1950 Oakland Roadster show

 

1950 OAKLAND ROADSTER SHOW

In 1950 Al and Mary Slonaker organized the first Annual National Roadster Show. Mostly entered by Hot Rods, but the Custom entries in this show has always been legendary. Lets take a look at the Custom entries at this first Oakland Show.


There is something special about the Custom Cars being displayed to these early Hot Rod and Custom Car shows¬†from the very early 1950’s. The first couple of shows at the Oakland Exposition Building as well as the Pan Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles were Peterson held his Motorama show, as well as some early shows in Indianapolis. They all have a pure feeling, Custom Cars being displayed with the hoods and doors closed, just to be enjoyed for their exterior beauty, no distraction from out of this world displays, colored light for special effects. Pure about the cars, pure about the art of custom restyling.


CCC-1950-oakland-show-hot-rod-adHot Rod October 1949 issue announced the first Annual National Roadster Show. The full page ad only showed Hot Rods.
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In the late 1940’s the Hot Rod and Custom scene was blooming¬†like never before.¬†In¬†1948 the first Hot Rod shows had been organized which had a huge impact, and more an more smaller events were organized. During this time the Hot Rodder’s did not have a very good name with the general public. Driving too fast, drag racing on the streets and several heavy accidents had given them a bad name in the local news. A lot of car clubs as well as Hot Rod magazine were working hard to proof this bad reputation¬†was not based on the reality.

In 1949 Al and Mary Slonaker organized and International car exhibition at the Oakland Exposition building ¬†featuring¬†mostly Foreign¬†Sport Cars and exclusive automobiles. However not too long before the show date, the Slonaker’s were introduced into Hot Rodding. They really enjoyed the scene and saw how enthusiast the Hot Rod club members were.¬†They decided to include¬†a few Hot Rods and Custom Cars in one corner at this first car show organized in the Oakland Exposition building by them. Only around 10 Hot Rods and Customs were part of this 1949 show, but the crowd like these cars much better than the Sports Cars and exclusive Automobiles. So when the plan was developing for a¬†1950 show the Slonaker’s decided to build a show around just Hot Rods and Custom Cars, and ended up naming the event the NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW. One of the main reasons the show was named Roadster show, instead of Hot Rod show, was because there was still some negativity around the Hot Rod name from the common public. Posters and flyers were printed and handed out to as many hot rodder’s as the organizing team could find.

CCC-california-la-oakland-map-02The Kustoms of Los Angeles club had to drive around 500 miles from Los Angeles to Oakland. Back then Custom Cars were driven on a daily base so the guys drove their Custom Cars to the show, no trailers.
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Apparently at one point it started to look like there might only be Hot Rods and Race cars entering the show.¬†The Slonaker’s called George Barris to see if he would be interested in gathering a few of his Kustoms of Los Angeles club members to make the trip from Los Angles to Oakland. An around¬†500 mile trip for an 4 day event, which was clearly not doable for everybody. George Barris remembered how much good the 1948 Hot Rod Show in the LA Armory had been for him and his business. George¬†managed to get a few of the club members interested and they made the 500 mile trip. We know that Jesse Lopez and Ben Mario went with him from LA, and ¬†Joe Urritta brought his 1941 Ford, but unsure if he brought it straight from the Barris Shop in Bell, or from his home in Fresno, which is about half way from LA to Oakland. I have read that Barris brought six cars to the first Oakland Roadster Show, but so far I can only find evidence for three Barris Kustoms.

Some other Custom Car owners more local were contacted, so in the end there were some Customs at this very first Annual National Roadster Show, but by far the numbers the show would later attract. The first National Roadster show was held from Jan 19 till 22, 1950. I turned out to be a huge success. In the four days the show was open 27,624 spectators visited the Oakland Exposition building to see the 100 cars on display. This show did a lot of good things for Hot Rodding and Customizing. And the general public had now witnessed the high quality Hot Rods and Customs and placed these in a whole new perspective than the local news previously had done.

