Custom Car Chronicle
custom carsIna Mae Overman Collection

Mid 50’s Outdoor Car Shows part 1


Ina Mae Overman took her Lincoln custom to many outdoor shows. She captured the feeling of these shows in a series of wonderful color slides.

We have created several articles on the CCC with the wonderful color photos taken by Ina Mae Overman. Articles on her own 1952 Lincoln Capri, as well as an article about a series of photos taken at 1954 Peterson’s Autorma show held at the Pan Pacific Auditorium. Ina Mae’s photos create a wonderful look back in time at locations and car shows she visited when she was showing here own 1952 Cadillac around California.
Ina May always carried here camera with here and took photos of everything she wanted to capture. For this first article on the out-door car shows Ina Mae Overman took photos at, we selected a series of her High School Car Shows photos taken at several SoCal shows.

Sadly Ina May is no longer with us, she passed away in early December 2013.

Lets take a look at the first series of out door car show photos from the Ina Mae Overman Collection.

[box_light]When Ina Mae Overman showed her Valley Custom Shop created 1952 Lincoln Capri at some of the Californian Car Show she always took here camera with her. At the shows she took some of the most amazing color slides. Fortunately for all of us she has always kept those slides and here 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.[/box_light]

CCC_ina-mae-outdoor1-08The late Norm Grabowski built this iconic hot rod in 1952. He started with a 1922 Model T Ford touring body which he shortened, to that he added a shortened Model A pickup in the back. The front axle was placed forward of the front cross member, “suicide”-style. Later Norm agreed to have the car appear in the 77 Sunset Strip TV show. After a mishap during a movie shot, Norm decided to repaint the car in 1956 Dodge Royal Blue. Dean Jeffries added the short flames. The T-bucket was used by actor Ed Byrnes, who played the role of Gerald Lloyd “Kookie” Kookson III on the TV series from 1958 to 1964. This was how the car ended up with the nick name the “Kookie T”, or “Kookie Kar”. In the background we can see the 1956 Chevy of Carol Lewis. Who’s boyfriend Dean Jeffries also painted the flames on her car.


CCC_ina-mae-outdoor1-01Norman Rector’s sectioned 1949 Ford sedan. Norman did most of the work on his car in his own body shop including the 4,5 inch sectioning and 3,25 inch chop. Norman added a 1950 Olds chrome surround, and 1951 Chrysler rear fenders to further change the character of his Ford. He also installed a 1950 Cadillac engine which was detailed to the max (see photo below). A reshaped hood to clear the huge engine was also made for the car, but apparently not ready for this show. Jim MacNeil from the Gaylord Top Shop did a wonderful interior in orange and white.
Hard to see, but the two people on the right are looking inside the “panoramic” Ford original owned by Buster Litton and built by the Barris Kustom Shop and George Cerny his shop.




CCC_ina-mae-outdoor1-03Dick “Peep” Jackson’s 1957 T-Bird before he changed it in the more famous Sam Bronze version. Dick’s first version of the car, as we can see it here, was Golden Rod yellow with a white top and gold scallops. The car was near-new when Dick started to customize it. Lowered suspension, new grille created from chrome tubing and custom made taillights which were based on two 1958 Chevy taillights and two Buick bullets set on a flat round cut piece of red plexiglass. Dick would later sell this design for the taillights to Cailifornia Customs who started to produce the and sold them as “Satel-Lites” taillights.


CCC_ina-mae-outdoor1-02Bob Metz took his 1950 Buick the “XM105” all the way from Schelbyville, Indiana to show it around in Sunny California.
Bob “the fin man” is best known for his creative body work and wild ideas. His personal driver is a perfect sample for that. The Sedanette body was chopped, sectioned, hard-topped, finned, you name it and it has been done on this car. 1955 Buick windshield and front roof section was grafted in and the chrome plated side window frame does not only look good, it was made very sturdy to make up for the loss of the B-Pillars. The rear fender fin’s are completely scratchbuilt from sheet metal and work extremely well with the flow of the top and 1953 Buick side trim. Bob painted his car in a wonderful champagne lavender metallic color.


CCC_ina-mae-outdoor1-041951 Ford Victoria mild custom with shaved body, aftermarket grille bar four bar spinner hubcaps and a great bronze and black scallop paint-job outlined in white.






CCC_ina-mae-outdoor1-09Unidentified 1951 Ford Coupe which was wonderfully restyled around 1954. The grille opening was extended at the sides and a 1953 Chevy grille bar was set inside. Frenched headlights, shaved handles, hood and most likely the trunk as well. White interior with an Accessory black and white steering wheel and a set of Appleton spotlights. The suspension was lowered, but remained still at a practical heights indicating this might have been a daily used car. The 1949 Plymouth bumpers and 1954 Oldsmobile hubcaps are the perfect finishing touch.


[box_light]Go to: Part two, Part three or Part four in this series on outdoor car shows, photographed by Ina Mae Overman.[/box_light]







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)

2 thoughts on “Mid 50’s Outdoor Car Shows part 1

  • Ah man….. these are great photos and great locations. I love seeing this stuff ,I would love to have some of these in print. The orange shoebox is flatout incredible. The cad engine is gorgeous! !! Makes me glad I chose that mill. Thanks for posting Rik.

    R.I P. Ina Mae

  • i don’t know nothing in photography, but those pictures colors are unbelievable to me ! what a testimony of that area ! thanks ina mae for taking, keeping and sharing those pics 😉

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