Custom Car Chronicle
custom carsLarry WatsonLarry Watson Personal Collection

Watson George Teixeira T-Bird


Larry Watson painted several Squarebirds with a panel – outline¬†design. George Teixeira’s T-Bird was done in gold, white and hue’s of green.

[dropcap]L[/dropcap]arry Watson painted his own 1958 T-Bird in silver platinum pearl with panels in candy burgundy wine. Half a year after the paint job was done, the burgundy started to fade and crack. The new experimental paints Larry was using back then was not as full proof as todays’s products. To hide the fades and crack in the paint Larry, masked off the car, with panels inside the burgundy. And painted that in silver and fogged in candy grape with a silver outline. The car was a huge hit in both forms, and both the first simple panel paint job and the later outline fogged panel job versions inspired Larry to paint many other cars. Larry painted at least three other Squarebirds with a “similar” outline, panel, fogged paint design. One of them was the George Teixeira T-Bird from 1958.

George his T-Bird was mildly customized before it was painted by Larry. All the handles and emblems were shaved and the body was smoothed as much as possible. The car was lowered with a slight forward rake. A set of chrome reversed wheels were used which were mounted with medium size white wall tires. The interior was completely customized by an unknown upholsterer  who did a really great job. White leatherette with wonderful find rolls and pleats with piping in gold. The Dash was covered with as well, and so was the inside of the hood. All the metal parts in the interior were either chrome plated or painted gold.

CCC-watson-george-texeria-01-WGeorge Teixeira¬†multi hue green paneled, 1958 T-Bird ¬†parked in front of the Artesia Blvd Shop. This used to be Ed Schelhaas his body shop that was bought by Bill Ortega. Larry operated his business from the paint booth behind the shop. In the background we can see Larry’s personal 1959 Cadillac.

CCC-watson-george-texeria-06-WBill Ortega, with striped shirt talking to George Teixeira about the T-Bird.


CCC-watson-george-texeria-03-WThis enlarged section of the photo above shows us the nice upholstery in George T-Bird. Narrow rolls and pleats with gold colored piping.

With all the work done on the car George took the car to Larry Watson’s shop. George Texeria T-Bird was most likely painted at Larry’s Artesia Blvd. shop. Larry rented the paint booth at Bill Ortega’s shop and together they created many trend setting customs in this shop. It might be possible that is was Bill Ortega¬†who performed the body work on George this T-Bird.

Larry painted the T-Bird in fine metallic gold. When the gold was dry enough Larry taped of the body character lines and shot panels in candy olive green. These painted panels were designed so they would highlight the body contours. Inside the body panels Larry added some dark green, and the centers were done in pearl white fogged in with a medium green. Everything was outlined with an heavy white pin stripe. Once finished George installed a pair of dummy spotlights and the car was finished. Some time after that he added a set of full length lake pipes as well as Bell Flower exhaust tips. And some time after that the body was partly repainted. The white panels were covered in a dark green with darker green fogged in around the edges.

It makes you wonder what ever happened to these amazing Larry Watson painted Custom Cars. Are they still around, painted solid colors by new owners who might not know its famous history?

CCC-watson-george-texeria-04-WThis photo, taken at an early 1960’s indoor show gives us an better look at the very well done interior. A nice center console with gold painted telephone¬†and a¬†gold painted dash with upholstered top section. It also shows that the door jambs were painted¬†gold and the painted panels stopped where the jambs started.¬†The upholstery on the inside of the hood can also be seen here.

CCC-watson-george-texeria-05-WEnlarged section shows the panels and outlines. The car now has full lake pipes added.


CCC-watson-george-texeria-07-WIn this photo from the Ray Soff Collection, ¬†posted by Richard Toonkel on his facebook page we can see George his T-bird in its last “known” version. The white fogged and thin dark green sections on the body are now covered with a medium green with darker green fogged in. It looks like the top section of the top is still white, but now with a wider, dark green fogged section. The photo is taken at the Barris Kustoms Shop on Atlantic Blvd. The car parked next to it is the 1947 Studebaker 4-door of Earl¬†Wilson, the Grecian, shortly before it was turned into the Modern Grecian.

The other paneled Squarebirds
CCC-watson-george-texeria-09-WHere we can see the three other Squirebird customs with Larry Watson paint jobs we mentioned in the beginning of the article. The top one is Larry Watson’s personal ’58 T-Bird “Vino Paisano”. The one is the middle is very similar to Larry’s personal ride, but different in a few details. We have sadly no owners name for this car. And the lats one is from a guy named Red, again in a similar style, but this time with quite different colors. Obviously all these¬†and George his T-Bird were inspired by Larry’s Personal T-Bird.

[box_light]This article shows a selection of photos of a car painted by Larry Watson. The photos come from the Larry Watson Personal Photo Collection. More on Larry’s personal collection can be found in the Larry Watson section on the CCC-Site. Or on the Custom Car Photo Archive.[/box_light]




Kustom Kar Books Golden Sahara




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)

One thought on “Watson George Teixeira T-Bird

  • I really like this car, it’s a pretty paint combination and a great interior. To the best of my knowledge, I don’t think it was ever in a magazine, which is a shame. Ray Soff told me the photo of it next to the Grecian was taken by New Jersey resident George Egan on one of his trips to California.

Leave a Reply