D and B Auto Sales Part 2

D and B Auto Sales Part 2

In the Golden Years of Customizing Don Britton owned a Car Lot specialized in Hot Rods and Custom Cars. The D and B Auto Sale lot looked like a 24-7 outdoor Custom Car Show.


In the 1940’a and 1950 Hot Rods and Custom Cars were so popular in California, that some of the bigger cities had car dealers specializing in nothing but Hot Rods and Customs Cars during these Golden Years. One of the better known lots was Don Britton’s D & B Auto Sales located on 8221 Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

A couple of years ago we already did an article on the D & B Auto Sales lot in Los Angeles. But I kept coming across more interesting pictures taken at this special place, SO I figured it would be great to combine them in a follow up article. A well done magazine and news paper ad campaign made sure everybody in the Hot Rod world knew about Don Britton’s D & B Auto Sales, so when it was time to move on to a new car and let go of your older Hot Rod or Custom, this was the most obvious places to go to. The fact that this dealer was well know might mean you could get a higher prices than any other place where there might not be many people into Hot Rods and Customs.

Some of the well known magazine cars ended up on the D & B lot, and some were listed for (low) prizes we cannot really understand today. The fact that the D & B lot had so many Customs and Hot Rods of coarse drew quite a few lookers in during the weekend. Like going to a free outdoor car show, this is perhaps the main reason why there are so many photos taken at this place that have surfaced so far.

Close up of the sign above the entrance of the small office building. The sign above the clock reads Buy-Sell-Trade, indicating that you could also drive up to the lot with your old Hot Rod or Custom Car and trade it in for a new one.. perhaps with some cash exchanging hands as well… or not.
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Don Britton drove this Chuck Calvin Restyled sectioned 1950 Ford two door in the early 1950’s. This photo was not taken at the D&B lot though.
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Wes Collin’s 1934 Ford at the D&B Auto Sales around 1948.
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Another color snapshot of Wes Collin’ 1934 Ford at the lot in 1948.
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Very nicely done, really wild Custom Convertible with some coachbuilt influences. Possibly based on a 1942 Nash Convertible. Two photos of this custom also appeared in the 1949 Dan Post Blue Book, but no info was given on the owner/builder. The car is surrounded by other Hot Rods and Customs For Sale. (photo by Throther MacMinn)
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Rear quarter angle photo of the mystery ’42 Nash Custom, shows an almost fleetline roof shaped padded top flowing nicely in what appears to be a molded in trunk. Photos were taken around 1948 by Throther MacMinn
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Close up of the special trailer behind the ’42 Nash.
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Hot Rods For Sale, with in the foreground the nose of the “Estrata” original owned by Preston P. Hopkins based on parts found at wrecking yard.
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Art Maimbourg photographed this chopped 1940 Ford Coupe with the rer quarter windows filled in, a very popular treatment in the mid/late 1940’s. If you look careful at the front of the car you can see the Al Andril 1940 Mercury sitting on the lot.
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Al Andril’s Barris restyled 1940 Mercury Coupe sitting at the¬† D & B Auto Sales lot photographed by Art Maimbourg.
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Actor Donald O’ Conner ones owned this wild Sports Roadster, now its up for grabs for $2500.- in 1948-49. (photo by Throther MacMinn)
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Unique feature on the O’Conner car is the below the bumper grille giving the front of the car an ultra smooth look. (photo by Throther MacMinn)
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Throther MacMinn took quite a few photos at the D&B Auto Sales lot in 1948-49. Including this one of a really nicely restyled 1948 Hudson four door turned into a roadster with boat like windshield by a shop called Silversmith.
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This is one of my favorite photos of the D&B lot, showing the Silversmith 4-door Hudson Roadster and a much of padded topped Customs in the background. Notice that the cars in the background, are in the foreground in the photo below. (photo by Throther MacMinn)
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Beautiful simple chopped, padded topped ’39 Ford for Sale at $1,500.-. In the back we have a good look at the small D&B office building. (photo by Throther MacMinn)
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Johnny Zaro also had his 1941 Barris Restyled Ford convertible at the D&B lot. The car was apparently stolen from this lot, not long after it had been brought it. Notice that the D&C Auto Sales sign above the building has been replaced with one with new lettering.
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Side view of the Johnny Zaro 1941 Ford showing a bit of the Santa Monica Blvd.
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The Zaro Ford at a different location at the lot. This photo was taken from the Santa Monica Blvd side walk.
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Another Barris Restyled Custom at the D&B lot was Joe Urrita‘s 1941 Ford build by Sam Barris.
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These photos of the Joe Urritta 1941 Ford were taken around 1953.
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Later, around 1954, the lot name changed to Custom City.
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Hot Rods for sale at the new Custom City lot as we can see in this great overview photo.
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A Trip to Custom City

