Sam Climo Uncovered Custom

 

SAM CLIMO SECTIONED SHOEBOX

 

Uncovering an old custom and sharing it with the public is always very exciting, but in this case it is even more exciting since the sectioned 1949 Ford of Sam Climo is is such fantastic condition. Sam Climo Uncovered Custom, lets take a closer look.

 
Thom Metz has known about the Sam Climo Sectiond 1949 Ford since the early 2000’s. But it was not unit early December 2015 before he was able to take some photos of the car and share them with the world on his Facebook.
 
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This is how Thom announced the Uncovered Custom on Facebook
His buddy (Jack Stewart) was having the Polynesian built & his Dad was able to get a rolled 49 convertible.., so they sectioned it… when the 51’s came out with the Vic it was easier to install a chopped top than reworking the convertible top… they added 52 front wheel well openings & finished it up with an Olds motor w/auto trans… Showed it back in the day… They never took their cars to the same shows… After his Dad passed he couldn’t think of letting it go so it’s been a covered garage queen since the late 50’s…. You never know what hidden treasures are out there…
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CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-sectioned-01Thom wanted to just show a sneak peek at first, but after getting many request he went back and took a few more photos with a little more of the sheets removed. But the first photos only showed details of the car. 
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CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-sectioned-02The use of the 56 DeSoto grille, sectioned body and lipped wheel openings quickly gave away which car it was. I was very excited to see how great the car still looked.
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CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-sectioned-03The dash still holds its original Barris custom mixed Moon Glow Copper paint applied in 1953.
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CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-sectioned-04Raised tunnel was needed after the body drop and sectioning. The interior was originally done in yellow, and later spray-died.
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CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-sectioned-05In the 1960s a set of Cragar S/S and a set of wonderful Goodyear Double Eagles were mounted. Those are still on the car today.
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The Sectioned Shoebox was created by¬†Sam & John Climo started in 1950 completed it 1953, and later mildly updated several times. The Custom¬†was¬†shown extensively in the 50’s… The family¬†has clippings & trophys,¬†and they kept a scrap book which includes a list of components written out on the back of a Pall Mall carton. Thom has¬†known about the car since the early 2000’s… He is actually talking about getting it running.¬†Thom is now talking to the family to see if they feel like¬†having the car¬†brought to the Autorama¬†show. Hopefully that will happen, and we can see the car in its full glory.

The sectioned shoebox was completed in 1953 and¬†Moon Glow Copper paint was ordered from Barris Kustoms… Two years later¬†in 1955 it was repainted black, but they never really cared for that. The dash always remained the original Barris mixed paint. And later they used the dash to color mix some new paint and repainted the car again.
 

CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-sectioned-06Steering universal joints along with a power unit… was needed after the engine was replaced with the Oldsmobile Rocket engine. Notice the reshape inner wheel panels.¬†
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CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-sectioned-07The rear bumper is the stock 1949 Ford unit with the guards removed and replaice with a Kaiser guard/bar. The taillights are replaced with 1951 Ford units, including the chrome wind-splits.
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CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-sectioned-19The stock bumpers where modified with thru-bumper exhaust tips.
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CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-sectioned-20The Sectioned Shoebox was named “The Quivira” which was etched on the C-pillar stainless.
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Thom also mentioned another another neat story that was shared about the car. After a car show, Ford sent a rep out to look at the steering… because of the body/frame position & the Olds engine his Dad used a small universal joints work the steering / a common practise today but not in 1953.
 
“The wheels and tires that are on the car were obviously¬†added later… Tires from the 50’s didn’t last as long as they do today… After 57 14’s were predominate… I’m sure by the mid 60’s it was easier to change wheels than to find narrow WW15’sOther than dyed seats & repainted twice… It’s still family owned since 1950.”
 
 

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CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-sectioned-11Using 1952 Ford wheel lips back in 1952-53 was pretty unique as well. 
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CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-sectioned-12The bumper guards were replaced with 1954 Chevy units, the grille opening cut down and later filled with a 1956 DeSoto grille. The headlights were later also replaced with 1955 Buick units which are all still on the car today.
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CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-sectioned-13The seats and side panels were spry-died copper at one point, but the headliner is still the original yellow unit installed in the early/mid 1950’s.
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The magazine back in the 1950’s have always listed the car as a 1951 Ford, due to the 1951 Ford parts used thru-out, But the car caem from the factory as an 1949 convertible The dash is¬†still the original 1949 unit.

CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-sectioned-14This is how the Sam Climo sectioned shoebox looked like in 1956. Wide white wall tires and skirts, change the look of this car completely with how it looks today.
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CCC-sam-climo-49-ford-sectioned-18This is how the car looked in 1958, painted black. The yellow interior can be seen really well in this great color picture from the Jim Aemon collection in the Rodder’s Journal Scrapbook.
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We hope to be able to share you more on the Sam Climo Sectioned Shoebox in the near future. Hopefully the family decides to have the car at the Autorama show and share it with the public in all its glory. We will keep you posted here on the Custom Car Chronicle. Stay tuned…

Many thanks to Thom Metz for sharing the photos and stories and Mick Fairlane for the link.
 
 
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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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CCC-Sponsor-KingKustomsTShirt-602Contact Rob Radcliffe at King Kustoms for more info on these T-Shirts Email 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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CCC-Sponsor-KingKustomsTShirt-602Contact Rob Radcliffe at King Kustoms for more info on these T-Shirts Email Rob

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Another Classic Barris Survivor

 

BARRIS SHOEBOX CONVERTIBLE

 

We always get exited when we find out about yet another Classic Custom that has survived. Even if it is only one photo of this unidentified Barris Custom Shoebox convertible.


CCC-Barris-Shoebox-Conv-03-WThe photo of the Barris Surviver that was shared on facebook.
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Anthony White shared the “recently” taken photo of this Classic Barris Shoebox custom on his facebook with no information. He was not even sure where and exactly when the photo was taken. We had heard about this hidden Barris Survivor Custom Shoebox convertible custom before. So we were extremely happy to see a photo of it, proving “rumors” were actually facts. Hopefully we will be able to find out who the current owner of the car and in what the condition the car is in now. Its a bit sad to see it being used to store stuff on top of. But at least its all there, in one piece, stored inside and as far as the photo shows well taken care of. If there is anybody out there that knows more about this Barris Survivor, the original owners name, or the current owner, please let us know. We would love to add this information to this great Barris Kustom Shop creation.


Lets tell what we know
This really great looking car never really had a full feature in any of the magazines back in the day. A real shame, since it is a really great looking custom with a very well proportioned padded top.
Only a few photos of the car were ever published. And no information on the original owner was ever listed as far as we know. One front 3/4 view photo taken by Jack Campbell was shown in the 1952 Restyle your car book. This photo shows the use of an Canadian Meteor grille, and a chrome plated grille surround. The car is a rather conservative Custom with only a minimal amount of body work done to it. The headlights and taillights are frenched, the door handles removed as well as the hood and trunk emblems. The windshield is chopped just the right amount and a wonderful shaped padded top is made. Modified, cut down, 1951 Mercury fender skirts were added. The suspension was lowered just the right amount to make the car sit absolutely perfect. A set of Appleton Spotlights wide whites and Cadillac Sombrero hubcaps where mandatory for this era of Custom cars.

CCC-Barris-Shoebox-Conv-01-WJack Campbell photo from the 1952 Restyle your car booklet



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CCC-Barris-Shoebox-Conv-04-WBarris Kustoms restyled 1950 Ford Convertible in front of the Barris Atlantic Blvd shop in the early 1950’s.
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LeRoy Goulart’s Shoebox Part 2

 

WILD-MILD CUSTOM

 

Part two on the LeRoy Goulart 1951 Ford Shoebox concentrated on the second and third version of the car with the help of the Goulart Photo Collection.

In part one we showed you the early version of LeRoy’s Shoebox. After showing his car for some time, LeRoy decided it was time for a make-over, and a bit more radical this time. Still the end result could be considered a mild custom. Although perhaps it can be considered a wild-mild custom. Since it still had a lot of body work done, but not the chopped top or sectioned body, that is considered a must, in order to deserve the title “wild custom car”.
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Once more LeRoy teamed up with his brother Ray, and later on in the process with Gene Winfield. First on the list was to modify the V-Shaped stock Shoebox windshield, and replace it with a round 1952 Ford unit. In fact the whole cowl and front section of the roof and A-pillars of a 1952 Ford donor car, was installed on the Shoebox body. Some adjustment work was needed to match the slightly smaller ’52 Ford windshield in the Shoebox opening. The front of the car was already reshaped in the first round. But LeRoy now wanted to have canted quad headlights.

Most of this work was done at the Winfield shop. The top and bottom portion of the grille opening, remained as it was created in the first version. But the sides, as well as the singe hooded headlights, were cut out. 1957 Chrysler Imperial quad headlights were positioned with the top light in the original Ford headlights position, and the whole headlight unit on angle. Round rod was shaped around the new headlights, to create a new opening flowing from the top of the fenders to the center of the old grille opening. The 1956 Chrysler grille bars were modified to fit the new opening. The front bumper remained the same as on the first version, and worked really well with the new grille headlight combination. The rear of the car remained the same as the first version, with the exception of the added scoop above the rear window.

