Richard Korkes' 1954 Ford

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The first Parisienne version of Korky's Ford as it appeared in 1959.
The Parisienne as it appeared in the souvenir pictorial for the 1960 Hartford Autorama.
A photo of Korky's Parisienne at the 1960 Hartford Autorama. Photo from The Brian Frederick Photo Collection
The Parisienne on the cover of Cars May 1960. Photo courtesy of Cars Magazine.
This photo of Bette Micks posing in Korky's Parisienne was published in Rodding and Re-styling August 1960. The photo was taken at a Paterson Chauffers indoor car show were Bette was show queen. Photo courtesy of Rodding and Re-styling.
The second version of Korky's Parisienne as it appeared at the 1962 East Orange Autorama in East Orange, New Jersey. Photo from The Harry K. Jenkins Photo Collection.
A photo of the Parisienne taken outside of Barris Kustom City. Photo courtesy of The 1966 TV Batmobile.
Joe Sulpy III and his son Joe Sulpy IV of Whippany, New Jersey built a clone of the third version of the Parisienne. Joe III was a high school kid when Korky restyled the original Parisienne, and he remembers sneak peeking the build at the shop.
The Parisienne as it sat when it was advertised for sale on Craislist in November of 2013. The car was complete, not running, and in need of a total restoration. The seller was asking for $ 50 000 or bids over for the car. Photo courtesy of Craigslist.
Photo courtesy of Craigslist.
Photo courtesy of Craigslist.
Korky's old custom as it sat when it was advertised for sale on Craigslist in October of 2015. Photo courtesy of Craigslist.
Photo courtesy of Craigslist.
Photo courtesy of Craigslist.
Photo courtesy of Craigslist.
Photo courtesy of Craigslist.

1954 Ford Convertible owned and restyled by Richard "Korky" Korkes of Korky's Kustom Shop in Whippany, New Jersey. Korky bought the Ford brand new, it was his second car, and he was 19 years old at the time. After buying the car, Korky would form the Free Wheelers of Whippany car club. The car went trough some mild modifications before Korky decided to turn it into the Parisienne in 1959. The front on the Parisienne was heavily restyled featuring a 1957 DeSoto grill, 1958 Ford headlights and a 1953 Mercury front bumper. The custom made rear area featured a 1959 Chevrolet trunk. The top was chopped 2 1/2 inches and fit with a two piece padded top. The trunk and interior received a custom upholstery. Korky lowered the car by C'ing the frame front and rear. Power came from a modified 300 hp 1957 Ford Thunderbird V-8. This version of the car was completed in 1959 and shown at the 1960 Hartford Autorama together with three other Korky custom creations. By then it had received top awards in many shows.[1]

Scott Pearson Sr. lived two towns away from Korky when he was building the '54, and in 2016 he told Kustomrama that he remembers seeing the car back in the day, both on the road and a bunch of times in front of his shop on Rt. 10 in Whippany; "That car was the Aztec of the East Coast to us Jersey guys."[2]

Joe Sulpy III was a Whippany high school kid when Korky restyled the Parisienne in the late 1950s and 1960s. He would often stop by the shop, trying to get a sneak peek of the car, only to be chased away by Korky and his crew. The car made a huge impression on Sulpy, who later would build a clone of the third version of the car. [3]

Korky sold the car to Michael Gale Black in the 1990s. At the time, the car was complete, but in need of a total restoration. Korky and Gale both worked for George Barris at Barris Kustoms. They became friends, and have been best friends ever since. Korky and Gale planned to restore the car and sell it afterwards. That never happened, and in 2011 Gale advertised the car for sale. The asking price was $ 70 000.[4] The car didn't sell, and In November of 2013 Gale advertised the Parisienne for sale on Craigslist. Gale was living up in the hills of Arizona, in the Prescott area, and that was were the car was located as well. The remains of the old custom was powered by a tri-power 430 cui Lincoln engine, hooked to a 3 speed overdrive transmission. It was not running, Gale was asking $ 50 000 or bids over for the car.[5] In October of 2015 it was advertised for sale on Craigslist again, this time the asking price was $ 33 000.[6]

Magazine Features and Appearances

Custom Cars December 1959
Cars May 1960
Rodding and Re-styling August 1960


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