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King Kustoms Workshop Spotlight


King Kustoms is small one man shop in Temecula, California turning out state of the art custom work. Based on period styling with modern day precision and high quality.

We know Rob Radcillfe, the owner of King Kustoms for many years, and have become good friends. We always love to talk vintage custom cars over the email, and the few times we met in person. Rob really knows the history of custom cars, he knows how to recreate the historic styles and details in his custom projects today. Rob has an amazing feel for what is right for the cars he works on. During the work on his project he often takes a step back, pushes the car out of the garage and stares at the project to make sure everything works together.

Rob Radcliffe, owner of King Kustoms, tells the story of his workshop.
As far as the story of my very small shop goes, it began as a side business and hobby. My first “professional” metalworking job was working for Sal Marchese at Temecula Rod and Custom and we have since become very good friends, still collaborating on projects today. I had done some small metalwork in my garage, but it was Sal who pushed me to consider doing it professionally, and I thank him for that. King Kustoms began very slowly in 2003 and my first customer was Xeno from Riverside, California and I did a 5.5″ chop on his ’49 Ford, which he still drives daily. Over the years I have taken my tools on the road with me, doing chops and kustom metalwork in Wildomar, Riverside, San Diego, and even some Porsche 911 rust repair in Costa Mesa.

My home base is in Temecula, California and I specialize in ’49-’51 Ford and Mercury kustoms, as well as other makes and models. I like to do traditional kustom metalwork, and I am always open for any challenge the customer might have. My brother specializes in ’65 and up Ford Mustangs and handles all of the electrical/wiring work on the earlier Fords and Mercs. We do everything but final bodywork/paint-prep,paint and interior. But we have various shops that we use who are specialized in the parts we do not do at King Kustoms.


CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-02-WRob Radcliffe’s own personal project is this great looking 1950 Ford sedan.


CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-03-WThe taillights on Rob’s Ford, were replicated from the Barris-built Chuck deWitt Shoebox.


CCC-radcliffe-shoebox-almost-done-04Update from November 2014 shows Rob’s nearly finished personal 1950 Ford sedan.


CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-04-WCustomer Rick’s 1951 Mercury convertible is in for a complete remake. Reshaped front-end with extended fenders, custom grille bar, lipped wheel openings, flush skirts, hand made taillights created from the stock Mercury grille are just a few of the modifications King Kustoms handle on this car. (the grille and taillights are based on a design by Wolf Christiansson)


CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-05-WThe fiberglass top has since this photo was taken been replaced with a new frame that will be the base for a padded top with the use of the stock 1951 mercury rear window. Side trim is 1951 Lincoln.


CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-06-WGreg’s ’50 Ford was chopped by King Kustoms with a well proportioned chop with angled forward B-pillars.


CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-11-WProject cars are often pushed outdoors to check proportions and over all design. In this case the new side trim was checked on Greg’s Shoebox.


CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-12-WLee’s 1951 Mercury is another King Kustoms project. Rob chopped the top with slanted B-Pillars, shaved drip rails and a 1950 rear window. The front was modified to work with 1952 DeSoto grille teeth. At the back the fenders were reshaped to have 1952 Lincoln installed in a similar way as the Hirohata Mercury. The 1951 Cadillac rear bumper was narrowed and reshaped to fit. Lee’s Mercury was a complete frame-off project for the shop.


CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-08-WBoth bumper and body needed reshaping to make all the units look like the belong together.


CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-10-WThis photo shows how well the 1951 Cadillac bumper works with the reshaped Mercury rear fenders.


Another King Kustoms specialty is to convert Cadillac hubcaps to fit your own wheels.

Want to see more of King Kustoms work Check out the folders of King Kustoms on the Custom Car Photo Archive Or if you are on Facebook, check out their Facebook page for many more photos. CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-address [divider] King Kustoms

  • Owner Rob Radcliffe
  • Location Temecula, California
  • Phone (951) 415-7330
  • email




CCC-Sponsor-KingKustomsTShirt-602Contact Rob Radcliffe at King Kustoms for more info on these T-Shirts Email Rob





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)

9 thoughts on “King Kustoms Workshop Spotlight

  • Coby Scheldt

    I’d like to see an article on chopping. I should say “over-chopping.” It seems almost endemic in our current idiom of “restyling” as they use to call it (I remember, I was born in ’46.) The ’49 to ’51 Mercs and the Matranga type ’39 to 41’s seem to be the body that will most support a “deeper” chop, but so many other bodies require (in my view of course) a much more careful apprehension of the rhythm of the entire finished shape. Just a shade too much chop and the body come off as simply BULBOUS. Fat, porcine, seriously lagging the beat. And the Beat is central to the overall effect of any rhythm i.e any Art, and our thing; as pure and potentially compelling Folk Art is no exception. Just bringing it up comrades. It’s like the recent fad of “laying frame.” A car dropped to about a flat cigarette (the REAL Devil Weed) pack height is well, I won’t say “bad ass” I don’t give a shit about “bad asses.” The whole scowling, shades, arms folded tightly across the chest like their nipples are in danger of flying off pose is such a transparent poser stance it’s embarrassing to witness. I’ll just say lowered to that point is moving. It has a strong RHYTHMIC effect. If it’s laying on the ground it looks broken. And vaguely stupid.
    However! Props to everyone doing the work, putting out the noble folk art, re-imagining the central totem of 100 years of American Kulture. The best to all of you.
    Coburnius Minimus

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