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Kustomrama is an online encyclopedia dedicated to traditional hot rod and custom cars. Our mission is to PROTECT, PRESERVE and SHARE traditional hot rod and custom car history from all over the world. More info...

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Featured Stories

George Barris' 1963 Buick Riviera - The Villa Riviera 1963 Buick Riviera owned by famous customizer George Barris of Encino, California. Named The Villa Riviera, the Buick was originally constructed as George's personal custom. Buick Motor Division gave George a brand new Riviera from their press fleet to see what he could do with it. The new 1963 Riviera was already receiving accolades as one of the most beautifully styled cars and is considered to be a crowning achievement by Bill Mitchell and his styling team. Lil John's 1966 Chevrolet Caprice Lil John is the founder and first President of the famous Majestics Lowrider car club mother chapter of Southern California. Lil John's list of Lowrider show cars representing the Lowrider Majestics car club helped set the standards in the 1970s and they each were ahead of their time in paint design, patterns, and murals. James Stewart's 1931 Ford Model A Roadster James Stewart was born November 19, 1926. He grew up in the Belmont Shore area in Long Beach, California, and grew a relationship with automobiles at an early age. After serving in the Marine Corps in WWII, Jim returned to his family’s home where he resumed his passion for working on his 1931 Ford roadster.


02.07.2018 - New Shirt: Kustomrama Enpsycholopedia HEADACHE? NEURITIS? NEURALGIA? Like, tough bananas, man - this Kustomrama shirt goes nowhere with what AILS you - it comes on with what WAILS you... LOOK SHARP, FEEL SHARP, BE taken - Get instant relief from UN-HEPNESS and SQUARITIS, with a loose-hangin', eye-grabbin', piece of modern primitive style! 01.16.2018 - New Book: San Diego Drag Racing and the Bean Bandits Emmanuel Burgin, Colleen M. O’Connor, and Susan Wachowiak have just released a brand new book about the early days of drag racing in San Diego. The Bean Bandits plays a central role in the book, and the story is told through photographs garnered from private, personal, and historical collections. 12.01.2017 - The 5th Annual Customs by the Sea It is with great pleasure we invite you all to the 5th annual Customs by the Sea car show in Wildwood, New Jersey! We hope many of you will take the pilgrimage East in June to visit the Race of Gentlemen Custom Car Spectacular! A gathering of handpicked Early Customs displayed at the beach next to the Greatest Race on Earth!

Lost and Found

Lost: Gerald Twamley's 1954 Chevrolet We are very excited to announce that we finally have been able to trace Gerald Twamley's 1954 Chevrolet Custom to Colorado. Gerald was a member of the Long Beach Renegades car club, and he cruised the streets of Artesia in a Branson's Custom Shop restyled Chevy. Looking for Info: Augustus Eberman's 1941 Chevrolet Coupe This shortened, channeled and sectioned 1941 Chevrolet Coupe was owned and restyled by Augustus Eberman of Geneva, Wisconsin. Augustus worked as a development engineer for Oscar Meyer, and the Coupe is believed to have been designed by Brooks Stevens, who also designed the original Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. In October of 2016, Dan Tonielli bought the sporty coupe from an estate auction. Lost: Reno Garcia's 1947 Buick Sedanet This 1947 Buick was originally owned and restyled by Reno Garcia of Brentwood, California. As the family grew, Reno decided to sell the car in order to get something more family friendly. Reno always regret selling the car, and his family is now trying to track the old custom down.

Photo Archive

The Wally Troy Photo Collection Wally began restyling cars in 1928, when his uncle gave him a worn out Model T. He was 14 years old at the time, and used spare parts from area salvage yards to modify the car. The passion and love for customizing grew over the years, and in 1952 Wally wanted to prove to himself that he was as good, if not better than the big boys customizing autos! How did it go? According to urban legends, he impressed Preston Tucker and pissed of the King of Kustoms, Mr. George Barris! The Brad Masterson Collection When Brad Masterson worked for George Barris, before he went working for Bill Hines, George had a major clean-up at this North Hollywood shop. During the clean-up he threw out tons of material. Luckily, Brad jumped in the dumpster and saved what he could. When Olav Kvipt was working with Brad in his shop, he spent hours scanning all of Brad's photos and documents. The George Contaoi Photo Collection George Contaoi of the San Bernardino Krankers was born in 1934. In 1949, he graduated from San Bernardino with a custom 1941 Ford Tudor. He later owned several custom cars, and is still active in the car scene. During the late 1940s and up to the late 1950s, he was quite active playing with the camera. George has shared his entire collection with Kustomrama, so keep tuned to see the upcoming photos.

