Buster Litton and Friends

 

BUSTER LITTON and FRIENDS

 

Buster Litton and Ron Roach pay several visits to Rob Radcliffe in Temecula California. They are checking out the progress on the Buster Litton Convertible Ford Rob is working on for his friend Octavio Chavez, and share stories from back in the day.



This friendship all started when Rob’s best friend Octavio Chavez noticed a picture of the Buster Litton Ford at a Temecula Ford Dealership he was working at. After asking around it¬†he found out that the young guy in the photo was Ron Roach, the Ford dealership’s shuttle-bus driver. Ron and Buster go back a long time and they still see each-other. Octavio calls Rob, and tells about his findings, Rob rushes over to meet with Octavio and Ron after work. Later they set up a meeting at a local rod-run to meet with Buster Litton as well.¬†And they have stayed in touch ever since, and see each other at car shows or¬†¬†when Rob invites them to come over to his shop to check out the progress on Octavio¬†Chavez’s Panoramic Ford Convertible. Buster and Ron go back since High School in Huntington Park, when both guys had great looking Customs and both were members of the Huntington Park King Pin Car Club.

In 2013 Buster Litton and his good friend Ron Roach visited Rob Radcliffe’s garage shop to check out Octavio’s Buster Litton Convertible for the first time. From left to right: Rob Radcliffe, Buster Litton, Ron Roach and Octavio Chavez.
[divider]


Octavio¬†listening to Buster sharing¬†all kinds of stories from back when he owned his Panoramic Ford, while checking out Octavio’s Ford.
[divider]


Rob Radcliffe King Kustoms shop with Octavio getting some stuff out of the way so that Buster and Ron can have a good look at his Convertible Panoramic Ford. Thats Buster, with the hat, walking to his car to get the King Pins club plaque he brought to show Rob and Octavio.
[divider]


January 23, 2016 Buster and Ron pay Rob another visit. Octavio’s Ford is now in primer.
From left to right: Ron Roach, Buster Litton, Octavio Chavez, Rob Radcliffe. Rob’s father.
[divider]


Ron now lives in Temecula, not to far from where Rob had his shop, and Buster now lives in¬†La Habra close to Long Beach about 70 miles from Temecula. On their several visits they always take some neat old stuff with them to show Rob and Octavio, and of course share some of the stories from back in the 1950’s. Rob has been photographing the old snapshots Ron took, as well as some other other items they brought.

A young¬†Ron Roach next to Buster¬†Litton’s Panoramic¬†Ford. This was the photo Octavio saw at the Ford Dealership he worked at. This is the photo that led to the friendship with Ron and Buster.
[divider]


This ’35 Ford was owned by Ron Roach, he bought it like this. Rob mentioned that him and Ron were talking about the top, it looked very mildly chopped in the pictures. Ron agreed, but he was not sure, and since he bought it this way he could not tell if it was or not.
It was a very nice car he said.

[divider]


Buster’s Panoramic Ford at¬†the Petersen Motorama Show at the Pan Pacific Auditorium¬†in November 1953. This was the first show the Panoramic Ford was entered.
[divider]


Ron Roach with his 1941 Ford Sedan mild Custom parked in front of his house.
[divider]




Ron’s ’41 Ford had a nice stance with wide whites and Cadillac Sombrero hubcaps.
It was a really good looking driver.

[divider]


Ron’s ’49 Ford mild custom.
[divider]


Ron’s ’54 Ford mildy restyled with Pontiac grille and Appleton Spotlights.
[divider]


Ron doing the “Sam Barris pose” with his Ford.
[divider]


Upgrade to Lincoln, parked in front of Ron’s home.
[divider]





Bell Helmets

Buster and Ron both worked a great number number of years for Bell Helmets. Buster was in the manufacturing part of Bell, and Ron was assistant Foreman. It was Ron who is the guy who gave the big sponsor check to the race winners who wore Bell helmets. They both left in the late 70s/early 80s when Bell switched owners. Buster Litton then started his own landscaping business.


Newspaper clipping from the time Buster worked for Bell Helmets.
[divider]


And one showing Ron Roach at work at Bell Helmets.
[divider]


Ron at Bell Helmets.
[divider]


Ron is the guy who gave the big sponsor check to the race winners who wore Bell helmets.
[divider]


Ron with Evel Knievel.
[divider]




King Pins

Both Buster Litton and Ron Roach were members of the King Pins of Huntington Park Car Club. Ron was president of the club from 1952 – 1953, and both guys had the brass club plaque on their rides. Both also hold on to some of their Club memorabilia from the early 1950’s. Buster brought his brass plague to his visit to Rob and Octavio. And Ron brought his president gavel and embroidered jacked patch.


