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Featured Cars

November 18, 2015

Ron Dulin 56 Plymouth

Larry Watson Ron Dulin
 

RON DULIN 56 PLYMOUTH

 

We do not see to many Mopar based Customs, but cars like this 1956 Plymouth Fury owned by Long Beach California’s Ron Dulin, show that they do make very nice customs, mild or wild.

 

This article shows a selection of photos of photos taken of ROn Dulin’s 1956 Plymouth Fury. Some of the photos come from the James Potter Collection. Several others 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 ArchiveSpecial thanks to Roger O’Dell for scanning this amazing material and sharing them with us on the Custom Car Chronicle.

 
 
Ron Dulin, who was an Cut Outs member restyled his 1956 Plymouth over a period of time in the late 1950’s early 1960’s. The car has be published a bit here and there, but sadly none of the publications mentioned hwo had done the very nicely and subtile body modifications of the car. So far we have not been able to tell who did the work, and if it was done by one person, or shop. We do know that the work was done, like on so many other cars, over a period of time. The first photo we have seen of Ron’s car shows it with modified rear fenders, with extended fins and reshaped ends to make a set of 1958 Cadillac Eldorado taillights fit the car. The taillights sit in line with the lower trunk line and fit the car really well. We can see that the car already had the trunk handle shaved, and possibly also the door handles, so this was done at a previous time. Ron also had added a set of like pipes to make his lowered car look even lower.
 
 

Version one

CCC-watson-ron-dulin-plymouth-01Thom Tailer shared a few great early version photos taken by James Potter of Ron’s Plymouth in the KUSTOMLAND book. This in progress photo shows how the extended fins’s and the instalation of a set of 1958 Cadillac Eldorado taillights. 

 

 
 
The next photos show the car with the body worked rear fenders nicely finished in a wonderful shade of white with gold inside the stock side trim. The front and rear bumpers had the bumper guards removed for a smoother look, and the car at nice low and level.

CCC-watson-ron-dulin-plymouth-02This photo also from the Kustomland book shows the boy work all finished and some new paint on the car. This photo shows how nice the body looked with all the handles smoothed. That is Ron Dulin on the right.

 

 
 

CCC-watson-ron-dulin-plymouth-03Low angle photo shows the modified grille. The grille end pieces were shortened with 8 inches an the stock center portion was cut out and replaced with an 1954 Chevy grille units with 5 grille teeth, creating a very unique grille which still hinted nicely to the cars origin.

 

 
 
CCC-watson-ron-dulin-plymouth-spread-2Ron’s Plymouth even made it on the cover of the February 1958 issue of Rod & Custom Magazine. Ron’s Plymouth was part of an Plymouth Pictorial story in the magazine.

 

 
 

Version two

After a while it was time for another update on Ron’s Plymouth. The rear wheel openings on the stock 1956 Plymouth are rather small and flat sides while the front wheel openings have a wonderful lip added straight from the factory. Ron decided that the car would look a lot better when the rear wheel openings would math the front units better. So the rear wheel openings ere cut out, raised, reshaped and a new lip added to match the fronts. A smoothed 1956 Ford bumper was added to the front and at the rear a lower line 1956 Plymouth bumper had its bolds welded and shaved and new chrome added. After some new paint was added a set of subtile scallops was added to complement the new look. In all the documentation on Ron’s Plymouth we have been able to find there is no mentioning of who did the body work on Ron’s car, nor who did the scallops. Perhaps the later was done by Larry, but we are not sure at this point. This is the only version of the car it was outfitted with 1956 Ford T-Bird wire wheel hubcaps.
 

CCC-watson-ron-dulin-plymouth-04This James Potter photo shows the second version of Ron’s Plymouth, the most significant change is the opened up rear wheel opening which also had a lip added similar to the front wheel opening. The car now also sported subtile gold scallops.

 

 
 

Version three

In late 1959, perhaps early 1960, it was again time for another update. A new slight “S” shaped working scoop was added to the rear quarter panels, and the rear quarter Fury scripts were shaved. t the front the stock headlights were frenched and a custom working scoop was added above the headlight, inside the fender eye-brow. A really nice  body modification. The it was time for an all new paint-job in pearl white with great looking panels in candy fuchsia red. Larry has always been really great in adding just the right color and designs to specific cars. And Ron’s Plymouth is no exception to this. The way Larry did the panels enhances all the body lines on the car, makes it looks longer and slimmer. New thin line white wall tires were mounted on the car and a set of Lancer hubcaps with paint detailed spinners were mounted. Ron also added a set of dummy spotlights for this version.
 

