41 Chevy 3-Window

 

41 CHEVY 3-WINDOW Mystery Custom

 

1941 Chevy Coupe with chopped turned 3-window top, 1946 Chevy grille and complete smoothed body. Another Mystery Published Custom Car.



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Over the years I have come across a lot of Unidentified Custom Car photos in the early Custom Car Publications. Mystery Customs that appeared in just a single publication, and sometimes even in multiple magazines or booklets, but always laking any info on the original builder or owners name. In this series of articles I will be showing some of these Mystery Published Custom Cars, and hopefully the extra publicity will lead to some more information on these cars.
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1941 Chevy 3-window Coupe Custom.

The first time I saw a picture of this ’41 Chevy Custom was possibly the last published photo of the Custom. It was in the Barris Kustoms Technique of the 50’s Volume 2 book published in 1996. On page 13 there is a great photo taken at the Barris Compton Avenue shop showing this Chevy with white wall tires, listed as a ’42 Chevy ā€“ which it might be, instead of a ’41 ā€“ parking in front of the Barris shop with a ’41 Ford convertible Custom in the driveway. The photo caption mentioned that some work on the car was done at the Barris Shop… which is very plausible. The car really has this beautiful early Barris look and feel. There is no mentioning about the owners name in the Barris book.

Later when I found an original copy of the Dan Post Blue Book of Custom Restyling published in 1951, I spotted another photo of what I think is the same Chevy. The photo in the Dan Post book showed the car with a nice profile photo parked in front of an used car dealer when it had black wall tires. There was no photo caption in the Dan Post book. Later I found out that the same photo was also part of the first time the Blue book was published in 1949.

From the 1946 Custom Styling Manual published by Edgar Almquist.
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From the 1947 published Speed and Mileage Manual published by Edgar Almquist.
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It turned out that the more photos I found of the car, the further I went back in time with the publications I found it in. I bought a Speed and Mileage Manual by Edgar Almquist first published in 1947. It had a single photo of the Chevy, a nice front 3/4 view and in the photo the car had white wall tires, and the paint looked to be a bit lighter than in the Barris Book photo.Ā  The same photo was also used in Custom Styling Manual and Custom Streamlining published by Edgar Almquist in 1946. In this earliest published photo the car was listed as a ’41 Chevy, but no builder or owner name was mentioned.

In 1947 Dan Post published his California Custom Car Photo Album booklet. The Chevy was shown in the booklet with no less than 5 photos. 4 of these photos show the car with white wall tires, and one with black wall tires. A side view photo was used on the cover, a front 3/4 view with the car in a lighter color on the back cover, and three more on one page inside the booklet. None of these photos had any photo captions, nor photo credits.


The front and back cover of the 1947 published Dan Post California Custom Car Photo Album booklet used two photos of the Chevy.
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Dan Post devoted 3 photos of the Chevy on a full page in his ’47 published California Custom Car Photo Album booklet. I think that all these three photos, which have the background cut off, were taken at the Barris Compton Avenue shop.
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The photo shown on the cover of the Dan Post California Custom Car Photo Album shows the full side view of the car taken in front of the Barris Compton Ave shop. The photo is taken the same day, with the ’41 Ford Convertible peaking in above the Chevy hood, as the one shown in the Barris Techniques book. Wish a bit more of the back ground was shown in this photo, most likely taken in 1946.
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This is the only rear view photo I have been able to find. It shows how the trunk was shortened at least a foot at the top, the fenders are molded and blended into the body, and the rear window looks to have been cut down and made into a three piece unit (possibly Cadillac rear window cut down?) The rear bumper looks to be a ’46 Chevy unit.
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On the back cover of the Dan Post California Custom Car Photo Album this photo of what I think is the Chevy was used. It shows the car with black wall tires, and a lighter paint job. But otherwise identical to the darker colored photos. The photo looks to be a collage of the car cut from the background and pasted into the palm tree nice building photo.
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The only other photo I have found of the car so far comes from the internet in the very early years. I have no idea where it came from, but it shows the car in the dark paint, with white walls parked next to what I think is an early version of the Var Martin’s 1941 Buick with full fade-away fenders Custom restyled by the Barris Shop.



