Custom Car Maiden Voyage

MAIDEN VOYAGE

Rob Radcliffe of King Kustoms has been working on his period looking 1950 Ford Shoebox Custom for a number of years. The second week of March, 2015 the car was ready for its first drive.

 
In November 2014 we reported here on the CCC that Rob Radcliffe’s 1950 Ford Shoebox custom was almost finished. Rob had been working on his custom at his own shop King Kustoms in Temecula Ca. His goal was to create a Custom that looked like it could have been builtĀ around 1953. With obvious invluences from the Barris Kustoms built Chuck DeWitt convertible shoebox, Don Robert’s, Bear Customs built ’49 Ford and a few other period customs.Ā Rob did most of the work on the car himselfĀ and theĀ final body-and prepĀ work was done by Rob’s close friend Octavio Chavez.
 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-01March 06, 2015 the car is complete and now officially on the road, and ready for the trip the next day to the Temecula Rod Run.
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In early March 2015 I finally finished the car, my goal was to debut the car at the Temecula Rod Run, which was held in the second weekend of March, 2015. There I would meet with Octavio and together we would show the car for the very first time as a finished custom to our friend Buster Litton. Buster Litton had an amazing 1949 Ford custom built by the Barris Kustoms Shop and George Cerny in the early 1950’s. Buster had seen the car being built over the years, but this would be the first time he would see it all painted and put back together. Very exciting!
 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-02On our way to the Temecula Cruise Night on Friday!
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-04There is nothing like seeing beautiful California thru the window of a chopped custom, surrounded with wonderful tuck & roll, chrome carnish, and my girl Katie, who took the photo, next to me.
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-03Oh yeah.. I’m enjoying myself… a lot.
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We Left Friday afternoon, together with my brother and his ’65 Mustang we had restored. My girlfriend Katie was going on my maiden voyage with me, and would snap some photos along the way. This was the moment I had been working for for so long. Finally on the road with my first completely finished custom. A car that I designed and built as it could have been done around 1953. I had sit inside the car during its build, day-dreaming of driving it being surrouned with wonderful tuck & roll, painted, fully detailed dash and sparkling chrome, many time. And I had done a few short test runs. But this was the first real drive, and it was absolutely amazing. Driving my finished custom gave me a feeling of how it must have been for the guys back in the early 1950’s.
 

Katie also took this short video of us driving thru wine-country. See meĀ swerving a pothole…
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-05A view out the back… shows that the Hirohata Merc headliner inspired me a lot.Ā 
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-06bAlmost ready for cruise night on Friday before the show.Ā 
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-07Katie enjoying the night time cruise. There is just nothing like seeing the reflections on the chrome surrounds and on the white dash.Ā 
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-08The underdash lights shows of the great looking Gaylord style diamond stiched pattern upholstery… another Hirohata Merc invluence.
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The Show on Saturday

The cruise night was really great, always nice to drive a full custom in the evening hours. we got to Old Town Temecula early and found our spot at the Temecula Stampede parking lot. I could not wait to find Octavio and Buster to show my completed Ford. It was awesome having Buster come down to the Temecula rod run. We met him through a friend of Octavio’s named Ron who drove the shuttle at a local Ford dealership. Octavio was working at the Ford dealership at the time, right after he got out of the Marines, and he went to get a drink on his lunch break one day… and that’s when he spotted a picture of the Buster Litton Ford on the wall of Ron’s cubicle. Octavio waited around until Ron came back, and quickly learned that he and Buster were old high school buddies and that Buster actually came to the Temecula rod run every year from La Habra. This was about five or six years ago, and we’ve been in touch with Ron and Buster ever since. They’ve both come by to see the progress on Octavio’s ’49 Ford and although Buster couldn’t fit it into his agenda this weekend, he wants to come down to the King Kustoms shop in a few weeks to see the updates.
 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-10bWe found our spot #428 on the parking lotĀ at the Temecula StampedeĀ inĀ Old Town Temecula. You can see my brother’sĀ ’65 Mustang coupe parked next to us.
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-11We got there early, some cars already arrived, many more would come soon. It felt so good to see my finished Custom finaly out on the road and there for everybody to enjoy.
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-12Later the whole parking lot was filled, so now it was time to meet up with my friend Octavio, and find Buster Litton.
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-15Buster Litton with me in the car.
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Buster Litton said this about my car.

