Palle Johansen 47 Caddy Introduction

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PALLE JOHANSEN 47 CADDY

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After many years in the works, Palle Johansens 1947 Cadillac Padded Topped Convertible Kustom is finally ready – enough – for its debut.

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For the last few years Palle has been working on and off on his 1947 Cadillac Kustom. Adding all the details he has had in his mind for a long time. From the extended front fenders with home made brass side trim, the smoothed rear fenders, set in license plate, had made taillights set into 1949 Cadillac guards, to the beautiful styled dashboard with center mounted modified 1948 Cadillac Gauge panel. And not to forget the deep-dark-gold paint with added bronze powder, just as the masters in the 1940’s and 50’s used.

Palle’s goal with this Cadillac was to build the perfect 40’s Kustom, that could have been created in the late 1940’s. His main inspiration were the Custom Cars created by the Ayala’s, Barris and other So Cal builders from the late 1940’s. And especially the 1942 Cadillac Convertible Custom George Barris created for himself as personal driver. George used an older/cheaper ’42 model and updated it with ’47 fenders and bumpers. Barris had Bill Gaylord create the super long and perfectly shaped padded top. David Martinez recreated the top for Palle’s Cadillac in 2013.

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Inspiration for the Palle Johansen Cadillac is one that George Barris created for himself as personal driver in the late 1940’s. This Cadillac was updated from a 1942 model with new fenders, grille an bumpers.

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In 2014 Palle’s Cadillac was roughly finished, more like a driving project. Here seen on the road to the Old Style Weekend in Sweden.

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INTRUDUCING
The Palle Johansen Cadillac

This is an introduction article celebrating that Palle’s Cadillac has been finished enough for its debut at the Flatlands Motorama in Rosmalen, the Netherlands on April 6-7, 2019. Special thanks to the team of friends who have helped Palle to get the car finished in time for the show. We will go much more in depth on the car, all the details and how it was created at a later date. For now, lets enjoy some of the photos Palle took last weekend.

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For the first time out with the padded top back on the car on Saturday March 30, 2019. Kustom Car Perfection.

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The Dark Gold color was custom mixed with bronze powder added in the final coats. It looks really dark in the shadows, but ones the sun hits it it starts to glow and sparkle, and changes hues depending on the time of day.

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The extended and molded in front fenders flow harmoniously with the molded in rear fenders.

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The hood ornament end center trim was removed and the center peaked.

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Perfect side profile thanks to the extended cat-walk, heavily forward raked “B”-Pillar and flowing padded top.

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The Caddy…. and Palle are ready to Kustom Cruise this summer.

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The smaller size Danish license plates allowed the set in to be done below the truck.

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The taillights were home made to fit perfectly in the 1949 Cadillac bumper guards. The ’49 guards are larger in size than the ’47 model, making them a better option for the taillights.

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The front fender section on the doors were extended to make the car appear longer, the side trim was hand made from brass. The vent windows were also completely made from brass after to many hours were spend trying to make the units to work with the lowered top. This photo shows a little bit of the center mounted ’48 Cadillac Gauge pod.

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Teardrop shapes…

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The setting sun made the dark gold paint glow with a more red hue.

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A bit closer look at the custom mixed dark gold color with added bronze powder mixed in with the clear. Appleton Spotlights are mandatory on this style of Custom.

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High front view shows a little bit of the two tone leather interior created by Continental Custom Seats. (we will get back to that in a follow up article)

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Beautiful Birds view…

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The goal was to create a period Custom Car that could have been built around 1949. This Digital Restyled image shows Palle’s Cadillac parked next to George Barris his 1941 Buick photographed around 1948… Mission accomplished.

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Stay tuned for articles on the Palle Johansen 1947 Kustom Padded Topped Cadillac in the near future. When we will share some more of the details, interior, dash, how it was created etc. But for now we hope you have enjoyed these debut photos.

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Jack Stewart Ford White Primer

 

JACK STEWART FORD WHITE PRIMER

 

In 1950 George Barris painted the Jack Stewart Ford in white primer after he had fine tuned the Ayala restyled coupe. In 2018, 68 years later, the car is back in white primer, and almost ready to hit the road.


On August 19, 2018, me and my 13 year old son were leaving the house early for our first real roadtrip together. We planned to visit my good friend Palle Johansen in Denmark, a good 6 hour trip, and visit the German city Hamburg on the way back the following day. Palle Johansen and I have been friends for many years, and the friendship intensified when Palle decided to become the new caretaker of the Jack Stewart 1941 Ford. An iconic Custom Car Restyled originally by Gil and Al Ayala in the late 1940’s and fine tuned and painted by Jack’s friend George Barris in 1950-1951.

It had been a few years since I had visited Palle, so I was looking very much to see him again, and Abe was really looking forward to meet him for the first time. Palle had been working on his ‘1947 Cadillac Custom Convertible mostly in the last couple of years, but the project was sort of halted due to some paint issues, and the Jack Stewart Ford had been on the backburner most of the time he worked on the Cadillac.

After our 6 plus hours drive up North, from the Netherlands to Denmark we had arrived in Palle’s home town and driving up to his block, when I was about to turn the last corner I told my son that he should look out for the white house at the end of the street… And when we did turn the corner, instead of seeing the white house we saw the light reflecting white paint of the Jack Stewart Ford parked in front of Palle’s white house… An HUGE smile grew instantly on our faces…. ( One that would last the entire visit )





We drove to the end of the street, and saw the white ghost Jack Stewart’s white primered ’41 Ford in all its glory…. I had not expected to see the car being parked on the road. I knew it had been painted white primer some time ago, but I had no idea Palle and his team had “secretly” put it back together again and made in road worthy. This was an amazing surprise for me, and of course for my son who, for the first time in his life, was looking at an original Custom Car from the 1950’s that had been created by the top shops of the time… And the car that had been the lead character in the book his father created a number of years ago… And which owner, builder an all other connected names had been mentioned frequently in the house, and where he had witnessed all the steps leading to the printed Jack Stewart Ford Book. And now he saw the car in the flesh.

The view we saw when driving up to Palle’s house… the Jack Stewart 1941 Ford in white primer, with temporary Danish License plates.
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White primer

When Jack Stewart had brought the completely Restyled, yet still unfinished ’41 Ford from the Ayala Shop in East Los Angeles to the Barris Shop in Lynwood in 1950 he asked George if he could try to get the car done for him in time for the annual Easter event at Balboa Island. A very popular event for young guys and girls, dancing and partying the long weekend. George worked hard, fine tuning the work the Ayala’s had done previously, rounding corners, reshaping fender lines, crafting taillights and pods for the to sit in etc.

But in the end George did not have enough time to actually paint the car, so he ended up painting the car in white primer, and that was how Jack took it to the Balboa Easter Weekend… And it looked really amazing in the bright white primer. Several photos of this version of the car were made back then, survived and were using in multiple publications since then. Quite possibly Jack owned and drove his Restyled Ford wearing white primer longer than when George Barris eventually painted the car in a copper bronze color.

Jack Stewart with his freshly white primer painted 1941 Ford in June 1950 at the Santa Ana Drags. This is how Jack drove it for a few month.
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It had always been Palle’s intention to go the same route when he was going to restore the car to how it originally looked. Do the complete restoration, and finish it in white primer, then drive it around for some time, before eventually pant it copper bronze. It was a common thing to do back the, have all the body work done on your car, add primer, and then drive it around for some time letting all the body work settle, and get all the bugs, if there where any come out and fix. At one time they, not sure who was first, really liked the idea of the white, or later color tinted primer. And by painting your car in primer first, have it on the road, and even in some shows you could later do the complete debut thrills all over when the car got completely painted. Double fun!

My son Abe shortly after he got out of the car and was ready to check out the Jack Stewart Ford in person.
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Smiling from ear to ear. There is still a lot to do, notice the cuts and uneven surface on the inside of the door jamb.
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The white primer on the car right now is however not yet the final primer. It was added to finally cover the bare metal, keeping it from rusting, and make it a bit easier to see what still needs to be done to the body to get it ready for final paint. And the white primer has made it very obvious that there is still a lot that needs to be done.

The plan for now is to get the car ready for the Danish version of the DMV inspection. Hence the grille opening and A-pillar mounted parking lights. Both will be removed again after the car has been approved for the road. Then when the car can be driven on the road legally the plan is to tackle all the issues still left, body work fine tuning as well as mechanical work. And while doing that, the car can still be driven around and enjoyed.

After checking out the car a bit, Palle said… “are you guys in for a short drive?”…. Oh yeah… we are. The car is not road legal, so we could only stay on the block he said. The Cadillac Flathead engine also needs some more work done to become reliable, and get a new air-cleaner than can be hooked up to the special carburetor allowing the air-cleaner to be mounted on the side, since there is no space for it on top with the channeled body and new low hood. But it runs, and the car can be driven.

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This was only the second time the Jack Stewart Ford was driven since the restoration got started. Man, what an experience.
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The white primer, chrome and the green tinted glass was the perfect mix. Notice the small turn signals that were added to the lower A-Pillars, where the Appleton Spotlights should be. This is needed to get the needed paper work to make the car road legal. With the papers in hand the Appleton’s will be replacing the lights later.
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When the car was originally Restyled the techniques used and demands for perfection were a bit different from today’s standards. The Custom Cars back then looked absolutely amazing, but most of them were r created to be looked underneath, inside behind panels, or shown with opened hood or trunk. Modifications as rounded corners looked perfect from the outside, but when you opened the trunk you would see that George Barris, in this case, used only sheet metal to fill in the body panel to create the new rounded corner, but there was no work done to make it looks factory finished on the inside, with a beautiful lip, like we are so used at today.