In the March 1950 issue of Hot Rod magazine there was a massive almost 5 page with a great number of photos feature article about the show. Sadly none of the photos were of the custom car entries at the show. The show would soon be named “Oakland” by a lot of people. Just because the National Roadster Show was just a too long name. Later in its life the show was renamed Grand National Roadster Show and is today best known¬†as GNRS.



The Location

The first National Roadster Show was held at the Oakland Exposition Building located across the street from the Oakland Auditorium, nearby beautiful Lake Merrit. The building address was:¬†Exposition Building, 918 Fallen Street Oakland 7, California. The Building was a nice size and could hold up to at least 100 cars. However I have heard from several people who attended the first couple of shows held at the Oakland Exposition Building that they revered to it¬†as the biggest little show. Pointing out that the building was soon to be considered to small for traveling from all over California, and further. But the quality of the cars was alway high, and the show was an magical event from the early days, and it would become to longest still running car show around. The Bay area had many Hot Rodder’s and Custom Car enthusiasts¬†with high quality cars, but the show always had a good number of cars from the Los Angles Area, and even from out of state from the beginning.

CCC-oakland-exposition-buildingThe outside of the Oakland Exposition Building. This photo it taken from the parking lot and was taken later in the 1950’s.¬†
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CCC-1950-oakland-aerial-viewAerial view shows the Oakland Exposition building in light blue with the large parking space out front. Lake Merrit is in the background, behind the white Oakland Auditorium.
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CCC-oakland-inside-sports-carsThis photo is NOT from the 1950 show, but rather from an Sport Car show from 1952. I have included it in this article because it really gives a great look at the inside of the Oakland Exhibition Building. 
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CCC-oakland-inside-hot-rodsThis is a photo that was taken at the 1950 National Roadster Show. There are no Customs showing at all, even though the photo shows a pretty large section of the building. Which says a lot about the amount of Customs versus Hot Rods show in 1950. I have included this Hot Rod filled photo to show how the building looked at the 1950 show, it gives a great overall impression.
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CCC-oakland-inside-crowdDuring the 4 day show a special team was building a Model A Roadster at the show. This photo shows the finished Hot Rod on Sunday, and how many people visited the show. Everybody was really impressed with the quality of the cars at the show. Something some might not have expected after all the negative news reports about the Hot Rodder’s.
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CCC-oakland-hubbard-booth-01Ben ¬†Hubbard’s Auto Parts had a team of four guys assemble the Model A Roadster at the show. I have included this photo here since it gives a nice feel for the back side of the building where the vendor booth were.
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CCC-1950-oakland-show-photo-album-01Ron Brooks shared these rare a¬†snapshots from the 1950 Roadster Show. It shows Jesse Lopez 1941 Ford, (#204 – 414), Al Serpa’s 1947 Ford (#403) and Ben Mario’s 1947 Buick (#211 – 411). Ron received the photo’s from a friend who visited the show in 1950.
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CCC-1950-oakland-show-program-tagThe 1950 National Roadster SHOW program with Miss California Jone Pedersen and race driver Freddie Agabashian next to the eight-foot trophy. Next to it the exhibition tag.
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In the last few month before the show the entries came in, some with photos, others not. A selection of cars was made to be included in the first annual show program From all the cars listed and shown in the program only 6 cars were Custom Car. From all these 6 cars, except the number 402 car, 1940 Chevy convertible from Bert Gericke we have been able to find some photos taken at the show. Possibly Bert could not make it to the show in the end, or his car was simply not photographed that much and photos of the car at the show have never surfaced so far.


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By the time the Show Program booklet was put together the organization had developed a kind of odd numbering system. If you look at the numbers the customs have assigned to it does not really make sense. Jesse Lopez 1941 Ford Coupe has a 200 number, which is for Street Roadsters. It appears that after the program was printed it was decided to give all the Custom Cars that entered the show would receive an 400 number. The 414 and 411 numbers on Jesse and Ben’s Barris Kustoms at the show¬†make me believe that is what happened.



