41 Merc Fade-Away Convertible

.

41 MERC FADE-AWAY Convertible

.

1941 Mercury Convertible with full fadeaway fenders and chopped padded top. A Mystery Published Custom Car.

.

Over the years I have come across a lot of Unidentified Custom Car photos in the early Custom Car Publications. Mystery Customs that appeared in just a single publication, and sometimes even in multiple magazines or booklets, but always lacking any info on the original builder or owners name. In this series of articles I will be showing some of these Mystery Published Custom Cars, and hopefully the extra publicity will lead to some more information on these cars.

.

Original article from 2016, updated in April 2019.

The first “Published Mystery Custom” is an very nicely done 1941 Mercury Convertible with full fade away fenders, chopped windshield, padded top and somewhat odd looking Lincoln grille.
The first time I saw a picture of this car was on Pat Ganahl‘s “The American Custom Car” book. On page 24 of this book he shows this mercury Custom with taped headlights, windshield and race numbers on the side at one of the Russetta Timing Association events. It is unsure when this even took place, but most likely around 1950. Perhaps one of the contender lists would reveal an owners name for this 1941 Custom. Pat wrote in his book that the car was an Ford, but later I found more material showing that the car was actually Mercury based.

.

Pat Ganahl writes this about the photo in his book: While customs were built more for style than peed, some did turn up at the dry lakes, where heavy weight wasn’t a hindrance and streamlining actually helped. This anonymous Postwar Ford with Lincoln grille, chopped padded top, and full fade-away’s was competing at Russetta Timing Association meet.

.

The other place I have found photos of this Custom was in the 1951 edition of the Speed and Mileage Manual by Edgar Almquist. The first edition of this manual was published in 1947, but I’m not sure if this ’41 Mercury was already part of it then.

.

The side view shown in the Almquist Manual shows the really fantastic Custom restyling of the car. The full fade away front fenders, the molded in rear fenders and shaving of all the trim. 
The second photo of the car shown in the Almquist manual gives us a better look at the low mounted Lincoln grille, the reshaped front section and the stock headlights rings. The Windshield was chopped, but very conservative, perhaps around 2 inches. The front bumper appears to be a 1942 Buick Special rear bumper with the guards moved closer together.

.

.

The 1941 Mystery Lincoln looks to be a very nicely restyled Custom Car, most likely created by one of the top shops in the later part of the 1940’s or around 1950. The full fade-away fenders done this way, all molded to the body with nice leaded edges, was something both the Ayala’s as well as the Barris shops were well known for. The overall proportions are right on the money, and even though the Lincoln grille is now considered and odd choice, or perhaps better said not the most attractive, back in the mid/late1940’s they were used on more Customs and considered a high-end choice.

Around the late 1940’s a lot of full Customs were produced and there were not to many magazines out there that could or would published these cars. The owners and the Custom Builders did not take as many photos of their projects as we all would have liked. And even though this Custom Mercury did get published back then, there was no mentioning of the builder to help promote his business.

.

In 2019 this photo of the Mercury was shared on Facebook. So far I have been unable to find out where the photo was taken and who shared it originally. If anybody knows more about the photo location, or who owns the photo, please let us know.

.

Enlarged section of the photo shows that the car has 1948-50 California license plates when this photo was taken. Most likely with the unknown owner standing proudly next to the car. The Lincoln grille is considered an odd choice today, but back in the 1940’s it was used a lot.

.

Colormelacquer shared a photos with us showing the same location of the photo above in 2019. Not too much has changed….

.

From what I can see in the photos the newest parts used on the car are from 1947, Cadillac Sombrero hubcaps. So this version of the car could not have been created before 1947. The padded top has a nice flow on the back and a straight B-pillars, most likely the same upholstery shop did a full custom interior for the car as well.

Who knows more about this rather nice 1941 Mercury Convertible Custom with full fade-away fenders. Who was the original owner, and who built it. Hopefully one of our readers remembers this car from back then, or has seen more photos of it. If so, please let us know and send Rik an email here at the Custom Car Chronicle.

.

.

.

.

0

Road Trip Custom Sightings

 

ROAD TRIP CUSTOM SIGHTINGS

 

David Conrad shared some neat pictures he took in the 60s and 70s. Interesting and sometimes abandoned Custom Cars he came across while on the road.



In July 2018 I shared a photo of an early 1940’s restyled 1940 Mercury ones owned by the mr. Williams and later owned by Marsh Baldwin. I was wondering what had happened to the restoration on the care when David Conrad shared a few photos of some old 60’s and 70’s road trips with including one of an Mercury that looked a bit similar. The picture David shared, of a greene padded topped Mercury at a car lot in San Diego in 1963, had a very similar very heavy chop, but it looked to be a ’39 and not the ’40 I was looking for. But the photo was very interesting, and the ’39 Mercury looked vaguely familiar, reminding me a bit at the James Etter ’39 Mercury restored in the late  1970’s, early 1980’s by Karl Jonasson. But I did not pay much attention to that at the time.

When David shared the photos he mentioned that he took some photos back in 1963 when he and a friend towed David’s 31 Model A pickup to San Diego to the Model A Restorers Club national meet. On the way they stopped at several locations and David took some photos of interesting cars he saw on their way.

David saw this 1940 Mercury with some Ayala Inspiration at the Easy Jack’s junk yard in Kansas in 1963. He always wondered what happened to it. Anybody knows?
[divider]


The rear shows an interesting Panoramic rear window treatment on the chopped canvas covered top, as well as ’48-49 Cadillac rear fenders molded into the body. I wonder if the car was ever finished and on the road, or if it was an abandoned project?
[divider]


David took this ’40 Ford convertible in the early 70s in a friends back yard. He has no idea what ever happened to it. This is in St Louis, mo.
[divider]


It appears to be an channeled ’40 Ford convertible with a much molded body that was done in the late 1950’s, early 1960’s. Perhaps it evolved over the years.
[divider]



In November 2018, the photo David had shared of the 1963 San Diego was shared again on Facebook. Anthony White made a comment on it. “Tried to make a case for it being the James Etter car but that’s a long stretch”. Anthony’s comment brought me back to the original thought I had when looking at that picture, and I started to look into it a bit more. I had recently discussed the Etter Mercury with Henrik Forss, and things look like they are falling into place, and the car in the picture David took might be the Jim Etter Mercury. David mentioned this about the Green Mercury photo. “I saw this Merc. on a used car lot in 1963 in San Diego. It had real heavy green metalflake paint on it. Paint was very thick.”

David took this very neat picture of a green metalflake ’39 Mercury at an unknown used car lot in San Diego in 1963.
[divider]



In an old Swedish Wheels Magazine article on the ’39 Mercury that Karl restored it was mentioned that the car had a green metalflake paint job under the primer. It also showed that the rear had a ’41 Ford bumper mounted. When David took the photo in 1963, it looks like the Mercury had ’41 Ford bumpers and it also looks like the running boards were shortened, just as the Jim Etter Mercury has. We are now trying to see if we can get a better scan, or info from David if he can see on the original slide if the hood has the characteristic scoop on the side, and the louver’s cut in the hood. All other details on the San Diego Mercury seem to match with the Jim Etter Mercury…

The original scan from the color slide David shared is not very big, therefor the details are rather blurry. This is the best I could do blowing up the image to have a better look at the car. It does appear to have the hood side scoop… but because the scan is so blurry, that could be just shadow and an optical illusion.
[divider]

This is how the car looked that Karl got to restore in the late 1970’s. Notice all the similarities with the Green one David photographed.
[divider]


Part if the Wheels Magazine article showing some more details, including the ’41 Ford rear bumper.
[divider]


This is how most people will recognize the James Etter 1939 Mercury from the 1980’s. The heavy chop, the shortened running boards, and molded in headlights. Karl added the exhausts behind the running boards and the ’49 Plymouth bumper. The Barris Crest on the front fender is an replica added after Karl restored the car.
[divider]


To be continued…..










.

1+

What happened to Panoramic Ford

 

WHAT HAPPENED to PANORAMIC FORD

 

One of the Custom Car Icons the Buster Litton Panoramic Ford has been lost for many decades. Perhaps this new info will lead to the answer to what happened to the Panoramic Ford.



