The Howard Gribble Collection part 2




In this second article on the Howard Gribble photo collection, we like to focus on some of the photos showing custom cars that are a bit different from the “mainstream” cars in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Customs that were customized with more than just paint.

Howard Gribble has been sharing his collection of 1960′s and 1970′s custom car, and low rider photos on his own Flickr photo site since 2006. Since 2008, Howard also shares his collection on the Custom Car Photo Archive. In this second article on Howard’s Collection we are concentrating on some of the photos he took himself, rather than photos he had found. We like to focus on the photos that show us that there were still some custom cars that had more than just custom paint and lowering in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.
Check out the rest of the Howard Gribble Collection articles on the CCC-site


In those years, the start of the low rider era most of the cars were only milady customized with actual body work. People spend most of their time and money into lowering the car as much as possible, and on the most amazing paint jobs. But there were still a few cars around that had the old style custom body work as chopped tops, reshaped fenders and grilles etc.

lets take a look at those cars captured with Howard Gribble’s camera…


CCC-Howard-Gribble-BW-09-WThe Roy Abendroth 1955 Buick “Busonic” was built by John Schott. He customized the Buick with 1957 Lincoln rear quarters, extended, reshaped and peeked front fenders with quad headlights and new grille opening. Every body panel on the car was modified in some way to help change the overall looks of the Buick with great results. Larry Watson ended up painting the car in copper metalflake with cob webbing in the light copper colored scallops in 1964. Howard’s photo shows the “Busonic” after a makeover that was done in 1965. Once again Larry Watson was hired to do the paint, this time in a striking lime metalflake on the main body and pearl black on the top.



CCC-Howard-Gribble-BW-01-WDale Gould and and George Barris created this wild 1960 Cadillac Bill Carter was listed as the painter.


CCC-Howard-Gribble-BW-11-WJim Noteboom’s 1963 Buick Riviera. Gene Winfields shop did the work on this car. The photo above shows the second version of the car with the extended sail panels and shaved trim. The front was modified  with a custom grille and at the back the taillights were moved from the body into the lower bumper. Gene painted this car in his famous fade away style in candy orange caramel to white pearl.


CCC-Howard-Gribble-BW-10-WThe car changed hands two times before it ended up being painted metalflake purple as we can see it in this photo.




CCC-Howard-Gribble-BW-07-WCustomized 1955-56 Fod has unique extended hood which hide the windshield wipers. The headlights are deeply tunneled into extended front fenders and the smoothed body is covered in several shaded of gray blue metalflake and candy paints. The wild interior with a supper glossy, metallic plastic, button tuffed, diamond shaped material.


CCC-Howard-Gribble-BW-04-WVery pearl pink customized 1959 Chevy Impala with customized front and rear. Drew’s is listed for doing all the work on the car.




CCC-Howard-Gribble-BW-06-WJoe Bailon built this wild ’65 Impala SS in 1970 for Jess Alcala. Joe dis all the work on the car including paint in his Los Feliz shop. In 1972 the car won the Elegance award at the Grand National Roadster show.


CCC-Howard-Gribble-BW-02-WThe last car in this article looks to be based on a 1965-68 Chevy Impala with the front of the roof cut off completely. Two separate windshields are installed on the cowl in a thirties roadster style. The door hinges are moved to make them open from the top hinged on the rockers. New trends in low-riders were born in the wild 1970’s.

(This article is made possible by)






1974 LA Low Rider Show Part three


A look at the fine Low-Riders created in the early 1970’s. Part three of this series on this collection of black and white Polaroid photos.

The photos in this collection measuring 4.3 by 3/4 inches, all have a wonderful sepia tone to them. After receiving several comments on the first two installments we know now that the sepia is actually an unwanted side-effect. With these black and white Polaroid photos came a small tube with a special protective fluid. Each photo needed to be coated for protection and to make sure the chemical developing process would stop. The sepia sections on the photos are not covered well enough and have changed in color over the years, creating a very nice effect.

Print coater came in a little tube packed with each box of film. In the tube there was a swab, which was soaked in a badly smelling fluid. You opened the tube, took out the swab and started rubbing the just created photo. The liquid dried hard fast and created a “smooth” protective coating. While this fluid was still drying you had to be careful with dust and sand sticking on it.



