Watson's House of Style

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Watson's House of Style was a custom paint shop run by legendary custom painter Larry Watson.
Larry started practicing pinstriping in 1956, at age 16. He used his first car, a 1950 Chevrolet to practice on.
Santo Vasques' 1950 Chevrolet Convertible of Long Beach, California. Santo was a member of the Long Beach Renegades car club, and the first version of his Chevrolet was pinstriped by Larry in his parents' driveway in 1956.
Duane Steck's 1954 Chevrolet Bel-Air of Lakewood, California. Duane was a member of the Long Beach Renegades car club, and his car was known as The Moonglow. The first iteration of Duane's Moonglow was pinstriped by Larry in his parents' driveway in 1956.
Bob Schremp's 1954 Chevrolet Bel-Air of Norwalk, California was restyled by Branson's Custom Shop in the mid 1950s. In 1956 Bob's Chevrolet received a scallop paint job by Larry Watson. The paint job was done in the driveway of Watson's parents, and it was the first car Watson gave a scallop paint job.
Jake Bultsma's 1951 Chevrolet Hardtop of Bellflower, California. Watson scalloped Jake's Chevrolet in his parents' driveway in 1956. A year later, in 1957, Jake brought the Chevy back to Larry to add more pinstriping. By then, Watson had opened up his own shop in North Long Beach.
Danny Purinton's 1956 Mercury of Long Beach, California. Danny was a member of the Lakewood Creators car club, and his Mercury was restyled by Ed Schelhaas at Schelhaas Custom Shop. George Newton, Schelhaas' painter, painted the car in a lustrous Bahamas Blue Metallic nitro lacquer. Watson pinstriped the car in imitation Gold July 21, 1956, the night before the third annual Norwalk Motorcade. According to Larry, 22 pinstriped cars were entered in the show. Von Dutch had four, Dean Jeffries had seven, and Larry Watson had eleven.
Hayward Mendenhall's 1953 Ford F100 of Norwalk, California. Hayward bought the truck brand new and he had Watson paint it in his parent's driveway. Watson scalloped the truck Gold Metallic with Candy Root-Beer tips and White pinstriping.
Buzzy's 1950 Ford was the first car ever to receive flame paint job by Watson. The work was done in his parents' driveway. Photo from the Larry Watson photo collection, courtesy of Rik Hoving Custom Car Photo Archive.[1]
Larry Watson's 1950 Chevrolet as it appeared in 1957. After being hit by a drunk driver in November of 1956, Larry transformed the car into the Grapevine.
Lowell Helms' 1950 Ford Tudor of Bellflower, California. By May of 1957, Watson had given the car a flame paint job.
The second version of Santo Vasques' 1950 Chevrolet was scalloped by Larry Watson in 1957. According to Larry, it was the most radical scallop paint-job he did that year.
Duane Steck's 1954 Chevrolet Bel-Air of Lakewood, California. Duane was a member of the Long Beach Renegades, and his Chevrolet was known as The Moonglow. A third iteration of the car, completed late in 1957 or early in 1958 featured a scallop paint job by Watson.
Al Lazarus' 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air. About 1957 Watson gave the car Seaweed Flames.
Zeno Stephens' 1955 Mercury Montclair of Long Beach, California. In 1957 Watson gave the car a Silver Pearl and Candy Burgundy panel paint job, making it the first known panel painted custom.
John Busman's 1956 Chevrolet of Artesia, California. By 1957 Watson had applied some Lavender metallic scallop looking flames that were tipped in White and Pinstriped in imitation gold.
Jack James' 1957 Buick Special of Norwalk, California. Watson gave the car a flame paint job in 1957. This was one of the only flame jobs Larry did in enamel, and he sanded the layers of red, orange and yellow to achieve a faded or "blended" look. Larry used 20 rolls of masking tape and only one day to paint the car. This was his first radical flame job. After painting the flames, they were pinstriped in white. Larry's brother Dave and Calvin Wiekamp helped paint the car. The flame job cost Jack $100, and Larry was so proud of the results that he drove down to Barris Kustoms to show George Barris his newest creation. He pulled up in the alley and the whole crew went outside to check out the Buick.
Kermit Hanson's 1957 Buick. In 1957 Watson added wild gold metallic flames on the car that were tipped in red and pinstriped in white. Kermit was a classmate of Larry at Bellflower High School, and he used to pick Larry up at Friday nights so they could cruise around together. Larry named Kermit's Buick the "Snatch Wagon", and he painted an XXX-rated cartoon on the side of the car. After a week the CHP made him remove the painting.
Larry's shop at 9012 Rosecrans blvd. in Bellflower.
George Collins' 1932 Ford 5-Window Coupe of Whittier, California. George painted the coupe Pearl White himself before he sometime prior to 1958 had Watson lay down a fancy flame paint job. Larry painted the flames in a light Candy Turquoise with Dark Blue tips and Black pinstriping.
The fourth iteration of the Rod & Custom Magazine’s Dream Truck as it appeared in 1958. This version featured a Lim Gold with Burgundy Red scallops paint job by Watson.
Harold Johnson's 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline of Long Beach, California. Originally restyled by Dick's Body Shop for Dick Ward, the car had been sold to Harold by 1958. Harold gave the car a Mother of Pearl nitro lacquer paint job before he had Watson paint Candy Green scallop that were tipped in Root Beer. The scallops were pinstriped in Black.
