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Kustomrama is an encyclopedia dedicated to traditional hot rod and custom cars. Our mission is to keep history alive by protecting, preserving and sharing hot rod and custom car history from all over the world. More info...

Featured Stories

The The Sonny Kahal - Herb Derose 1932 Ford Tudor Sedan Discover the fascinating story behind Sonny Kahal's iconic 1932 Ford Hot Rod! From its original owner to the remarkable modifications made by Herb Derose in the 1960s, this car has seen it all. Gene Schilling's 1949 Chevrolet Convertible Gene Schilling's 1949 Chevrolet Convertible is a testament to the creativity and ingenuity of the custom car culture that was emerging in the United States in the 1950s. Lace and Legacy: A 1960s Custom Paint Revolution The lace custom paint job is a technique that gained popularity in the custom car culture during the 1960s, particularly in Southern California.


05.21.2023 - In Memory of Harry Bradley  Today, we were saddened by the news that automotive design icon Harry Bradley passed away last Saturday. 05.13.2023 - Bidding Starts for Another Barris Kustoms Masterpiece: The Ralph Testa Merc After 45 years of ownership, Bill Worden has decided to part ways with this iconic custom. 05.04.2023 - In Memory of Dick "Peep" Jackson  Today, we were saddened by the news that Dick "Peep" Jackson has passed away. From his humble beginnings sweeping floors at Barris Kustoms to becoming the head painter and eventually opening his own shop, Dick's contributions to the industry will forever be remembered.

Lost and Found

Looking for Info: Walter Kristick's 1934 Ford 5-Window Coupe A recently discovered 1934 Ford 5-Window Coupe is currently undergoing restoration, and its owner is seeking any information about the car's history. Looking for Info: Dave Facey's 1939 Ford Coupe Do you recognize this 1939 Ford 3-Window Coupe? For years, Dave Facey of Lakeland, Florida, used to pass by the radical custom on his way to work. Found: Gil Takushi's 1954 Mercury Monterey 1954 Mercury Monterey, originally restyled by Barris Kustoms in 1956.

Photo Archive

The Joe "Bud" Simmons Collection Joe "Bud" Simmons was a founding member of the Throttle Benders car club in 1949. According to his grandson, Brian Burnham, it wasn't a big club, "just a bunch of farm kids from the California Central Valley." The Lyle R. Johnson Collection Lyle R. Johnson was a member of the Emperors of Seattle car club, and he was involved in the hot rod shows in the area in 1956 and 1957. Lyle acted as secretary-treasurer of the Emperors in 1956, and thanks to his son, a few of his photos and memorabilia have found their way to Kustomrama. The Janne Lepola Collection Janne Lepola had to travel around the world to find out how special the Suomi kustom tradition really is! "On my first trip to Los Angeles I showed pictures of Suomi Kustoms to my new friends and even though they said "nice," I could see from their faces that something was wrong!"


For Sale: 1963 Ford Thunderbird Custom Painted in a Larry Watson-inspired green and mint panel and scallop paint job. Runs and drives great. For Sale: Bill Holzhause's 1951 Mercury - The Dragon Lady 1951 Mercury owned by Bill Holzhause of Paris, Kentucky. Known as "The Dragon Lady," the car was built by Bob Nitti of Jersey City, New Jersey, in the early 1980s. For Sale: Clyde Wooten's 1958 Pontiac Chieftain Period correct late 1950s custom with many small balanced details. Custom bodywork by Paul Gilbert. Nosed and decked. Shaved door handles. 1960 Oldsmobile grille.

Guides, Reviews & Recommendations

Mags, Drags & Rock'n Roll - Kustomrama's Guide to Mag Wheels You could see them on dragsters, hot rods, customs, lowriders, and show cars! Mag wheels were the ultimate craze during the 1960s, and no one wanted to stand outside the winner's circle. Buggies – A New Generation of Street Roadsters - The Kustomrama Guide to Street Buggies of the 1960s and the 1970s This guide is made to showcase a style of buggies that has the authentic 1960s and 1970s look and style. Show & Go - Kustomrama's Guide to the Cragar S/S Wheel BOOM! In 1964 the Cragar S/S rocket thundered off from the headquarters of Bell Auto Parts in Southern California. It was a major blast, and nobody knew back then how long the mission would last. A year, a season, or maybe a decade?