Wow, this brings back some memories! Your car is obviously chopped more than mine, but you sure didn’t add anything that is too flashy or out of place. Your Ford is very tastefully done.

 
 
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-18On one of our drives during the weekend we saw three hot air baloons in the sky. Katie snapped this photo which also shows the nice chrome garnish moldingsĀ and chopped vent window.
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I’m extremely please with the way the car came out after all these years of hard work. I could not have done it without the help of my brother, Christopher Radcliffe, and my friend, Octavio Chavez. Special thanks to Zbest Paint in Lake Elsinore for the dark metallic plum (picked by Octavio), Ernie’s Auto Interiors in Colton, and Chris Whittington at Shoebox Central in Oklahoma for a lot of great parts and help over the years.
It is an incredible feeling to see this car come together… I still have a few bugs to work out- mainly shortening the steering column and bolting on my Mercury accessory steering wheel (waiting to get it back), as well as finishing off some of the candy knobs on the dash.
 
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CCC-Sponsor-KingKustomsTShirt-602Contact Rob Radcliffe at King Kustoms for more info on these T-Shirts Email Rob

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Radcliffe Shoebox sees light of day

RADCLIFFE SHOEBOX

Rob Radcliffe from King Kustoms in Temecula, California, has been working on his personal Custom Shoebox for many years. Today Rob took the car outside for the first time

 
Rob Radcliffe send us these teaser photos of his Personal Custom Shoebox. After spending many years on the car today November 24, 2014 was the first time that the car was taken outside to have a good look at it. The car is not finished yet, it still needs some more finishing and detailing. But all we can see is that Rob did an absolutely stunning job on this car. Most of the work was done by Rob at his King Kustoms Shop, with final body work by Octavio Shavez.

We will do a much more in depth article when the car is all done, but want to show you Rob’s snapshots of his car right now… since it is so breathtakingly stunning.

 

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Kevan Sledge Merc Finished

SLEDGE MERC FINISHED

After driving his perfectly styled 1940 Mercury in suede for many years. Kevan Sledge debuted his finished 1940 Mercury at the 2014 Santa Maria WCK show.

[dropcap]K[/dropcap]evan Sledge of Sledge Customs in Auburn, Ca. has created one of the most striking 1940 Mercury coupes ever built. The way the top was chopped with the reshaped c-pillar, the raised top of the windshield and many other fine, subtile and not so subtile details makes his Mercury an true custom car icon. Obviously inspired by the Barris-built Matranga Mercury, but improved with his personal styling ideas. The car has been in the works for many years by Kevan, and was created with the help of many others including Rob Radcliff, Octavio Chavez, Mark Idzardi, Anthony Casteneda, Victor Jimenez, Joe Bufardi and Jason Haskins.

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And now in 2014 Kevan has finally finished, or at least nearly finished his 1940 Mercury. There are still a few small details that need to be address. But still we can called his 1940 Mercury finished. We plan on doing an full article on Kevan’s mercury soon. But here are a few photos of the finished car and a fe from its long journey.

CCC_Sledge-40-merc-painted-06Kevan’s Merc in black primer, plex mailslot windshield at Viva Las Vegas.
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CCC_Sledge-40-merc-painted-07The Merc at King Kustoms workshop for some fine tuning work by Rob Radcliffe.
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CCC_Sledge-40-merc-painted-05Kevan’s Mercury was invited to the prestigious Mercury Gathering at the 2009 Sacramento Autorama.
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CCC_Sledge-40-merc-painted-01In November 2013, Kevan hired Rik Hoving Kustoms to visualize a few gloss colors on his satin Merc. It was time for a deep geen glossy paintjob. Here is one of the digital gloss color proposals.
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CCC_Sledge-40-merc-painted-02In the paint booth getting ready for the final color.
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CCC_Sledge-40-merc-painted-04And we have color and shine.
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CCC_Sledge-40-merc-painted-09Howard Bond photo at the 2014,Santa Maria West Coast Kustoms show where Kevan debuted his finished Mercury. (May 24, 2014)
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A few more photos of Kevan’s mercury an be seen in the CCC-Forum post on the West Coast Kustoms show in Santa Maria. Check it out HERE.

 

 

 

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King Kustoms Workshop Spotlight

KING KUSTOMS SPOTLIGHT

King Kustoms is small one man shop in Temecula, California turning out state of the art custom work. Based on period styling with modern day precision and high quality.