With the help of Rob Radcliffe who interviewed Buster Litton and Don Schaedel, original and second owner of the car, about the Barris/Cerny restyled 1949 Panoramic Ford, we have created a two part article here on the CCC in 2015. With all the unique information Rob and me had gathered we were able to get an accurate history on this Iconic ’49 Ford Hard Top written down. We shared some never before seen material that was shared by Buster Litton and Don Schaedel, and were able to trace the history of the car back to 1957.

The Panormic Ford when Buster Litton owned the car.
[divider]


In 1957 Don Shaedel, who had owned the car since the early summer of 1954, traded the Hard-topped Ford for a sectioned Shoebox and never sees his beloved custom again. Despite all the efforts we have not been able to find any trace of the cars after 1957… until September 24th 2018.  That day I received an email from Claudia, who had seen the articles on the Buster Litton on the Custom Car Chronicle and clearly remembers the car from 1960-62 time frame.

At that time Claudia was 12-14 years old she new this guy named Darrel Wienkuaf  (Update correct spelling is: Daryl Weinkauf) from Pipestone, Minnesota. Claudia was friends wit Daryl brother Curtis, and she remembered the car here friends older brother had from 1960 till around 1962. She remembered the details on the car clearly, since she really liked it, and remembered the Barris Crest still being on the car, and the hard-topped roof. She has no idea what happened to the car after 1962.

I have tried to find out more about Darrel Wienkuaf (as Claudia spelled it) but perhaps it is spelled Weinkauf (which very much sounds like a German name) from Pipestone, Minnesota. But so far I have found nothing. So I hope that perhaps some of our readers know people from that erea, or perhaps know more about a possible car scene in Pipestone, Minnesota or surrounding area in the early 1960’s. Hopefully we can come up with some more info on the Panoramic Ford being owned by Darrel from 1960-62, and possibly what happened to the car after that.

The Panoramic Ford when Don Schaedel’s owned it parked on the drive way at his home in Lynnwood, Ca.
[divider]

 

Update October 02, 2018

Larry Pointer did some digging after reading this article, and this is what he came up with.

Daryl Eugene Weinkauf, born 29 July, 1938. Son of Arnold and Hazel, living in Sweet, Pipestone County, Minnesota in 1940, He was listed in the census as about l year old, with a brother, William age 2 1/2. I fount a South Dakota marriage for Darryl and I believe a Janice… 18, September, 1958, in Hughes, Pierre County South Dakota. BUT, a divorce in California from a spouse Janice J., 28 December 1984, San Bernadino.
The Find-A-Grave website listed his death, 27 May, 2015, age 76. He is buried in the Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside County, Califorinia.

On the Panoramic lead, I found Daryl E Weinkauf on the Camp Pendelton, CA US Marines muster rolls from July 1956 through January 1958. This puts him in California at about the time he could have seen that Panoramic Ford, and then purchased it and took it back to his parents’ home in Pipestone, by the time that your source Claudia would have seen it there.

 

On Instagram Joe Bronco did some digging as well.

Joe was able to get in touch with the son of Curtis Weinkauf, the boyfriend Claudia mentioned. The son talked to his father Curtis to ask about the car, and he could not remember much about it at this moment he for sure did not know what happened to the car after his brother sold it. But he would ask as around some more, perhaps some other family members might know more about it. Curtis mentioned that the time frame might be slightly off. So hopefully we will get more input on that as well. At this moment he thought there were no photos of the car, but they will be looking. Hopefully some family snapshot might show it.
Lets keep our fingers crossed.

 



[box_light]

Timeframe on the Panoramic Ford

  • 1950-1951 first owner Allen Anderson takes his 1949 Ford Coupe to the Barris Kustom shop to have them build a full custom out of the car. Allen requests the top to be chopped and turned into a hard-top style.
  • 1951 the Barris Kustom Shop, most likely Sam Barris, create one of the best looking chops ever done, on Allen’s Shoebox. They also install one of the 1951 Studebaker front fenders
  • 1952 Buster Litton buys the unfinished project from Allen Anderson.
  • 1952 Buster hires the Barris shop to finish the started work on the car an has them create the custom grille.
  • 1952 Buster brings the car home after the Baris shop has finished the work and painted the car with primer.
  • 1953 Buster takes the car to George And Carl Cerny’s shop to have them restyle the rear of the car to match the work on the front.
  • 1953 painted in a wonderfull deep coco rust lacquer by Doug Anderson, who worked at the Cerny shop.
  • 1954 adding Ford accessory bumper gards up front and modified Kaiser bar with exhaust thru the bullets on the rear bumper.
  • 1954 adding Barris crests.
  • 1954 February, winning awards at the Motorama and National Roadster Show.
  • 1954 May-June selling/trading the car to Don Schaedel. Don gives Buster his mildly customized 1951 Mercury Convertible in trade for the Ford plus some cash.
  • 1954 Don removes the front Ford Accessory bumper guards since he felt they where to tall for the car.
  • 1957 Don trades the Panoramic Ford for a sectioned Shoebox Ford, and looses track of the Panoramic Ford soon after that.
  • 1957 – 1960 We have no info on where the car was during these years.
  • 1960 – 1962 Daryl Weinkauf from Pipestone, Minnesota owned the car.
  • 1962 and up We have no info on the cars wear-about after 1962

[/box_light]




If anybody knows anything more about Darrel Wienkuaf or Darrel WeinKauf from Pipestone, Minnesota. Or does know anything about a car scene from this area in the early 1960’s. Please let us know. We would love to get in touch with people who know more about the Panoramic Ford during this period, and possibly find out what happened to it. Please Email Rik if you can help us with the search from this long lost Iconic Custom Car. Thank you.





.

0

37 Cord Mystery Custom

 

37 CORD MYSTERY CUSTOM

 

This Custom 1937 Cord was bought by the previous owner in 1956 and he kept it till 2007. But so far there is no info on who Customized it prior to 1956. We need your help.



In the Summer of 2018 Bill Kile bought the 1937 Cord Custom you can see in this article. He had been very interested in if when he found out it was for sale and had been looking at it for some time and tried to come up with some history on the car to help him decide if he wanted to buy it or now. Even though he was unable to find any history, all the evidence he had seen indicated that the Custom Restyling on the car must date back to at least the early 1950’s and more likely even earlier than that. So in the end he decided to acquire the car and plant to restore it, over time, to how it looked as an original custom, or at least as close as possible, since so far there have not been found any photos of how the car originally looked like.

And here we have one of the reasons why we wanted to do an article on this Cord Custom… To see if we can help Bill find more info, and hopefully some old photos of this unique Custom. Back in the day most Customs were based on the more cheaper production cars, so a Custom Cord is a bit of a rarity. There were done more, and some even made it into the magazines. But with the rather high price on the Cords, they were not just for everybody a good base. If it turns out that the car has been Restyled in the late 1930’s or early 1940’s then most likely the owner who had the work done might have had some good money to spend on it. From what can be seen on the car the workmanship used in Restyling the car was very well.

The vents on the nose of the hood were a Cord dealer installed option to provide additional air flow to the radiator. Most likely these vents were installed when the car was first purchased.
[divider]


The 1937 Cord phaeton has been “mildly and tastefully” customized. The top of the doors have been cut down and beautifully reshaped with a “Darrin dip” to help with the roadster look. The cut-down doors are all metal, and there is no evidence of a large amount of fiberglass or lead. The rear seat has been covered by a hand made deck/cover to make the car a two seat roadster. The cover is made over a wood frame. The edge of the metal is nailed to the frame as was the case in many cars in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. The deck lid is attached to the hinges that originally supported the lid that covered the convertible top. The car has no convertible top at this time. The door handles are removed. The license plate is frenched into the trunk.

At one point a two piece custom fiberglass top was made to fit the car. The front portion that mounts to the windshield and that covers the front seat area is still with the car, the rear portion is missing. It looks like it was in two pieces that were hinged together. The missing piece contained the rear window. Possibly the top was designed to fold and fit in the space under the rear deck. The back top corner of the roll up side windows have a large radius, that must have been modified to fit the new top. All the photos of Cords that I have show a square corner.


