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

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

  1. Any pictures of it before the changes?
  2. KustomLincolnLady
    Joined: Oct 17, 2003
    Posts: 953


    If you were asking about Cat's 48

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  3. Did they really glue some small skulls on the air filters of the 48? That's like writing moron on your forehead, would have the same effect, but not damage such a nice custom.
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  4. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,645

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    Yeah, to go along with the two skulls hanging from the headliner. Worse yet are the peel n stick portholes. Some guys don't know well enough to leave shit alone. Like a mustache on the Mona Lisa.
  5. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 1,711


  6. What Ever Happened To..........? A review.

    Hello all! This week since we are on the verge of featuring W.E.H.T. #100, I thought maybe we should take a break from featuring a new car this week and tie up some loose ends on a few cars that information was never found on.
    It's surprising to me that after doing 99 cars that information is only missing on four cars! I guess it really is only three cars as the first car I'm posting for review I recently found owner information on.
    The main reason I'm doing this is because I think it is very important to give credit where credit is due. We need to remember the fine folks that put these awesome sleds on the road way back then. Sadly many have passed away, and others seemed to walk away from customs altogether. I'm happy to say that a good number of these people are still into customs and are still doing their thing where ever they might be.
    I'm sure I'm not just speaking for myself in saying that when I look back at old magazines or videos and I see an old custom that thrilled me back when the magazine was new, or as I was watching a video for the first time, that old feeling comes right back again! Some cars make an impression on you and that tingly, giddy feeling never really goes away.
    So, with the help of our faithful custom lovers out there that follow this thread, I hope we can find the information on these few missing owners so that we can set the record straight.

    The first car I'm going to pull back up was W.E.H.T. #41. In the discussion that followed about this car there was some confusion about who the owner was due to some mislabeled pictures in a magazine article. If you want to go back and review the posts for this car, it was originally posted on page 24 of this thread.
    I'm my recent searching for leadsleds and owner information, I came across the owner's name of this fine yellow Ford shoebox. There was a picture of this car in the Nov/Dec 1989 issue Tex Smith's Custom Car Magazine on page 37. The owner was John Abee. Unfortunately, I still haven't found out where Mr. Abee was from.

    John Abee 1952 Ford CC LTS novdec 89 p37.jpg

    What Ever Happened To..........? number 41.

    1952 Ford
    Owner: John Abee
    Fenton, Michigan

    Well, here we are, the last Tuesday of 2016. I can't believe how fast the year went. The older generation in my family has always said that the years start going by faster the older you get, and as much as I hate to admit it, they're right!
    For the last W.E.H.T. of 2016 I chose a car that is one of my personal favorites, but how I found it was pretty much an accident. In my weekly research for this thread, I came across the article this car was in quite a while back. I wrote myself a note about it to remind myself to keep my eyes open for magazine and video information on the car and I've been trying to find more information about it ever since.
    I discovered this sled in a small blurb about it in the short lived LeRoi Tex Smith's Custom Car Magazine, Volume 1 #2 from November/December 1989 in their coverage of the St. Ignace, Michigan show.
    The car attended the show in the summer of '89 and made quite an impression. The body mods are pure east coast style, and they were pulled off to perfection. Strange thing is, the car was built in San Rafael, California! According to the article, the car was originally built in the late 50s by Hal Hutchens for Burt Hamrol. It was featured in several magazines including Hot Rod in November 1959.
    Somehow the car ended up in Massachusetts and Bob McCormick found the car in 1978 and bought it. The amazing thing is the car was almost completely unchanged from when it was a magazine feature. It still had the same paint on it as well as the Oldsmobile mill and a 1937 LaSalle floorshift transmission!
    Now, it seems to me that in all my video watching and magazine research that I do every week, I've seen this car somewhere before, besides the Custom Car Magazine article. I just can't say where. I watched all my videos and DVDS and I couldn't find it. My magazine search also found nothing. The best I can figure is that since the car is yellow and has similar styling to the George DeSomma '53 Ford (W.E.H.T. #10) and the Johnny Jones '54 Merc known as "Low Comotion" (W.E.H.T. #30), that I thought I saw it on video but it was one of these other two customs. I can't say for sure that it ever attended a KKOA show, but it seems likely that it was there at one time or another. I guess it's lucky that I managed to find the little piece on it in a fairly obscure magazine.
    I did find a few nice photos on Rikster's site taken by Scott Pavey. They look like they might have been taken at a Leadsled Spectacular, but I can't say when they were shot or even if it was at a Spectacular. I'm just glad the pictures exist.
    I'd be willing to bet that since the car ended up on the east coast, it has hit a lot of shows there over the years like Lead East and hasn't disappeared completely. I'm hoping that someone out there recognizes it or has seen it recently, especially you east coast custom guys. It is definitely one cool custom that I hope is still prowling the streets!
    I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and is still relaxing and enjoying this holiday week. Let me be one of the first to wish everyone a Happy New Year! See you next week! E