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List of Custom Car entries at the 1950 National Roadster Show in Oakland (possibly incomplete list)

  • 204¬†– 414 Jesse Lopez 1941 Ford ‚Äď Jesse Lopez/Sam Barris
  • 206¬† Al Marx 1934 Ford
  • 209¬† Lon Hurley 1946 Cadillac
  • 211¬†– 411 Ben Mario 1947 Buick ‚Äď Barris Kustoms
  • 401 ¬†Vince Gardner 1947 Studebaker
  • 402 ¬†Bert Gericke 1940 Chevy
  • 403 ¬†Al Serpa 1947 Ford ‚Äď Gene Winfield
  • 404 ¬†1939 Ford Convertible ‚Äď unknown
  • 405¬† Bruce Glenn 1939 Ford ‚Äď Harry Westergard
  • # unknown¬† Joe Urritta¬†1941 Ford ‚ÄstBarris Kustoms

 

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50-oakland-program-jesse-lopez-41-ford50-oakland-program-al-marx-34-ford 50-oakland-program-lon-hurley-cadillac50-oakland-program-ben-mario-47-buick50-oakland-program-vince-gardener-studebaker50-oakland-program-bert-gericke-40-chevy

CCC-1950-oakland-show-barris-01George Barris posing with Miss California¬†Jone Pedersen on the right and aunt Edith on the left. Edith raised both George and Sam in Roseville Ca, after their birth mother had passed away when they were still young. The car behind them is Ben Mario’s 1947 Buick (#211 – 411) with a fresh chopped windshield and panoramic rear window Gaylord padded top. The padded toped car on the far right is Al Serpa’s Ford.
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CCC-1950-oakland-show-gardner-studebaker-01Vince Gardner 1947 Studebaker (#401) with behind it a mystery custom entry with number 404. An unidentified 1939 Ford convertible. Non of the cars had any kind of display material used. Just parked on the floor with a rope around it. Notice the large amount of garbage on the floor. 
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CCC-1950-oakland-show-gardner-studebaker-02In 1950 the¬†Vince Gardner 1947 Studebaker most likely had the first ever plastic “bubble top” ever made. The car made a huge impact at the show.
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CCC-oakland-Ford-convertible-404The unidentified #404 1939 Ford Convertible sitting behind Vince Gardner’s 1947 Studebaker. If any of the readers knows anything about this car, please let us know.
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CCC-1950-oakland-show-al-marx-34-fordAl Marx took his uniquely custom restyled 1934 Ford Roadster to the show #206. Al’s Ford used to belong to Wes Collins when it was painted black. The car was done as a full custom with a DuValle windshield, fender skirts, Lincoln bumpers an set in license plate. The interior photo shows the unique engine turned dash.
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50-oakland-show-lon-hurley-cadillac-01Lon Hurley created an uniquely styled Sports Custom based on an 1946 Cadillac with many 1948 Cadillac parts. He restyled it into a two seater with plastic wrap around windshield (#209).
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50-oakland-show-lon-hurley-cadillac-02The car looks very elegant and streamlined and Lon Hurley won the Most Spectacular Custom Roadster award with the car.
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CCC-1950-oakland-show-al-Serpa-01Gene Winfield was from nearby Modesto Ca, and¬†made sure his latest custom, a 1947 Ford Convertible (#403) with Hall top for Alvin Serpa was displayed at the show. Al won the Most Spectacular Custom Convertible award with the car. On the right we can see the panoramic rear window in the Gaylord top of Ben Mario’s 1947 Buick.
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CCC-1950-oakland-show-Ben-Mario-02Ben Mario’s 1947 Buick (#211) was restyled by Barris and had just received a chopped windshield and new padded top by Bill Gaylord. Not sure why there are so many people in the car during the show. Behind the Buick on the far right of the photo we can see the Hall top of Alvin Serpa’s Winfield restyled 1947 Ford.
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CCC-barris-joe-urritta-41-ford-00Joe Urritta from Fresno, Ca, had Sam Barris restyled his 1941 Ford Sedan at the Lynwood shop. It looks like the car was either still in primer, or freshly painted and waiting to be rubbed to a high gloss. We have not been able to find the 1950 show number for Joe’s Ford. The car next to Joe’s ’41 Ford appears to be a padded topped 33-34 Phaeton, not sure if it can be qualified as a Hot Rod or Custom, this is the only photo I have seen that shows it.
