Jim Kierstead's 1939 Mercury
Coupe of Inglewood
. Jim bought the Merc after he got out of the Navy in 1945
. Jim and his brother Robert
had become good friends with Sam Barris
in the Navy. Impressed by the work Sam and George did in their shop, he decided to have the brothers restyle his Mercury. Jim's brother in law, Harold Johnson
, used to go down to Barris Kustoms and watch them work; "Sam did most of the work, while George was more of a salesman. Jim spent a lot of time with the Barris Brothers, and he would spend hours with Sam explaining just what he wanted. He then stayed around to make sure it came out that way,
" Harold told Olav Kvipt
. Jim's Mercury is rumored to be the first 1939
- 1940 Mercury
coupe that Sam and George chopped
the top on. This photo, showing Jim's Mercury during the chop, was taken by Don Cox
at the 7674 Compton Ave
. shop circa 1946
. The 1929 Ford
Model A in the background was supposedly owned by Sam
. Photo from The Robert Genat Collection
The Compton Avenue shop as seen from across the street in 1948
The Compton Avenue shop as seen from across the street in 2011
. Photo by Sondre Kvipt
The same view more than 60 years later. Photo by Sondre Kvipt
Another early photo of Creasman's taken outside the Compton Avenue shop. Photo courtesy of eBay
A business card from the shop at 4120-1/2 East Florence Avenue in Bell
. After about 6 months in Bell
, they moved their shop to Atlantic Blv in Lynwood
. The top of the business card reads Barris - Hector - John. Hector and John referred Hector Savadra
and John Manok
who were bodymen at the shop.
The old Barris's Custom Shop
as it appeared in 2011
. By then the old Barris shop housed Zapotlanejo Auto Repair Electric, a company specializing in auto electronic and carburetors. Photo by Sondre Kvipt
A business card for Zapotlanejo Auto Repair Electric.
7674 Compton Avenue is the address of the third Barris Kustoms shop.
In 1946 George and Sam Barris pooled their resources and rented a small shop on Imperial Avenue in Los Angeles in 1946. It didn't take long before they had outgrown the Imperial Avenue shop, so they quickly moved to a larger location at 7674 Compton Avenue in Los Angeles. After moving the shop, they changed their name to "Barris's Custom Shop". At the time they were an official Brake Station, something that helped improve the cash flow day to day. After moving in to the Compton shop, George started to freelance for Hot Rod Magazine. Barris Kustoms got a lot of press, and the once so large Compton shop were soon to small to house all of the cars that customers brought over. In 1949 George and Sam were forced to move their operations to an even larger shop at 4120-1/2 East Florence Avenue in Bell.
Cars Restyled by Barris Kustoms at the 7674 Compton Avenue Shop
Jim Kierstead's 1939 Mercury Coupe
Al Andril's 1940 Mercury Coupe
Johnny Zaro's 1940 Mercury Coupe
John Vara's 1941 Ford Convertible
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