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1952 New York Show Photo


1952 NEW YORK SHOW Photo


A closer look at an birds eye view photo taken at the New York International Motor Sport Shop in 1952

Many years ago I came across two photos of an Custom restyled 1950 Ford Roadster on eBay. The photos shown in the eBay ad were rather small and a bit fuzzy, but I did recognize the Ford from the Trend Book Restyle Your Car publication from 1952 where it was listed as owned by Thomas Douglas from Miami Florida. The price for the photos was right, so I placed an offer and ended up with them. When they arrived a week or two later I was pleasantly surprised to see the birds eye view photo also including the famous Barris Kustoms restyled Larry Ernst 1951 Chevy HT  as well as another car I recognized from the Trend Book Restyle Your Car, Charles Eli’s 1951 Ford from Mamaroneck NY.

According the Restyle your Car booklet the photos of Charles Ford were taken at the first Annual International Motor Sports Show from 1952 held at the Grand Central Palace in New York. And the photos from the Thomas Douglas in the booklet were taken at the same show as well.

The birds eye view photo was the first one I saw on eBay, I recognized the car and really like the composition and the two other customs in the photo.

Close up up Thomas Douglas ‘ Ford roadster shows the home made v-ed windshield, the molded in hood and trunk, molded headlights, custom grille and converted to a two-seater. The doors do have the side window channel, but I have never seen the car with the windows rolled up, nor can I see how they would match the shape of the windshield frame.

The Larry Ernst Chevy did not show to well in the high point of view photo, but I was very excited to see this Barris Kustoms Restyled Icon at the New York Show.

The Charles Eli Ford looked very interesting with its ’50 Mercury rear window, the angled forward B-pillar and filled rear quarter windows.

This is the second photo I found taken at the ’52 New York show, a better view of the Thomas Douglas with its all molded sectioned body and speed boat style windshield. On the far left side of the photo we can see a small portion of the Eli Ford.

Thomas Douglas Ford from the 1952 Motor Trend Restyle your Car booklet. Very interesting car with a mix of Sports Custom and regular Custom restyling. The Larry Ernst Chevy sits behind the Ford. Thomas Douglas lived in Miami Florida, where the Doray Body Shop had created the car for him. Makes me wonder if he drove it all the way up to New York and back.

The second photo from the Restyled your Car shows the rear 3/4 of the Douglas Ford. Bill Harris took the photos for Trend Publishing, and if you compare it with the lead photo you can see that he most likely took these photos when the building was close, no public, and he was able to take down the ropes for a better view.

Not long before I had found the photos taken at the ’52 New York Show I came across this Motorsport magazine with the Douglas Ford in color on the cover… NICE!

Charles Eli’s 1951 Ford uses just as the Douglas Ford an Oldsmobile grille. And it also looks like the same Olds gave up its windshield, and possibly roof for this car. The hood and front fenders were heavily reshaped with reduced in size wheel openings.

Reshaped rear fenders and new taillights mounted on hand made pods, placed higher on the fenders. Flush fit skirts and a new top with filled quarter windows and ’50 Mercury rear window.

Another photo I came across taken from the Eli Ford at the ’52 Show, with the Douglas Ford next to it.

A better look at the Barris Kustoms Restyled Larry Ernst 1951 Chevy.

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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)

4 thoughts on “1952 New York Show Photo

  • Great article and pictures Rik.
    I was not familiar with the shoe box roadster. But now I am. 🙂
    Looks like it had a ton of work done to it as well as being influenced by european sports cars.
    I wonder if that windshield was Plexi-glass. From the reflection of it in some of the shots it looks like it could be.

  • Great article, Rik.
    Since I moved to Florida a few years ago, I have tried to find out more about the Doray custom shop. I believe they had a shop in Miami Springs, a few miles outside Miami, but that’s all I have, so far. I think I’ll start digging again and let you know what I find.

    Also, I suspect the Mamaroneck Ford owner’s name was just “Charles Eli” and he lived in Mamaroneck, NY. Mamaroneck is a small village 17 miles north of Manhattan.

  • Those two shoebox Fords are some of the wildest and coolest customs to ever be built from a ’49-’51 Ford body….really cool to see the details from new angles.

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