Custom Car Chronicle
hot rods

Dick Read’s T-era – almost finished




In this last article on Dick Read’s Show Car, the T-era, we show you the second part of how it was created.

Go to part one, or part two of the Dick Rear T-era, Show Rod.

We let Dick tell the story in his own words.


Thanks again for the interest in my Show Rod.
As to how I came up with the design, I sort of had 3 concepts in my mind. I wanted the nose to look sort of like a Ferrari Formula 1 car of the time, the body to have some sort of semi-fenders over the tires with the eye catch being a wacky roof line, and the rear end to show a spoiler which was just coming into NASCAR. All of these features had to be molded into one flowing design front to rear. I made a few sketches, although I wasn’t much of an artist, and just started cutting plywood at about 1 foot sections of the sketch. It then all just flowed together. I used a plaster over the wire mesh and that proved to be the hardest part just getting it sanded in to a smooth shape with some plastic body filler over that. It was a long job. The fiberglass mold needed to be 17/19 parts just to be able to get it to release from the plaster model. The mold was then bolted back together and the actual body was hand layed up inside of the mold. I can still remember the smell of the resin and the constant itching from the fiberglass. I think the whole process used more than 2 drums of resin. It was truly a learning experience for me, but when it was all done the wow factor of having done it was hard to explain to someone. When you do a large project like that personnel pride and the feeling of accomplishment lasts a lifetime. That was the feeling I had when you found the old car for me.
Dick Read


CCC-Dick-Read-T-era-IP2-01-WAnother look at the mold. This was actually build up from 17 or 19 parts which were screwed together. Without the separate parts it would have been impossible to to remove the single unit fiberglass body from the mold.

CCC-Dick-Read-T-era-IP2-02-WDick is carefully removing the front sections of the mold to reveal the fiberglass body.

CCC-Dick-Read-T-era-IP2-03-WDick taking his first “test” drive in the fresh out of the mold body… Huge smile on his face. After all the hard work the car is finally taking shape. Behind the body you can see the mold that created the fiberglass body. The seams on the body show where the separated mold sections were joint. 

CCC-Dick-Read-T-era-IP2-04-WTesting the fit of the Buick engine.

CCC-Dick-Read-T-era-IP2-05-WAfter the body was all cleaned up and painted it was time start the assembly.

CCC-Dick-Read-T-era-IP2-06-WThe car nearly completely assembled at the Buick Pontiac dealership.

CCC-Dick-Read-T-era-IP2-07-WThe last photo before the car was completely finished and ready to be heading to the Oakland Roadster Show in 1969. In the background you can see the office space of the Buick Dealership from Dick’s father.


(this article is sponsored by)



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)

2 thoughts on “Dick Read’s T-era – almost finished

  • WOW! Big Daddy would have been very proud of you Dick!

    It’s great too that Rik and Mark were able to get you together with the current owner. That reunion will really be something! Good for you, seeing such a large project through to the end – and more so at what appears to be a pretty young age.

    Super story, thanks.

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