The idea is to keep most of the “flaws” on the car, make it look amazing from the outside, and in the cockpit, but retain the kind of rough around the edges standard quality custom work from the early 1950’s.

The flow of the fade away fenders and top are perfect… the white primer shows that off so much more than how I saw it last time.. in bare metal.
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The Stance still needs to be adjusted a bit… a little higher in the front, for that perfect speed-boat stance.
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The Bob Hirohata hand made taillights contrasted with the white primer. The white primer also revealed that the drivers side front fenders must have had some impact back in 1954 when the car hit a train. And it was never really fixed right, making the sides slightly out of shape. So some metal work will have to be done there to make the front fenders flow nice into the fade away door sections.
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Palle and I talked a lot about the car the day we arrived, he had driven it into his under the house garage / man-cave so we could check out all the details, while discussing the,details and remembering the good times we had when we were researching the car in the US in 2010. The next morning Palle had some appointments early in the morning, and would be back after a few hours. During that time I walked around the Ford, took pictures inside and out, took some measurements and most of all sat inside the car, behind the Mercury Monteray steering wheel and tried to visualize how it must have been for Jack and later Jim Skonzakes, to drive around in this car, driving around in the streets of Los Angeles, California, and Jim later i Dayton Ohio. Or ultimately how it must have been for Jim Skonzakes to buy the car from Jack, with the help from George Barris and then drive it in a couple of days from LA to Dayton. It was an amazing feeling sitting inside the car, knowing its history, siting on the same vinyl tuck & roll upholstered seats as Jack, Jim and later Bob Drake had done back in time.

After Palle had driven the car in the garage for the night it was my turn to sit in it… smiling… Good to be back “home” in the car. I would spend a lot of time just sitting there the net morning… day dreaming, and remembering Jack, and Jim…
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A view from the rear seat. The headliner and seats are still the originals from 1951.
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The vent windows now work perfectly with all new rubber.
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More rough work on the door jamb where some of the lead had to be removed to be able to get the doors aligned again. The dash and garnish panels were painted in 2013 by David Martinez / Billy Crewl in time to be shown at the 2013 GNRS. The interior panels are the original units from 1951, semi restored.
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The white primer makes all the rough body work stand out extra good. Some of it will stay, since it was like this when the car was originally finished. On the other hand, some will be smoothed, since multiple layers of primer and paint back then must have helped smooth out the body work in 1951.
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Parked in Palle’s garage… and getting the replica 1951 California License plate mounted. Really looking forward to the next phase on this project… registration, then slowly fixing the body and other things to get it on the road to enjoy.
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The Appleton S-522 Spotlights are patiently waiting to be remounted on the car again… soon I hope.
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Dreaming of going on another Road Trip with Palle Johansen… Now with the primer white Jack Stewart Ford. Reliving the times Jack Stewart, Jim Skonzakes and Bob Drake, all known previous owners had shared with us with huge smiles on their face.


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The Stoustrup Lincoln

 

THE STOUSTRUP LINCOLN

 

Poul Haakan Stoustrup wanted a 1939 Lincoln Convertible so bad, that he had a 4-door sedan rebuilt into a convertible by a Danish Coachbuilder.


When Palle Johansen from Denmark was a 12 year young¬†kid, he spend his evening and weekends working at a¬†local paint shop. Because he loved cars, loved to work on them, and of course to have some extra money in his pocket. It was 1978 when a local brick factory owner brought in a ’39 Lincoln convertible for a new paint job. The owner of the car had started a car museum earlier in the ’70’s and had bought the Lincoln from the original owner’s family in ’72.

Palle fell deeply in love with this amazing automobile. He remembers sanding the wonderful curved body shaped and fenders, and day-dreamed about owning this car one day. The car was painted and the new super glossy paint-job made the car look even better.

Years later Palle remembered the car from his childhood and was wondering what ever happened to it and got back in touch with the owner Thorvald..and his son Jorgen. He then found out that the car was not an original convertible but built from and coupe and converted to a convertible by a local body shop. The body shop also had chopped the windshield a bit, created new vent windows and a two piece removable soft top. The owner told Palle that the car was in fact one of the very first Custom Car being built in Denmark, but there were no details available back then.

Over the years Palle has always kept in contact with the owner, and the owner knew Palle really wanted to own this car one day. In March 2016 the owner gives Palle a call to let him know he is ready to let go of the Lincoln. On April 24, 2016 the deal is made and Palle can pick up his new original Danish Custom Lincoln Convertible. As soon as he has the car in his garage he starts to look into the history of the car and finds out that the car never started life as a coupe as he always thought, but that it was in fact created out of a 4-door Sedan. The really well done work was done by the Dansk Karosseri Fabrik, a Danish body shop in Copenhagen.

 

 

 

CCC-39-lincoln-illustration-02It all started with a ’39 Lincoln Zephyr 4-door sedan which was taken to the Dansk Karosseri Fabrik.
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CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-02-old-photoSo far this is the only old photo of the car Palle has been able to find. Most likely taken in the early 1950’s Very much faded, but if you look hard you can see that the front portion of the top is rolled up and attached to the back portion of the top. This is how the car was mostly diven.
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The History as we know it so far.

The original owner of the Lincoln¬†Poul Haakan Stoustrup, wanted a ’39 Lincoln Convertible really bad, but only 640 of those were built. Poul Lived in Denmark and WWII had just started, so there was no way Poul could get his hands on an original converible. Instead he was able to get a 4-door sedan which he took to the Dansk Karosseri Fabrik with the question if they could turn it in a two door convertible with two part soft top. They sure could, and work on the car started right away. In the process of turning the 4-door sedan into a two door convertible the windshield was chopped a little to make it look more in proportion with the rest of the car.

The shop much have had a lot of work on the body reshaping the trunk section and doors. Since the car was build during the early stages of WWII it is assumed that no other body parts, as in longer doors and trunk were used on the car. Everything was hand shaped. The shop also created a two part soft top to fit the lower windshield around 1,5 inches. The car was finished in early 1940, but as far as Palle has found out the car was not on the road until after the war in 1946. The first Danisco Customs stamp on the paperwork shows that the car was built from a 4-door, and coachbuilt into a two door convertible and registered as such in April 1946.

CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-04The Dasnk Karosseri Fabrik in¬†Copenhagen Denmark created this very first custom car in Denmark in late 1939′ early 1940. The nice etched brass tag is still mounted on the fire wall.¬†
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CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-02A couple of years ago Palle was able to take a good look at the car again when the owner came over during a nice summer drive.
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The  work on the car by the Dansk Karosseri Fabrik cost the owner 16,000 Danish Kronor in 1940. Translated to current amounts would be around $95,000.-, which sure was a lot of money back then. Poul Haakan Stoustrup used the car

Several years ago, when Thorvald owned the car and had it displayed in his car museum¬†a guy came to see the cars in the museum. He was shocked to find the Lincoln to be part of the collection. He told the owner of the museum that he used to be the private¬†chauffeur for Poul Haakan Stoustrup and he used to drive around in the Lincoln.¬†The guy told Thorvald how the owner always liked to drive with the front portion of the top down. And that is it was a rainy day he should just call in a¬†cab¬†to drive him to work. He did not like the front portion of the top to be in place.¬†When Thorvald bought the car in ’72,¬†it had 77.000 km on the meter¬†(around¬†47.840 miles)¬†Since then the car has not driven more than 5,000 km¬†(around 3,100 miles).

Palle has checked out the car really well and the workmanship on the car is really stunning. The way all the body work was done is just incredible with some very subtile restyling on the door tops, windshield and vent windows to make it different from a factory convertible. The work that was done on the top, with the separate front section and how everything locks into place is really amazing as well.

CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-06The two part top on the car as it was originally designed and made in late 1939. The color difference shows that the car drove around with the front section rolled up most of the time. The two part rear window is a really nice detail.
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CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-15A look inside the rear portion of the top.
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CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-05This is how the Lincoln sits now. Palle has already lowered the rear a little to give it a slightly better stance. But the proportions are still off and the car needs to come down a few inches more to look just right.
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CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-11The windshield was chopped about and inch and a half and a new header was created to support the new soft top.
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CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-10The vent windows wer completely hand crafted and the work and design on them is incredible.
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CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-12To suport the front section of the top there is an extra shaped metal bow that slips into a slot on the bar that goes from the windshield to the B-Pillar.
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CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-08The front header and side bars for the top are all hand made by the Dansk Karosseri Fabrik. Notice the nice curve on the vent window, this gives away the car started out as a sedan body. With the top bow removed this bar can now be removed.
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CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-09To make the top a two part unit, the front section used a bar on each side of the car running from the front header to the specially made B-pillar. A well crafted mechanism was designed and made that still works flawless today.
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CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-14The bar connects to the Special made, and removable B-Pillar.
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CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-07Interior is done in red leather.
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CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-13The completely restored V-12 engine looks and runs amazing.
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Future plans for the Lincoln

The car still has the paint on it that Palle helped sand as a 12 year old kid back in 1978. Palle has some plans for the car to make it a little more Custom, but nothing on the body will be changed. The car will be lowered, Palle has already found a new Lincoln front axle and had it dropped 2.5 inches. He will also ad a reverse sprint to drop it another inch. The rear will need a little more work since the frame needs to be c-ed to allow the rear axle to drop down to create the perfect ride height. The two part top is worn, and needs to be replaced. The plan right now is to keep the original top as it is and create a new Carson Style Padded Top to replace it. we have created some Photoshopped samples to get a good idea how it is going to look. Palle is still debating on white wall tires or black walls for an earlier, bit more sinister look.

CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-dropped-axleThe 2.5 inch dropped front axle just came in ready to be installed to lower the front. 
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CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-options-01This is how the car looked shorty after Palle had picked it up in April 2016.
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CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-options-02Digital Restyling gives the car a proper stance, single bar flipper hubcaps, new white padded top and reshaped side window openings to make it all flow nicer.
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CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-options-03Same as above, but now with a tan padded top.
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CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-options-04White padded top, and black wall tires for that early 1940’s look.
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CCC-39-stoustrup-lincoln-options-05Same as above, but now with a black padded top… sinister.
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We plan to keep you posted about the progress Palle will make on the Lincoln. When he gets to work on it, hopefully after the summer, we will start a thread on the CCC-Forum to follow the work. 





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Reunited Trophies

 

REUNITED TROPHIES

 

Jack Stewart won several trophies with the Ayala-Barris created Jack Stewart 1941 Ford. Jack hold on to a few of those trophies, and wanted them to be reunited with the Jack Stewart Ford when it was being restored. Sounds simple…

 
The Jack Stewart Ford, created by the Ayala and Barris shop was finished in 1951. Jack won several trophies with the car in the relatively short period he owned the finished car. Some of them can be seen in one of the most famous photos of Jack and his 1941 Ford. When Palle Johansen and me visited Jack Stewart in 2010 during the Jack Stewart Ford Research Trip, Jack surprised us by showing us the trophies he had kept all these years. Including the one he was holding in the 1951 photo taken of Jack in front of his Ford during the Hot Rod Motor Sport Show. After a long day with Jack, talking about how the car was created and all other related, and none related stories, gathering as much info as we could, Jack mentioned to Palle, that if he was ready with the restoration of his Ford he could have all the trophies that belonged with the car. Jack loved the idea of the trophies being reunited with the Jack Stewart Ford.

CCC-jack-stewart-trophys-denmark-02Jack posing in front of his 1941 Ford at the 1952 Hot Rod Show. The trophy Jack is holding was given to Palle Johansen in 2013.
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CCC-jack-stewart-trophys-denmark-10 Jack picking up the trophy from the top of the cupboard where he kept he trophies. And the far right, just above his head is the big trophy he won in 1951.
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CCC-jack-stewart-trophys-denmark-08Jack Stewart explaining to Palle that one of those trophies was made by George Barris and how he saved it from the Barris shop after the fire.
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CCC-jack-stewart-trophys-denmark-03Jack posing with the Barris Trophy he saved from the Barris Shop fire. (photo by Craig Wise)
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CCC-jack-stewart-trophys-denmark-01Photos of three of the trophies that were used in the Jack Stewart Ford book. Palle already had the one on the right, I have the one on the left in my collection, but the big one was still with Jack.
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In 2012 Palle had worked hard to get the car restored to a bare metal stage. The original plan was to have the car completely restored, but the time was just not right, and besides that when the paint was removed from the Jack Stewart Ford, the bare metal and all the lead work by the Ayala’s and Barris looked to good not to be shown. So the new plan was to ship the car to the US where it would be displayed in bare metal, but otherwise as much completed as possible, at the 2013 Grand National Roadster Show. At this show the car and Jack, as well as another previous owner, Bob Drake would be reunited with the car. It was also the place where my Jack Stewart Ford book would be available with Jack and Bob signing books at the show.
 
Jack surprised us once again to bring two trophies to the show, one for Palle to keep, and one for me. During the show Palle mentioned that the car would be back in the US as soon as it was completely restored. Jack mentioned that when the car was completely done hopefully the next year, Palle could get the big trophy, the Kustoms Los Angeles plaque and a few other items. Jack liked the idea to hand them over in person with the completed car in front of him.
 

CCC-jack-stewart-trophys-denmark-11Rik Hoving, Jack Stewart, Bob Drake and Palle Johansen. Palle is holding the famous photo trophy, which was displayed with the car at the 2013 GNRS.
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Due to a busy work schedule and some damage done to the car during its first trip to the US, the car was not finished for the next GNRS in 2014. Sadly Jack Stewart passed away in August that year, and he would never see the finished Jack Stewart Ford, and would obviously also not have the pleasure of handing over the trophies he had kept all these years to reunite them with the Jack Stewart Ford. I think we all had looked forward to that moment of showing Jack the restored Ford again, and Jack to hand over the trophies.

Some time after Jack had passed away we heard that unexpectedly everything owned by Jack Stewart would not go to Jack’s wife (who was aware of the trophies and the plans), but rather to Jack’s daughter, who we did not know. She also was not aware of the fact that Jack had promised the trophies to Palle. Jack’s close friend Craig Wise had been our internet connection with Jack from the beginning, and he has become a good friend with us as well. Craig suggested Palle needed to act fast to make sure the trophies would not end up being sold, or worse. Letters were written, deals where made, and eventually after a long time Craig was able to get the trophies home with him. And get them ready to ship them to Denmark to be reunited with the Jack Stewart Ford.
 

CCC-jack-stewart-trophys-denmark-07Craig Wise send Palle this photo shortly after he was able to retrieve all the trophies from the Jack Stewart estate.
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On September the second, 2015 the mailman delivered the box with trophies at Palle’s home in Denmark. And the trophies are now once again close to the Jack Stewart Ford, and will always remain with the Jack Stewart Ford. The box included the bog trophy winning the Sweepstake award at the 1951 Hot Rod show, the original Kustoms Los Angeles plaque, a So Gate Ram-Rods plaque, one of Jack’s Auto Butcher’s plaque, a trophy Jack won with his MG in 1954 and one more trophy from a smaller show which Jack won with his 1941 Ford. Palle will make some photos of the trophies with the Jack Stewart Ford when he gets the car out of storage to finish the restoration… hopefully later this year. When he does, we will include them in this article.

CCC-jack-stewart-trophys-denmark-05 Safe in Denmark at Palle Johansen workshop.
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CCC-jack-stewart-trophys-denmark-04And the trophies and plaques sitting on the hood of Palle’s 1947 Cadillac Convertible custom.
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Many thanks go out to Craig Wise for his help to get the trophies in the right place again.

 
 
 

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George Barris 1942 Cadillac

 

GEORGE BARRIS 1942 CADILLAC

 

This Cadillac Convertible Custom with well proportioned Padded Top was a mystery Barris Custom Car for many years. We now know it was one of George Barris his personal rides in the late 1940’s early 1950’s.



CCC-george-barris-42-cadillac-02[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he first time I came across this Cadillac Convertible, was when I saw a picture of an old Barris Kustom Business Card. It was many years ago and at the time I thought it was an 1947 Cadillac. In the years folowed I tried to find out more about this car used on the Business Card, but I was unable to find much more on the car. It was not until I did an article on a photo of the Nick Matranga at the 1951 Oakland Roadster Show, that I was able to shed some light on this “mystery Custom Cadillac. On this Matranga photo there was a wall with a photo display behind the car, photos of Barris Kustom creations. When Pat Ganahl send me a high res version of this photo I was able to identify most of these cars. One of the photos showed a 1946-47 Cadillac Convertible with Padded Top. I was rather sure it must have been the same car as on the Business Card. I browsed my files on Barris Customs and found two photos of Custom Cars that showed a 1947 Cadillac convertible with chopped padded top in the back ground… possibly the same car. But I still had no information on the car.


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This very fuzzy enlarged section shows the photo of the Cadillac that was used on the display behind Nick Matranga’s 1940 Mercury at the 1951 Oakland Roadster show. The complete photo with the Barris Kustoms photos displayed on the wall can be seen below. The Cadillac photo is the second one from the left. Most likely this photo of the Cadillac was taken by Marcia Campbell, who took many photos of the early Barris Customs.
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In 2009 Palle Johansen and me went on a research trip for the Jack Stewart Ford. Jack had invited us to see his friend Junior Conway at his famous paint shop. On this visit Junior showed me some old photos he had in his collection, and one of the photos showed this chopped 1947 Cadillac with Padded Top. This was the first real good photo I found of this car. When I came back home I went back to doing research for the article on the Matranga photo. I contacted my friend David Zivot in Las Vegas. David is a early Custom Car and Hot Rod enthusiast, who has great knowledge about the early days of Customizing. Together with his girl friend Michelle they have interviewed and researched many of the old timers. I asked David if he knew anything about this chopped 1947 Cadillac Custom. David was not sure, he thought he had seen or heard about it, but would ask some of his friends including Jesse Lopez and Bart Bartoni.


CCC-george-barris-42-cadillac-00The Junior Conway photo was the first photo I saw showing the Cadillac really well. The car is parked in front of the Barris Compton Ave. shop and is partly in primer in this photo.
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CCC-george-barris-42-cadillac-businessAt least 4 different Barris Kustom Automobile business cards used the 1942 Cadillac side view image. The first one on the top left is from the Bell shop.
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CCC-george-barris-42-cadillac-11The Barris Kustom Automobiles Shop invoice paper also used the Cadillac in the logo. This invoice was used for many years, and I have seen samples of it being used up to 1955, but perhaps it was even used after that. (thanks to Per Webb for scanning the invoice from his personal collection)
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In the meantime I had found a few more Barris Business Cards that showed the same Cadillac side view photo. I also found out that the Barris Kustom Shop invoice paper used the same car. So this car must have been important for the Barris Shop, could it have been owned by one of the employees or friends of Sam or George. But how could it be that this great looking¬†Custom¬†was never featured or even mentioned in the magazines back in the 1940’s early 1950’s, not in the series of Barris books?




