What happened to Panoramic Ford

 

WHAT HAPPENED to PANORAMIC FORD

 

One of the Custom Car Icons the Buster Litton Panoramic Ford has been lost for many decades. Perhaps this new info will lead to the answer to what happened to the Panoramic Ford.



With the help of Rob Radcliffe who interviewed Buster Litton and Don Schaedel, original and second owner of the car, about the Barris/Cerny restyled 1949 Panoramic Ford, we have created a two part article here on the CCC in 2015. With all the unique information Rob and me had gathered we were able to get an accurate history on this Iconic ’49 Ford Hard Top written down. We shared some never before seen material that was shared by Buster Litton and Don Schaedel, and were able to trace the history of the car back to 1957.

The Panormic Ford when Buster Litton owned the car.
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In 1957 Don Shaedel, who had owned the car since the early summer of 1954, traded the Hard-topped Ford for a sectioned Shoebox and never sees his beloved custom again. Despite all the efforts we have not been able to find any trace of the cars after 1957… until September 24th 2018.¬† That day I received an email from Claudia, who had seen the articles on the Buster Litton on the Custom Car Chronicle and clearly remembers the car from 1960-62 time frame.

At that time Claudia was 12-14 years old she new this guy named Darrel Wienkuaf  (Update correct spelling is: Daryl Weinkauf) from Pipestone, Minnesota. Claudia was friends wit Daryl brother Curtis, and she remembered the car here friends older brother had from 1960 till around 1962. She remembered the details on the car clearly, since she really liked it, and remembered the Barris Crest still being on the car, and the hard-topped roof. She has no idea what happened to the car after 1962.

I have tried to find out more about Darrel Wienkuaf (as Claudia spelled it) but perhaps it is spelled Weinkauf (which very much sounds like a German name) from Pipestone, Minnesota. But so far I have found nothing. So I hope that perhaps some of our readers know people from that erea, or perhaps know more about a possible car scene in Pipestone, Minnesota or surrounding area in the early 1960’s. Hopefully we can come up with some more info on the Panoramic Ford being owned by Darrel from 1960-62, and possibly what happened to the car after that.

The Panoramic Ford when Don Schaedel’s owned it parked on the drive way at his home in Lynnwood, Ca.
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Update October 02, 2018

Larry Pointer did some digging after reading this article, and this is what he came up with.

Daryl Eugene Weinkauf, born 29 July, 1938. Son of Arnold and Hazel, living in Sweet, Pipestone County, Minnesota in 1940, He was listed in the census as about l year old, with a brother, William age 2 1/2. I fount a South Dakota marriage for Darryl and I believe a Janice… 18, September, 1958, in Hughes, Pierre County South Dakota. BUT, a divorce in California from a spouse Janice J., 28 December 1984, San Bernadino.
The Find-A-Grave website listed his death, 27 May, 2015, age 76. He is buried in the Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside County, Califorinia.

On the Panoramic lead, I found Daryl E Weinkauf on the Camp Pendelton, CA US Marines muster rolls from July 1956 through January 1958. This puts him in California at about the time he could have seen that Panoramic Ford, and then purchased it and took it back to his parents’ home in Pipestone, by the time that your source Claudia would have seen it there.

 

On Instagram Joe Bronco did some digging as well.

Joe was able to get in touch with the son of Curtis Weinkauf, the boyfriend Claudia mentioned. The son talked to his father Curtis to ask about the car, and he could not remember much about it at this moment he for sure did not know what happened to the car after his brother sold it. But he would ask as around some more, perhaps some other family members might know more about it. Curtis mentioned that the time frame might be slightly off. So hopefully we will get more input on that as well. At this moment he thought there were no photos of the car, but they will be looking. Hopefully some family snapshot might show it.
Lets keep our fingers crossed.

 



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Timeframe on the Panoramic Ford

  • 1950-1951 first owner Allen Anderson takes his 1949 Ford Coupe to the Barris Kustom shop to have them build a full custom out of the car. Allen requests the top to be chopped and turned into a hard-top style.
  • 1951 the Barris Kustom Shop, most likely Sam Barris, create one of the best looking chops ever done, on Allen’s Shoebox. They also install one of the 1951 Studebaker front fenders
  • 1952 Buster Litton buys the unfinished project from Allen Anderson.
  • 1952 Buster hires the Barris shop to finish the started work on the car an has them create the custom grille.
  • 1952 Buster brings the car home after the Baris shop has finished the work and painted the car with primer.
  • 1953 Buster takes the car to George And Carl Cerny’s shop to have them restyle the rear of the car to match the work on the front.
  • 1953 painted in a wonderfull deep coco rust lacquer by Doug Anderson, who worked at the Cerny shop.
  • 1954 adding Ford accessory bumper gards up front and modified Kaiser bar with exhaust thru the bullets on the rear bumper.
  • 1954 adding Barris crests.
  • 1954 February, winning awards at the Motorama and National Roadster Show.
  • 1954 May-June selling/trading the car to Don Schaedel. Don gives Buster his mildly customized 1951 Mercury Convertible in trade for the Ford plus some cash.
  • 1954 Don removes the front Ford Accessory bumper guards since he felt they where to tall for the car.
  • 1957 Don trades the Panoramic Ford for a sectioned Shoebox Ford, and looses track of the Panoramic Ford soon after that.
  • 1957 – 1960 We have no info on where the car was during these years.
  • 1960 – 1962 Daryl Weinkauf from Pipestone, Minnesota owned the car.
  • 1962 and up We have no info on the cars wear-about after 1962

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If anybody knows anything more about Darrel Wienkuaf or Darrel WeinKauf from Pipestone, Minnesota. Or does know anything about a car scene from this area in the early 1960’s. Please let us know. We would love to get in touch with people who know more about the Panoramic Ford during this period, and possibly find out what happened to it. Please Email Rik if you can help us with the search from this long lost Iconic Custom Car. Thank you.





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Chuck DeWitt Ford Clone Debut

 

CHUCK DEWITT FORD CLONE

 

At the 2017 Custom Car Revival show in Indianapolis the long awaited Chuck DeWitt Convertible Ford Clone made its public debut.


Its debut has been rumored for several years, and a few weeks ago Kevin Anderson, on of the organizers of the Custom Car Revival car show in¬†Indianapolis, announced that the Chuck DeWitt 1950 Ford Convertible Custom Recreation would be at the 2017 show. Earlier today Walter Leeman shared the first photos of the car he took at the event, or actually at the day before the event. And the rumors started to spread fast. Some say the car is the original Barris Kustoms created Ford created for Chuck DeWitt in the early 1950’s. Other just know it is not and that the really beautiful car is actually a RECREATION, or as some call it a CLONE based on photos from the original Barris Custom.