Pete Angress' 1952 Ford of Lakewood, California. Sometime around 1957-1958 Watson gave the car a panel paint job.
Delmar McCutcheon's 1955 Buick of Bakersfield, California. In 1958 Watson painted the car Pearl, Silver, Pink, Maroon Candy Red panels over a Pearl base. The paint job cost $400, and the car became known as the Kandy Kane.
Roger Miller's 1953 Ford Club Coupe of Bellflower, California. Roger's Ford was restyled by Ed Schelaas. Watson pinstriped it sometime prior to 1958.
Jack Arnold's 1956 Mercury of Norwalk, California. By 1958 the car had received a scallop paint job by Watson. Watson horse-traded the paint-job for a set of Appleton teardrop spotlights for his Chevrolet, the Grapevine.
Larry Watson's 1958 Ford Thunderbird of Bellflower, California. Larry bought the Thunderbird brand new in 1958, and he told a seller at Downey Ford to give him a call as soon as the first car with a tuck n' roll interior arrived. Larry brought it almost directly to Barris Kustoms for a mild job before he gave it a burgundy and silver panel paint job. Larry's Thunderbird was known as "Vino Pasiano" and "The Burgundy Bird," and the first iteration was completed in 1958.
Floyd De Boer's 1958 Pontiac Bonneville of Bellflower, California. The wild paintjob on Floyd's car was applied by Watson. The paint scheme was applied on a base of plum and bronze lacquer. The scallops were in brass-gold and a flame pattern was carried on the recessed rear fender panels. Black fogging was also used around the trim to help set it off.
George Mitobe's 1957 Ford Ranchero of Artesia, California. The car was restyled by Branson's Custom Shop sometime between 1957 and 1959. Watson applied the scallops and striping on the car.
In 1959 Watson painted Ed Roth's Outlaw pearl white with fogged candy-green panels.
Jim Skonzakes' 1922 Ford Model T-Bucket of Dayton, Ohio. In 1959 Jim bought the famous Kookie T hot rod from Norm Grabowski. After buying the car, Jim brought it to Larry Watson at Watson's House of Style for a cosmetic makeover. Larry gave the car a Rose Pearl paint job with Candy Red flames.
Watson painted Bill NieKamp's 1929 Ford Model A Roadster twice later owner Delmar Brink of Bellflower, California. Delmar was a high-school classmate of Watson, and he first had him paint it Candy Grape over Platinum Pearl. In 1959 he brought it back for a Fadeaway Paint Job.
Bill DeCarr's 1932 Ford Roadster featured a Candy Gold over a rich Gold Powder base paint job by Watson.
Duane Steck's 1954 Chevrolet Bel-Air of Lakewood, California. Duane was a member of the Long Beach Renegades car club, and his Chevrolet was well known around town as The Moonglow. Watson painted the car at least three times, and in 1959 he gave it a Candy Blue paint job. A sparkling Silver Pearl was used as base color, and according to Larry, it was his best candy blue paint-job ever.
Jerry Koller's 1955 Ford. About 1959 Watson painted the car Burma Green with scallops in a darker shade over a Gold base. Watson also striped it before handing it back to Jerry.
Calvin Wiekamp's 1955 Mercury of Bellflower, California. Sometime prior to 1959 Watson gave the car multicolored scallops with hues of Purple ranging from deep tones to deep Lavender, all were enclosed with white tin-line pinstriping. Once completed, Watson named Calvin's Merc for the "Snake Wagon".
A 1956 Mercury that Watson dressed up with a panel paint job.
An unknown 1957 Chevrolet that Watson dressed up with a scallop paint job.
Dick Gonzales' 1955 Studebaker as it looked after Larry had painted it in 1959. This version was known as the Yellow Pearl.
Gary Niemie's 1956 Buick Century of Long Beach, California. By 1959 the car had received Gold and Bronze scallops by Watson. The scallops were outlined in red.
Dave Robertson's 1956 Ford F-100. Dave's truck featured one of Watson's first Candy Red paint jobs.
LaVonne Bathke's 1958 Chevrolet Corvette of Lakewood, California. LaVonne wanted something unusual for her car, so she decided to get it repainted by Watson. By 1959 Watson Larry had panel painted the car and laid flames in the indentation. Later on he re-painted it Lime Fog over Silver and used Orange, Candy Red, Gold and Silver transparent lacquer for scallops, flames and panels. The scoops in the front fenders were enhanced with a panel of chrome tape outlined with white striping.
Larry Watson's 1959 Cadillac 62 Series Coupe of Bellflower, California. In 1959 Watson painted the body in a combination of candy ruby panels over the white pearl lacquer surrounded by white pearl outlines. He applied 1/4 chrome tape over the silver base painted top, covered it with clear lacquer and rubbed it out so there was no step between the tape and the silver base.
Larry Watson painted Larry Quatrone's 1955 Ford Crown Victoria candy gold with a lime green top around 1960.
Jim Doss' 1956 Chevrolet of Bakersfield, Califonria. By 1960 the car had received a flame paint job by Watson. Yellow flames faded into Lime Green with blue tips on the car. The flames were also pinstriped in white by Larry.
Jim Parker's 1957 Ford Thunderbird received a panel paint job by Watson sometime prior to 1960.
Jim Doss' 1958 Chevrolet Impala of Bakersfield, California. Restyled by Walkers Body Shop, the car had received a lime green and green panel paint job by Watson by 1960.