The Chevy

The Chevy is a really beautiful restyled 3-window Coupe. Unsure if the car tarted out as a ’41 or 42 model. The top was chopped with a really beautiful flow on the rear of the top. It looks like the rear of the top is still located in the stock position, not moved forward like we see a lot in more preset day builds. This allowed the builder to create a really beautiful flowing line on the top. The rear quarter windows are filled in for an ultimate smooth look. Filing in quarter windows of 5-window coupes, and even on sedans was a very popular Restyling technique used in the early days, the mid 1940’s. In the early days the most commonly Custom restyled Custom Cars, especially in California, where it all started, were based on convertibles and received chopped padded tops originally designed by the Carson Top Shop. These tops had the rear quarter windows filled in and a super smooth flow at the rear of the top. I think that a lot of early Custom Restyler’s liked this look, and when they chopped a coupe body filling in the rear quarter windows seamed a natural for them to obtain this favorable look. Later this filled quarter window look was reused on the twin ’48 Chevy’s restyled by Barris for the High-School Confidential movie in 1957-58.

The rear window was either replaced by a three piece Cadillac unit, or home made. Plus it was cut down in the chopping process, unlike what was more common later on to just lay it forward to match the new roof shape, but kept its original height. The new small “mailslot”Ā  rear window is perhaps another inspiration things fro the popular Padded tops, which mostly had very small rear windows as well.

This profile photo of theĀ  Chevy was first shown in the Dan Post Blue book in 1949. It shows the car with black wall tires and dark paint in front of an unknown Used Car Lot. Not sure when the photo was taken.
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Photo from the Barris Kustom Techniques of the 50’s book. The photo caption in the book is: Also photographed outside the Compton Avenue shop was this ’42 Chevy coupe which had its top chopped, the door posts kicked forward, and the rear side window blanked. The running boards were molded as were the headlights. Notice that the hood was shaved and had its side trim removed and that we’d installed flat, extended fender skirts. The grille was from a ’46 Chevy.
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The fenders were welded to the body and flared into the body for that beautiful one piece molded look. All the trim and handles were shaved and the hood was relieved of its center strip and side scoops. TheĀ  front end was modified to accept a brand new at the time of the build ’46 Chevy grille and the bumpers front and rear were replaced with ’46 Chevy units. At the back the trunk was shortened at the top, not sure why this was done. The stock taillights were used and everything was smoothed. The car had tear drop shaped fender skirts added, and used smooth aftermarket hubcaps with beauty rings.

The car looks and feels like an early Barris Restyled car, the Barris Technique book mentioned it was done, or at least partly done at the Barris Shop. This is the only written info we have on the car, and since it was photographed in front of the Barris Shop around 1946, it is most likely a Barris Created Custom, but who was the owner? and what happened to the car. Also when was the car the lighter color, before the dark paint, or after? and what about the white walls versus the black walls Which one was earlier?

The Chevy Coupe parked next to what I think is an early version of the Var Martin Barris Restyled ’41 Buick. What a fantastic sight to see these two chopped 3-window coupe early Customs sitting side by side. Unusual for these early customs, (around 46-47, and possibly both restyled by Barris) is that both customs have no Appleton Spotlights installed.
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Quite a view photos of this car have been published, and most of them in early publications, but none of those I have found shed any light on the history of this car. If any of the CCC readers knows anything more about this Mystery Published Custom Chevy, please email Rik at the Custom Car Chronicle. We would love to know more about this early Custom Car, and be able to put a name to this well published Custom.







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1941 Ford Mystery Convertible

 

1941 FORD MYSTERY CONVERTIBLE

 

1941 FordĀ Convertible with chopped padded top, solid grille insert used in Eastern Auto Supply advertising. A Mystery Published Custom Car.



[box_light]
Over the years I have come across a lot of Unidentified Custom Car photos in the early Custom Car Publications. Mystery Customs that appeared in just a single publication, and sometimes even in multiple magazines or booklets, but always laking any info on the original builder or owners name. In this series of articles I will be showing some of these Mystery Published Custom Cars, and hopefully the extra publicity will lead to some more information on these cars.
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1941 Ford Convertible Custom.

The first time I saw a picture of this ’41 Ford Convertible with chopped padded top was in the Custom Cars annual from 1959. The Ford, a typical mid, late 1940’s Custom looked a bit out of place in the ’59 Annual. But it was part of an article about George Barris King of the Kustomizers, and used to illustrate the many years George Barris has been Custom Restyling cars. Some time after I had seen the front 3/4 photo of the car I bought a couple of early Motor Trend magazines. In one of them, the November 1949 issue, there was an half page ad from Eastern Auto Supply. In the ad there was a small photo of an ’41 Ford photographed from the front, with a solid grille panel used to illustrate the California Custom Accessories grille panels. I recognised the primer spots on the windshield frame and the background in the photo and knew it had to be the same car, taken at the same location as that of the ’59 Annual.

Over the years I have come across many more Eastern Auto Supply ads that use the same photos of the ’41, Also Barris Kustom used the same front view photo in their Hollywood Kustom Accessories catalogue. I also recognised the car Ā on the Barris Atlantic Blvd Shop wall when I did an CCC-Article on that some time ago. But sadly that has been all I have been able to find out about the car. I still have no name of an owner, any dates when it was built, and what happened to the car.


