Home Forums CCC Forum What is your favorite Customizing era.

This topic contains 18 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  David 2 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #53472

    KingKustoms
    Participant

    Great discussion topic and one that has casually entered my mind a few times. It’s like trying to pick my favorite Elvis song- that changes constantly, but I have a top five set that reoccurs.

    Giving this some thought, I realized that my kustom styling preferences are based on the car in question. I would say my preferences land mostly in the late ’40s up into about 1953-’54- mainly west coast for automotive restyling. Same for hot rods.

    However, I am fascinated by the Auburns, Cords, Duesenbergs, Packards, Lincolns, Cadillacs, and other “already fancy” makes that made their way through the coachbuilders’ shops. My grandfather owned Duesenberg J-426/2452, a Derham-bodied formal town sedan with an open chauffeur’s compartment. He bought it in May of 1947 and sold it in 1951. Seeing pictures of that car as a kid always fascinated me and piqued my interest in coach-built cars, which I consider custom. There are some very valid arguments that can blur the lines between a custom and a coach-built automobile. The article at the link below has an interesting last paragraph explaining how George and Sam Barris had the desire to be listed among the famous coachbuilders of the early 20th century:

    http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/b/barris/barris.htm

    I also really dig late ’50s- early ’60s kustoms and show rods, as well as the Custom Car Caravan that many famous customizers were involved in. Although things did get out of hand with constant changes and additions to compete for show points, I believe there was still a level of creativity that existed.

    I think of it this way: the year of the car dictates the time frame in which it can be customized. Obviously you can’t take a later ’50s car and go back in time to build it in an early ’50s style- until today. Another thing to consider- customizers in the ’50s and ’60s were looking toward the future, unlike many of us today who pick an era we like to emulate the styling on our car. They weren’t creating nostalgia- they were creating new trends.

    So, I guess I like all of it. Haha

     

    #53473

    Wow King..  If I were more articulate I would have said pretty much exactly what you said.  Thanks!

    Model cars were a big influence with the big name customizers creating extra custom parts for the various annual kits, so the early ’60s were my first experience with customs.  The resurgence of customs in the ’70s introduced me to the earlier stylings where the aim was to improve and clean up lines and upgrade the less opulent makes to ones that the stylists may have visioned initially.  Of course my friends and I chuckled in the latter ’60s when the “change for the sake of change” spoiled a few of the outstanding cars we were familiar with locally.

    To answer the question I suppose it was the late ’50s – early ’60s which I favoured early on, while currently my choice would be the late 40s – early ’50s.  Of course, as most responders have stated, each era has it’s own appeal and good examples will always make us say “that’s my favourite style of custom”.

    Dave

    Jus' creepin' along..

    #53512

    KingKustoms
    Participant

    Wow King.. If I were more articulate I would have said pretty much exactly what you said. Thanks! Model cars were a big influence with the big name customizers creating extra custom parts for the various annual kits, so the early ’60s were my first experience with customs. The resurgence of customs in the ’70s introduced me to the earlier stylings where the aim was to improve and clean up lines and upgrade the less opulent makes to ones that the stylists may have visioned initially. Of course my friends and I chuckled in the latter ’60s when the “change for the sake of change” spoiled a few of the outstanding cars we were familiar with locally. To answer the question I suppose it was the late ’50s – early ’60s which I favoured early on, while currently my choice would be the late 40s – early ’50s. Of course, as most responders have stated, each era has it’s own appeal and good examples will always make us say “that’s my favourite style of custom”. Dave

    Thanks, Dave. Model cars were a huge influence on me as well! I still have a ton of the AMT ’49 Merc kits that I chopped with Xacto knives, nail glue, and green Squadron putty. The weirdest thing is that my interest in building model cars completely dried up over night. I have bought a few in the past five years to try and build but I just can’t get excited over it.

    It would be interesting to create a poll on this site based on what people think as far as which kustom best represents a certain era- from the ’40s to the ’60s.

    #53519

    David
    Participant

    Being a 70’s kid, my first exposure to customs really was custom vans and, strangely enough, a remaining copy of “Here is Your Hobby, Car Customizing” in my elementary school library. My dad had a 51 Merc back in ’57 and started to customize it, so when vans came along, I guess he gravitated towards them as a “family man’s custom” so we had all the van mags in our house. I’d pick up Street Rodder or the old Custom Rodder off the news stand when I’d see a Merc or something on the cover and got the Grease Machines book for Christmas when it came out. By the time Classic and Custom came out, I was a full blow custom kid, thriving on old AMT customizing pieces as I could get them for my models. All that to say, 70’s and 80’s revival customs have a special place I’m my heart…velour interiors, caddy tilt/tele columns and all. Studying them now, most of them seem to take on the flavor of “updated” mid-50’s to early 60’s style. This tends to be the era I really gravitate to most, but naturally, I love all eras of customs. If I were to find a “real” 80’s custom Merc that was known, I’d probably put it back the way it was, but, like my own 90’s Merc, cleaning it up to it’s more “pure” mid 50’s style and my later 50’s “Grapevine” is what I like best.

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