1940s

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Tommy Jamieson's 1936 Ford 5-Window Coupe was restyled by Howard Fall in 1940.
Norm Milne's 1938 Ford convertible sedan of Sacramento, California. About 1940 Norm drove the Ford to Los Angeles to have Carson Top Shop chop the top and make a padded top. The rest of the car was restyled by Harry Westergard.
George Barris' 1936 Ford Coupe of Roseville, California. This was George's first real custom. He bought the car from money he had earned while doing some odd jobs for Harry Westergard at Brown's Body Shop. George worked at the car between the staggering amount of school work, and working with Westergard. The build was completed in 1941.
Neil Emory's 1937 Dodge Convertible of Burbank, California, was started in 1940 and completed in 1941. Built in his shop class at Burbank High, Neil kept the car for a couple of years before selling it in 1943.
Ray Russell's Gadabout of Detroit, Michigan. Built largely from aluminum and magnesium, Russell believed his car had post was possibilities. The build was completed in 1944.
Phil Remington's Modified was completed in 1946. At the time, Phil was a member of the Santa Monica Low Flyers.
Sebastian Rubbo's 1936 Ford Roadster of Massachusetts. Sabie started working on the roadster at age 23, in 1945. He had just gotten out of the Navy, and was inspired by the cars he saw racing at the dry lakes near where he was stationed in Southern California. The build was completed in 1946, and Sabie drove it all over the country for the next 42 years.
Jim Papworth's 1932 Ford Roadster of Culver City, California. Jim was a member of the Culver City Screwdrivers, and the roadster, that he bought in 1947, was his first car.
Frank Sandoval's 1936 Ford 3-Window Coupe of Wilmington, California was restyled in the 1940s. Frank bought the car after he returned from Army service around 1946 - 1947.
Bruce Brown's 1936 Ford of San Mateo, California. Bruce's Ford was restyled in the 1940s, sometime prior to 1948.
Robert Fulton's 1936 Ford sedan convertible of Hollywood, California. Robert owned the car from 1947 to around 1949.
George Barris' Track Roadster. George built the channeled roadster, that sported one of his first flame paint jobs, in 1948.
Bob Estes' 1927 Ford Model T Roadster as it appeared in 1948.
Willie Kendig's 1932 Ford Roadster of Yettem, California was built after Willie came out of the service in 1948.
Ray Giovannoni's 1936 Ford Roadster of Washington, D.C. Ray's roadster was restyled by Bud Unger, and the build was completed around 1947/1948.
Fran Bannister's 1932 Ford Roadster. Completed in 1949, Fran's roadster was one of the first hot rods of New England.
Mac Schutt's 1932 Ford Roadster, of Bel Air, Los Angeles, California. The build took two years, and it was completed in 1949.
Paul Schiefer's 1925 Ford Model T Roadster
Tom Hunt's 1934 Ford roadster of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Tom was a friend of Honest Charley, and he worked for him after-school, helping him fill mail orders. The build was started in 1948 and completed in 1949. Total build time was 15 months.
John Sal Cocciola's 1938 Chevrolet Convertible was restyled by Harry Westergard in late 1946
George Bistagne's 1938 Ford DeLuxe Convertible Sedan was restyled in 1940.
Harold Johnson's 1938 Ford Tudor as it appeared in 1949
C. E. Johnson's 1939 Ford, of California was restyled in the late 1940s.
G. L. Harlander's 1939 Ford V-8 convertible sedan of Oakland, California was restyled in the 1940s. This is how it appeared in 1949 when it was featured in Motor Trend October 1949.
Harry Keiichi Nishiyama's 1939 Ford convertible of Hilo, Hawaii. Harry's chopped and channeled Ford was built in 1949.
Kenny Controtto's 1939 Ford Convertible of South Gate, California was restyled in the 1940s.
Mel Falconer's 1939 Ford, of Sacramento, California was restyled by Harry Westergard and completed in 1945.
Arthur Lellis' 1939 Ford Convertible of Los Angeles, California. Restyled by Art at Art & Jerry Custom Shop, the build was completed in 1946.
Jerry Moffatt's 1939 Ford Convertible of Los Angeles, California. Restyled by Jerry at Olive Hill Garage, the build was completed in 1946.
Jim Kierstead's 1939 Mercury Coupe of Inglewood, California. Jim's Mercury was restyled by Barris Kustoms, and it is rumored to be the first 1939 - 1940 Mercury coupe that the Barris Brothers chopped. The build was started in 1945 and completed in 1947.
Bob Creasman's 1940 Ford coupe of Los Angeles, California. Bob began restyling the car late in 1943, making it the first 1940 Ford coupe to be channeled, and the second to be chopped in the Los Angeles area. The work was done in conjunction with the Brand Brothers Body Shop in Los Angeles.
George Barris' 1941 Buick Convertible. Completed late in 1947, this was the car that established George as a builder. It was shown at the first Hot Rod Exposition in January of 1948, where it won top honors. Winning that show put Barris Kustoms on the map, and they consequently moved their operation to larger premises at 7674 Compton Avenue.