 

A TRIP to CUSTOM CITY

 

In the 1940s and 1950s there were several second hand Hot Rod and Custom Car lots around. Custom City was one of them. John Hellmuth shared some color slide taken at the lot in 1955.



In the summer of 1955 the Hellmuth family from St. Louis decided to make along road trip to see some relatives out in California, to visit the grand opening of Disneyland, and for their sons¬†Bob and John to see some Hot Rods and Custom Cars on the street. They took their family’49 Dodge Wayfare, loaded in their¬†luggage, four kids,¬†Mom and Dad¬†and took road 66 down to California. It took them 5 days to get there, enjoying the scenery and some Hot Rods along the way.

After arriving at their family in Culver City John and his brother Bob took the car and started to drive around to find Hot Rods and Custom Cars, those cars they had seen in the magazine. While cruising around in Los Angeles they came across the Custom City Car Dealer specializing in Hot Rods and Custom Cars not to far from LAX. The stopped the car to check out all the candy in the dealer lot. The owner was a nice guy, and let them hang around, check out all the cars and take as many pictures (color slides) as they wanted.

The first color slide that John shared was this one of the Custom City advertising chopped T and a series of Hot Rods and Custom Cars parked in line on the lot. To bad we cannot see more of the signs in front of the lot on Manchester Ave.
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The Custom City used Hot Rod & Custom Car lot was located at 1414 Manchester Ave. in Los Angles. Assumably this shop used to be the well known D & B Auto Sales on Santa Monica Blvd. In 1954 original owner of this lot, Don Britton, had sold it to Marv Gelberg and Park Dana who renamed it Custom City. The Custom City on 1414 Manchester Ave., the one we can see in this article was mot likely related to the one on Santa Monica Blvd. D & B used to advertise their business in the local papers and national magazines, but from the Custom City lot we have not been able to find any advertising so far.

On the Custom City lot there were a number of great looking cars the day Bob and John Hellmuth visited it. Good looking cars by todays standards, probably selling for relatively little money in 1955. Just because they were considered outdated… which was especially the case for¬†the Custom Cars in the lot.

