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February 11, 2014

Ina Mae Overman Lincoln Part Three

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Written by: Rik Hoving
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ANOTHER ROUND OF RESTYLING

Ina Mae Overman’s 1952 Lincoln Capri was customized by the famous Valley Custom Shop in Burbank, California. The car was customized, and finished in four different versions. This is the third article in a series about the Lincoln Capri, showing the third and fourth version of the car.

 
In 1956 Ina Mae decided it was time for another update on the Overman Lincoln. The last round she had already punched louvers in the hood to help cool the engine better. And now it was time to get a hotter engine to set those louvers to work. Some of the new car designs in 1955-56 had elements that Ina Mae really liked and wanted to incorporate in her Lincoln from 1952. To make it more modern, up-to-date. She choose a set of 1955 Lincoln headlights to replace the stock 1952 units.

Ina Mae Overman documented her Valley Custom Shop created, 1952 Lincoln Capri very well. She took plenty of really great color slides of all three versions of this car. Fortunately for all of us she has always kept those slides and other material. Her daughter Marry Ellen Marcy started to scan and share them several years ago. The Custom Car Chronicle is proud to be able to share these amazing photos with you.
Check out the rest of the Ina May Overman Collection on the CCC-Site.

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These three-side view photos give a good view on how the changes affect the overall feel of the Lincoln. The reshaped wheel openings front and rear, from the second round of modifications, give the car a much more sporty look. The extended front fenders clearly ad overall length to the car. (The center photo is mirrored on purpose to help better show the difference in the two versions)

 

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CCC-Overman-3-52-Lincoln-16-WThe photos of the engine were taken after Fleishmann Automtive had completed the rebuild. The bill from 1956 shows that the total cost for the job was $253.75.

 

 The engine was taken out and dropped of at Carl Fleischmann of Fleischmann Automotive. The engine was painted bright red and got a makeover, including internal speed parts. Continental Mark II valve covers were used for their great design.
For the cosmetic updates, the car was brought once more to the Valley Custom Shop. Here the team added a set of 1955 Lincoln headlights which were frenched into extended front fenders. After that the car was repainted gold and some less wide white wall tires were mounted.
Some time after the car was finished for the third time, Ina Mae took the car on a trip from California to Las Vegas. She was caught in a huge sand storm in the middle of the desert. The hard wind and sand blasted the paint from the front of the car. The guys at Valley Custom repainted the front in gold again, but it never matched the rest of the body the way Ina Mae had liked it to be. By now it was the early 1960’s and she decided to repaint the car once more. She asked a friend to repaint the car in a light gray green metallic paint. Perhaps it was this guys first metallic paint job, or just a bad batch of paint, but the end result was not very attractive.

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CCC-Overman-3-52-Lincoln-03-WClose up of the rear from the 1956 version of the Lincoln shows nothing has changed here from the first round of customizing a couple of years prior.

 

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The extended front fenders and 1955 lincoln headlight look very elegant on the car. The longer front fenders look great with the extended rear fenders. Like the whole car is now in perfect balance.CCC-Overman-3-52-Lincoln-17-WThe Lincoln appeared on the cover of the February 1957 issue Motor Life magazine. Only showing the nose section on the far left side of the cover shot taken at the Valley Custom Shop.

 

CCC-Overman-3-52-Lincoln-09-WIna Mae was not happy with the new paintjob in light metallic gray green. Soon after this photo was taken the car was sold.

 

In 1962 Ina Mae decided to sell the car. The new owner added some personal updates including dummy spotlights and after this owner sold the car again Ina Mae lost track of the car for more than a decade. In 1979 she was corresponding with mr. and mrs. Donnelly who owned the car at that time. They had found Ina Mae and wanted to let her know the car was still in good condition.

CCC-Overman-3-52-Lincoln-14-WOne of the letters Ina Mae send to mr. and mrs. Donnelly who owned the car in 1979.

 

CCC-Overman-3-52-Lincoln-10-WThe car now has thin line white wall tires.

 

CCC-Overman-3-52-Lincoln-18-WThe car has wide whites and dummy spots added, Everything still looks to be in good shape.

 

Then in 2006 the car was resurfacing again when it was offered for sale online. The car was shown with a lot of (surface) rust, but other than that it looked to be remarkably complete.
The next owner of the car did his share of research and was able to contact Ina Mae. During the correspondence with the new caretaker she was told the car had been sitting in a parking lot for many years, which explained the surface rust. Surprisingly the car came with a lot of historic material and info. There were invoices and magazines with features on the car. There was also a bill of sale from a salvage yard that the car was sold for $100 at one time. Most of the material had been collected by Ina Mae and went with the car when she sold it. She was very happy to hear most of it survived all those years. The then owner realized that even though how much he loved the car he would never be able to do the perfect restoration the car needed, so he decided to found a new more suitable owner for the car.

In 2008 Larry Gesiakowski of WGM Auto in Chicago, Illinois heard about the car and the fact that is was for sale. Larry decided to buy the car to when time is right, restore the car back to its 1956 version in gold. The way it is shown in this article.

CCC-Overman-3-52-Lincoln-15-WIn 2011 Ina Mae Overman’s 1952 Lincoln was invited to the historical Customs Then & Now exhibit at the 2011 GNRS. The car was displayed unrestored with surface rust from sitting outside, but everything is still there.

 

 

Go to:  Part one or Part two, in this series on the Ina Mae Overman 1952 Lincoln Capri.

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Resources and more info

    • Mary Ellen Marcy website
    • Motor Life Magazine, February 1957
    • Gasoline magazine, February 2013

 

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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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