Top Lists

50 Automotive History Books Every Car Enthusiast Must Read Are you a gearhead or an automotive enthusiast looking to expand your knowledge on hot rods, custom cars, and the rich history of the automobile? Look no further! Top 21 Barris Kustoms of the 1950s - Plus the Expert Picks of 2022 Do you have a favorite Barris Kustom build from the 1950s? We have made a list that showcases the 21 most famous and most important Barris Kustoms of the 1950s in chronological order. 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.

Featured Events

Custom Car Revival 2021 The 2021 Custom Car Revival is a weekend event dedicated to traditional custom cars in Indianapolis, Indiana. It started as a one-day show in 2013 but grew on to a weekender for the 2014 show. The 2021 Custom Car Revival was held June 10-12, 2021 at Edwards Drive-In in Indianapolis. Norwalk Motorcade 1957 The 1957 Norwalk Motorcade was an outdoor car show sponsored by the Norwalk Coachmen Car Club. Because of the connection to the Norwalk club, the show is also known as "The Coachman Show." Disneyland Car Club Day and Autocade The Disneyland Car Club Day and Autocade was a car show held on September 5, 1959, by the Road Lords of So. Cal. car club. It was a spectacular one-day event that took place at Holidayland in Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The show was promoted as an annual show but was only held once.

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.

Kustomrama Styling Studio

1950 Ford Custom - Bongo Date 1950 Ford Coupe designed by Howard "The Weird Rembrandt" Gribble. Gribble drew this custom sometime around 1959, as a high school freshman. At the time he was busy restyling his own 1950 Ford, and this design shows what kind of ideas he had planned for the car. Panel Painted 1950 Ford Custom 1950 Ford Coupe designed by Doyle Bidwell. Bidwell drew this custom sometime around 1959, as a high school freshman. At the time he was busy restyling his own 1950 Ford Coupe, and this design shows what kind of ideas he had planned for the car. 1941 Lincoln Zephyr Convertible Custom Janne Kutja has been down in his archive again and found a design he drew back in 2006. This concept is based on a 1941 Lincoln Zephyr convertible. Main modifications include a chopped and leaned back windshield and a padded top.

Recommended Reading

Recommended: Peter Sukalac: Photo Journalist Thanks to Peter Sukalac, Northwest hot rods and customs started appearing in national magazines back in the 1950s. Thanks to Albert Drake, the history of the man behind the photos has now finally been documented and preserved. News: Early Kustom Kulture: Kustoms and Hot Rods Photographed by George Barris George Barris is indisputably the "King of the Kustomizers," the most phenomenal kustom car builder ever. This book collects the incredible photos of early hot rods and custom cars taken by George Barris in the 1950s to early '60s. Recommended: The Birth of Hot Rodding 18 years have passed since Kustomrama contributor Robert Genat flabbergasted us with his book The Birth of Hot Rodding. The beautiful photography of Don Cox makes this book a winner.


Bello's Kustoms Bello's Kustoms is a custom body shop run and operated by Mike Bello. Located in San Diego, California, the shop has a focus on 1954 and earlier American-made cars. Featured Video: 1965 Pontiac Catalina - KKOA Dave Stuckey's 1965 Pontiac Catalina was exhibited at The Garage museum in Salina, Kansas in the summer of 2022. This is a brief presentation of the car. Featured Video: Car That Ate My Brain 2: Episode 1 Tweedy Pie History Car That Ate My Brain follows filmmaker, hot rod historian and builder Piero De Luca of Mad Fabricators in his quest to build a replica of the car known as "Tweedy Pie" a 1923 Model T Ford roadster made famous by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth. Revell and Roth turned the car into a famous model kit and influenced many selling over 11 million units to date.


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