The things I had found out so far:

  • The car was used on at least 4 different Barris Shop Business Cards. One for the old Bell shop, and three for the Atlantic Blvd shop.
  • The car was used on the Barris Shop invoice paper up to at least 1955.
  • One of the photos (with the¬†Harold Larsen 1941 Ford convertible) shows the car in front of the Compton Ave shop.
  • A photo of the car was used to promote the Barris Shop at the 1951 Oakland Roadster Show.
  • The Barris Kustom Shop had a joint ad with Gaylords Kustom Padded tops in the November 1949 issue of Motor Trend using a picture of this Cadillac.

 

Then David Zivot came back with some great information about the car and its history. Information we had crossed our mind many time, but now we knew for sure from the people who where there when this car was driving the streets of LA.


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Hello Rik

As to the mystery of the ‚Äô46 Cadillac custom that nobody seems to put an owner to, I can offer the following. After conversations with both Bart Bartoni and Jesse Lopez, their concurring opinion is that the car was built and owned by George Barris. Jesse Lopez asked George about the car directly showing him a photograph at the same time. George said it was “his ’42 Cadillac”. Jesse thinks that it was the car George had after his ‚Äô41 Buick.¬†While there are very few pictures showing the side of the car that are not blurry or in shadow, I now believe it is a ’42, because of the visible flair at the bottom of the door that can barely be seen in the photographs we know. 1946 & ’47 did not have that feature. The grill, as I have mentioned before, is definitely not a ’46, but a modified ’47, in my opinion. This coupled with the fact that the ’42 Cadillac would be a much cheaper buy for George in the late 40’s, a ’46 or ‘7 would have a higher blue book (resale) value. This is not the definitive answer, however barring any further evidence I think it’s safe conjecture.

Your Friend,
~David

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CCC-george-barris-42-cadillac-05George his Cadillac was used in the joint Barris Kustom Automobiles and Gaylords Kustom Padded Tops ad in the November 1949 issue of Motor Trend. This photo shows very well how elegant the car was.
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Around the same time I was working on a three part article for¬†Kustoms Illustrated about the history of Bill Gaylord. Luke Karosi and Jeff Neppl interviewed Bill about his upholstery and Customizing years back in the 1940’s and 1950’s. During this interview Bill mentioned that Bill’s personal 1949 Mercury convertible with padded top had custom work, including the chopped windshield, done by George Barris. And that this work was done in exchange of a padded top he had created for George his personal 1942 Cadillac. And to make this even better, Bill had a photo in his collection showing George his Cadillac in front of the Gaylord’s Shop. It was an amazing rear 3/4 shot of the car showing the work done on the rear fenders and how the taillights were incorporated in the bumper guards. Bill also identified the car as an 1942 Cadillac to which George had added 1947 fenders,¬†grille and bumpers.

 



CCC-george-barris-42-cadillac-01The photo from Bill Gaylord’s collection of George Barris his Cadillac. I cropped the photo above, so that we can take a better look at the car. Molded rear fenders with the taillights removed. The ends of the bumper guard bullets were cut off and hand shaped taillight lenses installed to make some very elegant bumper guard taillights.
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CCC-george-barris-42-cadillac-09The complete photo from Bill Gaylord shows the Caddy parked in from of Bill’s hop, with some cars inside, and a few outside, possibly all waiting for Bill’s magical touch. We can also see the Ben Mario Buick with Cadillac rear fenders parked on the street.
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The mystery unraveled… After many years of searching we finally knew for sure this was George Barris his personal 1942 Cadillac Convertible. The only thing we still have to figure out is why was the car never featured, not mentioned in the Barris Books as George his personal car. We have tried to find out more about this, but so far without much efforts.

The car was a rather simple custom car with just the right amount of Custom touches to make it extremely elegant. The just right chopped windshield and perfectly shaped Gaylord Padded Top make this car stunning. George also removed most of the trim on the body, except for the horizontal fender side trim, which helped make the car look even longer. The smooth trunk looks amazing with the shape of the padded top and the sharp edged tear drop shaped molded in rear fenders. The late Jack Stewart mentioned in one of our conversations that he thought George his Cadillac was a deep maroon, but he was not 100% sure. Later Jesse Lopez confirmed to David Zivot that the Cadillac was indeed maroon. Jesse then also mentioned that the Cadillac was bought and customized shortly after George had sold his trend setting 1941 Buick Convertible.

The Cadillac at the Barris Bell Shop.
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Jesse remembered that he and George took the Cadillac out cruising on many nice LA nights. And that the girls really loved the Cadillac. Or as Jesse put it, the “skirts” loved it and they inevitably got the skirts. Jesse mentioned that Bill Gaylord did an extremely nice job on the padded top, and he also did the interior for the Cadillac, but George was not to happy with the last one and eventually had Carson redo the interior.

We would love to see more photos of George his Cadillac. We know that there is at least one more photo of this car, the one on display at the 1951 Oakland Roadster show, a photo possibly taken by Marcia Campbell. And more than likely there are more taken at this same photo session. But where are these photos now?

 


CCC-george-barris-42-cadillac-07This photo from the Bart Bartoni Collection shows a Cadillac chopped convertible behind the Harold Larsen’s 1941 Ford parked in front of the Compton Ave shop. Most likely George his Caddy.
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CCC-george-barris-42-cadillac-08This photo used in an R&C magazine article on the Carson Top Shop by Greg Sharp shows the Cadillac in the back round as well. The photo was taken in 1951.
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The George Barris 1942 Cadillac must have been a great sight on the streets of LA in the late 1940’s early 1950’s. The Cadillac was modified to look like a 1947 model and looked very new when it first hit the roads all customized in 1949. These Cadillacs are already very long from the factory, and with the lowered stance, the chopped windshield and the mile long padded top this car must have looked amazing. It makes me wonder why we have seen so few from this car, especially in the Barris books, but also in the early magazines like Trend books and the first Custom Car Annuals. It also makes me wonder why we have seen so few of this year Cadillac done as full Custom. My good friend Palle Johansen was very inspired by this Cadillac and found himself a 1947 Cadillac Convertible to built his own version of late 1940’s styled Custom, based on George Barris his personal ride. You can see more on Palle’s Cadillac in the four part Road-trip to Sweden in the summer of 2014 CCC-Article. And see for your self how beautiful these cars are done as Custom.


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Hopefully this article about George his Cadillac will generate some more info, or even better, some new never before seen photos. If you have or know about more photos of George Barris his personal 1942 Cadillac Custom, please let us know. If we find out more, we will share the updates with you, here on the Custom Car Chronicle.


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2014 A-Bombers Road-trip Part 4

A-BOMBERS ROAD-TRIP 4

In 2007 my wife organized my best birthday gift ever… a trip to the A-Bombers show in Sweden. In 2014 my good friends Palle Johansen and Tim Kirkegaard thought they would try and top this gift. They invited me to join them on their trip to the A-Bombers show in their 1939 and 1947 Custom Cars with matching tear-drop trailers! This is Part 4, the last part, of the 2014 A-Bombers Road-trip story.

 
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]ts Saturday night, our last night at the A-Bombers Old Style Weekend, and we are all having a great time. I took a few more night photos of some of the cars and the people having fun. We walked around the camp-site some more, looking at the cars and people, talking about a lot of stuff with the people we came across. Later I went back and sat with some of the other guys at our place. Over the years this spot has become the Custom Place at the Old Style Weekend. Everybody wanting to talk custom would come by and take a seat. It was really great listening to all these stories.

