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September 13, 2013

Dave Crook’s Latest Masterpiece

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Written by: Rik Hoving
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THE ULTIMATE ’69 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX

Master craftsman Dave Crook, and legendary designer Harry Bradley, have created another masterpiece again. David Crook finished this remarkable project a week ago. It is based on mr. Harry Bradley’s 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix design study.

I first heard about Dave’s new project at the 2011 Grand National Roadster Show. Dave, and I have had quite some email contact in the past, but this was the first time we actually met. Harry Bradley, is famous for his many designs and the fact that just few of his amazing designs are realized. Dave Crook built a 1947 Ford, the so-called Job-One. This uniquely styled car was also designed by Harry Bradley. Therefore it was one of the cars, I selected to be part of the Customs Then and Now exhibition at the GNRS in 2011. I was very much looking forward, to be able to watch this master piece in person, be able to walk around it and watch every angle on this car. And, above all, I was looking forward to meet Dave Crook in person. And to talk with the man who’s work I have admired for many years. Dave’s 1947 Ford was breathtaking and Dave turned out to be an amazing guy. We spend a lot of time talking about the ’47 Ford, and all other projects he had been involved in, his work together with Harry Bradley, and of course his latest project. The 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix.

Several publications had mentioned that Harry was retired and would not do any car design work any more. His last project was the 1940 Mercury “Afterglow” a design by Harry based on the famous Jimmy Summers 1940 Mercury. Harry designed the car, both inside and out, with great care for every little detail. That car was built by Donn Lowe.
I very much regretted Harry Bradley’s retirement, since I have always been a great fan of Harry Bradley’s car designs. Especially his custom cars. Not your typical period perfect cruiser, but always inspired by the great icons of custom cars, combined with his unique style of details, lines and other elements. His car designs are sometimes considered as custom cars, but perhaps more as custom car design studies, or perhaps as visualized ideas from cars designers, who day dreamed about their dream customs when the cars were first designed.

CCC-Dave-GP-HB-Design-DEFW

Back to Dave Crook and Harry. Dave confirmed the fact that Harry had retired. But he mentioned that when Harry and he were talking one day, and Dave mentioned his plans to do a new design study custom based on a 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix, Harry’s eyes started to twinkle. And after a while he agreed to get on board with one final design. This 1969 Grand Prix was something he had always dream about, ever since he was working at the G.M. Styling studio’s, when the 1969 Grand Prix was first designed back in the 1960’s. When the project was finished a week or so ago, Dave send Harry some photos. Harry responded: “This is the way the car should have looked back in 1969”. Of course Dave, and Harry had taken several liberties that you could not have take in a production vehicle.

Harry started sketching his dream Grand Prix and Dave started the process of recreating Harry’s sketches in 3D… not the easiest task, but Dave has proven in the past he is very good in doing that.

A few of the modifications are:

  • Chopped roof, 2 inches
  • Leaned back windshield
  • Leaned forward rear window
  • Lengthened (10 inches) and reshaped at the back door
  • Removal of the quarter windows
  • Reshaped body panels
  • Hand made bumpers front and read
  • hand made exhaust tips
  • hand made headlights in chrome plated fiberglass, created from wood masters
  • Acrylic machined headlight lenses
  • custom made interior

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End result is a magnificent designers dream car from 1969. How the 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix really should have looked like, with the help of master car designer Harry bradley, and shaped by master craftsman Dave Crook.

CCC-Dave-GP-Front-01-W2

CCC-Dave-GP-front-3-4-W

CCC-Dave-GP-rear-3-4-W

CCC-Dave-GP-Headlight-W

CCC-Dave-GP-Interior-W

CCC-Dave-GP-Side-W

 

The other two cars designed by Harry Bradley mentioned in this article are:

CCC-Ford-Merc

 

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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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5 Comments


  1. Looks like it could have been a Toronado concept design.


  2. wow ! really classy ! i don’t like the headlites, but the rest is pure !


  3. This is how new cars should look.
    Design study is a good way to define this style of custom as its not a custom in the traditional sense but still a custom. A toronado or Eldorado with a similar treatment would be awesome as well. Or how about a fullsize Ford product like a Big Mercury or T Bird from the same era?


  4. I was surprised to learn of this project, as Larry Wood had told me that Harry didn’t want to talk to anyone about cars ever again. I’m glad to learn that he had at least one more car in him!

    The car is nice overall, but I think the front end works especially well. I’ve seen very few cars that had hidden headlights (or no headlights) that looked right, but this is the exception to the rule.


  5. This car is amazing! In my opinion, Harry Bradley is the best custom car designer of all time. I wish he hadn’t retired, I loved seeing his later work in Custom Rodder. Some of his ideas for late model cars were out of this world. It’s nice to see someone who has such a vivid imagination and unique ideas, as opposed to just copying what other people have done. I would love to see this car in person!

    He did a late model Chevy truck for Dave Crook about 8 or so years ago, which would be another good candidate for an article here on the Custom Car Chronicle.



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