The license plates currently on the car are California plates with 2007 stickers, indicates that the car still might have seen some road time about a decade ago.
[divider]


The side view makes me wonder if the Custom, when originally restyled might have had white wall tires, and perhaps had a padded top that was later replaced with a more practical two piece fiberglass top. This photo shows how the cut down doors help with the streamline and flow of the Cord.
[divider]


A friend of the Bill, who has been in the car restoration business for 40+ years looked at the car. The custom work on the doors and the rear deck is very good. He is of the opinion that this work was done in the late 1930’s or early 1940’s. The doors appear to have been reskinned when the “Darrin” dip was added. And most likely the door handles and convertible top hardware were shaved in the early 1950’s. The frenched in license plate was most likely done at that time. One can see the sheet metal patches that were fastened to the underside of the door skin metal to cover the door handle holes. If the handles had been removed when the doors were originally customized, the door handle holes would most likely not been made when the doors were reskinned.

Along with the car came some documentation that shows the car was purchased by a previous owner in 1956 in Burbank, California. Most likely the that the custom work was completed prior to 1956. The car was owned by the same gentleman from 1956 to 2016. Bill has corresponded with the gentleman’s son. He reported that the car was always garaged and mechanically maintained. He believes that all of the custom work had been done prior to his father’s purchase of the car in 1956.

The shaved door handles, custom made seat cover and set-in license-plate make the Cord look very streamlined and smooth.
[divider]


The seats may be the original seats from the Cord with new upholstery. The door upholstery is just as the seats not original. At this point Bill thinks the upholstery was done in the 1950’s.
[divider]


A closer look at the “Darrin dip” and the front of the custom back seat cover and its wooden frame.
[divider]


The banjo steering wheel is probably from a late 1930’s or early 1940’s Studebaker. The large hole in the dash is for the clock which came with the car. The smaller set of holes on the right is for the radio. The small crank on the lower right of the dash is for opening the right head light. There is an identical crank on the left side of the dashboard for raising the left head light. (Stock Cord)
[divider]


The engine is the original engine manufactured by Lycoming. 289 cu.in. The engine was originally fitted with a supercharger. The supercharger was removed and the engine is fitted with the non-supercharger intake manifold. The receipts that Bill has lead him to believe the engine was rebuilt in the late 1950’s.
[divider]



1937 Cord Model 812 Car serial number and body number indicate that the car was originally a phaeton with a back seat. The engine number stamped on the engine matches the engine number stamped on the car name plate. The engine number indicates that the engine was originally fitted with a supercharger. The supercharger was removed, most likely prior to 1956. Bill heard that the superchargers were problematic and that it was not uncommon to remove the supercharger.

The engine runs and Bill was able to drive the car on to the trailer to haul it home. He is rebuilding the brakes at the moment and will check out the drive train next. The body has some dents, but is in relatively good condition for an eighty year old car. The paint is in poor shape with many chips and scratches. The current plans are to put it back in good operating condition and drive it to local shows. A new paint job is planned after the mechanicals and electrical are sorted out. The good thing is that Bill does not plan to restore the car to original Cord condition. He will maintain the car in its current configuration and represent it for what it is, a Customized Cord.

The front fiberglass top section temporarily stored behind the seats.
[divider]


Sunken license plate, and the back portion of the back seat cover.
[divider]


The history of the car prior to 1956 remains a mystery. Bill has researched the Antique Automobile Club (AACA) library’s files on Cords and on coach builders in the Los Angeles area. He has found no pictures of customized Cords with the Darrin dip in the doors. Bill believe there were at least four coach shops in the LA area that were doing this kind of custom work in the late 1930’s. He has contacted the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum and they had no information on this particular car.

So, Bill is out of ideas for researching this car’s history, and hopes that perhaps one of the Custom Car Chronicle readers might know more on his Custom Cord’s history. I have checked in all my files, but have not find anything either. Lets hope somebody knows more, if you do, please sens us an email, and we make sure Bill will hear and or see all about it.



(This article is made possible by)

ccc-rodders-journal-sponsor-ad-41-merc




.

0

Porterville 1950 Mercury

PORTERVILLE 1950 MERC

Who knows more about this mystery 1950 Mercury that was photographed in 1958 in Porterville California. The car was later found in San Diego.


UPDATED April – 11 – 2018



In July 2017 Derby Ahlstone from California send me some photos of an vintage 1950 Custom Mercury that a friend of his father considered to sell. He asked is I had seen this Mercury before, and knew more about its history. At the time I did remember seeing a few photos of a similar Mercury sitting in a garage with some boxes on top of it, but I could not find it in my archives. So I send a message to Anthony White, (the best source to go to if you have a Custom 49-51 Mercury that you like to know more about the history), asking if he knew more about the car.

Anthony sure knew more about the car, he recently had found an old High-School Yearbook photo showing the same Mercury in the late 1950’s that was shared by 46-to-64 on Instagram. It turned out to be a photo of a Del Simpson’s Service Station in Porterville Ca (between Fresno and Bakersfield) that showed a few cars, most likely of friends and or from the owners of the service station. One of the cars sure was the chopped Mercury from the photos Derby had send. The photo was shared by 46-to-64 on Instagram and came out of a 1958 Porterville High Shool yearbook.

46to64 Intagram post.
[divider]



Derby was very excited about the new information that the photo showed that the car was at least from 1958, and more likely even older than that. And that he now had a location the 1958 owner was located. Derby decided to buy the car from his late fathers friend, and shared some more information with us to see if we can find out some more info on the car’s history. Derby plans to restore the car back to how it used to be, but would like to know a bit more about it. All he has right now is the one photo from 1958, and of course everything on the car itself. So far we have not been able to find out more about who owned the car, and who was the original builder From what we can see in the photos it appears to have been restyled in the early to mid 1950’s, and was perhaps updated a bit here and there over the years.

The photo as it appeared in the 1958 Porterville High-School Yearbook.
[divider]


Close up of the Merc shows a little more of the details, and also the primer spots on the doors. The other dark sections is shadow from the late or very early in the day photo.
[divider]



This is all we know about the car.
The car was purchased by the previous owner (friend of Derby’s father) in 1971 in San Diego. From what has been told then the car had sit outside from 1967 till the moment it was sold. The guy, who is a Mercury guru stored it inside a barn where the photos in this article are taken at as well. Derby remembered seeing the Mercury every time him and his father went to visit the friend. And each time Derby asked his father to see if he could buy the Merc, but the friend never wanted to sell the car, until 2017. The previous owner has never been able to find any history of the car from before the time he bought it, only that it had been stored outside from 1967. The car came without an engine and there is still no engine in the car as it is today. The former owner figured all the work on the car was done in the late 1950’s.

This is how the car sat in the summer of 2017 in the garage of the previous owner.
[divider]


Frenched stock headlights, molded grille surround and splash pan and rounded hood corners. Lavender and light metallic blue paint are the colors the car was painted last. But we do not know when. It appears the car might have been painted white when it left the factory. And most likely it was primer white in the 1958 photo.
[divider]


The car was very dusty after having sit in the garage since 1971. But it was all there the same as how it was put in there.
[divider]


Narrowed 1955 DeSoto grille.
[divider]


Spotlight mounting brackets on the chopped A-pillars.
[divider]



The top was chopped, with the drip rails removed, a technique often used in the early to mid 1950’s. The sharp body line below the rear window was retained after the chop, most of the times this line was smoothed in the early years. The B-pillars were angled forward during the chop and the door rear top and bottom corners are rounded. All handles were removed (in the ’58 photo we can see primer spots were the handles used to be), the hood was nosed and the trunk decked. The grille shell was molded to the fenders and the hood corners are rounded. The stock grille was replaced by an narrowed 1955 DeSoto grille. The headlights are frenched, most likely using the stock Mercury headlights. The taillights of the Mercury were removed, the holes filled and the stock lenses placed lower on the rear fenders and molded in using hand made molded in surrounds for a smooth frenched look.




