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Historical Custom Car ShowsJim Roten Collection

Jim Roten Photos 1956 Sacramento Autorama part 2


Part two of the series of photos Jim Roten took at the 1956 Sacramento Autorama show.

Jim Roten, who worked for Riley Collins Body Shop in Chico, California, was very active in the Custom Car scene in the mid to late 1950’s. And fortunately for us, he also like to take photos. He usually brought his camera where ever he went with his own customized 1952 Ford convertible. Jim also brought his camera when he visited the Sacramento Autorama¬†Show in 1956. Let take a look at some more photos from in the second, and last part of this series.

Enjoy this second part of the Jim Roten 1956 Sacramento Autorama SHow photos.

[box_light]Check out part one of the Jim Roten 1956 Sacramento Autorama Show article.[/box_light]

CCC-jim-roten-indoorshow-03-WThe Barris Kustom Shop brought the 1953 Cadillac “Le Mans” to the show. This photo shows the team preparing the car on set-up day for the public the next morning. The “Le Mans” Custom Cadillac was based on one of the three experimental show cars created by GM at the Motorama shows. The Barris shop built it for Harry Karl, who gave it to his wife, actress Marie MacDonald.


CCC-jim-roten-indoorshow-02-WTop and Bottom show the mildly customized, 1953 Ford of Ervin G. Castro from Oakland with extended rear fenders and incorporated continental kit.




CCC-jim-roten-indoorshow-05-WHarry Fruzza’s 1955 For F-100 with early style flames and pinstriped bumper.


CCC-jim-roten-indoorshow-27-WJohnny Zupan took the Louis Bettancourt Ayala/Barris 1949 Mercury back to the Barris Kustoms Shop in the mid 1950’s for a make-over. The car was shown at the 1956 Sacramento Autorama¬†Show with all new paint but the scallops had still to be outlined in bold white striping by Dean Jeffries.


CCC-jim-roten-indoorshow-26-WUnidentified channeled roadster with sectioned ’32 Ford grille with white insert, and ripple disk full moon hubcaps. Beautiful detailed flathead engine with three carb set up.

CCC-jim-roten-indoorshow-25-WUnknown channeled ’32 Ford Roadster with sectioned grille and three carbed full detailed flathead engine. Net to it sits a dual cab Ford by Dick Bertolucci.

CCC-jim-roten-indoorshow-22-W2Bill Montero’s model A with 32 Ford fenders and grille.

CCC-jim-roten-indoorshow-21-W2Built by owner Frank Rose of A & R Auto Mart in Oakland, California, 1927 Ford Model-T Roadster Home made frame with chrome plated Ford tube front axle. The grille is a sectioned ’32 Ford unit with a hand built grille insert, created from round stock and chrome plated. Body work by Jack Hagemann. The fenders, bellypan, instrument panel, hood, deck lid, and the panel below the deck lid was hand formed from aluminum.. The car was painted jet black lacquer with scalloped and striped in white and blue by Tommy the Greek. (info from Kustomrama)


CCC-jim-roten-indoorshow-18-WUnknown 1951 Chevy Hard-Top with hooded headlights, Pointac grille and two tone paint job seperated by the 1954 Oldsmobile side trim. Parked next to it is the all white 1932 Ford built by Harry Westergard and Dick Bertolucci.


CCC-jim-roten-indoorshow-17-WAnother unidentified custom is this Shoebox Ford with extreme rounded hood corners. 1956 Plymouth grille and 1955-56 DeSoto side trim.


CCC-jim-roten-indoorshow-13-W1953 Chevy with very interesting taillight and side trim details, created by Gordon Van of Oakland for Brian Bernon.




CCC-jim-roten-indoorshow-09-WDick Katayanagi 1954 Ford F-100 Pick up with abstract flames


[box_light]More on the Jim Roten Collection can be seen in the other articles we have created on the Custom Car Chronicle.
Check out part one of the Jim Roten 1956 Sacramento Autorama Show article.[/box_light]


More info and resources 

  • The Oakland Roadster Show, Book by Andy Southard, Jr and Dain Gingerelli
  • Hot Rods of the 1950s, Book by Andy Southard, Jr
  • Kustomrama website, Hot Rod information




Kustom Kar Books Golden Sahara


CCC-Sponsor-KingKustomsTShirt-602Contact Rob Radcliffe at King Kustoms for more info on these T-Shirts Email Rob





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)

One thought on “Jim Roten Photos 1956 Sacramento Autorama part 2

  • The Harry Karl Le Mans sadly was destroyed in a workshop fire in the eighties. Little was salvageable . Four lemans were built, two survive. I do know that the dash knobs were retrieved and they we’re put on the only original as built survivor now in Washington that was missing the knobs. The other Lemans survivor was updated in 59 by Cadillac and was featured in the Stray Cats video for ” I’ve gotta get a Cadillac” it was for sale for $1 000 000 at the time at Frank Correntes Cadillac yard in Hollywood. Cadillac bought it back and still owns it.
    Mysteriously, the forth Lemans disappeared forever shortly after being displayed at Greenlease Cadillac in Ok in 1953 . The 6yo son of the dealership owner was kidnapped from school and murdered in a botched ransom attempt. It was a nation stopping event. Somehow the 4th lemans display and disappearance coincided with this terrible event and no one seems to know where it went to this day.

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