Custom Car Builders

May 10, 2015

Yoshihiro Hobara – Barris Model Cars

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Written by: Rik Hoving
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Yoshihiro Hobara from Kasukabe, Japan is a Custom Car enthusiast, he has an amazing early 1960’s styled 1960 Chevy custom called Future Ray. In this article we like to share his other Custom Car passion, building 1/25 scale Barris model cars.

For several decades Yoshihiro has been creating 1/25 scale copies of some of his favorite Barris Kustom Shop created Custom Cars from the mid 1950’s to mid 1960’s. Recently Yoshihiro completed his lates creation, the “Modern Grecian” 1947 Studebaker four door. Time for us to start a series of articles on his amazing model cars. In this first article we show you a selection of photos of some of his more recent builds. In the upcoming articles we will concentrate on one model and show you how Yoshihiro created them.

Yoshihiro’s passion for Custom Cars can be seen everywhere. He collects everything that has to be done with Custom Car history. Magazines, old photos, memorabilia, Custom Car parts, and as many Custom Car related model cars he can get his hand on. For his model car building he works his magic on the diner table, making it necessary to clean up after every session. For some of the model cars Yoshihiro decides to recreate in scale there are no available kits. So he needs to be creative and looks for an available kit that comes close. For instance the 1947 Studebaker Grecian was created out of an old AMT 1949 Ford coupe kit! recreating these old custom cars often means he has to create a lot of parts from scratch, since many of these parts have never been done as 1/25 scale parts. He is using other kit parts, scrap plastic and evergreen plastic material for those.


Lets take a look at some of Yoshihiro’s model cars.

CCC-yoshihiro-brett-barrisYoshihiro together with Brett Barris.



CCC-yoshihiro-modern-grecian-03The freshly finished 1947 Studebaker “Modern Grecian” together with an older finished replication of the Sam Barris built 1957 Chevy “El Capitola”.


CCC-yoshihiro-modern-grecian-01A LOT of scratch building went into creating the “Modern Grecian” very hard to believe it all started out as an 1/25 scale AMT 1949 Ford coupe kit.


CCC-yoshihiro-modern-grecian-02Yoshihiro uses old magazine features, new books and all the online images he can find to make sure all the details as as close to the real thing.


CCC-yoshihiro-el-capitola-01Creating the Sam Barris 1957 Chevy “El Capitola” was perhaps a bit easier than the Grecian, since Revell created the 1957 Chevy kit he started with. But the body work Sam did on the real car is very extensive and Yoshihiro recreated everything perfectly.


CCC-yoshihiro-el-capitola-02It is a bit hard to see on the real car, as well as on Yoshihiro model, but all the darker colored sections on the body are actually raised sections on the body. Yoshihiro had to add thin sheet plastic do be able to do this, and then very carefully blend it in with the main body.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-01Yoshihiro first version of the Jim Skonzakes ‘Golden Sahara was created from the Lindberg 1953 Ford kit. Obviously not much of the original kit remained.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-02A lot of creating thinking and scratch building went into this recreation. Including the scratch building of the Kaiser taillights from clear red plastic.


CCC-yoshihiro-golden-sahara-03The complete interior was scratch build from sheet and strip styrene.


CCC-yoshihiro-55-chevy-01The recreation of Jim Seaton’s 1955 Chevy was perhaps also a bit easier, since that kit is also available from Revell. But Yoshihiro still had to do a lot of work for all the details including the double headlights, and bullet grille.


CCC-yoshihiro-55-chevy-02The custom made taillights created from cut and shaped pieces of sheet styrene looks very realistic as well.


CCC-yoshihiro-aztec-porscheThe Aztec is based on a resin kit to which Yoshihiro added many details. Dean Jeffries Porsche is another one he recently finished. We will get back to these in an later article.


CCC-yoshihiro-dream-truck-01The R&C Dream Truck was based on the AMT Pick Up kit, whcih was a good start, but it required a huge amount of body and detail work to create.


CCC-yoshihiro-dream-truck-02Scrap pieces of hand shaped clear red plastic make the taillights set into the hand shaped “Studebaker” pans. The pick up bed was mostly scratch built. and includes details as the Bob Metz created fins and upholstered tonneau cover.


CCC-yoshihiro-kopper-kart-01The “Kopper Kart” started out as an AMT 1955 Chevy pick up kit. And as you can imagine a LOT of customizing and scratch building was needed to get it to look like the Barris Kopper Kart. 


CCC-yoshihiro-kopper-kart-02The real Kopper Kart has its custom shaped pick up bed covered with a two part tonneau cover, so he scratch built them and make them to work as well.


CCC-yoshihiro-t-bird-01The last model we show for now is a recration of the Barris built “Xtura” 1957 T-Bird for Mith Nagao. Although the real car was not so heavily customized, recreating a model of it still meant a lot of scratch building on the AMT ’57 T-bird kit, including the 1953 Studebaker front pans and quad canted headlights.


CCC-yoshihiro-t-bird-02Upholstered panels on the roof and of course the 1/25 scale barris crest were added to make the model as accurate as possible.



Next article obout Yoshihiro’s models we will cover the in detail how he created his latest finished model. The 1947 Studebaker “Modern Grecian”. Stay tuned…




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About the Author

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)


  1. Wow , so sweet to see Kopper Kart , Dreamtruck and Golden Sahara as modelcars , amazing kustom work !


  2. Amazing.Glad we will get to see more.


  3. Absolutely amazing! I love the Moder Grecian, that’s an incredible amount of work. Keep them coming, they are beautiful!


  4. amazing, the time and patiance it takes to built them models is something eles, the details in them models is awesome, yes we want to see the other ones, allso, one of our night prowlers richard mendez allso is a model car builder that puts a lot of detail on them models and amazing paint jobs, yoshihiros models are super detailed, thanks rik and yoshihiro for letting us see them cant wait to see the other ones,


  5. As a custom car artist with art all over the globe, I tend to be a little more critical of custom work than others. I rate Ed Tillrock and Tom Fritz the premier artists, and this model car genius we see here is about the best I’ve seen, since everything is from scratch. TRULY AMAZING artistry !!


  6. These are incredible- every last detail is intact and the proportions are spot-on. I haven’t built any kustom model cars in years, but seeing these makes me want to revisit my stash of unfinished kits (of course, mine were nowhere near this cool or detailed!).

    Looking forward to seeing more in the near future…thanks for sharing.


  7. Rik you cover just about every aspect of custom car building ! from little model cars to Big cars! yoshi’s model cars are way cool !!


  8. Superb skills Yoshi! You have chosen some of the most iconic and difficult Kustoms the Barris’ built to re-create in miniature and excelled in the depiction! Well done! More of these please!



  9. Really cool Barris models. Nice attention to details. Nice work.


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