custom cars

July 10, 2015

56 Monterey Kar Kapades

More articles by »
Written by: Rik Hoving
Tags: , , ,



Marcus Edell has been sharing some really great photos on the Vintage Car Show Photos Facebook Group. Recently he shared these photos taken at the 1956 Kar Kapades show in Monterey California.


In March 1956 the Slow Pokes Inc. Car Club of Seaside,Ca. organized the first Kar- Kapades at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. A young Rod Powell visited this first annual show with his father, and remember most of the cars that where at this show. He did make many photos back then, but these photos shared by Marcus brought back many memories. Rod mentioned that the building used for the show was rather small, and the cars had to be parked very close together to make them all fit. And the isles were very small, about 3 ft wide, all done to put as many cars as possible in the show. And even then a few had to be parked outside of the building. For the next shows after this first one the organizers put up a large tent to be able to show more cars. This show attracted many great cars, basically from whole California, as well as from Washington State. The Barris Shop was well presented with some big name cars including the WildKat Pick Up and Johnn Zupan’s (ex Louis Bettancourt) 1949 Mercury. Gene Winfield, Joe Bailon, Dean Jeffries and several other big names made it out to this show.




I asked Marcus if it was ok to share these great photos he had shared on Fcebook here on the CCC so that the readers here, who do not visit Facebook can enjoy theme as well. He was all for it. The more people see them, the better. If you are on Facebook, be sure to check out the Vintage Car Show Photo’s facebook group. There is some really great material out there. And thank you Marcus Edell for sharing these great show photos.
Lets take a look at the photos from the 56 Monterey Kar Kapades.

CCC-kar-kapades-1956-01Two unidentified mild customized 1951 Mercury’s, and in the back we can see Warren Gonzales 1950 Ford Convertible.


CCC-kar-kapades-1956-02Overview of one corner of the show, give a good impression how packed everything was. Blackie’s Roadster seams to have the center stage at the show.



CCC-kar-kapades-1956-03Heavily customized 1951 Kaiser. Notice the, Lyon hubcaps.


CCC-kar-kapades-1956-04I think this is Johnny Johnsson’s Kaiser convertible created from a four door model.


CCC-kar-kapades-1956-05Joe Bailon restyled this 1950 Ford convertible for Elton Kanter. Joe added a Victoria roof to it to make it a Hard-Top. Most of the photos we know of this car it is painted in dark blue. But the car also was painted bright red, it appears the car was red at this show.


CCC-kar-kapades-1956-06Joe Botti’s F100 magazine cover car in the background. The headlight on the far left side of the photo belongs to Brian Bernon’s 1953 Chevy from Oakland. 


CCC-kar-kapades-1956-07According the sign this is Mark Lusier 1952 Ford Wagon with see-thru plexi glass hood insert.


CCC-kar-kapades-1956-08Warren Gonzales 1950 Ford Convertible July 1956 Car Craft cover car had an unique paint combination of lime gold with ultra violet purple. The car was created by Gordon Van’s body shop in Berkley Ca. Notice the removed C.A. Hall padded top against the wall.



CCC-kar-kapades-1956-09Two great looking white Hot Rods parked close together.


CCC-kar-kapades-1956-10Very interesting Rod with the chopped down Ford truck grille. Parked next to it is Rudy Heredia’s 1927 T-Ford with a DeSoto grille. 


CCC-kar-kapades-1956-11Gene Winfield was at the show with his personal 1950 Mercury and parked next to it an early version of the Nick Cozzitorto’s 1952 Ford Pick-Up.



CCC-kar-kapades-1956-12Blackie Gegeian Roadster.


CCC-kar-kapades-1956-13I looks like the Rods and Customs where separated from each other. This clearly is the Hot Rod section of the show.


CCC-kar-kapades-1956-14Leroy French ‘s great looking Joe Bailon chopped four door 1949 Plymouth.


CCC-kar-kapades-1956-15The nose of Nick Cozzitorto’s 1952 Ford restyled by Gene Winfield, and parked next to is Gene’s personal 1950 Mercury. 


CCC-kar-kapades-1956-16Rod Powell shared this photo he took at the show. Although he is not sure about the year, it could be ’56 or ’57, he went to both shows. Rod remembers that the gold paint on Frank Livingston Chevy was incredibly brilliant.


CCC-kar-kapades-1956-17This photo comes from my own collection, which I bought in 2010. It appears to be a copied photo from an Andy Southard photo taken from the Barris-built Wildcat Dream Truck taken at the 1956 Kar Kapades show.





(this article is sponsored by)




2,019 total views, 2 views today

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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)



  1. Great finds. Keep ’em comin’!
    Larry Pointer

  2. Thanks Rik and Marcus!!

  3. SUPA AWESOME……!! The original building’s they had the cars in are still there…

    Great story about the shows held in this place……..When Rod Powell became the second most famous pinstriper only to VON DUTCH …. The MONTEREY fair grounds building are were the annual KAR KAPADES was held is also the same place the Rod Powell annual birthday car shows were held for him. On Rods birthday weekend.
    SALINAS C.A. has so much history……………

    The Striping you did for my tool box this week Rod looks AWESOME……..Thank you ….


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *