The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by cutthroat corps, Nov 2, 2010.
Yes. I would agree with that. That car would qualify as "famous'. Consider me suitably chastised...
I didn't mean to chastise anyone. CadZZilla just popped into my head when I was trying to figure out a car that met everyones definitions.
I guess I'm a little grumpier than usual, (hard to do) must be Monday.
I have seen 2bbl 318 Dusters referred to as musclecars, so dont feel too bad...
I SHOULD feel chastised for referring to the Ala-Kart as a custom, you guys are absolutely right. I am the first one to get on someones case for the mis-use of these terms, so I should be doing my part not to blur the lines. Besides, I KNOW better...Just verbal sloppyness on my part, and thats the start of the slippery slope... Cleatus is absolutely right.
I took this picture in 1957 ,,sittin' in front of Ed Roths shop,,this Merc has been my Fav ever since,,,
Thanks to "Rikster" ,,here it is in color ,,
Don't feel bad, look at post 10. (G)
When I first got into this stuff in the early 60's, seems like most features in the magazines was race cars, hotrods, or customs. I know it's a lot more complicated than that, but ya gotta start somewhere.
Don't recall seeing a Merc with ('57 Chevy?) wheel openings like that before! Not sure that it entirely flows, but that's just an opinion.
Most famous kustom? I'd guess the Hirohata Merc is the first I remember hearing of.
Petersen Publication covered that subject in the early 50's with two separate in depth complete build articles to show how to build a California custom car. First was the Merc by Barris, how do you build a CA custom from the belt line up, chopping the top, restyling front and rear then painting the car two tone. The second article was the Olds by Valley Custom, how a CA custom is built from the belt line down, sectioning, the most difficult of the two procedures, then restyling front and rear and painting the car one color. Yes there were cars before and after those articles, but those two articles by Petersen Publications set the stage. Now you choose your favorite. Take a camera with a lot of storage for pics of cars that will be at the GNRS Jan, 2011. You will be able to put together a personal album for years to come. The GNRS 2011 is a must attend if you like rolling art with wheels. Now, do you want to know the one car I like, the Sam Barris Merc.
Those are '56 Chevy wheel openings,,'55 Ford side trim ,,had a '55 Plymouth grille,,Lincoln Tail Lites ,,full race Olds Motor w' three dueces ,,was a show winner at several big shows untill it was sold in the early '60's ,,has never been seen since ,,
Check out Riksters Web Page for more info ,,
I think there seems to be some confusion over the difference between famous and favorite on this thread as well.
Another pic i took that day ,,
If you are really wanting to know the most famous among all people, you have to ask non car people who aren't immersed in the hobby. I just called my 78 year old mother. She thought about it for a minute and said, "Gee, I don't know, I guess it would be James Dean's Mercury"
Well,,,i guess ALL of the ABOVE ,,but nobody mentioned Dean Jeffries' White '48 Merc Convertable he drove as a daily driver ,,I got to see it in person in '57 ,,when i was at the Barris Bros shop ,,Deans shop was next door back then,
If nobody mentioned it, it can't be the most famous
Well,,,lets get REAL here ,,it's hard to pick just ONE ,,in the late '50's ,,there was a rolling car show every day n nite in So Cal ,,you could go to many shops ,,not just the Barris Bros ,,but a whole bunch of em building really Kool Kustoms ,,they were EVERYWHERE ,,it was a time in HISTORY THAT WILL NEVER BE REPEATED ,,everytime you looked in those "Little Books" ,there was a new top Kustom out there ,,the Best of the Best ??? it's a mater of personal preferance i reckon ,,ME,,,i thoght they ALL were great ,,some a little better than others ,,some werse ,,,the best expert on this subject is ,,,Ta Da !! the "Rikster" ,,his web site shows em all ,,'cept for Dean jeffries' '48 Merc ,,nobody seems to have a pic of it ,,built by the Barris Bros in '56,,
And then you need to add to the mix with the difference between a custom and a Kustom.... two entirely different cars, as well....
You're right, but the OP asked the simple question (that has turned out not to be so simple) What's the most FAMOUS Kustom. So it has to be a car "Everyone" seems to know and pops into their heads ....
At least I didnt say the Boothill Express!
This thread has really cleared up a lot of things
If the question is the most famous, the last thing you need to do is ask an expert. Ask your niebours, your mother-in-law, the guys down at the pub, ect. If you have a car in mind, do like the guy on the airplane did, pick half a dozen people at random, show them a pic, and ask them if they have ever seen that car before. Sam Barris merc, the Jilek '40, Hirohitas, my personal favorites,the Jade Idol or Goulets Olds, trust me, you are gonna get a blank stare. Sure, these cars are ICONS to guys that are really interested in this stuff, but most people, even lots of guys that members of the general public would describe as "car guys" have probably never heard of them.
