Winfields Jade Idol Sold

 

WINFIELDS JADE IDOL SOLD

 

After having been the caretaker for many years Billy Belmont has just sold the Gene Winfield created 1956 Mercury Jade Idol to a Oregon based new owner.



On September 20th, 2017 the Gene Winfield created 1956 Mercury “Jade Idol” has been loaded onto a transported in Dedham, Massachusetts to be delivered at Gene Winfield’s Mohave Desert Custom Shop for a complete make over for its new owner. Billy Belmont has been the caretaker of the Jade Idol since the late 1980’s, when he bought the car from John D’Agostino. Billy has taken very good care of the car since then and had the car stored in a temperature controlled garage. The car could not have looked any better than it does. The Rodder’s Journal issue #75 featured a full page ad for the Jade Idol being For Sale. The Portland, Oregon based new owner decided he wanted to have the car, and despite the great condition the car is in, to go for a make over by the master, Gene Winfield himself.

The Jade Idol is now on its way from Dedham, Massachusetts, to Gene Winfield’s Shop in the Mohave desert in California. Here Gene will repaint the car in a fade paint job very similar to the first paint job he added to the sectioned ’56 Mercury back in early 1960.

The full page ad in Rodder’s Journal issue #75 The Jade Idol For Sale.
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A brief history on the Jade Idol

Leroy Kemmerer took his newly bought 1956 Mercury 2-door hard-top to Gene Winfield’s shop in 1958. He had Gene Winfield turn the car into a Custom Car Show stopper and had Gene do whatever he needed to do, to create just that. The car was sectioned 4 inches, had ’57 Chrysler New Yorker rear quarter panels added, with complete custom made front and rear. The body was all smoothed and when done, Gene painted it shades of candy green over pearl white with gold, black and probably some others dark shades. Gene had 7 paint guns all ready to go when he started the fade paint job, to create this unique feature. The car was a huge success on the show circuit.

Leroy Kemmerer with the original 1956 Mercury, before he took it to Gene Winfield’s shop.
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After touring he Jade Idol on the West Coast, where it won about every award possible, the car was taken to the east coast to be shown at all the major Custom Car Show there. There it was equally successful bringing a lot of Nation wide fame for Gene Winfield. On the way back to California disaster stuck when the trailer the Jade Idol was transported on flipped and the Mercury was badly damaged. Gene was not insure, so the repair work had to be paid by Gene himself. He replaced the damaged roof with a donor roof, and repaired all the other body damage and repainted the car. The repaired car is missing its distinctive Metal strips on the roof. Gene applied a new paint-job, but different from its original one.

The Jade Idol’s original fade paint-job by Gene Winfield. The car that made Gene the king of fade paint-jobs.
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The Jade Idol was very successful at the early 1960’s Car Shows.
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After having toured California and later the East Coast the car was badly damaged when the trailer it was transported on flipped. Gene repaired the damage by removing the damaged top and replace it with a donor top. The rest of the damage was repaired and the car repainted with a new, but different fade paint job.
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The Jade Idol after Gene Winfield had repaired it.
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After the car had been repaired it was shown in California for about another year, then the car returned to Leroy who wanted to enjoy the car on the road. It turned out the car was not quite street legal according the cops who ticketed Leroy when he drove it around town. Changes where made and after a few year Leroy lost interest in the car and sold it for very little money. After that the history is a little sketchy until Rod Powell finds car at a body shop. Jerry Rehn ends up buying the car and together with Rod Powell the car was restored at Rod’s Salinas Shop. Rod Powell painted the car close to the original colors, but not 100% the same. Later Jerry sold the car to Bob Page, who had the car repainted with the colors the car is still in today. John D’Agostino owned the car for a short period in 1987, and made plans to have the car restored and redone completed into how the car originally looked at Gene Winfield. But before that happened John sold the car to Billy Belmont. Billy has been the caretaker of the Jade Idol ever since and kept it in pristine condition.

During its restoration around 1979 at Rod Powell’s Salinas Shop.
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1980, shortly after Rod Powell and Jerry Rehn had restored the car and Rod Powell had repainted it. The new paint job had less black on the sides, and less color sections added to the fading parts as the original paint Gene added.
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At the 46th Oakland Roadster Show.
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This is how the car looked after Bob Page owned the car and had it repainted. The new paint job was still a fade paint-job, but lacked the original dark and black sectioned.
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Studio photos by Steve Coonan when Billy Belmont owned the car.
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The Jade Idol sitting in Billy Belmont’s garage on September 20th, 2010, the car has just been sold to its new Portland, Oregon based Owner and getting ready to be shipped to Gene Winfield for a new Winfield fade paint-job similar to the cars very first Winfield paint-job. (Photo’s by Pete from the HAMB)
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Billy Belmont (right) with the Jade Idol, getting ready to drive it out of the garage.
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Billy Belmont on its way to the truck that will take the car to Winfield’s Mohave desert shop.
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Backing up to get in position to be loaded onto the truck.
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On the lift.
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California… here we come!
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And this is very much as how Gene Winfield will once again paint the Jade Idol wonderful shaded of green, black, gold and white. We will show the result as soon as we get the pictures from the restoration.
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Special thanks to John D’Agostino.




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1989 Oakland Roadster Show

 

1989 OAKLAND ROADSTER SHOW

 

Bob Dzemske and his son visited the 1989 Oakland Roadstershow and captured some of the many Custom Cars that were entered in the 40st Anniversary of the famous show.



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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.

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The late 1980’s were great for use Custom Car Enthusiasts. The Custom Car Revival was perhaps at its high point, and very exciting stuff was happening in the Custom Car World. Old Custom Cars were sought after, found, and restored.¬†New, very creative Custom Cars were created¬†by young new Custom Car builders, as well as by the Famous builders from the 50’s, as Frank DeRosa, Joe Bailon and Gene Winfield. At the 1989 Oakland Roadster show¬†Gene Winfield was honored as Builder of the Year and had no less than exciting Custom Car on the main floor. This¬†was the show’s 40’s anniversary of the show, and back then it was still held in Oakland. In 1997¬†the show would move to San Fransisco, and later to Pomona, where it is still held every year as the Grand National Roadster Show.

