Custom Car Builders

June 12, 2015

Watson painted 1960 Ford

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Written by: Rik Hoving
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Larry Watson painted this 1960 Ford in 1962-63 in a striking, yet unusual pearl white with brown outlines fogged in in candy yellow.


This article shows a selection of photos of a 1960 Ford Custom. Most of 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 ArchiveSpecial thanks to Roger O’Dell for scanning this amazing material and sharing them with us on the Custom Car Chronicle.

Several years before I got access to the Amazing Larry Watson Personal Collection I was able to buy a copy of the Spring issue of Popular Customs magazine from 1963. On the cover of this magazine there was a small photo of this 1960 Ford, and inside there were a few more concentrating mostly on the amazing and very creative interior in the car. The captions in the magazine did not mention who owned the car, nor that Larry Watson painted it, only that Tom’s Body shop had built the car. A few years later good friend Rob Radcliffe visited the Larry Watson Museum, and send me some photos he had taken of the photo frames on the wall. One of his photos showed the photo frame larry had made of this 1960 Ford I knew from the Popular Customs magazine. So now I knew at least that this was a Larry Watson painted 1960 Ford.

I was very thrilled to see the scans Roger O’Dell made of this Ford, and be able to see the really unique paint job on this car. Sadly the photos did not come with any info, and so far nobody has been able to tell me how owned the car when Larry painted it. All I was able to find is that Tom’s Top Shop from San Bernardino, Ca did the interior, and most likely not the whole car as was mentioned in the Popular Customs magazine. If anybody knows anything more about this 1960 Ford, please let use know, we would love to add the name, and any other info about this car to the article.
Larry did an really unique paint-job on this car. Base color was pearl white to which he added some thin brow outlines and fogged those and the edges of the car in candy yellow and burnt orange. This is the only car in the photo collection that shows anything like it, totally unique. This Ford was painted in 1962-63, and the photos were taken at Larry’s Lakewood Blvd. shop in Paramount, Ca.
CCC-larry-watson-60-ford-yellow-01Fresh out of Larry’s paint booth with an unique pearl white paint job with brownish outlines fogged in candy yellow and burt orange. The bumpers and custom wheels are still missing in these photos.


CCC-larry-watson-60-ford-yellow-02Close up in the same photo as above gives us a better look at the paint and interior.


CCC-larry-watson-60-ford-yellow-03This front 3/4 view shows that the car has an nice California rake. 


CCC-larry-watson-60-ford-yellow-04The paint is something really unique, a mix of styled based on the outline and panel paint Larry did a few years earlier and some of the free hand style he used on some car later on.


CCC-larry-watson-60-ford-yellow-08This photo is unlike most of the photos in the Larry Watson Personal Collection not a snapshot, but a professional made photo. Possibly Larry got a copy of the photo from photographer because a paint job from him was the center point of the photo. It is the only photo in hte collection that shows the 1960 Ford as a finished car.


CCC-larry-watson-60-ford-yellow-06Tom’s Top Shop did an outstanding job on this car, and they brought two large signs to be placed with this car. The shop also did the interior in some other famous cars as the X-Sonic, and Ed Roth’s Tweed Pie.


CCC-larry-watson-60-ford-yellow-09Close up of the interior done in brown leatherette and fur by Tom’s Top Shop in San Bernardino. These close up photos also give a good look at the subtile fading candy yellow paint Larry added around the thin lines.


CCC-larry-watson-60-ford-yellow-10Close up on the front of the car shows that the hood emblem stayed on the car, but that the script on the front fenders was removed The stock grille was replaced with a chrome plated tubular unit. Most likely an aftermarket grille. The two inside headlights were removed.



CCC-larry-watson-60-ford-yellow-11The car also had a fully dressed up engine with a lot of chrome.


CCC-larry-watson-60-ford-yellow-12The 1960 Ford with Larry’s wild paint and Tom’s interior was a huge crowd pleaser as this Popular Customs photo shows.


CCC-larry-watson-60-ford-yellow-13Also from the Spring 1963 issue of Popular Customs comes his great photo of the interior showing the work done by Tom’s Top Shop. Which included fur carpeting and details on the seats, a record player, and teardrop shaped laminated dash knobs.



CCC-larry-watson-60-ford-yellow-14Only one photo in Larry’s Collation shows this version of the car Painted a dark brown candy or pearl, with a lighter color on the roof. Most likely a version after the pearl white, candy yellow version. 



CCC-larry-watson-60-ford-yellow-15The photo frame Larry created for this 1960 Ford for his Watson Museum. 




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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)


One Comment

  1. rik, ive alway’s bin a fan of white pearl base coats. i learned how to spray white pearl laquer base coats using a cottage cheese,orange peel look then topping them with candy colors from a well respected talented ! painter RIP ! named tom stratton out of pomona,ca. i might guess ? that tom & larry knew of each other ? since they both had something in common. larry had a good imagination of design ! im just wondering if he used a detail gun or a old school big gun on the shading ? 😉 good job !

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