Joe Hocker 1936 Ford

 

JOE HOCKER 1936 FORD

 

The Hocker brothers Joe and Tom from Oakland California were both into Custom Car. Tom had the famous Barris Restyled 1940 Ford, and Joe a DuVall windshield 1936 Ford Phaeton.



Of the two Hocker Brothers Joe (Joseph) and Tom we are most familiar with Tom’s 1940 Ford restyled by the famous Barris Kustom Shop around 1953, and later updated around 1957. While doing research for the restoration of the Tom Hocker 1940 Ford, John Canepa came in contact with the Hocker family. Sadly Tom and Joe are no longer with us, but John was able to get some great information and pictures from Joe’s Hocker‘s widow and son Joe Jr. Besides some great snapshots they also shared some valuable information that helps John with the restoration on the Tom Hocker ’40 Ford.

During the conversation with the Hockers, John also learned about brother Joe’s earlier custom, his 1936 Ford Phaeton. Joe Jr. shared a few of the family snapshots of his father’s ’36 Ford and when John shared those with me I recognized the car immediately as the Joseph Hocker Ford that was entered at the 1951 National Roadster Show in Oakland Ca. For some strange reason I never made the link between Joseph Hocker with his ’36 Ford and Tom Hocker with his 1940 Ford Coupe, and never realized these were two brothers who were both into Custom Cars.

Tom Hocker with his chopped ‘40 Ford fresh from Barris Kustoms in ‘52. When John Canepa was asking the Hocker family for more info and photos of the Tom Hocker ’40 Ford they found this one, and many more, and they also came across the ’36 Ford images of Tom’s brother Joe. The car we concentrate on in this article.
[divider]



Tom’s 1940 Ford was a very well known Barris Custom, first painted Fuchsia Orchid, and later in metallic medium blue with scallops and later dual headlights. The was featured in many magazines, and in color on the cover. Joseph’s ’36 Ford was on the road a few years earlier, basically just before the major car magazines were published. So far we only had heard about his Ford from the 1951 National Roadster Show. And seen a few photos of the car from this show. We also had some info how the car had survived and is still around today as a semi restored car with dual cowl and dual V-Windshield. When John Canepa shared the Hocker family photos and the info he had gathered it all fell in place.

We are still trying to find out more about the early days of the Hocker Brothers and their Custom Cars. Finding out more about Joe’s ’36 Ford, when it was restyled, and who did the work on the car. Hopefully we will be able to get more details at a later date, initiated by this article. And if we do, we will update the info in the article.

Joe Hocker 1936 Ford

George DuVall designed and created the now famous DuVall V-Windshield for the SoCalif. Plating 1935 Ford in 1936. Even though the windshield was original designed for the ’35-’36 Fords the windshield really became popular after it was modified to fit the narrower 1932 Ford body. Over the decades the DuVall windshield has been used more on Hot Rods than on Custom Cars for which it was originally intended for. But there are a few samples of early Custom Cars that used the streamlined DuVall V-windshield. Joe Hocker’s 36 Ford Phaeton is one of them.

Joe Hocker with his 1936 Ford Pheaton with DuVall windshield and matching padded top.
[divider]


Julian Doty is DuVall’s nephew and was selling the windshields in the 40’s & 50’s. Most likely Joe bought the DuVall windshield from him.
[divider]



We are not sure if Joe ever saw the SoCali Plating ’35 Ford in person, or perhaps in one of the early publications. So we do not know if this inspired him to get the DuVall windshield, and shape of the Padded top in a similar way, but since the similarities are striking we do think the SoCal Plating Shop truck was an influence on Tom’s Ford. Julian Doty, who was George DuVall’s nephew, was marketing the DuVall Windshields in the 1940’s and 1950’s. So most likely Joe bought one of them from Julian, or perhaps thru a dealer.


What we do know about the Hocker brothers is that they were very creative, and skilled to do a lot of work on their cars them selves. But when it came to work they felt not comfortable with, like the majority of the body work, paint and interior, they went to the best on the market. Joe’s 36 Ford was never featured in any magazine or book, at least not in its original form. Which could have helped us with crucial information. At this moment the Hocker family could not remember if anybody else but Joe and Tom worked on the Phaeton body. Making the windshield fit the cowl, and other body changes, perhaps the Hocker brother did the work at their home shop, perhaps it was outsourced. The uniquely shaped padded top, with French curve, might have been done by the C.A. Hall Auto Tops in Oakland Ca.

Joe and Gwen with the ‘36 Ford.
[divider]



Gwen Hocker, Joe’s wife, remembered a few things about Joe’s ’36 Ford ans shared those memories with John Canepa. Joe got his driver’s license when he was just 13 years old. Joe and his brother Tom worked on their cars on a dirt floor behind their small house. One day, when taking a trip in the ‘36 with the padded top left at home, they were caught in a rainstorm, and lightning struck the chrome dash while they were driving! In the early 1950’s Joe made a living from being was a handyman at an apartment complexes nearby where they lived.

Joe and Tom behind the ‘36 Ford. This side view shows the very steep angle of the DuVall windshield really well. It gave instant speed to the Ford.
[divider]



Joe installed a 1946 Semi-race Mercury engine with Edelbrock heads and manifold, Harmon Collins cam, Kong Ignition and ’46 Mercury transmission in the car. He modified the suspension to get the car a bit lower, but not as low as most other Customs from the same era. He updated the suspension with ’46 Ford hydraulic brakes. The stock bumpers were replaced with 1940 Oldsmobile bumpers front and rear. The stock hood sides were replaced with aftermarket smooth units, the hood ornament was replaced with a bull nose aftermarket piece for a smoother look. And the grille side pieces were chrome plated.

Joe shaved the door handles and with all the body work done, the car was painted with 25 coats of metallic maroon paint. Joe added 1939 Ford teardrop taillights to the smoothed rear fenders. In the 1951 Oakland Show Brochure it is listed that the car had Cadillac Hubcaps, but by the looks if it I think they are aftermarket look alike that are a bit less deep, allowing the stock Ford wheels to be used. The hubcaps look really great with the car with the wide white wall tires and no skirts in the back giving the car an European vibe.

The only rear view we have of the car is this out of focus snapshot. It shows the canvas covered spare tire, and the use of ’39 Ford teardrop taillights on smoothed rear fenders.
[divider]

Joe’s ’36 Ford on the right along with a few Friends cars.
[divider]






At this moment we do not know the full story on Joe’s Ford, what happened to the car from the time the snapshots in this article and those at the 1951 Oakland Roadster Show were taken, until the late 1960’s. Hopefully we will be able to update this article later with more info about this time. We do know, thanks to Ron Brooks, that in the late 1960’s, or perhaps early 1970’s Harry Morse owned the ’36 Ford, and he took it to Don Bridgeman (Don’s Body Shop) to convert his car to a dual-cowl body.

Wonderful front 3/4 view of Joe’s Ford with some of his friends cars next to it.
[divider]



The 1951 National Roadster Show

Until recently the only photos we had seen of Joe’s ’36 Ford were taken at the 1951 National Roadster Show, the second annual Roadster show in Oakland California. In the 1951 Show booklet the owner of the car was mentioned to be Joseph Hocker. The Roadster Show was a local show for Joe, but it meant that his car would become world wide known. Perhaps not right then, when it was shown, but it sure has been in the last few decades.

Overview photo of the 1951 Oakland Roadster Show shows Joe’s Ford with one hood side open to show of the mercury engine and the padded top in place.
[divider]


Close up of the photo above.
[divider]


This picture shows a hint of what is going on in the engine bay. It looks like Joe used plenty of chrome and polished parts to make the Mercury engine look at its best. The inset is the write up on Joe’s Ford in the 1951 National Roadster Show booklet.
[divider]


A double exposed snapshot showing the engine of Joe’s Ford.
[divider]


Custom Cars were well present at the 1951 Show.
[divider]


Side view photo taken at the show by Rudy Perez. It gives us a good look at the padded top.
[divider]


Joe’s Ford just visible on the right of this picture of the National Roadster Show award.
[divider]




The Dual Cowl 1936 Ford

In the late 1960’s or early 1970’s Harry Morse, of Castro Valley, California acquired the ‘36 Ford Phaeton Custom for a good price from a guy named Pete Paulsen. When Morse bought the car the car still had the original DuVall windshield and the Mercury engine and most likely all the other custom touches. (Pete Paulsen recently confirmed that the car he sold to Harry Morse was indeed the Joe Hocker Ford.)

Morse replaced the Mercury engine with a bone stock unit and had the interior redone in leather. The DuVall windshield was not stock, but it inspired Harry to do something special and create a dual cowl ‘36 Ford based on a General Motors design for a ’34 Cadillac he had always been impressed with. The second windshield was created using the original brass unit as a base, and modified it to fit the hand made second cowl, created by Don Bridgman. Don used a cowl of a ‘35 Ford Roadster parts car to create the second cowl. The brass cast unit was polished and plated. Morse kept the smooth hood sides, and added body color grille sides, stock hood ornament as well as grille extension Fultron trim pieces on the front of the hood.

July 1979 issue of Custom & Rod Ideas had a very nice feature on the ’36 Ford after it was own by Harry Morse, of Castro Valley, California.
[divider]

 

Custom &Rod Ideas opening spread. This bottom photo shows that the car has an fender mounted gas filler as well as ’39 Ford taillights. Both are most likely left from the original Joe Hocker version.
[divider]


Second spread showed some color as well, including the beautiful leather interior.
[divider]



In the early 1990’s Harry Morse sells the Ford to Mike Aahl, also of of Castro Valley. Mike has made a few small changes to the car over the years, including adding new wheels and tires and adjusting the stance a little to get it a little lower, perhaps more to how Joe Hocker had it in the early 1950’s. Mike still enjoys the car and it pops up at local car shows from time to time.

Taken a few years ago, now owned by Mike Aahl of Castro Valley, who has owned it for 25 plus years now. Mike has made a few changes to the car, including a stance adjustment, new white wall tires and steel wheels with 48 Ford hubcaps and beauty rings.
[divider]


Ron Brooks took this picture at a GoodGuys show a couple years ago.
[divider]


The George DuVall designed SoCalif Plating Shop hauler 1935 Ford was created in 1936. It might have been the inspiration for Joe to created his ’36 Ford.
[divider]


A ’36 Ford similarly restyled as the Joe Hocker Ford is the Tommy The Greek ’36 Ford. Often these two cars are mixed up. Joe’s Ford has stock fenders with running boards, four doors and had Olds bumpers, while Tommy’s Ford has reshaped fenders, removed running boards, skirts and Pontiac bumpers.
[divider]


Special thanks to John Canepa and Ron Brooks




[divider]

(This article is made possible by)

CCC-sponsor-ad-vintage-kustoms-01


[divider]



0

Santa Monica 36 Ford 5 Window

36 FORD 5 WINDOW

.

Beautifully styled 1936 Ford 5 window Coupe from the Santa Monica area. Created around 1940 and a total mystery.

.

I appreciate Customized Cars from all era’s and brands, and each era, en perhaps even each brand, and model produced that one car that does something special with you. Your personal favorite of that time, or model. The 1936 Ford in this article is my personal favorite Custom from the late 1930’s, early 1940’s… when it comes to coupes. There are many others from this time I love, but this one is special. To me this car has helped shape and define the looks of the Custom Car. Improving of the appearance of the restyled car. Overall the early Custom Car period from the late 1930’s till the mid 1940’s is very interesting to me, since the Custom Cars created during this period are so pure, and so creative.

The first time I saw a picture of this so fine ’36 Ford 5-window coupe was in a book called Custom Cars & Lead Sleds from Timothy Remus, published in 1990. I showed a rather large picture of the car and I fell totally in love with the styling of the car. Later I found that Dean Batchelor who had photographed the car in the early 1940’s had used it in several of his stories on early Custom Cars. And the first time he had used it was in the May 1953 issue of Rod & Custom

.

The photo of the mystery 1936 Ford 5 window Coupe that Dean Batchelor took in the very early 1940’s.ï»ż

.

The Car looked absolutely perfect to me, with its medium chopped top, removed running boards, ribbed cover to hide the frame rails, reworked fenders with stainless rock shields on the rear fenders. Teardrop shaped skirts, Single bar flipper hubcaps, and that really well done narrowed stock ’36 Ford grille with additional grilles added to the lower front fenders. Smooth hood sides and a two tone paint job. It looked so much more classy and perfectly balanced to me than the stock ’36 Ford it was started with.

