Custom Car Builders

April 7, 2017

Dzemske Collection Barris Photos

Barris Kustoms



TIntro text.

Bob Dzemske and his son Bob Jr. have been into Custom Cars for many decades. Bob has owned a a great stable of Custom Cars over the year, and always took his trusty camera with him on his visits to the Custom Car shows from the 60′ and 70’s, as well as more recent years. Bob Sr and Jr. have shared some of the most interesting photos of their Collection with the Custom Car Chronicle. We will be sharing these in a series of articles, and hope you will enjoy these as much as we have. Special thanks goes out to Kustoms Illustrated Luke Karosi for scanning the photo.

In the late 1950’s and 1960’s Bob visited many Mid West shows. Most of these shows were filed with the more local Hot Rods and Custom Cars, but some of the famous Magazine cars made it out to this part of the US as well. This article shows some of the Barris Kustoms created Custom Cars that Bob photographed in the late 1950’s up to the 1970’s. The majority of the photos, especially the color photos, have faded quite badly over the years. I have tried to restore them as good as I could, to get the color and a bit of the sharpness back for best viewing. I have also included some of the complete photos as they are now, just to show the extra info Bob wrote on the photo borders, but mainly because these original photos just look so good.

Original color photos have faded over the years. These are the original uncorrected full scans.



1958 Chevy Convertible that was restyled by the Barris Kustom Shop for owner Ray Strapazones. (Notice the kind of strange location of the Spotlights.)


Close up of the grille insert created from chrome plated mesh, bullets and drawer handles. Nosed hood with molded in grille surround.


Info written by Bob on the backside of the photo.


A lot of work went into incorporating the 1960 Chrysler taillights. Trunk was shaved, lake pipes to make the car look even lower and flush skirts.


Color photo or Ray’s 1958 Chevy taken at the 1961 Bearing Buster show Bob visited.


Richard Peters Barris Kustoms created Ala Kart at the 1962 Nationals.


Earl Wilson’s 1947 Studebaker four door the “Modern Grecian” at the 1962 Nationals. Notice the hubcaps are different units than the Barris cast aluminium hubcaps the car usually had.


Sam Barris created El Capitola 1957 Chevy photographed in 1961. By then the Taggart Bothers owned the car, and the damage to the rear fender must have happened right before the show, or perhaps at the show. The damage was later repaired and the car painted pearl white and gold. (Notice the hubcap, that is normally hidden mostly by the cruiser skirts.)


Bill Carr’s 1955 Chevy “The Aztec” cruised together with the Barris Kopper Kart to many shows around the US in the later part of the 1950’s. 


The full Custom Chevy was an very important car for the Barris Kustom Shop. It turned up a huge crowd wherever it was shown, influenced numerous customs cars back then, and still does today. Bill DeCarr was responsible for a lot of work on the beautiful restyled Chevy. Today the restored original is owned by Barry Mazza from Florida, who was also responsible for most of the restoration work.


The Barris Kustoms Kopper Kart 1955 Chevy Pick Up was brought into the shop as an unfinished project, the pick-up was already sectioned, but Barris to it to the next level by chopping the top, and completely rebuilding the front and rear of the truck. The car was a driving ad for the shop for several years, touring the US.


The Sam Barris personal 1952 “Practical Ford” was built as the family driver, but just as Sam’s previous Customs the car was sold, and ended up on the other side of the US. This photo was taken in May 1958 at the National Rod & Custom Auto Show in Fort Wayne Indiana.


Munsters Coach, another huge crownd pleaser Barris Kustom City created for the TVseries The Munsters in 1964, this photo was taken in November 1966.


The Surf Woody created to help promote the AMT 1/25 scale model kit. The car debuted in 1964, the photo was taken in November 1965.


Buick Wildcat “Mystique” when it was painted white with red fogged accents.


This is one of the two 47 Chevies Barris Kustoms created for the movie High School Confidential. This is the only one that survived the movie, the other one was dropped from a crane and crushed. 1970’s photo.


In the early 1970’s Bob took a photo of this pearl yellow and black Bugazzi at the Barris Holliwood shop. One of the 12 ever built.


The Barris Kustom Industry Shop Sign at the front of the shop.



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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)

One Comment

  1. Awesome pictures! Thanks for sharing


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