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CCC-1950-oakland-show-bruce-glenn-39-fordIn 1950 Bruce Glenn owns the 1939 Ford convertible (# 405)¬†with metal lift off hard-top restyled by Harry Westergard. Westergard¬†originally restyled the Ford for¬†Mel Falconer¬†and used to have a padded top. Next to Bruce’s Ford we can see the front wheel, fender and top from Ben Mario’s Barris Buick.
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Jesse Lopez’s 1941 Ford (#204 – 414) had been finished two years prior to the 1950 Oakland Show, and had never before been in any other show. Jesse would not put it into another show after it either. But later owner Danny Lares loved to show it around.
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CCC-1950-oakland-show-lopez-ford-05Jesse’s Ford looking really great at the show. Behind the car we can see Joe Urritta’s Ford sitting against the wall.
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CCC-1950-oakland-show-lopez-ford-08It appears that Jesse’s 1941 Ford was moved around a bit during the show. Here¬†the car¬†was parked¬†with its back¬†agains the wall and a kind of ¬†ugly wall on the sides taking way fro the beauty of Jesse’s Ford. The car behind the show board on the right is the Barris Restyled Joe Urritta 1941 Ford.
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CCC-1950-oakland-show-lopez-ford-07Back in 1950 the cars at the shows were drivers. Jesse’s Ford had been on the road for two year, and the dirty door jambs show that it was not a common thing back then to open the doors at the shows.¬†
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CCC-1950-oakland-show-barris-signsJesse Lopez had Custom Car no 414 at the show, but was listed as 204 in the program. It looks like at the show it was decided that all the custom entries should have a 400 number. The show cards at the early shows were all hand painted, and in the first couple of years each year card had a different design. Jesse also had an hand painted sign made, or perhaps it was done by Barris. 
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CCC-1950-oakland-show-barris-displayThe display methods of George Barris were still rather crude at this 1950 Show. A sponsored StaLube sign, a custom sign for jesse’s Ford, and a board with a couple of Barris Customs from the pages of Motor Trend magazine to promote the Barris Kustom Shop. Interestingly Jesse’s Ford is being described as being Styled by BARRIS KUSTOM SHOP Sam … George Los Angeles & Sacramento!
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Awarded Custom Cars:

  • America’s Most Beautiful Roadster
    • Bill NieKamp’s 1929 Ford Model A Roadster
  • Greatest Contribution to Auto Industry
    • second place: Barris Kustom Shop
    • Third Place, Vince Gardener, South Bend, Indiana
    • Fith Place, Lon Hurley, Long Beach
  • Most Magnificent Custom Roadster
    • Vince Gardner, South Bend, Indiana
  • Most Spectacular Custom Roadster
    • Lon Hurley, Long Beach
  • Most Magnificent Custom Convertible
    • Barris Custom Shop, LA
  • Special Division First Place
    • Jesse Lopez, Bell

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CCC-1950-oakland-show-awardsAfter the award ceremony all the winners get together for a photo-shoot. George Barris is kneeling with his trophies on the far left of the podium.
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CCC-1950-oakland-show-lopez-ford-06Jesse Lopez won First Place Special Devision with his 1941 Ford. Here Jesse is posing with Miss California and the trophies.
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CCC-1950-oakland-show-lopez-ford-03George Barris posing with the awards Jesse had won, with Miss California inside the car.
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CCC-1950-oakland-show-lopez-ford-02Close up of George Barris with the Special Devision trophy and Jone Pedersen inside Jesse Ford.
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So far I have been able to find evidence for 10 Custom Cars at the First Annual Oakland Roadster Show. I’m not sure if this is the complete list or if there were more at the show. There have been shared a nice amount of photos taken at this 1950 show, but most of the photos were taken of Hot Rods, and how only other Hot Rods in the back ground. The people who we talked to about the show could not really remember much about the show. And how many Customs there were. If any of the CCC-Readers knows more, please let us know.