At one point Dean Batchelor mentioned that the car had been restyled by Santa Monica Body Works, but in later articles he mentioned he had no idea who owned the car, nor who created it. And even though I have done a lot of research on the car and talked to a lot of people about it, I also do not have any leads on any more information on it. I did however find another photos of the car, once that most likely a little older than the one Dean took. And it shows the car a bit more from the front. Dean mentioned that he took the photo in the early 1940’s in Santa Monica on Pico, close to Ocean Ave. And he remembered that car was gray, or silver gray with maroon

.

ï»żIn the May 1953 issue of Rod & Custom magazine Dean Batchelor showed the photo of the ’36 Ford photographed in Santa Monica for the first time (as far as I know) Here he mentioned that the Santa Monica Body Works did the work on the car. In later articles where he used the same photo, he mentioned that he had no idea who did the body work on the car.

.

About the Ford

I think this ’36 Ford Custom is extremely inspiring. It is very typical for the era, creative, no nonsense restyling for a car that most likely was used on  daily base. The car was lowered, but not as much as later in the 1940’s or 1950’s. The roads back then were not as good as today, and these cars did see a lot of road use. The chop is perfectly balanced when you compare it to the rest of the body and the higher stance. The front end of the car is what makes it really special.

The grille is one of the best on any 1936 Fords ever done. It looks like a simple narrowed unit until you start comparing. The top radius is larger than on a stock grille. Most likely the whole outer trim piece is hand made, and the body panel surrounding it hand made to flow nicely into the grille and smooth hood sides. Most likely the hood sides are some early aftermarket products from possibly Eastern Auto Supply Comp. That company started very early and created a lot of parts for the early Custom Car enthusiast

.

Close up showing the really nicely done narrowed  grille and to side grilles mounted nicely alongside the main grille. Another very popular accessory in that period was the amber colored fog lights. Notice how the license plate frame had broken of on one site of the 1940 license plate.

.

To ensure the engine would stay cool during the warm California drives and the lack of cooling from the solid hood sides, two new very elegantly shaped grilles were added just below the headlights in the front fenders. with only the two photos of the car we have it is not possible to identify if these lower grilles were hand made, or came from another car and made to fit the ’36 Ford. My guess, especially judging the new main grille surround, is that the lower grilles were hand made. The new narrow grille and smooth hood sides give the front of the car a much longer and taller look and feel. According the book “Forever Fords” by Lorin Sorensen, the two side grilles used on the car are shortened Lincoln-Zephyr grilles. (thank you David Giller for this info)

Another aftermarket part possibly is the ribbed cover used to hide the frame rails after the running boards had been removed. I have seen this same set up on at least one other ’36 Ford, and possibly on more. This includes the stainless steel rock shield on the front of the rear fenders. The lower section of the back of the front fenders were nicely reshaped  and the whole restyling of this created a much more sporty feel for the Ford

.

A close up of the two tone paint job, and how nice the separation line follows the body lines.

.

Close up showing the ribbed frame cover, reshaped front fender lower edge and stainless steel rock shield for the rear fenders.ï»ż

.

The top was chopped less than 3 inches I think. In these early days I have seen some chops with angled back windshield and rear window to make up for the height difference. But in this case the top looks to have been stretched to meet the new location of the pillars. keeping the proportions of the top similar to stock, just lower, more dramatic.

The car has a set of small diameter single bar flipper ribbed hubcaps. The ribbed section of the hubcaps ties the ribs on the frame covers as well as the grilles together, creating a overall theme for the car. Unusual for the Custom are the use of stock bumpers, even back in the early 1940’s it was rather common to upgrade on bumpers, or use more stylish units, but not on this car. and I have to say that the dip in the stock front fender looks really good with the narrowed grille. The door handles are also left in place, which was done a lot back then, since the solenoid openers had not found their way into the Custom Car scene yet

.

This ’36 Ford Coupe uses the same ribbed frame cover and stainless rock shield, making me believe these are aftermarket parts. The ribbed cover could also have an LaSalle heritage, but aftermarket is my first choice.ï»ż

.

The only other photo I have ever come across shows the car a little more from the front so that we can see the narrow grille and lower grilles a bit Better. (I found a very small picture of a negative on an expired ebay auction many year ago, and was able to track down the owner who kindly shared a nice scan of the photo with us.)

.

As the close up photos show the detail work on the car looks to have been done really well. All work looks very straight, and professionally done. I especially like the unusual two tone paint job. And hoe the separation line is wrapping around the windshield pillar. Typical for the era is the single spotlight mounted on the drivers A-Pillar

In the late 1930’s and early 1940’s there were more people who could have done the work on this car. But one name that pops up in my head when I look at the grilles on this ’36 Ford is George DuVall. He created beautiful grilles for some of the most trend setting Customs. Could he have had a hand in the restyling of this ’36 Ford 5 window Coupe? The restyled Ford also has a look we later associate with Harry Westergard. I hope one day we will find out. Hopefully in the near future somebody will recognize the car and be able to shed some more light on the cars history who the owner was, who build it, and what happened to it. The two photos used in the article is all we have ever seen on this car. If you know more, please send us an email, we would love to share more about this cars history here on the Custom Car Chronicle

.

ï»żFor the Rodder’s Journal issue 33 I did a series of Colorized Custom Car photos, this ’36 Ford was one of them. So now we have a bit of a feeling how the car might have looked in color back in 1940.

.

.

(This article is made possible by)

CCC-sponsor-ad-vintage-kustoms-01

.

.

0

Early Flipper Hubcaps

 

EARLY FLIPPER HUBCAPS

 

In the mid and late part of the 1930s the industry started to create the first Custom Car accessory parts. Lets take a closer look at an very early Flipper Disk Hubcap.



A couple of year ago I was browsing eBay searching for some Custom Hubcap photo for my Single Bar Flipper Hubcap photo archive. I came across an auction that was listed as: 1930’s? Ford Accessory? Hollywood Flipper Hubcap Original – Old School.

The hubcap that was offered looked very much like some of the ripple disk hubcaps I had seen from some very early dry lake racers, but this one had a flipper added to the center. Which was very much like the Hollywood style Single Bar Flipper Hubcaps we all know so well from the 1940’s customs. I had never seen anything like this flipper before. The small diameter smooth section of the hubcap looked a lot like the Cadillac flipper hubcaps from ’34-35, which are shown in an older article I did on the Single Bar Hubcap design. But on the Cadillac unit the smooth hubcap with flipper are separate piece, while on this eBay offering it is all one hubcaps (with the flipper as a separate part). What really intrigued me about the offering is that it mentioned that the hubcap might be a factory accessory.

The hubcap eBay listing did not come with much info: Few Dings–Needs some TLC No holes! Measurements are approx. 13 7/8″ across front and back!
[divider]





The last photo shows the hubcap mounted on a sort of beauty ring, and the flipper part has been removed from the hubcap, to show how it was mounted.
[divider]


Some time after I had saved the eBay early Flipper Disc Hubcap I came across a photo of an early Customized 1937 Ford convertible sedan in the Rodder’s Journal promotion on the Strother MacMinn book Hot Rods and Custom Cars and this car seemed to have the same hubcaps with the small smooth section and small flipper hubcap. Exactly the same hubcap as the one I had saved from the eBay offering. So now I know that the hubcap was most likely an aftermarket or factory accessory unit, that was available. The photo caption in the RJ magazine did not mention a date, but it looks like the license plate is a California 1940 plate.


The photo from the Strother MacMinn Collection is not dated, but it looks like the California plate comes from 1940 with larger rounded corners. And that the chrome license plate surround is an older type fitted to the pre 1940 more square cornered plates. The nice chrome plated hubcaps look really good with the multiple ripples and small spinners. It gives the car a very classic look.
[divider]


Enlarged section of the photo gives us a good look at the hubcap with the small flipper.
[divider]


In early 2016 I came across another photo, a really good quality one of the Tommy Lee Speedster that shows the exact same hubcaps on this car. The photo is part of the Revs Institute and scanned at high res, which allows us to have a really good look at the hubcap. This photo also shows the license plate of this car which is a California 1938 plate. So we now know that the hubcaps are at least from 1938, or perhaps older.

The Tommy Lee Speedster was created by Frank Kurtis in 1937, and the car was designed by George Du Vall. After I found this Revs photo I searched in my online collection and found more photo of the Lee Roadster with these hubcaps. For some reason I had never really noticed them… perhaps especially since the restored car has a set of  more regular Single Bar Flipper Hubcaps mounted.


Beautiful night time photo taken by Ted Wilson at the Gilmore Stadium in 1938.
[divider]


The hubcaps were used on the car without beauty-rings which would become very popular in the next couple of years.
[divider]


And the one on the rear wheels showing a little bit more of the side of the flipper.


Another photo of the Tommy Lee Speedster with the hubcaps at one of the dry lake races, year unknown.
[divider]




George Du Vall

Now I knew that these unique hubcaps were also used on the Tommy Lee Speedster I did a little more research, and remembered a really nice design sketch that George Du Vall. Ron Kellogg had shared this image online some time ago and I had saved it with the rest of my Tommy Lee material. When I looked at it I was shocked to see that the design sketch included the exact design for these ripple disk flipper hubcaps. So could it be that George Du Vall had designed these hubcaps, perhaps especially for the Tommy Lee Roadster, or perhaps he had already designed them for another project and they had been in production already? George Du Vall has been credited with the design for several custom hubcaps including the more common ripple disk flipper hubcap, and the Swirl Hubcap.


The beautiful side view Sketch George DuVall created for Tommy Lee and Frank Kurtis in 1937 shows the design for the early ripple disk flipper hubcaps.
[divider]


I have not been able to find any proof that the hubcap in this article is an George Du Vall design and product, but it does look very plausible. Especially with the exact design on the Tommy Lee Speedster sketch, and the knowledge that Du Valle designed more hubcaps in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Most likely George sold his design and the production drawing to several aftermarket companies who started to produce these hubcaps. In preparation of this article I tried to find as many samples of these hubcaps as I could. But they are very rare. Most likely not to many where produced before the more common larger size 2 or 3 ripple disk single bar flipper hubcaps took over the market.


An old article on George Du Vall shows that George Du Vall was also the designer of these hubcaps, which have a larger moon section and flipper.  It looks like this is the hubcap that is also used on the ’38 Lincoln at the end of this article.
[divider]


This unusual 1937 Ford ex Sedan Custom also appears to have a set of similar styled hubcaps, but it looks like these are used without the flipper. We know that the later version of the Ripple Disk hubcap was also available without the flipper, so perhaps this was the case with this early unit as well.
[divider]


Most likely this photo was taken around 39 (square corner CA plates with World Fair text on the top). The ’36 Ford 5-window coupe has its running boards removed, fender ends reshaped, a set of beautiful torpedo shaped chrome headlights and a set of what looks like a none flipper version of this hubcap. Also interesting in this photo is the pin-striping along the belt-line, one of the earliest, if not the earliest I have seen on a Custom.
[divider]


And another set of the hubcaps with-out the flipper on this 1939 Ford Coupe. Unsure about which state this car comes, I cannot read the plate. Also notice the double sided white wall tires.
[divider]


1934 Ford chopped Cope from the AHRF shows a similar, non flipper ripple disc hubcap. Notice that the ’34 was nicely Custom Restyled with matching ripple ’37 DeSoto bumpers and a set in license plate.
[divider]


From the Howard Gribble collection comes this ’37 Ford that appears to have the same hubcaps as well. Perhaps these are an in-between version of the original hubcap in this article, and the more common wider hubcap that was “mass” produced.
[divider]


A Single Bar flipper box label I came across online many years ago. Not sure if this is a box for the hubcap in this article, or a later version with a larger moon section. I have not seen many of these boxes. “Streamlined” Doll-Up Wheel Discs.
[divider]


This beautiful restyled 1938 Lincoln was built before WWII and uses also a smaller size Flipper disc hubcap. But this one is clearly an in-between the hubcaps from this article, and the more common 2-3 ripple disk hubcaps from the 1940′. 
[divider]


Just including this photo to show the most popular version of the single bar flipper hubcap. And how it was already available in 1940. This particular one has three ribs, but there were also version with two, and even one rib.
[divider]




Factory or Dealer Accessory

In the beginning of the article I mentioned that the eBay auction listed this Single Bar Flipper Hubcap as a possible Factory Accessory part. I was very intrigued by that, since I had heard one time before about a single bar flipper hubcap as a factory accessory, but I’m still unsure about this, and so far I have not been able to find any information about this. It could of course be possible that FoMoCo had bought the designs from George Du Vall for these hubcaps… but at this moment I think they were aftermarket products, perhaps they were available from the FoMoCo car dealers. I hope one day to find out more about this.

