Custom Car Chronicle
Lost & Found

St Louis Mystery Custom




John Hellmuth shared these color slide of a Mystery Custom photographed in St Louis Missouri around 1955.  Has anybody seen it before?

John Hellmuth‎ came across these colors slides of a mystery Custom that was built in St Louis Missouri. According to John the photos were taken in the mid 1950’s. John’s brother Bob remembered the car, and how it was restyled by a local shop owner and his son. They both could not remember the shop’s name, or the guy who owned the shop, but they remembered the shop was located close to Calvary Cemetery in St Louis. Not too long after these photos were taken of the unfinished car the shop owner moved to Florida, and most likely took the car with them.

I hope that somebody from the St Louis area might remember this unique Custom with some inspiration hints from the Golden Sahara. Or perhaps the name of the body shop located close to Calvary Cemetery. We are trying to shed a light on this car, and find out what happened to it after the mid 1950’s. Was it ever completely finished?

About the Car

Its hard to identify the car and the parts used on it. But the main body looks to come from an 1950Buick. Most likely the hood was sectioned to make place for the 1954-55 wrap around windshield, and the top portion of the doors was cut off with the rear deck lowered and reshaped. The hood was pancaked, and a working scoop was added to it. The actual trunk looks to be made of a narrowed hood of unknown origin. The front fenders have been extended and heavy hoods were created over the sunken headlights. The grille and front bumper were borrowed from a 1955 Pontiac. The grille surround looks to come from a 1950 Buick. At the rear a pair of 1952 Lincoln taillights was used in reshaped and extended rear fenders. The rear bumper could perhaps be the top portion of an 1951 Lincoln Front bumper, but might come from something else as well, hard to tell.

The Dashboard could perhaps be based on a 1954 Buick dash (including the windshield) with the shape around the gauges reshaped and a second unit created for the passenger side of the car. The interior of the car looks to be the only part of the car that has not been finished. There is nothing behind the seat, and it also looks like there is no upholstery panels covering the door, nor below the dash.

Hopefully somebody will recognize the car, and can tell us a bit more about it, and its builder(s). We would also like to know more about the builder and shop close to Calvary Cemetery in St Louis. And if this shop created more interesting Customs for owners in the St Louis area. If you have any more info on this car, please Email Rik Hoving and let us know. We would love to share any more info with the Custom Car Chronicle readers.



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)

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