We know Rob Radcillfe, the owner of King Kustoms for many years, and have become good friends. We always love to talk vintage custom cars over the email, and the few times we met in person. Rob really knows the history of custom cars, he knows how to recreate the historic styles and details in his custom projects today. Rob has an amazing feel for what is right for the cars he works on. During the work on his project he often takes a step back, pushes the car out of the garage and stares at the project to make sure everything works together.

Rob Radcliffe, owner of King Kustoms, tells the story of his workshop.
As far as the story of my very small shop goes, it began as a side business and hobby. My first “professional” metalworking job was working for Sal Marchese at Temecula Rod and Custom and we have since become very good friends, still collaborating on projects today. I had done some small metalwork in my garage, but it was Sal who pushed me to consider doing it professionally, and I thank him for that. King Kustoms began very slowly in 2003 and my first customer was Xeno from Riverside, California and I did a 5.5″ chop on his ’49 Ford, which he still drives daily. Over the years I have taken my tools on the road with me, doing chops and kustom metalwork in Wildomar, Riverside, San Diego, and even some Porsche 911 rust repair in Costa Mesa.

My home base is in Temecula, California and I specialize in ’49-’51 Ford and Mercury kustoms, as well as other makes and models. I like to do traditional kustom metalwork, and I am always open for any challenge the customer might have. My brother specializes in ’65 and up Ford Mustangs and handles all of the electrical/wiring work on the earlier Fords and Mercs. We do everything but final bodywork/paint-prep,paint and interior. But we have various shops that we use who are specialized in the parts we do not do at King Kustoms.
 
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CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-02-WRob Radcliffe’s own personal project is this great looking 1950 Ford sedan.

 

CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-03-WThe taillights on Rob’s Ford, were replicated from the Barris-built Chuck deWitt Shoebox.

 

CCC-radcliffe-shoebox-almost-done-04Update from November 2014 shows Rob’sĀ nearly finished personal 1950 Ford sedan.
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CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-04-WCustomer Rick’s 1951 Mercury convertible is in for a complete remake. Reshaped front-end with extended fenders, custom grille bar, lipped wheel openings, flush skirts, hand made taillights created from the stock Mercury grille are just a few of the modifications King Kustoms handle on this car. (the grille and taillights are based on a design by Wolf Christiansson)

 

CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-05-WThe fiberglass top has since this photo was taken been replaced with a new frame that will be the base for a padded top with the use of the stock 1951 mercury rear window. Side trim is 1951 Lincoln.

 

CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-06-WGreg’s ’50 Ford was chopped by King Kustoms with a well proportioned chop with angled forward B-pillars.

 

CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-11-WProject cars are often pushed outdoors to check proportions and over all design. In this case the new side trim was checked on Greg’s Shoebox.

 

CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-12-WLee’s 1951 Mercury is another King Kustoms project. Rob chopped the top with slanted B-Pillars, shaved drip rails and a 1950 rear window. The front was modified to work with 1952 DeSoto grille teeth. At the back the fenders were reshaped to have 1952 Lincoln installed in a similar way as the Hirohata Mercury. The 1951 Cadillac rear bumper was narrowed and reshaped to fit. Lee’s Mercury was a complete frame-off project for the shop.

 

CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-08-WBoth bumper and body needed reshaping to make all the units look like the belong together.

 

CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-10-WThis photo shows how well the 1951 Cadillac bumper works with the reshaped Mercury rear fenders.

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Another King Kustoms specialty is to convert Cadillac hubcaps to fit your own wheels.

 
Want to see more of King Kustoms work Check out the folders of King Kustoms on the Custom Car Photo Archive Or if you are on Facebook, check out their Facebook page for many more photos. CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-address [divider] King Kustoms

  • Owner Rob Radcliffe
  • Location Temecula, California
  • Phone (951) 415-7330
  • email chopt50@msn.com

 

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CCC-Sponsor-KingKustomsTShirt-602Contact Rob Radcliffe at King Kustoms for more info on these T-Shirts Email Rob

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Panoramic Ford Convertible

CUTTING THE TOP

In the Works is an convertible version of the famous Buster Litton “Panoramic” Ford. Owner Octavio Chavez is teaming up with King Kustoms, Rob Radcliffe to create this padded top tribute.