Here is an photo of an dressed up 1939 Mercury that was listed as an factory or dealer photo with factory accessory parts, antenna’s, spotlights, bumper over-riders and flipper hubcaps. Anybody knows anything more about this?
[divider]





(This article is made possible by)



jamco-sponsor-ad-602-01




.

0

Neferteri Part Three

 

NEFERTERI part Three

 

Larry Pointer, our Forrest Gump of the Conquistadors Car Club, marvels at Europe’s Golden Age of the coach built automobile, and influences that would ripple across the Atlantic Pond. From carrossieres to customizers, the distance is not so very far.



Larry Pointer found himself a survivor of Y2K, retired, a widower, and a more or less empty nester.  He needed a project.  In this series, he shares his passion for all things “Streamline Moderne”, and how it all turned into a 13-year labor of love, to create “Neferteri“, his custom Diamond T truck.

By Larry Pointer with Rik Hoving

Neferteri, Part Three

Growing up in Sheridan, Wyoming, I didn’t have a sense of the Streamline Moderne world of the previous decade, especially the realm of the European coach builders. I did have a toy Jaguar XK 120 in grey plastic. And much later a love/hate relationship with an apple green XJ6 sedan.


ccc-neferteri-part-3-plastic-jag

ccc-neferteri-part-3-stearmanStearman spray plane dusting the fields.
[divider]



Streamline Moderne style was all around, however. Mostly in hand-me-downs. Streamline tricycles. Streamline Schwinn bicycles with the swoopy headlight and a teardrop tank between the nut-buster bars. Indian and Harley motorcycles roaring past in unforgettable cacophony. Stearman spray planes buzzing the neighborhood, just cuz they could.

ccc-neferteri-part-3-bicycle-01Early exposure to streamline Moderne.
[divider]


ccc-neferteri-part-3-bicycle-02Streamline Schwinn bicycles and later the Indian and Harley motorcycles.
[divider]



But the beauty of it all is that essential difference between art possession and art appreciation: no remorse. No maintenance and upkeep headaches. No fears of calamity, burglary, or the thief in the night. I could appreciate the art of Progress all about me, without limit or consequence.
Satchell Paige used to advise: “Don’t look back; somethin’ might be gainin’ on you.” And I wanted to see it all; do it all. Well, still do, for that matter.

To my growing awareness of the motor car world, European coach building came across the Pond in some measure with two individual stylists: Howard “Dutch” Darrin and Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky.

ccc-neferteri-part-3-darrin-cable-packardDutch Darrin Clark Gable Packard.
[divider]



The operative word here is “individual”. I don’t think you could get more “individual” than the irrepressible Dutch Darrin. Darrin’s creativity was distinctive in the very least. Early on in Paris, he and Tom Hibbard combined as coach builders, and after Hibbard returned to the US to form the Lebaron enterprise with Ray Dietrich, Darrin joined with an Argentine furniture entrepreneur in Paris to build custom automobiles for high society and celebres, on top end chassis they acquired abroad and from the US. As the clouds of War gathered, Darrin pulled out of Paris and popped up amonst the movie guild in Hollywood. Of the cars Darrin designed and built, the model that most gets my Adrenalin going is the special Packard Darrin, with the “Darrin Dip” in the doors, appropriated from the race cars and sportsters of the Jazz Age.

ccc-neferteri-part-3-sakhnoffsky-cordAlexis de Sakhnoffsky little blue coupe designed on a Cord chassis.
[divider]


One outstanding car designed by the Ă©migrĂ© Alexis de Sakhnoffsky was a coupe that could put the “Little Deuce Coupe” of the Beach Boys album cover to shame. Working in the Hayes studios, de Salkhnoffsky laid out his low-slung design over a Cord chassis. This little blue coupe became the first American made motor car to win the coveted Grand Prix trophy at the 1929 Monaco Concours. More of de Sakhnoffsky in the next episode of my learning adventures.

 

But to this impressionable kid out of Wyoming, it was the Duesenberg, the Auburn, the Cord, and the designers of those absolutely gorgeous coach built bodies that burn like a fever in my brain. Of the brothers, Augie would put the Duesenberg out front on the race tracks. Speed demanded Streamline. The Duesenberg Special, piloted by Ab Jenkins and dubbed the “Mormon Meteor” WAS streamline. On Utah’s famed Bonneville Salt Flats, Jenkins streaked to records that would hold up to challenges for long into the future.

ccc-neferteri-part-3-mormon-meteorAb Jenkins “Mormon Meteor” Duesenberg.
[divider]



A more sedate Duesenberg commanded attention in its debut at the 1933 Chicago “Century of Progress” World’s Fair. The “Twenty Grand” was designed in-house by Gordon Buehrig, and built in Pasadena by Murphy coach builders, This smartly appointed silver torpedo sedan with its dual sidemounts caused quite a stir in the industry. Of Buehrig’s design, to my eye, most attractive was the divided windshield, laid back to fold smartly into the roof line. From all angles, however, the coach craft spoke of elegance.

ccc-neferteri-part-3-20000-duesenbergThe Twenty Grand Duesenberg designed by Gordon Buehrig, and built by Murphy coach builders.
[divider]



Then, in thumbing through Rob Wagner’s book, Classic Cars, I spied a long, low Walker LaGrande Duesenberg SJ convertible. Pictured perfect in a California wine country setting , it had a chopped windshield, and was painted in the very livery of wine and red-orange that had gotten me all fired up with the Graber Duesenberg on the Continent. Those were going to be MY colors!

ccc-neferteri-part-3-walker-lagrandeWalker LaGrande’s georgeous Duesenberg SJ painted in the colors I would later choose for my project.
[divider]



Still, wanting to see and absorb it all, I moved on through to Duesenberg’s stable mates, the Auburn and the Cord. More of Buehrig was to come, but when I came across the drawings and Auburn cars that came to life off the drafting table of Alan Leamy, Babe, I couldn’t get much higher.

ccc-neferteri-part-3-alan-leamy-designsAlan Leamy Auburn designs.
[divider]

Most memorable in my bucket list has to be a trip I was able make in 2013 to include the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, and a visit with archivist Jon Bill. There, I was mesmerized with the drafting studio; the clay models and the tools that shaped them; the exquisite laminated wooden fender bucks.

On the second floor, there also stood a re-created Leamy-designed cabin sportster. Now there was a no-nonsense laid-back windshield, set into a shortened torpedo body that looked like it would barely ripple a wind tunnel.

ccc-neferteri-part-3-alan-leamy-02Auburn clay model, tools and laminated wooden fender bucks in the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum.
[divider]


ccc-neferteri-part-3-alan-leamy-auburnRe-created Leamy-designed cabin sportster in the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum.
[divider]

Leamy’s L29 Cord, especially in the phaeton body, was an unbelievable work of art, as well. Sadly, as he was just coming into the best of his career, it would seem, this gifted designer’s life was cut short by blood poisoning, in 1935 at age 33.

Rolling sculpture is the only term to address the body of work created by Gordon Buehrig. The 1935 Auburn, with its hurried, low budget facelift in the form of what to me was the most beautiful grille and surround EVER.

ccc-neferteri-part-3-auburn-grilleGordon Buehrig 35 Auburn… The best grille and surround ever designed and created.
[divider]


On its heels came Buehrig’s 1937 coffin-nose Cord with front wheel drive. This car has to stand as one of the crowning achievements of American automotive design. I run out of words.

Or not. I have one axe to grind. Back in 1970, a Hemmings ad for a 1929 Buick close-coupled sedan caught my eye. The price was right. It was in Concord, NE. Why, that was nearly next door! I borrowed my dad’s 63 Chevy with the load-leveler hitch, hooked onto my rickety trailer, talked Rocky Moore into riding shotgun, and set out to retrieve this gem of wood-frame coachwork.

Once back home, I began gathering parts and literature, and discovered this year model Buick, with a distinctive bulge below the beltline, had been dubbed “The Pregnant Buick”. By whom? I indignantly demanded to know. By Howard “Dutch” Darrin, no less. Buick was suffering severely enough with the Great Depression. Darrin’s tag stuck, and it nearly jettisoned Buick sales. The 1930 models were quickly re-tooled to eliminate the full figured form.

When later I learned it was a young Gordon Buehrig who had designed the instrument panel in the 1929 Buick, Darrin’s hurtful remark turned to outright sacrilege. I’ve never thought much of that dippy Darrin since. Harumph!

ccc-neferteri-part-3-29-buick1929 Buick dubbed “The Pregnant Buick” by Howard “Dutch” Darrin.
[divider]


ccc-neferteri-part-3-29-buick-dashGordon Buehrig designed the beautiful dash panel in the 1929 Buick.
[divider]



I’ve had a life-long love affair with Buick styling that came out of Harley Earl’s Art & Color studio. In one way or another, every year model from 1929 through 1954 has touched my “Forrest Gump” life. If I had to pick a most favorite, it would be the phaeton. And from the years 1936-1941. Yes! A 1941 Buick Century four-door phaeton, the “hot rod” of the industry. What could have been, we can only imagine, had not WWII flipped the Art & Color train off the tracks. Sigh.

ccc-neferteri-part-3-41-buick-phaetonHarley Earl’s 1941 Buick Century four-door phaeton.
[divider]



“Ask the man who owns one,” reads the advertisements Packard offered in the magazines of the day. Two of my friends, Gary “Slim” Richards and Blaine Murphy, have had life-long love affairs with Packard motor cars of the Thirties. And at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, it was not the Twenty Grand Duesenberg that gained the title, “The Car of the Dome”. It was an elegant bronze Packard close-coupled sedan by Ray Dietrich. I have to admit that Packard sport sedan was the cat’s meow.

ccc-neferteri-part-3-33-packard-domeRay Dietrich designed Packard Sport Sedan.
[divider]



My own favorites of the Packard line came shortly later. The long, low profile phaetons of the 1935-39 model years spoke Elegance. They had a raised crease over the tops of the front fenders, to split the light. Subtle, but similar to the boat bow, creating a visual “bow wave”. All four pontoon fenders had a round bead rolled into the fully circular wheel opening. Solid. Proudly drawing attention to chromed spokes, and the red Packard hexagonal hubcaps. The distinctive “arrow” tips to the side moldings, that streamed back along the long, long hood, not unlike the arrow at the front of a Mercedes 540’s artful belt molding. That unforgettable Packard grille and crisply formed shell. Which drew your eye to the sculpted form of that long divided hood, a graceful pair of wave forms, vee-ing outward from the artfully profiled nose, back and further back, to become one with the cowl. You always recognized a regal Packard gliding by. With, or without, FDR waving from the sumptuous leather seat in the rear.

ccc-neferteri-part-3-33-pierce-arrowPhilip Wright’s aerodynamic Silver Arrow from 1933.
[divider]

From the Pierce Arrow and Studebaker studios, came Philip Wright’s aerodynamic Silver Arrow, and one more favorite for me, the 1936-37 Studebaker coupe with the bat-wing rear window. Now, THERE were cars in which I could imagine Batman and Robin to be running down crime in the streets.

ccc-neferteri-part-3-36-studebaker1936 Studebaker Coupe.
[divider]



One of my most treasured “Forrest Gump” memories of Sheridan, Wyoming is a car Mike Grotz created. It started out a late Thirties Packard convertible. Grotz grafted onto this fair weather car a 1937 Studebaker coupe’s turret roof, complete with those distinctive batwing rear windows. It became a “hardtop convertible”, long before GM would trot out its new 1949 models from its Art & Color stables. If only I could find photos of that classy War-time custom, born of Wyoming winter necessities.

ccc-neferteri-part-3-packard-studeThis is what Mike Grotz did to his 1939 Packard Convertible, turning it into a “hardtop convertible”… it was stunning.
[divider]



Aerodynamic. The Chrysler and DeSoto for 1934. Those Airflows personified aerodynamic, from their waterfall grilles right on through their slippery uni-bodies. It would have been a risky venture in the best of times, but the Depression years were the worst of times. The best, perhaps, that could be said? They definitely were ahead of their times. As would be Preston Tucker a decade later.

ccc-neferteri-part-3-chrysler-airflow1936 DeSoto Airflow.
[divider]



I admit I never really appreciated those Airflows, until my old work mate, Casper, Wyoming’s Neil Jaquot spent retirement years lovingly restoring a 1936 DeSoto Airflow sedan back to life. You can spend hours studying and appreciating all the Art Deco details entailed in those unique motor cars.
Edsel Ford’s creativity can’t be ignored, either. Channeled through the pen of E. T. “Bob” Gregorie, the Zephyr and the first series Continental were a Statement: This was not your father’s Ford! To me, the pre-War Continental was, right off the showroom floor, all a traditional custom car could be. The long hood came to a crisp point, to define a pair of grilles flowing out below in gently curved thin bars, perfectly proportioned. The front bumpers accentuated each fender with its fully integrated headlight, yet remained separate. A pair of chrome bars was all that bridged the separation, allowing the speedboat prow to slice through the air.