Bob Dzemske and his son went on a trip to the 1989 Oakland Roadster from Arizona. Some of their friends had mentioned the show would have some fantastic Custom Cars on display that year. Their friend Ermie Immerso also talked to them to come over for this years show so they could see his Track T Roadster competing for the AMBR award, which he won.




4 Gene Winfield Custom gathered to¬†celebrate¬†Gene as Builder Of The Year. Traditional styled ’47 Ford Convertible created by Gene Winfield. To the right of the purple¬†Ford we can see Gene Winfield’s Strip Star Show car and next to it Gene’s ’63 Buick Riviera.
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Gene Winfield ’63 Buick Riviera original created for Jim Noteboom and Randy Dunnaround 1964. Many years later the car was restored and entered in the 1989 Oakland Roadster Show.
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The Gene Winfield display with the¬†pearl pink 1951 Mercury for Pegasus and the chopped ’47 Ford¬†convertible. Notice there are all kinds of Winfield historic photos displayed on the floor next to the cars.
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The focus on this cropped picture was actually the big trophy winner Irmie Immerso’s Indy four-cam Ford Powered Pearl Orange Track T. But the fact that John D’Agostino’s 1940 Mercury Stardust¬†in the background had more people looking,¬†put a smile on my face.
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Since¬†Irmie Immerso, the winner of the Americas Most Beautiful Roadster award for 1989, was a good friend of both Bob’s I thought showing a photo of the car, even not a Custom, would be¬†appropriate.
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Rod & Custom magazine displayed the restored R&C Dream Truck at their booth.
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Ray Bozarth brought his beautiful ’51 Buick all the way from West Liberty, Iowa. The car was built by Merle Berg from the family four door sedan.
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Beautiful early 60’s styled ’56 Ford.
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The Ford had a full detailed pearl white tuck & roll interior, including a fully detailed trunk.
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Detailed engine bay with some more modern attention to detail to the engine.
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Channeled, sectioned and chopped ’39 Ford Coupe looked really nice with its bold ’49 Plymouth bumpers and wide white wall tires. The car was brought to the show by Marianne Robison.
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One of my personal highlight at this ’89 Oakland Roadster show was the Bill Reasoner built “Thee Forty One” for owner John Conley.
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Jerry Sahagon did the beautiful interior in dark and light green velvet combined with white Naugahyde. Even the trunk was fully detailed. The rumour is that Jerry deliberately “delayed” the work on the Padded top so that the car would debut at the Oakland show¬†without the top. This way¬†the full interior would be more visible.¬†
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John’s ’41 Ford has an amazing amount of work done, inspired by the work of the greatest builders from the 1940’s and early 1950’s The Ayala and Barris brothers. 1947 Buick fade away fenders were incorporated in the sides, the windshield chopped, front wheel opening radiused, and the fender skirts at the back hand made and flush mounted.
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At the front Bill Reasoner and his team reshaped the front of the Ford to accept an ’39 Buick grille and ’72 Jaguar headlights for the right effect.
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Another reason for the Dzemske’s to visit the show is to meet with old friends and have some good diners with them, including those organised by the show promotors.
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Historic Customs USA Road Trip P3

 

HISTORIC CUSTOMS USA Road Trip Part 3

 

By Ronnie Lindblom & Micke Hedberg.

With most of the problems on the cars now sorted Ronnie and Micke are ready to get the grand tour at Gene Winfields Shop, and prepare for the rest of their amazing trip.



In early July 2016 Ronnie Lindblom and Micke Hedberg left Sweden for their dream road trip in the USA. Both guys had bought an historic custom in the month prior to this trip, and along the way the idea had grown to fix up their cars and make a road trip of a life-time.¬†After 11 long days and nights working on their cars, they finally had them ready to hit the road. You can read about the first 11 days of their journey in Part One¬†and the first time on the road for the cars in Part Two of this series. The guys ¬†worked till late into the night to get Ronnie’s Mercury fixed. They left Ronnie’s ’39 Mercury at Gene’s¬†shop and took Micke’s¬†’36 Ford to drive up to the nearest Motel to get a few hours of sleep. Early the next morning they head back to¬†spend some more¬†quality time with Gene Winshield at his Mojave Desert shop.

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-01After sleeping a few hours at the nearest motel the guys drove¬†back to the Winfield shop with Ronnie’ s ’36 Ford¬†early in the morning.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-02New day, new challenges. The Merc was fixed late last night and now Ronnie is almost ready for a test drive.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-03Ronnie only has to¬†refill the water and check oil…
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-04The test drive went fine, and it¬īs time to re torque the heads. There¬†was nothing they could do about the crack in the head. So, they did all other things¬†they could do and hope¬†the engine will last¬†the rest of the trip.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-05The both cars are now ready for the rest of the journey. Micke, Ronnie and Mr. Winfield give the thumb up for the rest of the trip!
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-06Gene is 89 years old and still works on custom cars everyday. It¬īs really impressive to see a legend work and still enjoy it all like it was his firs day at the job. That¬īs amazing! When¬†the Swedes were¬†at Winfield’s, Gene was worked on a channeled ¬≠’40 Ford convertible.¬†
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-09Then it was time to take a tour around the shop and inside Gene own little museum. Here Gene shows the unique bed he made from a model-A Ford pickup.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-10Gene sharing memories and stories from dry lake races in the early days while showing the guys old pictures on the walls.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-collageClose up of the early dry lake collage.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-11One of Gene’s old wood shop signs with his famous logo.¬†Gene hold on to it¬†all these years, and now it’s hanging proudly¬†in his nice little private museum.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-12The “Thing”, a¬†’27 model T racer Gene built¬†in the late 1940’s.¬† Well the original is long gone, and this one is an¬†updated copy of the real ‚ÄĚThing‚ÄĚ. Gene told Micke and Ronnie lots of great stories from back in the day¬īs, It was a blast!
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-07Micke had parked his¬†¬ī36 Ford in the shadow inside the shop¬†to cool down.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-08Micke started his 36 Ford, and everything was still working fine, so they are all ready to go.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-13But before its time to go, they took Gene for a ride in the ¬ī36 Ford.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-14here we go…
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-15Can you imagine how many memories this brought back for Gene… and created¬†for Micke.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-16And of course Gene now also had to¬†get a ride in Ronnie’s Merc as well!
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-17Cruising like it was the early 1940’s…
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-18And more memories brought back, and created.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-19Then it was almost time to say goodbye to Gene, a few last photos with the cars and the shop in the background….
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-24Before the guys left Gene drew a map showing how to best get to El Mirage dry lake and to a couple of friends which Gene thought visiting would be very well worth it. 
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-20And on the way to Palmdale, the first stop
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Not long after they had left¬†Winfield’s¬†Ronnie’s Mercury started to get problems again. The engine started to run really crappy and they had to stop. After they had stopped and let the engine cool a bit¬†the engine refused to start again. The guys checked all possible reasons for the engine failure.¬†Condenser, pionts, distributor cap and several more things,¬†but nothing helped to get the engine to start. Finally Ronnie found out that the distributor was flash-over to ground and he was able to¬†fix the problem. Pfff, it was a hot day out in the middle of the desert!… but they were on their way again.


CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-21Finally the guys arrived at the first stop Gene suggested. Dave McCain, one of the worlds fastest Flathead Ford drag-racers.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-22Dave showed the guys around in his shop and they talked about Flathead tune up all night long.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-25This was the first night without working on the cars since they had arrived in the US. It felt like vacation, just having a good time and making plans for the trip to El Mirage tomorrow.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p3-23The cars early the next morning… all ready and excited for the drive up to the Dry lake.
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Go back to Part 1, Part 2. Or go to Part 4
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Historic Customs USA Road Trip P2

 

HISTORIC CUSTOMS USA Road Trip Part 2

 

By Ronnie Lindblom & Micke Hedberg.

After 11 days of hard work Ronnie and Micke got their Historic Customs on the road and ready to go.

In early July 2016 Ronnie Lindblom and Micke Hedberg left Sweden for their dream road trip in the USA. Both guys had bought an historic custom in the month prior to this trip, and along the way the idea had grown to fix up their cars and make a road trip of a life-time. After 11 long days and nights working on their cars, they finally had them ready to hit the road. You can read about the first 11 days of their journey in Part One of this series.

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-00Tuesday afternoon and ready to take off from Squeaks place.
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With the cars now finished, all the tools, supplies and others things needed for the trip was loaded into the trunks of the cars. They said goodbye to everybody who had helped them in Bakersfield and they were ready to hit the road. Yeah!


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The¬†next, exciting phase of their trip was to drive the cars to Gene Winfield’s shop in the Mojave¬†desert. This¬†less than 100 mile trip from Bakersfield, to Gene’s place was going to be a smooth test-drive, so they thought.¬†They planned it would take them around two hours that Tuesday afternoon¬†to get to Gene. Perhaps a little more to take some nice pictures along the way…

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-01Both cars had their trunks filled to the top with tools, spareparts and water. This made it a little tricky to fill gas!
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-17Bakersfield, California.¬†Ronnie is driving his ’39 Merc and snaps a picture of¬†Micke¬†in his ’36 Ford across the street.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-03 With the cars on the highway for the first time. Exciting and it feeeels good!
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-16What not the guys had realized¬†was the steep mountain-pass right outside Bakersfield.¬†Afterwards they remember¬†Squeak telling them all about this, but who had time to listen to these “small”¬†details when they¬†were too excited and focused to get¬†the cars ready to¬†drive? It was really going uphill here, and both cars were really struggling.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-04Half an hour from Bakersfield the temp gauges were hitting¬†maximum. Pretty soon Micke¬īs radiator started to steam and the¬†winshield started to fog when the steam came thru the louvered hood. It was definitly time for the first stop. Both cars was boiling.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-05The cars had to cool down a bit and it was time for the radiators to get¬†filled with fresh¬†water. It could have happened on a worse place though. While waiting Micke and Ronnie enjoyed the view, and probably dreamt of making this drive in the early 1950’s
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When the cars had cooled down enough they took off, desperately in need of flat roads or even better downhill… But¬†the only way to find a downhill was to look in the rearmirror, so not before long the cars got hot again. While the cars were cooling down again Micke was trying to get some work done on the car, perhaps to solve a bit of the cooling problem. After a while he started the ’36 and it sounded really crappy.

At first they thought the floatlevel was wrong as the hill was so steep, but adjusting it did¬†not¬†make the old flatty run any better. After some contemplating¬†they figured out it¬†must¬†be¬†the condenser… mmm could be worse, they had brought an¬†old spare condenser. They packed it in the trunk… but which trunk?! and where?? Finally they found the spare¬†condenser and while¬†Micke was installing it he lost a¬†screw in the gravel.. Great! Eventually they found another screw they could use and fix this problem.

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-20The steep hills and the over 100 degrees temperatures was brutal, and too much for the cars.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-14¬† While working on Micke’s¬†36 and waiting for both cars to cool down,¬†3 modern cars also had to stop at¬†the same hill because of overheating.¬†
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-02To drive those historical customs on those old roads is an adventure, but to do it without gps and with partly hand-drawn map is something else!¬†It really took them¬†back in the days. Here¬īs the guys sitting in a crossroad trying to figure out the right way to Mr Winfield.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-11Sometimes you have to drive miles and miles to find a roadsign out there… This was¬†‚Ästas they¬†found out later¬†‚Ästthe wrong way!
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Arriving at Gene Winfield

Even after the guys had left the steep mountain pass behind them the Merc maintain to have overheating problems. After many stops with boiling engine and some minor problem to find the right road it was a real relieve when they finally saw Gene’s huge shop space in the distance. They arrived at Gene Winfields shop shortly before it started to get dark. Gene knew the guys were coming as Squeak had called him 5 hours earlier and told him they had just left Bakersfield. So he was getting a bit worried about the guys.

CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-21Gene’s place… they finally made it.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-22The gate was open and they drove right up to the shop area. Excited to meet Gene, and also knowing they could hopefully figure out the engine problems and solve it for the remainder of the trip.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-27It was a long hot day… finally parked at goal¬†number one… Gene Winfield’s shop.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-23Where the hell have you been guy¬īs“, was¬†Gene first response.
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Micke and Ronnie talked to Gene about the trip, and how they had spend the last 11 days in Squeaks shop. Then told him the trip from Bakersfield had taken so long due to the heating problems.
The guys hoped for a blown headgasket, they had already tried to get a pair at a local car supplies along the road, but most of the stores had sold their last flathead parts 50 years ago.


Gene told the guys that he might have a pair that was ment for a -49 merc project he had in the shop, Gene went into the shop and searched for the new pair of head-gaskets while Micke and Ronnie drained the water and prepared for pulling the heads off the engine.


CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-28By now the un was set, and it was time to get to work on the Mercury, to see if the problems could be fixed.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-25The guys and Gene working together on the Merc. What can be better than becoming friends this way? Its intresting how a big problem and frustrating work can result in such a great time.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-29Micky cleaning one of the heads.
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CCC-historic-customs-usa-road-trip-p2-26Sadly the old head gaskets looked good, but under the right head of Ronnie’s ’39 Merc engine the guys found the reason of overheating. Big cracks between cylinder and valves in two cylinders. They only had one spare engine, and that was already mounted in Micke’s ’36… there was no other choise than to put the heads back on and hope that the engine would make the trip till the end! And so they did… and then finally it was time to get some sleep. [divider]



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Go back to Part One or ahead to Part Three of the Historic Customs USA Road-Trip.



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Canted Quad Lights

 

CANTED QUAD LIGHTS

 

Canted Quad Headlights on Customs, a¬†trend started in 1957 highlighted in the early 1960’s. By the mid 60s it was all over, time to bring back the style?

By Tom Nielsen


Early customizers often had a goal to make their cars appear newer along with making a personal statement on their customs. In 1958 Detroit brought out newly designed cars with four headlights. It was only natural that custom builders would begin to try to use them on their forties and fifties cars.

CCC-canted-quad-lights-58-lincoln-011958 Lincoln introduced their canted quad headlights in 1958. Perhaps the most beautiful designed units of them all.
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CCC-canted-quad-lights-57-chevy1958 Lincoln headlights taken to the extreme.
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In the Pacific Northwest and Canada the ‚Äúquad headlight‚ÄĚ look took off almost immediately after the new cars came out. I particularly liked the ‚Äúcanted quads‚ÄĚ as used on the new ‚Äô58 Lincoln. That long oval trim ring looked especially good in lots of different applications.
I was always in awe of the creative way that Vancouver’s Fred Welsh fit them into the fenders on his ’40 Ford sedan. I also like the Lincoln quad lights in some ’49-’51 Mercurys and the ’53- ’56 Ford pickups with their large grille opening seemed made for them. There was a ’56 Chev pickup from Seattle that had a nice installation of the canted Lincoln housings. There was a ’56 Chev pickup from Seattle that had a nice installation of the canted Lincoln housings, sadly I got rid of the picture that I had of it.

CCC-canted-quad-lights-welch-40-ford-02Fred Welsh from¬†Vancouver used a set of ’58 Lincoln headlights in his 1940 Ford four door show winning custom.
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CCC-canted-quad-lights-otto-rhodesOtto Rhodes 1953 Ford Pickup truck with 1958 Lincoln canted headlights in a new grille surround created from bend and shaped round tubing.
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CCC-canted-quad-lights-lore-sharp-buick-01Lore Sharp’s sectioned 1956 Buick had a completely redesigned front end with 1959 Chevy headlights canted into reshaped front fenders.
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Customizers from the Northwest also used canted quads from other makes and fit them into their custom designs. Lore Sharp used this look in the sectioned ‚Äô56 Buick that was a Car Craft magazine Top Ten Custom.¬†Ray Wilson created a great looking front end for Paul Savelesky‚Äôs 1955 Chev hardtop “Miss Elegance”. His canted quad design really seemed to flow well with the whole car.

CCC-canted-quad-lights-55-chevy-01Ray Wilson¬†cleverly¬†integrated the canted 1959 Chevy headlights into the complete grille shape. Heavy metal surgery was needed to make it all work on Paul Savelesky‚Äôs 1955 Chev hardtop “Miss Elegance”.
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When the ‚Äúcanted quad‚ÄĚ trend was hot in the Northwest, it was also going on in California and the rest of the country as well. If you look in the magazines that featured customs in the late fifties and early sixties you can find lots of nice examples. All of the big custom shops in California created some unique ways to utilize the ‚Äúcanted quad‚ÄĚ headlights in their restyles.
Cushenberry, Winfield, Barris, Bailon and others all came up with interesting and attractive ways to put the modern angled headlights into earlier cars.

CCC-canted-quad-lights-cushenberyBill Cushenbery’s heavily restyled 1940 Ford the “El Matador” for which he created a complete home made front end including canted quad headlights.
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Meanwhile, Detroit brought out more cars with ‚Äúcanted‚ÄĚ headlights too. The 1959 Buick lights looked nice on the Buick but the trim on them made them harder to use in other cars.¬†I think that one of the ‚Äúbest looking Detroit canted quad designs‚ÄĚ was in the 1961-62 Chryslers and the 1961 De Soto. However, by this time the custom trend for ‚Äúcanted quads‚ÄĚ started to¬†slowly fade.