 
The original Buster Litton “Panoramic” Ford was build in the the early 1950’s by the Barris Kustom shop and finished by George Cerny. The car was a big hit and has always been listed in the top ten custom car lists. The Barris shop created one of the most beautiful Hard-Topped chopped tops for Busters Ford. The addition of the Studebaker front fenders, and Oldsmobile rear fenders gave the car some really unique and beautiful lines. The original 1949 Litton Ford is gone, but we are very lucky that Andreas ƅberg from Sweden has recreated a near clone of Busters Ford in recent years. The car is winning every award every where it is displayed and is featured in custom car magazines around the world. And now another custom inspired by the Panoramic Ford is in the Works by Octavio Chavez who is being helped by King Kustoms owner and friend Rob Radcliffe.

 

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BusterLittonFord-FB3The top two photos show the original Buster Litton “Panoramic” Ford photographed in the early 1950’s
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However Octavio’s Ford will not be a near clone like Andreas car. No Octavio is starting with a convertible, and every body panel will be similar to the original Panoramic Ford, but then with a padded top instead of a metal Hard top. The team has been working off and on on the project for some time and the latest progress is looking really good.

The whole idea actually started over too many drinks down in Mexico one night- Octavio mentioned making a convertible version of Buster’s Ford and Rob jokingly said “good luck finding the parts”. Within a few weeks he had an Oldsmobile quarter panel on the way… and the project was a fact. Parts for the build trickled in as Octavio found everything and Rob was scheduled to do the metalwork in his spare time.

Octavio always wanted a convertible shoebox Ford and the one the project is based on is a ’49 Ford Rob bought from my friend Tim Sutton. He bought it to use as a parts car to fix his chopped ’50 Ford which had the front end heavily damaged after the head on collision in ’06. The timing was perfect as Octavio was coming home from Iraq when Rob bought the Ford. Octavio used the body of the parts car and found a front clip from a ’50 Fordor he had parted out previously.
Octavio and Rob traded work. Octavio would do the finishing body work on Rob’s Chopped sedan, and Rob would do the initial body work on Octavio’s Convertible.
 
CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-01-WStudebaker front fenders are waiting to be installed.
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CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-02-WOne of the Oldsmobile rear fenders is clamped in place to get a good look what needs to be done to make it all work together.
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CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-04-WThe other Oldsmobile rear fender is in place still waiting for final body work.
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CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-03-WA 1953 Ford front bumper is used on the back. It had to be narrowed 8 inches to fit. Here Rob compares it with a photo of the Buster Litton car to see if everything is looking good. (the photo shows the first version of the Litton Ford. Later the rear bumper would be modified and that is the version that will be used on the convertible).

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CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-09-WThis photo shows the 1952 Kaiser bumper over rider that was later added to the Buster Litton Ford and which will be used on Octavio’s convertible. On the right we can see Rob Radcliff’s personal 1950 Ford Sedan Custom Project. A car we will be showing in the “In the Works” section on the Custom Car Chronicle soon.

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CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-05-WOctavio getting ready to add some primer to the drivers side rear fender, after he had just shot some on the passenger side. And it all is looking very good.

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CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-07-WThe latest progress on the car is the complete installment of the Studebaker front fenders, the reshaped grille opening using 1951 Mercury parts and addition of the Chevy grille. Things are starting to look really great now.

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CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-06-WA closer look at Rob’s fantastic body work on the front of the convertible.

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CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-10-WThis really great photo shows car owner Octavio Chavez on the right. Rob Radcliffe, responsible for the main body work on the far left. Buster Litton himself (with hat) came down to the King Kustoms shop to take a look at the convertible with his friend Ron. Buster approved and really liked the idea of a padded topped convertible version of his old Panoramic Ford.

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Octavio and Buster Litton talking details.

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The car isn’t an exact clone obviously; it’s more of a tribute car and will be painted a dark Titian Red instead of the Cocoa Rust color Buster’s original car was.

We hope the team will be going strong on the project and we will be able to see more progress photos with construction photos of a padded top in the near future…. stay tuned.

 

[box_light]King Kustoms is a small kustom car shop located in Temecula, California which specializes in ’49-’51 Ford and Mercury kustom cars, as well as any other make and model you want to restyle in a traditional 1950s fashion. Give them a call! (951)415-7330. Check out the King Kustoms BLOG.[/box_light]

 
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(this article is sponsored by)

CCC-Sponsor-Kustoms-Illustrated-602
 
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CCC-Sponsor-KingKustomsTShirt-602Contact Rob Radcliffe at King Kustoms for more info on these T-Shirts Email Rob

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