There were no running boards, the body channeled fully over the chassis framework. Those Continentals were skirted, the soft curve of the rear fender uninterrupted, and fully complementary with the rounded body. Then came the surprise of that trademark Continental spare tire mount integrated into the rear deck.

The flat Continental windshield looked chopped, and the wonderful cloth top had crisp angled openings over the doors. But, no quarter window openings. Brilliant! Here, from the factory, was a custom Carson convertible top. The body and roof fully repeated each other’s fully rounded forms. Try calling the Lincoln Continental “pregnant”, I dare you.

ccc-neferteri-part-3-39-41-lincolnE. T. “Bob” Gregorie’s clay model, the first Continental prototype from 1939 on the left and the ultimate 1941 Lincoln Continental on the right.
[divider]



OK, I was stuck in the Thirties. I admired ALL of the streamline moderne elements that vaulted off the drafting tables and over the bucks of the coach builders through those golden years of the carrossiere, in Europe and closer to home in the US of A. But if I had to pick just one? Wellll, OK. It would have to be Gordon Buehrig’s masterpiece, the 1935-36 Auburn boat-tailed speedster.

ccc-neferteri-part-3-36-auburnThe ultimate Auburn Speedster.
[divider]



But the beauty of it all is that the “looky-loo” aficionado doesn’t have to choose. Maybe that’s why my choice is Gordon Buehrig and that Auburn speedster. To me, that automobile embodies all the design elements that had inspired me from the Art Deco, Jazz Age, Streamline Moderne era of industrial design. It all comes together in one rolling sculpture.

Aircraft? Just look at the front of that Auburn. Forrest Gump, that car runs like the wind, like a Lockheed Vega. Check out the no nonsense instrument cluster tucked beneath the aircraft cowling.

ccc-neferteri-part-3-36-auburn-dash1936 Auburn dash.
[divider]



Speedboats? The “bow wave” bumpers. That jaunty, raked-back split windshield frame would inspire generations of George DuVall hot rodders. The tapered boat-tail rear, picked up from Alan Leamy and fully integrated. Here, too, your speedboat stance, in “The World’s Fastest Stock Car”.

ccc-neferteri-part-3-36-du-vallGeorge DuVall’s design for the Hollywood Wheel Disc Shop from the early 1940’s.
[divider]



The European Carrossieres? Here were Figoni’s enveloppantes; the rear wheels enclosed in full teardrop forms of pure sculpture. Those gleaming rippled exhaust pipes barked Mercedes 540 decibels to me. “Exclusive” “Distinctive” “Individual” read the ads of the day. “Arguably”, wrote Auburn archivist and author Jon Bill, “the most dazzling Auburn ever built”. Ahhhhhhh.

But wait, there’s more! as the infomercials are want to chirp. There is one additional area of industrial design from the period that we haven’t touched upon. Most powerfully, those forms of function in the work vehicles of industry speak in throaty tones that resonate through and through to this “Forrest Gump” of the Conquistadors Car Club of Sheridan, Wyoming. Fire engines. Delivery vans. Beverage trucks. In our next, and last, installment of the inspiration series, let’s follow the lead of designer Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky in exploring this last best segment of Streamline Moderne.


ccc-next-article-buttonccc-previous-article-button




.

0

Custom Grilles Vertical

 

CUSTOM GRILLES VERTICAL

 

Since the very early beginnings of Custom Restyling the grille has played a huge part in the overall design. Pioneer Customizers designed their own grilles, later swapped or modified grilles were the rage. Lets take a look at the early, vertical Custom Car grilles.



One of the key factors of Custom Restyling was, and still is, to hide the actual origin of the car, and make a car appear to be a more exotic car. The exclusive brand cars from the 1930’s – when custom restyling really took off – were Cadillac, LaSalle and Packard Duesenberg and a few others. These cars all had tall, Art Deco styled grilles and hoods, visualizing Class, Elegance, and Power. These were all wonderful designed grilles and from the very early days of custom restyling these particular grilles from the Cadillac’s, La Salle’s and Packards became the number one choice of many Customizer, or at least an important inspiration source.

Our journey in this case does starts actually before these higher-end car grilles were adapted to lower-end cars. The first Custom grilles to be used on Customized, restyled cars, were mostly hand made instead of adapting grilles from the more expensive brand cars. In the early 1930’s when car Customizing started time was relatively cheap compared to more modern times. Cheap labour made it possible for the custom restylers to create completely hand crafted details like grilles to set the restyled automobiles completely apart. The price of having those hand made grilles chrome plated was also far from what we are used to today.



Early Custom grilles

People like Frank Kurtis, George Duvall and later shops like Coachcraft designed unique grilles for their restyled cars. Grilles that required heavy modified stock or swapped grille parts, but more often complete scratch built units. Created from brass, or metal, with beautiful Art Deco styling crafted by skilled craftsman, completely smoothed before send out to be perfectly chrome plated. New grilles that made any regular automobile look like and exclusive top model and changed the overall appearance. One of the better samples of this is the multiple bar grille George DuVall designed for the SoCalif Plating 1935 Ford shop delivery car.

ccc-frank-kurtis-grilles-01Frank Kurtis created several custom built cars in the early 1930’s. Here are three samples with all hand made grilles Frank did.
[divider]


ccc-atlas-grilles-1933Frank Kurtis also did a 1931 Dodge panel for Atlas Chromium Plating company. He used a 1933 Ford grille to make it looks more modern, and streamlined. The all chrome plated grille on the race car is stunning as well.
[divider]


ccc-duvall-grille-01-1933Another pioneer when it comes to Custom Grilles was George DuVall. George worked for the Leonard DeBell’s So Calif. Plating Company and designed many special parts. Including some exclusive custom grilles for the So Calif. Plating Co. shop trucks. This one, created by George DuVall was on an 1932 Ford Roadster So Calif Plating Co. Pick up and was photographed in 1933.
[divider]


ccc-duvall-grille-so-cal-plating-1936Perhaps George DuVall’s most popular grille he designed was on the 1935 Ford So Calif. Plating Co shop truck. All hand made from plated brass.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-duvall-01George DuVall dod several designs for the grille on the SoCalif Plating ’35 Ford, and used similar ideas for other designs as well. These designs were created around 1935.
[divider]




Custom Grilles in Early Publications


Dan Post Publications

The first and most popular publications on Custom Cars were created by Dan Post. In his Custom restyling manuals, which he started in 1944, he described how you could restyle your car by updating or changing the grille of your car. Over the years he added more and more material to the subject of grilles and added a lot of photo samples in the Master Custom-Restyling Manual (1947) and later Blue Book of Custom restyling (1949-52). These early publications must have played a big role in the style and development of Customizing in general and of course also grille restyling in particular.

ccc-dan-post-grilles-01-1944From its first publication in 1944, Dan Post has been writing about custom restyled grilles. And which factory grilles could best be used for your car.
[divider]


ccc-dan-post-grilles-02-1944Special attention was payed by Dan Post to the ’38 Ford type grilles and how they could best be restyled.
[divider]


Edgar Almquist Publications

Edgar Almquist Styling manuals from around 1946-48 are another very important source for the Custom restylers in the 1940’s. When there were no regular magazines available yet it were these manuals that could be mail ordered or bought from the local speed and custom shop that brought the very welcome inspiration.


ccc-almquist-grilles-01-1946Edgar Almquist wrote a lot about restyling grilles in his 1946 Restyling Manual. He showed several cars with custom grilles and used simple drawings to illustrate his ideas.
[divider]



ccc-almquist-grilles-02-1946


ccc-almquist-grilles-03-1946

ccc-almquist-grilles-illustration-1946The Illustrations in the Almquist manual are easy to understand, and show how much impact these grille chances can have. Illustration #9 shows what happens when the grille is changed from vertical to horizontal. We will get back to that in part two on Custom Grilles, here on the CCC.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-car-adsThe most popular grilles the pioneer customizers liked to use.  1937-40 LaSalle’s, 1939-40 Nash, And 1942-48 Packard grilles.
[divider]




The Aftermarket

Another way to create the more appealing smaller, taller grille was to incorporate a so called “winter-grille“. Designed to keep the engine at temperature during the winter period. One of the companies that created these winter-grilles was Pines Winterfront Co. Today these are very high sought after aftermarket products.
Other aftermarket companies as Eastern and Cal Custom started to design and produce special narrow grille kits to personalize your car in a more bolt-on type of way. Especially for the backyard customizers. Products like this were available from the late 1930’s.

ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-eastern-49Eastern Custom catalog from 1949 offer several components to create custom vertical grilles.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-eastern-49-02’39-41 Ford options. The aftermarket catalog show that the Fords were the most popular cars to customize. Those were the cars the aftermarket made the most custom restyling parts for.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-pines-wintergrilleThe Pines Winterfront Co. in Chicago created special winter-grilles for some model cars in the 1930’s. These special grille, reduced the open section of the factory stock grille, and could even be close more manually to keep the engine hot in the color winter. One of their products was this winter-grille for the 1936 Ford. Early Customizers used the outer part of this set up to create Custom grille surrounds. 
[divider]




Narrowed stock grilles

In the late 1930’s another trend was started. Factory stock grilles from lower-end cars were modified, restyled to make them look more attractive. Modified to make them work better with the restyled cars. When modifying these stock grilles the builder was inspired by the high-end car grilles. Grilles were narrowed by adding sheet metal to the sides, or new inserts were fabricated. creating much more streamlined grilles. These narrower grilles had of course one big disadvantage… Cooling of the engine. Often special below the bumper scoops, or side grilles needed to be created to prevent the engine from overheating.

A fantastic sample is the Santa Monica ’36 Ford 5-window coupe. The unknown customizer narrowed the top section of a stock ’36 ford grille sin such a way, that the top was now as narrow as the bottom section of the grille. The grille sides body panels were extended to match the narrowed grille. The top corners of the grille were radiuses, making the whole set up much more pleasing to the eye. The result was a completely vertical shaped grille, that still looked very much like a ’36 Ford grille, just more elegant. Two small elegantly styled “wing” grilles were created in the front fenders, to help cool the engine. The new grille set up fitted perfectly with the art deco look and feel of the rest of the custom restyling on this car. This one really is a stunning sample of early customizing.

CCC-36-ford-5-window-1941-02Santa Monica ’36 Ford 5-window coupe. Beautifully styled grille based on the stock ’36 Ford grille. The main ’36 Ford grille was narrowed at the top, the top corners rounded with a larger than stock radius and new stainless trim. The side of the grille was filled in with shaped sheet metal. To make sure the engine would be cooled enough two small “wing grilles” were created in the same style as the main grille and added to the front fenders. Most likely special “tunnel’s to guide the air to the engine were added underneath the fenders. This photo was taken in Santa Monica in 1940.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-de-rosa-48Frank DeRosa with his 1936 Ford convertible with beautiful narrowed grille and sunken GM headlights in 1948. 
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-36-ford-09Bill Grader from Seattle created this great looking Roadster in Cadillac Cypress Green. He filled the grille sides more than some others leaving a very small opening, thus creating an optical very tall front of the car. This color photo shows the car in the early 1950’s after the original DeSoto bumpers had been replaced by ’49 Plymouth units. 
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-macminn-37fordEarly 1937 Ford sedan convertible custom with a narrowed grille. The sides of the stock grille are covered and a new vertical stainless trim piece was added to give the new smaller grille a nice finished look. Interesting to see the new belt line side trim to cover the grille side panels.
[divider]




Custom Made Grilles

In the early years of Custom restyling it was perhaps a bit more common to create all custom made grilles than it was later on. A few key factors played a big role for this. First of all, the custom restyles liked to be totally unique. And creating an custom made grille allowed for complete freedom in design. The low hourly rates and low prices for chrome plating also played a huge part. In cases like the cars created by Frank Kurtis and George DuVall (which can be seen above) the creativity an showing what could be done by the companies the cars/grilles were created for played a big roll. There complete custom grilles were more like an advertisement for what they could do for their customers. The result was extremely wonderful grilles working very well with the rest of the designs of the restyled cars.