I’m very excited to finally be able to see outdoor photos of the Recreation of the Chuck DeWitt Ford, which is one of my personal favorite Barris Customs. I think the owner Pat Orsillio did a really great job on recreating this Custom Car Icon, and sharing it with the public for everybody to enjoy. It would have been fantastic if this was indeed the original Barris Kustom, but the recreation is the second best thing. I personally am very happy that there are so many people into recreating the long lost Custom Car Icons in the last few decades.
Some more info and photos can be seen in THIS article we did on the Chuck DeWitt Ford on a trip to Bonneville in the early 1950’s. The Custom Car Photo Archive shows many more photos of the original Custom Car Icon.

So far I have only been able to find two photos of the DeWitt Recreation, but as soon as I find more I will update this article.

Barry Mazza took this photo many years ago of the Chuck DeWitt Convertible Recreation project.
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Front 3/4 view shows the custom made grille opening and grille. The grille itself was actually recreated by Barry Mazza some time ago for a different car, a Merc, and later found its way to the builder of the DeWitt Ford.
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Arriving at the Custom Car Revival, the first time out in the open at a public event for the car.
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What an amazing Line-Up, takes you right back to around 1954. The Chuck DeWitt 1950 Ford Convertible recreation, with the restored Barris Kustoms restyled Snooky Janich 1954 Ford, and the Sam Barris 1950 Buick.
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Comparing the Recreation with the Original Barris Kustoms created 1950 Ford.
Since there sadly is some controversy about this car being a Clone or the Original Barris Custom it is a good idea to share the differences of the two cars based on old Barris photos and new photos taken by Walter Leeman. Thanks to Rob Radcliffe to the images.

From this view we can clearly see the differences in the shape of the padded top, quarter windows. Position of the Appleton Spotlights, the location of the Barris crest, the position of the scoop teeth and vent windows. Hard to tell, but if you look careful you can see that the shape of the scoops in the rear quarter panels is different as well.
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In this photo from the front of the car we can see the differences in the grille opening, the sides of the molded in tubular shape is much more upright on the Barris creation. The grille is different as well since Barry, who created the grille actually for somebody else to be fitted to his Mercury, had to use different parking lights, The originals use Studebaker units, which have rounded corners on the outside. These photos also show the difference in scoop shape, and location of the scoop trim, and position of the Appleton Spotlights, and Barris crest compared to the side trim.
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Buster Litton and Friends

 

BUSTER LITTON and FRIENDS

 

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



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

In 2013 Buster Litton and his good friend Ron Roach visited Rob Radcliffe’s garage shop to check out Octavio’s Buster Litton Convertible for the first time. From left to right: Rob Radcliffe, Buster Litton, Ron Roach and Octavio Chavez.
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Octavio¬†listening to Buster sharing¬†all kinds of stories from back when he owned his Panoramic Ford, while checking out Octavio’s Ford.
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Rob Radcliffe King Kustoms shop with Octavio getting some stuff out of the way so that Buster and Ron can have a good look at his Convertible Panoramic Ford. Thats Buster, with the hat, walking to his car to get the King Pins club plaque he brought to show Rob and Octavio.
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January 23, 2016 Buster and Ron pay Rob another visit. Octavio’s Ford is now in primer.
From left to right: Ron Roach, Buster Litton, Octavio Chavez, Rob Radcliffe. Rob’s father.
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Ron now lives in Temecula, not to far from where Rob had his shop, and Buster now lives in¬†La Habra close to Long Beach about 70 miles from Temecula. On their several visits they always take some neat old stuff with them to show Rob and Octavio, and of course share some of the stories from back in the 1950’s. Rob has been photographing the old snapshots Ron took, as well as some other other items they brought.

A young¬†Ron Roach next to Buster¬†Litton’s Panoramic¬†Ford. This was the photo Octavio saw at the Ford Dealership he worked at. This is the photo that led to the friendship with Ron and Buster.
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This ’35 Ford was owned by Ron Roach, he bought it like this. Rob mentioned that him and Ron were talking about the top, it looked very mildly chopped in the pictures. Ron agreed, but he was not sure, and since he bought it this way he could not tell if it was or not.
It was a very nice car he said.

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Buster’s Panoramic Ford at¬†the Petersen Motorama Show at the Pan Pacific Auditorium¬†in November 1953. This was the first show the Panoramic Ford was entered.
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Ron Roach with his 1941 Ford Sedan mild Custom parked in front of his house.
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Ron’s ’41 Ford had a nice stance with wide whites and Cadillac Sombrero hubcaps.
It was a really good looking driver.

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Ron’s ’49 Ford mild custom.
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Ron’s ’54 Ford mildy restyled with Pontiac grille and Appleton Spotlights.
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Ron doing the “Sam Barris pose” with his Ford.
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Upgrade to Lincoln, parked in front of Ron’s home.
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Bell Helmets

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


Newspaper clipping from the time Buster worked for Bell Helmets.
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And one showing Ron Roach at work at Bell Helmets.
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Ron at Bell Helmets.
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Ron is the guy who gave the big sponsor check to the race winners who wore Bell helmets.
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Ron with Evel Knievel.
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King Pins

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


Buster Litton brought his original brass King Pins plaque similar to the one he had on his Panoramic Ford.
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Close up of the Hot Rod on the brass plaque.
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Backside of the plaque.
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Embroidered jacket Pins Hot Rod logo patch.
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Ron brought the King Pins gavel. Ron(ald) Roachwas president of the club¬†from 1952 – ’53.
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In early 2016 Rob had just finished his 1950 Ford and entered it at the 2016 GNRS. He invited Ron and Buster¬†to come and see him and the finished car at the show. They surprised Rob when they both showed up wearing their King Kustoms shirts. And they LOVED Rob’s Shoebox.
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Special thanks to Rob Radcliffe






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Sam Barris Chopping Merc Album 1

CHOPPING MERC ALBUM part 1

Custom Car photographer Marcia Campbell and Sam Barris were good friends. When Sam chopped the top on Jerry Quesnels 1949 Mercury Marcia took a series of step by step photos and used prints from the series for a personal photo album for Sam.



In 2009 I worked with John Buck and Alex Idzardi on the Mercury Gathering, a special Custom Car exhibition at the Sacramento Autorama. The whole organization of this event and the event itself was an amazing experience, I met so many amazing people and saw the best of the best Custom Mercury’s. But there was one special object that was the icing on the cake. It was an photo album constructed by Custom Car photographer Marica Campbell containing photos she took of Sam Barris chopping a ’49 Mercury.¬†John Barris was invited to the Mercury Gathering at the 2009 Sacramento Autorama to talk about his father Sam Barris in a panel discussion. To visualize this John¬†had taken¬†some historic material from his father with him to show to the Custom Mercury¬†enthusiasts, including the material was The Chop Series on 49 Mercury Work by Sam Barris Photo by Marcia Campbell photo album.