The chop on the car looks to be expertly done with all the fit and finish work done very well, including the chopped working vent windows.
[divider]


A look at the back shows the lowered taillights, straight corners on the trunk, nice flowing roof after the chop, with the character line below the rear window still in place.
[divider]



Close up of the nicely molded in and lower mounted stock 1950 Mercury taillights.
[divider]


A better look at the flow of the chopped top, the nice shape of the rear quarter window, angled forward B-pillar and rounded door corners. The rear quarter panels are not molded to the body. Notice the location of the door push button.
[divider]


Close up of the rear quarter windows, which are still pivoting, and the shaved drip rails.
[divider]


Quarter window at the passenger side.
[divider]



An very unique feature on this Mercury is that the body was actually channeled over the frame. Something we often read in the old magazine, but was actually very seldom done on the car. But this Mercury really was channeled. Not an easy task on the Mercury. The interior was done in pink and white and has some characteristics that indicate it could have been done in Tijuana, Mexico. Especially the rear bench is shaped unique and upholstered in a very particular way. The steering wheel, or what is left of it, is most likely added later, and so are the extra gauges below the stock dash.  The car had Dual Spotlights with interior handles (not the Dummy kind). The side trim appears to be 1955 Buick, and on both sides of the car a bush button to open the doors was located between the top of the side trim and the door character-line, a rather unusual spot for this, since most of the time these buttons were hidden as much as possible. At this point it looks like the car might have been painted a lavender, as well as a light metallic blue.

Interior photo showing the amount the body was channeled over the frame.
[divider]


Pink/lavender painted dash with later added steering wheel and extra gauges. Notice the unique upholstery on the engine and drive shaft tunnel.
[divider]


Custom rear seat with unique upholstery… what is left of it.
[divider]


Pink upholstery.
[divider]


Rear quarter interior panel.
[divider]


Closer look at the pink upholstery.
[divider]


White or perhaps light gray carpet with pink piping.
[divider]



We, and especially Derby would love to know more about the history of this Mercury, where was this car restyled, and by whom? And who was the owner of the car, originally, or when the 1958 photo was taken, and what happened to the car after that. How did it end up in San Diego? If any of our readers has seen this car before, or knows more about it, please email Rik here at the Custom Car Chronicle. We would love to know and share the information with the Derby, the car owner, and add it to this article.



UPDATE April 2018

From Derby

“First I want to thank many of you that spent the time to help me search for the history about this car.
I was able to correspond with Barry Simpson Sr. who is 2nd from the right in the old B&W photo, he was the son of the owner of the gas station. He owned the Corvette next to him (not bad at the age of 20!). Anyway, the gentleman next to him is Audie Galloway who owned the Mercury in 1958. He worked at the Gas Station and is the one standing next to Mercury. He did pass away in 98. Barry also mentioned that there was a “The Mad Russian” in the area who used wire hangers for welding rod and no bondo/lead… (implying that he was quite the craftsman), but did not know if this “The Mad Russian” worked on the car or not.

The Mad Russian” or “The Russian” did the body work in Strathmore, California. Apparently he was quite the craftsman and was known to hammer weld the seams. As a side note, William John Vukovich Sr was a Serbian American automobile racing driver who lived in nearby in Fresno. He was also referred to as “The Mad Russian” although he was actually Serbian. Unfortunately, he passed away racing at Indy in 1955. Perhaps a relative of his had a body shop… So if anyone knows the name of this person or shop he worked at would be much appreciated.

For now, Barry does not remember much more. Unfortunately, it looks like Audie passed away in 1998. I have tried to reach out to Linda/Lynda Galloway (either his daughter or wife), but no luck yet…

I believe that the Owner between Audie Galloway and the person I purchased from (Merle Fourez) is Louis Anthony LaVorin Sr. from Spring Valley, CA (San Diego area). Unfortunately, he passed away in 2013 at the age of 95 (and his wife as well). I have reached out to his relatives, but no returned phone calls… My guess he purchased in early 1960s then sold in 1977

So the question is does anyone know of Audi Galloway or a Russian Body Man based in the Porterville area in the 1950-60s? It would seem like Barry and the Russian (if he did the body work) would have gotten some attention at car shows back in the day…


Derby found this photo in the 1957 Porterville High School Yearbook which states that Marty’s Upholstery (Marty Martin) did the interior work. It appears that Marty’s is in business today being run as a side business by a son of one of Marty’s employees from the 1950s. Still waiting to hear back, in case he has any additional new information about the car.
[divider]


The owner I purchased the car from found the inside front door panels. Pretty cool, even has the letter “A” sewn in and electric window switches still in tact. Also matches the photo from the yearbook.
[divider]



“My Plans For the Car – Now that I have this car (along with other projects), I need to find the time, space, and money (like all of us car guys) to move forward. My initial thought is to get it running as-is (keeping the dust/dirt on the car as long as possible). Then eventually do a full restoration back to how it was done originally (I am hoping, eventually, I figure that out).
Thanks Again Everyone!”

Map of California highlighting Porterville where the car was photographed in 1958 and San Diego where the car was found in the early 1970’s.
[divider]


Derby Ahlstone is no stranger when it comes to restoring historic Custom Cars, Derby owns and restored the Coachcraft created Paul Plannette 1939-40 Mercury Roadster.
[divider]




(This article is made possible by)

ccc-rodders-journal-sponsor-ad-01




.

0

St Louis Mystery Custom

 

ST LOUIS MYSTERY CUSTOM

 

John Hellmuth shared these color slide of a Mystery Custom photographed in St Louis Missouri around 1955.  Has anybody seen it before?



John Hellmuth‎ came across these colors slides of a mystery Custom that was built in St Louis Missouri. According to John the photos were taken in the mid 1950’s. John’s brother Bob remembered the car, and how it was restyled by a local shop owner and his son. They both could not remember the shop’s name, or the guy who owned the shop, but they remembered the shop was located close to Calvary Cemetery in St Louis. Not too long after these photos were taken of the unfinished car the shop owner moved to Florida, and most likely took the car with them.

I hope that somebody from the St Louis area might remember this unique Custom with some inspiration hints from the Golden Sahara. Or perhaps the name of the body shop located close to Calvary Cemetery. We are trying to shed a light on this car, and find out what happened to it after the mid 1950’s. Was it ever completely finished?










About the Car

Its hard to identify the car and the parts used on it. But the main body looks to come from an 1950Buick. Most likely the hood was sectioned to make place for the 1954-55 wrap around windshield, and the top portion of the doors was cut off with the rear deck lowered and reshaped. The hood was pancaked, and a working scoop was added to it. The actual trunk looks to be made of a narrowed hood of unknown origin. The front fenders have been extended and heavy hoods were created over the sunken headlights. The grille and front bumper were borrowed from a 1955 Pontiac. The grille surround looks to come from a 1950 Buick. At the rear a pair of 1952 Lincoln taillights was used in reshaped and extended rear fenders. The rear bumper could perhaps be the top portion of an 1951 Lincoln Front bumper, but might come from something else as well, hard to tell.




The Dashboard could perhaps be based on a 1954 Buick dash (including the windshield) with the shape around the gauges reshaped and a second unit created for the passenger side of the car. The interior of the car looks to be the only part of the car that has not been finished. There is nothing behind the seat, and it also looks like there is no upholstery panels covering the door, nor below the dash.










Hopefully somebody will recognize the car, and can tell us a bit more about it, and its builder(s). We would also like to know more about the builder and shop close to Calvary Cemetery in St Louis. And if this shop created more interesting Customs for owners in the St Louis area. If you have any more info on this car, please Email Rik Hoving and let us know. We would love to share any more info with the Custom Car Chronicle readers.












.

0

1942 Ford Twins

 

1942 FORD TWINS

 

In the late 1970s Iggy Bara sets out to recreate the Barris Restyled Anne DeValle 1942 Ford. Later he comes across the original Barris Custom, and is able to buy it.


