The Jack Calori Photo Album

 

JACK CALORI PHOTO ALBUM

 

Jack Calori gave away his amazing vintage photo album to a good friend, Billy Crewl. Billy showed me the album, and let me take some photos to share here on the CCC.

 
I had been in contact with Billy Crewl for some time. I had shared some old photos from¬†the Ed Jenson Collection¬†an a few showed the old Jack Calori roadster. Billy has a very special interest in this car, so he really enjoyed the photos. Billy mentioned he was very close friends with Jack Calori. After Jack passed away Jack’s daughter gave Billy her fathers old photo album with photos from the 1940’s. Billy also got some other memorabilia from Jack including some old goggles, his personal club plaque, timing tag, and a trophy. When Billy heard I was going to the 2013 GNRS in Pomona, he promised to come by at the booth I had there and show me the photo album. Well Billy stopped by the Kustom Kar Books booth. This was still early in the morning and the doors had not opened yet. So he took out this absolutely stunning album. A lot of very interesting late 1940’s photo. So much history in those photos. Sadly I was not able to scan the content of the album, but Billy let me to take photos of some of the content and share it here on the Custom Car Chronicle.

Thank you so much for sharing this great material with us Billy Crewl.

 
CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-00The wonderful leather worked cover of the black paper photo-album.
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Jack Calori¬†took many photos in the 1940’s. Photos of his own cars in various stages, and locations, as well as other cars he liked or was interested in. He took many photos at the dry lakes and has created a really amazing photo album which has survived all these years. We will show you some of the amazing photos inside.
 
CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-20This photo shows Jack getting his roadster ready for another run at the dry lakes.¬†That is Jack’s 1936 Ford before it was chopped¬†in the background.¬†
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-17Jack’s 1936 Ford shortly after all the body work was done by Herb Reneau. This a bit blurry photo shows the work that Herb did to the front. Herb¬†removed the original 1936 Ford grille, shaped a new steel panel to fill the hole and made a new opening to fit the 1939 La Salle grille. Herb also set a set of 1940 Chevy headlights low on the front fenders and removed the hinge in the hood top and welded the two pieces together to form a solid hood. The hood sides are all smooth units. Possibly aftermarket units. Later a set of louvres was punched into them.¬†This front view also shows that the 1941 Ford bumpers have not yet been installed at this time.¬†
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-19This photo shows the smooth hood sides better. The work on the ’36 was done in¬†late 47 and into 48. Jack was still using¬†the ’36¬†as a tow car. Then sold his roadster kept the motor then put it in the 36 then ran russetta with it.¬†I guess after a while the engine started to run hot and hey added the scoop underneath the grille to be able to cool the engine a bit better. And later, not shown in this album, they added louvres in the hood sided. The car is also running without the fender skirts at this point. But since there are no hubcaps on the rear wheels I guess the skirts were always planned, but just not on it in this photo.
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-22Another photo of the car shortly after it had been chopped. Herb had smoothed the rear fenders, created the set in license plate, added the 1941 Hudson taillights close to the plate. The car was still in primer, and the original bumpers were also still in place. 
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-18This photo was taken before the California Auto Top shop did their work in dark red Naugahyde. There are no door panels, and the seat looks to be covered with a blanket or something. It does show that the Ford Crestliner, the Pontiac speaker grille and the Stewart Warner gauges are all already in place.
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-13Jack’s 1936 Ford at Russetta Timing Association meet was one of my favorite snapshots in the album. The photo is not really to sharp, and the car was actually kind of small in the whole photo – this is just a cropped portion of the photo (The complete photo can be seen in the opening photo). I really love the way the car is reflected into the pool of water, and with the hills in the background. The car now runs the 1941 Ford bumpers as well.
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-15Another photo taken at the Russetta Timing Association meet. This photo also shows that the car did have a scoop underneath the grille/bumper already when it was using the solid hood sides. 
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-16This photo were taken before the Medley photo shoot for the November 1949 Hot Rod magazine photo shoot. The hood sides on the car are still smooth on this version. I guess Jack still had some heating problems despite the large scoop he added below the bumper. Most likley not to long after this photo was taken the louvres were added to the hood sides.
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-30This photo gives us a¬†really good look at the chop Herb Reneau performed on Jacks Coupe… really nice, with just a bit lower in the front, which is how they come from the factory, and which gives the car a bit more Hot Rod feel, which Jack liked. Look at the reflections in the super smooth black paint.¬†Unfortunately most of these wonderful trophies did not survive. Billy told me Jack gave the cars on top of the trophies to his son to play with.¬†
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-27The only trophy that survived is his worlds fastest roadster trophy the one in the middle in the black and white photo above the trophy photo.
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-31Jack sure loved  winning trophies.
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-24Not the best photo, the lighting inside at the GNRS building was very poor to take photos like this, but this one shows the full page Jack devoted to his friends, Bob Gill’s 1936 Ford coupe.¬†Jack used¬†the same Hudson taillight/set in license plate¬†on his car, but Jack did not use the exhaust thru the rear fenders as Bob did on his Coupe. Obviously the grille on Bob’s car is different dan on Jacks, a Nash unit and ¬†LaSalle unit is used on Jacks Ford.
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-23I took one better photo of¬†Bob Gill’s 1936 Ford Coupe before¬†Billy had to leave again.¬†It was not until after I got back home from the GNRS and I had studies this photo a bit better, that I noticed the scoop underneath the bumper on Bob’s Ford. It¬†shows a similar scoop as Jack Calori used on his famous 1936 Ford. I know the smooth hood sides and the much smaller than original custom grille (Nash on Bob’s Ford) must have caused some heating problems on the engine.¬†So this was the way Bob and Jack fixed that problem. But could it have been an aftermarket part? Or is is something from another car they used for this? It does not really look home made to me. Anybody recognize the scoop below the grille/front bumper in this photo?
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-25Close up of the air-scoop below the grille.
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-02Another interesting photo from the Jack Calori photo album is this one showing Jack’s 1929 Roadster at one of the many lake races. The photo of the Roadster taken in 1947-48 is very nice, but as a Custom Car guy my eyes were immediately directed to the left side of this photo where a 1936 Ford is can be seen¬†in the parking section.
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-28The car, cropped from the photo above – not sure if it is a coupe or a sedan – has a nice Packard clipper grille set into a new front section of the car. Otherwise the 36 Ford seams to be pretty mild with only a mild lowering with what looks like a nice speed boat stance, black wall tires and ripple disk hubcaps. The bumper looks to be of a 1940 Ford, but its a bit hard to tell.
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-26One of my favorite things to do on these old dry lake photos is spot the Custom Cars in the back ground. I know that most people like the dry lake racers in the foreground a lot better, but I’m just a Custom Car guy. I noticed this amazing dry lake racer which looks to be based on a cut down model T body. The single bar flipper hubcaps are a nice custom touch on this racer. But what really got me was the customized 1937-38 Ford convertible in the back ground. I added this section enlarged as an inset to the photo to take a better look at it. The car has a partly filled grille section and a custom grille that could have started out of a 1940-41 Chevy grille, or perhaps scratch built. Nothing really special, just an every day driver customized to its owners liking. The really nice thing is the guy kneeling in front of it taking a photo of it. Another Custom Car guy back then looking for the nice customs in the spectator section!
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-01Two photos of Jack’s Roadster.
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-09Nice ’32 Ford roadster with flipper disk hubcaps and other chrome accessories.
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-04Jack’s roadster¬†with an interesting¬†1936 Ford behind it. Unfortunately we cannot see much of this car, but what we can see is interesting. I have enlarged the 36 Ford section, see the photo below.
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-05The headlight / front fender treatment looks a lot what Harry Westergard and George Barris were doing in the Sacramento area in the mid 1940’s. The headlight were put on top of the front fenders and a new tunnel was created to make them flow from the back portion of the front fender. The grille surround looks to be chrome lated, and the front bumper was replaced by a more heavy unit. It is also very interesting to see this was done on a 4-door car. And it sure makes me wonder how the rest of this car looked like.
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-14Jack later also owned this mildly customized 1950 Mercury. Nosed and decked, with frenched headlights. 
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CCC-jack-calori-photo-album-12Another photo from the Jack Calori collection shows an unidentified 1941 Ford Convertible custom. This photo was taken when Jack was working on his 1941 Ford Pick Up in the 1950’s. I guess the photo was taken in 1955 or close. And possibly the 1941 Ford belonged to a friend of Jack. The car looks to be an original 1940’s custom with a Carson top (the Carson Tops were always a bit more square.) The car was now fitter with less wide white wall tires, and possibly it was raised more over how it originally had looked.¬†The car has all the signs of an early custom. Mild chop, no frenched headlights, door handles still in place, etc.
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In 2011 I had the pleasure to see the restored Jack Calori 1936 Ford at the Customs Then & Now event. And the car looked absolutely stunning in person. The supper gloss black paint over the supper straight customized body in combination with the bright red interior and with the black wall tires made this car looks absolutely stunning.
 
