Custom Car Chronicle
Larry WatsonLarry Watson Personal Collection

Larry Watson Cadillacs Part one




Cadillac’s always have had something special about them. And if you then ad a wonderful paint-job by the master of custom-paint, Larry Watson, then you have something really special. Lets take a look at some of the Cadillac’s painted by Larry Watson, from Larry’s Personal Photo Collection.

In his long career Larry Watson painted numerous Cadillac’s. From customized cars with very wild experimental paint jobs to ultra clean very subtile paint jobs. Larry loved the classic¬†style of these Cadillac’s and¬†customized a few of them for his own personal use. We will do a two part series here on the Custom Car Chronicle showing some of the most exciting Cadillac’s Larry has painted in his career. In the past we already had done a special article on Larry’s personal 1959 Cadillac and will do another one on his 1958 Brougham in the future. In this article we will share some really great samples of the Larry Watson Cadillacs he painted… in no particular order. The majority of the photos in Larry’s Collection were made shortly after the cars were finished, parked in front of Larry’s shops, before the customer would pick them up.
[box_light]This article shows a selection of photos of Cadillac¬†Custom Cars. All these¬†photos come from the Larry Watson Personal Photo Collection. More on Larry’s personal collection can be found in the¬†Larry Watson section¬†on the CCC-Site. Or on the¬†Custom Car Photo Archive.¬†Special thanks to Roger O’Dell for scanning this amazing material and sharing them with us on the Custom Car Chronicle.[/box_light]

Ed Moberg’s 1950 Cadillac
Larry’s Personal Collection shows three photos of Ed Moberg’s 1950 mildly customized ¬†1950 Cadillac. These photos stand out in the collection, not because the car is really special, it is very nice though, but what really stands out is that other than most of the photos in the collection, these photos on Ed’s Cadillac are all staged, and taken in a really great surrounding. ¬†They do like something that was taken for a magazine feature, and perhaps they are, but so far we have not been able to find any magazine from the 1960’s that has featured this car. If you have ever seen this one in a magazine, please let us know, we would love to see it. Ed’s 1950 Cadillac had some emblems shaved, but most of the car remained as it came from the factory. Larry¬†painted the in a wonderful pearl ice mint green with a darker¬†green top¬†with cob webbing.¬†They had hydraulic suspension installed on the front, which allowed for that wonderful rake as we can see in these photos.
CCC-larry-watson-cadillacs-16The License plate indicates this photo was taken between 1963 and 1969. The dressed up model with fantastic “cotton candy” hair, and the nice location do look like this and a few more taken at the same time were shot for a magazine feature or something like that.
CCC-larry-watson-cadillacs-09Mildly customized body and the hydraulic controlled suspension, with thin white wall tires mounted on wire wheels.
Larry Watson’s 1959 Cadillac
Larry’s outline paint-job in candy burgundy over a brilliant white pear makes his 1959 Cadillac looks so much longer and lower than all the others ’59 Caddy’s you saw on the street back then. The addition of the Bellflower tip’s the lowering and the paint detailed Dodge Lancer hubcaps and the shaving of some trim make this car look like it came from outer space.¬†All this was done in 1959 when the car was still brand new. Can you imagine how people reacted when Larry drove this car on the streets or showed it at in and outdoor event¬†in the late 1950’s, early 1960’s. Check out the full¬†CCC-Article¬†on Larry’s 1959 Cadillac for much more on this great car.
CCC-larry-watson-cadillacs-17Larry Watson’s 1959 Cadillac 62 Special parked in front of Larry’s¬†Rosecrans Blvd Bellflower shop with the Peanut House bar in the background.¬†
CCC-larry-watson-cadillacs-021958 Cadillac 62Convertible with some mild body modifications, including the shaving of the rear quarter “scoops” parked in fron of Larry’s Rosecrans Blvd shop. This is the only photo of this car in Larry’s Collection and is sadly a bit over exposed, so its a bit hard to see the right color, which appears to be a light champaign pearl white color.¬†
CCC-larry-watson-cadillacs-03Larry Watson painted this 1957 Cadillac¬†Series 62 hardtop Coupe de Ville in a deep dark candy Brown with a dark Coral pearl on the top. They removed some of the¬†chrome ornaments¬†to clean up the overall appearance of the car. A set of chrome reverse wheels – which is kind of unusual for this kind of car – and medium size white walls give this Cadillac a fantastic tough look. This is the only photo of the car in Larry’s Collection, and unfortunately there is no info on the owner or any other details…
CCC-larry-watson-cadillacs-04This 1942 Cadillac hearse is a very unusual car to start with, but when Larry added this lime green pearl and the car was outfitted with chrome rims and red thin-line tires it became “something completely different”.

Bill Striker 1959 Cadillac
It is no secret that Larry Watson loved the lines on the 1959 Cadillac, he painted quite a few of them.¬†Larry painted his friend Bill Striker’s¬†1959 Cadillac in super black with a fine¬†metalflake¬†silver top. Supper straight body shaved hood and trunk and with a perfect black paint job make this car extremely elegant.
CCC-larry-watson-cadillacs-06This photo of Bill Striker’s cadillac in particular shows the super straight body and perfect black paint job. These 1959 Cadillacs did not need much to become stunning, and Larry always knew to add the right color combination to make them look even better.

CCC-larry-watson-cadillacs-07This side view shows the bellflower tips Bill installed.

CCC-larry-watson-cadillacs-08However the passenger side of Bill’s car shows some primer shots. The photo was taken at the same location, but at a different date (note the changes in the building in the background) Thats Larry Watson saying “hi” sitting in Bill Striker’s 1959 Cadillac. Look at the sparkling flakes in the paint on the roof. Pinky Richards is in the back seat.
CCC-larry-watson-cadillacs-10Tom Braggington’s 1951 Cadillac getting ready to be pained candy red over a pearl white base with a gold top.
Tom Braggington’s 1951 Cadillac freshly painted by Larry Watson. I have no idea what the black shadow on the left of the photo is, perhaps somebody ducking to get out of the way? The car is parked in the back of Larry’s Rosecrans Blvd. shop, and must have been just out of the paint booth. Parts of the masking paper and tape are still on the car, and the rest lays in front of it on the floor…

CCC-larry-watson-cadillacs-121959 Cadillac 64 РEldorado low on the ground with emblems and door handles shaved painted an unusual red-brown candy color.
CCC-larry-watson-cadillacs-131958 Cadillac Brougham that was owned by Steve Drale of Torrance, California. Great snapshot of a very nicely done mild Custom Cadillac with a wonderful candy Grape with lavender in the inset panel. The top of course is stainless steel which matches the colors perfect. Larry only did some paint repair work on this car.
CCC-larry-watson-cadillacs-14This 1960 Caddy was shaved of its emblems and put on a Californian rake¬†with¬†a set of¬†belflower pipes¬†before it was taken to Larry Watson’s shop.¬†Larry painted this this¬†Caddy in a great looking¬†dark candy purple with a lavender pear top. The¬†car runs chrome plated reverse rims on thin line white wall tires. A combination quite common back in the days.
CCC-larry-watson-cadillacs-15The last photo in this article is of an incredible bright looking candy apple red with metalflake darker red roof painted 1960 series 62 Cadillac. 

More Larry Watson painted Cadillac’s from the Larry Watson Personal Photo Collection coming soon in part two… stay tuned.



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)

2 thoughts on “Larry Watson Cadillacs Part one

  • primer spots ! a thing of the past, & lifting the front end with hydros. todays generation would be embarrassed to drive a car with primer spots. i cruised in primer many times down the blvd. loved it !

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