Custom Car Chronicle
Larry WatsonLarry Watson Personal Collection

Larry Watson painted Gullwing Mercedes


Back in the 1960’s it was HOT to have your high end Sports Car painted with bright, brilliant or deep custom colors.

In this article we would like to focus on some of the photos Larry Watson took of the Mercedes SL Gullwings he painted for his customers. These Sports Cars are now highly collectable, and most of the enthusiast today would never-ever consider using anything but period-perfect, factory-stock colors. But take a look and see how wonderful these cars look with the colors Larry Watson selected for them.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s European Sports Cars were very popular in the US, especially in California. They were ordered and imported in rather large numbers. To make them really unique and stand out from all the others, some of the owners started to customize their Sports Cars for a more personal touch. The most popular way to do that was using a none factory color. It was wildly known that one of the best in the trade for this was Larry Watson. With his team of craftsman they could get your car prepped and painted in a couple of days, or even quicker if needed.

[box_light]The photos in this article 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.[/box_light]


CCC-larry-watson-mercedes-SL-02-WJack Laird Mercedes 300SL


CCC-larry-watson-mercedes-SL-05-WJack Laird, a tv and film producer took his Mercedes 300 SL to his friend Larry Watson. Larry painted the car in candy burnt-orange / root beer which looked absolutely stunning. Behind Jacks Mercedes we can see an unidentified candy plum painted 1955 Chevy, Dave Kyte chopped multi colored 1955 Mercury, Jack Van Tassel’s Pearl lime-gold 1957 Pontiac, and an unidentified Candy dark red 1957 Ford parked in front of Larry’s Rosecrans Blvd shop.


CCC-larry-watson-mercedes-SL-12-WOne of the Mercedes SL’s in primer waiting to be covered with yet another stunning Watson color


CCC-larry-watson-mercedes-SL-09-WWe have no info on this Mercedes, but it looks like it was painted in a mile deep pearl black, with fine red details. The thin line white wall tires and chrome hubcaps looks rally great with the new paint.


CCC-larry-watson-mercedes-SL-03-WThis Mercedes came fresh out of Larry’s shop with a deep candy raspberry red. The hubcaps are still missing when Larry took this photo.


CCC-larry-watson-mercedes-SL-06-WGun metal pearl with black wheels and smaller hubcaps…


CCC-larry-watson-mercedes-SL-07-WSame car as above, photo taken later at the day with lower light shows a different shade. The Watson shop backgrounds are often as interesting as the subject is.


CCC-larry-watson-mercedes-SL-11-WWonderful subtle pearl color.


CCC-larry-watson-mercedes-SL-10-WA not to subtle pearl yellow green color. Full chrome hubcaps, fine line white wall tires. This Mercedes must have turn a lot of heads.






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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