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Max Ferris – Westergard 1936 Ford

 

MAX FERRIS WESTERGARD 1936 FORD

 

Restyling this car in the 1940 would have an impact on the custom car scene forever. The term “Harry Westergard style” came from the looks Harry achieved for this 1936 Ford.


CCC-max-ferris-westergard-18-WGene Winfield took this photo of the 1936 Ford in the parking lot of a NorCal circle track. Interesting to see the side window curtains installed. Most likely because it was winter time when Gene took the photo. Ed Jensen was most likely already the owner of the car when this photo was taken.
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[box_light]Most of the photos in this article come from the Ed Jenson Collection. They were shared by Tim Cunha and scanned by Curtis Leipold. More amazing photos from Ed Jensons 1940’s photo collection can be seen in the Ed Jensons Custom Car Chronicle section.[/box_light]


CCC-max-ferris-westergard-01-WThe Ford parked in front of Ed Jensen’s house.
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[dropcap]H[/dropcap]arry Westergard customized this 1936 Ford Roadster for Max Ferris in the early 1940’s. Harry Westergard was the best in reshaping an ‚Äúordinary‚ÄĚ Ford into an exclusive automobile. The Packard grille was one way, and, combining it with the long 1939 Buick headlights molded into the front fenders made it an instant winner. The Packard grille was found on a roll-over car at a local wrecking yard and was installed in a hand-shaped panel filling the stock grille opening. The front fenders were welded to the grille surround making the front piece one single unit. For the first version, the hood sides remained stock, but later on a set of smooth hood sides were installed, to clean it up even more. Harry chopped the windshield post and a padded top was constructed. To clean up the car and add some more class to the Ford, Harry filled in the complete belt line from the cowl all the way to the back, creating one smooth body.

All of the handles were shaved and the holes filled. The taillight stands were removed, the holes filled and 1939 Ford ‚Äúteardrop‚ÄĚ shaped taillights installed. A small rectangular hole with round corners just big enough to show the license plate numbers was cut into the panel below the trunk. The plate was installed from inside the car and sat behind a glass plate. These set-in license plates were a big trend in the 1940‚Äôs. Harry installed a set of 1937 DeSoto bumpers. It is interesting to see that Harry used a front and rear bumper on the car, while most customs only use the much flatter front bumper on both sides. The much rounder rear unit actually looks very good on Max‚Äôs car. Most likely the car was painted a maroon at first and later being repainted forest green.