Close up of the great¬†looking chopped T Coupe with ’32 Ford grille, white wall tires, red wheels with ’50 Merc hubcaps. Painted white and used as Custom City advertising. Probably rolling as well as parked in front of the lot towards Manchester Ave.
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My personal favorite photo is this one showing a beautiful mid 40’s styled restyled 1941 Mercury convertible with chopped padded top.¬†
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Parked next to the ’41 Mercury is another chopped Mercury Convertible with padded top, this time a ’39 Mercury (no vent windows) with its rear window flap removed. The dark green ’40 Ford two door sedan in the back looks very nice as well.
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Close up of the 41 Merc shows the unusual shortened side trim, smoothed hood and what appear to be 53 Mercury hubcaps. Other modifications are the 46 Ford bumpers, the chopped windshield with padded top with three piece panoramic rear window. This was a very fine Custom, possibly slightly updated (hubcaps, and sans fender skirts) along the way, but in 1955 this style custom was very much out of style. I wonder how much the asking price was, and what ever happened to it. 
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Parked next to the white chopped T Coupe from is this 1932 Ford ex-cabriolet turned roadster. Even back in 1955 this was a hot looking Hot Rod. The all black ’32 Roadster with ¬†red steelies and white wall tiers looks stunning as well. Don’t forget to look at the cars in the back row.
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Close up on the ’32 Cabriolet shows that it has some very nicely done body work required¬†to make the DuVall windshield work with the cowl. The license plate has ’53 tags on it. Makes me wonder if it has been parked here since 1953.¬†
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Ardun powered heavily chopped pale yellow ’32 Ford Coupe. Perfectly styled and proportioned. Makes you wonder why it was not parked out on the front row, where everybody could see it from the street.
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The one car that the brothers recognized from the magazines was this ’53 Studebaker restyled by the Valley Custom Shop. It was parked on the front row, on the other side of the entrance of the lot.¬†
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Zooming in on the cars in the background sow another mid/late 40’s styled ’41. This time an ’41 Ford convertible with smooth chopped padded top, ’49 Plymouth bumpers and lavender paint. The ’32 Ford Chopped coupe parked next to it looks very modern with its headlight bar missing.
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Close up on the ’53 Studebaker “Stude Italia” created by the Valley Custom Shop in Burbank for owner Stan Mashbum. Those Studebaers came from the factory already beautiful, but the Valley Shop was able to make it looks even nicer. Two¬†years after it had made the cover of Motor Trend magazine is was on the Custom City Second Hand Lot!
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Locations of the Custom City lot (red pin) the D & B Auto Sales in Hollywood, Valley Custom Shop, and for additional distance info the Barris (Atlantic Blvd) and Ayala shops.
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Joe Urritta 41 Ford

 

JOE URRITTA 41 FORD

 

Joe Urrittas 1941 Ford Sedan was restyled in 1949 by Sam Barris. No panel on the car was left untouched. The end result was a stunning looking Masterpiece.



The first time I heard about the Joe Urritta 1941 Ford was in the August 1991 issue of Street Rodder magazine. Harry Bradley had a wonderful article in that issue about the Tribute 1941 Ford. Mr Bradley’s contemporary interpretation of Joe Urritta;s famous Barris-built custom. The article was mostly about this really interesting design Mr Bradley had create, but it also showed one typical Harry Bradley illustration of the original Joe Urritta Ford showing the side profile, the front and the rear in one image. I love the new concepts in the article, but I fell in love with the illustration of the original Barris Custom. The text explained more about the original car, but there were no photos. I would have to wait a few more years after that before I was able to find a copy of the Trend book Customs Cars 101 in which two real photos of the car appeared. I was amazed that one of the photos had the two¬†Dachshund’s in front of them, just as in Mr Bradley’s Illustration. The two photos in the Trend book were amazing. This was such a wild custom car, with very interesting lines. I could not wait to find out more about it. (More about the Harry Bradley Tribute car can be found HERE.)

CCC-barris-joe-urritta-h-bradley-05The first time I saw something about the Joe Urritta 1941 Ford was in the August 1991 issue of Street Rodder magazine where Harry Bradley showed this illustration of the original car in his Tribute article.
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CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-01This side profile, and one rear quarter view of the car appeared in the 1951 Trend Book Custom Cars. 
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The Joe Urritta Ford was created in 1949, and its amazing that the car was featured as much as it was. Making the cover of the July 1950 issue of Motor Trend must have been the highlight for the owner, as well as for Sam Barris who created the car.

According the stories that have been published about the car we fortunately do quite a bit about this car. Most publication state that the car was created in 1950, but it was actually built in 1949, and can be seen in primer, or unpolished paint at the 1950 National Roadster Show which was held in Oakland California from January 19 to 22.

Somewhere in 1949 Joe Urritta drove his 1941 Ford sedan from¬†Frensno, California to the Barris shop in Lynwood, around a 200 mile drive. Joe wanted to have his sedan converted to a convertible sedan with padded top, and it needed to be as low as it could get. At the Barris Shop it was decided that this would be Sam’s project and over the next couple of month he would create one of the wildest Customs the shop had ever created. The car has some styling cue’s from the Johnny Zaro 1941 Ford, as in raised fenders, heavily sectioned hood and fade away fenders.¬†Perhaps some ideas were “borrowed” on Joe’s Ford, but everything was¬†done so much different on Joe’s Ford.

CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-00Joe Urritta’s 1941 Ford was shown for the first time at the 1950 National Roadster Show held in¬†January that year.¬†We do not know for sure if the car was still in primer, or if the Barris shop ran out of time to polish the fresh paint. Perhaps the car was polished at the show after this photo was taken at set-up day?
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Sam started with cutting off the top completely. The doors were replaced with convertible door, and the top portion of the cowl was replaced with a convertible cowl so that the convertible windshield could be used along with the vent windows. The new belt line had to be reshaped to fit with the convertible doors, and to finish the rear section where the rear of the top used to be. The trunk was welded shut and the whole body was reenforced so that the body could be handled for the next step. Next up was channeling the body over the frame to get the car as low as possible. The floor was cut out, and the body was dropped over the frame until the perfect height was achieved. The rear of the body was dropped more than the front for the desired speed-boat look. New floor attachment point were welded in place at the new height and the floor was welded in the new much higher location. The running boards were removed and the bottom of the body was reshaped. The rear fenders were move up around 5 inches and rotated a bit to flow better with the design of the car. The top of the new fender location is about two inches below the top of the body.

CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-12A beautiful front 3/4 view of the Joe Urritta’s 1941 Ford appeared on the cover of the July 1950 issue of Motor Trend magazine. This must have been a great feeling for both the car owner Joe, as well as for Sam Barris who build it.
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CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-11Explaining the Motor Trend cover photo on page five.
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With the main body and rear fenders roughly in position Sam decided the suspension needed to be lowered as well to get the car at the desired ride height. Sam reshaped the front spring added a dropped front axle, raised the rear crossmember, de-arched the rear spring and reversed the spring eyes. With the rear of the body in the right position Sam could move on to the front of the car. The front fenders where lowered from their stock position until the wheel opening fitted nice over the tire. The new location was much higher compared to the body than stock, this meant that the hood no longer would fit, and needed to be sectioned to fit the new fender location. The new much thinner hood now sits about two inches taller than the top of the front fenders. With the front fenders and hood all roughed in, it was time to create the new fade away fenders. Sam and joe had decided that the car would not have full fade away fenders, but rather shorter units fading into the rear portion of the doors. Sam most likely asked the California Metal Shaping company to create these new panels to save time.

CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-17The one page feature article on the car in the July 1950 issue of Motor Trend. The article credits Thomas J. Medley for the photos. However the bottom three were actually taken by Marcia Campbell.
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CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-18Scan of an original photo proof from the Marcia Campbell Collection. This photo was used in the MT article, as well as in the Dan Post Blue Book of Custom Restyling.
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CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-10Cropped scan of the photo-proof. Sadly the photo proof is developed a bit lighter than the actual photo, washing out some of the details. The rear 3/4 view of the Joe Urritta Ford is my personal favorite. Notice the small bumper guard taillights and the Kustoms Los Angeles plaque hanging from the rear bumper. The rear window flap has been removed hence the large opening in the rear of the top.
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The new fading fenders were tacked in place and next up was the new front end. Sam had put a 1947 Oldmobile grille on top of the molded in front splash pan and reshaped the metal around it to flow with the cut down 1941 Ford front sheet metal. The headlight bezels were frenched to the body. The convertible windshield frame was cut down around 4 inches. With all the body wok roughed in place it was time to clean up things. All the fenders were molded to the body with shaped sheet metal and smoothed plenty of lead for that desirable one piece look. The character lines on all four fenders was welded solid and hammered smooth for an even more smooth look. Sam added a set of long 1941 Ford fender skirts and mounted 1948 Ford bumpers. The new body shape Sam had created looked nothing like the once two door sedan body anymore. The new low, long and sleek body looked amazing. The low hood and wonderful slight downwards point fade away fenders optically extended into the 1941 Ford fender skirts.

CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-13The 1947 Old grille looks right at place in the lower than stock front of the car. I’m not quite sure that is going on with the 1948 Ford front bumper. In most of the photos it appears the ends are slightly twisted down. This front 3/4 view also shows that the chopped windshield appears to be to upright for the overall design of the car. On the other hand, this does give the car a nice early feel.
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CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-14I really like the addition of the 1948 Studebaker Commander dash and steering wheel to the car. Due to the raised floor, which is very evident in this photo, the seats had to be modified a lot. The upholstery was done in Antique white with green piping and dark green carpets created by Marian Cottles from Sacramento.
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CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-15Side view photo by Marcia Campbell shows how long the chopped padded top is and how it flows nicely into the reshaped rear section of the body. The 1942-48 Ford gravel pan at the rear was mounted higher and the rear bumper was also raised a bit from its stock position. 
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CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-16Dan Post used 4 photos of the Joe Urritta 1941 Ford, taken by Marcia Campbell, in the 1951 and 1952 edition of his famous Blue Book of Custom Restyling.
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A few major things still needed to be done on the car. The overall shape was not complete until the planned padded top was in place. And also the interior had to be completely redone. Now with a lot less space inside, due to the channeling. Sam had to modify the stock seats and get them ready for a new interior. Sam removed the stock Ford dash and made a 1948 Studebaker Commander dash to fit the car. The stock steering wheel and column was also replaced by a 1948 Studebaker unit. Sam installed push buttons to open the doors, and cut the vent windows to size, and created new window channels for the doors and rear quarter windows. The 1948 Ford rear bumper guards were modified to accept red plexiglas taillights. Then the car was primered and send of to Sacramento where  would handle the top and interior. The interior was done in antique white with green piping and a dark green carpet. The long padded top was created around the window frames Sam had created and flows really nice with the reshaped rear of the car. With the top completed the new shape of the Urritta Ford was really complete. The Barris shop painted the car in dark green metallic and finished it off with a set of Appleton spotlights, smooth hubcaps, and two Kustoms Los Angles plaques. The whole restyling had cost Joe $3600.-

CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-01The low angle side view photo of the Ford with the two Dashunds is the most famous photos of the car. It show how long, low and extreme the car is, especially considering it was created mostly in 1949. Also interesting to see is the similar profile of the dogs compared to the car… tail-dragging.
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When Joe got the car back home he started to show it at several shows and since the car was a little more than just 4 feet tall it was named the 4 Foot Kustom. The car was quite different from anything else around at the time. Especially the fact that it had such a long padded top made the car really unique and stand out from the rest. Joe enjoyed the car for some time, according the stories he used it quite frequently and in late 1952, early 1953 he took it back to the Barris Shop for a new paintjob. This time the car was painted in a deep metallic maroon.



The 1953 Rod & Custom article

Not along after the car had been repainted, Joe decided to let go of the car and offered it for sale on the D&B Auto Sale lot on Santa Monic Blvd in Holliwood, Ca. The asking price was $1595.-

When the car was featured well over three years after it had been finished in the August 1953 issue of Rod & Custom the car had been repainted by Barris in a dark maroon. It also appears that the steering wheel and column have been changed, the door garnish moldings have been wood grained and a dash mounted rear view mirror has been added. The grille was updated by the removal of the bottom bar, and the center vertical bar was recessed so it was less obvious. It also appears that the front bumper was mounted higher on the brackets., most likely to make the front end a little less heavy. Most interesting is that all the article photos were taken at the D&B Auto Sales lost on Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood.


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CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-09For Sale at the D&B Auto Sales on Santa Monica Blvd. in Holliwood. The lost was specialized in second hand Hot Rods and Custom Cars. Quite a few famous and not so famous Custom Cars ended up on this or similar lots at one point in their life.
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CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-08Side view photo from the R&C article shows the wonderful flowing lines of the extended from fenders and the molded in rear fenders.
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CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-07Front view shows how extensive the front end was reshaped to make all the components work together. The from gravel pan is, just as the one on the rear from a 1942-48 Ford, and molded into the front for the desired smooth look. Notice how thin the hood has become after the channeling of the body. In the later version of the car the bottom grille bar has been removed to lighten up the front, and the center bar looks to be set back, to make it stand out less than on the stock Oldsmobile grille.
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The Rod & Custom article states the car’s height has been reduced to 49 inches, or slightly over 4 feet high. Hence the name 4-feet Kustom. When Harry Bradley¬†reconstructed the car in his study about the original car and the design of his “Tribute” Ford in the early 1990’s he came to the conclusion the car must have been a bit taller, 54.20 inches. A stock 1941 Ford is listed as around 68 inches tall.