Buster Litton brought his original brass King Pins plaque similar to the one he had on his Panoramic Ford.
[divider]


Close up of the Hot Rod on the brass plaque.
[divider]


Backside of the plaque.
[divider]


Embroidered jacket Pins Hot Rod logo patch.
[divider]


Ron brought the King Pins gavel. Ron(ald) Roachwas president of the club¬†from 1952 – ’53.
[divider]




In early 2016 Rob had just finished his 1950 Ford and entered it at the 2016 GNRS. He invited Ron and Buster¬†to come and see him and the finished car at the show. They surprised Rob when they both showed up wearing their King Kustoms shirts. And they LOVED Rob’s Shoebox.
[divider]


Special thanks to Rob Radcliffe






(This article is made possible by)

jamco-sponsor-ad-602-01


[divider]




[divider]


ccc-shirt-sponsor-ad-kustoms-la-01

0

Buster Litton Panoramic Ford

 

PANORAMIC FORD part one

 

The Buster Litton Panoramic Ford is really what Customizing is all about. Created by the Barris Kustoms Shop and Carl and George Cerny enhancing all the lines on this 1949 Ford to create this wonderful flowing Custom Car Milestone.



I have been gathering material for a Custom Car Chronicle Buster Litton Panoramic Ford article for quite some time. The Panoramic Ford as Buster named it has been on my list of personal faborite Custom Cars for as long as I first saw a photo of it. Fortunately for us the car has been documented pretty well back in the early / mid 1950’s with lots of photos, and even better in more recent years even more material has surfaced as in some amazing color photos and the best of all detailed information from the two of the original owners of the car, Buster Litton, officially the second. Owner of the car, but the one after who the car was named, and Don Schaedel, who owned it after Buster sold the car. (we will name him third owner of the car) We will all get into that much more detailed in a bit. With the help of good friend Rob Radcliffe we have been able to get a Pretty good view of the cars history. In fact we have so much information, that we might need more than just one article to cover it all.



Allen Anderson 1949 Ford

The story on the car starts with an owner from which we do not know much, basically just his name, Allen Anderson from Compton California. Allen is the owner of the 1949 Ford Coupe who takes his car down to the Barris Atlantic Blvd. Kustom Shop to have it converted to a wild, but ellegantly looking hard-topped full custom. With a wonderfully shaped hard-topped style top and both front and rear completely restyled.


CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-00This photo appeared in the December 1952 issue of¬†Motor Trend article “What is the cost of Customizig”. George Barris was interviewed in this article and some of the past and present shop projects were used to illustrate the¬†MT article topic. It shows the 1949 Ford¬†how it looked in primer at the Barris Shop. It¬†is¬†unknown if the car still belonged to Allan Anderson at the time of the photo, or if it already was owned by Buster. We can see the stock Ford side trim, and interesting to see is that the cut down 1951 Mercury fender skirts are already in pace. This is so far, the earliest photo we have seen of the car.
[divider]


According to Buster Litton, as well as the later owner Don Schaedel, it was¬†Sam Barris who tackled the increadible chop, by removing the B-pillars completely, welding the tops of the door frames to the top, reshaping the A-pilars and reshaping the entire roof and turret panel to one of the best looking chopped cars ever created. Sadly, so far, no in-progress photo of the cars initial restyling have ever showed up. The numbers on the chopped top listed in the old and newer publications have varied quite a bit, and both Buster and Don are not sure about the amounts either. The only number that seams constant is that the windshield was chopped 3 inches. We assume that Sam dropped the rear just as much as it needed to look right, and never really took any measurements. Shoebox¬†Ford convertible side windows where heavily modified to fit the car. With the chop in primer it was decided the Ford’s front end needed more “movement” and a set of forward raked 1951 Studebaker front fender headlight units was bought, and one, the drivers side, was tacked in place. Then, for reasons unknown at this point, Allan decided to sell the the unfinished project.
(Both Buster Litton and Don Schaedel mentioned the car started out as a Coupe model, but after doing some research and talking with Andreas Åberg, who built a near clone of the Panoramic Ford, we have come to the conclusion that the Panoramic Ford more likely was based on a Sedan model. We will get back to that in part two)



Buster Litton buys the Ford

 

Buster Litton was in the market for a new Custom Car / project at the time and approached George Barris and Allen about the car. Buster bought the unfinished Shoebox project from Allen for $1500. He kept the car at the Barris Shop to have them finish up the work they had started.



CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-26Buster’s Ford at an outdoor show in 1953. Notice how the show card hides part of the front of the car.
[divider]

The 1951 Studebaker front fenders installation was completed and a new grill opening was created using the top portion of an 1951 Mercury grill surround welded to the bottom of the 1949 hood. The stock half round opening in the hood was filled in at the time as well, and the center hood peek extended down. The new forward portruding hood lip worked really well with the pointy Studebaker front fenders and headlights, making it all flow together like it belonged on the car in the first place. A new grille for the new opening was created from a 1953 Chevy grille bar with 3 grille teeth. To the end of each side of the grille bar The Barris Shop added a 1951 Ford grille spinner.

The Fords front bumper was kept, and even it stock position was working really well, but the spash pan did need some work and was molded into the fenders and lower grille opening to work with the rest of the new front end. All the work on the top, including the sliding rear quarter windows, and weather proofing the top was finished at this time. The Ford was already lowered when it was still owned by Allen. At this point Buster takes the car home and anjoyed it like this for some time.


CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-02Before there had been any of the color photos published or shared I did this colorized version of the Panoramic Ford for an article in the Rodder’s Journal.
[divider]

CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-27Buster Litton demonstrating how the sliding rear quarter windows work.
[divider]



Carl and George Cerny get to work on the Ford

In early 1953 Buster takes the car to George and Carl Cerny’s shop, (Cerny’s Auto Paint & Metal Shop) to have the car finished. Buster had been really happy with the way he top and front end of the car looks, but the rear now needed some attention. Together with the Cerny’s it was decided that the Ford rear fenders needed some more length and that the 1951 Oldsmobile 98 units, which George Cerny loved so much, would suite the car really well. The Stock Ford rear portion of the rear fenders was cut off and the Oldsmobile units grafted in place creating a nice counter weight for the overhang on the front created by the Studebaker front fenders. To make everything look like it actually belonged on the car, the stock Ford rear bumper-end pieces were cut off and 1952 ford rear bumper ends were welded in place. The shape of the 52 Ford units folowed the shape of the Olsmobile rear fenders really well and the larger wrap around section tied everything wonderfully together.


CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-24Wonderful rear 3/4 view of the Ford with an 1953 tag on the License plate.
[divider]

CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-20Side view photo from a higher point of view shows the wonderful lines on Buster’s Ford. The forward angle on the front fenders, the wonderful sloping top, the Buick side spear and the Oldsmobile rear fenders work all wonderfully together.
[divider]

CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-22A coupe of scans from some photo proofs taken of Buster’s Ford by George Barris.¬†(Taken from the Mad Fabricators Barris Photography DVD)
[divider]



CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-19



The rear spash pan was molded to the body, and the stance was fine tuned. Most of the work was done by Carl Cerny before brother George Cerny and Doug Anderson, who worked at the Cerny shop at the time, painted the car with a wonderfull deep coco rust lacquer. The paint was picked from an excisting car color, sadly none of the people involved remember whick car color was used. But Don mentioned that the base color was mixed with toners or other colors to reach the perfect color for the car. A 1950 Buick side trim had the absolute perfect shape for the car, so the stock Ford side trim which had stayed on the car was removed an the Buick unit was mounted in its place for a much more elegant look.


CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-18The Panoramic Ford was also used in the Barris list from 1953-54 illustrating number M64 Chop and Hard Top Coupe version for $650.-.
[divider]



CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-29Car Craft magazine did this nice four page full feature on Buster’s Ford in the December 1953 issue. One spread was done in sepia tones and the second spread in greenish tone¬†rotogravure¬†print.¬†
[divider]

CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-21This snapshot of the Panoramic Ford comes from the Bill Gaylord photo album. This photo was most likely taken by Bill’s wife who was also model in a color photo-shoot at this same location (see photo below). Sadly Bill’s photo album¬†did not include any close up photos of the actual interior work done at the Gaylord’s shop.
[divider]

CCC-litton-panoramic-01
Dick Jackson had this great photo of Bill Gaylord’s wife posing with the Panoramic Ford. Dick most likely got the photo from Junior Conway. There is at least one more photo from this photo shoot where Bill’s wife stands besides the front fender of the car. Most likely she took the black and white snapshot above with the camera in her hands. The photos were most likely taken just after Bill had finished the interior work on the car.
[divider]



