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1954 San Jose Show Photos




Color photos of the early 1950’s car shows are pretty rare, so it was really great when Joe Hickenbottom shared some never before seen color snapshots on his Facebook, taken by a good friend who recently passed away, of this 1954 San Jose Autorama Show.

Joe Hickenbottom’s good friend took many snapshots at Hot Rod and Custom Car events in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Joe is in the process of having the slides, like the once in this article process to photos so that he is able to scan them and share them. Joe has started to share these on the Vintage Car Show Photo’s Facebook group. The first photo he posted that I saw was of the Tom Hocker Barris-built 1940 Ford done in Fuchsia Orchid. I had never seen a color photo of the car in that early color. I was very thrilled, and searched for more photos, which I fortunately found. I asked Joe if I could share these wonderful photos on the CCC so that everybody who is not on Facebook could still enjoy these. 

Right now I do not have to much info about the show, but hopefully I can add some more input on that in the near future. I just wanted to share these amazing color snapshot. Joe mentioned the photos are taken at the 1954 San Jose, California Autorama show. At least one of the cars in the photos show a ’53 tag on the license plate, so could this perhaps be the 1953 Show? I hope to find out more about that in the future.
Thank you for sharing these amazing snapshots Joe Hickenbottom.

CCC-1954-san-jose-autorama-dewitt-fordChuck deWitt 1950 Ford convertible by the Barris Kustom Shop. 

CCC-1954-san-jose-autorama-hocker-fordTom Hocker 1940 Ford Coupe restyled by the Barris Kustom Shop painted in its first Fuchsia Orchid color. This is the first time I see a color photo of Tom’s Ford in this color, I also never had seen the car with these hubcaps before.
CCC-1954-san-jose-autorama-HirohataThe Hirohata Mercury was displayed at the show with its hood and trunk open. Bob’s mercury has a set of 1953 Cadillac hubcaps installed by then.
CCC-1954-san-jose-autorama-CadillacUnknown Cadillac with front skirts, and a lot of over the top add-on customzing. This must have been a near brand new car when it was modified.

CCC-1954-san-jose-autorama-sports-roadsterGreat looking hand built Sports Roadster.


CCC-1954-san-jose-autorama-rico-squaglia-23This looks to be the Rico Squaglia’s 1927 Ford with small motorcycle fenders added.


CCC-1954-san-jose-autorama-blackieBlackie Gejeian’s famous Roadster.

CCC-1954-san-jose-autorama-32-roadsterUnknown 1932 channeled flathead powered Ford Roadster in bright red with white acents.

Hopefully we will be able to share more of the Joe Hickenbottom Collection, and especially more on the 1954 San Jose Show in the near future.



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)

3 thoughts on “1954 San Jose Show Photos

  • Wow, That is a 53 Eldorado. Big dollar car to play with in those days. $7500 new. How much was a 53 Ford? Never seen or heard anything on this one in all my years.

  • What a treasure trove! Color! Can’t take my eyes off that rich Fuchsia Orchid color on the Tom Hocker Ford. And the Dewitt grille is one of the all-time best. Those images take you right there.
    Larry Pointer

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