Sondre Kvipt's 1957 Ford
1957 Ford Ranchero owned by Coupe Devils member and Kustomrama founder Sondre Kvipt of Oslo, Norway. Sondre bought the Ranchero from Christian Berthau in July of 2013. The car came from the US, and Christian bought it from the guy who had imported it to Norway. Christian used the Ranchero as his daily driver for some years, before parking it in a barn. It stayed in the barn until Sondre bought it. Sondre came across the car in June of 2013. At the time he owned a lowered 1970 Ford F-100 truck. As he knew he couldn't house both cars, Sondre decided to sell the F-100 so he could buy the Ranchero.
For a couple of years, Sondre had played around with the idea of building a Ranchero version of the second and most famous version of Jerry DeVito's 1957 Ford Fairlane, known as the Maze. The idea was born one late night as Sondre was looking trough the Big Book of Barris. In the book there is a huge color photo of the car, that really shows the wild paint job Bob Heinrichs gave the car for the 1958 season. Due to the scarcity of Ford Ranchero's in Norway, the concept lived on in Sondre's head for a couple more years. In January of 2012 Jerry DeVito found the page Sondre had made on his old custom on Kustomrama. He wrote Sondre an email, and the two started to talk. Sondre told Jerry about the Ranchero concept he had been thinking about. Jerry really liked the idea, and sent Sondre a bunch of old magazines and photos he could use for inspiration. In December of 2012 Sondre got in touch with Joe Crisafulli, a legendary San Jose custom painter, and a founding member of the San Jose Rod and Wheelers. As Jerry DeVito also was a member of the San Jose Rod and Wheelers, Sondre told Joe as well that he one day wanted to build a Ranchero version of Jerry's Fairlane. Joe could then inform that he actually painted the first version of Jerry's Ford in his dad's garage. Sondre knew this version of the Maze, but he was not aware that Joe had painted it. The more Sondre talked about and thought about the concept, the more found he become of it, so when he heard that Christian Berthau had one for sale in Oslo, Jerry's Ford was the first he thought about.
The Ranchero in Oslo turned out to be in a pretty good condition. It was evident that the car had been restored back in the 1980s or 1990s. Some rust had been repaired in the floor of the car, and it had received a blue paint job and a blue fabric interior. After seeing the car, Sondre went back home and advertised the F-100 for sale. After a week the old work truck was sold, and Sondre bought the Ranchero. He took it back home, cleaned it up, and put on a set of whitewall bias ply tires that he borrowed from fellow Coupe Devils member Tom Røine. The rest of the summer, Sondre used the car as his daily driver.
A couple of days before Sondre bought the Ranchero, his little brother, and Kustomrama contributor Olav Kvipt, moved to Lynwood, California to study custom body work and work with Brad Masterson of Masterson Kustom Automobiles. Brad, who works out of the old Barris Kustoms Lynwood shop, taught Olav everything he had learned about gas welding and leading from George Barris and Bill Hines. After building custom cars the old way for about a half year, Olav returned to Norway in December of 2013, to celebrate Christmas with his family. About a month before he returned, Olav and Sondre found out that it would be kool to use the Christmas vacation to finally start the build. Their plan was to during January of 2014 perform the bodywork on the Ranchero like Bill Babb and J.R. Wirth would have done it at Wirth's Body Shop in 1958.
The build was started by shaving the driver side door. The holes were brazed and leaded before the trim on the driver side quarter panel was removed as well. The original taillight ring on the driver side was removed before Olav made a new one from round rod and sheet metal. The shape of the extended fin and taillight ring was made similar to the ones on the original Maze. The stock taillight lenses were tunneled 6 inches before everything was leaded. The gas filler door on the quarter panel was removed as well for a cleaner appearance. January 18, 2014, Olav had completed the body work on the quarter panel and door, and he could apply the first coat of primer on these parts.
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