CCC-Solomon-Wong-40Ford-01-70Coachcraft created a custom grille from chrome plated round bar for the 1940 Ford based Roadster for James Wong in 1940. The stock ’40 Ford grille insert was replaced by the new unit, and the side grilles were filled in. Later the filled in sections were replaced with louvered units once again, to help cool the more powerful engine then.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-36-ford-08Another early Custom with all hand made grille was this 1936 Ford 5-Window Coupe restyled by Howard Fall for Tommy Jamieson. The front end of the car was replaced with that from an 1938 Ford, and the whole grille area was redone with a hand made chrome plated insert. Most likely this set up caused some heating problems since in the late 1940’s early 1950’s several holes were cut in the grille surround, allowing for some extra air to the engine.
[divider]


CCC-george-barris-36-ford-coupe-01George Barris personal 1936 Ford coupe might have used one of the Pines winter-grille surrounds to create this custom grille opening.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-36-ford-011936 Ford with a new grille cover with smaller vertical with round top and bottom grille opening, nicely molded to the front fenders. A new grille was created from what appears to be flat bar surround and round bars inside the opening. The whole unit was chrome plated for a nice finished look.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-37-chevy-011937 Chevy with Custom created grille opening. Possibly the bars using in the new opening come from a 1939 Nash. The new much narrower oval shaped grille changes the look of the Chevy completely.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-jimmy-summersJimmy Summers created a custom grille for his personal channeled 1940 Mercury with sectioned hood. The grille was created from flat bar stock and has been shaped to roughly resemble a Buick grille.
[divider]


In the early 1940’s customizers started to use the more exclusive car brand grilles like the afore mentioned Cadillac, La Salle and Packard grilles. They were taken from junk yards, or perhaps sometimes straight from the car dealers and adapted to smaller, cheaper lower-end-models from Ford, Chevy, Buick, etc. The grille designs from these high end brands were often of much nicer design, added much mored style, or length and height to these lower-end-models. And of coarse the idea of up-scaling the lower class cars played a roll in all this as well. And above all these nicely designed grilles just look so awesome in these restyled cars.




Packard Grilles

The Packard Clipper was introduced in April 1941, the car came with a wonderful Art-Deco styled narrow grill devised in two halts with small horizontal grille bars. This grille was an instant hit among the early customizers. This grille ended up on many restyled cars, and in many different ways. Larger model types as the Packard Super used larger, and most of all wider grilles with a similar design, but then with vertical grille bars. It was a bit more tricky to get these larger grilles to work with the customized cars, but especially 37-38 Chevies and 39-40 Fords looked very well with these larger grilles. The samples below illustrate that there were/are many ways to install one of these Packard grilles. Some are placed as high as possible, others simply start at the bottom of the grille opening and end a few inches below the hood opening.



ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-westergard-01

Harry Westergard used a Packard grille on Gene Garrett’s ’36 Ford convertible built in the early 1940’s (1943 photo). The rather low position might perhaps indicate this was one of the first Packard grilles he used on the Customs he created. 
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-westergard-simonsHarry Westergard loved to use Packard Clipper grilles. This one he added to Max Ferris’s 1936 Ford Roadster. Harry created a beautiful filler panel, molded it to the front fenders and made the Packard grille fit like it came like it from the factory.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-westergard-salHarry also added a Packard Clipper grille to Sal Cacciola’s 1938 Chevy convertible. The Packard grille works extremely well on this car, where the hood starts at the flat spot of the top of the grille. As it always belonged on this car. 
[divider]


CCC-barris-dick-fowler-38-ford-09The Barris brothers reshaped the front of the hood, and hood sides to make the Packard Clipper grille work on Dick Fowler’s 1938 Ford Coupe around 1946-47. The new grille made the ’38 Ford look much taller than stock, and more exclusive. 
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-40-ford-01The 1940 Ford customs usually had stock grilles, or perhaps the sides filled in. The use of a Packard Clipper grille like on this chopped and padded topped convertible was rather rare, but looks surprisingly good. A lot of work was needed to the hood and side panels tao make it all work and look perfect.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-36-ford-02Interesting photo from the Howard Gribble shows how a Packard Clipper grille surrounds was added to the center of a stock ’36 Ford grille, on this ’36 Ford. The center bars were removed from the stock grille so that the Packard grille could fit inside. Typical backyard restyling, to make your “average” Ford look like a more expensive car.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-37-chevy-semasHarry Westergard used a larger Packard Super grille on Leroy Semas’s 1938 Chevy Coupe. Another really great sample of how to integrate thes grilles the best way. Harry Westergard was a great craftsman, and he was exceptionally skilled in using more exclusive grilles to make lower end car look at their very best.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-bertolucci-38-chevyDick Bertolucci used a larger Packard grille on his personal 1938 Chevy Coupe in the late 1940’s early 1950’s. Dick still has the car today, and has been working on it in the last couple of years to restore it back to how it looked in the early 1950’s. The Packard Super grille is wider than the more common clipper grille, but suited the wider front of the ’38 Chevy very good. Dick had to reshape the side panels and hood a lot to make it wall look like it came this way.
[divider]




La Salle Grilles

The Cadillac La Salle grilles from 1937 to 1940 are the ones that were used the most on Custom Car. The ’37 and ’38 models had a slightly more square look, while the ’39 and ’40 units were extreme round with pointy shaped ends. The older models were a little easier to adapt to other cars, and fitted perfectly to the front of a ’36 Ford. one of the more popular cars to customized in the mid 1940’s. The ’39 and ’40 models came in several divergent versions, and were pretty hard to install right. Especially since the angle of the grille on the cars they were matted to, were different than that from the stock LaSalle, resulting in misaligning grille bars. When installed the right way the ’39’40 LaSalle grilles are the top of the line in custom grilles.

ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-36-ford-07Harry Westergard installed an 1937 La Salle grille on Jack Odbert’s 1936 Ford Convertible. Notice how the lower edge of the top portion of the grille sits level with the bottom of the hood. Details like this make a grille installment like this look like how it was always meant to look.
[divider]



ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-caloriAnd of course we cannot forget the use of the LaSall grille on Jack Calori’s 1936 Ford. The what we know as typical Westergard look was created by Herb Renau in Long Beach in the later part of the 1940’s. Herb hand shaped the surround and fitted the 1939 LaSalle grille the best way possible. Stock ’39-40 LaSalles have a much more upright grille position than the 36 Ford has, so it was/is not an easy grille to adapt. 
[divider]

ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-westergard-38Harry Westergard loved to use Packard grilles, but he also used a few LaSalle grilles on the cars he restyled. For Norm Milne he reshape the hood and hood sides, and created a new grille surround to be able to use 1940 LaSalle grille on his ’38 Ford.
[divider]




Nash Grilles

Custom pioneers as Harry Westergard, George Barris, Dick Bertolucci and others started to experiment with other grilles on their customs. Grilles that usually had a more vertical feel than the stock grilles of the cars they were restyling. Grilles from a 1939 -’40 Nash for instance was another very popular grille. Not really a more exclusive or expensive feel, but it just looked right on many other cars.  Both year grilles had similar styling, very narrow, tall with horizontal grille bars. The ’39 model was a a bit more robust, with heavier and fewer grille bars than the 1940 model. One thing that made the Nash grille a little harder to adapt in a good way to other car, was that the nose of the Nash was angled forward towards the top. If the Nash grille was adapted to other cars that had an angled backwards front of the car, the horizontal grille bars appeared to angle down in the new position. Later pioneer restyles found they could flip the grille upside down to prevent this problem.

ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-36-ford-03Frank Sandaval’s 1936 Ford shows a flipped upside down 1939 Nash grille in a hand shaped none molded surround. What makes the Nash grille on this car really stand out is the us of a modified ’36 Ford grille surround trim. Mid 1940’s photo fro the Howard Gribble Collection.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-36-ford-04Oregon base ’36 Ford Phaeton custom also uses an 1939 Nash grille, but the owner opted to use the grille in the stock position. 1942 photo.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-36-ford-05Close up reveals that by using the ’39 Nash grille in the stock way, the grille bars are not flowing with the Ford lines. This is cause by the forward angle of the grille on Nash cars, while the Ford have a slight leaned back grille. The Nash grilles work better upside down.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-36-ford-g-barrisGeorge Barris used a 1940 Nash grille inside a custom created grille opening on his personal 1936 Ford Convertible. George molded the new grille surround solid with the fenders for an ever smoother look.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-36-ford-06Bob Gill’s 1936 Ford uses a 1940 Nash grille in a custom grille opening. This grille also has slightly dropped grille bars, indicating it was not flipped upside down. Interesting to see in this photo is the extra air scoop added below the bumper to make sure the grille would be cooled after the hood sides were filled, and the grille opening was drastically reduced with the new custom grille. Bob was good friend with Jack Calori.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-37-chevy-021940 Nash grille installed in a new front section on this otherwise mildly restyled 1937-38 Chevy sedan. The narrow grille makes the front of the car look very tall, and the hood a “mile” long.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-kippwinward36fordPossibly one of the best ever installed Nash grilles is done by Kipp Winward who used an upside down 1939 Nash grille in his ’36 Ford 5-window Coupe. The photo of the car was taken in 2016, when the car was mostly finished on the outside. 
[divider]




Modified grilles

Other methods to customize grilles was to modify their appearance. The aftermarket had produced partly cover panel that would be bolted on. And you could create panels yourself that covered up parts of the stock grille, to make them look longer, narrower, or just shorter. ’38 and 39 Fords used stamped metal grilles with only a small plated trim ring as extra decoration. These were grilles that could easily be modified without having to replete the grille. It was very popular to cover up the top portion on this type of car, which gave the car a new look. Many ’40 Fords used special cover plates to cover up the side louvres, and the ’41 Fords looked stunning when the center grille was replaced with a smooth filler piece. And it was even better if these filler panels were not just bolted on, but actually welded, and blended in with the rest of the body, for a much smoother look. With the newer car models after WWII customizers started to experiment with other brand grilles as well. Grilles that tarted to make the cars look wider.


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-38-ford-01
Very popular modification of 1938 and ’39 Ford was to fill in the top portion of the louvered grille section on the hood sides. It changed the look of the car, but unlike the earlier style of creating Tall small grille it made the front appear to be lower than stock.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-41-ford-011941 Ford with filled in center section. A very popular treatment especially after the aftermarket companies made filler panels for this available. The owner of this Custom took it a step further and molded in the panel for a ultra smooth look. The car also appears to have an sort of air-scoop below the bumper for extra cooling. The Ford side grille have been remained.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-40-ford-02A 1939 Buick grille was used in a heavily reshaped front end on Jim Chapkis’ 1940 Ford Coupe. Going more towards the modern, wider and lower horizontal look.
[divider]


 

ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-ed-jaquesThe Valley Custom Shop in Burbank California was known for their exquisite craftsmanship and attention to details. For Ed Jacque they created a really wonderful horizontal bar grille insert to fit a stock 1941 Ford grille opening. 
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-ferhuson-36The Montrose Body Shop created this stunning looking all custom grille for Gene Ferguson’s 1936 Ford coupe. The grille design shows how the Customizing style is changing from vertical grilles towards the modern look of horizontal grilles.
[divider]



ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-collage-01A few more samples of Custom Vertical grilles.
[divider]


ccc-custom-grilles-vertical-collage-02

And even more variations of the Vertical grille.

The new cars that had low and wide new lines were introduced and became available. The tall grilled cars from before the war were still popular for some time, but for those who could get their hands on the newer model cars to restyle, low and wide was the way to go for grille designs. In part two we will take a closer look at the horizontal grilles in Custom Restyling. Stay tuned
.

