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Custom Car Builders

September 15, 2015

Watson painted 1960 Vette

 

LAVONNE BREMER VETTE

 

LaVonne Bremer had her 1960 Corvette Restyled with the help of Duane Steck and Dick Williams and Larry Watson added a brilliant Lime Gold to create a stunning looking Watson painted 1960 Vette Custom.

 

This article shows a selection of photos of LaVonne Bremer’s 1960 Corvette painted by Larry Watson. 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 Archive. Special thanks to Roger O’Dell for scanning this amazing material and sharing them with us on the Custom Car Chronicle.

Larry Watson painted numerous Corvette’s in his long career. The American made Sports Car was very popular in Sunny California, and it wasn’t too long after the cars had left the dealers of the first Corvette owners wanted their Corvette to look different than all the others. A good number of the Corvette’s were mildly customized and painted in wild colors, to make them more beautiful and set them apart from the others. The 1960 Corvette highlighted in this article belonged to LaVonne Bremer‘s from Long Beach, California. The restyling on her Corvette was designed by none other than Duane Steck, better known from his 1954 Chevy “the Moonglow“. The glass-fiber body work was performed by Dick Williams from Long Beach. And after that the car was painted in a wonderful lime gold by Larry Watson.

 

CCC-watson-lavonne-bremer-60-vette-01LaVonne with her near new Corvette in the very early stages. Enblem and door handles had been removed, but other than that no major body work has been done. Perhaps these early steps of customizing where performed by Bill DeCarr. This photo was taken at the Bill DeCarr / Larry Watson Artesia Blvd shop and is dated April 1960.

 

 
 
CCC-watson-lavonne-bremer-60-vette-02A nice glamour snapshot of LaVonne sitting on the front fender of here Corvette in front of the DeCarr/Watson shop.

 

 
 
The May 1963 issue of Rod & Custom magazine reports that the body work on LaVonne Bremer’s Corvette was performed by Dick Williams. However in some snapshots from the Larry Watson Personal Collection we can see LaVonne with the Corvette with some mild body work done. The body work has been covered with dark gray primer. And I know it does not really say much, since that primer must have been available everywhere, but most of Bill DeCarr projects were covered in this same color primer. And with these photos taken in front of his shop, it does sound plausible that Bill was the person who did the shaving of the emblems and doorhandles on this Corvette. The later body work done to the car was covered in a different color primer, also indicating it was done at a different shop.
 

CCC-watson-lavonne-bremer-60-vette-03This snapshot was taken a little later, more body had been done to the car including the removal of the stock taillights and the dual roof scoops. New taillights were placed in the bumper tips where the exhaust used to exit

 

 
 

CCC-watson-lavonne-bremer-60-vette-04The whole front end was modified with a full width grille oping and molded in headlights.

 

 
 

CCC-watson-lavonne-bremer-60-vette-05The front quarter scoop was completely restyled and a new scoop was added below it where the lake pipes would fit in.

 

 
 
customized 1958 Corvette was painted several times by Larry Watson and can be seen in a few magazines from back in the early 1960’s. Here it features a fully restyled front end with quad headlights, molded grille surround filled, and a custom chrome tube grille. Paint color is not known, but it is a singe shade with mild pinstriping.

Duane Steck’s designe were executed by Dick Williams in his Long Beach shop. Dick did a lot of bodywork for members of the Renegades Car Club. The grille opening was enlarged to both sides to cover the whole width of the car. Small turn signals were set-in at the bottom of the grille opening into the modified roll pan. And integrated license plate mount was also added to the lower grille roll pan section. Inside the new grille opening Dick created a new floating grille from chrome plated round rod and expanded metal. The headlights were molded in using Plymouth headlight rings. The side trim around the body side cove was removed and the stock taillights were also removed. The rear fenders where smoothed and hand made taillights were created to fit in the bumper end tips, where the exhaust outlet used to be. This new look really cleaned up the rear of the car.  Dick added dual scoops to the top of the Corvette. The stock front quarter scoop was completely restyled with flowing lines and created from fiberglass over fine wire mess. This allowed Dick to keep the new scooped panel very thin, but still very strong. With all the body work done and in red oxide primer a set of chrome reverse wheels dressed up with medium wide white wall tires was added. The car was lowered a bit all around, and a bit more in the front for a slight California look.