Before I came across this unique photo album I was already in the clouds when I discovered the black and white poster created in memory of Sam Barris, another item John Barris had taken. On this poster there were several new photos of Sam Barris chopping a ’49 Mercury. I quickly realized that some of the photos showed the Jerry Quesnel ’49¬†Mercury being chopped by Sam Barris. Wow… this was huge I though. A few moments later good friend Rob Radcliffe, who was looking with me at Johns material, urgently asked me to come and take a look at this album he had just opened. We both recognized Marcia Campbell’s name on the cover, and started smiling from ear to ear.¬†¬†The way it was set up it was made to look like the album was about Sam Barris chopping his personal Mercury, with a colorized photo of Sam on top of the album.

Before the panel discussion started on Saturday John Barris had displayed the material from his father Sam Barris that he had brought. The photo album is a bit hidden on the far right. The poster made using some of the photos from the album in the top center of the display. (I was proud that John had selected a few of my colorized Barris Custom photos to include in his display.)
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I had never heard about this photo-album and I was completely floored by its content. I imidiatley realized it was a sequence of photos taken by Marcia Campbell, already my hero, of Sam Barris chopping the Jerry Quesnel 49 Mercury. I then recognized some of the photos inside the album and realized that for a long time some of these photos of Sam Barris chopping a Mercury were wrongly labeled as Sam chopping his own personal car. I flipped thru the album, stared at the photos for a long time, and kept coming back to look at it again, and again. It was the absolute highpoint for me my trip to the Sacramento Autorama. Rob and I were discussing everything we had seen in the album, and realized how important this album was for the Custom Car history.

The content of this photo-album not only solved some mystery about a filled antenna hole on the Mercury that had been listed as the Sam barris Mercury until then. It also dated the first time Sam Barris was chopping a ’49 Mercury to 1951, instead of 1949. One of the photos shows¬†Jerry’s unchopped Mercury with 1951 license plate tags on it… So far it a always been mentioned that Sam Baris had chopped his Personal Merc perhaps weeks after he had bought it new from the dealer.

John Barris during the panel discussion showing one of the most famous photos of his father Sam Barris.
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Several of the photos from this series have¬†been used in past Barris magazine and book articles. In all those cases the Mercury¬†was described to be Sam Barris his personal ’49 Mercury. Some people knew about this Album that was part of the Sam Barris family collection and in the 1980’s the¬†black and white poster was created with some of these photos. But so far these photos in this album was never publicly identified as the Jerry Quesnel Mercury being chopped by Sam Barris, instead of it being Sam’s personal Mercury.

The first thing I noticed at the 2009 Sam Barris display was this black and white poster. It contained some amazing photos I had never seen before. Later I realized those photos must have come from the Marcia Campbell photo album.
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At the Sacramento show I also met with Curtis Leipold, a Custom Car enthusiast from Northern California who I have been in contact with on the HAMB. He mentioned to me that he had seen this photo album before, a few years back when he was working on a book project. He mentioned he had high-res scans of all the photos and would fill me in on some more info after we both would return home. Curtis was at the Sacrament show with his Westergard inspired 1940 Chevy coupe.

After I got back home Curtis emailed me with the promised information about the photo-album.¬†Around 2006-7 Curtis¬†was doing research for an Custom Car exhibit and booklet, he¬†contacted John Barris for some possible Custom Car historic material left from John’s father Sam. John handed Cleatus a box of material he had collected over the years.


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This is was Curtis had to say about it.

When I came across all of it in the big tupperware bin John loaned us and I realized what it was,¬†he completely freaked out!¬†“What a great piece of history about the subject we love so much“.

When¬†Curtis¬†found the empty album in the box of photos, it was inside an old, already been opened “dog eared” manilla envelope with a return address¬†TO¬†John Barris¬†FROM¬†(as¬†as Curtis¬†remembered it, but¬†he could¬†be wrong) Trendsetter¬†‚ÄstThe newsletter for¬†Kustom Kemps Of America – KKOA. So,¬†his¬†best guess was that at some point John Barris had loaned¬†the album¬†to¬†Kustom¬†Kemps¬†of America¬†‚Ästperhaps to do a retro article in Trendsetter some time in the distant past,¬†or more likely¬†that poster that John had at the Sacramento Show (in memorial to Sam). After they had used the material¬†they then returned it to John with the photos possibly left loose in the envelope,¬†¬†and when John got it back he opened the envelope and¬†added the content¬†in with the rest of the stuff in the box. Perhaps this is¬†how it came to be that the photos¬†were separated from¬†Marcia’s¬†album. At the time the envelope looked fairly old, so I think it had been quite a while since it all took place.

When Curtis investigated the content of the box he found that most of the material were flyers from recent George Barris involved car show, but he also found an old empty photo album, and a series of amazing photos of Sam Barris chopping an 49 Mercury. The photo album title said it all… Photos by Marcia Campbell of Sam Barris chopping his first 49 Mercury. Curtis¬†realized that this material was of big Custom Car Historic importance. He sorted the photos and placed them all back in the album to make sure the photos would not get harmed. When he later handed the box of material back to John Barris he mentioned his find and how important this material was. But sadly nothing was done with the material after that, until John took the album to the Sacramento Autorama in 2009.

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This unique photo album contained 35¬†photos taken by Marcia Campbell at the time when I saw it. More than likely some photos have been taken from it over the years, possibly to be used in the Barris Kustom Techniques of thee 50’s and the Big book of Barris, and were never returned after that to make the album complete again. The subject of the Album, Sam Barris chopping one of the first ‚Äď perhaps the first ‚Äď 1949 Mercury‚Äôs. In the next article we will go more in depth about the photos and Sam Barris’s work.







The photos of the album shown in this article were taken by me on¬†November 2010 at the Barris Kustom Shop in North Hollywood. When I visited the Barris shop during the Jack Stewart Ford research trip I came across the ’49 Merc chop book and was able to take some good photos of it outside in the parking lot of the shop. The photos were far more superior than those I had taken at the Sacramento Autorama in 2009. Those I had to take indoors and lacked proper lighting. Sadly between the Sacramento time and when I saw the album again at the Barris Shop, somebody must have taken out the photos and placed them back in the wrong order. So the photos below show that some of the photos are not in order. I will get back to that in the next CCC-Article on this subject.

I noticed that 25 of the photos included in the album have a white border around them, the other 10 do not. I know that Marcia most of the time developed here own film, and most likely did the same thing for the photos in this album.¬†Possibly Marcia made more than one set of photos, some with and some without the white borders. Possibly one set for this album, and one set for George his personal files, and over the years they were swapped back and forth and a mismatching set ended up in the album…¬†but this is pure speculative. It could also be possible that the photos with the borders show the complete photo, while those with no border are enlarged on the same size photo paper. Just to remove some extra background and focus more on the subject.



