    John Abee 50 Ford a SPC.jpg

    John Abee 50 Ford b SPC.jpg

    The next car was originally posted back on page 44 of this thread if you want to go back and read everyone's comments.

    What Ever Happened To..........? number 68.

    1951 Ford Victoria
    Owner: Dave Waddell
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    This week's car was another one that seemed to break out on the scene, make an impression, and after a few short show seasons, disappeared.
    This '51 Ford Victoria had a ton of modifications done to it, and even though '49-'51 Fords were one of the cars of choice back in the 80s and 90s, this one managed to stand out from the rest. First of all, it was chopped quite a bit. One of the modifications that really took some work was the addition of custom taillights that look to be '55 or '56 Oldsmobile in crazy openings that are similar to a Packard, Buick or '55 Chevy. The rear bumper appears to be mid 50s GM, but I can't say for sure. The rear wheel wells were reworked as well and look to be mid to late 50's GM.
    Up front a '57 Buick grille was used along with '59 Cadillac taillight housings with clear lenses for turn signals. The owner of this car utilized what I'd guess to be Mopar quad headlight assemblies. Hard to believe they'd fit, but they pulled it off. This gives this Ford a similar look as Don Boeke's '57 Ford "Shboom" (W.E.H.T. #33) which used Desoto assemblies, as well as Jim Discher's '57 Pontiac (W.E.H.T. #47) which used dual headlight assemblies out of a '57 Chrysler. This was a truly unique modification that hasn't been done on a lot of '49-'51 Fords. You will also notice that the hood was seriously re-worked and had rounded corners and was semi-pancaked. Tons of time in that!
    The first time this car appeared on video was at the '86 Spectacular in Springfield, Missouri. It had quite a few of the modifications done but it was covered in gray prime. The next year (1987) it was at the Spectacular again in Springfield, Illinois. This time it was covered in purple and looked super! Unfortunately, the owner was never interviewed, so I have no idea who the car belonged to. After the '87 appearance, I couldn't find it on any other videos.
    As far as magazines go, I searched high and low, but I couldn't find any coverage on this car in print in my collection. This would also help explain the lack of owner information.
    Fortunately, I was able to find a nice group of pictures on Rikster's site that show how nice this sled was. Thankfully Scott Pavey, Kustom Lincoln Lady as well as many others took photographs at these events. And, with Rikster's hard work and compilation talents, we have a place to find these photos to share with everyone to enjoy.
    Well, I hope somebody out there can add some insight to this custom. I know some of you Indiana folks will recognize it. We need to give credit where credit is due.
    Hope everyone out there is staying cool. Why not grab your girl, a friend or neighbor, hop in the sled and take a spin down to your local 7-11 and get a nice cold Slurpee? You know what? That sounds like a "cool" idea. Where are my keys?
    Until next time, cruise on..........E

    51 ford Victoria a KLL.jpg

    51 ford Victoria  b KLL.jpg

    51 ford Victoria c KLL.jpg

    51 Ford Victoria d SPC.jpg

    51 Ford Victoria e SPC.jpg

    The next car was originally posted back on page 47 of this thread if you want to go back and read everyone's comments.