Up to this point buster had a mild Custom interior without any tuck & roll panels in his Ford. Nobody remembers who did this early version of the interior, but Buster remembers that when the car was nearly finished at the Cerny shop he decided the simple interior was not enough for the car and sold that complete interior to Junior Conway, who used it in his famous Shoebox Ford. Buster then took his car to Bill Gaylord for a full custom interior with wild rolls and pleats in off white (antique white) and dark orange (bittersweet orange). He added a set of 1953 Cadillac Sombrero hubcaps on wide whites, and a set of appleton spotlights and the Panoramic Ford was born.


CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-31This photo comes from an article about the Gaylord shop in Rod & Custom magazine. It shows the car with the nearly completed upholstery and one of the employees is refitting the steering wheel horn ring on the Crestliner steering wheel.
[divider]

CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-16Buster proudly showing the fully rolled and pleated headliner of his car. Notice the chrome plated windshield garnish molding.
[divider]

CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-17A good view on the uniquely styled interior in the Panoramic Ford. The Gaylord shop really outdid themselves on this one. The antique white and bittersweet orange must have looked so great with the coca copper paint on the car. This photo also shows that the side window garnish moldings were chrome plated as well.
[divider]

CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-04Cropped photo shows the Gaylord interior in color. The wide and very round pleats give the interior a very luxurious look and feel. The Steering wheel used in the Panoramic Ford is an Ford Crestliner Accessory steering wheel.
[divider]



Updates on the Panoramic Ford

Buster Litton owned the Panormic Ford from 1953 till the early summer of 1954. He showed the car at several in- and outdoor car shows in California winning quite a few awards with the car. During the period Buster owned the finished car he made a few small changes to the car, which help us identify the date some of these photos where taken. The first modifications made are the installment of the Ford Shoebox dealer accessory bumper guards on the front bumper. And a 1951 Kaiser over-rider on the rear bumper which was modified to have the exhaust tips run true the bullets. A little later the Barris crest was added on the front quarter panels just above the Buick side trim.

CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-25Buster Litton and his Ford with some of the other original Kustoms of Los Angeles club members at the Barris Kustom Shop on Atlantic Blvd. Possibly gathering to drive to one f the Car shows. We can see the following cars in the picture from L-R: Nobby Miyakawa 1952 Mercury “The Japan”, Chuck DeWitt 1950 Ford convertible, Louis Bettancourt Ayala/Barris 1949 Mercury, Buster Litton’s Panoramic Ford, Tommy Thornburg’s 1947 Studebaker, and an unknown 1946-48 Ford Coupe. The guys are all posing for the unknown photographer.
[divider]

CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-13Not sure if this photo was taken at the same day as the one in front of the Barris Shopm but we do know that this photo was also taken at Atlantic Blvd. not to far from the Barris Shop. Just driving away from the corner is Buster, with Chuck DeWitt behind him, Louis Bettancurt is speeding up in the middle of the street.
[divider]

This Custom Car Chronicle article contains a lot of information gathered by Rob Radcliffe and his good friend Octavio Chavez on their meetings with Buster Litton. First hand information which has helped us solve a lot of mysteries about the Panoramic Ford.


[box_light]

How Rob Radcliffe got in contact with  buster Litton and Don Schaedel.

By Rob Radcliffe

Long story short, my best friend¬†Octavio Chavez¬†has worked in the bodyshop of our local Ford dealership for the past few years and about a month or so ago he walked into the front office area on his lunchbreak and happened to walk past a cubicle and spotted a picture of the Buster Litton shoebox hanging on the wall with the Ford dealership’s shuttlebus driver¬†Ron¬†standing in front of the car. The¬†particular photo¬†was taken in the mid 1950s.

Octavio recognized the car immediately and had also known Ron from talking to him at work, so he asked him about the picture and it just so happens that Ron and Buster have been friends since High School in Huntington Park. Octavio called me up and I ran over to the dealership after work to meet Ron and hang out for some time, talking about the cars from back then and of curse Buster Litton. It was really one of those small world/too good to be true coincidence stories…

Ron told us that Buster Litton would park the car at¬†his house in South Gate while he went up the mountains to go skiing with his girlfriend and Ron would take it out cruising and hit the Drive-In movie and the Clock Drive In.¬† I kept in touch with Ron and got to meet him and Buster Litton on a Saturday morning¬†at the Rod Run over breakfast and talk about Kustoms… it was¬†pretty damn kool! We have stayed in touch ever since.

