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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

Kalle Jonasson's 1939 Mercury Convertible According to Dennis Manifor, Kalle Jonasson's 1939 Mercury cruised the streets of Lynwood, California, back in 1958 while he was still in high school. Lee Plastic Company Custom Made Tail Light Lenses by the Craftsmen of Lee Plastic Co. for the Customizer! Who were the craftsmen behind the popular taillight lenses? Bob Peterson's 1933 Ford 3-Window Coupe 1933 Ford 3-Window Coupe owned by Robert "Bob" Peterson of Mason City, Iowa. Bob owned the coupe in the mid-1960s. Back then he was stationed at the Army's Nike-Hercules missile headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


08.15.2022 - The Rodder's Journal is Back Yes. The Rodder's Journal is still in business, and the Rodder's Journal 85 was debuted in August of 2022 at the Street Rod National in Louisville, Kentucky. 02.26.2022 - Terry Cook is Out With Two New Books Kustomrama Contributor, storyteller, and former editor of Car Craft and Hot Rod Terry Cook is out with two new books. 150 classic short stories and over 200 photos. 01.15.2022 - The Hirohata Merc Sold for $1,950,000 USD On January 15 the Hirohata Mercury crossed the block at the Mecum Kissimmee auction and sold for $1,950,000 USD. The iconic custom was one of the main attractions at the auction.

Lost and Found

Lost: Tommy Henderson's 1934 Ford Cabriolet In 1959, Tommy Henderson of Toronto, Canada, sold his channeled 1934 Ford Cabriolet to pay for a trip to Ireland. Lost: Jim Opfar's 1953 Ford Hardtop - The Glitra Have you seen the Glitra? Darryl Starbird originally restyled Jim Opfar's 1953 Ford custom for Ed Pogue in the early 1960s. Lost: Charles Ritter's 1955 Chevrolet Charles Ritter of Warren, Ohio, owned this 1955 Chevrolet custom in the early to mid-1970s. Modifications included a chopped top, 1950 Mercury back window, and 1958 Lincoln quads.

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: Squeak Bell's 1940 Mercury Convertible Sedan Historic build. Offered for sale for the first time in 61 years. Runs (sweet) and "yard drives." For Sale: Bobby Massaron's 1956 Chevrolet Convertible - The Venturian Historic Custom Car. Designed by Harry Bradley. Restyled by the Alexander Brothers of Detroit. Winner of the Ridler Award at the 1965 Detroit Autorama. For Sale: Mike Young's 1948 Buick Special Sedanette Mild custom. Modern Art Morrison frame by Limeworks. Chevrolet ZZ4 383 stroker engine, Custom Matterson radiator and a GM 700R4 automatic transmission. Full custom upholstery by legendary Southern California upholsterer Joe Perez.

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

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. Gene Winfield ranks his top 3 favorite builds Gene Winfield is a legendary customizer, painter, and hot rod racer. Born June 16, 1927, Gene has been restyling cars since 1945, and he is one of the world's best-known and most recognized builders. They say choosing your favorite build is like choosing your favorite child! We Gene what his top 3 favorite builds are?

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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