CUSTOMIZED JACK STEWART MG
After selling his famous Ayala-Barris built 1941 Ford, Jack Stewart bought something completely different. A MG Sports car, which of course had to be customized as well, this time by his friend George Cerny.
When Palle Johansen and me were on our Jack Stewart Ford research trip, we interviewed Jack about his other cars he had owned over the years. And one car that was talked about was Jack’s customized MG. Jack had quite a bit of very interesting material on his old MG. We used some of it in the Jack Stewart Ford book, but now its time to share the other great photos Jack had saved since the early 1950’s.
Jack’s MG was restyled by his good friend friend George Cerny at Cerny’s Auto Paint Body & Fender Repair shop in Compton. And during the customizing photographer Felix Zelenka was at this shop. He decided Jack’s MG would be the perfect subject for an feature article on customizing Sports Cars. So the whole process was photographed. And after the car was finished Eric took many more photos comparing the customized MG with a stock one, to show the readers the difference between the two. Jack had several contact sheets from these photo shoots and in this first article on Jack’s Cerny built MG we are showing you the photos Eric Rickman took at the Holiday Motors, a local Foreign car dealer that was the perfect location for the comparing photos.
Eric Rickman’s and Felix Zelenka photos were used in a massive 10 page article in the May 1954 issue of Car Craft magazine. Besides the regular feature article on the car, including a small color photo on the cover. Jack’s MG was also used to show some of the styling ideas George Cerny came up with for the MG. Customizing Sports Cars was getting more and more popular in those years, and the article on Jack’s MG helped grow this even more.
Jack Stewart on the left and George Cerny on the right showing the old flamed hood side with stock louvers. This was to compare it with the custom unit with three rows of louvres George created for the car.
Comparing the front we can see the reshaped front fenders which look much smoother on Jack’s car. The chrome plated bumper created from round rod and shaped metal plates adds to the sporty look as well.
At the back George also created a new custom bumper. The spare tire was lowered 4 inches to give the car a better profile. Notice that the car did not have hubcaps installed on the passenger side during this photo shoot.
Another look at the back shows the difference of using wide whites and custom hubcaps (’53 Studebakers with fake knock-offs).
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