Jim Doss' 1958 Chevrolet Impala of Bakersfield, California. Restyled by Walkers Body Shop, the car had received a lime green and green panel paint job by Watson by 1960. Later on he would paint it lime green with a multitude of colors consisting of transculent green, gold and pearl frost for paneling. The panel paint was highlighted with white stripes.
Fred LeFevre's 1959 Chevrolet El Camino of Oildale, California. By 1960 the car had received a Pearl Yellow paint job with Lime Green scallops by Watson.
The Beatnik Bandit was Ed Roth’s first bubble top show rod. In 1960 Ed and Darryl Starbird toured together. Starbird had the Predicta, and Ed had the Outlaw. Starbird remembers that they often discussed building bubble top cars, and Starbird told him about how they made the top for the Predicta. Built by Roth and Dirty Doug Kinney, the Beatnik Bandit was Roth’s second fiberglass build. The body was sculptured over a shortened 1950 Oldsmobile chassis, and it featured a blown and chromed Oldsmobile engine. The build was completed in 1961, around the same time as the bubble topped iteration of Ron Aguirre’s X-Sonic. It featured a panel paint job by Watson, and as Ed didn't have the money it required to paint the car, he made a deal with Watson that he could take all the time he needed and that he got paid in Rat Fink T-Shirts.
A photo of Ron Aguirre’s bubble-topped X-Sonic Corvette taken by Ed Roth in May of 1961. In 1960, the year the Predicta won “The Car of the Future Award”, an earlier iteration of the X-Sonic was shown at the National Roadster Show. After the show, Ron and his good friend Ed Roth decided that they wanted to build “Feature” cars and get paid to show them, not just win trophies. Ron had already installed hydraulic lifts on the Corvette, and now he wanted to go futuristic, replacing the stock top with a plastic bubble top.
Jim Jackson's 1956 Chevrolet of Compton, California. By 1961 the car had received a scallop paint job by Watson. Larry highlighted the front by surrounding the grille and headlights with bronze scallops outlined in white. Three teardrops were extended aft along the top of the fenders and hood. The rear license plate, taillights, and top corners were accentuated with scallops as well.
Ron Aguirre's 1956 Chevrolet Corvette of Rialto, California. Ron's Corvette, known as the X-Sonic, received a scallop paint job by Larry Watson of Watson's House of Style in 1961.
An unknown 1956 Chevrolet that has been dressed up with a panel paint job by Watson.
An unknown 1956 Chevrolet that has been dressed up with a scallop and flame paint job by Watson.
John Drew's 1956 Chevrolet of Long Beach, California. Watson painted the car in lime-fire metallic nitro lacquer with candy green flames with candy root-beer tips over a silver base. The flames were pinstriped in black.
Larry Watson's 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham of Bellflower, California. This was Watson's personal ride. About 1961 he painted it Candy Raspberry Platinum Pearl. The stock brushed stainless top was left untouched, and Watson used 30 gallons of paint while painting it, and as a result, he created an outstandingly translucent color.
Bob Mayfield's 1959 Chevrolet Impala of Bakersfield, California. Sometime prior to 1961 Watson painted the car Pearl with scalloping.
Larry Kubota's 1959 Chevrolet Impala of Gardena, California. By 1961 Watson had painted the car pearl gold at the bottom and candy pearl at the top.
After the Beatnik Bandit, Ed Roth decided to challenge George Barris, building his own bubble-topped air car. While the Barris’ air car was well built, Roth’s Rotar was a little rougher. The XPAK 400 featured no frictional moving parts at all, and power came from two jet aircraft starter motors. Roths Air Car, on the other hand, was powered by two Triumph engines that he had turned on their sides and fitted with high-pressure propellers. The build was completed in 1962 featuring a patriotic red white and blue paint job by Watson.
Larry Watson's 1962 Cadillac of Bellflower, California. This was Watson's personal driver, and it featured a Silver paintjob.
Ed Roth got the idea for the Mysterion from the dragsters that started popping up with two, three and four engines. Completed in 1963, hydraulics were used to open and close the bubble top, and to adjust the height of the rear suspension. It featured a Candy Yellow paint job by Watson.
Bill Haddad's 1951 Chevrolet. Bill bought the car car from Richard Torres of Lawndale, California. After buying it, Bill had Larry Watson of Watson House of Style give it a panel paint job. Named "The Blue Ribbon," this iteration of the car was featured in Popular Customs Winter Issue 1963.
Roy Abendroth's 1955 Buick Century of Compton, California. Known as the "BuSonic," the build was started in 1959 and completed in 1963. It featured bodywork by John Schott and Copper Metalflake paint job by Larry Watson of Watson's House of Style. It was also fitted with hydraulic lifts.
Johnnie Alan McCann's 1963 Chevrolet Impala SS of Redondo Beach, California. The car featured a custom green paint job with flakes that went from light to dark with changing light on it.
Johnny Taylor's 1958 Ford. There is some conflict about who did what on Johnny's car, but according to later owner Chris Yates, Watson painted the car. Chris has had this confirmed by Larry himself. The car was painted sometime prior to 1963.
Ed Roth’s fourth bubble top build started out as a project car for Rod & Custom Magazine. A Corvair engine and rear suspension allowed a low-slung hood. Named "The Road Agent," the build was finished early in 1964, and it featured a Watson paint job and a bubble in fluorescent plastic, made in the pizza oven at Furt’s sign shop.