Top Lists

Matt Townsend ranks the 3 greatest 1949-51 Mercury customs of all time Matt Townsend runs Townsends Customs & Hot Rods, a custom body shop in Riverside, California that specializes in restoration and customization of classic cars. In November of 2017 Matt had 17 1949 - 1951 Mercury customs under his belt, so we asked him what his All-Time Top 3 1949 - 1951 Mercury Customs are. Kevan Sledge ranks the 3 greatest customs of all time Kevan Sledge is a founding member of the So. Cal Shifters car club. Kevan has had a passion for cars since he was a young kid, and began building hot rods and customs as a hobby in the late 1980s. In 2011 he started up Sledge Customs, turning his hobby into a full time profession. Gene Winfield ranks his top 3 favorite builds Gene Winfield is a legendary customizer, painter and hot rod racer. Born June 16, 1927, Gene has been restyling cars since 1945, and he is one of the best known and most recognized builders in the world. They say choosing your favourite build is like choosing your favourite child! We Gene what his top 3 favourite builds are?

For Sale

For Sale: Glen Patrick's 1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster 1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster owned and restyled by Glen "Cat" Patrick of Beavercreek, Ohio. Glen built the Chevy after the Barris Kustoms built cars used in the 1958 movie High School Confidential. The car is currently located in Phoenix, Arizona. For Sale: John McLaughlin's 1955 Chevrolet In the late 1950s, John McLaughlin sent his in-progress custom on a train from Oklahoma to California, in order to have Barris Kustoms finish it up and paint it. Harry L. Mabe, who ran a car lot in Compton, bought the car in 1961, and the car stayed in the Mabe family until the 1990s. The old custom is now located in Pandora, Ohio, and current owner Jerry Kear has decided to put it up for sale. For Sale: Rudy Makela's 1942 Cadillac - "WOW" T.J. Makela was born in Finland. In 1911 he came to Indianapolis, Indiana via Detroit, Michigan. At the time hundreds of Finns worked in automobile plants when Indianapolis was an automotive center. In 1925 T.J. founded Indianapolis Power Hammer Works, a custom body shop that made metal parts for automobiles and aircraft bodies. In the 1940s' T.J.'s son, Rudy made plans for a custom built Cadillac named the "WOW."

Featured Events

Grand National Roadster Show 2018 The 69th annual Grand National Roadster Show was held January 26 - 28, 2018 at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. Over 500 show vehicles competed for awards inside the Fairplex buildings, while another 400-800 vehicles attended the event Saturday & Sunday for the 13th Annual Grand Daddy Drive-In. Ventura Nationals 2017 This 2017 Labor Day weekend the Ventura Nationals celebrated its 16th annual show in Ventura, California at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. The show kicked off on September 1, 2017 with a preparty in downtown Ventura at the Majestic Theatre. Lonestar Round Up 2017 April 8th and 9th, 2017 the Kontinentals car club held their 16th annual Lonestar Round Up in Austin, Texas. A show with small beginnings, now can only be explained as a sea of cars from all corners of the country and even attracts Hot Rod and Kustom enthusiasts from other countries outside of the states.

Featured Projects

Lawrence Garrison's 1940 Mercury Convertible In 2011 Birger Meland of Lier, Norway bought Lawrence Garrison’s channeled 1940 Mercury from Pat Orosco in California. For a long time, the history of this old custom has been full of holes and rumors. In June Birger told us that he wanted to restore the car back to how it was originally built. We applauded the initiative and agreed to help him research the history of the car. Gil Ayala's 1955 Ford Thunderbird - The Wild Bird Gil Ayala's personal custom, a 1955 Ford Thunderbird, known as the Wild Bird, has been sold to Scandinavia. Gil's Thunderbird is one of the few known surviving Ayala Customs, and it is a great addition to the Scandinavian custom scene. The restoration. We followed the restoration of the car, and it's trip halfway across the world on Kustomrama. The Kustomrama Dream truck The Kustomrama Dream Truck is a tribute to the custom cars of the late 1950s. Being an admirer of Jerry DeVito's wildly restyled 1957 Ford Fairlane, that we all know as the Maze, Sondre Kvipt decided that he wanted to recreate this car as a Ranchero. The build was started in Oslo, Norway in January of 2014, lead by Sondre's brother Olav.


Featured Video: Nick Matranga Merc Interview In 2003, when Ed Gallagher was working on producing Barris Kustoms of the 50's, he did an interview with the late Nick Matranga talking about his famous 1940 Mercury custom that was built at Barris Kustoms in 1949/1950. Jonnie King's Legends of the Rod & Custom Hall of Fame: Joe Bailon: The Early Years In 2012, at the 32nd annual KKOA Lead Sled Spectacular in Salina, Kansas, Jonnie King of the Legends of the Rod & Custom Hall of Fame interviewed Joa Bailon about his early years and his first custom car that he in 1937 gave a scallop paint job. Featured Video: Bill Cushenbery's Silhouette II Space Coupe Restoration Project Loads Into Outlaw Garage In July of 2017 Barry H Gremillion made a deal with Nelson Vels at Outlaw Garage, and the project was moved to his shop in Santa Clarita Valley. After an 8 1/2 year delay the historic custom car restoration project finally resumes.

Calling all Early Customs for Customs by the Sea, a pre-1952 custom car show presented by Kustomrama and the Race of Gentlemen. Pre-Registered Cars Only. Register Here.

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Kustomrama is an online encyclopedia dedicated to traditional hot rod and custom cars. Our mission is to protect, preserve and share traditional hot rod custom car history from all over the world.

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