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Special thanks to Ron Brooks for helping me a lot with this article.



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Resources and more info

  • Hot Rod Magazine, March 1950
  • Rod & Custom, magazine June 1989
  • Barris Kustom Techniques of the 50’s, books
  • Barris Kustoms of the 1950’s, book
  • The Oakland Roadster Show, book
  • The American Custom Car, book
  • Hot Rod Gallery, book
  • Custom Car Chronicle, website

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C. A. Hall Tops

 

HALL TOPS

 

When you lived in Northern California, and wanted a custom upholstery job or padded top created for your car, then you most likely ended up having the work done at C.A. Hall Auto Tops in Oakland.

 

When it comes to Custom upholstery and padded tops in California there are only a few shop names that pop¬†up. The most popular shop¬†was the Carson Top Shop on Vermont Ave. Los Angles. Shop employee Glen Houser developed a non folding padded top for an 1930 Ford in 1935. It was the birth of the Carson top, however it was named that until much later. Another big upholstery shop name was¬†Gaylord who started a little later in the 1940’s in Lynwood, not to far from the Barris Custom Shop.¬†In the early 1940’s the padded tops became very popular among the Hot Rod and Custom Car crowd, and not only in Southern California. In North California, the city of Oakland to be precise, there was a guy named Calvin A. Hall who had a auto top and upholstery business since 1925. When the Hot Rodders and Custom guys found out about the special tops and tuck & roll interiors done in So California they wanted to have those done more locally as well.


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The Hall Top Shop came to the rescue an Calvin quickly figured out how to do the padded tops and create the interiors the guys wanted. And business was booming for the shop. The C.A. Hall Tops shop was responsible for most the the padded tops created in the Nor California era. The Nor Cal builders like Harry Westergard, Dick Bertolucci, Gene Winfield and early one also the Barris Brothers who sill lived in Sacramento in the early 1940’s all took their Customs to the Hall shop for a¬†padded top or¬†custom upholstery. Hall never advertised as much as the Carson Top Shop, Gaylord, Runyan and others did. We have only found a ¬†few Hall ads in some early 1950’s Hot rod show programs, but not in any of the magazines. This most likely is one of the main reasons the Hall shop name never became¬†as popular in the rest of the country / world as¬†Carson or Gaylord.

This¬†and the fact that Oakland was to far away for the So Cal based magazines to do an article on the Hall Shop is the reason that there is rather little known about the Hall Top Shop. As far as we have been able to find out, nobody has ever really interviewed Calvin A. Hall about his Top Shop, so all his information is most likely lost. Since the Hall name was not as important, it might have been left out in many magazine Hot Rod and Custom Car features as well. The shop did turn out really great work, and customers often came back for an update, or with a new car in need of a padded top or custom upholstery. For this article we have collected a number of cars with Hall Tops shop padded tops and interiors. Special thanks goes out to Ron Brooks, who owns a 1940 Chevy custom created in the late 1940’s with a real and very rare Hall top. Ron has been collecting info and material on the Hall Top Shop ever since he owns his Chevy. Ron has been so kind sharing a lot of his info and photos with the Custom Car Chronicle.

 

CCC-ca-hall-tops-40-chevy-brooks-03When Ron found¬†his 1940’s restyled 1940 Chevy it still had the original Hall top on it including a very rare C.A. Hall Auto Tops interior tag.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-40-chevy-brooks-02Fred Creller created the 1940 Chevy¬†in the late 1940’s and had the interior and padded top done by Hall. This photo is from 1950. (Ron Brooks collection)
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-40-chevy-brooks-01These photos showing the top a little better were taken in 1959. (Ron Brooks Collection)
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About the Hall Tops Shop.

