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Road-Trips

March 9, 2015

Custom Car Maiden Voyage

MAIDEN VOYAGE

Rob Radcliffe of King Kustoms has been working on his period looking 1950 Ford Shoebox Custom for a number of years. The second week of March, 2015 the car was ready for its first drive.

 
In November 2014 we reported here on the CCC that Rob Radcliffe’s 1950 Ford Shoebox custom was almost finished. Rob had been working on his custom at his own shop King Kustoms in Temecula Ca. His goal was to create a Custom that looked like it could have been built around 1953. With obvious invluences from the Barris Kustoms built Chuck DeWitt convertible shoebox, Don Robert’s, Bear Customs built ’49 Ford and a few other period customs. Rob did most of the work on the car himself and the final body-and prep work was done by Rob’s close friend Octavio Chavez.
 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-01March 06, 2015 the car is complete and now officially on the road, and ready for the trip the next day to the Temecula Rod Run.

 

 
In early March 2015 I finally finished the car, my goal was to debut the car at the Temecula Rod Run, which was held in the second weekend of March, 2015. There I would meet with Octavio and together we would show the car for the very first time as a finished custom to our friend Buster Litton. Buster Litton had an amazing 1949 Ford custom built by the Barris Kustoms Shop and George Cerny in the early 1950’s. Buster had seen the car being built over the years, but this would be the first time he would see it all painted and put back together. Very exciting!
 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-02On our way to the Temecula Cruise Night on Friday!

 

 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-04There is nothing like seeing beautiful California thru the window of a chopped custom, surrounded with wonderful tuck & roll, chrome carnish, and my girl Katie, who took the photo, next to me.

 

 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-03Oh yeah.. I’m enjoying myself… a lot.

 

 
We Left Friday afternoon, together with my brother and his ’65 Mustang we had restored. My girlfriend Katie was going on my maiden voyage with me, and would snap some photos along the way. This was the moment I had been working for for so long. Finally on the road with my first completely finished custom. A car that I designed and built as it could have been done around 1953. I had sit inside the car during its build, day-dreaming of driving it being surrouned with wonderful tuck & roll, painted, fully detailed dash and sparkling chrome, many time. And I had done a few short test runs. But this was the first real drive, and it was absolutely amazing. Driving my finished custom gave me a feeling of how it must have been for the guys back in the early 1950’s.
 

Katie also took this short video of us driving thru wine-country. See me swerving a pothole…

 


 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-05A view out the back… shows that the Hirohata Merc headliner inspired me a lot. 

 

 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-06bAlmost ready for cruise night on Friday before the show. 

 

 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-07Katie enjoying the night time cruise. There is just nothing like seeing the reflections on the chrome surrounds and on the white dash. 

 

 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-08The underdash lights shows of the great looking Gaylord style diamond stiched pattern upholstery… another Hirohata Merc invluence.

 

 
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The Show on Saturday

The cruise night was really great, always nice to drive a full custom in the evening hours. we got to Old Town Temecula early and found our spot at the Temecula Stampede parking lot. I could not wait to find Octavio and Buster to show my completed Ford. It was awesome having Buster come down to the Temecula rod run. We met him through a friend of Octavio’s named Ron who drove the shuttle at a local Ford dealership. Octavio was working at the Ford dealership at the time, right after he got out of the Marines, and he went to get a drink on his lunch break one day… and that’s when he spotted a picture of the Buster Litton Ford on the wall of Ron’s cubicle. Octavio waited around until Ron came back, and quickly learned that he and Buster were old high school buddies and that Buster actually came to the Temecula rod run every year from La Habra. This was about five or six years ago, and we’ve been in touch with Ron and Buster ever since. They’ve both come by to see the progress on Octavio’s ’49 Ford and although Buster couldn’t fit it into his agenda this weekend, he wants to come down to the King Kustoms shop in a few weeks to see the updates.
 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-10bWe found our spot #428 on the parking lot at the Temecula Stampede in Old Town Temecula. You can see my brother’s ’65 Mustang coupe parked next to us.

