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Zaro ’41 Ford Color Slide




An amazing and rare color slide of Johnny Zaro’s 1941 Ford, taken at set up day at one of the early 1950’s custom car shows.

Color photos from the early 1950’s custom car scene are pretty rare. So when we come across one our heart is starting to pump a little faster. And this color slide is even nicer since it was most likely taken at set up day at one of the early 1950’s indoor car shows. Usually photos were taken at the show it self, or if the photographer was lucky before the show opened to the public. But rarely we see the owners getting their cars ready for the show, especially in color.

In the photo we can see on the right side a young George Barris polishing the bumper guard. Leaning on the drivers front fender is Jack Stewart, and polishing the hood is possibly Johnny Zaro himself. But its a bit hard to see with the quality of the scan of the slide. We have no idea who the guy on the far left is. If you recognize him, please let us know.

We are not really sure where this amazing slide was taken, possibly at the Oakland Roadster show in 1951, but it could also have been at and Los Angeles show. We are still trying to figure out more about the photo. And we are also trying to get a little better scan of this great slide.

CCC-Zarro-Barris-photo-01-WThis is the original scan with the slide permanently stapled inside the cardboard slide border.

CCC-Johnny-Zaro-Guys-Wyss-PhotoBWe have tried to adjust the colors on the original scan a little. But the low res quality makes it hard to do. Hopefully in the near future we will have access to the original slide and be able to get a better scan.



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)

3 thoughts on “Zaro ’41 Ford Color Slide

  • Wow Rik! What a great find! I’m sure that the guy leaning over the car with the white t-shirt is Johnny Zaro. It looks like the same shape of his face. He still looks like that, except now he has a moustache. Note that when his Ford convertible was on the cover of Motor Trend, the person sitting in the car wasn’t him. Johnny had to work that day, so the person sitting in the car was a stand-in! Thanks for posting this, what a cool picture!

  • This is great stuff Rik,this is the stuff that keeps my fire going on old customs. Right when I start drifting away and planning my build for a custom van, pictures like this turn up and fire me up. I love this photo and I have always loved this car. I would really like to know exactly what show this was. I was just talking to Art Chrisman the other night about the Amory show and the first Motorama show. He had his 36 at one of those shows and I wonder if he would remember this car. Also I think the car in the background is interesting and I wish we could see it better. It might also help to identify some of the fellas in the photo.

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