A front 3/4 view photo of the 1941 Ford convertible custom was used in the Trend Book 175 Custom Cars 1959 Annual. It was used as part of an story on George Barris. The caption mentioned pushbutton doors, but the car actually has door handles!
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The first time I have seen a photo of the FordĀ being used in the Eastern Auto Supply ad was in Feb 1948.Ā This means that the car was most likely built around late 1947. When the photos were taken the windshield had just been chopped and the work had been covered in primer.Ā The car had a straight pillar padded top. Other modifications were 1946 Ford bumpers, solid grille insert bolted in place (not molded), ’41 Ford/Merc fender skirts. Lowered suspension, shortened side trim on the hood. Chrome rock shield on the rear fenders, radio antenna, Appleton Spotlights, and single bar flipper hubcaps and beauty rings on wide white wall tires. Another indication this was an early custom is that there are no splash pans added to the car. A lot of the Custom accessories used on the car could have come from the Eastern Auto Supply Company, and possibly this car might have been a display case for Barris and Eastern in the late 1940’s early 1950’s. Interestingly the price of the solid grille panel for the ’41 Ford was $9.95 in 1948, the first time I have been able to find its listing, and it was still the same price in 1956, the last time I saw it listed.

Eastern Auto Supply Accessories catalogue from 1949.
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Eastern Auto Supply ad with the ’41 Ford from the November 1949 issue of Motor Trend magazine. The ad was place on the inside of the front cover.
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The ’41 Ford front image was used in early Hot Rod magazine ads as well. 1948 Hot Rod magazine ad on the top right, the large full page ad is from Hot Rod magazine in 1949. PerhapsĀ this particular ’41 Ford was used as inspiration for the drawingĀ 0f the ’41Ford on the cover of the ’49 Eastern catalog, which was later stylised and used as California Custom logo (Eastern Auto Supply was renamed California Custom in the midĀ 1950’s).
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The last sample of the ’41 Ford being used in the Eastern Auto Auto Accessories catalog I have been able to find was in the yellow paper printed 1956 catalog.Ā The price in 1956 was still $9.95, the same price as the first listing in 1948.
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Barris Customs creation

One thing we know about this ’41 Ford Custom Convertible is that it was restyled by Barris at the old Compton Ave shop. The front 3/4 photo of the car was used in the 1959 Trend Books Custom Cars Annual in a story on King of Kustomizers George “Kustom” Barris. Sadly the photo caption in the articleĀ did not mention the owners name, or any other info that could lead to anymore info on this car. The same photo, as used in the CC ’59 article, was also used on the inspiration wall in the Barris Kustoms Atlantic Blvd shop in the early 1950’s. The way it was used looks like the photo was part of an display, perhaps used at some early Custom Car shows.


The Barris Hollywood Kustoms Accessories catalog from around 1953-54 carries a lot of products from the Eastern Auto Supply company, including the ’41 Ford Kustom GrilleĀ Solid Grille Panel, and it could be ordered in primer (how it was used on the ’41 Ford in the sample picture) or chrome plated. The Barris Shop charged $3.- more for the item than Eastern did!
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Inside the Atlantic Blvd Barris Kustoms Shop a photo of the ’41 was pinned on the wall. It is the same photo that was later used in the Custom Cars annual from 1959. And the same photo as we show below.
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The photo of the Barris Customs created ’41 Ford with chopped padded top, and a series of Eastern aftermarket accessories. The photo was taken at an unknown location that has been used several times for Barris Customs photo shoots. Since the front end photo taken of this ’41 Ford was used in an Hot Rod Magazine in early 1948, theseĀ photo of the ’41 Ford most likely were taken in late 1947.
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Close up shows the freshly chopped and still in primer windshield frame of the car. It also looks if the Eastern center grille insert is a different color, possibly the primer it came in from the store, and that the insert has been bolted in place, not molded in, likeĀ a lot of them done by the bigger Custom Shops were done.
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Since there are primer spots on the windshield from where the A-Pillars were cut and reshaped it might be possible that the Ford is still in its original factory color… a light color, but which one? Or possibly the car had already been repainted a custom color when the side trim was shortened? Hopefully one day we will know.
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Hopefully one of ourĀ readers knows more about this Barris Customs created ’41 Ford Convertible. Who was the owner? what happened to the car. If you have more info, or additional photos of this Custom, please email Rik Hoving here at the Custom Car Chronicle. Any information would be very welcome so that we can solve another Mystery Custom.

Thank you




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