A photo of the Road Agent taken in front of Watson's shop.
Completed in 1964, Watson gave Ed Roth's Orbitron a Candy blue over White Pearl paint job. As the car got scratched in transport, it was only shown once in this condition. Roth returned the car to Watson for a repaint, and this time it was given a secret formulation of a gold Murano with blue. The Orbitron was a failure at the shows, and Roth believes it failed due to the engine being hidden.
Roy Abendroth's 1955 Buick Century of Compton, California. Known as the "BuSonic," the build was started in 1959 and completed in 1963. It featured bodywork by John Schott and Copper Metalflake paint job by Larry Watson of Watson's House of Style. It was also fitted with hydraulic lifts. In 1964 Watson resprayed the car in Green for Roy.
Mike Perello's 1960 Ford Starliner of Torrance, California. The car was painted twice by Larry Watson in 1964.
Dan Woods' Milk Truck. Completed in 1965, the car featured a custom paint job by Larry Watson.
Jim Boyd's 1963 Ford of Torrance, California. By 1965 Jim's Ford had been fit with hydraulic lifts up front. It would later receive lifts in the rear as well, along with some custom modifications and a Larry Watson paint job.
Pinky Richard's 1957 Chevrolet Corvette. Watson painted the body in a base of Candy Orange Metalflake and topped it off with a wild set of yellow flames outlined in green.
Steve Drale's 1958 Cadillac Brougham of Torrance, California. Mr B originally gave the car a Candy Ink paintjob. Sometime between 1964 and 1969 Steve scratched the side of the car, and as Mr B was out of business, he took the Brougham to Watson. Watson fixed the paint by fading in a lighter purple color on the sides of the car.
A Larry Watson business card from the 14903 Lakewood Blvd shop in Paramount. At the time Larry operated as the "Animal", and Marshall Tripp, a former employee think he did this to avoid a certain female. Larry can be seen working on Doug Carney's 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix in 1967 while wearing an "Animal" sweatshirt. From the mmslo7 collection on eBay[2]
In 1966 Larry moved to Mexico to pursue an acting career with his wife, leaving behind a big gap in the market. While he was away, two "Watson" paint shops sprung up in the area offering custom paint jobs to teenagers that didn't know better. One of the shops, Watson's Custom Kars was located in Downey. The other one, Watson's was located in Van Nuys on Burbank Blvd. Late in 1966 Larry returned to California to open up a new shop in Bellflower. Back in business, he made flyers that contained an important notice about the imposters that had been using his name while he was away. Scan courtesy of Von Franco.
Ken McGoldrick was manager for Larry's shop for a while in the 1960s. Photo courtesy of Kustomrama.
Marshall Tripp worked for Larry Watson between 1966 and 1967. He drove a flamed 1951 Chevrolet, and this photo taken outside Watson's Bellflower shop shows Marshall's car next to Doug Carney's 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix in black primer. Doug's Pontiac was was the first car ever to receive a Watson lace paint job, and the first lace paint anywhere. Marshall recalls that it was quite a trick to it, much more than just taping the lace to the side of the car. For instance how the lace was made to conform perfectly to the body around the wheel openings that protruded out. Photo courtesy of Marshall Tripp.
Ed Roth's Druid Princess Watson veiled the Druid Princess in purple in 1966, a unique process that produced a unique texture and pattern.
Doug Carney's 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix received a Lace paint job by Watson. The car is known as the first car ever to receive a Lace paint job.
Jim Arkin's 1967 Buick Riviera of Los Angeles, California. Jim was a member of the San Fernando Valley Illusions car club, and in 1968 his Riviera featured 8 inch Anson slotted aluminum wheels, and a subtle business men's pinstripe by Larry Watson of Watson's House of Style. The pinstripe consisted of two lines, a half inch apart, that ran the length of the car.
A 1965 Chevrolet Impala painted by Larry Watson. Photo by Howard Gribble.
Pete Limpert's 1936 Ford Tudor sedan of Gardena, California received a Candy Red paint job by Larry in the late 1960s.
Larry's Fireston Blvd. Shop in the late 1960s. Photo from the Larry Watson photo collection, provided by Rik Hoving.[1]
In the early 1970s, David Mirsky was a neighborhood kid that worked for Larry part time at his shop on Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood, and at his Melrose Avenue shop in Hollywood. In 1971 Larry painted a Bell Star helmet for David. David let Larry design the helmet, and you might recognize the rear end of a woman on the back of it? David suppose that was Larry's personal touch. Photo courtesy of David Mirsky.
A flyer for Larry's movie project. In the late 1970s Watson wanted to merge his two careers and produce a film entitled The Spray Booth.
The backside of The Spray Booth flyer. Watson would leave this on hot rods and customs hoping to cast them for the movie. Unfortunately, the project was never completed.
A business card for Larry Watson's Theatrical Auto Body
A flyer for Motorcycle Painting by Watson. At the time his business was located in Sherman Oaks, California. Scan courtesy of Von Franco.

