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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

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. Ron Maxwell's 1934 Ford 5-Window Coupe Ron wasn't even 16 years old when he bought the engineless coupe in 1954. He paid $400 for the project and spent about a year working on it before he finally got it on the street. The body was channeled about 7 inches in Ron's West High School shop class.


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! 09.26.2017 - Joe Bailon Has Passed Away We just heard that legendary Hayward, California customizer Joe Bailon has passed away. Joe revolutionized the scene with his "Candy Apple" paint in the mid-1950s, and we all knew him as "Candy Apple Joe." RIP Joe. You will be missed. Our condolences go out to Joe's friends and family.

Lost and Found

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. Looking for Info: Mark Garza's 1940 Ford Convertible Who can help us identify this Mystery 1940 Ford Custom? Mark Garza of Nipomo, California bought the old custom from Arroyo Grande in 2015. Unfortunately, the seller, who bought it in Detroit, Michigan in 2008, had no knowledge about the history of the car. Can you help us?

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 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. The Fred Austin Photo Collection Fred Austin was a member of the Chancellors of Van Nuys car club. The club was originally founded in the mid-1950s. Fred became a member of the club around 1961. By then the club had a clubhouse and a dragster, and it consisted of about 30 members. The Chancellors of Van Nuys put on some big car shoe at Devonshire Downs in the San Fernando Valley, something that really helped build up the clubs name and reputation.

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: 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." For Sale: Don Broyles' 1932 Ford Roadster 1932 Ford roadster owned and built by Don Broyles of Dayton, Ohio. Don originally built the roadster in 1951. He wanted the car to sit low, so he Z'd the frame and channeled the body. The grille shell was filled and sectioned before Don installed a wraparound nerf bar. It was powered by a Ford Flathead V-8 engine and it sported a deep purple paint job. Since 1995 Ron Olfers of Austin, Texas has been the caretaker of the roadster. Ron has now decided that it's time to pass the torch.

Featured Events

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. Grand National Roadster Show 2017 The 68th annual Grand National Roadster Show was held January 27 - 29, 2017 at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. Close to 1,000 cars attended the event. Theme for the 2017 show was "The Magic Happens Here," and cars and vendors were encouraged to decorate with the theme. Featured building 9 exhibited the 60th Anniversary of the Tri-Five Chevy's

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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