The people at this show came from several different countries. In our group we had people from Sweden, Denmark and myself from the Netherlands. But there were also a few people from Finland, Norway and Germany that hung out with us. The languages spoken in these countries are all quite different although Swedish and Danish is some what similar and Norwegian also has similarities. These three languages could be spoken and understand by all three of them. However Finish, Dutch and German is quite different so most of the discussion/talks were done in English. But so every now and then some stories were told in Swedish, or Danish, which was a bit hard to understand for me, but after spending some time here and if there were enough car related terms used in the conversation I was able to understand most of it. Dutch, the language I speak, has some similarities with Danish, although still completely different, it does make me understand some of it, when spoken slowly. It was fun though, to just listen to this strange combined and mixed languages and trying to figure out what they were saying.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-01Saturday-evening… time for a few more long exposure photos on the tripod.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-02Long exposure photo taken next to the entrance of the music tent, people walking in and out, dancing and having a good time.
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After we had gone¬†to sleep, the wonderful weather it had been most of the weekend, changed. Temperatures dropped a bit more than usual, and during the night several small rain clouds passed the site, making sure the whole place looked different in the morning. It was a little colder and all the cars were covered in a wonderful blanket of¬†raindrops mixed with falling leaves… On the floor of the site there were empty beer cans and other trash evidence from a wild last night of the OSW weekend. The bands had played musing till early in the morning, but we had to get up early to make sure we would catch the ferry to Denmark. We sort of forgot to buy breakfast stuff the day before so all there was were some left over¬†sausages¬†and small Swedish meatballs, which we put on the grille… they tasted great. We all went busy taking¬†down¬†our tents, and packing our stuff. It was sad to see our camp place being dismantled, but it also felt good to go on the road again. I was looking forward to the drive in the Caddy back to Denmark, as well as getting home and take a nice long warm shower. But that last would take almost another day from then.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-03The next morning it looked like Autumn has started… Rain had fallen during the night leaving raindrops and fallen leaves on Andrea’s his New Panoramic Ford.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-04Early start… packing all our stuff, and getting ready to leave…
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-05Even thought Palle’s¬†trailer was now much¬†lighter than on the way up, it still dropped the back of the Caddy.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-06Strange things had happened during the last party night…
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After we had packed everything in the cars and trailers we took off to the gate and left for an half hour trip to Wolf’s place. Wolf leading the way in his ’51 Mercury with SMV trailer and the three Danish Customs behind it, followed by Stefan in his ’48 Buick. The sunny sky’s had made place for gray clouds, and when we arrived at Wolf’s place we could hear the distant thunder coming closer. We had looked at the weather forecast all weekend and knew it was going to rain, but had hoped it would not start until we got on the ferry.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-07Off we go…
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-08In line to leave the gate at the A-Bombers camp-site… Thank you for the hospitality and great times.
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We had about an hour to spend with Wolf, and he showed us around on the projects he was working on, his personal 1941 Cadillac Custom Custom, which possibly will be transferred to a padded topped convertible at one point. Wolf also showed us his Spartan trailer which he imported from the US. An amazing huge and luxurious trailer which will look amazing behind his ’51 Merc, or ’41 Caddy. The trailer¬†is completely covered with wood panels inside, has a wonderful living room with wrap around windows, a huge kitchen and separate bedroom. It is in need a a full restoration first though… but Wolf loves to work on projects like that. Then there was time for some coffee and a little bite to eat before we went on the road again. We said good bye to Wolf and Stefan, it had been really great to Wolf again and met with Stefan for the first time. It would take us 45 minutes¬†G√∂teborg, and soon after we left the first rain drops started to fall. We knew that both the Caddy and the ’39 Merc would not be water-tight, so we took some paper towels and other absorbing stuff with us.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-09Parking at Wolf’s place for a quick stop to check out some of the stuff Wolf was working on.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-11Wolf’s¬†1950 Spartan Royal Mansion which he imported from the US. Plans are to fully restore this amazing trailer and use it for camping in and around Sweden in the future.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-10Tim’s Merc looking good and looking forward to the drive home.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-12Then is was time for some well appreciated coffee and a bite to eat on the deck before we headed to the ferry in Göteborg.
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Palle’s Caddy is an in progress project and the windshield is one thing that still needs to be finished. On these Cadillacs the windshield is made up of two sections. The outside has a rubber moulding¬†to which the stainless trim mounts to, and then the glass mounts from the inside in another piece of rubber moulding and this all is kept in place by the windshield garnish molding. This also makes sure that the windshield is completely waterproof, but Palle’s Caddy has only a temporally windshield installed with only one pice of rubber… which was not even sealing properly… oh well. ¬†The windshield wipers on the Caddy were also not working properly. The rubber ends on the arms was hitting the rubber on the windshield frame and besides that the vacuum was not working properly and Palle had to release the gas pedal to make it work, so that was far from ideal. Before we had left Palle had treated the windshield with rain-x or a similar product that would help keep with the visibility during the rain.
Besides the rain it was a fun drive on the quite Sunday morning roads. The car ran well, and it was great that despite the rain we could keep the side windows down most of the time since no rain came in. We enjoyed the last scenery in Sweden and arrive well in time in the harbor of Göteborg.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-13It was nearly dry when we got to the harbor in Göteborg to line-up for our ferry ride back to Denmark.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-14Driving onto the Ferry… the sky was clearing up again.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-22Parked inside the ferry for the 3.5 hour ride back to Denmark.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-15Good-bye Sweden, thank you for a wonderful time.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-16The ferry would spend quite a bit of time close to the beautiful Swedish coast before it reached open ocean.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-17Open ocean… Denmark, here we come…
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-18When the center lanes on the ferry had unloaded we spotted this nice 60’s style ’65 Buick parked on the other side. They were also at the A-Bombers… but the campsite is so large, we had never even spotted them there.
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Back in Denmark the weather looked very nice, but Palle had received a phone call from a friend that there were very heavy rainstorm on their way.¬†There was no way around it, so we just had to go, and hope it would not be to bad. The first part of the drive was still very nice with sun and nice sky’s, but in the distance we could see the rain clouds coming. We talked about the weekend and what a great experience it had been and how well the cars had done it, despite some minor stuff as the heating problem on Palle’s Merc, and the failing light problem on Tim’s Mercury. The failing lights on Palle’s trailer from day one had been solved. Palle’s car runs an 6 volt system, but for some reason the 6 volt bulbs on the trailer lasted only a few minutes. He had now put 12 volt bulbs in it and they worked fine. Something else to look into during those long Scandinavian winters. Tim was still driving without working¬†lights. Then the first rain was coming down, not really too bad and apart from a few drops coming from the windshield center post holes and the gap from the A-pillar to the vent window on my side of the car there was no problem at all.

It dried up, the sun was out again before we saw it turning really black in front of us, we thought about stopping, but there was no¬†exit’s¬†nearby and also no bridges to hide under so there was no other option that let it come.¬†We were prepared for some rain, but¬†the huge amount that was¬†starting to fall¬†right¬†then,¬†was just a little more than we had anticipated. The only fear we had, was that the water¬†coming¬†inside was leaking into the dash and would affect the electrical system. The water was now coming in from the top of the windshield header, the center windshield post and from the A-Pillars to the vent windows. After a while we did not have any paper towels or other fabric stuff handy to stop the water from coming in… but around that time¬†the rain stopped,¬†and it would stay dry all the way to Palle’s home. I wiped off most of the water and then we could just relax and enjoy the rest of our trip in Denmark. Around the city of¬†√Örhus Tim and Tore passed us in the ’39 Merc and waved good-bye. They would take the next exit which would bring them to their homes. Lars and Lars, who drove Palle’s ’51 Mercury took shelter somewhere during one of the heavy rain storms, but they had called to say they and the car were okay. We had about another hour to go.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-19Back in Denmark the weather was nice, but we knew rain was coming, the distant clouds tell what was coming.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-20Not too long after we hit the highway the first drops started to fall. Not long after that it was raining, and the windshield was starting to leak.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p4-21The sealing of the padded top to the windshield header turned out to be, not totally waterproof, fortunately it was mostly on the passenger side, so I could make sure the dash stayed as dry as possible while Palle drove the car.
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When we got home we unpacked the Caddy and trailer and I stuff all my belongings in my own car, and then it was time to say goodbye to Palle who had arranged the best ever birthday present and road-trip ever. I had a 6 and a half hour drive back to home in the Netherlands ahead of me and it was soon starting to get dark. It was quite a different experience to drive home in my everyday driver, but in my mind I was still driving in Palle’s Caddy which made the drive home nice, comfortable and quick. I got home at around 2 in the morning… what a trip.
 
Thank you so much Palle Johansen, Tim Kirkegaard the rest of the road-trip gang and of course my wife for make this happen.

 
 
Go to: Part ONE, of the 2014 A-Bombers Road-trip Story.

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2014 A-Bombers Road-trip Part 3

A-BOMBERS ROAD-TRIP 3

In 2007 my wife organized my best birthday gift ever… a trip to the A-Bombers show in Sweden. In 2014 my good friends Palle Johansen and Tim Kirkegaard thought they would try and top this gift. They invited me to join them on their trip to the A-Bombers show in their 1939 and 1947 Custom Cars with matching tear-drop trailers! This is Part 3¬†of the A-Bombers Road-trip story.

 
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]ts Friday night, we made it back to the camp-site from the best ever road trip, with six fantastic Custom Car. The image of these beauties floating the curvy Swedish West Coast roads, is still on my mind… and I know these will never fade in my memories. But we are back now, and the camp-site has been filled up completely by now. Hot Rods, semi stocks and Custom Cars from Scandinavia, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands have gathered… and the party is on. The bands have started to play music in the large tent, and wonderful smells rise¬†from the burger¬†–¬†wrap¬†–¬†noodle -stand¬†next to it. Period dressed-up people are walking the site, just to enjoy the cars, the people, or to parade and enjoyed to be looked at and photographed. People are drinking, eating, and gather around with old friends, creating new friends, and just having a good time.
 
CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-24Darren Chapman originally from Australia, now from Norway brought his in progress ’49 Buick Chopped Sedanette. Darren explained that the car will have restyled front and rear fenders as well as some other changes for the next season. It was already great to be able to walk around it and see the flow of the chopped top.
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I met up with some old friends, Per Webb, Janne Kutja, Klaus Gardan, Christer Ehrling, and had great time talking with them and a lot of other people. We ate some grilled Swedish sausages on toasted bread with loads of Swedish mustard and ketchup and discussed with Wolf which cars he would pick for the Custom Car Line up this year.  It is the second year Wolf is organizing the Custom Car Line-Up with the CCC, at the A-Bombers Show. Wolf is trying to get a series of period perfect Customs at a photo-shoot. The cars can only be chosen by Wolf, and to be a candidate they have to have a period look, preferably with fender skirts, chopped top and Appleton Spotlights. But there are exceptions to these rules as long as the overall look is period, and Wolf likes it enough. We will do a separate CCC-Article on the Line-Up soon, stay tuned.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-30The 2014 Custom Car Line-Up flyer Wolf was handing out to the owners of the Customs he thought might look good on the Lin-Up. Only period looking Customs make a change of being chosen by Wolf.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-23Wolf also invited Tomas and his white primered in progress 1939 Mercury. Sadly Tomas could no be found early the next morning at the agreed meeting time when we headed out to the Line-Up Location.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-25Wolf (center) asked¬†Miikka Salminen (right) if he and his ’36 Dodge Coupe would like to be part of this years Custom Car Line-Up… Miikka was thrilled to be part of it.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-26People having a good time, enjoying some food, drinks, the cars and their friends.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-01When it got dark I took a few night time photos with long exposure time on my tripod. 
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When we where out on our road trip some really great Custom Cars had arrived so together with the guys we went wandering around looking for the new cars, taking photos and talking to the owners. When the sun was setting I went back to my tent, took my tripod and took some long exposure car, people and overall photos. They are always fun to do, with all the nice lights and people walking around looking like ghosts.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-04Early Saturday morning… if you want a shower, you have to get up¬†very early, since there are only three showers on the whole camp-site. The good thing is you have a very long day ahead of you. Palle is heating up the grille to have some toast made and boiling the water for some fresh coffee.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-02Early morning dewdrops cover the Oldsmobile taillights on Andrea’s √Öberg’s New Panoramic Ford.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-05After breakfast Palle downloaded the photos from his camera from the days before to his laptop.¬†He now could check them out full size… and was very happy with the result.
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Saturday morning we had an early rise again… the Line-Up photo-shoot candidates¬†would¬†gather at the gate at half past 9, and some of the guys wanted to give their car a quick wash to clean off the dirt from the drive the day before. I was pretty excited about the Line-Up thing. Last year I had to wait for the guys to get back home again to see the photos, but this year I would be there in person.. and help out Wolf getting the car lined up etc. The weather was absolutely perfect, nice blue skies with a few clouds here and there, and nice and warm. The nicest day so far. There would be two Line-Up photo sessions today. Wolf had scout two locations, the first one, was the same as last year. A nice restored old cobble stone road with a nice hill in front ¬†of it for perfect photo opportunities. The only disadvantage this location has is the that the sun comes from behind early in the morning. But it worked out fine anyway. The second location was a wonderful simple grass airfield across the street from the A-Bombers camp-site. It was the first time Wolf was going to use this, and for this he planned to have the cars sit in a circle and also do a semi Ayala 1951 Motor Trend cover redo.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-06At around half past 9 we left to the gate were we would meet with all the Custom Car guys that Wolf invited for this years Custom Car Line-Up.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-07We had to wait for a little bit… some of the guys were not quite ready after staying up late for¬†the big party last night.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-08We were on a tight schedule, since there were two locations for a Line-Up this year, and most of us wanted to go to the hill-climb early in the afternoon. So we ended up leaving with 8 period looking Customs. Here we just arrived at the old road, location number one.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-09The last three cars patiently waiting before they were called to park their Customs next in line.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-10Wolf made sure all the cars are parked at the same angle, and with the front end on one line. The cars were parked with a bit more space in between them than last year. This way more of the cars would show up in the photos.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-11When all the cars were parked, the owners and helpers climbed up the hill for the perfect view, and to allow the photographers to take as many photos of the Customs with no people around them as they wanted.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-12Camera turned 180 degrees from the previous photo. This is the hill where we could all look down to the Customs and take photos.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-14View from the top of the hill at the moment the owners of the cars were “ordered” to take place next to their Customs and take on the Sam Barris position.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-13Another behind the scenes photo. Palle is taking some photos using the ladder Wolf brought. There is a small hill in the middle just next to the road and you have to stand tall to be able to shoot the photos over that small hill. Lars and Stefan made sure the ladder is not falling over… teamwork.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-15When everybody had taken enough photos we all got back into our cars and headed to the second location.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-16And there we go again, back to the A-Bombers camp-site where the second location was at the small airfield across the street from the show.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-17I just cannot get enough of these wonderful custom cars on the roads. This u-turn leaving the Line-Up location, was perfect for getting the best view of the cars as well as hear the engines while taking off.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-18Wolf was the first one to get to the second location. Wonderful colored empty space background… perfect for the Circle of Custom Cars Wolf has planned next.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-31It took some effort to get all the cars in the right position for this photo-shoot, but in the end it was all worth it. The Circle of Custom Cars looked amazing.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-19It then was time to sort of re-create the famous Ayala Shop Motor Trend magazine cover from¬†October 1951. Wolf drove his ’51 Merc into the center of the circle, and the car owners were asked to take place next to their cars again.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-27Wolf sat on the cowl of his Merc, just as Al Ayala did in the Motor Trend Cover and the others stood with their own cars. It was not intended to duplicate the scene exactly… just inspired by it.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-20Then it was time to hurry back to the camp-site to have a bite to eat and get ready for the hill climb which was another 20 minute or so drive from there.
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After the Line-Up photo-sessions we went back to the camp-site for a quite bite to eat, and then it was off to the hill-climb. The location for this is about a 20-min drive from there. We were a bit late and it was already very crouded there, as well as on the parking space reserved for it. So we parked our Customs a little further and walked back to the race track. Palle wanted to shoot some action photos from the cars at the starting grid. We arrived a little late at the race, and by then the hill road sides were filled with spectators already. So instead of getting back in line hoping to see some action on the road we went to the parking lot to look at the cars and shoot some more photos.¬†After the race we went back to the camp-site, walked around and went to the food place at the site for a really tasty burger. Its now Saturday night… the biggest party night of the weekend, with many bands performing in the music tent.

 

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-21On our way up to the hill climb we stopped for gas. The gas-station was filled with Hot Rods and Custom Cars… so many that I saw several regular cars who wanted some gas leave the place looking for a more quite station.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p3-22Custom Car Parking close to the hill-climb. Palle ended up being the only one going to the actual race, the rest of us hung out on the larger parking-lot down at the hill, to check out the cars there.
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We had to get up a bit early on Sunday, I think the camp-site has to be left by ten in the morning or so. And we had to be at the ferry back to Denmark at eleven. But we also wanted to make a quick visit to Wolf’s place which is on the way to the Ferry.¬†I tried to wrap up the trip in this third part… but there is still so much to tell and show that there will be a part four.
 
 
Go to Part ONE, or continue to part Four of the 2014 A-Bombers Road-trip Story
 
 

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2014 A-Bombers Road-trip part 2

A-BOMBERS ROAD-TRIP 2

In 2007 my wife organized my best birthday gift ever… a trip to the A-Bombers show in Sweden. In 2014 my good friends Palle Johansen and Tim Kirkegaard thought they would try and top this gift. They invited me to join them on their trip to the A-Bombers show in their ’39 and ’47 Custom Cars with tear drop trailers! This is Part 2 of the A-Bombers Road-trip story.

 
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]ts Thursday morning July 31, 2014, we have arrived at the A-Bombers Old Style Weekend show in Backamo, nearby Udevalla in Sweden. The day before I had left my home in the Northern part of the Netherlands and drove to my friend Palle Johansen in Assens, Denmark. From there we took Palle’s 1947 Cadillac Custom Car with matching 1947 teardrop trailer and drove to Frederikshavn in north Denmark. On our way Lars Friborg joined us driving Palle’s 1951 Mercury, Lars Kj√¶r driving his 1936 Ford Coupe and Tim kirkegaard driving his 1939 Mercury with passenger Tore Vogh. Check out part one of this trip.
 
CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-01We had made it to the camp-site. Wolf’s SMV trailer is all the way to the left, followed with Tim’s teardrop with matching old tent, the red and white trailer is Stefan’s and the other SMV traler in white and yellow is Benny’s, a Custom guy belonging to the Hammers club. Tim’s Merc and Palle’s Caddy are parked here with Wolf’s 51 Merc and Stefan’s ’48 Buick.
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When we arrived at the Backamo Old Style Weekend location early Thursday morning we were welcomed by Stefan Elebrink (’48 Buick). He had spend the night at the campsite¬†and “guarded” the Customs spot on the capsite together with our friend Wolf. Wolf had brought his¬†nice old SMV trailer, and Stefan had borrowed another nice old¬†trailer¬†to sleep in. We put Tim’s and Palle’s teardrop trailers on each side of Wolf’s SMV¬†trailer, to make a nice set and got some water on the fire, in the small kitchen in back of Tim’s trailer, for some much needed coffee. We had spend the night on the ferry-boat, and there was no real comfortable chairs to sleep on, so we where all kind of tired.

