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VJ Parade 41 Custom




August 14, 1945 VJ Parade on 4th Street in Los Angeles shows two mildly restyled 41 FOMOCO Convertible Customs.

while browsing the internet searching for something I came across two very interesting photos from the Los Angeles Times Collection. Photos taken on August 14, 1945, the day Japan surrendered in World War II (which was actually on August 15 in Japan, but due to the time difference it was still the 14th in the US). When the news of the surrender was announced on the radio spontaneous parade were formed. These two pictures were taken of the VJ Parade held on 4th Street and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. The photos are taken by LA Times staff photographer Frank Q. Brown.

The down town traffic was paralyzed for hours, confetti, scraps of every sort swirled down on celebrants. What is interesting to us about two of the photos taken from this parade is that two mildly customized convertible took part if it. The first car is a typical WWII restyled 1941 Ford convertible. Lowered suspension, which is lowered a little more due to the 6 guys sitting in it of course, long fender skirts, nosed, side trims removed and ripple disk single bar flipper hubcaps, fog lights and the holes for A-pillar mounted spotlights. It could very well be that the white wall tires on the car are actually brushed on. The fronts appear to be done that way. Or eprhaps the white walls were very dirty when the photo was taken, hard to tell. But we do know that it was impossible to find new white wall tires during the later years of WWII.

ccc-41-ford-vj-parade-los-angeles-aug-14-02The full photo shows a lot of celebrating people in the parade and from viewers on the side walk and parked cars. Really fantastic to see all these happy faces in the car.

ccc-41-ford-vj-parade-los-angeles-aug-14-01Close up of the car, show the nosed hood, the removal of the belt line trim, fender trim and long, most likely aftermarket fedner skirts. The hubcaps appear to be a smaller diameter fingle bar flipper hubcap. Notice the holes at the base of the A-Pillar, most likely there was a spotlight mounted, perhaps removed after the cops complaint about the?

ccc-41-ford-vj-parade-los-angeles-aug-14-03The second photo shows a group of guys dragging what appears to be old muffles over the street to create some extra sound effects. But what is more interesting (to us) is the mildly restyled ’41 Mercury convertible at the right side of the photo.¬†

ccc-41-ford-vj-parade-los-angeles-aug-14-04A close up reveals the use of ripple disk hubcaps, spotlights (look to be a smaller type of spotlight) and again fog lights. The Fog lights were a very populr accessory in the early/mid 1940’s. The hood is popped open, perhaps the engine had some cooling problems while driving slowly in the parade.

I wonder what happened to both these mildly restyled cars after the parade in 1945. The owners might have picked up a more normal way of living after the war was ended, and perhaps these cars were convertible to more full customs, with chopped windshield and padded tops… who knows…




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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