Custom Car Chronicle
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Photo albums from the 1960’s and 1970’s


In our series on Custom Car Photo albums, we like to spend some time in the 1960’s and 1970’s. During these era’s, not only the custom cars changed dramatically, also the way photo albums, and even photos, were made changed.


The 1960’s

This decade brought many changes in the custom car photo albums. The albums were starting to get mass-produced, and most of them contained individual pages hold together by a binder. The heavy card pages used strokes of re-usable glue to hold the photos in place. Shields of clear plastic protected the (mostly) color photos. The – once white – pages of the albums yellowed over the years, due to discoloration in the glue. This was not really meant to be, but it did add a wonderful extra vintage feel to it.

The color photos where also mass produced, and the quality was not always the best, so a lot of the photos faded, or discolored quite a bit over time. The Custom Cars from this era where wild, the “sky was the limit”. New paint techniques, and paints where developed for relatively easy customizing. Bubble tops, and Over the Top Body Work, were covered in multiple coats, and hues of pearls, flakes, and candy’s where dominating the car shows.



The 1970’s

Compared to the previous decade, the photo albums did not change all that much in the 70’s. Only half way through the 70’s, the Polaroid camera’s became popular. They where easy to use, and you knew right away if a photo came out right or not. Polaroid photos where available in black and white, as well as in color. The majority of the custom cars in this decade could be considered “mild” customs. They had lowered suspension, and most of the customizing happened in the paint jobs. “Special Paint” was the thing to have, in order to stand out in a crowd. Of course there where exceptions to this as well, and some extreme, and “not-always-nice-on-the-eyes-kind-of-customs” by todays standards, where built.

There also were some older customs from the 50’s, that where pulled out of the garage, and re-designed to fit the themes of the decade. That usually was not the best that could happen to those cars.
The low-rider scene started, and even though many will not admit this, but the low-riders where the predecessors of the custom cars that where becoming more, and more popular in the late 70’s, and even more so in the early 80’s.



For these albums, photos were used from the Howard gribble, Keith Ashley, and Custom Car Photo Archive collections.CCC-1960-70-Image-W

Part one is about the photo albums in the 1940’s and 1950’s.
Part three is about the photo albums in the 1980’s and 1990’s.









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 “Photo albums from the 1960’s and 1970’s

  • Do you have any pictures of Steve Tansy’s Top Kop Kar? There are only 2 that I can find after searching on the internet at this point. I’d love to see some other angles.

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