Custom Car Chronicle
Lost & Found

Bakersfield mystery Custom




We only have one photo of this really amazing 1941 Ford Convertible photographed in Bakersfield Ca. in 1952. Most likely the owner was Hank Rains, but who created it, and what happened to it?

A couple of years ago I came across a photo collection that TROYZ in the Hamb was sharing. He showed some really great early 1950’s mostly Bonneville meet color photos. He mentioned that his neighbor Gordon took those photos back in the early 1950’s when he himself was an active Hot Rodder from Bakersfield Ca. I asked him if there were any Custom Car photos in Gordon’s collection. Then he send me this one photo of a really wonderful 1941 Ford convertible with chopped windshield, padded top and 1948 Cadillac rear fenders.

I asked Troyz if Gordon perhaps knew more about this amazing custom, and if he had any more photos of it. He mailed me back with Gordon’s reply, but did mention that Gordon was 84 so the details are a little shaky.


“The picture was shot in 1952 at a local hang out called Cy’s Drive in. The guy that owned the car was really proud of that real Carson top and all the customization. His last name was Rains and he was a young country western singer from here in Bakersfield, CA. I guess the front of the car was all frenched and really cool looking, I wish I had pics of the front. Anyway, that’s what I know about the picture. I took the photo in 1952”


CCC-hank-rains-41-ford-convertible-02The scan I got was rather small, and not very good qualtiy. But it sadly was all there is. I tried to enlarge the photo as good as I could to be able to see some more details.

Ever since I came across this photo and the little info from Gorden I have tried to find out more about the car and or owner. I would really love to see more photos of this car, and find out who created it. According to Gorden the top was a real Carson top, but who did the restyling and bodywork? The use of late 1940’s Cadillac rear fenders was a very popular touch done by the Ayala’s in 1949-50. But I guess by 1952, many more body shops had done similar restyling.

Sadly not really much info was ever found. The owner of the car most likely was Hank Rains who had a band called Hank Rains and His Musical Raindrops. According to the Steel Guitar Forum the band three member, Kenny Eggenberg on lead guitar and Ralph Lee on drums, and of course Hank Rains who was the singer. Somebody also mentioned that he knew Hank from back in the early 1950’s, and that he played music with him. But he did not remember Hank having this 1941 Ford. He had a nice pick up truck he remembered. Hank Rains is no longer with us.

Details of the 1941 Ford 

  • Chopped windshield and matching Carson Top Shop padded top.
  • 1948 Cadillac rear fenders molded to the body
  • 1948 Cadillac rear bumper, possibly narrowed
  • Molden in front fenders
  • shaved doors, hood and trunk
  • It appears to have a stock 1941 Ford front bumper, perhaps updated to 46-48 Ford unit, hard to see in the photo.
  • Shortened hood trim
  • Fender trim removed
  • Rocker trim removed
  • Rather low stance.
  • Sombrero hubcaps on wide white wall tires.

Hank’s 1941 Ford is such a great looking car, it must be impossible that a car like this did not get noticed back in Bakersfield in 1952. Hopefully somebody will see this here on the Custom Car Chronicle and know more about the car, who build it, and what happened to it. It would really be great if we can find out more.

CCC-Cy-s-Coffee-Shop-Bakersfield-postcardHere is a photo of Cy’s Drive in. I think there were more of these in Bakersfield, so I’m unsure if this is the one close to where the photo of Hank’s 1941 Ford was taken.


If you know more about this 1941 Ford padded top convertible Custom, then please email the CCC.
We would love to find out more about this really great looking Custom and share it here on the Custom Car Chronicle.

(This article is made possible 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)

6 thoughts on “Bakersfield mystery Custom

  • What a Great looking car. Hard to believe that it didn’t get some coverage in one of the mags.
    Yet another custom car mystery…….

  • Wow! That is one of the best Cad fender grafts onto the Ford body; all the proportions and custom elements are “bitchin'”. Why can’t we still achieve that deep lacquer look today? Wah!!!

  • A car this nice and distinct has to be remembered by someone. Hard to believe it was never featured in a magazine . Great looking car.

  • Man I would love to see the front of this…the proportions hint that this was a kustom built in a shop full of talent and experience…like Ayala or Barris…as mentioned. Hopefully more shows up!

  • I’m loving this car for years now. I’m getting more of an Ayala vibe the more I look at it. Also… that color is looking a lot like the Ayala color ” devil maroon “.

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