In the summer of 2008 Iggy left a message on my website about the Anne DeValle 1942 Ford restyled by Barris. He mentioned that he now owned that car. WOW….   I emailed Iggy and we started to communicate a bit, it was clear from the beginning that Iggy was not a computer guy, and the emails were always short. But we stayed in touch for some time and he shared several photos of the actual Barris Custom and the clone he started in the early 1980’s. Iggy became very enthused when I found out that the Anne DeValle 1942 Ford, which was photographed after 1956, was originally restyled for Marcia Campbell in 1950. And that there were some photos of this version of the car, which looked much more original and cleaner than the later Anne DeValle version. Iggy decided to restore the original Barris Custom back to his 1950 version of the car. In the meantime he had sold his 1942 Ford Anne DeValle version clone to a friend, to raise money for the restoration of the original one


CCC-Marcia-Campbell-42-Ford-08-WThese two photos show the car when Iggy found it in the early 1980’s. The molded-in front fenders and the front sheet metal including the grille and all other parts were in the barn behind the car.
[divider]


We stayed in touch off and on until 2013, He had mentioned that his friend, who had bought the clone had passed away and how he was trying to get the car back. The last time we had contact was in September 2013, he send me an email that he would get back to me as soon as he had more information on the projects. After that I have tried several times to get in touch, or find out what happened to Iggy and the projects, but so far no luck. I have very little information about Iggy, I know his name was Iggy Bara, and that he lived about an hour out from Wooster, Ohio, but thats all. I hope somebody on the CCC will see this, and perhaps will be able to tell me more about Iggy and what happened to him and the 1942 Ford twins.  I was really looking forward to see the Marcia Campbell ’42 Ford being restored back to its 1950 configuration… and the dream of seeing it side by side with the Anne DeValle cloned version would be absolutely amazing.




The 1942 Ford Twins
Iggy had been into Custom Cars for as long as he can remember, he owned several over the years, and in the late 1970’s perhaps early 1980 he came across a 1942 Ford Coupe and decided to acquire it create a clone of one of his most favorite Customs, the Anne DeValle 1942 Ford restyled by Barris. Anne’s Ford was never really featured in any magazine, but there were several photos of it in the later 1950’s Custom Car Annuals and other publications. He gathered all the parts he would need for the car, including the Olds grille and bumpers. And slowly he started to recreate the Anne DeValle Coupe. Chopping the top 5 inches in the front and around 7 in the back. While the clone was in full progress Iggy went to a car show in Wooster, Ohio in the early 1980’s. Here he met Mr. Herman, and while talking Custom Cars Mr. Herman mentioned that he owned an old Barris Custom ’42 Ford… Soon Iggy realized that this must have been the original Anne DeValle Ford that he is now building a clone from.

The black car is the recreation Iggy started in the late 1970’s And the light gray primer one is the original Barris Kustoms restyled car.
[divider]



Not long after that Iggy looked up Mr Herman, and a deal was made, and he brought home the original Barris Restyled Anne DeValle 1942 Ford. Iggy now had two identical 1942 Fords in his garage. This was totally amazing, finding the original car of the clone you have been working on for the past couple of years. The Clone was pretty far along, in black primer, and Iggy decided after a while he should sell the clone to raise some money to pay for the restoration on the original Ford. He ended up selling it to a friend. At this point we are unsure if the car was further completed as what we can see in the photos. Fortunately Iggy took some photos of both of the cars parked in front of his garage, and we can only dream this set up can be repeated one day with both cars completely finished. the clone as the Anne DeValle version in Siera Gold, and the original as the Marcia Campbell version in dark blue.

After Iggy had taken the original car back home he was pleasantly surprised to see all the work he had done on his recreation was very close to the original car.
[divider]


The only real big difference was that the original Barris Custom had the rear window chopped, while Iggy had left it stock height on the recreation.
[divider]


Side view of the Iggy Bara recreation of the Anne DeValle Ford, with the original car behind it. This photo makes me wonder about the comments from the neighborhood.
[divider]


As can be seen in this photo, the car still needed a lot of work done. The Barris extended rocker panels were badly rusted on both sides. The long 1941 fender skirts were replaced with shorter 46-48 units on the DeValle version, both sets were missing when Iggy bought the car.
[divider]


The original Oldsmobile grille that Barris had installed in late 1949 was still with the car when Iggy found it.
[divider]


Iggy almost had the recreation road worthy when he decided to sell it to his friend.
[divider]


By the time Iggy let his recreation go he had installed the Olds bumper and grille to the car. I sure hope a photo like this can be made again in the future, and now with both cars completed.
[divider]


Iggy sure nailed the look of one of Barris’s finest Customs on his recreation.
[divider]



[divider]

Iggy never had a good photo of the interior when he was doing the recreation, so that still was in need of a lot of work.
[divider]


The Marcia Campbell photos that were later found showed the dash really well and can be used to help restore the original one and shape the recreation as well.
[divider]


Top photo shows the Anne DeValle version of the car photographed after 1956. The bottom color photo shows the original Marcia Campbell version of the car photographed by Marcia Campbell in 1950.
[divider]


If you know more about Iggy Bara, or know what happened to the original Barris Restyled Marcia Campbell 1942 Ford, or the clone Iggy was building. Please email Rik here at the Custom Car Chronicle. We would love to find out the current state of these projects. More on the Marcia Campbell / Anne DeValle 1942 Ford can be found in the CCC-Feature-Article.



(This article is made possible by)

ccc-rodders-journal-sponsor-ad-01




.

0

1947 Ford Mystery Barris Custom

 

1947 Ford MYSTERY BARRIS Custom

 

Nick Maneri from New Jersey was the owner of this 1947 Ford Custom for three years. The car was last seen in 1978. He would love to find out where it is today.



Nick Maneri from Norther New Jersey owned this 1947 Ford Custom from around 1966 till 1969. At the time custom cars like this were pretty much out of style in Northern New Jersey, or anywhere else for that matter. Most guys were in to the muscle cars, but Nick liked the custom and bought it. At the time he bought it it came with the information that it was originally from California and that the Barris Shop had something to do with it. It was not known how and when the car had gotten to New Jersey. Nick has been looking for the car’s whereabouts for years, and still hopes that the car is still around today. Perhaps hidden in a garage, or redone as Hot Rod/Street Rod.

When Nick’s son Nick (Jr) contacted me many years ago and send some photos of his fathers car with the question if I had seen it before… There was a  pictured in one of the Don Montgomery books. And even better it came with a little bit more information. The car was owned by Clyde Bengiola from New Jersey, and he had bought it as a damaged car, and that it was painted blue. In the book he mentioned that the car was originally built by Barris and had been shown in New York in 1951. No previous owners name was given. But there now was a little bit more information. When Clyde owned the car the car was still wearing fender skirts. Nick bought the car from Clyde in 1966.

This is, so far, the earliest photo we have of the car. Taken at the 1951 Indianapolis Custom Auto Show. The car still has California plates on it (1950 tag). A stunning looking custom that looks like it was done around 1948-49 at the Barris Shop. We hope to be able to find more photos of this car when it was still in California, and hope to be able to find info on the original owner who had the Barris Brothers restyle the car.
[divider]


Close up of the front shows the stock headlights, reshaped front body work to accept the ’48 Cadillac grille. Smooth aftermarket hubcaps on wide white wall tires. Shortened hood side trim, chopped windshield and small spotlights.
[divider]


Later we came across a color photo of the car on the cover of an 1953 Motorsport magazine, which proofed that the car had been blue before, as stated by Clyde. When I had the photos Nick had supplied on my website Custom Car enthusiast Barry Mazza recognized the photos from a car he saw several times on some of his road trips. The first time he saw it the car was owned by Clyde Bengiola and he saw it at the Sip and Sup on rt 10. Clyde owned a  shop on 202. Some time later he saw it again when it was sitting at gas station in Riverdale, and once again on a used car lot in Wanaque, where he took one photo of the car. This must have been in the mid 1970’s. And the last time he saw it at a Gas station in Hacketstown while on his way to Pennsylvania, this was in 1978 and the car still looked good. So there is good hope the car is still around.