Fred Cain's 1940 Ford coupe of Wilmington, Massachusetts. Fred's coupe was originally restyled in 1948.
Gene Garret's 1940 Ford of Sacramento, California. Gene was a member of the Thunderbolts auto club, and his custom featured a padded top by Carson Top Shop.
This photo shows a 1940 Hudson Converible that Bud Unger of Rockville, Maryland restyled for an unknown customer in the late 1940s. In 2012, when Kustomrama interviewed Bud about the car, he remembered that he hand made a set of fender skirts for the car, and that he fit it with his own version of a Carson Top. He admitted that the top was no way as good as "the California job". Another photo of the car, taken the same day, shows it wearing a set of New York 1948 license plates. Other modifications included a shaved hood, dual spotlights, a 1946 - 1948 Mercury grille and removed running boards. Ray Giovannoni's 1936 Ford Roadster can be seen across the street. Photo courtesy of Bud Unger.
Al Andril's 1940 Mercury Coupe of Maywood, California. Al's Merc was restyled by Barris Kustoms in 1948 at their Compton Avenue shop.
Harold Ohanesian's 1940 Mercury Convertible Sedan as it appeared in 1948. This version was restyled by Harry Westergard and Less Crane sometime between 1945 and 1948.
Jimmy Summers' 1940 Mercury convertible of Hollywood, California. The build was completed in 1946.
Maximilian King's 1940 Mercury convertible of Morristown, New Jersey was first restyled by Meekers Body Shop in 1946. In 1959 Korky's Kustom Shop restyled the car further for current owner Ray Henyon.
Jesse Lopez' 1941 Ford Club Coupe was taken to Barris Kustoms for a restyling in 1948. The build took about a year to complete.
A photo that George Barris took of a nice and subtle 1941 Pontiac with a Carson top in the 1940s. Photo by George Barris, from The Brad Masterson Photo Collection.
Dick Owens' 1940 Mercury convertible of Redondo Beach, California. Dick's Mercury was restyled by Barris Kustoms, and the work was sometime between 1945 and 1947.
Raymond Jones' 1947 Studebaker Convertible was restyled around 1947.
Dick Courtney's 1929 Ford Model A Roadster, of Fullerton, California, was built in 1948
Bill Kelly's 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe of Warminster, Pennsylvania. The first version of the coupe was built in 1948.
This version of Bob McGee's 1932 Ford Roadster, of Huntington Park, California was completed in 1948
Monte Monroe's 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe was built by Monte Monroe of Montebello, California. The first version of the car was completed in 1948, featuring a gorgeous purple color mixed by Gil Ayala of Gil's Auto Body Works.
Nelson Morris' 1932 Ford Roadster was built during the first ever Hot Rod Exposition held in 1948. The car was a giveaway car, and it was given to show visitor Nelson Morris of the Long Beach Dolphins car club.
Jack Calori's 1936 Ford 3-Window Coupe was completed in 1948
Leland Davis' 1936 Ford as it looked in 1948.
Dick Bair's 1939 Ford Convertible Sedan, of Akron, Ohio was completed in 1948.
Harry O. Lutz' 1939 Ford Convertible as it looked in 1948. Harry was from Ferguson, Missouri.
Johnny Zaro's 1940 Mercury Coupe of Maywood, California. Johnny's Merc was restyled by Barris Kustoms in 1948 at their Compton Avenue shop.
The first version of George Janich's 1941 Ford Business Coupe, of Long Beach, California was restyled by Sam Barris of Barris Kustoms between 1946 and 1948.
John Vara's 1941 Ford Convertible was restyled by Barris Kustoms in 1948. John sold the car to Johnny Zaro of Maywood, California before the build was completed.
Johnny Williams' 1940 Ford Coupe as it looked in 1949.
Dick Carter's 1941 Ford Convertible, of Bell, California was brought to Barris Kustom for a restyling in 1948. The build took about a year to complete.
Charles Kemp's 1941 Plymouth Convertible was restyled by Al Twitchell in 1948
The Rotzell 46 is sport custom built by Ed Rotzell of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The build took 3 months, and it was completed early in 1946.
Albrecht Goertz' 1948 Studebaker Business Coupe of New York. Albrecht's Studebaker was designed and restyled in 1948.
Marcia Campbell's 1949 Chevrolet Convertible was restyled by Barris Kustoms in 1949.
Norman Timbs' Buick Special was designed and built by Norman Timbs in the 1940s. The build was completed around 1948/1949.
George McLaughlin's Roadster of Yakima, Washington. George's roadster was built in the 1940s. In the early 1950s George moved to Richland, bringing the roadster along.
Del Roy's Speed Parts was a speed shop in East Paterson, New Jersey. Photo courtesy of Matthew Lilienthal.
Valley Custom Shop was established by Neil Emory and his brother in law Clayton Jensen in Burbank, California in 1948.
A Jimmy Summers Fender Extensions ad from 1948.
A Burns ad from 1948.
A Sharp Speed Equipment ad from Hot Rod Magazine November 1948.
A So-Cal Speed Shop ad from 1948.
A Tucker Campini Gas Turbine Car design proposal dated March 3, 1948.


