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

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

  1. Been looking @sidewipe, but haven't found anything yet. If I find out something, I'll let you know. E
    chryslerfan55 and G V Gordon like this.
  2. sideswipe
    Joined: Sep 27, 2012
    Posts: 162


    thank you E. I kind of have a soft spot for this one.
    OG lil E likes this.
  3. What Ever Happened To.........? number 70.

    1956 Buick Century
    Owner: Rita Ryder
    Buena Park , California

    Wow everybody, can you believe we are up to 70 customs that have been featured? I have to admit, the research has been getting a lot harder as information on less known customs takes a lot more research.
    This week's car is no different. Rita built this 1956 Buick at home and did all the work herself. The list of modifications is long, and Rita pulled them off great. The car was chopped 4 inches in the front and 3 1/2 in the rear. She tunneled the headlights 4 1/2 inches, shaved the door handles as well as all the trim. She removed the big stock chrome taillight housing and made a custom opening and frenched in a set of dual '56 Buick taillights end to end--one upright and the lower one inverted. She basically replaced the factory back-up light with another red lens. Slick little mod! A new rear package tray was made from steel and she had quite a few louvers punched in it--a modification made famous by Rod Powell. The car was always in pink suede with scallops as Rita said she was learning to paint and she wasn't ready to tackle the Buick.
    Now, I have to back up a bit. Rita and her Buick were not at any of the Leadsled Spectaculars that I have on video. She was however at the 1986 Sled Scene West that was held in Madera, California.
    I have the video from the '86 Sled Scene West, and Rowdie (@49toad) did a great interview of Rita by her car and that's where she gave a great run down on the mods she did on her car. In the video the car was in pink suede and it had some nicely done scallops in a very light lavender. Great color combination as the car looked killer!
    My magazine search came up empty and I have nothing on the car in print. There might be pictures of her car in the West Coast Kustoms magazines that their members receive in the mail a few times a year. I know Rita was a member as she mentioned it in the interview and she had a West Coast Kustoms plaque hanging from the rear bumper on her car. I'm not a member of the WCK, and as strange as it may sound I've never found one of their magazines at a swap meet or on Ebay! Any of you guys out there that are members or once were that may have a few of those newsletters from the mid 80s might want to take a little time to look through them and see if you can find out anything on Rita's Buick.
    As far as pictures go, I hit as many websites that I could think of to find pictures of the car and I almost got skunked. Thankfully @Rikster has his great site and with some searching around I did stumble on one picture of the car. It isn't the greatest as it was taken from a good distance away and you can only see a little of the car, but you can tell it's Rita's Buick. The picture was taken in Paso Robles in 1984 at the old A & W that sadly was torn down a number of years back. The picture was taken by Ron Brooks who has a super awesome '40 Chevy convertible kustom that was originally built in the early 50s in Concord, California.
    You'll notice in the picture the Buick has red scallops, not the light lavender. Also, in the picture the Buick still has the stock '56 grille arrangement in it. On the video the grill was changed to a waterfall style out of a '51 to '54 Buick--not exactly sure which year as they all look the same to me. The thing that really jumps out at me is the fact that the car wasn't chopped in the picture. So, the car was chopped sometime after Paso '84 and showed up at Sled Scene West in 1986 with a great new lower profile.
    After the '86 event the car disappeared. I have the '87 video for the event and if the Buick was there it was never shown on tape. Another very cool car that just dropped out of site.
    In the video Rita mentioned that they had quite a few cars "in the backyard" that they wanted to build into customs. Hopefully they did, and the Buick is still around waiting "just sitting on the back burner".
    Until next Tuesday, see you 'round..........E

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  4. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,379


    Thanks for your post, Claire, and your tribute to your husband, and to everybody who contributes to this thread. Keep it going!
    rodncustomdreams and OG lil E like this.
  5. Another very cool car that I can't seem to find anything on......

    Still looking!
    OG lil E likes this.
  6. Could it be spelled "Rider"?
  7. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,363


    Rita is very much alive and on Facebook nearly every day...

  8. Found a couple more old photos of "Purple Passion" (#47) in the KustomLincolnLady Collection on Rik's site.
  9. 49toad
    Joined: Jun 12, 2005
    Posts: 320


    E. The 86 & 87 Sled scene west was in Madera California. I enjoy your post keep up the great work.
  10. It very well could be, Sancho. I just guessed at the spelling. E

    Thanks for the information Doug (@49toad). I'll update the post.
    Also, thanks for the compliment. I'm glad you're still reading along and enjoying the thread. You are going to the Leadsled this year right? E
  11. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 3,534

    from red oak

    @Sancho I`m pretty sure the pictures of Purple Passion were taken in Des Moines at the hotel down from the headquarters during the KKOA show in 84. I love the black stepside pickup in the background. We also stayed there. Here is a scan of Rita`s Buick that shows the chopped version. It is in the Custom Painting(1986) Scan0344.jpg Scan0345.jpg issue put out by Hot Rod in a series like Custom Cars issue that many of you have that came out in the early 80`s. .
  12. Thanks for the post, Jim (@stanlow69)! Glad to see you found a much better picture than the one I posted, plus it's a rear shot to boot!
    I'll have to get into my magazine collection and see if I have that particular Custom Painting issue. I know I have a few, just can't remember which ones.