The October 1951 issue of Motorsport magazine had the ’47 Ford on the cover, in color showing the dark blue paint. These photos are most likely taken before the then owner was involved in an accident with the car. Bob Laurie was listed as the owner of the car.
[divider]


Photo shared on facebook by kustomrama was labeled as ’47 Mercury, but most likely this is the same car, a ’47 Ford and Richard Korkes had repaired the damage car for new owner Clyde Bengiola. (Note the same license plate as the photo below)
[divider]


Don Montgomery included this photo of the ’47 in his Authentic Hot Rod book. Clyde Bengiola supplied the photo and the information on the ’47 Ford he owned for some time. Clyde, from New Jersey had bought the car in damaged condition. It was a chopped padded top custom with skirts, a Cadillac grille and spotlights. It was midnight blue and had a 3/4 race flathead engine. The photo above shows the car after it was repared. Clyde also mentioned that the car was built by the Barris Bros. and was displayed in 1951 New York show. We can see that the car in the photo was repaired with Cadillac headlights. We cannot see if there was any rear quarter trim. Possibly the repair work was done by Richard Korkes.
[divider]



While I always keep an eye out for Lost Customs everywhere I do more research it took me many years before something new came up on the Mystery Barris ’47 Ford. My good friend Geoff Hacker had bought a wonderful photo collection with photos from the early 1950’s Indianapolis Auto Shows. And included were some really nice Custom Car photos. One of the photos, taken by the Frank Jones Studio in Indianapolis at the 1951 Indianapolis Custom Auto Show showed an early version of Nick Maneri’s 1947 Ford convertible with chopped padded top. The car still had its 1950 California license plates on the car. Sadly the photos did not come with any written information, so we still have no name of the then owner, nor any additional information of where the car came from in California. The great thing about this Indianapolis Custom Auto Show photo is that it proofs that the car originally came from California. A step closer to solve this mystery.

When Nick owned the car in 1966 the car had been in an accident damaging the rear. This is the reason why there is no rear quarter trim on the car. The ’54 Cadillac headlights were nicely molded into the front fenders. Not sure who did this work. Perhaps Korkes.
[divider]


By then the car is dressed up with a set of 1957 Plymouth cone hubcaps. And the stainless rock shield on the rear fender has been replaced with an black rubber unit.
[divider]




About the 1947 Ford

The car has a chopped windshield and chopped padded Carson Top. Nick still has the original Hauser’s Carson Top tag, which he took out of the car before he sold it. The front end was customized with an 1948 Cadillac grille. All fender were molded to the body with a rather small radius. The taillight pods were shaved and the stock taillights were moved down and frenched into panel under the deck lid, just above the rear bumper, and closer together. On the original version as how it came to the east coast the headlights were left stock, later a set of ’54 Cadillac headlights was molded into the front fenders. Originally the car had a race flathead, but by the time Nick owned the car he replaced it with an modified dual quad 283 Chevy engine. It still had the Ford transmission and Columbia overdrive rear end. The car was painted Metallic blue when Nick sold it in 1969, and the car only had 40,000 miles on the odometer.


Closer look at the rear shows the stock taillights in the panel below the trunk, and the smoothed trunk, the trunk corners were not rounded.
[divider]


[divider]


A bit fussy photo, from Nick’s snapshot album.
[divider]


[divider]




[box_light]

Time-frame on the 1947 Ford.

  • 1948 – 1950 Restyled at Barris for an unknown owner.
  • 1950 – 1953 Driven from California to New Jersey by unknown owner.  (Perhaps Bob Laurie who owned the car in 1953 bought it in Ca, and drove it to NJ) Around this time possibly some damage to the car was repaired by Richard Korkes
  • 1953 – 1966 Owned by Clyde Bengiola
  • 1966 – 1969 Owned by Nick Maneri
  • 1969 – 1978 owned by unknown owner(s)
  • 1978 – Last seen by Barry Mazza in Hacketstown NJ.

[/box_light]




Barry Mazza took a photo of the car while it was sitting on a used car lot in Wanaque, NJ in the mid 1970’s.
[divider]


The last time Nick saw his old Ford was in 1969 when it was sitting on a used car lot in Kinnelon NJ. Nick has been looking for the car for many years now, so far no luck. But the fast that Barry Mazza still saw it in 1978 and that the car was still looking good. This gives Nick hope that the car has been saved, and is still around today.  Perhaps further customized, or perhaps hot or street rodded. Hopefully somebody will recognize the car from these photos, and if you do, please email Rik here at the Custom Car Chronicle and email, and we will pass it on to Nick.




ccc-shirt-sponsor-ad-kustoms-la-01




.

0

Barris Mystery Parked Car

 

BARRIS MYSTERY PARKED CAR

 

In 1994 I saw a Mystery Car in the background of one photo taken at the Barris Shop. The shape of the top intrigued me, and I wanted to know more about it. 23 years later I have found several more photos of the car, but I still do not know much about it.


For as long as I can remember liking Custom Cars and the history of Custom Cars I have been fascinated by old photos showing Custom Cars. Not just the real subject matter of these photos, like the subject cars, people or shops, bet perhaps even more in the objects that just happened to be in the background of these photos. The quest to find out about the Mystery car in this article comes from this fascination for all the stuff that goes on in the bacround of these photos, and especially those taken at the famous Custom Car Shop in the 1950’s to mid 1950’s.

The first time I spotted this photo was in the Barris Kustoms of the 1950’s book, where the car appeared in the background, being parked in front of the Barris Atlantic Blvd shop when the photographer snapped some photos of the two 1948 Chevy Coupes being created for the Highschool Convidential movie. I scanned the photo, cropped it and saved the scans in my Mystery Barris Customs folder on my computer.

The first time I spotted the Mystery Car was in this photo that was used in the Barris Kustoms of the 1950’s book published in 1994. I loved the Highschool Confidential twin Chevy’s in the forground, but what was that other car in the background, sitting in front of the shop wall, just behind the Chevy on the right? (photo taken ca 1956)
[divider]


Enlarged section of the photo gives us a little more details. With the wrap around rear window, the pointy chopped quarter window and teardrop shaped rear fender it looked like a 49-50 Chevy Coupe perhaps? I was intrigued!
[divider]



From what I could see in that one photo, the car looked very interesting. Possibly based on a ’49-50 Chevy Coupe with an unusual wrap around rear window. Some time later I came across a few more photos that showed more small portions of this mystery Custom Coupe. I was now able to tell that the car was not a Chevy, as I had thought previously, but rather a ’41-48 FoMoCo based Coupe. And I noticed that the car must have been parked there, in front of the shop for quite some time. It made me wonder if it perhaps was a shop employees personal project-car. Perhaps the employee had thought he could work on the car after work, but found it hard to find the actual time to do make actual progress. Or perhaps  it was one of those projects that was started for a client, and the client lost interest, or perhaps had been drafted to Korea?

Later, in several of the Kustom Technique books a few more photos showed up with the same car in the background. This photo is nice, since it also shows the abandoned sectioned Ford Victoria parked all the way to the left in this photo. The Sectioned Victoria would be discussed in on of the Technique books (no 1), but the Mystery Car was never mentioned. (photo taken ca 1956)
[divider]


A close up showed that the car was not a Chevy as I thought before, but more likely based on a ’41 -48 Ford or Mercury long door Coupe.
[divider]


Another car featured in the Barris Kustoms Technique No. 1 , a chopped ’54 Ford showed one photo with the mystery car in the background. And this time I was able to see the front fenders and windshield. Undoubtedly this car was a based on a ’41-48 FoMoCo body, and the front fenders look to be late 40’s early 50’s Oldsmobile units mounted very high, almost level with the belt-line onto the body. (photo taken around 1954-55)
[divider]


Another piece of the puzzle came from a photo in the Barris Kustoms Technique No.3 published in 1997. In one of the photos showing and almost finished Earl Wilson’s 1947 Studebaker four door “Grecian”, parked in front of the furniture shop next door to Barris, I could see that the car had ’48-’49 Cadillac rear fenders and taillights added. Interesting! (photo taken around 1953-54)
[divider]


Lyle Lake’s ’52 Buick finished in its first (and best looking) version parked next to the Barris Shop. Thru the open garage door and office door at the front we can spot a small portion of our Mystery Custom. This photo was taken around 1956. 
[divider]


Another photo taken at the shop, around 1954-55 shows part of the car at an 3/4 view.
[divider]