The photo of on the bottom right shows Jerry’s Mercury with the trunk and rear fenders in primer, but still with the uncut top. This photo should have been all the way at the front of the album.
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The last spread of the album shows Jerry’s Mercury in white primer at the Montebello Tent show, most likely in 1951. This photo also shows that there use to be three more photos on this page, and I believe the discoloring was also present on the back of the right page. But sadly I did not take a photo of that to proof it.
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Missing from the album

When I saw the photo album it contained 35 photos. But at the end of the album the yellowed pages showed that at one point there had been more photo in the album than the 35 in it now. at least 3, but more likely 5, perhaps even more of the photos look to be missing from it. In several of the Barris Kustoms produced books photos have been used of Sam Barris chopping a ’49 Mercury. And most of these photos look to be part of the Marcia Campbell range of photos.

The very first photo taken in this series of photos is this one where George Barris pretends to make the first cut (with the glass still in place), kneeling in front it Sam Barris, who would later do the real work, and car owner Jerry Quesnel with the white shirt. It is as if they knew they were doing something important (chopping their first 49 Mercury) and decided to capture this moment.
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This photo shows Johnny Zaro helping out Sam Barris, it is the only one in the set that appears to have been taken with a different size film, and is also more fuzzy than the rest. Possibly this one was taken by somebody else.
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In PART 2¬†on the Marcia Campbell photo album of Sam Barris chopping Jerry Quesnel’s 1949 Mercury we will take a closer look at the photos in this album.






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Panoramic Ford Part Two

 

PANORAMIC FORD part 2

The Buster Litton 1949 Panoramic Ford changed hands in 1954. Don Schaedel became the new caretaker of this Milestone Custom Car. Lets take a look at how Don remembered the Ford in the Panoramic Ford Part Two.


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I have been gathering material for a Custom Car Chronicle¬†Buster Litton Panoramic Ford¬†article for quite some time. The Panoramic Ford as Buster named it has been on my list of personal favorite Custom Cars for as long as I first saw a photo of it. Fortunately for us the car has been documented pretty well back in the early / mid 1950’s with lots of photos, and even better in more recent years even more material has surfaced as in some amazing color photos and the best of all detailed information from two of the original owners of the car,¬†Buster Litton, and¬†Don Schaedel. The article started to really take shape when good friend¬†Rob Radcliffe¬†Spend a good deal of time with both Buster Litton and Don Schaedel. Rob was able to gather a lot of very interesting new information about the cars history. As well as some never before seen photos. With all this we have been able to get a pretty accurate time line on the car. This is part two of the story.

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Don Schaedel the new caretaker of the Panoramic Ford

In July 2015 Rob Radcliffe interviewed Don Schaedel by phone about his years with the Panoramic Ford. A lot of this information was used in this part of the story on the Panoramic Ford.


Don Schaedel remembers seeing the Ford getting built at the Barris shop, while driving by, he spotted the car in the lot and that he stopped to take a better look at the car. He remembers how beautiful the chop looked on that car even back then in 1951, when it was just in primer. He found out the car was for sale, but Don was not interested to acquire the car at the time. Don was making plans to join the Navy and head for Korea. Soon after Don had seen the Ford at the Barris shop the car was bought by Buster Litton as we can read in Part One in this series.

CCC-don-schaedel-40-Ford-CernyBefore going in the Navy Don owned a 1940 Ford Tudor Sedan that was conservatively restyled by George Cerny. The work on that car was done in February 1950.
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In 1950 Don had a conservatively restyled 1940 Ford sedan that was restyled by George Cerny. About a year later in 1951-52 Don drove a nice lowered, but mostly stock 1949 Ford convertible with some interior work done by Bill Gaylord. Don Schaedel was in the Navy from January 1952 to January 1954. He was a Machinist Mate on the DL2 USS Mitcher destroyer. He went to boot camp in San Diego, then transferred to Great Lakes, Michigan for Machinist Mate school before boarding his brand new ship in Boston.
When Don Schaedel returned from his time in the Korean War it was January 1954. Don felt it was time to get a full Custom Car of which he had day-dreamt a lot about during his time in the Navy. Don was not really interested in spending a lot of time to have a complete new Custom Car built, so he was on the lookout for a good looking finished project. At the time there where plenty of nice full customs on the market.


CCC-don-schaedel-49-FordDon’s daily driver in the early 1950’s was this 1949 Ford convertible.
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While Don was taking his time to look¬†for the perfect Custom for him,¬†he bought a used ’51 Merc convertible, which he lowered, nosed/decked, and painted black. Just something nice to use as ¬†daily transportation. He only had this ’51 Merc convertible for a few months when he bumped into Buster Litton and found out Buster wanted to let go of the Panoramic Ford. Don of course recognized the car from the primer staged Shoebox¬†at the Barris Shop in 1951. Don¬†traded his 1951 Mercury¬†to Buster Litton, in May or June of 1954, for the Panoramic Ford.¬†Don mentioned he paid $1400 for the ’51 Merc convertible when he bought it in¬†January¬†1954, and he added $900 cash along with the car when he traded it to Buster Litton for the Panoramic Ford. So in essence, he paid $2300 for the Panoramic¬†Ford in 1954.
Don was making $1 and hour during the time he bought the Ford, so it was a very big deal for him at the time.

Don Schaedel also had a bone stock ’51 Merc coupe he used as a daily driver while owning the Buster Litton Ford. He¬†was a member of the Ram Rods car club in South Gate, California. Don still¬†has¬†his original club¬†plaque from his Ford.

CCC-don-schaedel-51-mercury-01Don Schaedel with the conservative restyled 1951 Mercury convertible which was part of the trade/sell on the Panoramic Ford with Buster Litton. Buster ended up with the Mercury convertible, and Don with the Ford.
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Don Schaedel used to date Von Dutch’s sister in 1950. Von Dutch painted and striped the dash in the Ford. Don said Von Dutch’s sister would show him the drawings made by Dutch at their house.


CCC-herb-junior-conway-donHerb and Junior Conway and Don Schaedel on the right in front of Herb Conway’s 1954 Mercury in 1954.
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-03One of the photos from Don Schaedel’s Collection shared by Octavio Shavez shows the Ford on Don’s drive way in Lynnwood, Ca. after he has removed the bumper guards from the front bumper.
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CCC-don-schaedel-panoramic-ford-a-01Same photo location as above, only this print shows the whole car.
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Don Schaedel owned the Panoramic Ford from May/June, 1954 up until 1957, when he traded the Panramic Ford¬†for a 4″ sectioned 1950 Ford coupe. The sectioned coupe was painted seafoam green but had no other custom work done to really distinguish it (we have¬†tried to see if this was a car we might recognize from old photos or possible magazine pictures, based on description, but so far we have not being able to find it.) Don¬†does not remember the guy’s name who traded the sectioned Ford, and many attempts to remember or track down the new owner of the Panoramic Ford by Don¬†have been unsuccessful… so far.