[divider]

(This article is made possible by)

CCC-sponsor-ad-vintage-kustoms-01



jamco-sponsor-ad-602-01


[divider]




.

0

Customized Tow-Trucks

 

CUSTOMIZED TOW-TRUCKS

 

In the 1930s and 1940s, Midget Racing was very popular. A good way to get attention for your automotive business was to customize the cars and trucks that would start the midget at the stadium races.


While browsing the amazing and extensive Photo Collection of the Revs InstituteÂź Archives I came across some known and some unknown 1930’s Customized Tow/Push trucks. I have always loved the early Customized cars from the 1930’s and early 1940’s. Restyled with pure and unique designs, not influenced by any of the magazine and books. Some of the companies that specialized in restyling cars and even offering restyling products were Frank Kurtis, Jimmy Summers, Don Lee, and George DuVall who worked out of the So Calif Plating Company. There were quite a few more, but these are the names that have been responsible for a lot of the early restyled cars that left an impact then, and still do today. Cars that that were trend setting, cars that feature restyling elements that we still use today.

Some of these shops were also heavily involved in midget racing. And these races were besides having a great time racing cars, also a great way to promote your business. A lot of these midgets were beautifully designed and crafted. Loads of chrome plated hand made parts to show of the work that could be done by the sponsoring companies. Besides the wonderful race cars the tow and pull trucks were also restyled, to make more impact, and again to show of the quality and capability of the shops. Rolling advertising.

Lets take a closer look at some of the great looking customized tow-trucks at several of the famous Californian race tracks from the 1930’s and early 1940’s, based on the photos form the Revs Collection. To further illustrate these cars we have added a few photos of the used cars from other publications.




Early So California Plating Company Trucks

CCC-race-car-trucks-socal-early-01A lot of the races took place at night and the flash light of the photographer captured only what was close, but sometimes the background showed some very interesting cars in the dark. I was intrigued by the wide bumpers on the cars on the right of this photo, vaguely remembering their slight V-shape.
[divider]


CCC-race-car-trucks-socal-early-02When I lightened the photo somewhat I was able to recognize two of the early SoCalif Plating Company trucks in this 1935 photo. The one on the left, showing only the bumper and front fender is based on an 1932 Ford pick up and the one on the right in the background on an 1931 Ford pick-up. Only very few photos are known to exist of these two cars restyled by George DuVall, and seeing both of them in one photo is really unique.
[divider]


CCC-race-car-trucks-socal-early-06This is one of several designs George DuValle created for the SoCalif Plating Company trucks.
[divider]


CCC-so-california-1931-ford-02-revs Ted Wilson photographed the car in the early 1930’s at one of the race tracks.
[divider]


CCC-so-california-1931-ford-revsEnlarged section of the Ted Wilson photo gives us a good look at the truck.
[divider]


CCC-race-car-trucks-01Sadly the background of the photo is a bit blurry so the view of this 1931 Ford pick up truck restyled by George DuValle is not the best… but still very interesting. Notice the custom made waterfall grill. 
[divider]


CCC-race-car-trucks-socal-early-03This photo is possibly taken at the same location as the one above. On the far right we can see the rear of the what I think the 1931 based truck. If you look hard you can see the So California Plating sign on the sides of the pick-up bed wood planks. And on the left we can see in the background another wood sign reading California Plating, most likely from the 1932 Ford pick up. Notice that the trunk on the light colored convertible on the left has been removed and chrome plated bard have been added to the sides. The crew would sit in the trunk when puling the midget at the start.
[divider]


CCC-so-california-1931-ford-03-revsTed Wilson captured one of the So-Califorinia Plating truck in the background. This version shows large low mounted headlights.
[divider]


CCC-race-car-trucks-socal-early-05Magazine published photo of the 1931 Ford restyled by George DuVall. The headlights on this version of the truck are different (larger) and mounted lower on the front fenders.
[divider]


April 28, 1936 “National Auto Racing News” advertisement.(Courtesy of James Taggart / TheOldMotor.Com)
[divider]

CCC-so-california-1932-ford-1933-photo-revsThe 1932 Ford Roadster pickup based So-California Plating Co. truck was also designed by George DuVall.
[divider]




Atlas Chromium Plating Truck.

CCC-race-car-trucks-atlas-chrome-01Frank Wearne sits in car number 57, the Atlas Chrome Special, with a wonderful restyled front end. The Atlas Chromium Plating Service 1931 Dodge Panel tow-truck with modified front with 1933 Ford grille behind it. The photo was taken in Los Angeles, exact year unknown.
[divider]


CCC-race-car-trucks-atlas-chrome-02Close up of the front end of the car with the modified hood and hood sides to accept the 1933 Ford grille. The front fenders were also reshaped.
[divider]



CCC-race-car-trucks-atlas-chrome-03



Atlas Chrome Plating 34 Ford Truck.

Beside the So Calif Plating Company there was also the Atlas Chromium Plating Service who basically did the same work, and was also sponsoring the midget races. The Atlas Chrome Plating 34 Ford truck was restyled by Frank Kurtis it was actually a 1929 Ford to witch a set of 1934 Ford fenders, hood and grille was added. The truck featured a home made cast V-windhsield and hand shaped top. Frank also created uniquely styled bumpers obviously influenced by the coachbuild creations from the early 1930’s.

CCC-race-car-trucks-atlas-plating-01Ted Horn admires the best appearing car trophy the company just won with the Atlas Chrome Special.
[divider]



CCC-race-car-trucks-atlas-plating-02

CCC-race-car-trucks-atlas-plating-03Closer look shows the wonderful V-windshield with wipers on top, the waterfall grille with one bar missing and the chrome plated long teardrop shaped headlights. The top was done in metal, but had a similar shape as the padded tops.
[divider]




S0 Calif. Plating Company 35 Ford Truck.

We recently did a full article on the 1935 Ford truck restyled by George DuVall for the So California Plating Company. So please look there for many more photos and info on this amazing early Custom. But we wanted to include two unique photos of the car from the Revs Collection. In two of the start line photos taken at an 1930’s midgets starting line-up photo taken by Ted Wilson at the Atlantic Speedway, in South Gate, California, we spotted the 1935 Ford with added headlights and opened trunk.


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-22Sadly the photo from the Revs Archives was not dated, but judging the other tow truck and midgets in the photo we assume the photo was taken in 1936-37.
[divider]


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-21A little out of focus, but still very unique to see this version of the SoCalif Plating Company truck with the added headlights. This photo shows clearly that the original small set in headlights are still in place. Other than the new headlights the car appears to to have changed. Notice the lettering on the open trunk.
[divider]



CCC-so-california-1935-ford-stadium-revs


So Calif. Plating Company 36 Ford.

Pat Ganahl shared a photo of another So Cal Plating trunk styled in a similar way as the famous ’35 truck, in his excellent story in the Rodder’s Journal issue 36. The car was listed as an 1938, but with the help of Lynn Bird we now know the car was actually a late 1936 Ford convertible sedan. We do not know much about this car, and according the RJ article there might even be yet another one similar styled as the 1935 truck. But so far we have not been able to find any photos of that one. The Revs Archives does have another photo of the car pictured in the Rodder’s Journal article. And even though most of the car in the photo is covered by three guys, we still are able to see some of the front of the car. Styled in a similar, yet different way than the ’35 truck.


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-20The other So-Cal-Plating “truck”. This one is based on a late 1936 Ford Convertible Sedan. the photo was taken in 1938 and shows that there is no top on the car as we can see in all the photos of the ’35 Ford. The grille bars look to be a taller and less in number than on the original 1935 based car. The front bumper is also quite different, interesting to see the wrap around sections  appear to be separate units. According the Revs site the guys in the photo are: Dominic Distarce, Sam Hanks and Karl Young.
[divider]


CCC-so-california-1936-ford-night-revs This is the photo that was taken by Ted Wilson in 1938 and show the 1936 Ford So Calif. Plating Co. tow-car in action.
[divider]


CCC-so-california-1936-ford-dash-detailThe great quality of the Revs Collection photos allowed us to zoom in on the machine turned dash in the 1936 So Calif. Plating Co. Ford.
[divider]


CCC-so-california-1936-ford-detailIn the background of a photo I spotted this portion of the So Calif Plating 1936 Ford with the Du Valle Windshield. It does not show much of the car, but since photos of it are so rare, I wanted to include it here anyway.
[divider]




Mike Randall 1937 Ford.

So far we have been unable to find any info on this 1937 Ford coupe turned pick up that was used by Mike Randall as a tow truck. It appeared in several photos of the Revs Collection and it showed some nice early restyling with wi reshaped rear of the car, smooth hood sides, custom headlights and aftermarket trim on the hood.


CCC-race-car-trucks-37-ford-01This photo does show the reshaped rear of the body with the nicely shaped and chrome finished hold on bars. The hubcaps are small size single bar flippers, possibly early Cadillac units, but perhaps these are some early aftermarket units. We have no idea why the name on the side of the car was taped off in this photo. 
[divider]


CCC-race-car-trucks-37-ford-03This photo shows the car pulling Pat Cunningham in the Gilmore stadium. We can see Cadillac bumper and that the car was now outfitted with a set of white wall tires. the photo was taken in 1941. 
[divider]



CCC-race-car-trucks-37-ford-05

CCC-race-car-trucks-37-ford-04Close up shows the Cadillac front bumper and the custom headlights. Possibly shaped after the Lincoln units, but it appears the headlight bezels are 1937 Ford units. The trim around the grille and hood is an early Eastern Auto aftermarket product.
[divider]


CCC-race-car-trucks-02And the last photo that got my attention was this Anderson Frigidaire Service truck. Very mildy customized with Buick fender skirts and aftermarket hubcaps. And most likely repainted in refrigerator white. Notice the heavy bumper on the front.
[divider]




(this article is sponsored by)

CCC-sledge-customs-sponsor-ad03-w

[divider]




.

0

SoCalif Plating Truck

 

SOCALIF PLATING TRUCK

 

George DuVall designed the 1935 Ford for the So California Plating Company and it turned out to be one of the most outstanding early Custom Cars.



The first time I saw a photo of the So Calif. Plating Co. truck was in the Flying V’s article by Dean Batchelor and Pat Ganahl in the August 1990 issue of Rod & Custom Magazine. The article showed three black and white photos of this amazing car/truck. One with the midget on the trailer behind it, from a bit higher point of view was shown in a nice size, and two others rather small. And there was quite a bit of written info about it as well. I thought that 1935 Ford was one of the most beautiful Customs I had ever seen. With its wonderful slanted DuVall windshield and long and low padded Top, large white wall tires with chrome hubcaps and that amazing hand made grille. Stunning.

I could not believe no more 35-38 Fords were styled like this one, it was so beautiful, in my eyes everything was right about this car. Later I started to collect every bit of info and photos from this car I could find.

In en email conversation in 2006 , Pat mentioned he was working on article about the SoCalif Plating Co. truck for the Rodder’s Journal, and how he had found some new images and some very interesting info on the car. In the summer of 2007 that article was published in the Rodder’s Journal #36. And it is an incredible article with a load of new information on this car the enthusiast had been waiting for for a long time. If you have not read it, and love custom car history, you better get a back issue for your collection.


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-rodders-journal-36Pat Ganahl wrote an excellent article in the Rodder’s Journal issue 36. Several never before seen photos as well as some really great information about the car was shared in this article. (openings spread of the RJ-article)
[divider]


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-american-rodderThe American Rodder published an article about George DuVall in 1997 which featured another nice never before seen photo of the SoCalif Plating truck.
[divider]

CCC-socalif-plating-truck-sketchThe American Rodder article also shared this amazing sketch George DuVall created for the SoCalif Plating truck he designed for Leonard DeBell’s 1935 Ford. The overall shape is all there, but the details as the grille, and bumpers are different from what was actually build.
[divider]


CCC-1935-ford-phaetonA 1935 Ford Phaeton from the Ford Sales Brochure. A car like this was the base for the SoCalif Plating Co. Truck.
[divider]



The 1935 SoCali. Plating Co. Truck has always been a great inspiration for me. When I looked at the photos of the Custom, especially the one with the midget behind it, and the old cars in the background I could not stop wondering how much impact this car must have had back in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. It must have looked like it came from outer space to some. The car was so far ahead styling wise. As Pat Ganahl mentioned in his RJ article it is really a wonder that there are no old magazine or news paper articles about this car. The only thing I can imagine is that everybody who saw the Custom during the day trips to deliver fresh chrome, or in the weekends at the race track, was to much in awe to even take pictures, let alone think about doing something about it for an early magazine or newspaper. As far as I have been able to find out it was not until 1955 before the first photos of the Custom appeared in a magazine.