In Ray’s original design sketches the sides of the car were altered dramatically as well. Newly shaped wheel openings, which matched the new shaped front of the car much better. Round rod was bend in a tear drop shape, to create a new wheel opening for both the front, and rear wheels. The shaped rod was welded to the body, and the inside body metal was cut out and concave shaped panels shaped, and installed in the new opening. Later these coves would be covered with hand shaped stainless steel panels. The ’55 Dodge side trim, and lake pipes were not altered. Once all the work was finished at the Winfield shop, Gene painted the car pearl white, with candy green fogged in around the edges.

 

CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-05-WGreat photo of LeRoy Goulart’s Shoebox in the white version. This one shows the work on the wheel well sculptured metal. Round rod was hand shaped, and molded into the body. The original body panel inside this shape was cut out, and replaced with concave shaped panels. This photo shows how extremely low this car is. LeRoy changed the hubcaps with what appears to be 1957 Chysler units. Notice how the drip rail from the 1952 Ford front section of the top continues onto the stock drip rail.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-04-WThe sculptured fender well’s, and license plate holder are really working great on this car. And so are the 1956 Olds taillights set into extended wind-splits, another wonderful detail of this great Custom Car.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-06-WA good view at the six rows of louvres.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-14-WWith every version of the car LeRoy was doing very well at the Car Shows. He won a huge selection of trophies during the period he showed the car. This snapshot shows the car in its white version, parked on the lawn with the trophies proudly displayed in front of the car.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-10-WThis photo shows how low the car really was…¬†LOW!¬†The car was raised a bit later on, to increase drive-ability. LeRoy did drive this car quite a bit, but it really was a bit to low to be really comfortable, practical and most of all safe. The 1957 Plymouth hubcaps are back on the car again as well, and they will also stay on the car after it was repainted green.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-collection-04Lanny Erickson shared three really great color photos of LeRoy’s Shoebox with us. This is the all white with green fades version. And these are the only photos we have ever seen in color of the car in this version.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-collection-05The color photos of the car in this version gave a whole different look at the car. The green accents are a lot more visible in the color photos than they are in the black and white photos.
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CCC-lanny-ericson-collection-06Gene Winfield even added green faded to the louvers on the hood.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-18-WShit happens… LeRoy Goulart’s 1951 Ford is shown here in the the white version, and it also shows the reason why it was later changed to the better known green version. DAMAGE… besides this passenger side rear fender damage the car was also damaged at the front. Sad for sure, but mishaps like this gave the owner/builders a good opportunity to give their Customs a face lift and score more points at the next Car Show season.
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After showing the car in this version for some time, LeRoy damaged the passenger rear fender, and the front of the car. So it was back to Gene Winfield for repair work, and a completely new paint job. LeRoy really loved the original Winfield green version of the car, and decided the car should be green again.

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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-03-WA photo of LeRoy Goulart after he won the Outstanding Award at the 8th Sacramento Autorama and Motor Sports Review in 1958 with his Shoebox. This photo also shows the nicely tuck&roll covered top portion of the dash. If you look closely, you can see a wire coming of the working spotlights.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-23-WTwo snapshots taken at one of the many shows LeRoy entered the car.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-21-WSnapshot of the Shoebox in front of LeRoy’s home garage.
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CCC-leroy-goulart-50-Ford-RC-58The July 1958 had a four page feature on LeRoy’s Ford.
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In 1960 LeRoy experienced once more that the car was really to low to travel comfortable with, and more important safe. On a trip from Minnesota to his home in California, he spun the car on an icy road in Wyoming. He landed in the field next to the road, and damaged the underside of the car since it was just to low. At that time he decided to let go of the car, he stored it in a close by barn, and would later advertise it in the paper. He sold the car by phone and never saw it back again. The last thing he heard about his old love was that it was left on the side of a street out in the open.

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Resource and more info:

  • Gene Winfield book,¬†The Legendary Custom Cars and Hot Rods of Gene Winfield
  • Custom Cars magazine,¬†January 1958
  • Rod & Custom magazine,¬†July 1958
  • LeRoy Goulart Collection

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Go back to Part One.
 

 

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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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Detroit Barn Find For Sale

MID 50’s MILD CUSTOM

Another Custom car is offered for sale on eBay, this time a mildly customized Shoebox Sedan from Detroit.