Don wasn’t crazy about the sectioned Ford, so he put it on consignment on a used car lot in Lynwood and used the money to build a 5 unit apartment building in Garden Grove, California, then went on to build mobile home parks and eventually bought a 1744 acre cattle ranch in Raymond, California (60 miles from Yosemite), where he has lived for the past 32 years. He raised cattle for 11 years on the ranch, but now leases the land out for grazing.

CCC-schaedel-panoramicRob Radcliffe took a picture of a color copy of this photo at Dick Jackson’s place in July 2015, hence the not too good quality. But, its always great to see any new-old photo of any famous custom. I really love the angle and back ground in this photo, and it showed off the wonderful stance of the car really well.
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CCC-schaedel-panoramic-02Close up of the same photo shows the Barris Crest and the front bumper guards, so we know this photo was taken not too long after Don had bought the Ford from Buster.
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CCC-don-schaedel-panoramic-ford-05Don’s girlfriend posing with the Panoramic Ford in 1953.
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-12Parked in front of Don’s house.
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-14This photo was taken at the 1954 parking lot car show at the Thrifty Drug Store at Rodeo Rd and LA Brea in Los Angeles on Saturday May 15 1954. That is Don Schaedel rubbing the top of his Ford. Don was just 22 years old when this photo was taken shortly after he had bought the Ford.
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-06Included in a collection of photos Dave Cook bought where fur wonderful color slides of the Panoramic Ford. We do not know who took the color slides, but it was Greg Sharp who identified the location as the Long Beach Marine Stadium. From what we know now it is most likely that Buster Litton was still the owner when these photos where taken.
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-07A nice view of the Kaiser overrider with the integrated exhaust ends in the bullets.
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-08A view at the front shows the Ford accessory bumper guards as well as the Barris crests.
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-10Two more color slides show the Bill Gaylord interior and show how close the dark orange matches the exterior paint of the Panoramic Ford.
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[box_light]Not to long before Don let go of the Ford something bad happened to the car. Don drove the Ford to a party one night and a jealous 18 year old kid decided to take a hammer and dent up the body in about 5 spots. Don had to have them fixed and the car had primer spots until the day he sold it. He never had a chance to repaint it. Don said he got even and two years later returned the favor to the kid’s car with his own hammer.[/box_light]


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Parked in front of Don’s house, this is the only photo we have seen so far that shows the car with¬†some different (Oldsmobile) hubcaps.
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CCC-schaedel-panoramic-03Close up of this photo shows the white paint detailed 1954-55 Oldsmobile hubcaps on the Panoramic Ford.
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Timeframe on the Panoramic Ford

  • 1950-1951 first owner Allen Anderson takes his 1949 Ford Coupe to the Barris Kustom shop to have them build a full custom out of the car. Allen requests the top to be chopped and turned into a hard-top style.
  • 1951 the Barris Kustom Shop, most likely Sam Barris, create one of the best looking chops ever done, on Allen’s Shoebox. They also install one of the 1951 Studebaker front fenders
  • 1952 Buster Litton buys the unfinished project from Allen Anderson.
  • 1952 Buster hires the Barris shop to finish the started work on the car an has them create the custom grille.
  • 1952 Buster brings the car home after the Baris shop has finished the work and painted the car with primer.
  • 1953 Buster takes the car to George And Carl Cerny’s shop to have them restyle the rear of the car to match the work on the front.
  • 1953 painted in a wonderfull deep coco rust lacquer¬†by¬†Doug Anderson, who worked at the Cerny shop.
  • 1954 adding Ford¬†accessory bumper gards up front and modified Kaiser bar with exhaust thru the bullets on the rear bumper.
  • 1954 adding Barris crests.
  • 1954 February, winning awards at the Motorama and National Roadster Show.
  • 1954 May-June selling/trading the car to Don Schaedel. Don¬†gives Buster his mildly customized 1951 Mercury Convertible in trade for the Ford plus some cash.
  • 1954 Don removes the front Ford Accessory bumper guards since he felt they¬†where to¬†tall for the car.
  • 1957 Don trades the Panoramic Ford for a sectioned Shoebox Ford, and looses track of the Panoramic Ford soon after that.
  • We have not been able to find any info on what ever happened to the car after 1957.

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Go to Part 3 of the Panoramic Ford story.


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

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Buster Litton Panoramic Ford

 

PANORAMIC FORD part one

 

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



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



Allen Anderson 1949 Ford

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


CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-00This photo appeared in the December 1952 issue of¬†Motor Trend article “What is the cost of Customizig”. George Barris was interviewed in this article and some of the past and present shop projects were used to illustrate the¬†MT article topic. It shows the 1949 Ford¬†how it looked in primer at the Barris Shop. It¬†is¬†unknown if the car still belonged to Allan Anderson at the time of the photo, or if it already was owned by Buster. We can see the stock Ford side trim, and interesting to see is that the cut down 1951 Mercury fender skirts are already in pace. This is so far, the earliest photo we have seen of the car.
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According to Buster Litton, as well as the later owner Don Schaedel, it was¬†Sam Barris who tackled the increadible chop, by removing the B-pillars completely, welding the tops of the door frames to the top, reshaping the A-pilars and reshaping the entire roof and turret panel to one of the best looking chopped cars ever created. Sadly, so far, no in-progress photo of the cars initial restyling have ever showed up. The numbers on the chopped top listed in the old and newer publications have varied quite a bit, and both Buster and Don are not sure about the amounts either. The only number that seams constant is that the windshield was chopped 3 inches. We assume that Sam dropped the rear just as much as it needed to look right, and never really took any measurements. Shoebox¬†Ford convertible side windows where heavily modified to fit the car. With the chop in primer it was decided the Ford’s front end needed more “movement” and a set of forward raked 1951 Studebaker front fender headlight units was bought, and one, the drivers side, was tacked in place. Then, for reasons unknown at this point, Allan decided to sell the the unfinished project.
(Both Buster Litton and Don Schaedel mentioned the car started out as a Coupe model, but after doing some research and talking with Andreas Åberg, who built a near clone of the Panoramic Ford, we have come to the conclusion that the Panoramic Ford more likely was based on a Sedan model. We will get back to that in part two)



Buster Litton buys the Ford

 

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



CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-26Buster’s Ford at an outdoor show in 1953. Notice how the show card hides part of the front of the car.
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The 1951 Studebaker front fenders installation was completed and a new grill opening was created using the top portion of an 1951 Mercury grill surround welded to the bottom of the 1949 hood. The stock half round opening in the hood was filled in at the time as well, and the center hood peek extended down. The new forward portruding hood lip worked really well with the pointy Studebaker front fenders and headlights, making it all flow together like it belonged on the car in the first place. A new grille for the new opening was created from a 1953 Chevy grille bar with 3 grille teeth. To the end of each side of the grille bar The Barris Shop added a 1951 Ford grille spinner.