 

CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-06The rear view photo shows the completely welded and smooth rear section of the car. Notice that the Kustoms Los Angeles plaques have been removed by now. The rear window flap has been installed again, and we can now see how small the rear window is.
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CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-05The car has literally every body panel modified in some way making it one of the most extensive restyled cars in the early years. The keen eye of Sam and his brother George made sure that everything worked together well on this car as we can see in this photo. But I guess by 1953, this type of custom was unfortunately a bit outdated.
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CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-03The interior photo from the R&C article shows the new steering wheel and column, dash mounted rear view mirror, and wood grained garnish moldings.
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It is unknown what exactly happened to the car after it was for sale on the D&B Auto Sale lot. At one point it has found a new owner, possibly more than one new owner, and suffered a hard life since then. Rod Powell mentioned that at one point he saw the car in very sad conditions at a used car lot / muffler shop in Freedom Ca. The car had been dismantled for mechanical work. Rod mentioned that he had heard that eventually the car was cut op, and its gone now. Such a sad end for such a great car.



Harry Bradley’s step-by-step analysis

Harry Bradely has been fascinated with the Joe Urritta 1941 Ford since he saw it for the first time as a teen ager in 1951. In 1990 he set out to design a “Tribute” version of the car. To fully understand the original custom he made 8 side view drawings, starting with an stock 1941 Ford sedan and ending with the side view of the Joe Urritta Ford. These step-by-step analysis drwawings¬†give us a fantastic look what Sam Barris needed to do in 1949 to turn Joe’s Sedan into his sensational full Custom. If you want to know more about the Tribute Ford Harry Bradley Designed, please check out the CCC-Forum Post I did about the booklet Harry Bradley created. And inspired version of the Tribute Ford was eventually created by Rod Powell and his team.


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Hopefully one day somebody will get inspired enough to recreate the Joe Urritta 1941 Ford, perhaps with a few improvements as a slightly raked windshield. It would be great if we could see some more 1930’s and 1940’s sedan based customs. The Joe Urritta 1941 Ford once again proofs that the sedans make great Customs.


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References and more info

  • Motor Trend¬†magazine, July 1950
  • Custom Cars¬†Trend Book No. 101, 1951
  • Rod & Custom magazine, August 1953

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1949 D & B Auto Sales lot photos

 

D & B AUTO SALES

 

Stan Baker visited the D & B Auto Sales car lot in 1949. He brought his camera with him and shot some of the amazing cars that were for sale that day.


In the later part of the 1940’s and early part of the 1950’s there were several car dealers who were specializing in selling used Custom Cars and Hot Rods. One of those places was owned by Don Britton and located on 8221 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood California. Don advertised his Auto Sales lot in the early years of Hot Rod Magazine, and also in the weekly Motor Sports World in the early 1950’s among other places. Don ran an large ad in the November 1948 issue of Hot Rod Magazine. He had Tom Medley do a nice cartoon for it. The later ads were much smaller and only had text to advertise the Hot Rod and Custom Cars he had for sale.


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[box_light]Most of the photos shown here come from the Mark Murray Collection. Mark inherited these amazing photos from his grandfather Stan Baker. See more articles we did on the Mark Murray Collection here on the Custom Car Chronicle.[/box_light]


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This photo taken by Strother Mac Minn is included in the article because it shows the small wooden D & B office really well. We can also see in this photo that the whole lot was covered with colorful flags hanging from the telephone poles to the office building.
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In 1949 Stan Baker visited the D & B Auto Sales lot and took a dozen or so photo of the car he thought were most interesting. And interesting they are. This was 1949, and the car at the lot were a bit older Custom Cars and Hot Rods at the time. We see some very creative cars in these photos. Perhaps not all as attractive as some of the more famous one we know from the magazines. But we have to remember that most of these cars were built before any major car magazine featured Custom Cars. Most of these cars were build by builders inventing the style back then.  Stan Baker loved Custom Cars, as we sure can tell from these amazing photos.