CCC-max-ferris-westergard-02-WPackard Clipper grille and lowed headlights really improve the looks of a 1936 Ford.
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CCC-max-ferris-westergard-14-WThe Ferris Ford used a chrome plated dash with a 1941 Mercury gauge cluster and upside down Lincoln steering wheel.
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CCC-max-ferris-westergard-07-WThis and a few of the other photos show that these cars were daily users, and small mishaps happened. Notice the round 1937 DeSoto rear bumper.
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CCC-max-ferris-westergard-19-WA good look how Harry installed the Packard Clipper grille and Buick headlights.
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CCC-max-ferris-westergard-09-WFantastic early 1940’s photo from the Ed Jensons Collection showing the¬†roadster on the far right. But the main focus from the photographer in this photo was the Hot Rod. The Hot Rod is Jack Davis/Calori roadster, not long after Jack Davis sold it to Jack Calori.¬†A 1929 Model A Roadster on a 32 Ford frame with the cut down 32 Ford grille and with the home made V-style windshield and a hopped up engine with two carb intake is a really great sample of early 1940’s Hot Rods.
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CCC-max-ferris-westergard-10-WEnlarged section of the photo shown above shows Ed’s Roadster a bit more up close.
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CCC-max-ferris-westergard-05-WThe stock hood sides are now replaced with a set of smooth units. The shape of the padded top is perfectly proportioned. Here we can see Ed and a friend packing some stuff for one of their many road-trips in the car.
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CCC-max-ferris-westergard-08-WIn this photo we get a good look at the ’39 Ford taillights and set in license plate.
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CCC-max-ferris-westergard-04-WOn one of the many trip something must have broken down.
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CCC-max-ferris-westergard-12-WThe photo above and the one below are also taken by Gene Winfield. The roadster was used as rolling advertising for the Roadster races at the Oakland Stadium. Ed knew the promotor of the show and had offered to help promote the event for him.
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Max sold the car to Ed Jensen¬†who¬†owned the ’36 Ford for quite some time. Ed¬†later sold the car¬†to a guy who lived on the other side of the bay and the ¬†ended up over there. When Ed talked to Tim Cunha about the 36, he was not sure about the name of the guy he sold the car to, but possibly this¬†was Larry Chubbick, but it could have been somebody before Larry as well. when¬†Larry Chubbick owned the car he removed the skirts, and changed the suspension,¬†to give the car a slight forward rake. Larry also added a lot of speed parts and a Colombia 2-spped rear axle. Larry used the car as his daily driver and as some of the photos show it started to show signs of being well used. At one point Larry respainted the car in Cinnabar Red. In 1949 Vern Simons bought the car at a used car dealership. By then the rear fenders had been smoothed and a set of ¬†1941 Chevy taillights mounted on the DeSoto bumpers. In 1949 the ’36 Ford had seen a lot of road use and needed a full restoration. Vern hired Lyle Barteles from San Francisco to do the lead work on the car.¬†Vern painted the car in black and had Hall of Oakland redo the padded top.¬†In 1952 Vern took his 1936 Ford to Bonneville to race it. The team struggled a lot but eventually Verne managed to get a speed of 119.52 on his tag.

CCC-max-ferris-westergard-20-WThe reworked engine, Vern took a snapshot moments before it was reinstalled in the car from the trip to Bonneville in 1952.
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CCC-max-ferris-westergard-13-WThis photo of Vern’s Ford at Bonneville was listed on eBay some time ago. The 1951 date written on it should be 1952.
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When Vern Simons bought the car of the car lot he had no idea where it came from, or who built it. When the¬†Rodder’s Journal did an article on Vern’s unrestored Roadster in¬†issue No. 19¬†Vern found out much more on the history of the car. But one of the missing links, Ed Jenson, came into the picture after Tim Cunha recognized the roadster in the RJ article from the amazing photos in his friends Ed Jenson’s collection. So Tim made sure Ed and Vern met each other and were able to share many memories about the car.¬†Vern still owns this early Westergard custom.¬†After the car had been in storage and photographed for the Rodder’s Journal article, Vern decided it was time to start restoring the car. He choose the Foley bros. Custom Works shop in Redwood City to start the restoration around 2009. In 2011¬†Vern Simons was invited to show his 1936 Ford Roadster built by Harry Westergard at the GNRS Customs Then & Now show. The car arrived at the show in a slightly street rodded version. But after spending the weekend at the show, surrounded by nothing but Custom Cars, Vern came to the conclusion the car needs to get back to the full Custom style as it was intended by Harry Westergard in the early 1940’s.


CCC-max-ferris-westergard-16-WVern’s Ford parked in front of the¬†Foley bros. Custom Works shop during the start of the partial restoration.
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CCC-max-ferris-westergard-22-WThis photo shows the smoothed rear fenders and 1941 Chevy taillights mounted on the DeSoto bumper. This is how Vern Simons got the car.
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Vern’s Ford how it looks while it was shown at the 2011 GNRS Customs Then & Now exhibit.
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More info and resources

  • The Rodder’s Journal, Issue #19
  • Gene Winfield book
  • The American Custom Car, Pat Ganahl book
  • Kustoms Illustrated, Issue #35



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