    What Ever Happened To..........? number 72.

    1950 Mercury "Small Town Flirt"
    Owner: Bev Graf
    Kokomo, Indiana

    This week's W.E.H.T. is another car I've had written down for a long time looking for information. I haven't been able to come up with much, but it is way too nice of a Mercury not to include it here.
    The thing that really stood out to me is the super chop and the outstanding paint job. In the pictures you can see the great pearl scallop job, but on video you can't see it at all. Also, in the pictures and on video you can see the word "Flirt" lettered towards the bottom of the rear quarter panels. I watched a lot of video, and if you look close you can see that it said "Small Town Flirt" on it. The "Small Town" is in very small letters above "Flirt".
    I've looked for quite some time, but I wasn't able to find any magazine material on the car. In my video search I was only able to find the car on video at the 1985 Leadsled Spectacular in Springfield, Ohio, and in 1991 in Hamilton, Ohio. The best cruising video of the car was shot in '85, and the best close-ups of the car were shot in '91. It was on the '91 video where I could make out the "Small Town Flirt", as well as being able to see the Illinois license plates. It may have been at the Spectacular in other years, but there are no other clear shots of the car that I could be sure that are indeed this car. You have no idea how many chopped red Mercurys there were at these events back in those days!
    Unfortunately, I haven't been able to come up with the owner's name or what part of Illinois the car came from. I'm hoping you guys out there know more.
    You faithful followers of this thread will notice that again this week I'm posting this at a different time than normal. Fact is, I've been helping a friend get a car ready for the Spectacular (not HAMB friendly cut off years I'm afraid), so my spare time has been almost non-existent lately. After the Spectacular is behind us, I'm hoping to get back to a normal schedule, but you never can tell (lol).
    I'll be hanging out with @PasoJohn and a few other friends around our normal area by the "wading pool", so if you're around that area and we aren't off looking around, stop in, say hello and have a cold drink. I always like to meet people and put names with faces.
    Until next time, see you in Salina! E

    50 Merc Small Town Flirt a.jpg

    50 Merc Small Town Flirt b.jpg

    The next car was originally posted back on page 53 of this thread if you want to go back and read everyone's comments.

    1950 Ford
    Owners: Roger and Debbie ? ? ?
    ? ? ? ? ? , Missouri

    For this week's W.E.H.T. I'm going to need more help than usual to identify the owners of this great sled. I really dug in and searched on this one and found out very, very little.
    According to my search, this Ford made it's first appearance at the Leadsled Spectacular in Des Moines in 1984. Rowdie got some great video on it showing some of the neat custom details. In the video the car was chopped, had frenched headlights, dummy spots, lake pipes, skirts and a filled hood. It had '56 Olds spinner hubcaps and a custom grille. The grille (which I can't identify) looks to be the same grille as what Bob Hoffman used on his '50 Ford business coupe "Purple Haze" (W.E.H.T. #63). The hood trim must not have been ready to install as the hood gap where the trim goes is still there. The car had a custom license plate on the front that read "Roger & Debbie". The car was painted a tasty white and powder blue two tone.
    The next sighting was at the 1986 Leadsled Spectacular in Springfield, Missouri. The only time the car was seen on the video was cruising into the fairgrounds. It had gone through quite a few changes, but that unique grille makes me pretty sure it's the same car. The nice white and powder blue paint was gone and it was in gray primer. The lake pipes were gone and the hubcaps had been changed to Plymouth Satellites. The chrome grill surround was completed and on the car. It had a frenched antenna just in front of the right rear taillight, and it was also running a Thermador style window cooler--something that was almost unheard of back then. Also, the unique "Roger & Debbie" plate was gone and the front bumper was bare.
    That's all the video tape I found on the car. As far as pictures or information in books or magazines, I found nothing. This car has been a tough one. I did find one picture on Rikster's site, but that was all. The only views of the car on video and in the picture are from the front. I have never seen the back of the car, so any custom modifications to the back remain a mystery.
    So y'all, I need some input to get the facts straight on this one. Unfortunately, I have no idea what Roger and Debbie's last name was, or what state their car came from. Hopefully we can put it all together and give credit where credit is due.
    Have a great week! E

