1951 Eastern Auto




Eastern Auto Supply has been in business sine 1919. In the third issue of Hop Up, October 1951, the company was subject of the Meet the advertisers article.

1951, Custom Restyling was booming like never before and could be considered to be in the middle of its Golden Years. In August of 1951 the very first issue of Hop Up magazine appeared on the news-stands. Hop Up magazine was an all new magazine created for the Hot Rod and Custom Car enthusiasts. It was published by the Enthusiasts Publications Inc. in Glendale Ca. To help gather more advertisers for the magazine they came up with the idea of creating an article telling a bit more about the advertisers, under the title MEET THE ADVERTISERS. This way the advertisers got some very welcome extra exposure, which made them very happy and they would most likely keep supporting and advertising in the magazine longer.

The October, 1951 issue of Hop Up magazine had a special Meet the Advertisers on the Eastern Auto Supply Co. This company has played a huge role in the lives of many young Hot Rod and Custom Car enthusiast in the US. They made it easier for people to order special parts needed to build your own hot rod or custom car by mail order, or if you were in the Los Angeles area, you could visit their well stocked shop. Especially this last must have been a really special event for many. From the photos that have been used in the Hop Up article we can see that the store was loaded with an incredible amount of Hot Rod and Custom Car goodies. Eastern Auto place their first ad in Hop Up magazine in the October 1951 issue. They would continue to advertise in the magazine for a long time.

CCC-eastern-auto-supply-1951-04The first Eastern Auto Supply ad in the October 1951 Hop Up issue. The ad mentioned the new for 1951 Custom Catalog which you could order for 25 cent.


The Hop Up Meet the Advertisers Article

(text from the Hop Up article)
Eastern Auto can truthfully claim to be the oldest accessory and custom firm in the business, having been started in 1919, by Joseph Kraus, to feature speed and custom accessories for the model “T” Ford.
Alex, his son, grew up with the business, working there after school and on Sundays. Since graduating from UCLA in 1939, Alex has devoted full time to the store. Eastern Auto pioneered many items no taken for granted in the custom accessories line, such as “bull noses” for Fords, Plymouths etc. (the first being the 1936 Ford) While long schackles and lowering kits had been used for some time on Californian cars, Eastern Auto was the first to apply mass production technique to these items and make their popularity nation-wide, as well as lowering the cost. Also among Eastern Auto’s first are solid hood sides and grille panels, which, in the middle and late ’30s accounted for a good volume of their business.


Thru the years, this firm has established an enviable reputation for fast service, excellent workmanship and fair dealing. Their guarantee of satisfaction is no idle claim. In addition to their retail store, Eastern maintains a large manufacturing division. There a research department constantly adds to their ever expanding line of custom accessories. Included are such itmes as chrome air-cleaners, chrome wire looms, and chrome dash-boards. In fact, Easthern Auto claims to have one of the most complete line in the business. While government restrictions may temporarily curtail introduction of some new items, Alex assures us that with the lifting of restrictions, they will offer more, better, and newer “automotive goodies” than ever before.



The 1951 Eastern Auto Catalog

For 25 cents you could get the all new for 1951 Eastern Auto Supply Catalog. The catalog had 40 pages of the latest Custom Car and Hot Rod accessories and speed parts. The company delivered their product by mail in the whole USA. And made many young Car enthusiast very happy.























(this article is sponsored by)

CCC-Sponsor-KingKustomsTShirt-602Contact Rob Radcliffe at King Kustoms for more info on these T-Shirts Email Rob





Barris magazine ads


George Barris started to promote his Barris’s Custom Shop in the early car magazines starting in 1948.

When the car magazines started to bloom in around 1947-48, some of the early Custom Car builders understood this was their opportunity to get their name out there. To get attention to the work they were doing and show a wider audience the possibilities of Custom Restyling. Before these magazines there was no real way of advertising the Custom Car business other than word by mouth. Which worked fine, but in those days did not spread very far. In this series of articles we will share some of the early, and not so early ads created by the known and not so known custom car business.

In this first article we like to concentrate on the early ads the Barris shop created from 1948 and up to about the mid 1950’s. George Barris started to advertise in the 1948 Road and Track magazine after his 1941 Buick had won the class in the Hot Rod Show. George was asked to have his car featured in the May 1948 issue of Road and Track, and part of that deal was a 1/4 page ad. George imidiately understood the importance of this way of getting your name out to a large public. From then on the Barris shop had many ads in various magazines. Latter George would combine these ads with how to articles to get even more attention.

Lets take a look at some of these nice and interesting ads.
(special thanks to Jamie Barter, David Zivot and Palle Johansen for scanning or sharing some of the advertising material)

CCC-Barris-Ad-06-May48May 1948, Hot Rod Magazine


CCC-Barris-Ad-07-481948, Hot Rod Magazine


CCC-Barris-Ad-09-491949 Hot Rod Exposition program





1948, Hot Rod magazine


CCC-Barris-Ad-10-49November 1949, Motor Trend


CCC-Barris-Ad-04-19501950, Motor Trend magazine



1950, Motor Trend magazine


CCC-Barris-Ad-05-1951January 1951, HotRod News












CCC-Sponsor-KingKustomsTShirt-602Contact Rob Radcliffe at King Kustoms for more info on these T-Shirts Email Rob




Lowered by the Valley Custom Shop


In the mid 1950’s the Valley Custom Shop in Burbank, California produced a high standard front end lowering kit for several cars. The shop advertised this mail order product with a series of really neat ads in the custom car magazine during this time.


We have seen those really nice little ads, the Valley Custom Shop used in Rod & Custom Magazines from 1954 and 1955. Most of their ads promoted the front end lowering kits. But we had never really been able to find out, what exactly was included in this particular kit that could be mail ordered. Until recently, when the Valley Custom Shop showed two nice black and white photos on Facebook, where we could see the kit for the 1949-53 Fords. Just as was mentioned in their ads, the kits appear to be done very nicely. A high quality product, with well illustrated instructions.





The Valley Custom Shop created, or had created, a series of magazine ads for this product. But unlike most other companies, who used the same ad over and over again, they came up with a funny new ads, to promote the lowering kits for each new magazine issue. Since the product was promoted for quite some time, we think it was a well sold product. A lot of cars, back in the mid 1950’s, must have been lowered with the help of one of these Valley Custom Shop lowering kits.

Below we show a selection of these ads.

 CCC-Valley-Custom-Lowering-Ad-08W CCC-Valley-Custom-Lowering-Ad-07W CCC-Valley-Custom-Lowering-Ad-06W CCC-Valley-Custom-Lowering-Ad-05W CCC-Valley-Custom-Lowering-Ad-04W CCC-Valley-Custom-Lowering-Ad-03W CCC-Valley-Custom-Lowering-Ad-02W CCC-Valley-Custom-Lowering-Ad-01W