Lets take a look at ten more photos from this Collection. Most likely the complete collection was photographed at the 1974 Low Rider Show held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. In this series of photos we can see that the cars were displayed in the main arena, as well as in the hallway’s underneath the stands and possibly in the basement or another  display room at the center as well. We can see that besides the Low Riders the show was also open for van’s pick up’s and even some hot rods.

Take a look at the first or second part of this series of articles.





















Go to part ONE of this article on the Polaroid photos
Go to part TWO of this article on the Polaroid photos



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1974 LA Low Rider Show Part two


A look at the fine Low-Riders created in the early 1970’s. Part two of this series on this collection of  black and white Polaroid photos.

The photos in this collection measure 4.3 by 3/4 inches. And if you think about it it is kind of strange they were taken in black and white. In the early 1970’s it was already very common to take color photos, even using the Polaroid system. Then the unanimous photographer, who took these photos, went to a low rider car show with some of the most amazing colorful paint jobs and took black and white photo material might seem a little odd. But I’m very glad the photographer did, because these black and white, with sepia tones, photos have a wonderful nostalgic feel. When we scanned the photos we payed a lot of attention to the sepia color and the wonderful discolored edges as we could.
So the scans shown in these articles give an as close as possible impression of the original Polaroid photos.

If you recognize any of the cars shown in these articles, please let us know. We would love to add the names of the owner, builder or painters to these cars.

Take a look at the first or third of this series of articles.












CCC-1974-Polaroid-20-WOscar Trejo 1966 Chevy Impala


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’74 LA Low Rider Show


A look at the fine Low-Riders created in the early 1970’s. A very colorful world, experienced in wonderful black and white.

In 2006 I came across an eBay auction for 44 black and white Polaroid photos, taken at an 1970’s Low-Rider show. The auction showed one of the Polaroid photos a bit larger. The rest of the photos were shown just stacked, and overlapping each other. The title of the auction was rather vague, I can’t remember what it was, but it did not draw any attention to it. The one photo that was showing a bit larger, was the leading photo of this article. Showing the first version of the Charlie Lopez 1949 Mercury low-rider.

I had always liked the “Nostalgia Sleeper” Mercury, its early version, but also the better known gull wing version with glass top insert. There was a very low minimal price for the auction, and the shipping to the Netherlands was also reasonable. So I placed a bet on it, but did not expect to win, figuring more Low Rider enthusiast would find the auction as I did. However, several days later it turned out I was the only bidder on the auction and I had won… A week later I had the 44 black and white Polaroids in my mailbox.

They were wrapped in plastic, and as soon as I opened the package a chemical smell of freshly developed photos filled my office. I carefully looked at the photos and they were a lot better, and nicer than I had ever expected. The Polaroids had aged wonderfully, with a nice sepia tone to them, and the wonderful edges of the Polaroid are looking great.

One of the photos had a small text on the back, mentioning that the photos were taken at the Los Angeles Convention Center in 1974. I’m not even sure if all 44 photos were taken at the same event. Some of the photos are stamped with “Polaroid” at the back, while others have only a serial number. But perhaps the cassette in the camera was changed during the show… Perhaps some of our readers will be able to recognize the cars and the location. Nowadays in 2013, the photos still smell the same as they did when I first opened the package.

We will be sharing the whole collection in a series of articles here on the Custom Car Chronicle. Lets take a look at the first ten Polaroid photos.

CCC-1974-Polaroid-05-WOscar Trejo 1966 Chevy Impala


CCC-1974-Polaroid-01-WChevrolet Vega “Tiny Dancer” painted by Walt Prey

CCC-1974-Polaroid-23-WBuggs Ochoa Galaxie


CCC-1974-Polaroid-19-WAlbert Provost’s 39 Chevy




CCC-1974-Polaroid-15-WHenry Shister Volkswagen


CCC-1974-Polaroid-14-WCharley Lopez “Nostalgia Sleeper” 1949 Mercury. And on the left we can see the nose of the “Tower of Power”. A 1956 Chevy owned by Ishmael Robles


 Take a look at the second or third part in the series on these black and white Polaroid photos.



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