<-- 1930s - 1940 - 1941 - 1942 - 1943 - 1944 - 1945 - 1946 - 1947 - 1948 - 1949 - 1950s -->


Contents

Fadeaway Fenders

Fadeaway fenders were popular on custom cars in the 1940s. George Barris meant that giving a car fadeaway fenders sat it apart and stamped it as a kustom. It gave the car a new look with a smooth, rounded bodyline. Both Sam and George Barris liked fadeaway fenders, and the fadeaway fender became one of their trademarks. The Ayalas were also into fadeaway fenders in the forties. One of the first know fadeaway fendered custom cars is Butler Rugard's 1940 Mercury. The car was restyled by Harry Westergard in 1940. Harry did also fabricate the fadeaway fenders. Where Butler and Harry got the idea of fadeaway fenders from are unknown. The first production cars to feature fadeaway fenders were the 1942 Buick Roadmasters and Supers. One year earlier, in 1941, the 1941 Chrysler Newport Concept Car was shown to the public. The Newport was fitted with fadeaway fenders.


Metallic Enamels

Metallic enamels became available in 1935. That was according to George Barris the medium used on most of the early customs. The colors were simple. Maroon was the most popular, but green and blue were also used.[1]


In 1946 Jimmy Summers started offering fadeaway fender kits for 1946-1948 Chevrolet's, Pontiacs and junior Buicks. Spencer Murray bought a set from Jimmy to put on his 1946 Chevrolet fastback, and he remembers that Jimmy had dies made to stamp the parts and a sheet metal shop to do the stamping.[2]


Hot Rods of the 1940s

George Barris' Track Roadster
Paul Schiefer's 1925 Ford Model T Roadster
Bob Estes' 1927 Ford Model T Roadster
Dick Courtney's 1929 Ford Model A Roadster
Eugene Pereira's 1929 Ford Model A Roadster
Bill Kelly's 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe
Bob McGee's 1932 Ford Roadster
Eugene Wentworth's 1932 Ford Roadster
Fran Bannister's 1932 Ford Roadster
Jim Papworth's 1932 Ford Roadster
Jimmy Summers' 1932 Ford Roadster
Mac Schutt's 1932 Ford Roadster
Monte Monroe's 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe
Nelson Morris' 1932 Ford Roadster
Willie Kendig's 1932 Ford Roadster
Honest Charley's 1934 Ford Sedan
Tom Hunt's 1934 Ford Roadster
Sebastian Rubbo's 1936 Ford Roadster