CCC-canted-quad-lights-watson-busonic-01John Schott designed the front end of¬†Roy Abendroth 1955 Buick named “Busonic” using canted quad headlights set in chrome plated mesh in extended fenders flanking a home made grille opening.
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CCC-canted-quad-lights-roten-sketch-55-chevyJim Roten designed this beautiful 1955 Chevy with canted quad headlights for a client of the Riley Collins Custom shop in Chino, Ca.
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CCC-canted-quad-lights-leroy-goulart-01Most of the front end work on Leroy Goulart’s 1951 Ford, including reshaping the grille opening and the integrating of the canted quad headlights was done by Gene Winfield.¬†The shape of the front created by Gene became so popular that the AMT model kit company even included a similar shaped front end in their model kits.
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CCC-canted-quad-lights-barris-merc-fireThe Barris Kustom Shop restyled¬†Bobby Yamazaki aka “Chimbo” 1954 Mercury with a set of canted quads in 1957. On December 7, 1957 the just finished car burned down in the devastating Barris Shop fire and destroyed the car, even before any photos of the finished car were made.
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CCC-canted-quad-lights-Bradley-designHerb Gary worked together with designer Harry Bradley to restyle this 1957 Oldsmobile with among many other features, canted quad headlights, for Russ Grady. (From the Mark Karol-Chik Collection)
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CCC-canted-quad-lights-shoebox-01Canted Quad headlights on a sectioned four door Ford Shoebox from Vancouver.
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Canted Quad LightsJust a few sample color photos showing a wide¬†range¬†of different styled of canted quad headlights form the early 1960’s. (from the bill Usedom Collection)
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Canted Quad LightsMore samples of canted quad headlights from the early 1960’s, this time with black and white photos from the bill Usedom Collection.
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Now that traditional customs are becoming more popular we might be seeing more ‚Äúcanted quad‚ÄĚ lights again! When used on the right cars, along with a grille and bumper that complements them, the end result is spectacular.

CCC-canted-quad-lights-paul-bragg-02One of the more recent adaptions of canted quad headlights was done by Paul Bragg on his wife’s Pat 1954 Mercury.
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CCC-canted-quad-lights-paul-bragg-01Paul Bragg has always been very creative when it comes to styled and mixing style, and more important make it all work very well together. The integration of the canted headlights on Pat Bragg’s 1954 Mercury is a perfect sample of his design skills and metal craftsmanship.
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See also the CCC-Story Baroque Custom Dreams for a story about the canted headlights which doomed a unique custom ’56 Chevrolet.



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Recreating Lanny Ericksons 56 Chevy

 

RECREATING THE VIOLET FANTASY

 

In early 1958 Gene Winfield applied his first blend¬†paint job, using candy colors fading from one tone to the other¬†on¬†Lanny Erickson’s 1956 Chevy. A new trend was set.


A brief history on Lanny’s Chevy

Lanny Erickson had his near new 1956 Chevy two-door sedan chopped by the Clovis Body Shop. The shop used a 1950 Mercury rear window at the back. The Chevy was nosed, decked, and the door handles were shavedand the suspension lowered. But other than that the car was kept pretty much stock. Not too long after the car was finished Larry was hit in the front doing quite a bit of damage. The front fenders, hood and bumper needed to be replace, and other body paneles straigthned. Instead of using the stock front end, Larry upgraded to a 1957 Bumper with custom made upper lip and used a modified 1954 Chevy grille to float in the new opening. And at the rear the rear fenders were reshaped to house a set of 1956 Lincoln taillights in custom made openings.

CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-clone-06The stock Chevy as Lanny bought it.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-clone-07 During the chop at Clovis Body Shop.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-first-versionFinished first version with the stock front and rear. 
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CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-clone-08Lanny damaged the front end on his just finished ’56 Chevy… time for another update.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-clone-05Still in primer but now with the repaired front end and the 1957 Chevy front bumper, ready to go to the Winfield shop for the final details as the Lincoln taillights and of course the trend setting fade paint job.
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The finishing work was done by Gene Winfield at his shop in Modesto, California. Lanny visited the shop regulary, when Gene was doing the work, and when the car was close to getting painted. Gene told Lanny about this idea he had for a fading/blending paint job using transparant colors over a gold or silver base and fading from light to dark. Lanny loved the idea and gave Gene the green light to use his Chevy as canvas for Genes first ever blend paint job. The results were absolutely stunning. And Gene Winfield would get request for his blending paint jobs from all around the US after that.

Lanny showed the car a lot, and drove it where ever he could. In 1962 the paint job was faded in a bad way and it was time to let go of the car. After Lanny sold it it changed hands several times, it went from California, to Minnesota and back to California untill it ended up in Canada.

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CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-color-02Below the 1956 Chevy side trim Gene installed a 1957 DeSoto trim piece. Inside he applied some amazing blending shades.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-color-031956 Lincoln tailights sitting in custom made openingings. 
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CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-clone-09Display board with fading color photos of Lanny’s ¬†1956 Chevy the “Violet Fantasty”.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-article-01One of the highlights for Lanny and the Chevy was the double photo on the cover of the April 1960 issue of Custom Rodder Magazine. 
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Lanny was reunited with the car in 1994 and brought it back to his home in California. The car was not in very sad condition and had been stored outdoors for many years. The custom front end and dashboard were long gone, cut out, and perhaps used on somebody else his custom. Lanny planned to rebuilt the car, or perhaps better use as much as could be saved but somehow never found the time for it untill…

CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-clone-00This is what was left of Lanny’s Chevy in the early 1990’s.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-clone-01The drivers side looked even worse.
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Recreating the Violet Fantasy

Eventually the car was started, and there is a lot more to this¬†story than we care to tell at this point.¬†The good news is that the car, mostly recreated from another ’56 Chevy with as much parts/sections that could be saved from the original Chevy, is now nearing completion. Or at least getting close to paint time.

After we had shown the great collor photos of Lanny’s Chevy in another CCC-Article we recieved an mesage from¬†JaKo who worked with Lanny Ericson in 2006. Here he helped Lanny with the recreation of his Chevy. He took some photos of the progress during that time and wanted to share it with us.¬†Good timing since¬†Jacob Bain, who had shared the amazing color photos, also shared some photos of the current state of Lanny’s Chevy.

Lets take a look at the recreation of Lanny Erickson’s “Violet Fantasy” 1956 Chevy. We plan to do a full article with the whole history on Lanny’s Chevy once the car will be finished.

All the front sheetmetal work, the dummy side pipe exits, plus fixing a lot of bad metal and bodywork, (Pop riveted quarter panel patches ect), was done by the Hatfield Restorations Shop. Several people in this shop worked on the car, and one bodyman sadly did some really bad work. This was part of the source of the bad blood between Lanny and this particular shop, which resulted in a long legal matter which halted the work on the car for quite some time.

CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-clone-18Lenny with his Chevy. Lenny performed a lot of the body work himself on the recreation of his Chevy.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-clone-12Recreating the fender extension for the 1956 Lincoln taillights.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-clone-14Metal working the exteneded section on the drivers side.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-clone-15The passendger side rear fender works was already mostly done at this poing.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-clone-28Fitting the 1957 Chevy front bumper to the 1956 Chevy.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-clone-27Using old photographs to help with the recreation of the top section of the new grille opening. Most of the hard work on the grille and surround is done by the Hatfield Restorations shop.

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CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-clone-19The Mercury rear window opening. One of the unique features of Lanny’s Chevy.
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Jacob Bain met with Lanny in February 2015 and showed the progress on the recreation of the “Violet Fantasy” 1956 Chevy Lanny also shared some amazing color photos of the Chevy which were taken in 1958. We have used a few of them in this article, and the rest can be seen on another CCC-Article we did on those photos. ¬†Many thanks to Lanny and Jacob for sharing these with us.

The recent photos of the ’56 Chevy recreation show that a lot of progress has been made. Hopefully the progress will continue and we can look forward to see Gene Winfield recreate the trend setting blend paint job he did in¬†early 1958.

CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-clone-21Several coast of primer, sanding and more sanding have been performed. Some more fine tuning is needed before the final primer coats will cover the body.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-clone-22Great shape of the new rear fender taillight opening that will house the 1956 Lincoln taillights.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-clone-23Gene Winfield create the dummy lake pipe exhit molding on the front quarter panels. The newly created units, created by the Hatfield Restorations shop, look just like they did in 1958.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-56-chevy-clone-25A inspiration board keeps the team motivated in the shop. The original chrome plated rear side window garnish molding is used to frame some of the old photos of the car.
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Resources and more info

  • Custom Rodder, Magazine April 1960
  • Gene Winfield, book 2008

Special thanks to Lanny Erickson, Jacob Bain, and JaKo for sharing their photos and information

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Lanny Ericson Color Photos

LANNY ERICSON COLOR PHOTOS

Lanny Ericson shared some amazing color photos that he came across recently. Photos of his own 1956 Chevy with an amazing Gene Winfield paint, and some color photos of the white with fading green Leroy Goulart Ford.

 

Jacob Bain visited Lanny Ericson on Feb 09 2015 to talk cars in teh good old day. Lanny mentioned he had recently found a pile of really cool color photos of his old 1956 Chevy. The car was chopped by the Clonis Body shop, but all the other work was done by Gene Winfield and finished in early 1958. Gene created something new on Lanny’s Chevy, a “Blend job”. These amazing color photos show how nice and new this car looked in the late 1950’s.
 
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Lenny also had some color photos of the Leroy Goulart shoebox with the white paintjob and the green fade aways. I had never seen color photos of this version of Leroy’s shobox before. Thank you very much for sharing Lanny, and thank you Jacob Bain for making taking the digital photos.
If you want to see more on Leroy Goulart’s Ford, check out the two part CCC-article on the car.
 
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Gene Winfield’s Comeback

Golden Sunrise ’58 CHRYSLER

In 1979 Richard Zocchi asked Gene Winfield to turn his 1958 Chrysler into a typical Winfield custom. Gene outdid himself creating this show winning masterpiece. And with that he put himself back on the map again.

Famous custom car builder Gene Winfield is known for cars as the Jade Idol, the Solar Scene, the Ractor, the Strop Star, the Pacifica, and many more well – and not so well – known custom cars and hot rods. Gene had slowly faded in to doing other automotive work in the late 1960’s and 1970’s. Until Richard Zocchi knocked on his shop door with the request to built him a show winning custom car, styled after the late 50’s, early 1960’s classic custom cars. For Gene this meant a comeback into customizing the “traditional way”. He would continue to be involved in this scene – up to this very moment – and hopefully for many more years to come.

We say traditional way. But in reality the Chrysler is not so very traditional at all. Even though Richard’s 1958 Chrysler New Yorker looks traditional – for the time it was built in – modern components were used to achieve the looks Richard and Gene were after. Gene started the job by lowered the car to the perfect ride-height, then he chopped the top 3 1/4 inch, and used a Dodge Challenger rear window to fit the new reshaped back of the top. The front fenders were extended, and slightly widened on the inside, to house a set of 1972 Oldsmobile Delta headlights. Far from traditional – but as the photos show – ¬†these modifications worked extremely well. All trim, and handles are removed, and the holes filled for an ultra smooth look.

CCC-Winfield-Golden-Sunrise-01-WRichard’s 1958 Chrysler New Yorker in progress at the Gene Winfield Canoga Park shop. The top has been chopped, and the reshaping of the front fenders to house the 1972 Oldsmobile headlights is in process. (Gene Winfield collection)
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CCC-Winfield-Golden-Sunrise-18-WThe nearly finished “Golden Sunrise” on its way to Richard’s home in Pittsburg, California. The car had deep chrome steel wheels at that moment, but those would soon be replaced with steel wheels and aftermarket hubcaps.¬†(Gene Winfield collection)
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CCC-Winfield-Golden-Sunrise-04-WAll finished with the new hubcaps, and wonderful polished chrome, the Golden Sunrise.
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A closer look at the Oldsmobile headlights, and the White Tuck & Roll and buttoned interior.
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This old aftermarket catalog image show the hubcaps “S” that Richard found. After having them re-plated, he used on his Chrysler. They fitted the car with its bullet grille, and fade away paint-job extremely well.
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The rear fenders were extended a little to work with the 1957 Chrysler taillights. The trunk was smoothed, and the bumper guards removed for a much cleaner look. Gene contracted an unique grille based on a wire mesh base, that was cut to fit the grille opening. Three rows of two different size chrome plated bullets were mounted on this base. A typical early 1960’s Winfield styling element which changed the look of the front dramatically. Together with the smoothed bumper and Oldsmobile quad headlights the front end looks absolutely stunning. Once all the body work was ready, Gene, and his team prepared the body for another unique Gene Winfield feature. The Fade-Away paint job. Gene painted the whole car in white pearl first, then started to blend-in candy yellow, orange, and golds to end up the the Golden Sunrise eye popping paint job.

The interior was handled by Dick’s Auto Trim in Concorde, California. Here, Skip DuMont used white leatherette tuck & roll, detailed with buttoned section on cut to fit Lincoln/Mercury Capri seats. Wide white wall tires, and 1957 Chrysler style with extra blades after market hubcaps, form the finishing touch.

