Larry Robbins 1948 Mercury


Several Barris books show photos of George Barris working on a 1946-48 Mercury coupe, and of George working on installing a 1949 Cadillac grille, during the first steps of the chop.

However, non of the photo captions mentiones the name of the owner or if the car was ever finished. For a long time I’ve searched for photos of this car. But couldn’t find anything else but some early construction photos (see inset photos)

Until Palle Johansen bought the April 1950 issue of Motor Trend Magazine. Of course he did! It had some construction photos of the Jack Stewart 1941 Ford in it. A car he owns and is restoring.

This is an issue that wasn’t in the Custom Car Chronicle collection. Imagine our surprise when we found  a photo of the mysterie 1948 Mercury in it.  The car had a name and the photo showed the near finished body work including the chop.

One of the first photos of Larry’s Mercury that was used in the Barris Publications was this one taken outside the Florence Avenue shop in Bell. In the photo are Gene Simmons, Hector, Rob Ruble on the left side and George Barris and Bill De Carr on the right side.
George Barris on the left and another guy working on the rocker panels after the running boards were removed. The work was done outside at the Bell shop.

Larry Robbins apparently was the owner of the car. He  asked Barris do his magic on it. And WOW… what a great looking 1948 Mercury it became. The 1949 Cadillac grille looks so great in this car. It makes you wonder why you don’t see this used in this type of car. And the chop and long hood is amazing.

George Barris working on the sheet metal that covers the original grille hole and now surrounds the Cadillac grille.

So far, all we know is that the car was most likely finished. And we have a name: Larry Robbins. Remember that name folks! Hopefully we will be able to find more photos of this really great looking early Barris Custom in the future. We’ll keep you posted.

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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)

One thought on “Larry Robbins 1948 Mercury

  • July 9, 2013 at 01:26

    These pictures show the Barris gang doing there thing when they were putting out some great customs. Everything said about the Merc is right on and what a great looking car.

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