Watson's House of Style was a custom paint shop run by legendary custom painter Larry Watson.


Larry opened up his first shop on Artesia Boulevard in Bellflower, California after graduating from school in 1957. As his reputation as a painter and pinstriper grew Larry decided that it was about time to open up his own shop. In order to promote his brand new shop, Larry bought a brand new 1958 Ford Thunderbird that he took to Barris Kustoms for som mild modifications. Bill Hines and Bill DeCarr that worked at Barris Kustoms nosed and decked the car, shaved the handles and rounded the corners. After that Larry painted the car with six coats of pearl over a fine metallic silver base. Larry didn't tint the pearl with transparent mixing black toner that eliminated the cloudiness, and he thought the car turned out too bright. Larry thought the bright look made the car look way too large, so in order to fix it up, Larry taped the panel lines of the bird with 1-3/4 inch tape and shot candy apple burgundy over it. With this paint job many thinks that Larry invented the Panel Paint Job. The Thunderbird was the first car featuring a silver pearl and candy burgundy paint job, but before he painted panels on his own car he had already paneled Zeno Stephens' 1955 Mercury. Zeno wanted something different, no scallops or flames, so Larry body paneled it. Larry painted the car in Titian Red and striped it in gold. After painting the car Larry never saw it again, not in a magazine, or at a car show, nowhere.[3]