Next step was to deliver the car to Larry Watson’s shop for a new paintjob. Larry had just moved into his new Lakewood Blvd shop in Paramount, California. Here he worked with his good friend Nataniel Harrison aka Pork Chops on the Corvette. According to Larry Watson “Pork Shops” was the best ever body prep guy he ever had. Fortunately we have two snapshots of him working on LaVonne’s 1960 Corvette. Larry’s first paint-job on the  Corvette was a brilliant lime gold pearl paint.
 

CCC-watson-lavonne-bremer-60-vette-06Pork Chops (Nataniel Harrison) was a good friend of Larry Watson and he worked as a car prepper (the best there ever was) for Larry for several years. Here he can be seen working on the freshly painted Corvette.

 

 
 

CCC-watson-lavonne-bremer-60-vette-07The Corvette can be seen here in the paint booth doors at the end of the Lakewood Blvd shop.

 

 
 

CCC-watson-lavonne-bremer-60-vette-08LaVonne Bremer’s Corvette all finished in lime gold parked in front of Larry’s Lakewood Blvd shop in Paramount. The wide grille opening changed the look of the car completely.

 

 
 

CCC-watson-lavonne-bremer-60-vette-09The rear looked very smooth with the stock rear fender mounted taillights removed and trunk emblem shaved.

 

 
 

CCC-watson-lavonne-bremer-60-vette-10This nice side view shows the nice shape of the front quarter scoop with integrated lake pipe exit as well as the slight California rake.

 

 
 

CCC-watson-lavonne-bremer-60-vette-11A lot of the snapshots in the Larry Watson Collection are taken late in the day, with a setting sun. Most likely after the work for the day was done, and just before leaving or home, or a cruise the just finished projects were captured on film.

 

 
 
CCC-watson-lavonne-bremer-60-vette-12
 

CCC-watson-lavonne-bremer-60-vette-17Two page full feature of the car in the May 1963 issue of Rod & Custom Magazine with photos and text by George Barris.

 

 
 

CCC-watson-lavonne-bremer-60-vette-18LaVonne Bremer with one of the many awards she won with her Corvette.

 

 
 

As with many show cars in the 1960’s each new season it was time for another round of updates, or at least a new paint-job so the car could be entered again in all the local shows. LaVonne’s Corvette got a new very attractive chromed tubular grille insert and a new paint job by Larry. We do not know who created the new grille for the Corvette. Larry painted the corvette in a soft salmon pink pearl. And after a while he added some fogging in candy red to highlight the scoop lines on the sides of the car as well as the hood peaks. In one of the photo frames on Larry Watson’s Museum we can also see a small photo of LaVonne’s Corvette in a light pearl blue with dark blue insert in the cover with more modern wheels most likely mid or late 1960’s. We have no idea what ever happened with the car, and if it still is around today, or long gone.

 

CCC-watson-lavonne-bremer-60-vette-15Some time in 1962 or early 1963 a new chrome plated round rod shaped grille was installed. And most likely at this time the car was repainted in salmon pink pearl. This photo was taken at the Rod and Custom Motorama Long Beach, CA July 1963.

 

 
 

CCC-watson-lavonne-bremer-60-vette-16La Vonne Bremer’s Corvette can be seen in this photo taken at the same Long Beach Rod and Custom Motorama show in 1963. In the top right of the photo behind a squire Bird. Notice the Corvette X-Sonic on the lower right corner. It looks like there were quite a few Larry Watson painted cars at this event.

 

 
 
And not long after that Larry added some mild fogging in candy red on some of the body character lines. When the car was repainted salmon pink the white wall tires were replaced with thin line whites to be up to date.
 
CCC-watson-lavonne-bremer-60-vette-13
 

CCC-watson-lavonne-bremer-60-vette-14LaVonne Bremmers Corvette at an mid 1960’s indoor car show. Parked next to the Corvette we can see Doug Vido’s 1960 Pontiac, also painted by Larry. Notice the colorful Larry Watson business cards on the floor.

 

 
 

 

 

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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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One Comment


  1. here is a comment . that gold vette was my wife’s aunt la vonne bathke/bremer’s car. lavone is alive and well along with tons of picturs’s and all her trophy’s . and no vette . found a bill of sale . don’t know which one of 2 vette’s larry Watson did for her . im lookin for them and have a feelin’ there in a garage some where gathering dust . there are millions of garages in the bellflower and the surrounding area . the land marks are all gone or changed , but the houses are all still there custom vets nor normal vettes don’t just go to the scrapper .



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