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


CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-02Before there had been any of the color photos published or shared I did this colorized version of the Panoramic Ford for an article in the Rodder’s Journal.
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-27Buster Litton demonstrating how the sliding rear quarter windows work.
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Carl and George Cerny get to work on the Ford

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


CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-24Wonderful rear 3/4 view of the Ford with an 1953 tag on the License plate.
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-20Side view photo from a higher point of view shows the wonderful lines on Buster’s Ford. The forward angle on the front fenders, the wonderful sloping top, the Buick side spear and the Oldsmobile rear fenders work all wonderfully together.
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-22A coupe of scans from some photo proofs taken of Buster’s Ford by George Barris.¬†(Taken from the Mad Fabricators Barris Photography DVD)
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The rear spash pan was molded to the body, and the stance was fine tuned. Most of the work was done by Carl Cerny before brother George Cerny and Doug Anderson, who worked at the Cerny shop at the time, painted the car with a wonderfull deep coco rust lacquer. The paint was picked from an excisting car color, sadly none of the people involved remember whick car color was used. But Don mentioned that the base color was mixed with toners or other colors to reach the perfect color for the car. A 1950 Buick side trim had the absolute perfect shape for the car, so the stock Ford side trim which had stayed on the car was removed an the Buick unit was mounted in its place for a much more elegant look.


CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-18The Panoramic Ford was also used in the Barris list from 1953-54 illustrating number M64 Chop and Hard Top Coupe version for $650.-.
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-29Car Craft magazine did this nice four page full feature on Buster’s Ford in the December 1953 issue. One spread was done in sepia tones and the second spread in greenish tone¬†rotogravure¬†print.¬†
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-21This snapshot of the Panoramic Ford comes from the Bill Gaylord photo album. This photo was most likely taken by Bill’s wife who was also model in a color photo-shoot at this same location (see photo below). Sadly Bill’s photo album¬†did not include any close up photos of the actual interior work done at the Gaylord’s shop.
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CCC-litton-panoramic-01
Dick Jackson had this great photo of Bill Gaylord’s wife posing with the Panoramic Ford. Dick most likely got the photo from Junior Conway. There is at least one more photo from this photo shoot where Bill’s wife stands besides the front fender of the car. Most likely she took the black and white snapshot above with the camera in her hands. The photos were most likely taken just after Bill had finished the interior work on the car.
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Up to this point buster had a mild Custom interior without any tuck & roll panels in his Ford. Nobody remembers who did this early version of the interior, but Buster remembers that when the car was nearly finished at the Cerny shop he decided the simple interior was not enough for the car and sold that complete interior to Junior Conway, who used it in his famous Shoebox Ford. Buster then took his car to Bill Gaylord for a full custom interior with wild rolls and pleats in off white (antique white) and dark orange (bittersweet orange). He added a set of 1953 Cadillac Sombrero hubcaps on wide whites, and a set of appleton spotlights and the Panoramic Ford was born.


CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-31This photo comes from an article about the Gaylord shop in Rod & Custom magazine. It shows the car with the nearly completed upholstery and one of the employees is refitting the steering wheel horn ring on the Crestliner steering wheel.
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-16Buster proudly showing the fully rolled and pleated headliner of his car. Notice the chrome plated windshield garnish molding.
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-17A good view on the uniquely styled interior in the Panoramic Ford. The Gaylord shop really outdid themselves on this one. The antique white and bittersweet orange must have looked so great with the coca copper paint on the car. This photo also shows that the side window garnish moldings were chrome plated as well.
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-04Cropped photo shows the Gaylord interior in color. The wide and very round pleats give the interior a very luxurious look and feel. The Steering wheel used in the Panoramic Ford is an Ford Crestliner Accessory steering wheel.
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Updates on the Panoramic Ford

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

CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-25Buster Litton and his Ford with some of the other original Kustoms of Los Angeles club members at the Barris Kustom Shop on Atlantic Blvd. Possibly gathering to drive to one f the Car shows. We can see the following cars in the picture from L-R: Nobby Miyakawa 1952 Mercury “The Japan”, Chuck DeWitt 1950 Ford convertible, Louis Bettancourt Ayala/Barris 1949 Mercury, Buster Litton’s Panoramic Ford, Tommy Thornburg’s 1947 Studebaker, and an unknown 1946-48 Ford Coupe. The guys are all posing for the unknown photographer.
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-13Not sure if this photo was taken at the same day as the one in front of the Barris Shopm but we do know that this photo was also taken at Atlantic Blvd. not to far from the Barris Shop. Just driving away from the corner is Buster, with Chuck DeWitt behind him, Louis Bettancurt is speeding up in the middle of the street.
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This Custom Car Chronicle article contains a lot of information gathered by Rob Radcliffe and his good friend Octavio Chavez on their meetings with Buster Litton. First hand information which has helped us solve a lot of mysteries about the Panoramic Ford.


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

By Rob Radcliffe

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

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

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

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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-14Rob Radcliffe with Buster Litton and Octavio Chavez with Rob’s just finished 1950 Ford Shoebox.
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-05Beautiful birds eye view of the Panoramic Ford.
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-01This is one of the photos that got us puzzled a little. Buster has mentioned that this must have been taken after he sold it to Don since Buster was not in the King Pins Car Club. But the car does not show the Barris crests. So we do believe Buster must have still owned the car when the photo was taken. That is Buster in the black and white shirt with his back towards the camera, talking to Jack Stewart.
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CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-30Close up of the King Pins Huntington Park Car club plaque and the Ford Shoebox accessory bumper guards Buster had installed. 
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CCC-buster-litton-bumper-guardsChris at Shoebox Central send us this photo of a NOS set of the same bumper guards used by Buster on the Panoramic Ford.
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The car always had a great running stock flathead motor and Ron, Busters good friend, remembers it very vividly when Buster and him both drove it up to the Oakland Roadster Show in 1954. A long drive, but with no problems what so ever. Ron mentioned that the motor was untouched and always filthy dirty from oil leaks and road grime, but nobody at the shows cared because the hood was never opened and mechanicals were not important to show judges back then.


CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-28Buster Litton accepting the award for Best Custom at the 1954 National Roadster Show in Oakland California. By now the car has Barris crests mounted on the front quarters and not visible in this photo the Ford Shoebox Accessory bumper guards.
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 CCC-buster-litton-panoramic-ford-23Two snapshots taken f the Panoramic Ford at the 1954 National Roadster Show. (photos shared on the HAMB).
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In early¬†summer of¬†1954, when Buster’s¬†son was born, buster¬†decided he needed a more practical car for his young family, and decided it was time to let go of the Ford.¬†Don Schaedel, who remembered the car from its early primer stages at the Barris shop in 1951, decides this car is perfect for him and made a deal with Buster. More about that, and many more photos and interesting info including a full time line on the Panoramic Ford can be seen¬†in the second part of the Panoramic Ford story here on the Custom Car Chronicle….