It was really great to meet¬†Stefan, we had spend a lot of time on the email discussing¬†several Digital Restyling projects on his ’48 Buick, but we had never met before.¬†After having some coffee and unpacking some of the stuff,¬†we wandered around the camp site a bit. All the A-Bomber members had also spend the night there in their special VIP building, which is located next to the section we stayed at.¬†We checked out their cars talked a little here and there, and then it was time to check out the Line-Up location Wolf and Stefan had prepped for this year’s Custom Car line-up. The weather was perfect, a bit windy, but sunny and a nice temperature, absolutely perfect. We had received a phone call from the two Larses who where now on the ferry to Sweden in the ’51 Mercury. We all looked forward to be reunited, and especially me, since my tent and some other belongings were packed in the ’51 Merc.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-25Early Thursday morning, the A-Bombers staff cars parked on an otherwise still empty camp-site.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-04The camp-site is located next to this wonderful lake.
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Thursday is not an official Old Style Weekend day, but the campsite is open, and when we got back, for a little trip, more cars and people had arrived. It was really great to see the campsite fill up with great looking cars, and nice people. Some I recognized from 2007, others from Facebook, or the CCC. We were at the gate looking at the cars checking in, when Andreas Åberg arived in his 1950 Ford Custom. Andreas was another guy I had emailed a lot with about his New Panoramic Ford, but I had never met him in person. I knew he was going to park with us at the Customs section, so hurried over to shake hands and check out his car in person. Wow, what a nice guy, and what a fantastic Custom. I spend many hours looking over every little detail on that car. There is so much work done on the body to make it look at its very best.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-05Andreas¬†√Öberg ariving with his amazing New Panoramic Ford. Adreas built this near clone of the early 1950’s Barris/Cerny built Buster Litton Ford and¬†included a lot of his own refinements to improve on the¬†design of the original Custom.
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In the meantime Lars and Lars had arrived in the ’51 merc, and I put up my vintage tent, one I already had when I was a little boy of 12 years old.¬†Later that day Andreas took me for a a ride in his car to go do some shopping with the others. We needed to get some supplies, and Palle had offered to cook a nice birthday dinner for me‚Ķ and the rest of the gang. Due to the lack of sleep I had forgotten it was actually my birthday that day.¬†It was an real pleasure to sit down in the New Panoramic Ford and see the amazing attention for details Andreas put into this car, inside and out. The seating position was quite different than what I was used to for the last day and a half in Palle’s ’47 Cadillac. I have to admit that the¬†Cadillac does drive a lot more comfortable than the Ford‚Ķ especially the seating is far more superior in the Cadillac which is really comfortable and soft, while the ford interior looks very nice, the seats are much stiffer. I got used to it fast though and enjoyed every minute in the car talking with Andreas about his car and all kinds of other things.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-29The guys doing shopping for the birthday dinner.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-02New cars arrived at the camp-site center location.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-03We took Palle’s ’47 Cadillac and Wolf’s ’51 Mercury to check out the location(s) for this years Custom Car Line-Up photo-shoot.
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When we drove to the village to do some shopping, Lars called to let us know the ’51 Merc was having problems again. It turned out to be a bold on the alternator getting loose all the time. This caused the alternator to loosen up and the belt starting to slip badly. Eventually two guys went with Wolf to a local garage, where a friend worked, and there they modified the bold in such a way it would fix the problem.¬†Back at the campsite¬†Palle made a wonderful diner for all of us, and for¬†desert the guys surprised me with an amazing cake they had ordered from a local bakery. I could not stop smiling.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-06Lars having problems with a loose alternator bold and slipping belt. Soon after this photo was taken the bolt was removed and modified at a local garage to fix the problem.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-07Palle (and the other guys) preparing the groceries for perfect diner.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-08The birthday cake they had ordered… it was gooooood!
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That night we all went to bed a bit early… to make up a bit for the lack of sleep the night before, knowing the next couple of days were going to be very busy and long. The next day, Friday, was the first of the official Old Style Weekend days. We took it easy in the morning walking around to check out the new arrivals, and decided to go on a nice little trip at the end of the morning. We all washed the cars and off we went to a trip to the West-Coast of Sweden… to see the ocean.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-10The trip we took on Friday afternoon. The green dot on the bottom right side is the A-Bombers camp-site.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-09Filling up the cars with gas before the trip. Wolf had found out over the years that V-Power from Shell worked the best with his Flathead powered ’51 Mercury. So thats what we all used while in Sweden.
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I had never really been to this part of the country other than close to the A-Bombers camp site. The scenery was breathtakingly beautiful. And the closer we got to the coast the more rocks and the rougher the terrain. There is something really special about driving together with 6 amazing period looking customs. Most of the time Palle and me were the last car in the row, and it was just amazing to see all these rolling sculptured float over the curvy Swedish roads, see their reflections in windows and watch people turn their heads, put on a huge smile and start waving, pointing their fingers or put their thumbs up. There is just nothing that can compare to see these great looking Custom Cars driving on the road in front of you.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-11On the road, and looking good.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-12Stefan and Ulrika crossing the bridge close to Uddevalla, Lars drives Palle’s ’51 Mercury in front of them.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-14We would drive about the same speed as the big trucks on the four lane high ways. Its great to see Stefan’s 48 Buick in motion. A chop and new grille are planned for the next season.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-15This was my favorite sight. All custom cars lined up on the curvy smaller country side roads.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-16And the extra bonus came at the stop sign’s when the cars got close again and the engines could be heard as well.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-17More rocks, trees, nice houses and the wonderful shape of Tim’s ’39 Mercury.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-18We now had  gotten close to the ocean, the water in this picture is actually the ocean with some small rock islands behind it.
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Last year Palle had major heating problems when he drove the Caddy to the A-Bombers show from Denmark to Sweden, even so much it had to be trailered back home. But after the radiator was cleaned and other issues fixed the car had been driven flawlessly for a few weeks before the show. The trip from Denmark to Sweden the day before showed perfect engine temps, but somehow the engine was running hot again during this road-trip. We could not figure out what was going on. When Palle shut the engine off for a few seconds while driving, it would cool down real fast, after it had just been marked as cooking. Later Palle discovered when he would put the lights on, while driving, there was no heating problem at all. So more than likely there was no real engine heating problem at all, just an electrical problem, or at least an indication problem. It was a huge relieve, to find out there was no real engine heating problem, since we had now been about an hour and half from our camp-site. After a nice long drive we arrived at Kungshamn a small harbor village. Here we all ate a nice burger and looked at some of the boats in the harbor.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-19Driving the caravan of period Customs thru some of the small wonderful villages on the coastline, sure got the attention of the locals and tourists. Perhaps some of these people will remember this sight for ever, or perhaps even get a little inspired by it.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-20At one of the quick stops to discuss the designation plan I snapped this photo thru the mail-slot window in Palle’s Cadillac Padded top.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-22Arrival at Kungshamn. Here we parked the cars in the harbor an walked to a nearby restaurant for a nice burger and fries.
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We thought it would be a great idea to find a nice location for sa photo-shoot of the customs. However none of the better known spots, with a nice view on the ocean, had enough space that allowed for a photo-shoot with all 6 cars. It was tourist season and most parking lots were filled with tourist cars. In the end we found a parking lot at a local factory, that we used to shoot some pictures with the ocean somewhere in the background. Again it was great to see the look on the faces of people coming by, some stopped and took some photos with their cell phones, while others simply put the thumbs up and probably could not really believe what they just saw.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-21After our late lunch, we drove up to some of the small streets of Kungshamn where the cars fitted in very well. While driving we kept looking for a nice location to shoot some photos.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-23We eventually found this abandoned parking lot (it was summer vacation for the workers) were we parked the car. The rock-hill in front of the parking lot gave the perfect elevation for some nice photos with the ocean in the background.
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Then it was time to take the hour and a half drive back to the camp-site again… we took a slightly different road on the way back home. We even hit some rain, but nothing really bad, and on our way home we did some more grocery shopping for the days to come. 6 Customs parking in the parking lot of a local small village supermarket… it was a great sight. This road-trip was one of my personal highlights of the whole weekend. I had loved every minute of it.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-26More amazing scenery on the way back to the camp-site.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-27Andreas needed gas, the others waited for the next Shell pump.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p2-28Shopping for the rest of the weekend in Uddevalla, close to the campsite. Again we had many people stare at the cars. 
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This is part two of the 2014 A-Bombers Road-Trip, check out part one. 
Or continue with in part Three.

 

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2014 A-Bombers Road-trip Part 1

A-BOMBERS ROAD-TRIP 1

In 2007 my wife organized my best birthday gift ever… a trip to the A-Bombers show. In 2014 my good friends Palle Johansen and Tim Kirkegaard thought they would try and top this gift, so they invited me to join them on their trip to the A-Bombers show in their ’39 and ’47 Custom Cars with tear drop trailers!

 
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[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his 2014 trip is done, and I’m back home now, and I have to say Palle and Tim were actual able to top the best ever birthday present from my wife. Driving to the show in Sweden from Denmark in a period perfect custom, with teardrop was an AMAZING experience. Many thanks to my friends Palle and Tim for making this happen. It all started about a week before the annual A-Bombers Old Style Weekend in Udevalla, Sweden which was held on August the first and second of 2014. Palle asked me if I wanted to join him in his ’47 Caddy, Tim with his ’39 Mercury and Lars,¬†who would drive Palle’s ’51 Mercury to the show in Sweden… as a birthday gift. I did not have to think long about this, and fortunately my wife and son thought it was a great idea. I started packing, and on Wednesday July 30, day before my birthday, I drove to Palle’s home in Assens, Denmark, a 6 hour drive. I got there around 3 in the afternoon, Palle was putting the last gear into the trailer and then we took the car to a local gas-station to check tire pressure and made sure the tires were ready for the trip to Sweden. We load up my stuff in the car and trailer and off we went to Frederikshavn in the northern part of Denmark, were we would take the ferry to Sweden. On our way we would meet up with Lars in Palle’s ’51 Mercury, and later with Tim in his ’39 Mercury and Lars in his ’36 Ford.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-01The trip from Palle’s home in Assens, Denmark to Frederikshavn in the Northern part of the country, then with the ferry to Sweden and up to Udevalla where the A-Bombers held their Annual Old Style Weekend. (Map from Google)
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-07Before we left we filled up the tires with some air and made sure the pressure was the same on all four tires.
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The last time I had seen Palle’s Cadillac was on our GNRS trip in early 2013, then the car was at David Martinez his shop in California, getting ready or the chopped windshield and Padded top. I had seen many photos after the car had returned in Denmark. But nothing beats being able to walk around it, and even better sitting in it knowing the next couple of days would be spend in this car. The seat in this Cadillac is absolutely perfect, its soft, has the perfect seating position and the leather upholstery has the perfect patina. The chopped windshield is still unfinished with no trim on the out- or inside, and¬†even has some holes for the stainless trim were now the open air could be seen outside. This could be fun if we get rain on our trip I thought to myself. The view outside, thru the chopped windshield is amazing, the tail dragging stance puts the nose up in the air, with the chrome hood trim and Cadillac hood ornament showing which direction it wants… forward!