    Roger & Debbie's 50 Ford.jpg

    So, here they are. I hope that seeing these cars again will help jog everyone's memory banks and we can put names with these neat customs. I'll update the posts with the correct information if it comes to the surface.
    I'll return next week with a new W.E.H.T.--#100! See you then! E
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
  7. The "Small Town Flirt" was purchased by Kevin Anderson back in I believe the late 80's and is now candy purple and known as the Anderson Mercury.
    This is the same Kevin that hosts the Custom Car Revival in Indianapolis every June.

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  8. From what I recall the car came from Kokomo Indiana and was a soft orange / bronze color when he bought it. I can ask Kevin who he bought it from if you want

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  9. 54delray
    Joined: Dec 18, 2004
    Posts: 591

    from Fremont NE

    I'll delete this if I am wrong, but my 50 plus year old memory tells me we figured out that Small Town Flirt was Kevin's Merc from INDY, CCR.

    Hats off to MercDeuceMan .... beat me to the punch.
  10. 3 out of 99?!?
    Pretty good!
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  11. Thanks for the replies guys. I remember it being mentioned that Kevin Anderson is the owner of the "Small Town Flirt" Merc, but the original builder/owner never came up. E

  12. I thought so too, Bill. There are a few where the town wasn't mentioned and a last name or two weren't found, but for the most part all the information came out.
    Great work everyone! E
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  13. John Abee - Fenton Auto Salvage & Repair
    Fenton, Michigan
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  14. Thanks Sancho! Another piece of the puzzle falls into place! I'll update the information. E
  15. KustomLincolnLady
    Joined: Oct 17, 2003
    Posts: 953


    I thought that someone said they spoke with Kevin Anderson and his Merc, was the small town Flirt. Does anyone else remember reading this?

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  16. KustomLincolnLady
    Joined: Oct 17, 2003
    Posts: 953


    Oops , didn't read a few, I see John and A few others confirmed lol. I went right from my email notification and didn't read some replies

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  17. Kevin Anderson sent this to me last night about the Small Town Flirt:
    "The car was originally chopped and customized in Savanna, GA, by a Ford dealership body shop mgs in the late 50's. Painted yellow and named the "Yellow Rose", the owner drove it everywhere around the country including to CA, for shows.
    After a few more owners, Steve Tansy (customizer, drag racer, and builder of the chopped Merc in the Henry Ford museum) cleaned it up and sold it to a couple in Kokomo named the Grafs. Who asked him to paint it candy orange.
    They renamed the car the Small Town Flirt. They lost it, went through another owner or two and then I bought it in the early 90's.
    Kurt McCormick told me last year when he saw it in the 80's, he was contemplating buying it due to the nice cut.
    While it's far from anywhere close to today's standards, it's better than I ever thought it could be".
    End of quote....

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    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
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  18. So now we have another chapter on this car to research.
    How about the "Yellow Rose" from Savanna, GA?