I guess it depends on what era we grew up in for what we'd personally recall...but everyone had great answers
I loved seeing the Batmobile at the Grand National Roadster show when I was a kid. I watched the show faithfully and when Baggy let me sit in it during the show and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! That was my show & tell in elementary school
Well,,,looking back on those times ,,I was a lucky 14 year old Iowa kid whose parents went to So Cal in '57, in my Dads '57 Chevy on Route 66, , to see Iowa play in the Rose Bowl ,,,several of my aint's n uncles had moved out there in '52 ,,my cousin hauled me around to all the Kustom n Hot Rod Shops ,,in is '49 Ford mild custom ,,i got to see first hand ,,in person ,,the Kars i'd seen in those ole~ "Litle Books" i'd hid in my English & History books in Jr Hi ,,,i hung out at Ed Roth's Shop,,just down the street from my aint's house ,,he gave me my first set of Striping Brushes ,,
then ,,in '59 ,,Iowa went back to the Rose Bowl again,,we drove out there in my Dad's new '59 Impala ,,my cousin had a nice '55 Chevy Bel Air ,,we went to all those shops again ,,Ed Roth remembered me from before ,,
at the "Burger" joints on Fri & Sat Nites ,,from Compton to Disney Land to Long Beach ,,the Kustoms were everywhere ,,Chopped Mercs,,,Sectioned '39 & '40 Fords ,Wild '55-'56 Ford F-100 Pick-Ups ,,Street Rods that were "Outa Site" ,,everyone DROVE EM ,,no trailer / show queens ,,I was a kid in "Heaven" ,,
hard to pick just one you see ,,
Can't believe it took 143 post and still can't decide it's Hirohata's merc......
That's my vote
I disagree ,,the Herohata Merc was the most advertised in the Mags,,got alota attention,,BUT ,,it was the tupical generac Barris Merc ,,Chopped,,Frenched Head Lites,,Buick Side Trim ,,Tu Tone Paint ,,same ole same ole ,,there was several copy cats of it ,,some even better built,,,,
there was a bunch of better examples before ,,in the '50's ,,and after ,,
Rikster has one ,,so does a lot of other guys ,,
the Herohata Merc was great ,,but NOT that great ,,
No one asked if it was great (which it is). This thread is about what people think isTHE MOST FAMOUS Kustom not what has the best design, what I like best, what I remember as a kid etc.
You said it yourelf it was the most advertised which would then make it the most famous.
To me, a Kustom with a "K" refers only to customs built by or in a similar style to those built by the Barris Brothers while Sam was still there or by other customizers during that time period and in that style since.
My favorite Custom (with a "C") was in the '60's and still is the Matador, but I consider it to be "Post-Kustom" and a Custom, not a Kustom. It's definitely in a style that's decidedly different from the Kustoms that include the Metranga and Hirohata Mercs.
I never looked at the Ala Kart as a Kustom, whether George wants to call everything one or not. I see it as a customized Show Street Rod, and not a Kustom or a Custom at all.
Making body modifications to a Hotrod or Street Rod does not make it a Custom or a Kustom. It's a customized not Custom. Pat Ganahl wrote a lot on this idea in his book on Customs and I'd just have to be plagiarizing him to go into it further.
Batmobile, Munster Coach, MonkeeMobile and the General Lees etc. weren't customs in any way shape or form, they were all just MOVIE and TV STUDIO PROPS!
Back when I was a preteen and teenager and way more subjective than I am now I didn't lie the Hirohata or any 49-52 Mercs because I thought they looked too "lumpy".
I liked the smoother lines of the '52 on FOrd products and the GM "lighter" looking than Mercury, cars.
To me, the best looking car from the Kustom era was Jack Stewart's Polynesian.
It's had more than it's allotted 15 minutes of fame...
See post #125.
Sometimes a specific post tends to haunt me just a bit. It would seem to me since every kustom is unique and individual that the builders are the element of fame more than the car and sometimes more than the owner. While there may be thousands of chopped Mercs or sectioned 49-51 Fords, how can one execution or design be "more" than the next? Infamous? Well that's another story. There's been some stuff that started out as and always will be a head-scratcher. But back at the original idea, is there a better or more famous car? I might have to say no. Not a permanent no. There's an element to kustoms that's more of a feeling than a trend or even a style. The essential "know it when I see it" vibe that isn't really in the mainstream. it's easy to pick a famous Deuce or any other hotrod/streetrod. One often hears how a hiboy was done "wrong" or "right", but by who's rules? Why the general public may not recognize the Hirohata Merc is probably that thing in and of itself. I woke up this morning to "American Graffiti" and the Pharaoh's Merc. Consider the characters in that part of the movie. Removed, independent, clearly trouble makers, but not really a needed element to express what I'm trying to say. I don't think it was ever as popular or even understood as well as the hotrod. While some were built to be recognized for one reason or another (Dream Truck is a good example) most were probably not and their fame or notoriety just happened as time went on and their builders became recognized. I hope this idea makes sense. Sometimes a vibe or a spirit is impossible to put to words.
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