Richards drove, and showed the car for a couple of years until he sold it to John D’Agostino in 1982.¬†Besides it being the come back to custom for Gene Winfield, Richard’s Golden Sunrise Chrysler is also one of those important custom cars that put Customs back on the map in the early 1980’s. Richard Zocchi and John D’Agostino both played a major role in that with their near annual new custom creations.

 

CCC-Winfield-Golden-Sunrise-19-WJohn D’Agostino, close friend to Richard Zocchi, and well known Custom Conductor, bought the Golden Sunset. He changed the hubcaps with his favorite trademark chrome wire wheels.
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CCC-Winfield-Golden-Sunrise-12-WCCC-Winfield-Golden-Sunrise-09-WThis photo was taken at the 1988 Paso Robles show. By then the car was owned by either Paul Glavaris or Harry Craycroft who had replaced the wide white wall tires with narrow white, and yellow stripe tires. The car still looked great, but I always preferred the original version with the full hubcaps, and wide white wall tires.
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CCC-Winfield-Golden-Sunrise-02-WMike Shelly’s photo give us a nice look at the bullet grille.
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CCC-Winfield-Golden-Sunrise-16-WThe current owner of the Golden Sunrise Bob Fryz, completely re-did the car several years ago. Now the car is painted a lime gold, outlined in white. Bob also removed the bullet grille, and replaced it with a chrome tube grille.
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The Golden Sunset has played a big part in my personal Custom Car history. In the early 1980’s the Classic & Custom magazine article on Richards Chrysler was copied in the Belgium/Dutch magazine Chroom & Vlammen (Dutch for: Chrome and Flames). This was basically the only magazine I was able to find back then. The wild fade paint job, the ultra bright chrome details like the bullet grille, fascinated me a lot. I must have stared at those photos for hours. A couple of years ago, I heard that the car was still around today. I was thrilled, but a bit disappointed to find out what the updated version looked like. The car looks still very nice with a slightly more forward rake. The new paint is also nice, and fits the theme. But personally I would love to see it restored back to its original Richard Zocchi version with the hubcaps, full whites, bullet grille and wild fading golden Sunset Gene Winfield paint job.

 

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Resource and more info:

  • Gene Winfield book,¬†The Legendary Custom Cars and Hot Rods of Gene Winfield
  • Classic Customs and Leadslead book, Bo Bertilsson
  • Classic & Custom magazine, August/September 1980

 

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LeRoy Goulart’s Shoebox Part 2

 

WILD-MILD CUSTOM

 

Part two on the LeRoy Goulart 1951 Ford Shoebox concentrated on the second and third version of the car with the help of the Goulart Photo Collection.

In part one we showed you the early version of LeRoy’s Shoebox. After showing his car for some time, LeRoy decided it was time for a make-over, and a bit more radical this time. Still the end result could be considered a mild custom. Although perhaps it can be considered a wild-mild custom. Since it still had a lot of body work done, but not the chopped top or sectioned body, that is considered a must, in order to deserve the title “wild custom car”.
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Once more LeRoy teamed up with his brother Ray, and later on in the process with Gene Winfield. First on the list was to modify the V-Shaped stock Shoebox windshield, and replace it with a round 1952 Ford unit. In fact the whole cowl and front section of the roof and A-pillars of a 1952 Ford donor car, was installed on the Shoebox body. Some adjustment work was needed to match the slightly smaller ’52 Ford windshield in the Shoebox opening. The front of the car was already reshaped in the first round. But LeRoy now wanted to have canted quad headlights.

Most of this work was done at the Winfield shop. The top and bottom portion of the grille opening, remained as it was created in the first version. But the sides, as well as the singe hooded headlights, were cut out. 1957 Chrysler Imperial quad headlights were positioned with the top light in the original Ford headlights position, and the whole headlight unit on angle. Round rod was shaped around the new headlights, to create a new opening flowing from the top of the fenders to the center of the old grille opening. The 1956 Chrysler grille bars were modified to fit the new opening. The front bumper remained the same as on the first version, and worked really well with the new grille headlight combination. The rear of the car remained the same as the first version, with the exception of the added scoop above the rear window.

In Ray’s original design sketches the sides of the car were altered dramatically as well. Newly shaped wheel openings, which matched the new shaped front of the car much better. Round rod was bend in a tear drop shape, to create a new wheel opening for both the front, and rear wheels. The shaped rod was welded to the body, and the inside body metal was cut out and concave shaped panels shaped, and installed in the new opening. Later these coves would be covered with hand shaped stainless steel panels. The ’55 Dodge side trim, and lake pipes were not altered. Once all the work was finished at the Winfield shop, Gene painted the car pearl white, with candy green fogged in around the edges.

 

CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-05-WGreat photo of LeRoy Goulart’s Shoebox in the white version. This one shows the work on the wheel well sculptured metal. Round rod was hand shaped, and molded into the body. The original body panel inside this shape was cut out, and replaced with concave shaped panels. This photo shows how extremely low this car is. LeRoy changed the hubcaps with what appears to be 1957 Chysler units. Notice how the drip rail from the 1952 Ford front section of the top continues onto the stock drip rail.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-04-WThe sculptured fender well’s, and license plate holder are really working great on this car. And so are the 1956 Olds taillights set into extended wind-splits, another wonderful detail of this great Custom Car.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-06-WA good view at the six rows of louvres.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-14-WWith every version of the car LeRoy was doing very well at the Car Shows. He won a huge selection of trophies during the period he showed the car. This snapshot shows the car in its white version, parked on the lawn with the trophies proudly displayed in front of the car.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-10-WThis photo shows how low the car really was…¬†LOW!¬†The car was raised a bit later on, to increase drive-ability. LeRoy did drive this car quite a bit, but it really was a bit to low to be really comfortable, practical and most of all safe. The 1957 Plymouth hubcaps are back on the car again as well, and they will also stay on the car after it was repainted green.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-collection-04Lanny Erickson shared three really great color photos of LeRoy’s Shoebox with us. This is the all white with green fades version. And these are the only photos we have ever seen in color of the car in this version.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-collection-05The color photos of the car in this version gave a whole different look at the car. The green accents are a lot more visible in the color photos than they are in the black and white photos.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-collection-06Gene Winfield even added green faded to the louvers on the hood.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-18-WShit happens… LeRoy Goulart’s 1951 Ford is shown here in the the white version, and it also shows the reason why it was later changed to the better known green version. DAMAGE… besides this passenger side rear fender damage the car was also damaged at the front. Sad for sure, but mishaps like this gave the owner/builders a good opportunity to give their Customs a face lift and score more points at the next Car Show season.
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After showing the car in this version for some time, LeRoy damaged the passenger rear fender, and the front of the car. So it was back to Gene Winfield for repair work, and a completely new paint job. LeRoy really loved the original Winfield green version of the car, and decided the car should be green again.

