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Sam Climo Ford at 2016 Autorama




Sam Climo’s sectioned and chopped 1949 Ford was first finished in 1953. Thanks to Thom Metz this great survivor Custom¬†is now¬†being shown at the 2016 Detroit Autorama.

Some time ago we shared Thom Metz’s uncovering the Sam Climo 1949 Ford survivor Custom story on the Custom Car Chronicle. ¬†In that article Thom mentioned that he was trying hard to convince the car owners to get the car all cleaned up andready to be shown at the 2016 Detroit Autorama Show. Well the family agreed, and the car was prepped in the last couple of weeks and can now be seen at the Autorama show. The car is displayed with a lot of memorabilia, including original trophies, show signs and other documentation the family has kept in storage all these years.

CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-detroit-02Thom Metz (left) and John Climo with the car getting it ready for the 2016 Detroit Autorama¬†John is 5’6″ & the car is still¬†setting on wheel dollies…

The car was out of the garage for the first time in 30 years. The engine was updated to 12 V, the gastank was replaced and new wheel cylinders were ¬†mounted. And then the car was ready to go. Thom actually drove in the car and mentioned that the original Goodyear Double Eagles tires mounted in the 1960’s still worked, although they had some serious flat spots, so long distance driving it not really an option. However Thom is now trying to convince the owners to backdate the car, including wheels, hubcaps and tires to how the car looked back in the early/mid 1950’s. Tom also mentioned that the when he was driving the car he had a lot better¬†visibility¬†than he expected. The car is sectioned 4 inches, and chopped 2.5 inches.

If you plan to visit the 2016 Detroit Autorama show, make sure you check out the Sam Climo 1949 Ford Sectioned and Chopped convertible with many 1951 Ford components added. Also be sure to check out the paint on the dash, which is the actual paint that was mixed by the Barris Kustom Shop in 1953.

CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-detroit-06The Climo family has alway kept everything connected with the car including a large amout of wonderful trophies the car won in its career. Most of the trophies are from around 1956.

CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-detroit-07The original show sign for the car from 1953.

CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-detroit-01For the first time out in 30 years… the car looks so good.

CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-detroit-03It is really amazing how good the car looks after all these years. Of course a “few” hours of cleaning and polishing were needed to get it to look this good.

CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-detroit-04Ready to be picked up and taken to the 2016 Detroit Autorama. The car has such fantastic proportions with its 2.5 inch chop and 4 inch section.

CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-detroit-05There is literally a foot difference in body height due to the 5″ channel, 4″ section, & the chopped top which doesn’t take in account for suspension… Look at what’s left of the engine compartment.

CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-detroit-14Not much space is left in the trunk.



CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-detroit-12Patiently waiting to be directed to the final location on set-up day.

CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-detroit-08At the Detroit Autorama final location.¬†The¬†Cragar S/S and a set of wonderful Goodyear Double Eagles was mounted in the 1960’s, they¬†are still on the car today.


CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-detroit-15John Climo with Sam’s Ford, a table full of old mid1950’s trophies and boards full of historic items connected to the car.


News Flash – Thom Metz just let us know that John Climo won “Best Custom” Detroit Autorama Extreme selected by & awarded by Gene Windfield


CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-1955-ohio-01This is how the car looked in 1955 at an Akron Ohio show.


Special thanks to Thom Metz for sharing his info and photos with the Custom Car Chronicle.


(this article is sponsored 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)

2 thoughts on “Sam Climo Ford at 2016 Autorama

  • Before this kustom appeared in the past year, I had only seen a vintage picture of the front end somewhere online. It’s now one of my top ten favorite shoebox kustoms, mainly because of how well the chop, section, and overall styling balance out. The fact that it is in the original condition is awesome!

  • I had a good look at this car today and its amazing. Hope the wheels and tires get changed back. Talked to his wife and she indicated it ‘might’ be for sale but some family members are interested. Time will tell. .

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