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custom carsLarry WatsonLarry Watson Personal Collection

2 Watson Painted 59 Chevies.




Larry Watson painted quite a few 1959 Chevies in his career. Among those were these two nearly identical painted pearl pink hard-tops. Lets take a closer look at these two Watson Painted 59 Chevies.

[box_light]This article shows a selection of photos from indoor custom car shows. All 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.[/box_light]

We are not sure how many 1959 Chevy’s Larry has painted, but his archived photos show quite a few. Mostly hard-top models, but also a number of El Camino’s. In this article we like to focus on two rather similar painted hard top models. They are not identical, one is more pink and the other is more like a rosemist. But they both have a similar feeling.

Rosemist pearl and Candy Red

The first of the two is actually the car owned by Larry’s brother Dave Watson. There were several photos of Dave’s 1959 Chevy in Larry’s Collection. All the photos were taken at the Artesia Blvd shop were Larry rented the paint booth from his friend Bill DeCarr. Larry did not stay very long in this shop, a little over a year, most of 1960 and some time in 1961 before he went to Paramount. Larry was very productive in the short time he was at the Artesia shop though. The situation was just perfect. His friend Bill DeCarr would get the cars in his shop, do his magic on the restyling of the body, shaving trim and handles, or do more extensive body work. Then Bill would spot prime the cars and they would be driven into Larry’s shop. No time was waisted.
There are two photos of Dave Watson’s Chevy with freshly done body work in the Watson Personal Collection. Parked in front of the Artesia Blvd shop, and most likely they body work was done by Bill DeCarr. The car has is handles removed, the hood was shaved and most likely the trunk was done the same way. All emblems were removed and the stock grille was replaced with an aftermarket tubular grille. The cars was lowered a little and a bit more in the front for the popular California rake. Larry painted his brother’s Chevy in a glowing rosemist pearl on the main body and candy red on the top and inside the side trim on the rear of the car.

CCC-larry-watson-Dave-watson-59-chevy-01Dave’s Chevy was original white from the factory with a red interior. Parked in front of the Artesia Blvd shop it shows the fresh black primer spots from the Bill DeCarr body-work. Take also a good look at the work trucks in the background.

CCC-larry-watson-Dave-watson-59-chevy-02This snapshot shows the slight rake and the tubular grille. The structure in the background would later become the Hobby Shop next to the Bill DeCarr Shop.

CCC-larry-watson-Dave-watson-59-chevy-03And here we can see Dave’s Chevy with the fresh rosemist pearl and candy red top. The combination works really great, and the factory red interior fitted the colors just fine. In the background we can see two more of Bill DeCarr/Larry Watson projects. Jerry Preston’s 1959 Chevy ElCamino and Dick Gonzales his 1955 Studebaker. 

CCC-larry-watson-Dave-watson-59-chevy-04Dave’s Chevy looks really good with the shaved body, tubular grille, mild rake and custom hubcaps on medium white wall tires. Larry’s pearl rosemist paint-job seams to really glow.

CCC-larry-watson-Dave-watson-59-chevy-05Dave Watson with his 1959 Chevy painted by his brother Larry Watson.

Pink pearl and Candy Fuchsia.

The second 1959 Chevy hard-top painted similar to Dave’s Chevy is from an unknown lady. Larry has only three photos of her car. One photo taken next to the Artesia shop with the owner of the car inside, with fresh body work, and two photos of the finished car taken in a new neighborhood. This Chevy is painted a similar but brighter color combination. This time the main body is done is a bright pearl pink and the top and inside the side trim is done in a candy Fuchsia. The Chevy was also shaved, but the owner decided to keep the door handles. A 1960 Mercury grille was modified to fit the reshaped Chevy grille opening. The stock wheels were replaced with a set of chrome reversed rims and dressed up with thin wall white wall tires. The car was lowered a little less than Dave’s Chevy. If any of our readers recognizes this pink and fuchsia 19959 Chevy, and knowns who the lady was who owned the car in 1961-61. Please let us know. We would love to put a name with the car.

CCC-larry-watson-pink-59-chevys-00Parked next to the DeCarr/Watson Artesia Blvd Show looking down Artesia Blvd. The reflections in the rear window show the interior was already redone in white tuck & roll and the body has been cleaned up with all emblems removed. Notice the different colors of primer used on the car. Indicating perhaps multiple people worked on this car, prior the Watson paint job.

CCC-larry-watson-pink-59-chevys-01Finished Chevy looked stunning in bright pearl pink with the fuchsia candy on the top and inside the side trim. The 1960 Mercury grille looks like it belongs on a ’59 Chevy. The owner also decided to use a set of Dummy Spotlights, which fitted perfectly with the chromed cone centers on the reversed rims.

CCC-larry-watson-pink-59-chevys-02I really love this photo showing the bright paint on the Chevy with the older cars in the back ground in this new build neighborhood with the recent planted trees. Possibly the owner of the Chevy lived here. The Chevy must have had quite an impact in a neighborhood like this.

CCC-larry-watson-bill-de-carr-bikeBill DeCarr having fun on a mini-bike in front of his Artesia Blvd. shop.

(this article is made posible by)






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 “2 Watson Painted 59 Chevies.

  • Thanks for the article Rik. I really love customs painted pink for some reason and these two are great examples of a perfect use of the colour.

  • Gosh that dame in the pink Chevrolet looks hot…!!! Wish I had a girlfriend rolling a pink Chevrolet like that…!!

    Hope Larry had the hindsight to cut her a deal on the paint and take her out for a date…

    Larry Watson is my god…

  • I have always been attracted to these early pearlescent paint jobs. For some reason they seem to shimmer with a different glow than the pearls of today; even in the old black and white and duo-tone images they show a special lustre! I tried and tried as a kid to get that glow on my model cars – to no avail.. Thanks once again Rik for drawing attention to more of Larry’s outstanding painting skills!


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