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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-03-WA photo of LeRoy Goulart after he won the Outstanding Award at the 8th Sacramento Autorama and Motor Sports Review in 1958 with his Shoebox. This photo also shows the nicely tuck&roll covered top portion of the dash. If you look closely, you can see a wire coming of the working spotlights.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-23-WTwo snapshots taken at one of the many shows LeRoy entered the car.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-21-WSnapshot of the Shoebox in front of LeRoy’s home garage.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-RC-58The July 1958 had a four page feature on LeRoy’s Ford.
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In 1960 LeRoy experienced once more that the car was really to low to travel comfortable with, and more important safe. On a trip from Minnesota to his home in California, he spun the car on an icy road in Wyoming. He landed in the field next to the road, and damaged the underside of the car since it was just to low. At that time he decided to let go of the car, he stored it in a close by barn, and would later advertise it in the paper. He sold the car by phone and never saw it back again. The last thing he heard about his old love was that it was left on the side of a street out in the open.

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Resource and more info:

  • Gene Winfield book,¬†The Legendary Custom Cars and Hot Rods of Gene Winfield
  • Custom Cars magazine,¬†January 1958
  • Rod & Custom magazine,¬†July 1958
  • LeRoy Goulart Collection

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Go back to Part One.
 

 

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LeRoy Goulart’s Shoebox Part 1

 

THE EARLY VERSION

 

The Goulart brothers LeRoy, and Ray, created a radical Custom Shoebox over a period of time. The car would make a huge impact in the custom car world, and even had model car companies copy ideas from it to include in their plastic kits.


LeRoy Goulart’s ’51 Ford was mostly built by the bothers LeRoy and Ray Goulart. The photos in this Two Parts article are part of LeRoy Goulard’s¬†personal collection, and are shared by Jerry Daman with the Custom Car Chronicle. The photo below shows the car in its most popular version, with the canted headlights, 1952 Ford windshield, and radical wheel cut outs front and rear. In part two of the article we will tell you more about his particular version.

CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-02-WThis is the best known version o the LeRoy Goulart Shoebox. We will tell you more about the car in this version in Part TWO.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-15-W Early photo from the LeRoy Goulart Collection shows LeRoy racing his Shoebox, before the Custom work had begun.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-13-W Another early photo of LeRoy’s Ford shows the car before the start of the body work. The interior had been redone completely, including a cover over the rear seats.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-19-WBefore LeRoy started the body work he made some rough sketches on photos of his Car. This sample shows some side trim and taillight ideas.
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LeRoy bought his 1951 Shoebox in 1954. Before he started customizing the car, LeRoy used it as daily transport. In the weekends he did some racing with the car . Together with his brother Ray, he made some design sketches. When to both agreed on the design, the brothers started working. The front wheel openings of a 1952 Ford were added to the Shoebox. The grille opening was reshaped, using round rod and sheet metal. This new design matched the shape of the 1952 Ford wheel openings perfectly. Two 1956 Chrysler Windsor grille bars were installed floating freely in the new opening. The hood was extended, and incorporated the top section of the new grille opening. Jack Hageman added six rows of louvers to the hood. The front bumper was removed. A roll pan was created to which a 1955 Pontiac two part bumper was added. The brothers used wire mess to create the shape on the trunk to house the license plate. Once this shape was perfect, they covered it in fiberglass.

The door handles were shaved, and so were all other trim. A 1955 Dodge Lancer gave up its side trim which was mounted low on the body just above the rear wheel opening. The shape of the trim gives the flat side of the Shoebox a sense of movement. The car’s suspension was modified to allow for a radical lowering. The Cal Custom lake pipes were mounted on the rocker panels allowing the pipes to sit level with the bottom of the body.¬†The hooded headlights, and radical surrounds for the 1955 Oldsmobile 98 taillights were farmed out to the American Body Shop in Stockton.

When all the body work was done, LeRoy took the car to Gene Winfield for a paint job. The team at Winfield performed some fine tuning on the body work before the car was ready for the final paint. Gene painted the car in a brilliant lime green with a gold under-base. The paint really glowed in the sunlight showing dark lime green colors on the shadow sections, and gold where the sun hits the body. When the car was done, LeRoy  had Von Dutch do the pin-striping in his characteristic bold white line style. The upholstery in white with green piping, was done by the Tuxedo Auto Upholstery.

CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-01-W This photo, taken at one of the many shows the car entered, shows LeRoy’s Ford finished in its first version. Reshaped grille opening with a nice lip matching the 1952 Ford wheel openings, and 1955 Dodge Lancer side trim. The car is now painted green and Von Dutch did the pin striping in white.¬†
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-08-WTwo nice color photos of the first version showing the new grille opening with Chrylser Windson grille bars, the Pontiac front bumpers, stock rear bumper, fiberglass molded in license plate surround on the trunk, 1955 Olds 98 taillights, 1955 Dodge Lancer side trim placed low on the body, Cal Custom lake pipes and 1957 Plymouth cone hubcaps. These slightly faded color photo also show a bit of how the lime green metallic/flake paint glowed gold when the sun hit the body.
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Resource and more info:

  • Gene Winfield book, The Legendary Custom Cars and Hot Rods of Gene Winfield
  • Custom Cars magazine, January 1958
  • Rod & Custom magazine, July 1958
  • LeRoy Goulart Collection

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