Joe Bailon's 1941 Chevrolet

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Miss Elegance in primer. Photo taken at Joe's first big shop in Oakland in 1950.

1941 Chevrolet owned and restyled by Joe Bailon of Hayward, California. The car was Joe's first full blown custom, but he had created and worked on many other cars prior to the Chevy. Joe found the car in a junkyard. It had been hit by a train, then burned. It was almost cut in half, and Joe bought it for $50.00. When he bought the car he figured he could assemble it for far less than similar cars were then going for on the used car lots. Joe used the car while he built it, and he won his first show while the car was still in grey primer. When Joe built the Miss Elegance, he was inspired by Preston Tucker's Tucker 48 when he placed the rear fender grilles below the rear windows.[1]

Joe completed his car in time for the third annual National Roadster Show, held in 1952, and the car was accepted for display. At the show, Joe won the National award for his Chevrolet that was then known as "The Dashboard". Joe had spent over six months on the dashboard alone, so that explains the name.[2] When the car was featured in Popular Science August 1953 it had 15 dials and 32 pushbuttons.[3]

Magazine Features

Trend Book 101 Custom Cars
Motor Trend June 1952
Hop Up July 1953
Popular Science August 1953
Car Speed and Style October 1958


  1. Joe Bailon
  2. Joe Bailon Custom Comeback by Spencer Murray
  3. Popular Science August 1953

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