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Pierson 36 Resto update


The Bob Pierson 1936 Ford is currently being put back together at South City Rod & Custom for current owner Jim Bobowski. The car been completely restored to its late 1940’s looks.

After having been disguised as street rod, the original Bob Pierson 1936 Ford coupe was acquired by Jim Bobowski in late 2010. Jim had known about the car for a few years, and had been trying to buy it to be able to restore it back to how it looked in its glory days. Frank Nay, the then owner at first did not want to sell, but eventually let it go. In late 2010 a big historic Custom Car event was planned to be part at the 2011 GNRS. The Customs Then & Now. Jim knew about this event, and knew it would become an amazing event and wanted to be part of this with the Bob Pierson Coupe.


Pre-chopped version.


CCC-bob-pierson-36-ford-resto-10 CCC-bob-pierson-36-ford-resto-11CCC-bob-pierson-36-ford-resto-13


Chopped version¬†CCC-bob-pierson-36-ford-resto-09This is the version the restoration will be brought back to. (photo courtesy of Robert Genat “the Birth of Hot Rodding” book)
CCC-bob-pierson-36-ford-resto-14This is how Jim bought the car. Quite a different look that we know from the 1940’s and early 1950’s.
Jim¬†took the Coupe to¬†Jimmy White’s Circle City Hot Rods in Orange, California to see how much could be done in just two month before the show deadline. Plan was to back date the car as much as possible from its Street Rod looks¬†in bright red with billet wheels, almost unrecognisable from its wonderfull white with red wheels version we know so well from the dry lake race photos. The team realized a full rebuild was out of the question. White primer was talked about, but quickly let go because of to less time¬†to pull that off.¬†Instead all the time was spend on the most cosmetic elements. The suspension¬†was modified, steel wheels added with whide white wall tires mounted, which alredy changed the looks completely. A set of 37 DeSoto bumpers was found restored and send out to be plated. A Spare tire cover was found¬†as well as the teardrop fender skirts. Appleton Spotlight were added in the original holes which could be located on the inside. And finally chrome plated windshield frame and door garnish and a¬†period license plate changed the look of the car completely.
CCC-bob-pierson-36-ford-resto-16“Finished” and ready for the Grand Nations Roadster Show at Jimmy White’s Circle City Hot Rods Shop.
CCC-bob-pierson-36-ford-resto-17This is how the car was displayed at the prestigious Customs Then & Now exhibit at the 2011 GNRS. 
After the show the car was taken to Bill Ganahl’s South City Rod & Custom shop in Hayward, California for a complete restoration. The car was disassembled and stripped from its bright red paint. When most of the car was restored, it was put back together and prepared for one of the famous Rodder’s Journal Bare Metal Studio Photo-Shoots. The car was featured in bare metal with a selection of never before published original photos from the 1940’s and 1950’s in the Rodder’s Journal issue #63. With a story written by Pat Ganahl. After the photo-shoot the car was taken apart once again for more fine tuning and of course final paint and detail.
Right now the car has been painted gloss off white by¬†Compani Color, who actually used the paint booth of Daryll Hollenbeck since their own paint booth was being rebuild. The team at South City Rod & Custom is now carefully putting back the car, for its debut at the 2015 Grand National Roadster show at the end of January… So we all know that it will be a hectic couple of weeks for the shop. Good luck, and we are looking forward to see the completely restored coupe.
CCC-bob-pierson-36-ford-resto-06The original dash was modified during the cars Street Rod phase, and had to be put back dated before it could be chrome plated.
CCC-bob-pierson-36-ford-resto-07Fresh gloss off-white paint. Looking forward to see the car outside so we can see the white color really good.
CCC-bob-pierson-36-ford-resto-01Frame, suspension and engine are all painted and put back together. This is the first time the painted body is placed back on the detailed chassis.


We have started a Custom Car Chronicle Forum post to share the updates on the Bob Pierson final restoration progress. The material is shared by Bill Ganahl’s South City Rod & Custom Shop, thank you very much for that. Take a look at the CCC-Forum-Post, and make sure you check back regularly for any new updates.






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)

2 thoughts on “Pierson 36 Resto update

  • Joe Roberts

    Have both Dick and Bob Pierson passed away? I remember meeting someone at Bonneville in 2003 who was some how related to them. In fact he may have been one of the brothers.

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