CCC-mark-murray-db-lot-06-WChopped 1936 Ford 5-window coupe with blanked out rear windows. The side pieces of the grille were widened to make the actual grille much smaller, creating a much taller looking front end. The fenders ere reshaped to fit a pair of 1940 Ford headlights placed just above the 1941 Ford bumper. The rear of the front fender was also reshaped after the running boards were removed. The painted wheels with small hubcaps give this car an real early 1940’s feel. When was it originally built?
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CCC-mark-murray-db-lot-05-WThe rear of the 1936 Ford shows the reshaped front fender and the body extension to hide the frame after the running boards were removed. Interesting is that this extension is molded to the body, and not done as a separate piece as we normally see with this modification. Keeping the drip rail in place after the side window was filled in seems and odd choice.
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CCC-mark-murray-db-lot-04-W1938-39 Ford sedan with the running board removed and reshaped fenders. The hood sides were reshaped and welded into one single unit. The grille looks to be hand made from round tubing or stock. Early sealed beam headlights are painted body color and the 1941 Ford bumper sits on a custom molded in splash pan. The car sits rather high, like most of the early Custom Cars. Sitting next to is on the let is a near stock 1940 Mercury with small spotlights.
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CCC-mark-murray-db-lot-07-W(top and bottom) 1941 Chevy coupe full Custom with a rather heavy chop. The chop has a typical early style bulge shape at the back, and not the more pleasing flowing shape that came after the Matranga Mercury. All fenders were molded in, the taillights replaced with small round units.  The grille opening was reshaped and the top section towards the hood removed and replaced with shaped metal to be part of the body. It looks like the grille bars are from the original grille and the surround was hand made or reshaped from other material.
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CCC-mark-murray-db-lot-03-WWe already did an CCC-Article on this very nicely done 1936 Ford Sedan some time ago, but figured these two photos needed to be included in this article as well.
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Two ads from a series of ads that D & B used in Motor Sport World magazine (Newspaper format)
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CCC-mark-murray-db-lot-08-W(Top and bottom) 1941 Cadillac sixty-one mild Custom. Mostly stock, but with the hood emblems and ornaments removed for a much cleaner look. Appleton Spotlights and a new paint job. The top photo gives us a nice look at some other cars in the lot.
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CCC-mark-murray-db-lot-09-WThis one is hard to identify. It looks like a 1939 or 1940 Buick could have been the base for this custom convertible. A cut down grille from a 1946-47 Cadillac was used. Combined with a 1941 Oldsmobile front bumper. If this started out as a 1940 Buick then the headlights were repositioned., more outwards and lower thanstock. The interesting thing is that there seems to be a lot of work done on this car, but the windshield appears to be stock height.
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In the early 1950’s D&B owner Don Britten owned this Sam Foose sectioned 1950 Ford. The car was featured in several early magazine, although Don was not always listed as the owner. So most likely he sold his own car on the D & B lot as well.
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CCC-mark-murray-db-lot-12-WAnother photo taken by Strother MacMinn shows more of the colorful flags covering the lot.
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CCC-WesCollins1934FordRoadsterTRJ01This interesting color photo from the late 1940’s comes from the Pat Ganahl Collection. The Rodder’s Journal published his article on this car, the Wes Collin’s 1934 Ford in RJ issue 51. This and two more taken of the same car at the same time are the only color photos from the D & B Auto Sales lot I have ever seen.
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CCC-mark-murray-db-lot-16-WD & B Auto Sales had this half page ad in the November, 1948 issue of Hot Rod magazine. Tom Medley did the cartoon for it. (Thanks to Jamie Barter for the scan.)
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Resources / more info

  • Hot Rods & Custom Cars, Rare photographs by Strother MacMinn, ISBN 978-0-9661017-1-3
  • Rodder’s Journal, Issue #51
  • Hot Rod Magazine, November 1948
  • Motor Sport World, 1951 issues

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