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-03On our way, leaving the street where Palle lives, with a view over the ocean.
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The side windows,¬†temporarily¬†plexiglass units made for the trip were rolled down, and would stay that way most of the trip. The view back is mostly blocked by the heavy padded top, the mail-slot rear window, which is actually the original ’47 Cadillac convertible unit, gives a bit of a view outside rear, but was¬†now blocked by the teardrop trailer.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-04We both had a smile on our face the whole trip. The Cadillac drove fantastic, we both felt like a King in a Cadillac.
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We drove off around 6 a clock, the wonderful original Cadillac flathead engine roar was only noticeable when it was bouncing off a building or structure close to the car, all we could hear in the car was a soft hum of the engine and the air blowing around the chopped windshield and padded top. The weather could not be any better, with nice temps and a wonderful selection of clouds which would shift colors in the next coming hours. The¬†Caddy drove fantastic, like a “modern” car, strong, and even with the trailer behind it did not show any vibrations and Palle could let go of the steering and the car would still go straight ahead. The Northern part of Denmark is always very nice, with soft flowing hills and nice little villages. But this time of year it is even more special because of the large¬†grain fields being ready for harvesting or which have just been harvested. Wonderful deep yellow fields marked with colorful green trees and bushes. And it seams like it even looks better from a chopped padded topped custom. Our first stop was an parking lot at some fast food restaurants,¬†were we would meet with Lars who was driving Palle’s ’51 Mercury. Lars had picked up the Merc the day before and took it home to load with stuff we would need in Sweden. We ate a sandwich and burger an when Lars arrived, did some repacking to take off some of the weight in the Caddy. Some of the heavy stuff was packed in the Merc, which has airbags in the rear. The Caddy has been lowered, but the frame still has to be c-notched. On the way up the heavy load and the trailer caused the rear axle to get in contact with the frame on bad portions of the road. Nothing major, but the repacking raised the rear a little.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-05First stop was to get together with Lars who would drive Palle’s ’51 Mercury. Palle making a call to Lars… where are you?
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-06Wonderful scenery of Northern Denmark with nice villages, and farm land ready to be harvested, or just being harvested.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-08Holding my camera out of the side window created some interesting shots.
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Next stop was an¬†offramp close to the city of Aarhus, where Tim¬†with his ’39 mercury live. Here we would also meet up with Lars¬†Kj√¶r who would drive his ’36 Ford un-chopped, two tone, 3-w coupe up to Sweden. When everybody had arrived we took some photos of the line up on the bridge crossing the highway and off we went, to catch the midnight ferry to Sweden. Now four great looking customs in a row on the highway… what a sight!

 

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-09When we arrived at the¬†meeting point Lars Kj√¶r¬†had just arrived with his in progress ’36 Ford 3-window.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-10Soon followed by Lars Friborg in Palle’s ’51 Mercury and Tim with his Sledge Customs built ’39 Mercury. The guys are glad to see each other and exited about the trip to come. Everybody took some photos, which would soon be followed by many more.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-11Palle took this great photo of the line up at the meeting point on the bridge over the high way. Amazing clouds predicted a wonderful sunset.
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In the meantime it was getting dark and disaster stroke on Tim’s Mercury. Most likely some fluids leaked on the electrical wires caused the lighting on the merc and the trailer, both front and rear to fail completely. There was still electricity in the car, but just nothing for the lights. So Tim had to drive to the ferry with no lights, and it was getting dark fast. Tim and his Merc was ‘”sandwiched” in between the ’51 Merc and us in the Caddy, this way the traffic from behind would not drive up to the non lighted car.

 

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-12Shortly after take off Lars overtakes us with his¬†healthy sounding flathead powered ’36 Ford.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-13Appleton spotlight and a setting sun.
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We had to make one more stop on our way to the ferry, one for gas. When we left the gas-station Lars with the ’36 Ford had some electrical problems, which at the time looked an easy fix. Lars with the ’51 Merc decided to stay and help and Tim with his friend Tore in the passenger seat and Palle and me decided to go ahead to catch the ferry, time was getting short, and both the ’36 and 51 had no trailers and would be able to catch us later. The Lights on our trailer now also failed for 90%, and produced only very little light. But fortunately the trailer also had side markers which still worked. After a while Lars called, to tell the problems were a little more severe than first thought, an that it¬†would take more time to repair.¬†Shortly after that the other Lars called in to report the ’51 had its drive belt broken, and that there was no way he could repair that on the spot right there. It was now completely dark and Tim and Tore drive the Merc behind us, completely in the dark with no lights or marking lights. We tried to go at about the same speed as everybody else on the road so that people would not bump into the trailer. Lots of flashing lights and blowing horns tried to warn us for things we already knew. We know it was not quite save, but we wanted to make it to Frederikshavn to catch the ferry, since we did not know if we would miss it we could go on the next one the next morning. We got at the harbor at 5 minuted before eleven, 5 minutes before the final boarding time…. pfffff.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-15Both Palle’s cars were in for some gas, the others took a change to get a burger and coffee.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-16By then Tim and Lars noticed the¬†failing lights on the ’39 Mercury and trailer. They tried to fix it, but nothing worked.
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By now it had become sure both Larses would not be able to make it there in time. Phone calls were made and arrangements made to repair both cars left behind at the gas-station, so they could make it for the 8 o-clock ferry the next morning. Before we actually entered the boat a little after midnight Lars called that it turned out to be a loose alternator that had caused the belt to loosen and looked broken.¬†He had found the bold that was missing and he was able to fix the merc. The news on Lars his ’36 Ford was not so good. After he had driven the car to a German show earlier that month, a 1,300 plus round trip with no problems, an electrical fire now made sure his car would not make it to Sweden. His car was towed and the Both Larses took the ’51 Merc and drove to the Ferry, where they would catch the next one at 8 in the morning.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-17While waiting for the ferry Tore and Tim were able to get the light on Tim’s Mercury working again. Arriving in Sweden the car had lights again.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-18But the working lights did not last long…
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-21It was early in the morning, and we had time enough, so at this point we decided to park the cars and wait for the sun to come up a little more.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-19Palle took this photo of the two customs pared at the McDonald’s waiting for the light of day.
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Our ferry took off at around 30 min past midnight, and we got in Sweden around 4 in the morning. It was already getting light, but to be on the save side we parked our cars at a nearby Mc Donald’s and waited for the sun to rise so Tim would not have to drive in the dark with no lights on. Its actually mandatory in Denmark and Sweden to have your driving lights on, even during the day. But the police has never stopped us for not having them on the ’39 Merc. Somewhere around 5 it was light enough to hit the road, about an hour and a half more to the A-Bombers site close to Uddevalla in Sweden.

CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-20When it was light enough we drove off to the A-Bombers site… another hour and half or so to go.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-22While it was still very quite on the Swedish early morning roads Palle decided he wanted to have some riding photos of his Cadillac with the teardrop trailer. So I switched seats with Tore and joined Tim in his ’39 Merc so I could photograph Palle driving his Caddy.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-23What an amazing sight it was… is.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-24Early morning warm sun light creating long shadows make up for an amazing image.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-25Arrival at the A-Bombers Old Style Weekend site.
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CCC-roadtrip-a-bombers14-p1-27And at the Customs camp site, where Wolf and Stefan had already put up their caravan’s.
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When we arrived at the show area it was still very early and only very few people were there. our good friend Ulf “Wolf” Christiansson was there with his nicely shaped trailer and his trusty ’51 Mercury and so was our good friend Stefan Elbrink with his ’48 Buick. Wolf had been at the camp site for a day and a half making sure the Customs favorite camping spot could be reserved. It was a perfect spot!

More in part two of the 2014 A-Bombers Road-Trip

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Jack Stewart Ford on RJ Poster No. 17

RJ ANNUAL POSTER

The Jack Stewart Ford in bare metal was picked for the Annual Rodder’s Journal Poster

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December 2013
I was browsing thru the new Rodder’s Journal 2013 Holiday Catalog that arrived in the mailbox yesterday. And to my surprise I saw that they picked the bare metal photo, taken by Geoff Miles, of the Jack Stewart Ford, for one of the two sides of their Annual Poster. Cannot wait to get my hands on it.

Will be great to see garage photos in the future showing this poster on the wall, hopefully inspiring people to built tail dragging late 40’s style customs.

Congratulations Palle Johansen…

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