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Marcia Campbell’s Hot Rod




This 1929 Model A Hot Rod was built and owned by famous custom car photographer Marcia Campbell.

Marcia Campbell is best known for here custom car photography in the late 1940’s early 1950’s. Marcia spend a lot of time at the Barris Kustom Shop and photographed many projects as well as finished customs. A lot of Marcia Campbells photos were used in the early Hot Rod and Custom Car publications. Marcia loved custom cars and cars in general. She had customized cars from the moment she could drive. In addition to custom cars Marcia also liked hot rods and racing at the dry lakes. Together with the Barris shop, she built this 1929 Model A roadster pick-up truck. The Hot Rod was built on a 1932 Ford frame. To this Marcia added a sectioned ’32 Ford grille and to get he perfect profile she channeled the body and the shortened pick up bed over the frame.

The roadster appeared in the January 1951 issue of Hot Rod Magazine with a photo of Marcia wrenching on the flathead engine inside the Barris Shop. The article mentions Marcia getting ready for the next Oakland Roadster show, doing a lot of the mechanical work on the roadster herself, but giving credit for the body work to Barris. The car rode on black wall tires and Lyons’ Sombrero-like aftermarket hubcaps and the ‘Kustoms of Los Angeles’ club plaque on the headlight bar showed her custom background.

CCC-marcia-campbell-29A-03 There are at least two photos of Marcia wrenching on here Hot Rod pick up. Possibly because the photographers liked the idea of a beautiful woman working on her own car and wanted to show this to the audience. The photo above was staged in the Barris shop, but the fact was that Marcia did a lot of work on here own cars. Later in her live Marcia would restore complete cars all by here self.

CCC-marcia-campbell-29A-08Amazing color photo of Marcia sitting in her petrol green Roadster Pick Up at the 1951 Oakland Roadster show. This is the first time, that we know of that a color photo of Marcia’s Pick-up has been published in color.

CCC-marcia-campbell-29A-04 Image above shows a photo of Marcia and her Hot Rod was used in an early issue of the Rodder’s Journal.

CCC-marcia-campbell-29A-07Another color slide of Marcia and her Roadster at the Oakland roadster show. This photo shows the painted red details as well as the – bit out of place – Kustoms Los Angeles plaque really well.

From the 1951 Hot Rod Show program.

After Marcia Campbell passed away in 2009, her live partner Suzanne Irvine was interviewed about Marcia by Michelle M. Yiatras and David E.Zivot. The only thing Suzanne could remember about the ’29 Model A Roadster Pick Up, was that she and Marcia took a trip to Oakland in it. Most likely to enter the car for the 1951 Oakland Roadster show, but Suzanne could not remember any details about the show or year this must have been in. All she remembered was that the car needed two batteries to get started.

What happened to Marcia’s old Roadster Pick Up… We assume Marcia sold the car in the early 1950’s after she found our Roadsters were not really her thing. Who bought it… and where did it go? If anybody recognized Marcia’s old Pick Up, please let us know.




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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