In the 1930’s and early 1940’s the Custom Cars where created for other reasons than during the golden years of Custom Cars (late 1940, to late 1950’s). There where no cars show to enter your Custom in, no reason to modify something to gain extra points. These Early Customs were designed to improve over the original designs of the cars they are based on. They were designed to look more exclusive, more expensive, and perhaps more powerful. And in this case the car was designed as a working truck. A full Custom Car with a exceptional amount of work done knowing the end product would be used on the road 7 days a week!



Creating the So Calif. Plating Co. Truck

Because the Custom has been built so long ago a lot of real facts about the car have been forgotten, and the people who might have remembered are no longer with us to ask about it. But with the several articles on the car, and memories shared by the people involved in the creation of the car over the years, a lot of history about how it was created has fortunately been documented.

The car was commissioned by Leonard K. DeBell, owner of the So Calif Plating Co. who had bought a brand new 1935 Ford phaeton. His plan was to use it as a very classy delivery truck. But to be able to do that the car had to be lengthened 12 inches to assure freshly chromed bumpers could be stalled behind the front seat cargo section. George DuVall had been employed by DeBell since 1933. He was hired to design and develop new chrome plated aftermarket parts for the company, and as part of this he had already designed and build several company pick up trucks.

It is unsure who all worked on this truck, and who did what, but from the archived documents we know that George was of course responsible for the design. We do not know who actually added the 12 inches to the frame, and welded the rear doors before extending them with 12 inches. Some people say it was the George DuVall – Frank Kurtis team who did this, others say Jimmy Summers might have done some of the body work. George and his friend Frank Kurtis created the grille from brass sheets, bend to shape. It has been described as a lazy “Z” shaped sections that form the actual grille bars. One bend and shaped all the separate unit where chrome plated and installed. George did an absolutely fantastic job integrating the new grille with the 36 Ford body work.


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-01


George also created the V-Windshield that would later be his most popular product. The typical V-shaped windshield with the thin posts and wonderful lines which would later be used on many Hot Rods and Custom cars was specifically designed for this 1935 Ford. We also know that the rear door, which hinged at the top, was created by Chad Schultz of Joe Newell’s body shop. The door could also be removed easily when larger parts needed to be transported. The rear door gave access to a flat floor that started just behind the front seats. So there was actually quite a lot of space for product. But it might perhaps not have been as handy as an actual pick up truck like the previous So Calif. Plating Co. trucks were. However DeBell liked the idea to promote his business, and knew that the good looks of this truck would help him sell more product.

After the frame and body had been extended 12 inches DeBell bought a set of fenders, hood sides and radiator shell from the brand new 1936 Ford directly from the dealer. He liked the shape of them better than from the 1935 Ford. It looks like the new 12 inch longer running boards are made out of stainless steel, and that the four step on strips on them are actually integrated, pressed in the units, rather than using separate strips. At least the new high res photos give us the impression they are.

CCC-socalif-plating-truck-06Another photo taken at the same location from the Revs Institute Collection gives us a good view at the rear of the car. My guess is that the tubular rear bumper might not have been finished when these photos were taken.
[divider]



DuVall added a 1936 Cadillac bumper to the front and created small teardrop shaped headlights, more like paring lights. At the rear a four bar bend chrome tubular bumper with cone shaped ends was created. A single taillight was mounted below the lower pan mounted license plate. I have not been able to fin a gas filler car on the photos I have seen on the car. Possibly this was moved into the cargo section?

With all the body work done the car was painted in the So Calif. Plating Co. Sea Foam Green color by Charlie Remidi. A very unusual color for a car back then. The color is sometimes described as a gray green color, others have mentioned it had a sort of olive tint to it. George Du Valle created a set of ribbed wheel covers to cover the wire wheels, and they were dressed up with some fake knock-offs. Unsure is if the hubcaps were designed for the truck, or if they were already in production by the company. The wire wheels were fitted with large Vogue white wall tires Vogue. It took them a total of three month to create this Custom Car mater-piece.

The long and wonderful padded top was create by the George Thomas Top Shop in Hollywood. He created a top that fitted the DuVall windshield perfectly and the teardrop shaped side window openings give the car instant speed. We are not sure why there was never an rear window created in the top. Driving the long car with blind rear must not have been easy. But on the other hand this was late 1930’s and the roads were of course not as crowded as they are now.

CCC-socalif-plating-truck-05Rear 3/4 view shows the amazing lines of this car. Everything about it is just right. This photo shows the unfinished rear bumper, and the hitch sitting in front of the bumper coming from underneath the rear pan. It appears that the rear fenders and lower rear panel have been extended, possibly to make space for a lower position of the gas-tank, so that the cargo floor could be flat, and lower.
[divider]


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-08The photographer might have been more interested in the Midget than the truck, hence the cut off front fender.
[divider]


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-07This photo of the midget does give us a good look at the unique Vogue white wall tires and the Chrome disk with “knock-offs” covering the wire wheels. 
[divider]




The Details

The Revs Institute scans allowed me to see details on the car that I had never saw before. The car was built really well.. and even more designed exceptionally well. The close ups of the windshield and top show all excellent designs and craftsmanship. Photos like these make it even harder to believe why there have not been more cars build inspired on this one. (special thanks to Jamie Barter for the link to the Revs Institute collection photos of the So Calif. Plating Co. delivery truck.)

CCC-socalif-plating-truck-detail-01Notice the small peak at the center of the top visually extending the windshield center. The fit of the windshield to cowl, and the top to the windshield is really flawless. The DuVall windshield is made up from 5 separate brass casted parts.
[divider]


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-detail-05Before these photos became available all we had were the photos that appeared to have been copied form the original photo, and were rather dark. I always thought the extended running boards were a slightly different color, or shade than the rest of the car, and for sure not covered with rummer. But these high res photos make it look like the running boards were actually made from shaped stainless steel with the four step on ribs pressed in them, rather than them being separate strips. 
[divider]


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-detail-04George DuVall really did an amazing job on the design of this car. The V-windshield is absolutely gorgeous, but how about the grille bars extending to the hood sides, and even a little bit on the cowl. Look how they are beautifully rounded at the end, and the way to overlap on the cowl, make the hood look longer than it actually is. Another detail I had never notice before is the side trim t the top of the hood side, below the hood. The 1935-36 Fords never had side trim, but if you look at the image below you will see it makes total sense for it to be placed there.
[divider]



CCC-socalif-plating-truck-detail-02

A close up on the front of the car shows the very small headlights intergrated in the front fenders, the 1936 Cadillac bumper, the oval shaped license plate frame and of course the beautiful shaped and created grille. This photo also shows where the top side trim seen in the previous photo comes from. The original 1936 Ford nose/grille piece was used, and the trim is actually in place of the original 1936 Ford grille surround. The oval shaped license plate cover might have been another DuVall- So Calif. Plating Co. product. The plate is from 1936.
[divider]


ccc-socalif-plating-truck-23-wheel-tireThe beautiful patter on the Vogue white wall tires is clearly visible in this photo. It appear that the custom hubcap covering the (most likely) wire wheels is made up of at least two separate pieces, possibly even three, or four if the “Knock off” comes off.
[divider]



By looking good at all the photos it appears to me that the photos taken with the midget on the trailer and similar once at the same location where taken in early 1936 when the car was freshly done, and not yet 100% finished. The rear bumper is still unfinished in thos photos, and there are no side view mirrors mounted.


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-10Here the ’35 truck can be seen parked with an older So-California Plating Co. truck, which was based on an 1934 Ford pick up truck, dressed up with DuVall designed chrome hardware.
[divider]

CCC-socalif-plating-truck-16This photo from the rear, and the next one show the finished tubular bumper really well. The bumper guards are the same as from the front bumper, 1936 Cadillac. And it appears that there is just one singe taillights mounted behind the bumper, below the license plate. Most likelely the hitch used for the weekend midget trailer was a removable one. 
[divider]


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-15By now the trunk has been decorated with a Modern Plating Service logo. And the top sides have the S0 Calif. Plating Co. teardrop sign added. All the photos taken after the midget trailer photo session show the car with hinge mounted side view mirrors, but left and right. 
[divider]


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-14This front angle photo shows the teardrop shaped very small headlights. They are rumored to be Woodlite headlights. But the shape of those does not really matches these units. The low angle gives the car a wonderful aggressive look. 
[divider]


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-11A wonderful low angle photo shows the wonderful Art-Doco styling on the car, which goes perfect with the building in the background.
[divider]


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-04 CCC-socalif-plating-truck-03May 1955 issue of Motor Life magazine most likely is the first time the SoCalif. Plating Company truck was ever published. It appears that the photos are taken in 1936. The rear quarter photo clearly shows the 1936 California license plates. It also apears that the car did not yet have the hinge mounted mirrors added when these photos were taken.
[divider]


Snapshot taken at a midget race in 1937 at an unknown stadium. Very interesting photo shows the chrome plated hand made hinges for the custom made deck lid. 
[divider]


[divider]


Enlarged section from photo above shows a little bit of the car’s dash, and the deck lid hinges again.
[divider]


[divider]




Updated headlights

Somewhere in the late 1930’s or early 1940’s the car was updated with a set of low mounted, or perhaps molded in headlights. Most likely done by Jimmy Summers. Apparently there have been a few, perhaps as many as three SoCalif Plating Co. trucks with a similar design during the late 1930’s. There is more information about this in the Pat Ganahl Rodder’s Journal article. The article also covers what might have happened to to car, that it might have been in use up to the mid 1950’s and that if might have been seen as late as the mid 1960’s sitting in a shop on Melrose. And that the car might possibly still be around today. I really hope so, and I really hope it will be “found” and shared with the public again.

CCC-socalif-plating-truck-12A rather fuzzy photo, actually only a small portion of it, enlarged, shows the truck with the new headlights. 
[divider]


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-21The Revs Institute for automotive research has another very interesting photo in their collection showing the front of the 1935 SoCalif Plating truck. This time with the new headlights added. We can see clearly that the original headlights are still in place and the new headlights are not molded into the front fenders. Sadly the photo is not dated. Note that the trunk lid is open in this photo.
[divider]


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-22This is the complete photo taken by Ted Wilson with the SoCalif truck on far right. Judging the other tow cars and race cars on the Atlantic Speedway, South Gate, California, track it looks like this photo is taken in the late 1930’s.
[divider]


So Cal Plating 35Parked on the inside of the track with the trunk door open.
[divider]


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-last-photoThis is supposedly the last known photo of the car, taken by Spencer Murray in March 1944 at 5229 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles. It appears that the hubcaps might have been changed, and the white wall tires look to be less tall. And it also looks like the padded top has been recovered with a lighter material. Although the last might only look that way due to a light overexposure. In this photo we can also see the added headlight, which were done by Jimmy Summers. But there still is no real evidence of the rear lights. 
[divider]


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-colorized-2At one point I set out to do a colorized photo of the SoCalif. Plating Co. truck. But at the time all I had was a rather poor scan of a to dark copy of the photo. So I did get it started, but never really finished it with any details. Still nice to see some color on the car. It still makes me wonder how spectacular this one must have looked like in color with all the bright chrome.
[divider]


CCC-socalif-plating-truck-02I really love the 1936 photo of the car taken from a bit higher point of view, but always wondered how it would have looked without the trailer behind it. So when I came across the Revs Institute scan of the original photo I had to do some photo shop work to set the car alone, all by itself.. and I think it looks absolutely amazing.
[divider]

CCC-duvall-windshield-adJulian Doty took over the patterns and rights to cast the DuVall V-Windshield in 1946. Here is an late 1940’s ad he ran. The windshield was one of the most popular items DuVall designed, and it all started with the SoCalif. Plating Co. truck.
[divider]


CCC-36-ford-joseph-hockerOne of the cars most likely inspired by the SoCalif Plating truck was this 1936 Ford owned by Joseph Hocker. DuVall windshield and white padded top. Although the top is not as nicely shaped as the one on the original one. 
[divider]


CCC-36-ford-phaeton-otherAnother one based on a 1936 Ford also shows a lot of similarities with the DuVall designed Custom. This version has the running boards removed.
[divider]


Over the years several projects have been started recreating, semi recreating or inspired by the So Calif Plating Co. truck have been started. But so far none of them have been finished as far as I know. Back in the 1940’s there were a few 1936 Fords inspired by the SoCalif Plating Co. truck. At least two of them are documented. Hopefully new creations inspired by it will be created, or finished in the near future. This 1935 Ford designed by George DuVall has played a huge roll in the history of the Custom Car. And I think we all have to be very happy that there are so many photos of it taken back in the 1930’s, and that so many have survived and are being shared.