[/box_light]


CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-14Rob Radcliffe with Buster Litton and Octavio Chavez with Rob’s just finished 1950 Ford Shoebox.
[divider]

CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-05Beautiful birds eye view of the Panoramic Ford.
[divider]

 

CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-01This is one of the photos that got us puzzled a little. Buster has mentioned that this must have been taken after he sold it to Don since Buster was not in the King Pins Car Club. But the car does not show the Barris crests. So we do believe Buster must have still owned the car when the photo was taken. That is Buster in the black and white shirt with his back towards the camera, talking to Jack Stewart.
[divider]

CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-30Close up of the King Pins Huntington Park Car club plaque and the Ford Shoebox accessory bumper guards Buster had installed. 
[divider]

CCC-buster-litton-bumper-guardsChris at Shoebox Central send us this photo of a NOS set of the same bumper guards used by Buster on the Panoramic Ford.
[divider]

The car always had a great running stock flathead motor and Ron, Busters good friend, remembers it very vividly when Buster and him both drove it up to the Oakland Roadster Show in 1954. A long drive, but with no problems what so ever. Ron mentioned that the motor was untouched and always filthy dirty from oil leaks and road grime, but nobody at the shows cared because the hood was never opened and mechanicals were not important to show judges back then.


CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-28Buster Litton accepting the award for Best Custom at the 1954 National Roadster Show in Oakland California. By now the car has Barris crests mounted on the front quarters and not visible in this photo the Ford Shoebox Accessory bumper guards.
[divider]

 CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-23Two snapshots taken f the Panoramic Ford at the 1954 National Roadster Show. (photos shared on the HAMB).
[divider]



In early¬†summer of¬†1954, when Buster’s¬†son was born, buster¬†decided he needed a more practical car for his young family, and decided it was time to let go of the Ford.¬†Don Schaedel, who remembered the car from its early primer stages at the Barris shop in 1951, decides this car is perfect for him and made a deal with Buster. More about that, and many more photos and interesting info including a full time line on the Panoramic Ford can be seen¬†in the second part of the Panoramic Ford story here on the Custom Car Chronicle….



Go to Part TWO of the Panoramic Ford…



CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-end

[divider]

(this article is sponsored by)

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


[divider]


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


[divider]








.

0

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 built¬†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.¬†Rob did most of the work on the car himself¬†and the¬†final body-and prep¬†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.
[divider]
 
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!
[divider]
 
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.
[divider]
 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-03Oh yeah.. I’m enjoying myself… a lot.
[divider]
 
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 me¬†swerving a pothole…
[divider]

 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-05A view out the back… shows that the Hirohata Merc headliner inspired me a lot.¬†
[divider]
 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-06bAlmost ready for cruise night on Friday before the show. 
[divider]
 
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. 
[divider]
 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-08The underdash lights shows of the great looking Gaylord style diamond stiched pattern upholstery… another Hirohata Merc invluence.
[divider]
 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-09
 
 
 

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 lot¬†at the Temecula Stampede¬†in¬†Old Town Temecula. You can see my brother’s¬†’65 Mustang coupe parked next to us.
[divider]
 
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.
[divider]
 
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.
[divider]
 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-13
 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-14
 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-15Buster Litton with me in the car.
[divider]
 
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.

 
 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-16
 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-17
 
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 moldings and chopped vent window.
[divider]
 
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.
 
[divider]
 

(this article is sponsored by)

CCC-Sponsor-Kustoms-Illustrated-602

 

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

[divider]
 
 
 
.

0

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 √Öberg 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.

 

BusterLittonFord-FB2
 
BusterLittonFord-FB3The top two photos show the original Buster Litton “Panoramic” Ford photographed in the early 1950’s
[divider]
 
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.
[divider]
 
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.
[divider]
 
CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-04-WThe other Oldsmobile rear fender is in place still waiting for final body work.
[divider]
 

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).

[divider]
 

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.

[divider]
 

CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-11-W

 

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.

[divider]
 

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.

[divider]
 

CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-08-W

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

[divider]
 

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.

[divider]
 

 CCC_Panoramic-Octavio-12-W

Octavio and Buster Litton talking details.

[divider]
 

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]

 
[divider]
 

(this article is sponsored by)

CCC-Sponsor-Kustoms-Illustrated-602
 
[divider]
 

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

[divider]

.

 
 
 
.

0