Calvin A. Hall¬†was born on December 11, 1901 in Mink Creek, Idaho to Andrew G. and Martha Lavine (Olsen) Hall, his father was born in Denmark, his mother in Utah, USA. In the early 1900’s the family moved from Idoha to Oakland, California. Calvin graduated from high school in 1918 and after having had a few small jobs he started to learn the trade of creating auto tops at¬†Victory Auto Painting and Top Co., at 901 E. 14th st., Oakland, Calif.

In 1925 Calvin A. Hall started his own business C.A. Hall and was located at 72nd and E. 14th, Oakland. CA. creating car tops. The small shop moved in 1927 to 901 E. 14th St. Oakland, CA. (the same shop is currently in use by Earl Scheib Paint & Body shop).
During WWII the Hall shop relocated to 3208 San Pablo Ave., Oakland, CA. The shop would remain on this location till it closed somewhere in 1965. The building is still standing today. Calvin A. Hall was married and had three children, none of them took over the shop, so when Calvin retired for the upholstery business the shop was closed. Calvin A. Hall passed away on January 28, 1979 at the age of 77.

 

CCC-ca-hall-tops-38-lincoln-01This photo of this amazing 1938 Lincoln Custom with Hall padded top was found on the walls of the former Hall shop on San Pablo Ave. (Ron Brooks Collection)
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-38-lincoln-02Close up on the really well shaped and proportioned Hall padded top.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-38-lincoln-03We are not sure if Hall also updated the interior in the 1938 Lincoln, but more than likely he did the cover on the rear.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-36-ford-max-ferrisThe weather in Nor Cal is not ¬†always as sunny and warm as in So Cal, so often Hall was instructed to create the chopped padded tops for roadsters, with side separate window curtains¬†to make sure the driver and passengers would stay as warm as possible. This top and window flaps/curtains was created for Max Ferris’s Harry Westergard restyled 1936 Ford roadster.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-g-barris-36-01George Barris created this 1936 Ford convertible as his own personal driver when he was working at the Browns Body shop and Harry Westergard in Sacramento. The padded top on the car was done by Hall in Oakland in a dark material.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-g-barris-36-02Close up of the Hall padded top which has seen better days. After the car was finished and painted George Barris took his 36 Ford¬†to Hall’s shop who re-covered it with white material.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-38-chevy-01Harry Westergard restyled Pittsburg Ca resident Sal Cacciola’s 1938 Chevy convertible in his typical nose up narrow grille style. Sal took the car to Hall for the padded top. Inset is one of the very few ads Hall’s Top Shop ever ran.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-40-mercuryThis is another photo that was found in the old Hall shop building. It is an unidentified 1940 Mercury with unique exhaust tips true the rear fenders. Hall was responsible for the padded top.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-41-Buick-paul-01Pierre Paul was a Custom Car builder from Oakland Ca, and he had the interior and padded top of his own personal 1941 Buick created by Hall.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-al-serpa-46-ford-02Gene winfield had his shop in Modesto California, and also used the Hall Top Shop quite a bit for his customer cars. This 1946 Ford was restyled by Gene in 1949 for owner Al Serpa. The traditional styled padded top was done by Hall. This photo was taken in 1950.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-benny-furtado-48-ford-01Gene Winfield also restyled this 1948 Ford for owner Benny Furtado during the same period as he did Al Serpa’s 1946 Ford. However Hall created a different style padded top for Benny’s Ford with open rear¬†quarter windows. Creating a much more open and light feel inside the car.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-herb-cattani-42buick-02Herb Cattani’s Custom 1942 Buick also received an Hall padded top with open rear quarter windows, creating a wonderful shape.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-herb-cattani-42buick-01A rare look at one of the Hall interiors in¬†Herb Cattani’s 1942 Buick shows a lot of soft leather tuck and rolls creating a very luxurious feel.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-47-caddy-sestito-01Dick Bertolucci from Sacramento restyled this 1947 Cadillac convertible for Tony Sestito. When it was time for the padded top and new interior the car was driven to Oakland for the full Hall treatment in 1953-54.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-47-caddy-sestito-02The latest trend then was to add full width wrap around plexiglass rear windows to the padded top. So that is what Hall created for Tony’s 1947 Cadillac. Close up of the wrap around rear window courtesy of Rod & Custom magazine.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-35-ford-02Hall created the padded top on Sil Moyano’s 1935 Ford Phaeton. This photo comes from a feature on the car in a 1973 Street Rodder magazine, and we have no idea when the padded top was created, but more than likely this one dated back into the 1940’s.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-35-ford-01The interior was done with relatively narrow tuck & roll in black, and the white top was also upholstered in black on the inside.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-invoiceHall’s Auto Tops invoice from the 1950’s with another rare ad from an July 1951 issue of Motor sports World.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-ad-01This ad was used in one the Oakland Roadster Show programs and shows an panoramic rear window padded top Hall created for a stock bodied Buick.
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Warren Gonzales 1950 Ford Convertible