Modifieds of the 1940s

Phil Remington's Modified


Custom Cars of the 1940s

Alex Xydias' 1934 Ford Cabriolet
Bruce Brown's 1936 Ford
Frank Sandoval's 1936 Ford 3-Window Coupe
George Barris' 1936 Ford 3-Window Coupe
Jack Calori's 1936 Ford 3-Window Coupe
Leland Davis' 1936 Ford
Ray Giovannoni's 1936 Ford Roadster
Robert Fulton's 1936 Ford Sedan Convertible
Tommy Jamieson's 1936 Ford 5-Window Coupe
Vern Simon's 1936 Ford Roadster
Leroy Semas' 1937 Chevrolet Coupe
Neil Emory's 1937 Dodge Convertible
Al Twitchell's 1937 Ford Sedan
Richard Emert's 1937 Ford Convertible
Richard Meade's 1938 Buick Convertible
John Sal Cocciola's 1938 Chevrolet Convertible
George Bistagne's 1938 Ford DeLuxe Convertible Sedan
Norm Milne's 1938 Ford Convertible Sedan
Arthur Lellis' 1939 Ford Convertible
C. E. Johnson's 1939 Ford
Dick Bair's 1939 Ford Convertible Sedan
G. L. Harlander's 1939 Ford V-8 Convertible Sedan
Harry O. Lutz' 1939 Ford Convertible
Harry Keiichi Nishiyama's 1939 Ford Convertible
Jerry Moffatt's 1939 Ford Convertible
Kenny Controtto's 1939 Ford Convertible
Mel Falconer's 1939 Ford
Mickey Chiachi's 1939 Ford
Bill Spurgeon's 1939 Mercury Coupe
Jim Kierstead's 1939 Mercury Coupe
Bob Creasman's 1940 Ford Coupe
Fred Cain's 1940 Ford Coupe
Gene Garret's 1940 Ford
Johnny Williams' 1940 Ford Coupe
Ralph Jilek's 1940 Ford Convertible
Al Andril's 1940 Mercury Coupe
Butler Rugard's 1940 Mercury
Dick Owens' 1940 Mercury Convertible
Harold Ohanesian's 1940 Mercury Convertible Sedan
Jimmy Summers' 1940 Mercury Convertible
Johnny Zaro's 1940 Mercury Coupe
Maximilian King's 1940 Mercury Convertible
Eldon Gibson's 1940 Oldsmobile
Al Twitchell's 1940 Plymouth Four Door
Frank Kurtis' 1941 Buick - The Kurtis Buick Special
George Barris' 1941 Buick Convertible
Pierre Paul's 1941 Buick Special
Al Lauer's 1941 Cadillac Convertible
Dick Carter's 1941 Ford Convertible
George Janich's 1941 Ford Business Coupe
Jesse Lopez' 1941 Ford Club Coupe
John Vara's 1941 Ford Convertible
Charles Kemp's 1941 Plymouth Convertible
Dean Batchelor's 1941 Pontiac
Marvin Lee's 1942 Chevrolet Fleetline
George Shugart's 1946 Chevrolet Convertible
Raymond Jones' 1947 Studebaker Convertible
Vincent E. Gardner's 1947 Studebaker Sportster
Albrecht Goertz's 1948 Studebaker Business Coupe
Marcia Campbell's 1949 Chevrolet Convertible


Sport Customs of the 1940s

Norman Timbs' Buick Special
The Rotzell 46
George McLaughlin's Roadster


Homebuilt Cars of the 1940s

Ray Russell's Gadabout


Custom Car Builders and Fabricators of the 1940s

Al Twitchell
Herbert "Bud" Unger
Howard Fall
Jimmy Summers
Link Paola
Roy Hagy
Vincent E. Gardner
Whitey Clayton


Custom, Body and Repair Shops of the 1940s

Art & Jerry Custom Shop
Barris Kustoms
Brand Brothers Body Shop
Brown's Body Shop
Jimmy Summers
Clayton Metal Shop
Link's Custom Shop
Meekers Body Shop
Shanklin's Custom Shop
Valley Custom Shop


Upholstery Shops of the 1940s

Carson Top Shop
Gaylord's Kustom Shop


Speed Shops of the 1940s

Del Roy's Speed Parts
Joe Wolf's Hollywood Speed Shop
Honest Charley Speed Shop
So-Cal Speed Shop
Stewart Speed Automotive


Hot Rod and Custom Auto Lots of the 1940s

D & B Auto Sales


Hot Rod and Custom Car Clubs of the 1940s

Albatas
Culver City Screwdrivers
Cut-Outs of Long Beach
Gear Grinders
Hollywood Lancers
Lancers
Long Beach Cavaliers
Plutocrats
San Diego Roadster Club
Satan's Angels
Strokers
Thunderbolts
Trompers
Vapor Trailers of Visalia


Speed Equipment Manufacturers of the 1940s

Burns Racing Equipment
Cyclone Racing Equipment
Grant
Sharp Speed Equipment
Stelling


Custom Accessory Manufacturers of the 1940s

Jimmy Summers


Racing and Timing Association of the 1940s

Bell Timing Association
Nebraska Hot Rod Racing Association
Rusetta Timing Association
Southern California Timing Association


References

  1. [Barris Kustom Techniques of the 50's Volume 4]
  2. Spencer Murray





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