 

 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-11We got there early, some cars already arrived, many more would come soon. It felt so good to see my finished Custom finaly out on the road and there for everybody to enjoy.

 

 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-12Later the whole parking lot was filled, so now it was time to meet up with my friend Octavio, and find Buster Litton.

 

 
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-15Buster Litton with me in the car.

 

 
Buster Litton said this about my car.

Wow, this brings back some memories! Your car is obviously chopped more than mine, but you sure didn’t add anything that is too flashy or out of place. Your Ford is very tastefully done.

 
 
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-18On one of our drives during the weekend we saw three hot air baloons in the sky. Katie snapped this photo which also shows the nice chrome garnish moldings and chopped vent window.

 

 
I’m extremely please with the way the car came out after all these years of hard work. I could not have done it without the help of my brother, Christopher Radcliffe, and my friend, Octavio Chavez. Special thanks to Zbest Paint in Lake Elsinore for the dark metallic plum (picked by Octavio), Ernie’s Auto Interiors in Colton, and Chris Whittington at Shoebox Central in Oklahoma for a lot of great parts and help over the years.
It is an incredible feeling to see this car come together… I still have a few bugs to work out- mainly shortening the steering column and bolting on my Mercury accessory steering wheel (waiting to get it back), as well as finishing off some of the candy knobs on the dash.
 

 

 

(this article is sponsored by)

CCC-Sponsor-Kustoms-Illustrated-602

 

CCC-Sponsor-KingKustomsTShirt-602Contact Rob Radcliffe at King Kustoms for more info on these T-Shirts Email Rob

 

 
 
 
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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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13 Comments


  1. Congrats to Rob , the Ford came out perfect! Now it is time to enjoy taking that beautiful custom down the road . Hoping to see it in person in Santa Maria.


  2. Congrats Rob! You and Octavio do fantastic work that inspires people around the world. The car is amazing, thanks for sharing with us for all these years.


  3. Hi Rob !
    Wow , what an occation , great news a new traditional custom all done on the road looking sleak , smiles from ear to ear , inspiration for me and several others , best of luck !
    Wolf


  4. Very cool, congratulations.


  5. Thanks guys! It really is a dream come true..it has been a long road with a few setbacks. I could not have done it without the help of my brother, Christopher Radcliffe, and my friend, Octavio Chavez. It is an incredible feeling to see this car come together…I still have a few bugs to work out- mainly shortening the steering column and bolting on my Mercury accessory steering wheel (waiting to get it back), as well as finishing off some of the candy knobs on the dash. Special thanks to Zbest Paint in Lake Elsinore for the dark metallic plum (picked by Octavio), Ernie’s Auto Interiors in Colton, and Chris Whittington at Shoebox Central in Oklahoma for a lot of great parts and help over the years. Thank you for the fantastic article, Rik 🙂


  6. Congratulations on the beautiful job that you did on your traditional, full custom, 1950 Ford. It doesn’t get any better than seeing the world go by through a chopped, chrome garnish molding!


  7. Have to agree with Buster, very tasteful!


  8. Thank you! Now it’s time to rack up some miles 😉


  9. Congratulations on a very well done custom.
    Many years of happy motoring to you both.
    Torchie


  10. Wow! Rob, you and your team really nailed it! That car is pure STEALTH! I mean, wicked good! And I just know Memo is cheering that this is a driver. So great to see the images of you and your girl just enjoying the whole trip.
    Larry Pointer


  11. yes.. yes, larry its oa other kustom we ill see on the road, love the way it turned out, rob an octavio you guys did a great job on this car, octavio great pick on the color yes, rik thanks for bringin this for us to see memo,


  12. Rob i never really thought the car could be better, but its outstanding. i bet you will drive the wheels of it this summer. all the best..palle


  13. what a beauty ! great attention to details Rob, congrats ! i hope this tasteful example of your skills will give you lotsa work 😉



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