Close up shows that the car had a really great looking chopped top, with a fantastic flow, the panoramic rear window must have looked amazing if it had ever been installed.
[divider]


In late 2006 Barry Mazza came to the rescue… well sort of. He send me this great color photo of our Mystery Barris Custom, sitting with the sectioned Ford Victoria on the side of the Barris parking lot, just across the large shop doors. This was the first time I had a good view at the complete car. 
[divider]


Enlarged section of the photo shows that the main Ford body was sectioned, the Cadillac rear fenders mounted high on the rear quarters with the top of the fenders level with the belt-line. The front Oldsmobile fenders are installed, but the door panel work was started, with a tubular structure welded to the Ford door, but without the outer sheet metal. The top on the car looks very interesting with the pointy rear quarter window and panoramic rear window. The rounded corners on the door and the whole feel of the top could indicate this might have been an older custom at the shop for a make over… perhaps.
[divider]



Barry Mazza had been sharing his wonderful Custom Car Photo Collection with me, and one day Barry had emailed me a few more. Exited, as I always was when I got some new material from Barry, I opened the email attachments and found among some other great pictures an absolutely fantastic color photo, showing the Mystery Custom parked at a different spot at the Barris Shop. In this photo the mystery car was parked next to the neighboring building, right across the large doors from the shop. It was parked next to the sectioned Ford Shoebox Victoria that the Barris shop had started for a client, and who never came back to the shop to pay the bill or for more work done to the car. In the end Barris repossessed it, trying to find somebody interested in the project but nobody apparently was, and according George Barris that Vickey was scrapped. This color photo for the first time showed the complete car in one picture.

I now had a really nice look at this car, and I have to say it looks really interesting and well proportioned. From this photo I was able to tell the ’41 – 48 Ford body, most likely a long door coupe, had been sectioned, before the Oldsfront fenders and Cadillac rear fenders had been crafted to it. They never got arround to do the door panels with the oldsmobile door sheet metal, but they had created a tubular frame for it. The photo showed that the chopped top had a really nice profile, the rear quarter windows had an unusual (for that model) pointy shaped rear quarter window, but that the pointy rear corner worked really fantastic with the wrap around rear window. In none of the photos I have seen the car has a hood, so I guess they also never got around to create that. But if they had, it must have been a scratch built hood, possibly modeled after the 49-51 Ford hoods, in a similar way as was done on Jack Stewart’s ’41 Ford.

The photo taken for Life Magazine hows the Ford and how the body was sectioned with a rough well in the center of the door panel. It also shows the tube welded to the top of the door, just below the belt-line, most likely to use as a guide for mounting the Oldsmobile door panels, fender extensions. The sectioned Ford Victoria can bee seen sitting next to the neighbor house in the background.
[divider]



The last photo’s I came across – not the last time-frame wise, but actually from late 1952 – are from a Life Magazine photo session. The car can be seen in this photo (it actually can be seen in  few photos from this series) still parked in front of the shop, close to the front wall of the main building. This photo shows clearly how the body had been sectioned right across the door panel on the Ford body. An indication that the sectioning was done with the new Olds Fenders already in mind, the Olds fender panels would hide the rough sectioning job.

December 7, 1957 “the worst day in Custom Car History”, fire at the Barris shop destroyed many custom cars including another mystery Ford Coupe. In the background we can see that our Mystery Car is still parked against the next-door building.
[divider]


The Famous 1955 Chevy “Aztec” in primer, ready to get painted with the Mystery Custom and the sectioned Victoria in the background.
[divider]


The Barris Aztec a sectioned and chopped ’55 Chevy pick-up and along side the Junior Conway ’50 Ford at the Barris Shop, and in the background on the left side our Mystery Car. This photo was most likely taken after the shop fire, but I’m not 100% sure, it could also have been taken earlier in 1957.
[divider]


This photo was taken in the summer of 1958 by Lloyd Willey (according the Rodder’s Journal Scrapbook) We can see Junior Conway’s ’50 Ford, and the car in the front is a wild Custom Merc Barris was creating for “the Twins” On the left side we can see that the sectioned Ford Victoria is still parked in the same spot, and just in front of it we can see the Olds fender of our mystery car. So in the summer of 1958 the car was still at the Barris Shop, untouched.
[divider]


This photo of the Barris shop was taken around 1960, shorty before the Big Barris Kustom City was put up in the front. It shows that both the sectioned Ford Victoria as well as our Mystery Custom are now gone. 
[divider]



At one point when I started to think about this mystery Custom my mind wandered off to another famous custom car, one that has a lot of similarities in its restyling. the Frank Monteleon 1941 Ford. I knew it could not be the same car, but Frank’s car was also based on an older model, from 1941, to which newer fenders and complete sides had beed crafted. The Monteleon Custom was started a bit later than our mystery Custom, so perhaps seeing this mystery Custom parked in front of the Barris Shop might have inspired Frank to do his ’41 Ford… who knows.

We know that the Sectioned Ford Victoria, which was parked next to our mystery car for at least a year, perhaps longer, was eventually scrapped (According to George Barris). Is the same sad thing happened to our mystery Custom? In photos from around 1960 and newer the car is gone… and we all know that at this time, the late 50’s early 60’s, the interest in older cars was not very big. Everybody wanted to have more modern cars to start with. Mild Customs were the rage, and nobody really was interested in these full customs based on old cars, especially in a far from finished state.

The Frank Monteleon 1941 Ford does show some similarities with our Mystery Car. It is based on an older model, 1941 Ford, and had newer Oldsmobile fenders and a wrap around rear window added. Perhaps Frank’s car was inspired by our Mystery Custom… 
[divider]



[box_light]

Dating the photos of the Mystery Car

Over the years I have come across quite a view photos that showed this mystery Custom. Many things about this car intrigued me, and one of the things was that it was sitting left alone at the Barris Shop for many years… why? With the help of all the photos I have tried to figure out how long the car has been at the Barris Shop, untouched.

Parked in front of the shop

  • The oldest photo I have noticed the car on comes from the Life Magazine photo shoot. This must have been in late 1952, and more likely early 1953.
  • Earl Wilson 1947 Studebaker Grecian was first published unfinished in August ’53 R&C A similar unfinished Grecian can be seen in one of the Life Magazine photos. The finished Grecian was published in July 1954 Motor Life magazine.
  • 1954 Mercury Chimbo (Bobby Yamazaki) taken in most likely late 1954, early 1955
  • Highschool confidential cars were created in 1956
  • Lyle Lake 52 Buick uses ’56 Lincoln hubcaps, photo taken in late ’55, early ’56.

Parked along side the shop

  • Barris Fire in December 7, 1957, car is sitting next to the neighboring building.
  • Summer 1958 Lloyd Willey trip to Barris photo. (Last known photo)

[/box_light]


Over the years (23) I have been looking for more info on this car, I have asked numerous people if they remember anything about this mystery Custom at the Barris Shop. So far nobody knows anything. Some remember the car from sitting at the shop, but none of them had ever asked about the car, it just sat there. I hope that with this Custom Car Chronicle article I will  be able to find out any more about this car. Who was the owner, what was the plan for the car, and why was the work stopped, and perhaps most of all, why was it parked at the Barris Shop from 1953 till at least the summer of 1958. If any of you knows anything more about this mystery FoMoCo based Custom with very interesting chop, panoramic rear window, and many other interesting feature, then please let me know. I would love to find some more pieces to this Custom Car History puzzle. Please email Rik if you have any more information about this car, who was the owner, what were the plans for it, and what happened to it.

I think the car had a lot of potential, what was done was already very pleasing to the eye, and I can imaging the car with the door panels in place sitting nice and low with a slight speed-boat stance and dark organic paint, wide white wall tires and Sombrero hubcaps. It would have been a stunning car.. perhaps something that could be recreated today…



(This article is made possible by)




[divider]


ccc-sponsor-ad-customs-by-flash-w


[divider]




.

1+

Harold Larsen 41 Ford

 

HAROLD LARSEN 41 FORD

 

Harold Larsen 41 Ford restyled by the Barris Shop around 1947. Ralph Adams owned it in the early 1950s then it went to the East Coast. Is it still around today?