CCC-socalif-plating-truck-20Here is an interesting photo showing another So-Cal-Plating “truck” Based on a late 1936 Ford Convertible Sedan. Pat Ganahl’s Rodder’s Journal article showed a rear angle of this car, and the Revs Collection gives us a bit of an front view. There is no top on the car when this photo was taken, and the grille bars look to be a taller and less in number than on the original 1935 based car. The front bumper is also quite different. According the Revs site the guys in the photo are: Dominic Distarce, Sam Hanks and Karl Young.
[divider]


[box_light]

Reference and more info

  • Motor Life magazine May 1955
  • Rod & Custom Magazine August 1990
  • American Rodder Magazine 1997
  • Rodder’s Journal Magazine, issue #36
  • Earlier So California Plating Company trucks CCC-Article.

[/box_light]







[divider]

(this article is made possible by)

ccc-sponsor-ad-customs-by-flash-w






.

0

The Super Wheel Disk

 

SUPER WHEEL DISK

 

When it came to Custom hubcaps in the early-mid 1940’s you did not to many choices. There was the full moon disk, the Single Bar Flipper hubcap, and there was the Swirl Hubcap. As far as we know this last hubcap was designed by George DuVall. Lets take a closer look at this Custom Accessory Hubcap.


As with a lot of the early – 1930’s and 1940’s – Custom Accessory parts, there is not really any documentation on these parts. A few of these early parts, like for instance the Appleton Spotlights do have some printed documentation, and even some patent drawings to help date the products. But for the hubcaps in this article, the Swirl flipper hubcap, or also called the Super Wheel Disks, we have not been able to find any documentation at all. Not even an advertisement or sales brochure where this hubcap was listed. Perhaps this printed material is out there, or at least some more information can be found. Hopefully this CCC-Article will lead to some more info on this early Custom accessory.


CCC-duvalle-super-wheel-disk-05



 What we know about the Swirl Hubcap

We have heard from several sources that this particular hubcap might be based on a design by George DuVall. George is also credited with the Single Bar hubcap, the Custom Car hubcap with ripple disk and a single bar on its center. But for both we have no rock solid proof. It is said that this Swirl stamped hubcap was designed after the Single Bar Flipper hubcap and shows a bit more streamlined design without the separate single bar flipper. This Swirl hubcap was used on some early Customs in and around WWII, but it never became a real popular item as the single bar flipper was. Which is really sad, since the hubcaps looks absolutely gorgeous in combination with a beauty ring on a wide white wall tired steel wheel.


CCC-duvalle-super-wheel-disk-10


These Swirl hubcaps do show up at swap meets or on-line auction sites from time to time. And in several cases they were offered as NOS parts still in the original boxes. Another indication that these hubcaps were produced, but for some reason never sold in the amounts the producer  and Speed Shops had expected them to do.

The Swirl hubcaps we have seen were all produced by the California Auto Products company and made to fit 16″ wheels. We have seen two different versions for two styles of 16″ wheels they would fit to. The California Auto Products Company was located at 113 West Ann Street in Los Angeles Ca. There are now modern office buildings on that address. We do not know if the California Auto Products company commissioned George DuVall to design these hubcaps for them. Or perhaps the initiative came from George himself and that he was looking for a company to start producing his designs.


CCC-duvalle-super-wheel-disk-01The box suffered some damage from being stored in a warehouse for many decades. 
[divider]


CCC-duvalle-super-wheel-disk-02Shipping label from the California Auto Products in Los Angeles on the box. 
[divider]


CCC-duvalle-super-wheel-disk-03This set of four Swirl hubcaps was offered on eBay a few years ago. They came in the original box with cut down paper packaging material and had been in storage like this since the mid 1940’s. One of the paper cuttings in the box had the October 1945 date on it. 
[divider]


CCC-duvalle-super-wheel-disk-08This hubcap in this box was designed to fit 16″ GM wheels.
[divider]

CCC-duvalle-super-wheel-disk-07A set of four NOS Swirl hubcaps was found by Kevan Sledge of Sledge Customs in Auburn Ca. This set is also set up for 16″ GM wheels, but the hubcap backs can be easily modified to make sure the hubcaps will fit any kind of wheel.
[divider]


CCC-duvalle-super-wheel-disk-06This photo taken by Kevan shows the nice soft “S”-shape pressed into the hubcaps.
[divider]


CCC-duvalle-super-wheel-disk-04Super Wheel Disk sticker is added to each hubcap on the backside. 
[divider]


CCC-duvalle-super-wheel-disk-11Here is a different back side for the same swirl hubcap. This set was also offered on ebay some time ago and had most likely been used on a car at some point. It was clearly showing some patina.
[divider]


CCC-duvalle-super-wheel-disk-12The side view of the hubcap gives us a nice look at the curved “S” shape. 
[divider]


CCC-duvalle-super-wheel-disk-13This photo dated Spring 1947 shows a 1936 Ford 5-window coupe with a set of Swirl hubcaps. 
[divider]


CCC-duvalle-super-wheel-disk-14Kent Kozera used a set of freshly chrome plated Swirl Hubcaps on his 1938 Ford convertible. On Kent’s Ford they are used without the beauty rings that were more common to use back in the day. (photo from Deadend Magazine)
[divider]


CCC-duvalle-super-wheel-disk-15Bryan Rusk took this close up photo of the hubcap on Kent Kozera’s 1938 Ford. This photo shows how subtile and really beautiful this hubcap is.
[divider]



[box_light]

In this article we have shown everything we know about these Swirl hubcaps. This is far from a complete story, but we hope that with the help of this article we will be able to gather some more information about these Custom Car Accessories. So, if you have any more info about these hubcaps, when they were first made, designed, and where they were sold, or have perhaps more original photos from back in the day showing these hubcaps. Please email Rik with this info, so that we can add it to this article to further complete the history on this item.

Thank you.
[/box_light]



[divider]

(This article is made possible by)

jamco-sponsor-ad-602-01


[divider]




.

0

Single Bar Hubcaps Design

SINGLE BAR HUBCAPS

The most popular dress-up item in the early/mid 1940’s was the Ripple-Disk-Single-Bar-Flipper-Hubcap. Many Custom Cars from this era used them, but where did they come from?


The Mysterious Single Bar Flipper Hubcaps

This article is not suposed to be an historic article about the full history of the Single Bar Flipper Hubcap… perhaps one day it will be transfered into that. But for now I just had to create it since CCC-Member Quentin Hall shared a few very interesting concept drawings he had found on-line. Wonderfull illustrations from the later part of the 1930’s. Perfect inspiration for Quentin’s own 1939 Cadillac Project. In one of the drawing Quentin shared I noticed the hucaps. The illustrator James R. Shipley dressed up his 1937-38 La Salle designs with a set of Ripple-Disk-Single-Bar-Flipper-Hubcaps (scroll down to see the illustration). Could this perhaps we the very first design for this all time favorite early style Custom Car accessory hubcap? I had seen several illustration of similar hubcaps before, but never so close to the hubcaps we all know so well from the most popular Custom Car hubcaps from the early to mid 1940’s.


CCC-single-bar-hubcaps-091934 Cadillac V-16, the first year Cadillac used the single bar hubcap. This particular model also has a single bar hubcap mounted on the fender skirt, and the bar is extended as trim on the skirt. Very nice detail. (Photo from www.conceptcarz.com.)
[divider]


CCC-single-bar-hubcaps-031937 Cadillac V-16 with factory stock single bar flipper hubcaps. This was the last year Cadillac used this hubcap design.
[divider]


So far I have always thought that the Single Bar Flipper Hubcap was developed based on the 1934-1937 Cadillac hubcaps. Those hubcaps were mounted on a smooth outer disk. Some of the very early Customs appear to have used this particular Cadillac hubcaps and have mounted it on some ribbed disks. Later, we are now talking very late 1930’s and 1940, the first set of aftermarket Ripple-Disk Single-Bar-Flipper-Hubcaps appeared on Custom Cars. I have always thought – although I have never been able to find any real evidence for this – it was George Du Vall who was responsible for the first aftermarket Single Bar hubcaps. And I always assumes it was Also George DuVall who “designed” the final shape of these and put them in production. James V. Severino shared the information whcih Julian Doty had told him. He (Juliann Doty) got the casting patterns for the flipper bars from his uncle George DuVall. He told that the disks were spun on a lathe (like a Moon fuel tank). He also mentioned that he doesn’t know what happened to the tooling. Julian thinks while he was away in the service, they might have been destroyed in a WWll scrap drive.


CCC-single-bar-hubcaps-08This 1937 For custom has a 1940 license-plate and used what looks like 1934 Cadillac single bar hubcap on some kind of ribbed outer ring. But are in fact early aftermarket hubcaps designed by George Du Vall.
[divider]


CCC-single-bar-hubcaps-07


CCC-single-bar-hubcaps-06This photo of an 1941 Ford appeard in an article on George DuValle by Mike Bishop. It mentions some of the parts, inluding a set of Ripple-Disk-Single-Bar-Flipper-Hubcaps are all popular dress-up pieces from George DuVall.
[divider]


But now with these new Illutrations from 1937 by James R. Shipley I believe that these hubcaps might have been designed by Mr Shipley. Perhaps George DuVall caem up with the same idea at the same time, or perhaps both designers knew each other, or saw each others work. Hard to tell, but I thought this was interesting enough to write a little story about. Obviously these illustrations come from a printed bublication, but so far I have not been able to find out which one.


CCC-single-bar-hubcaps-01James R. Shipley illustration from around 1937 shows his design for the 1937 LaSalle and uses the typical shape of the Riple-Disk-Single-Bar-Flipper-Hubcap.
[divider]


CCC-single-bar-hubcaps-02Another James R. Shipley illustration shows another LaSalle design also using the same Riple-Disk-Single-Bar-Flipper-Hubcap.
[divider]


CCC-single-bar-hubcaps-04wMagazine product information from 1951. Two different type of Single bar hubcaps were offered then. Several aftermarket companies produced them by then, several types and sizes were available. 
[divider]


CCC-single-bar-hubcaps-05w



(This article is made possible by)

jamco-sponsor-ad-602-01


ccc-sponsor-ad-customs-by-flash-w


[divider]



.

0

’36 Ford in the Magnificent Thirties – Forties

A DEFINING ERA

A special era for custom cars is the late 1930’s till the late 1940’s. In this particular period the custom car style was really developed which ultimately lead to the famous early 1950’s customizing style.

These early years produced inspirational wild and originally styled customs. There was a wonderful mix of coach build influences, combined with factory accessories, aftermarket parts and splendid streamlining. The 1936 Ford 5-window coupe shown above has been published before. The inset photo has appeared in many articles that Dean Batchelor was responsible for.

This car is extremely inspiring. It sits higher than we are used to nowadays. It even has a slightly less chop than what we mostly see these days and the single spotlight is also something that we are not used to anymore. But this car is just as good as they get. The styling is just perfect. The grille is one of the best on any 1936 Fords ever. And it looks like a simple narrowed unit until you start comparing. The top radius is larger than on a stock grille. Most likely the whole outer trim piece is hand made. The combination of the removed running boards and addition of trim pieces on the frame cover and rock shield on the rear fender is just so classy! The trim pieces on the frame covers might have been inspired by the 1939 LaSalle… or could it be the way around?

CCC_36_FordKolorized-RH

A fairly unknown looker

The colorized photo was taken in Santa Monica in 1941 and it has been described as being painted maroon with gray. We have a strong feel that the customizing on this car has been done (or at least partly) by George DuVall. George was working on many dress up items during the time this car was built. And the grille changes are something just up his alley. The large photo shown here was found on ebay and the new owner of the photos was happy to share it with the Custom Car Photo Archive. (thank you!)

This for sure is one of our favorite custom car photos ever. So, what’s your favorite custom car photograph?

0