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Larry Ernst Chevy at Cobo Hall


The team at Brothers Custom Automotive has been freshing up the Barris Kustoms Shop built Larry Ernst 1951 Chevy to be displayed at the 2015 Detroit Autrama.

The Brothers Custom Automotive shop has been working on the Larry Ernst Chevy for the last couple of weeks. Freshing up the car from being in storage for a long time. The car will be displayed at the Shops’s booth downstairs at the 2015 Detroit Autorama at Cobo Hall. So if you are planning to go to the show.. make sure you check out the Brothers Custom Automotive shop booth and the Larry Ernst Chevy… And take plenty of photos to share with the world.

The guys at the shop were very thrilled to have the opportunity to get a very special and important custom car out of a decade plus of storage. The weather on pick up day from the owner was not perfect. But A little snow wasn’t enough to stop them!
This will be the first time in quite a few years the car will be out at a car show.

Below are a few photos from the Brothers Custom Automotive Facebook page.


CCC-larry-ernst-chevy-in-2015-02The owner is waiting for the guys to pick up the Larry Ernst Chevy.


CCC-larry-ernst-chevy-in-2015-01Not sure if the original Californian Chevy liked the snow…


CCC-larry-ernst-chevy-in-2015-08When it gets time to get the car in the trailer it is really starting to snow.


CCC-larry-ernst-chevy-in-2015-09Almost inside the trailer and ready to go to the shop.

CCC-larry-ernst-chevy-in-2015-11Out of the trailer and into the shop… still covered in snow.


CCC-larry-ernst-chevy-in-2015-03Nice and warm, and all cleaned up, ready for the show.

CCC-larry-ernst-chevy-in-2015-04Aaron Kirby created some amazing artwork. The posters will be available at the Brothers Custom Automotive booth at the Detroit Autorama.






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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)

11 thoughts on “Larry Ernst Chevy at Cobo Hall

  • I’ve been going to the Autorama for over twenty years and look forward to seeing this classic custom.Now if we could only get the A.brothers “Victorian” to show up.

  • Vincent.. I’ve been waiting for the Victorian as well but I understand the restoration is only half done and the current owner doesn’t want it seen.

  • Rik, thank you for sharing this heads-up for the “coming out” again for this car of seminal design in traditional custom car development. What I thought really set this first version of the Ernst Chevy apart, was the brilliant application of the 1949 Ford windsplit and tail light. It epitomizes the concept of “streamline design”. Movement through the slipstream of air or water. Seen in the horizontal tail of the airplane, or stern of a speedboat. This was Ford’s first true Post-War design departing from a fat fendered past. The windsplit did much to overcome the slab-sided boxy look that gave the 1949 model its “shoebox” moniker. (I recall the 1955 Chevy also was called a “shoebox” in my neck of the woods for the same reason.)
    On the Ernst Chevy, the windsplit not only pointed up the extended length given the car to accommodate the Continental spare out behind, but with the speedboat stance, adds to the illusion of motion even when it is standing. Frankly, I like this first version best (as I and many often note in the “progress” progression of the re-making and re-modeling of the traditional customs to “freshen” them for the next show car season). Somehow, the simplicity of a styling statement seems to become lost in “clutter” as more adaptations are added.
    Rik, wouldn’t it be fun to see a photo essay of the many variations given by customizers in homage to the 1949 Ford windsplit ?
    Larry Pointer

  • I doubt that this is the first time that car has seen snow. LOL. What with the Good Father Ernst being from Michigan.
    Some years ago the original(This Car) along with Keith’s very precise clone of the second version were both at Cobo for the show but due to some circumstances they were not displayed side by side as they should have been.
    Unfortunately my health won’t allow me to attend this year so I hope some one takes a lot of great pictures.

    • Torchie, the two cars were not together because Burn’s car was the recipient of the Preservation Award. I didn’t know he and it were going to be there or I would have tried to have my car setup close by so people could see both versions. They were side by side in 2000 at a car show in southern Michigan and pictures are in an old Hopup by Mark Morton.

  • Also one of the few customs where the “Contenintal” spare on the back looks right.

    • Thanks Eric.
      I bummed that I won’t be able to see your really fine custom in person as well.

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