custom cars

December 8, 2015

Les PoPo New Caretaker




The famous sectioned 1940 Ford Coupe Custom Les PoPo, created for Bob Crespo in the late 1950’s has found a new Caretaker in late 2015.

In Early November 2015 Mikey Miranda made a deal with Mark Moriarity and became the new caretaker of the Hal Hutchins/Bill Cushenbery/Barris Kustoms sectioned 1940 For Coupe better known as the Les PoPo. The car was originally created for Bob Crespo in the late 1950’s. Sectioned by Hal Hitchins, and further restyling performed by Bill Cushenbery and the front end done by Barris Kustoms. (A full story on the car can be read in Kustoms illustrated Issue #32.)

CCC-les-popo-40-Ford-01This is how the Les-Popo looked in the late 1950’s early 1960’s, and this is also the way the car will look after the restoration.


Bob Crespo was working on restoring his old car himself, but passed away before he could finish the project. His son Tony Crespo eventually decided the car needed to be finished and offered it for sale. Gary Aragon decided to buy it and had plans to finish the restoration to the cars to its original early 1960’s specs, but found out soon that it would need more work than he could handle. The car was offered for sale again, an with the help of Rik Hoving Kustoms, Mark Moriarity was able to buy the car in January 2012.

CCC-les-popo-40-Ford-as-foundThis is how the car was sitting when it was for sale in 2012. It looked to be in pretty good condition, but up close it was obvious it needed a lot of work.



CCC-les-popo-40-Ford-moriarity-01Photo taken at Mark Moriarity’s shop. The body was taken down to bare metal and Mark had started to do the needed body work. 



CCC-les-popo-40-Ford-moriarity-02Skim coats of filler were added to get the body smooth before the prier was added.



CCC-les-popo-40-Ford-moriarity-03This is how the car looked when it changed hands again in November 2015. Most of the body work was done and the car is now completely in primer, but still needing more fine tune work.


Mark set out to do a full restoration on the car and take it all back to bare metal. Mark has done a great deal of work on the car, found some of the missing parts. In October 2015 Mark Moriarity was offered to buy the Alexander Brothers / Jack Florence created 1955 Chevy “The Astorian” which was originally created for Rodney Rice. Mark had always admired this car a lot, so he decided to buy it. But now something else in his amazing collection had to go to make space for the Astorian. Mark decided the les Popo had to go. We will pay some more attention to the Astorian in a seperate CCC-Article soon. Mikey Miranda found out about this and after Mikey had sold another historic custom, The Clarkaiser 1953 Ford Victoria for Frank and Charles Gilardone, he had room for another historic custom. Together with his brother he made the 20 hour trip from Bloomfield New-Jersey, to Mark Moriarity’s house in Minnesota to pick up the 1940 Ford Les Popo.

CCC-alexander-bros-astorian-01The Alexander Brothers / Jack Florence created 1955 Chevy “The Astorian” shortly after it arrived at Mark Moriarity’s home in Monnesota.



CCC-les-popo-new-owner-miranda-01Les Pop on the trailer waiting for its 20 hour trip behind Mikey Miranda’s car to its new home in New Jersey.



CCC-les-popo-new-owner-miranda-02Parked save in Mike Miranda’s Bloomfield New-Jersey’s garage waiting to be finished over the next coupe of month. (photo courtesy of Richard Toonkel)



CCC-les-popo-new-owner-miranda-03Mikey mentioned that all the parts first need to be trial fitted an more fine tuning on the body needs to be done before more primer coats and finally the Metalflake paint can be applied. (photo courtesy of Richard Toonkel)



CCC-les-popo-new-owner-miranda-04Mark Moriarity already has done a lot of work to get he modified dash back into the first version. But as this photo shows, it still needs more work. (photo courtesy of Richard Toonkel)


A lot of the hard work already has been done by Mark and Mikey plans to continue the work and restore it to the well know metalflake blue with candy dark blue fades version. The car still needs some fine tuning, sanding and more coats of primer before it is ready for final paint. We at the Custom Car Chronicle are looking forward to see any progress on this typical 1960’s historic custom. And really look forward to see it all finished and at the car shows and on the road again. Some more photos of how the car looked in the early 1960’s can be seen in this CCC-Article. We will keep you posted about the progress. Stay tuned…


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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)


One Comment

  1. Exciting! Bil Cushenbery always was an inspiration. He pushed the envelope to create truly unique rolling sculpture.

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