Go to Part TWO of the Panoramic Ford…



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


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Custom Car Maiden Voyage

MAIDEN VOYAGE

Rob Radcliffe of King Kustoms has been working on his period looking 1950 Ford Shoebox Custom for a number of years. The second week of March, 2015 the car was ready for its first drive.

 
In November 2014 we reported here on the CCC that Rob Radcliffe’s 1950 Ford Shoebox custom was almost finished. Rob had been working on his custom at his own shop King Kustoms in Temecula Ca. His goal was to create a Custom that looked like it could have been built¬†around 1953. With obvious invluences from the Barris Kustoms built Chuck DeWitt convertible shoebox, Don Robert’s, Bear Customs built ’49 Ford and a few other period customs.¬†Rob did most of the work on the car himself¬†and the¬†final body-and prep¬†work was done by Rob’s close friend Octavio Chavez.
 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-01March 06, 2015 the car is complete and now officially on the road, and ready for the trip the next day to the Temecula Rod Run.
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In early March 2015 I finally finished the car, my goal was to debut the car at the Temecula Rod Run, which was held in the second weekend of March, 2015. There I would meet with Octavio and together we would show the car for the very first time as a finished custom to our friend Buster Litton. Buster Litton had an amazing 1949 Ford custom built by the Barris Kustoms Shop and George Cerny in the early 1950’s. Buster had seen the car being built over the years, but this would be the first time he would see it all painted and put back together. Very exciting!
 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-02On our way to the Temecula Cruise Night on Friday!
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-04There is nothing like seeing beautiful California thru the window of a chopped custom, surrounded with wonderful tuck & roll, chrome carnish, and my girl Katie, who took the photo, next to me.
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-03Oh yeah.. I’m enjoying myself… a lot.
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We Left Friday afternoon, together with my brother and his ’65 Mustang we had restored. My girlfriend Katie was going on my maiden voyage with me, and would snap some photos along the way. This was the moment I had been working for for so long. Finally on the road with my first completely finished custom. A car that I designed and built as it could have been done around 1953. I had sit inside the car during its build, day-dreaming of driving it being surrouned with wonderful tuck & roll, painted, fully detailed dash and sparkling chrome, many time. And I had done a few short test runs. But this was the first real drive, and it was absolutely amazing. Driving my finished custom gave me a feeling of how it must have been for the guys back in the early 1950’s.
 

Katie also took this short video of us driving thru wine-country. See me¬†swerving a pothole…
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-05A view out the back… shows that the Hirohata Merc headliner inspired me a lot.¬†
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-06bAlmost ready for cruise night on Friday before the show. 
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-07Katie enjoying the night time cruise. There is just nothing like seeing the reflections on the chrome surrounds and on the white dash. 
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-08The underdash lights shows of the great looking Gaylord style diamond stiched pattern upholstery… another Hirohata Merc invluence.
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The Show on Saturday

The cruise night was really great, always nice to drive a full custom in the evening hours. we got to Old Town Temecula early and found our spot at the Temecula Stampede parking lot. I could not wait to find Octavio and Buster to show my completed Ford. It was awesome having Buster come down to the Temecula rod run. We met him through a friend of Octavio’s named Ron who drove the shuttle at a local Ford dealership. Octavio was working at the Ford dealership at the time, right after he got out of the Marines, and he went to get a drink on his lunch break one day… and that’s when he spotted a picture of the Buster Litton Ford on the wall of Ron’s cubicle. Octavio waited around until Ron came back, and quickly learned that he and Buster were old high school buddies and that Buster actually came to the Temecula rod run every year from La Habra. This was about five or six years ago, and we’ve been in touch with Ron and Buster ever since. They’ve both come by to see the progress on Octavio’s ’49 Ford and although Buster couldn’t fit it into his agenda this weekend, he wants to come down to the King Kustoms shop in a few weeks to see the updates.
 
CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-10bWe found our spot #428 on the parking lot¬†at the Temecula Stampede¬†in¬†Old Town Temecula. You can see my brother’s¬†’65 Mustang coupe parked next to us.
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-11We got there early, some cars already arrived, many more would come soon. It felt so good to see my finished Custom finaly out on the road and there for everybody to enjoy.
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-12Later the whole parking lot was filled, so now it was time to meet up with my friend Octavio, and find Buster Litton.
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-15Buster Litton with me in the car.
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Buster Litton said this about my car.

Wow, this brings back some memories! Your car is obviously chopped more than mine, but you sure didn’t add anything that is too flashy or out of place. Your Ford is very tastefully done.

 
 
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CCC-radcliffe-maiden-voyage-18On one of our drives during the weekend we saw three hot air baloons in the sky. Katie snapped this photo which also shows the nice chrome garnish moldings and chopped vent window.
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I’m extremely please with the way the car came out after all these years of hard work. I could not have done it without the help of my brother, Christopher Radcliffe, and my friend, Octavio Chavez. Special thanks to Zbest Paint in Lake Elsinore for the dark metallic plum (picked by Octavio), Ernie’s Auto Interiors in Colton, and Chris Whittington at Shoebox Central in Oklahoma for a lot of great parts and help over the years.
It is an incredible feeling to see this car come together… I still have a few bugs to work out- mainly shortening the steering column and bolting on my Mercury accessory steering wheel (waiting to get it back), as well as finishing off some of the candy knobs on the dash.
 
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2007 Barris Exhibit NHRA

2007 BARRIS EXHIBIT

In the summer of 2007 the NHRA Wally Parks Museum in Pomona organized an exhibition about the history of the Barris Kustom Chop titled; A Salute to George Barris, The King of the Kustomizers

 
When I was working on an magazine article I needed some info that good friend Rob Radcliffe emailed me about shortly after he had visited the NHRA Barris Kustom Shop exhibit in 2007. And while looking for the info I browsed thru the many photos Rob took at the museum. Back when the exhibit was planned, I was kept in the loop by exhibit organizer Greg Sharp and by Barry Mazza who loaned his Barris Kustom 1955 Chevy “the Aztec” to the museum for the duration of the exhibit. It was the first time the Aztec would be traveling to California since it had left there many, many years ago. I was asked to supplied a few of my colorized photos to be part of the display, which made me very proud. And when Rob Radcliffe mentioned he would be visiting the exhibit I asked him to take as many photos as he could…. which he did.

I always thought this exhibit was something really great to do, showing a lot of material from the Barris Kustom Shop including photos, tools and accessories, of which some had never been shown before. Alongside the exhibit of material several Barris Kustoms created cars would be on display in the museum. For this article we will concentrate on the show cases of the exhibit and will get back to the cars in an second article. Lets take a look at some of the photos Rob took.
 
CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-25The Barris exhibit was in one of the rooms at the Wally Parks Museum. This photo shows the entrance to the room. What better way to welcome you into a Barris Exhibit than with Sam Barris and the Hirohata Mercury.
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-03For the exhibit they recreated the old Atlantic Blvd Von Dutch painted Barris Kustom Shop sign and wall. 
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-02The later version of the shop entrance sign were also recreated for the exhibit and displayed in one of the show cases.
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-15The main display showed a nice timeline¬†from the early times on the left to the 1960’s on the right.
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-14A nice selection of 1940’s and early 1950’s photos.
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-07Later on in the 1950’s towards the mid 1950’s and up.
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-08And the last of this display case showing the customs created towards the 1960’s.
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-10George Barris receiving a trophy at the 1950 Oakland Roadster Show. (George can be seen on the far left on the photo kneeling down.
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-11George Barris proudly showing the awards the Jesse Lopez 1941 For won at the 1950 Oakland Roadster show.
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-12The Lynwood years display case showed some nice early business cards.
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-13Some later business cards, and on the bottom an window sticker an a early Compton Ave business card showing George his person 1941 Buick.
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-04An later version of the Kustoms of Los Angeles plaque.
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-05Some old tools, an other material, like this old paint can were found in the attic at the old Atlantic Blvd shop and displayed along with photo’s, old magazines etc.
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-06George Barris and the Barris shop have played a very big roll in the magazine publications of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Here is a sample of a few¬†of the magazines with Barris material on the covers.
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-17Hot rods created at the Barris Kustom Shop.
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-19The Barris Kustom Shop was an huge motivator for the use of Appleton Spotlights. 
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-21The famous Barris Kustoms shop price-list could of course needed to be included.
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-22Brad Masterson loaned some of the old tools from his personal collection. Brad saved these tools which were found in the attic of the old Barris shop.
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-01A few samples of some of the great photos that were on display in large format on the museum walls. 
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-24Barris Kustom Accessory products from the 1960’s.
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-09A promotional photo of the Barris Kustom wax and cleaner products that were sold in the late 1950’s and 1960’s.
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CCC-barris-nhra-exhibit-26When Rob Radcliffe visited the show, George Barris was also there, so Rob asked George to sign two of the special cards the museum had printed for the exhibit. He later send one of them to me… thanks Rob.
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Radcliffe Shoebox sees light of day

RADCLIFFE SHOEBOX

Rob Radcliffe from King Kustoms in Temecula, California, has been working on his personal Custom Shoebox for many years. Today Rob took the car outside for the first time

 
Rob Radcliffe send us these teaser photos of his Personal Custom Shoebox. After spending many years on the car today November 24, 2014 was the first time that the car was taken outside to have a good look at it. The car is not finished yet, it still needs some more finishing and detailing. But all we can see is that Rob did an absolutely stunning job on this car. Most of the work was done by Rob at his King Kustoms Shop, with final body work by Octavio Shavez.

We will do a much more in depth article when the car is all done, but want to show you Rob’s snapshots of his car right now… since it is so breathtakingly stunning.

 

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King Kustoms Workshop Spotlight

KING KUSTOMS SPOTLIGHT

King Kustoms is small one man shop in Temecula, California turning out state of the art custom work. Based on period styling with modern day precision and high quality.

We know Rob Radcillfe, the owner of King Kustoms for many years, and have become good friends. We always love to talk vintage custom cars over the email, and the few times we met in person. Rob really knows the history of custom cars, he knows how to recreate the historic styles and details in his custom projects today. Rob has an amazing feel for what is right for the cars he works on. During the work on his project he often takes a step back, pushes the car out of the garage and stares at the project to make sure everything works together.

Rob Radcliffe, owner of King Kustoms, tells the story of his workshop.
As far as the story of my very small shop goes, it began as a side business and hobby. My first “professional” metalworking job was working for Sal Marchese at Temecula Rod and Custom and we have since become very good friends, still collaborating on projects today. I had done some small metalwork in my garage, but it was Sal who pushed me to consider doing it professionally, and I thank him for that. King Kustoms began very slowly in 2003 and my first customer was Xeno from Riverside, California and I did a 5.5″ chop on his ’49 Ford, which he still drives daily. Over the years I have taken my tools on the road with me, doing chops and kustom metalwork in Wildomar, Riverside, San Diego, and even some Porsche 911 rust repair in Costa Mesa.

My home base is in Temecula, California and I specialize in ’49-’51 Ford and Mercury kustoms, as well as other makes and models. I like to do traditional kustom metalwork, and I am always open for any challenge the customer might have. My brother specializes in ’65 and up Ford Mustangs and handles all of the electrical/wiring work on the earlier Fords and Mercs. We do everything but final bodywork/paint-prep,paint and interior. But we have various shops that we use who are specialized in the parts we do not do at King Kustoms.
 
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CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-02-WRob Radcliffe’s own personal project is this great looking 1950 Ford sedan.

 

CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-03-WThe taillights on Rob’s Ford, were replicated from the Barris-built Chuck deWitt Shoebox.

 

CCC-radcliffe-shoebox-almost-done-04Update from November 2014 shows Rob’s¬†nearly finished personal 1950 Ford sedan.
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CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-04-WCustomer Rick’s 1951 Mercury convertible is in for a complete remake. Reshaped front-end with extended fenders, custom grille bar, lipped wheel openings, flush skirts, hand made taillights created from the stock Mercury grille are just a few of the modifications King Kustoms handle on this car. (the grille and taillights are based on a design by Wolf Christiansson)

 

CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-05-WThe fiberglass top has since this photo was taken been replaced with a new frame that will be the base for a padded top with the use of the stock 1951 mercury rear window. Side trim is 1951 Lincoln.

 

CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-06-WGreg’s ’50 Ford was chopped by King Kustoms with a well proportioned chop with angled forward B-pillars.

 

CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-11-WProject cars are often pushed outdoors to check proportions and over all design. In this case the new side trim was checked on Greg’s Shoebox.

 

CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-12-WLee’s 1951 Mercury is another King Kustoms project. Rob chopped the top with slanted B-Pillars, shaved drip rails and a 1950 rear window. The front was modified to work with 1952 DeSoto grille teeth. At the back the fenders were reshaped to have 1952 Lincoln installed in a similar way as the Hirohata Mercury. The 1951 Cadillac rear bumper was narrowed and reshaped to fit. Lee’s Mercury was a complete frame-off project for the shop.

 

CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-08-WBoth bumper and body needed reshaping to make all the units look like the belong together.

 

CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-10-WThis photo shows how well the 1951 Cadillac bumper works with the reshaped Mercury rear fenders.

 CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-013-hubcap

Another King Kustoms specialty is to convert Cadillac hubcaps to fit your own wheels.

 
Want to see more of King Kustoms work Check out the folders of King Kustoms on the Custom Car Photo Archive Or if you are on Facebook, check out their Facebook page for many more photos. CCC-WS-King-Kustoms-address [divider] King Kustoms

  • Owner Rob Radcliffe
  • Location Temecula, California
  • Phone (951) 415-7330
  • email chopt50@msn.com

 

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