First Metalflake Paint Job

In 1960 Larry applied his first Metalflake job on Ron Aguirre's Corvette, the X-Sonic. The X-Sonic did also feature Watsons first fade paint job. As Aguirre kept modifying the car, Watson painted it six times. Between 1960 and 1966 Larry got tired of all the masking and striping, and he started doing mostly straight candies with Metalflake or Pearl tops, or Pearl bottoms with matching Candy tops.[4] Larry was kicking ass working anything from 12 to 20 hours a day, 7 days a week. He had 5 or 6 helpers.[3]


Moving to Mexico

Between 1960 and 1966 Larry got tired of all the masking and striping, and he started doing mostly straight candies with Metalflake or Pearl tops, or Pearl bottoms with matching Candy tops.[4] Larry was kicking ass working from 12 to 20 hours a day, 7 days a week. He had 5 or 6 helpers.[3] At the peak in 1966, Larry sold the shop he had on Lakeward Boulevard in Paramount, and moved to Mexico in order to pursue an acting career with his wife.


While the Cat's Away

When Watson moved to Mexico he left behind a big gap in the market, and while he was away, two other "Watson" custom paint shops sprung up in the area offering custom paint jobs to teenagers that didn't know better. One of the shops, Watson's Custom Kars was located in Downey. The other one, Watson's was located in Van Nuys on Burbank Blvd.