    By the way @Sancho, looks like you were right. The page Jim scanned had Rita's last name spelled like you mentioned, Rider. Great last name for a lady that was crazy about customs! E
  13. Those rear taillight housings are nice!
    rodncustomdreams and OG lil E like this.
  14. 49toad
    Joined: Jun 12, 2005
    Posts: 320


    Yes Friday and Saturday only.
    rodncustomdreams and OG lil E like this.
  15. PasoJohn
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 1,513

    from Edina,Mn.

    She's on FB,here is one I got from her page 56 buick-4.jpg
  16. PasoJohn
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 1,513

    from Edina,Mn.

    56 buick-2.jpg here is one from when it was in Blue primer
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2017
  17. PasoJohn
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 1,513

    from Edina,Mn.

  18. PasoJohn
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 1,513

    from Edina,Mn.

    here' one behind her Harley 56 buick-3.jpg
  19. Cool Doug! I'll be looking for you! E

    Nice pics John, thanks for posting! Never seen the Buick in the blue primer. The first pic had to be before 1986 or so as the car wasn't chopped yet and it still had the stock grille. Might have been around the time Ron Brooks took the photo of it at Paso in 1984. E
    54delray, Sancho and rodncustomdreams like this.
  20. So she still owns it?
    I assume the pic with the Harley is fairly recent.

    Looks like the spotlights got remounted as well. In the earlier shots the arms look like they go straight down into the fenders. In the photo with the flames (and bike) They appear to be attached to the lower windshield stainless. I can't really tell in the blue primer photos....
    OG lil E and 54delray like this.
  21. It sounds like she does, @Sancho. I talked to John (@PasoJohn) on the phone yesterday and he told me some of the photos were dated 2012. That isn't exactly yesterday, but it's a long time from 1986 (lol)! E
    chryslerfan55 and Sancho like this.
  22. Austinrod
    Joined: Jun 14, 2012
    Posts: 1,749

    from Austin

    Found a rear shot of this 57 ranchero

    Sent from KUSTOM
  23. Thanks for posting. Man, I love that thing!
    Austinrod likes this.
  24. OneBad56
    Joined: Dec 22, 2008
    Posts: 534


    Ah...the good ole days of Firestone Blue Streaks Indy racing tires.

    I was trying to forget about that era. Good reminder it did happen.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
    Austinrod and Sancho like this.
  25. What Ever Happened To..........? number 71.

    1956 Mercury "Green Duchess"
    Owner: Blaine Kauffman
    Hanover, Pennsylvania

    I guess I'm fudging a little this week. As I type this it is still late Monday evening and Tuesday is still a little time away, and this week's W.E.H.T. car is not lost, missing or forgotten.
    I've been very busy the last few weeks helping a my friend get his non HAMB friendly car ready for the Leadsled Spectacular next week. I have been over at his place working every spare minute it seems and I haven't had much time to be on the computer. I've been collecting information on a few different cars for quite a few weeks and I had a good idea what I was planning on posting tomorrow night.
    I got home early tonight--the first time in close to two weeks, and I planned to do a little more research and get ready for tomorrow. Since I hadn't been on the computer much, I had a lot of catching up to do, so I thought I'd start with my e-mail. I scanned through them, mostly "junk mail", but I had a message from @PasoJohn. I opened it up and I was saddened by the news. Blaine Kauffman passed away Sunday the 16th at the age of 81.
    Those of you who follow this post are some what familiar with the KKOA and the great early days that started in the 80s. Blaine was a part of it for a very long time. In fact, he was the vice-president of the KKOA for many years, as well as the Pennsylvania State Colonel. He was also a big part of putting on the Sled Scene East show that ran for many years.
    I had the pleasure of talking to Blaine many times at events, and he even signed a business card and gave it to me a number of years back.
    Funny, I can't recall ever seeing his Mercury in person, but I've seen it for so long on videos and in magazines that I feel like I know the car well. Blaine bought the car new in 1956, and he had it all this time until he passed away. He chopped the car way back when it was only 7 months old! Imagine that, he was the original owner of a wild chopped Merc for over 60 years!
    The car has held up well and is timeless. One of my favorites for sure.
    I was going to search around for some pictures of the "Green Duchess", but I knew the Mike Key book "Wild Leadsleds" from 1992 had about the best pictures of it that I had found, so I decided to scan those for all to see.
    I will miss Blaine's warm smile and friendly handshake that I used to receive at the events that we happened to both be at. He will be missed!
    Vaya con Dios, Mr. Kaufmann, until we meet again..........E

    Blaine Kauffman 56 Merc Wild Leadsleds p 119.jpg

    Blaine Kauffman 56 Merc Wild Leadsleds p 118.jpg

    Blaine and Paso John taking a moment together to talk "Customs" at the 34th Leadsled Spectacular back in 2014.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  26. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 15,015

    Staff Member

  27. RIP Mr. Kaufmann
    From the KustomLincolnLady Photo Collection.
  28. Hangin' Dice 1990:
    00000093.jpg 00001126.jpg

    Rodder's Journal Revival 2014:

    100_0936.jpg 100_0938.jpg
  29. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 15,015

    Staff Member

    Here is a shot of Blaine sitting in Roth's Road Agent at the Kkoa show in 99[​IMG]

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  30. I love summer time. I don't mind the heat, much better than freezing in the winter.
    Despite all this, July has turned into a sad month for me. I've lost a lot of friends within it.
    All that being said, today it has been 7 years since Larry Watson passed away. I think of him often, as I'm sure many do. He is missed..........E


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