One of the fun things about collecting old Custom Car photos, info and scanned images and archiving all of that is that in a lot of cases at one point the puzzle pieces are falling in place. Sometimes completely from the birth of a custom car to a full restoration, or at least an other known end point. But in most cases puzzle pieces from the cars journey in time and in place while it changed hands over time. Its fun to come across photos and recognize a car in the back ground, or just find a photo of the car in an unusual place, or a photo that has been forgotten for many years. This article is about such a case. A very nicely done, rather mild, yet wild looking 1941 Ford Convertible created by the Barris Custom shop at their Compton Avenue shop during 1946-48.

This journey started with just one picture from the Bart Bartoni Collection shared in the Don Montgomery Authentic Hot Rods book (published in 1994). This snapshot was taken in front of the Barris Compton Ave shop with the building in the back ground, also showing the front end of George Barris his personal 1942 Cadillac Convertible Custom. The ’41 Ford in the photo has 1948 plates. The car looks really fantastic with a heavy chopped windshield, flowing padded top, filled center grille, perfect stance with wide whites, Cadillac sombrero’s and fender skirts and Appleton Spotlight. A perfect late 40’s Barris Custom. But the Montgomery book photo caption did not tell us anything about the car. No name of the owner, nothing.

ccc-barris-harold-larsen-41-ford-01The first photo I came across of this car was in the Don Montgomery book. Bart Baroni Collection photo shows this beautiful early style 1941 Ford parked in front of the Barris Shop.
[divider]


[box_light]

The Ford was beautifully restyled by the Barris Custom Shop, and besides its radical look, due to the heavy chop and flowing padded top it is a rather mild Custom.

  • Chopped windshield
  • Padded top with flowing lines, most likely done by Gaylords
  • Center grille filler piece molded in place
  • Hood made one piece and smoothed
  • Hood side trim shortened
  • Fender skirts
  • nosed and decked
  • Rear fenders not molded in, but new rear splash pan is molded to the fenders
  • Taillights removed, holes filled
  • Bumper guard taillights from clear red lucite.
  • Appleton Spotlights
  • Lowered with slight speed boat stance, wide whites and Cadillac Sombrero hubcaps.
  • Paint (unknown at this point)

Unlike some other ’41 Fords restyled during the same period, Harold’s Ford still had stock headlights, stock fender trim, no molded in fenders, and stock running boards.

[/box_light]

Around 5 year later I received a message from Tony mr X38 from Australia who came across three great photos on the Ford Barn Message Board. A guy asked if anybody remembers his old 1941 Ford. I recognized the car immediately from the Montgomery book, and contacted the guy (Ralph Sacramento) by email. Ralph got back to me with three nice scans of the only photos he has of his old Custom… fantastic. And to make it even better he has a bit more information about the car.

Ralph Adams traded the car with Bob Ruble in late 1951 and owned it for about two years. Bob Ruble had bought the car around 1950 from Harold Larsen who had the car built at the Barris Shop. As far as Ralph remembers Bob Ruble never did any work on the car, so when he got it in 1951 it was just as how it looked when the Barris Shop had finished it. With one small exception, the cowl mounted antenna was replaced with a newer type and mounted on top of the drivers front fender. The holes were filled in with plugs, but not welded. Bob was from South Gate, California, and a few years older than Ralph, they both went to South Gate High School.

ccc-barris-harold-larsen-41-ford-02Possibly the Ford when owned by Bob Rubble. The poor quality photo copied photo makes it hard to id the car 100%. But Bob knew Jack Stewart, who’s white primered ’41 Ford is parked in the street (inset photo), and all other elements seam to fit as well. Only the rock shields are hard to see, and if the original photo hopefully will surface one day, it might show us if this is actually the same car, or a similar styled convertible.
[divider]


The next photo that I came across possibly showing the car is from the Jack Stewart Collection. It shows Jack’s 1941 Ford Coupe parking in front of a house with the Bob Larsen ’41 Ford in the drive way. I asked Jack about the photo and the ’41 convertible in the photo, but he could not remember where the photo was taken, nor the name of the guy who owned the car. The photo is actually a rather poor photo copy and the detail is not really to good. The only think I cannot positively id is the rock shield on the rear fenders. It might be there, but perhaps not. All other details and info seam to match. The photo with Jack Stewart Ford in white primer was taken in 1951, at that time the convertible was owned by Bob Ruble. Sadly both Jack and Bob have passed, and so far nobody else has been been able to provide any more info about this photo.

ccc-barris-harold-larsen-41-ford-05This and the next two photos were taken in 1952, when Ralph Adams owned the car. The photos were taken at the Angeles Abbey, a famous location where George Barris also shot a lot of cars. This side profile shows the really great proportions of the car. Notice the two studs where the antenna used to be on the cowl. 
[divider]



A photo of the car might also have been used by the Barris Shop to promote their business at the 1951 Oakland Roadster show. You can read more about that in THIS CCC-article.
When Bob Rubble was starting a family in 1951 he decided he needed to have a better family car. Ralph had a cherry well done 1937 Ford humpback sedan and traded the car with Bob for the’41 Convertible. During the time Bob had the car he never did any cosmetic work on the car other than replacing the hubcaps with ripple disks when the Caddy Sombrero hubcaps were missing one day. He did however install a built engine in the car with a Columbia rear axle, panhard rod, etc. He even took it to the Orange County Airport Dargs one day, but with only poor success. According to Ralph the engine put out so much torque that it twisted the U-joint apart. The car was just too heavy. Ralph later sold the car to some guys from the east coast who drove the car to the east coast. That was the last he ever heard about it.

ccc-barris-harold-larsen-41-ford-04Rear quarter view shows the long ’41 fender skirts, the smoothed, not molded in rear fenders, the molded in later model splash pan and bumper guard taillights. The flow of the Padded top indicates this was the work of Bill Gaylord. George Barris and Bill Gaylord had designed a better flowing top for the 41-48 Ford/Mercury’s together.
[divider]


ccc-barris-harold-larsen-41-ford-03With the stock headlights most of the trim and stock running boards still in place the car has a really nice mid 1940’s look and feel. The photo was taken in 1952 though.
[divider]


A little while ago I was checking something else and came across a photo I took at the Barris Shop a couple of years ago. I asked George Barris about the ’41 Ford in the photo, but he could not remember where he took the photo, nor who owned it. The photo did not have any writing on it. Upon close inspection The car in this photo might actually be the Harold Larsen ’41 Ford, and that might have been the reason why George took the photo. There was another photo of the same car, a frontal shot that shows a little more about the back ground and it is clearly not California, there is snow and everything else looks East Coast. So more than likely this is the same car after it had migrated to the East Coast. The basic car is still the same, but the headlights have been frenched, the door handles shaved and the stainless rock shields removed. All sound pretty much like an update by a new owner. I’am not 100% sure it is the same car though. Especially since the Barris Shop created several similar styled ’41 Ford convertibles in the late 1940’s it could very well be another car, but at this moment everything does look like it is the same car.

ccc-41-ford-george-barris-photo-01The last possible photo of the car was taken by George Barris on an unknown location. This could very well be the car on the East Coast with the new owner. Now with molded in headlights removed door handles and rock shield. The hubcaps were similar to those installed by Ralph in 1952. (this photo was photographed on an angle and therefor is slightly distorted.)
[divider]


Perhaps the photo of the car together with the Jack Stewart Ford, and the last one from the East Coast might be two different cars, perhaps its wishful thinking they are all the same car. Hopefully in time I will be able to find out. No matter what, Harold Larsen’s ’41 Ford is one stunning early restyled Barris Custom. The big question now is what ever happened to this car after it went East. Did it survive, was it perhaps further updated over the years, or perhaps still sitting in somebody’s garage, shed…. Or is it long gone. Hopefully one of our readers will recognize the car or anything about the story, and can shed some more light on this so that we can add all the puzzle pieces. If you know more about this beautiful ’41 Barris Ford Convertible, and know what happened to it after 1953, then please email Rik so that we can update this article with the latest info.




(This article is made possible by)

jamco-sponsor-ad-602-01




.

0