The Comeback

Late in 1966 Larry returned to California to open up a new shop in Bellflower. The new shop was located on 17412 Lakewood Blvd., on the corner of Artesia. Back in business, Watson made flyers that contained an important notice about the imposters that had been using his name while he was away; "Larry Watson is not associated with Watson's Custom Kars in Downey and the Watson's in Van Nuys on Burbank Blvd. - And - Disclaims all responsibility of work coming from those locations. To whom it may concern! It's only a Watson Paint Job when Larry Watson does the painting personally." Marshall Tripp worked for Larry between 1966 and 1967. At the time Ken McGoldbrick was the manager in the shop. In 2016 Marshall told Kustomrama that "Kenny was the "manager," although Larry was always there. He was a good guy and knew his stuff when it came to Larry's work. He taught me how things should be done." Marshall remembers that Joe Perez did Watson's interiors while he worked for him; "I remember Watson saying once "you'll never win best interior with black.""[5]


First Lace Paint Job

After Larry had opened up the shop in Bellflower, he determined that he had to get his name back on the show circuit,, so he decided to do something completely new for the upcoming show at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in April 1967. Larry was painting Doug Carney's 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix for the show, and decided to do a lace paint job on the car. Ha had never tried the technique before, but Von Dutch had told him about a doily that ha had on a bench in his shop. One day while cleaning up in the shop he had removed the doily, and a beautiful overspray pattern had been left on the bench. Von Dutch dug the design and painted clear all over it. While wondering about what to do with Doug's Pontiac, Larry remembered this story, and decided to painty the whole side of the car using a lace pattern with Lucky Lage Duble X Pattern. Many believes that custom painter Joe Andersen invented the technique as he demonstrated it in the Rod & Custom March 1968 issue, one year after Larry painted Doug's Pontiac.[4] Larry's newly painted Pontiac made it's debut at the April 1967 show together with 53 other cars in the center arena of the car show, who was sponsored by the Tridents Car Club. At the same show he also had over two dozen motorcycles upstairs.[3]


Watson Goes to Hollywood

After the 1967 Tridents Rod Custom Autorama Watson he figured that he couldn't get any further, so he decided to sell his shop and get out of the business.[3] He left the custom car scene in favor of a blossoming TV and movie acting career. He painted and striped numerous luxury or sports cars for actors, actresses, directors, producers, or casting directors to gain entree. Between 1967 and 1985 Larry ended up in 141 different shows, such as MacGyver, Columbo, and Mission Impossible.[6]


David Mirsky Remembers Watson

In the early 1970s, David Mirsky was a neighborhood kid that worked for Larry part time at his shop on Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood, and at his Melrose Avenue shop in Hollywood. David was one of those kids that hung around Larry's shop, that after a while was put to work. He was around 15 or 16 years old at the time, and Larry used him to take parts of cars, prep them for work and paint, color sanding and all sorts of other tasks. He was paid in hamburgers and fun, and he recalls working on Evel Knievel's jet bike, something that was really cool for a 15 years old kid. To David and his friends, Larry was the coolest guy they had ever met. He was a magician with cars and a good looking guy always looking for acting gigs. To David, Larry was who Burt Reynolds copied himself after. David remembers that Larry always had a slim cigar in his hands. He used the cigar like a prop when he made his points. David worked for Larry for a short period of time, and he remembers him as a good guy that always treated him as a friend. Larry painted a Bell Star helmet for David in 1971 that he still owned in 2013.[7]


The Paint Booth

In the late 1970s Larry Watson worked on a movie he wanted to produce called "The Paint Booth". Working for the movie he visited car shows handing out flyers on cars he wanted to use in the movie. For the movie Larry was looking for racers, hot rods, customs, and stocks 1956 or older. The backside of the flyer shows a print of Larry's business card. On that card he promotes his business as "Watson's Custom Auto Painting", Since 1955. His shop was located at 5576 Melrose in Hollywood. On a later business card he had changed the name to "Theatrical Auto Body", Complete Auto Painting Since 1969. The shop was still located at 5576 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood.[8]