CCC-watson-ron-dulin-plymouth-06Some time later, in either late 1959, or early 1960 Ron took his Plymouth to Larry Watson for a complete new look with a wonderful panel paint-job which set the car really apart for the rest.

 

 
 

Version four

Possibly because of the bad quality of the paint pigment the fuchsia panels on Ron’s Plymouth must have started to fade. Similar to what had happened to Larry Watson’s personal T-Bird. Time for another update. More panels were added in fading purple outlined with white striping. The new Larry Watson paint job changed the cars looks completely once again. The added panels and fades optically changed the shape of the car, make it look even slimmer. Another great sample of customizing with paint. This time around no body modifications were done, just paint.
 

CCC-watson-ron-dulin-plymouth-07This photo shows Ron’s Plymouth with the latest paint job with candy purple panels added outlines in white striping.

 

 
 

CCC-watson-ron-dulin-plymouth-08This enlarged section of the photo gives us a good look at the modified headlights with the custom scoops created just above the headlights. A very interesting touch. 

 

 
 

CCC-watson-ron-dulin-plymouth-09This is the complete photo of Ron’s Plymouth parked in front of the Larry Watson Rosecrans Blvd. shop. Parked next to it is Larry’s personal 1958 T-Bird. What a sight his must have been. Photos like this always make me wonder how many traffic jambs… or worse the Watson parking lot has caused in the 1960’s.

 

 
 

CCC-watson-ron-dulin-plymouth-12Close up of the custom scoop added to the rear quarter panel.

 

 
 

CCC-watson-ron-dulin-plymouth-05Ron’s Plymouth was very well detailed with a lot of chrome in the engine bay, and a fully upholstered trunk which was done in the same colors, black and white as the rest of the interior. The awards shown in the display show that the car did rather well at the car shows.

 

 
 
CCC-watson-ron-dulin-plymouth-10

CCC-watson-ron-dulin-plymouth-spreadCustoms Illustrated magazine did a nice feature on Ron’s Plymouth in its latest version. The photos used for the article were taken at the Larry Watson Rosecrans Blvd shop.

 

 
 

CCC-watson-ron-dulin-plymouth-11Larry Watson had two photo-frames devoted to Ron Dulin’s 1956 Plymouth Fury in his personal Museum.

 

 
 
Ron’s 1956 Plymouth Fury shows how nice this unusual brand  for customizing can look. And with not all to much effort. Larry Watson was the king when it came to restyling with paint, and Ron’s Plymouth is a very good example of it. Even thought there is some actual body work on the car, the looks totally changed with the adding of the well designed panels and fades.

The 1956 Plymouth underwent some more changes in the early 1960’s. The grille was swapped for an narrowed 1955 DeSoto unit, and the headlights were modified to vertical quad unit. The front bumper was flipped upside down and the car received a complete new paint job in candy dark tangerine. We have no info info about this version of the car other than two color photos that were taken at Car Show in Rialo Ca. on August 6, 1961 (from the Gator Collection). We do not know if Ron was still the owner, nor do we know who performed the changes and new paint.

CCC-gator-ron-dulin-plymouth-01Modified with quad headlights and a 1955 DeSoto grill.

 

 

CCC-gator-ron-dulin-plymouth-02The body was painted in one color, dark tangerine candy and a new set of wire wheels with color detail centers where added.

 

As with many of the custom cars pictured in the Larry Watson Personal Collection we has no idea what happened with this car after the 1961 Rialo show photos. We have no information if the car was any further customized, sold or forgotten. Hopefully this Custom Car Chronicle article will be read by some people who where there at the time and remember either Ron Dulin or this car and can tell a bit more about it.
 
 
 

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About the Author

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)




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3 Comments


  1. This comment is right on about Larry Watson…..
    kustomland Salinas.

    Ron’s 1956 Plymouth Fury shows how nice this unusual brand for customizing can look. And with not all to much effort. Larry Watson was the king when it came to restyling with paint, and Ron’s Plymouth is a very good example of it.


  2. i remember that car at the show,s i attended back in the late 50,s with my car,


  3. Damn that’s a nice car! I’ve always really liked the first white and gold version. Soo smooth and clean.
    Nice to learn the full history behind it.



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