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October 30, 2013
Updated November 05 (Auction has ended, looks to be sold)

Text from the eBay ad by the seller.
Great opportunity to own a period custom shoebox Ford not seen for 55 years. Recent estate sale buy.
Very nicely done period custom. The head lights were frenched, Pontiac style scoops added over the head lights. Front sheet metal molded together. Rear tail lights were tunneled and changed to round, rear top of quarter seams were filled, gas tank door was filled, all moldings and door handles were removed / filled, I am pretty positive all the work was done in lead. As found all four tires were flat it was covered in years of dust. On purchase I looked through the garage and found the front bumper and 54 dodge grille parts that make up the front end as seen in the original black and white photos dated 1956 given to me by the widow (Nancy) of original builder Leo.

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Under the hood there it is a Ford Flathead with Offenhauser heads, Offenhauser dual carb intake manifold, Mallory ignition and some assorted dress up items, all with 55 years of surface rust. Transmission is probably original Ford and does have overdrive .

After the purchasing the car I did speak with the Nancy about her husband the builder. I came to find out they cruised the car on Woodward and all the famous Detroit area drive ins before being married, after that the car was put away, that was 1956. The car was titled to her husband Leo in 1953, I do have that one, also have the title she had switched to her name on his passing. Looks like Leo bought the car in 53, had the custom work done 54 – 56 as the grille is 54 ish Dodge, put the car away in 56 or 57. This car did not have a lot of time on the street once customized. The work that was done appears to be in lead and to a high quality of craftsmanship.

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I did go back to ask Nancy if she knew who may have done the work knowing the Alexander Brothers, Clarkaiser were in the Detroit area. The only reference she knew was Stan Yee who I had not known but turns out to also be a pretty famous custom shop from back in the day and still in business though Stan a world famous oval track racer has passed away. The Yee family still runs the shop. I went over there with pictures no one in the shop remembered it that day.

 

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Comparing Ron Dunn’s Ford

STOCK VERSUS CUSTOM

Special memories about two photos, taken in the early 1950’s, of Ron Dunn’s Valley Custom Shop built sectioned 1950 Ford, sitting next to a stock Ford of the same year.

When I was 15 or 16 years old, in the early 1980’s, I was very eager to find out everything about Custom Cars. I lived in a small village in the Northern part of the Netherlands, with no access to any of the US custom car or hot rod magazines. I had found a few 1970’s Hot Rod magazines at car shows. But over all, I had a very hard time finding anything custom car related, that showed me the history, or even current state of my favorite hobby. In a large book store, ¬†in a slightly bigger city, I found a copy of a, then brand new, book called Automobile and Culture.

A heavy 310 page book with interesting subjects. But what really caught my eye was the Hot Rod and Custom Car chapter, which was written by Henry Flood Robert, Jr. This chapter showed some really interesting custom car photos. It gave a overview of the history from the early 1940’s to the 1960’s. It showed some small, but extremely wonderful photos of custom cars. The book was just out back then, and cost a small fortune, but I had to have it. It was the first real information I had ever seen about the history of the custom cars. And it showed amazing custom cars, mostly in black and white, but also a few in magical colors.

One of the cars that was mentioned, and shown in this chapter, was the sectioned 1950 Ford, built by the Valley Custom Shop for Ron Dunn. Two very small black and white photos showed this amazingly proportioned Shoebox Ford, sitting next to a factory stock Ford of the same year. I must have stared at those two small photos for hours. I even built a 1/25 scale model based on this car back then. Two amazing photos that had a special meaning for me ever since. Many years later, I found out much more about one of the most beautiful customs that were ever produced by the Valley Custom Shop. I even had the  great fortune to see the un-restored car at the 2011 GNRS Customs Then & Now event.

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A few month ago, I was browsing the Valley Custom Shop Facebook pages. To my surprise I came across some nice scans of the two photos, I had seen as a kid. ¬†I was able to take a much better look at these amazing photos. Photos that showed what a fantastic design work the Valley Custom Shop had performed in the early 1950’s. It showed that this customized Ford was much better proportioned, compared to the stocker sitting next to it. The two photos were taken by Dean Batchelor.
Looking at these two photos brought back a lot of memories. Many thanks to the Valley Custom Shop Facebook team for sharing these old photos. It means a lot to all custom car enthusiasts.

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If you ever come across a copy of the books Automobile and Culture. Be sure to take a look, it is an interesting book.

Automobile and Culture
Published by ABRAMS
ISBN 0-8109-2283-5

 

 

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