Employees

Bill Hines
Jim Noteboom
Larry Lorenzo
Larry Watson
Walt Drews


Cars Painted by Watson's House of Style

Ed Roth's Outlaw
Ed Roth's Beatnik Bandit
Ed Roth's Mysterion
Ed Roth's Orbitron
Ed Roth's Rotar
Ed Roth's Road Agent
The Mysterion
Norm Grabowski's 1922 Ford Model T Bucket - The Lightning Bug / The Kookie T
Bill NieKamp's 1929 Ford Model A Roadster
Bill DeCarr's 1932 Ford Roadster
Clyde Hamilton's 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe
George Collins' 1932 Ford
Phil Kaelin's 1932 Ford 5-Window
Pete Limpert's 1936 Ford Tudor Sedan
Harold Johnson's 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline
Larry Watson's 1950 Chevrolet - Grapevine
Rod & Custom Magazine’s Dream Truck
Santo Vasques' 1950 Chevrolet Convertible
Lowell Helms' 1950 Ford Tudor
Bill Haddad's 1951 Chevrolet - The Blue Ribbon
Jake Bultsma's 1951 Chevrolet Bel Air
Pete Angress' 1952 Ford
Hayward Mendenhall's 1953 Ford F100
Roger Miller's 1953 Ford Club Coupe
Bob Schremp's 1954 Chevrolet Bel-Air
Duane Steck's 1954 Chevrolet - The Moonglow
Gerald Twamley's 1954 Chevrolet
Jerry Preston's 1954 Ford
Delmar McCutcheon's 1955 Buick - The Kandy Kane
Roy Abendroth's 1955 Buick Century - The BuSonic
Al Lazarus' 1955 Chevrolet
Jerry Koller's 1955 Ford
Larry Quatrone's 1955 Ford Crown Victoria
Calvin Wiekamp's 1955 Mercury
Zeno Stephens' 1955 Mercury
Dick Gonzales' 1955 Studebaker
Gary Niemie's 1956 Buick
Jim Doss' 1956 Chevrolet
Jim Jackson's 1956 Chevrolet
John Busman's 1956 Chevrolet
John Drew's 1956 Chevrolet
Ron Aguirre's 1956 Chevrolet Corvette - The X-Sonic
Dave Robertson's 1956 Ford F100 -Lil Nugget
Johnny Zupan's 1956 Ford F-100 Truck
Jack Arnold's 1956 Mercury
Ron Dulin's 1956 Plymouth Fury
Jack James' 1957 Buick
Kermit Hanson's 1957 Buick
Larry Watson's 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham
Pinky Richard's 1957 Chevrolet Corvette
Harry Okuda's 1957 Dodge
Charles Kuhl's 1957 Ford Ranchero
George Mitobe's 1957 Ford
Jim Parker's 1957 Ford Thunderbird
Jim Shiery's 1957 Oldsmobile
Ed Borgotte's 1957 Pontiac
Terry Holloway's 1957 Plymouth
Steve Drale's 1958 Cadillac Brougham
Benny Schiller's 1958 Chevrolet Impala
Dave Robertson's 1958 Chevrolet Impala
Jim Doss' 1958 Chevrolet Impala
LaVonne Bathke's 1958 Chevrolet Corvette
Johnny Taylor's 1958 Ford
Jeanne Beaumont's 1958 Ford Thunderbird
Larry Watson's 1958 Ford Thunderbird - Vino Pasiano / The Burgundy Bird
Floyd DeBore's 1958 Pontiac Bonneville
Larry Watson's 1959 Cadillac
Bob Mayfield's 1959 Chevrolet
Fred LeFevre's 1959 Chevrolet El Camino
Jerry Preston's 1959 Chevrolet El Camino
Larry Kubota's 1959 Chevrolet Impala
Don Loster's 1959 Ford
George Teixeira, Jr.'s 1959 Ford Thunderbird
Dodson Latham's 1959 Oldsmobile
Mike Perello's 1960 Ford Starliner
Doug Vido's 1960 Pontiac Catalina
Walt Drews' 1961 Dodge
Larry Watson's 1962 Cadillac
Johnnie Alan McCann's 1963 Chevrolet Impala SS
Jim Boyd's 1963 Ford
Dave Robertson's 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix
Doug Carney's 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix
Dan Woods' Milk Truck
Dave Pearce's 1965 Chevrolet Impala
Ed Roth's Druid Princess


Cars Pinstriped by Larry Watson's House of Style

Harvey Budoff's 1950 Ford
Duane Steck's 1954 Chevrolet - The Moonglow
Danny Purinton's 1956 Mercury
Jim Arkin's 1967 Buick Riviera


References



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