Possibly the best publicity the Hall Auto Tops shop had for their interior and top work was with Warren Gonzales’s 1950 Ford Convertible. The shop worked on two versions of the car. The first time in 1953-54 they did a complete interior, and traditional styled padded top. The second time a year later they added more to the interior, to keep up with the demand for winning show points, and they redid the padded top in the latest trend with cantilever (over-hanging) rear portion. The July 1956 issue of Car Craft magazine had two color photos of the car on the cover, and four pages for the feature inside. The feature showed many photos of both the top and the wild interior.


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CCC-ca-hall-tops-gonzales-ford-03Warren’s 1950 Ford convertible was first done in a more conservative way with a “regular” style padded top created by Hall Auto Tops. The photo on the left is from the 1954 Oakland Roadster Show, and the one on the right from the 1955 show. By then the car had been completely redone with a wild interior and complete new cantilever padded top.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-gonzales-interior-02The color photo of the Hall Auto Tops created interior in Warren’s Shoebox must have had a lot of impact. The interior was done in three tone leatherette, dark green, white and soft green. The same soft green was also used on the second version top.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-gonzales-interiorC.A. Hall created the interior for Warren’s Shoebox with the latest in luxury in mind. The create a custom made semi-circle rear seat, which is divided by a large Hi-Fi radio speaker. On both sides of the bench a refreshment bar has been incorporated. A console has been created on the floor to house a small upholstered TV set. The seats back are reshaped both front and rear and are upholstered in a bolt design with rolls and pleats. The dashboard has been made “crash proof’ by adding padding and upholstery on the whole unit. The center was cut out to make space for a 45 rpm record player. A radio and Hi-Fi speaker have been installed in a custom build center console underneath the dash extending the front bench. The carpets are dark blue green and outlined with white trim.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-collageA few more samples of car with C.A. Hall Auto Tops  padded tops and or interiors.
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CCC-ca-hall-tops-building-2016This is how the former C.A. Hall Tops Shop building at 3208 San Pablo Avenue in Oakland, California looks today in 2016. (Google maps image)
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As mentioned in this article the amount of information on the Hall Top’s is limited. We have tried to gather as much information as possible and added as many photos that would mattered the most for this article. As always we would love to hear from you if you have any additional information about the Hall Auto Tops shop, or any cars that had the interior or tops created by this shop. If you have more info, please let us know, email Rik. We would love to add more info to this article and share it with Custom Car enthusiast from all over the globe. Thank you.

 

Resources

  • Ron Brooks
  • Coachbuilt.com,¬†Mark Theobald
  • Barris Kustoms Technique books.







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(this article is sponsored by)

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