Home Forums CCC Forum Creating a KREEP..

This topic contains 184 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  Torchie 1 week, 1 day ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 185 total)
  • Author
  • #51896

    When my ’32 was done it was only natural to feel that a custom should become a stablemate.  I had built AMTs ’49 Merc model kit into a radical custom and had seen a few memorable full sized Mercs in our local car show over the years – so it was only natural that I begin my search for a mid-century Mercury..  I had become good friends with one of that show’s founders and had access to his photo albums containing several Western Canadian custom Mercs.  I seem to have terrible luck – either missing out on a dandy which had sold earlier, or finding one or two which were not for sale for various reasons, so I expanded my search to the internet.  Perhaps my expectations were too high or those of the sellers were, but I could never seem to find the car. So while searching for the perfect ’49/’50 Mercury I came across a custom I was not looking for at all.. a forty one!!

    Rough I know, but it was the beginning of custom car dreams for me:


    The beauty that turned up unexpectedly ..and for a reasonable cost!!




    Jus' creepin' along..


    After talking back and forth with the seller in Alabama and having a thorough inspection done, I was satisfied that here was a custom I could just get in and enjoy!  Hmph..

    JULY 21, 2011:  When the car arrived there were no surprises.  The previous owner had been 100 percent in his description and the car had the look!

    P1160279 copy

    I have to get plates on her and start cruising!



    Jus' creepin' along..


    Shortly after I hit the road, little tidbits of the car’s history started to show up.  I was thrilled to know anything and everything about such a good looking custom; and as you all know, a good mystery needs a solution!

    John, the fellow I bought the car from introduced me to a few names:  Al Sinclair, Barry Mazza and the New Jersey Kustom Knights.  This is getting exciting!




    Jus' creepin' along..


    Larry Pointer

    Exciting, YES.  So glad to have you bring us this story, Dave.  Thanks for sharing through the CCC.  You have a huge fan club.


    Sooo… This 1941 custom Mercury began it’s transformation in New Jersey!!  That came as a surprise, since I had purchased it from John in Alabama and he had inherited it from his dad who purchased it in Florida.  Hmm.

    John was kind enough to give me contact information for Barry Mazza and then the pieces started to come together.  It seems Al Sinclair had been interested in joining the Kustom Knights, but there were requirements to be met.  Several custom mods were required to enter the club, so Al went about doing or arranging to modify his coupe in order to get into the club.  Word from Harry Rusbach states that his dad was responsible for installing the ’39 Hudson tail lights and the peaking of the nose and hood.  When this happened I’m not sure; nor am I sure when the most significant mod took place.  Apparently, sometime after being admitted to the club, club members thought Al’s car needed chopping..

    Thanks to Rik’s archives and Barry’s images the chop was documented:

    Al looks a little nervous as Barry saws away!


    Getting the flow of the roof just right:





    Jus' creepin' along..


    Hey thanks Larry!  This could be a loooonnnngggg process, as I continue to learn things about the car’s history – plus the fact that I have to continuously edit my words..  sigh.

    If anyone can offer more info., names, dates, etc., or correct any misconceptions please do so!

    Incidentally, can someone advise me as to whether it is Custom Knights or Kustom Knights?



    Jus' creepin' along..


    mike sutton

    just found this thread dave, glad to see you started it. and it’s kustom knights with a k, purple and gold.


    mike sutton

    if it helps any, al moved from new jersey to florida and lived there till he died. that’s how the car got to florida. he was divorced and didn’t have much family so the car was sold after his death. no idea if or how many times it changed owners in florida before it went to alabama.



    Cool back story Dave.

    It always amazes me how these cars get around.

    Keep it coming.



    Hey Mike,

    I suspected it should be “K”ustom Knights – makes sense – but I wanted to be sure.  Love that plaque!

    Hello Torchie,

    I hope to make as much sense as I can of the story and hope that any followers can fill in and/or correct as I go along.



    Jus' creepin' along..


    Boy, I hope I get these in some sort of proper order..  Oh, I should mention that I have been grabbing images as I went along – simply for my own use and not intending to re-post them, so I have been terrible at documenting who or where I pinched these from.  Please lay claim to them if you see your pics in here!  (Many have of course come from Rik’s archives).

    Another from the weekend chop:

    al4 copy




    Jus' creepin' along..


    It is my understanding that once the chop was roughed back together that Al had arranged for a shop to finish the roof and match the blue lacquer.  I will address this further when we get to the rebuild!

    Sometime after the car was back on the road:

    Merc_Done02 copy

    Merc_Done01 copy



    Jus' creepin' along..


    Not long after hitting the streets in the car myself, I was in Los Angeles and picked up the 2012 edition of Justin Kudolla’s cool “Custom Cars” Trend book and discovered a familiar car inside!  Wow!  The car was in a magazine!




    Somewhere along the line I came across this pic which looks to have been taken at the same show?

    OutdoorShow_01 copy


    My car had a history!  Perhaps not back to the golden age, but certainly a healthy history back to the revival times in the ’80’s and ’90’s!  I’m loving this!



    Jus' creepin' along..


    Timeline gets a bit sketchy after the above pics, but it looks like this may be the next step in the evolution.  Harry Rusbach filled in more information on Rik’s FaceBook page:  “My dad did the 39 Hudson taillights and peaked the hood and center grill.  Almost 30 years ago.  This picture was taken at Bob Nitti’s shop in Bayonne, NJ in the very early 90’s“.

    AtTheBodyShop copy

    Harry went on to say later:  “I believe my dad did the taillights in 1989 shortly before lead east that year. Then I believe during the winter of 89 possibly early 1990 he peaked the hood and center grill.  My dad had a shop in Emerson at the time and that’s where he did the work to the Merc.“.

    Al has gone from ’53 to ’54 Caddy caps now as well.



    Jus' creepin' along..


    Rik Hoving

    Thanks for doing this story Dave. Love the car and its history.

    Enjoy the beauty of Customizing

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 185 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.