Custom Car Chronicle
In the Works

Panoramic Ford Convertible


In the Works is an convertible version of the famous Buster Litton “Panoramic” Ford. Owner Octavio Chavez is teaming up with King Kustoms, Rob Radcliffe to create this padded top tribute.

The original Buster Litton “Panoramic” Ford was build in the the early 1950’s by the Barris Kustom shop and finished by George Cerny. The car was a big hit and has always been listed in the top ten custom car lists. The Barris shop created one of the most beautiful Hard-Topped chopped tops for Busters Ford. The addition of the Studebaker front fenders, and Oldsmobile rear fenders gave the car some really unique and beautiful lines. The original 1949 Litton Ford is gone, but we are very lucky that Andreas Åberg from Sweden has recreated a near clone of Busters Ford in recent years. The car is winning every award every where it is displayed and is featured in custom car magazines around the world. And now another custom inspired by the Panoramic Ford is in the Works by Octavio Chavez who is being helped by King Kustoms owner and friend Rob Radcliffe.


BusterLittonFord-FB3The top two photos show the original Buster Litton “Panoramic” Ford photographed in the early 1950’s
However Octavio’s Ford will not be a near clone like Andreas car. No Octavio is starting with a convertible, and every body panel will be similar to the original Panoramic Ford, but then with a padded top instead of a metal Hard top. The team has been working off and on on the project for some time and the latest progress is looking really good.

The whole idea actually started over too many drinks down in Mexico one night- Octavio mentioned making a convertible version of Buster’s Ford and Rob jokingly said “good luck finding the parts”. Within a few weeks he had an Oldsmobile quarter panel on the way… and the project was a fact. Parts for the build trickled in as Octavio found everything and Rob was scheduled to do the metalwork in his spare time.

Octavio always wanted a convertible shoebox Ford and the one the project is based on is a ’49 Ford Rob bought from my friend Tim Sutton. He bought it to use as a parts car to fix his chopped ’50 Ford which had the front end heavily damaged after the head on collision in ’06. The timing was perfect as Octavio was coming home from Iraq when Rob bought the Ford. Octavio used the body of the parts car and found a front clip from a ’50 Fordor he had parted out previously.
Octavio and Rob traded work. Octavio would do the finishing body work on Rob’s Chopped sedan, and Rob would do the initial body work on Octavio’s Convertible.
CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-01-WStudebaker front fenders are waiting to be installed.
CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-02-WOne of the Oldsmobile rear fenders is clamped in place to get a good look what needs to be done to make it all work together.
CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-04-WThe other Oldsmobile rear fender is in place still waiting for final body work.

CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-03-WA 1953 Ford front bumper is used on the back. It had to be narrowed 8 inches to fit. Here Rob compares it with a photo of the Buster Litton car to see if everything is looking good. (the photo shows the first version of the Litton Ford. Later the rear bumper would be modified and that is the version that will be used on the convertible).


CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-09-WThis photo shows the 1952 Kaiser bumper over rider that was later added to the Buster Litton Ford and which will be used on Octavio’s convertible. On the right we can see Rob Radcliff’s personal 1950 Ford Sedan Custom Project. A car we will be showing in the “In the Works” section on the Custom Car Chronicle soon.




CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-05-WOctavio getting ready to add some primer to the drivers side rear fender, after he had just shot some on the passenger side. And it all is looking very good.


CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-07-WThe latest progress on the car is the complete installment of the Studebaker front fenders, the reshaped grille opening using 1951 Mercury parts and addition of the Chevy grille. Things are starting to look really great now.



CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-06-WA closer look at Rob’s fantastic body work on the front of the convertible.


CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-10-WThis really great photo shows car owner Octavio Chavez on the right. Rob Radcliffe, responsible for the main body work on the far left. Buster Litton himself (with hat) came down to the King Kustoms shop to take a look at the convertible with his friend Ron. Buster approved and really liked the idea of a padded topped convertible version of his old Panoramic Ford.



Octavio and Buster Litton talking details.


The car isn’t an exact clone obviously; it’s more of a tribute car and will be painted a dark Titian Red instead of the Cocoa Rust color Buster’s original car was.

We hope the team will be going strong on the project and we will be able to see more progress photos with construction photos of a padded top in the near future…. stay tuned.


[box_light]King Kustoms is a small kustom car shop located in Temecula, California which specializes in ’49-’51 Ford and Mercury kustom cars, as well as any other make and model you want to restyle in a traditional 1950s fashion. Give them a call! (951)415-7330. Check out the King Kustoms BLOG.[/box_light]


(this article is sponsored by)


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)

6 thoughts on “Panoramic Ford Convertible

  • Wow, really nice job!

    My 2cents: The Kaiser over rider is too big and beefy for the car. If it were 3/4 the size, better. As I say, only my 2 cents.

  • Hi guys! Octavio has been getting the exhaust finished, the wiring started, and the drive shaft made recently…should be on the road soon. The bodywork is nearing completion and the chrome on the rear bumper, grill, head light and tail light bezels is all finished and waiting in the wings 🙂

  • I’ll send some recent pictures over to Rik and see if he can post them on here…or I can post in the forum.

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