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  19. The "Yellow Rose" does sound familiar @MercDeuceMan, but the fact that it was from Georgia doesn't.
    I remember somewhere somebody mentioned that people that lived in one state would register their cars in another state due to relaxed inspections or cheaper license plate fees or something along those lines. That being said, I wonder if the Grafs from Kokomo did that. As I mentioned in the original post for the "Small Town Flirt", in the 1991 Leadsled video the car had Illinois plates on it. I guess there could have been another owner in there as well. Where are all our Illinois and Indiana area people out there that might know more about this car?
    I'll dig in and see if I can find some information about the "Yellow Rose" version of this car. If I find anything I'll post it up. E
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
  20. OK, I'm at work and no where near my magazine collection, but what was the yellow Merc in the mags in the 80's that there was an article on about being an old 50's custom, got restored and then driven across the country? Seems the front clip had been something different and got replaced with a milder one during the 80's redo. Had a large screen on the from for bugs but made the car overheat so it got removed during the trip. Any relation to "Yellow Rose"?
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  21. 40LUV
    Joined: Dec 30, 2003
    Posts: 1,575

    from Mid Jersey

    I remember seeing coverage about that Merc too. If I remember correctly, it had New Hampshire license plates.
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  22. Scan0512.jpg

    Sorry @drdave and @40LUV, the yellow Merc you're thinking of is a different one. We touched on that Merc in this thread back on pages 65 and 66. Such a cool car, and if you read the quotes above, you'll see that it went through a lot of changes.
    It might be tough to find information on the "Yellow Rose" as there were so many yellow Mercs built over the years. Someone out there that has a substantial little books collection might be able to find more information on it. Unfortunately, most of my little book collection was destroyed in my basement flood a number of years back. That really hurt! Years of collecting little books gone in a flash (flood--lol). With what they cost nowadays, I'll never be able to replace them all. E
  23. Well, there ya go. It was worth a shot and the best my iffy memory could conjure up this morning. LOL
  24. John B
    Joined: Mar 9, 2001
    Posts: 1,255

    John B

    Just to muddy the waters even more. I seem to recall that the etched back glass from the Small Town Flirt ended up in a different Merc at some point. Soon as i get some of orders caught up, I'll dig out my Custom Rodders (from the 90s) and see if I can find out if I'm right or just hallucinating.
  25. You know Doc, it might not be that your memory is iffy, but maybe it's your working conditions. Working around laughing gas can cause some funny side effects :confused:o_O;)(lol)! E

    You know John, I'm sure I heard that or read it somewhere as well. It will be interesting to see what you find. E
  26. laughing gas at my place since it’s just braces. Would be pretty funny to pump it out the gas pumps though. Lol

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  27. BrewtownPrez
    Joined: Oct 17, 2016
    Posts: 92


    I'm still looking for the magazine article with the photo of the window etching too. I did run across this two page article from a '83 Rodders Digest. Flirt.jpg

  28. Great post @BrewtownPrez! It looks like we finally have the complete information on who owned the car and where it was from. I'll update the information. Thanks! E
  29. OK Guys....Please be patient as I try to put this together. Here are a couple cars that should ring bells with Milwaukee, Wisconsin Guys from the very Early '60's. Jerry Rakowski had at LEAST Three cars in his Shell Station just around the Corner from South 13th Street and Oklahoma Avenue. I've asked "Moose" to recreate the '41 Packard for me before, though it Original had Rust and Silver Colored Scallops on the Fenders. Then there was a Bright Yellow '40 Chevy Coupe, and a Matching, Shortened Chevy Hot Rod Pick-Up known as "Chicken Little"....Which at one time had Stained Glass Windows in the Sides....... IMG_6119(1).JPG All of these cars later appeared at Jerry's new Gas station across from OLD Billy Mitchell Airport on Layton Avenue. I'll provide the photos I was able to put together and hope that some of you are old enough to put the memories together My Dream Packard 41.jpg . Great times, Greater cars......

    Attached Files:

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  30. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 3,101

    from red oak

    Muddy waters, I always thought that Truman`s Merc was orange. And here is a scan of the tail lights from the magazine Custom Cars. And the final pic is from Mike Keys Leadsled book. Scan0593.jpg Scan0594.jpg Scan0595.jpg

    Attached Files:

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