Bill!
    Jim Stanley (@stanlow69) who's custom wall of pictures has been one of my best resources. Thanks to you--as well as your folks for dragging you to custom shows as a kid helping build a great piece of custom history in a humble shop in Iowa. I don't know many guys who can walk around and seem to remember ever custom ever built, as well as the owner and when you saw it. Your mind is like a steel trap!
    @Moriarity. What can I say about Mark--other than you are THE CUSTOM guy we all strive to be. Super collection of cars and goodies that the Smithsonian can never match, harnessed to the pure love of tradition and the way things were before the Beatles came along and changed everything. Keep up the good work man, we're all paying attention!
    Bill H. (@54delray). Bill is a guy that I got to know online first, but finally met in person at the Spectacular a few years back. Hanging out with Bill was one of the highlights of the show. There are a few times I've never laughed so hard in all my life. What a character! I hope we get to hang out at a show again very soon pal!
    @drdave. The Doc has a sneaky custom photo collection, not to mention that he has been in the custom game a long time. Such a down to earth gentleman that never fails to say hello at a show. Love your sleds Dave, and don't let anybody tell you differently-- when it comes to customs you are the real deal!
    @John B is one guy I've never met in person, but he has always kept in touch and always has great tips and custom knowledge. Shame the KOA went away as John knows that organization very well. I hope we get to meet in person some day my friend! Keep Kentucky kustom!
    How can I sign off the W.E.H.T. thread without mentioning Mick @straykatkustoms Bryant? The best darn rod and custom show promoter in the great state of Oklahoma! Always a pleasure to see Mick at a show as he always has a big hug and a great custom he's seen to talk about. I'm going to make it to Okieland for a show one of these days--heck, you owe me a ride in that bad ass Merc of yours! Thanks for all you do my friend!
    Deb @KustomLincolnLady Butler. Seems like she's not on here much these days, but I understand, sometimes life gets in the way. A few years ago she was kind enough to send me some car show DVDs that have turned out to be invaluable information on many feature cars. Did this all on her own dime and wouldn't take a cent. I appreciate that Deb, and I hope all is well. We miss you 'round here. Take care!
    Another person I have to thank is Mr. Jerry Titus. I don't believe he is on here, but without his custom organization this thread wouldn't have happened. I've loved the KKOA since I was a kid, and I hope it is around for a long time to come. Thanks Jerry, for giving me many, many custom memories, whether it's from books, magazines, or my very own experiences at the Leadsled Spectacular. It has been a great run. Long live the KKOA!
    Aaaaannnd, last, but certainly not least I have to thank the Boss hisself, @Ryan. Thanks for giving us all a place to play and making it the best place in the world to gather and discuss traditional rods and customs. I'm sure you never expected this to turn into what it has when you put it together what, getting close to 30 years ago now. Wow, where has the time gone? I haven't been here since the beginning, but darn near. I joined in 1997 and never regretted it! Thanks for keeping the playground going, and your hardcore passion to keep this place pure tradition like it should be! Viva la HAMB!
    Well guys, I guess that's about it. I'll still be around when I can. I'll miss the thread as I hope you will too. What's everyone going to do every other Tuesday night now? Join a bowling league I guess! Thanks again! You all take care out there and we'll see you around!
    God Bless! E
     
    1Shot-Scot, Wrench97, drdave and 16 others like this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

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.