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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




Rik Hoving

Rik is the CCC editor in chief. As a custom car historian he is researching custom car history for many years. In 2004 he started the Custom Car Photo Archive that has become a place of joy for many custom car enthousiasts. Here at CCC Rik will bring you inspiring articles on the history of custom cars and builders. Like a true photo detective he will show us what's going on in all those amazing photos. He will write stories about everything you want to know in the realm of customizing. In daily life Rik is a Graphic Designer. He is married to the CCC webmaster and the father of a 10 year old son (they are both very happy with his excellent cooking skills)

3 thoughts on “Barris magazine ads

  • Cool stuff Rik!
    you how much i stared at the one with the 42 right!?
    look how they misspelled the word: fenderstreamlining in add 1 and 3
    and that the word fadeaways was used later

  • Very cool article Rik . I love these adds…. its so cool to see the real stuff. Thanks for sharing these pieces of history.

  • Way cool stuff from the cool days of old. I remember seeing a Barris add for Appleton spotlights for $29.95, if you could find some new ones they be somewhere around $2K.


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