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Custom by paint was one of the hottest trends of 1957, and in November of 1957 Car Craft Magazine ran a Special Issue on "Crazy Paint". Photo courtesy of Car Craft Magazine.
In 1957 Duane Steck's 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air, The Moonglow, received a scallop paint job by Larry Watson of Watson's House of Style. The first version of the Moonglow was completed in 1956.
The second version of Santo Vasques' 1950 Chevrolet was scalloped by Larry Watson of Watson's House of Style in 1957. According to Larry, it was the wildest scallop paint-job he did that year.
Ed Roth's 1956 Ford F-100 truck of Maywood, California. Ed, who was a member of the Maywood Drag Wagons, bought the truck in 1957. He wanted to use it as a promotion vehicle for his custom paint and pinstripe business, so he gave it a red flame paint job the same year.
Joe Crisafulli's 1956 Oldsmobile of San Jose, California. Joe was a member of the San Jose Rod and Wheelers car club, and his Olds was restyled during the summer of 1957. Joe's Oldsmobile is an example of an early scalloped Nothern California custom.
Jerry DeVito's 1957 Ford Fairlane of San Jose, California. The first version of Jerry's Ford, known as the Maze, was restyled in 1957, featuring custom body work and paint by Wirth's Body Shop, and a scallop paint job by Joe Crisafulli of J & J Auto Painting. Jerry was a member of the San Jose Rod and Wheelers car club.
The first version of Ron Aguirre's 1956 Chevrolet Corvette, The X-Sonic, was completed in 1957. This version featured pinstripes and a flame paint job by Ed Roth. Ron was from Rialto, California, and he was the President of the Krankers of San Bernardino.
Bob Palladino's 1957 Buick Century of Antioch, California was customized by Joe Bailon of Bailon Custom Shop in 1957. The car, known as the Candy Wagon, received one of Bailon's signature Candy Apple Paint jobs.
Jerry Woodward's 1929 Ford Model-A Roadster, "Thunder Road", of Utah was completed in 1957. The car was pinstriped by Tommy the Greek and it featured a mural on the glove box by Dean Jeffries. Jerry won the America's Most Beautiful Roadster award with the car at the 1957 National Roadster Show in Oakland.
Quint Meland's 1931 Ford Model A Roadster of Oceanside, California. Quint bought the basic car, without an engine in 1956. After spending countless hours in school auto shop and at his father's gas station the roadster was finally ready for its first trip to the Paradise Mesa Drag Strip in 1957. In 1958 Quint was asked to join the Carlsbad Oilers car club and the Dragmaster racing team. He owned the car from 1956 to 1961, and he only lost two races with it.
Norman Kopp's 1932 Chevrolet Two Door Sedan of Beloit, Wisconsin. Norman, who was a member of the Road Gents of Beloit car club, bought the Chevrolet in 1957, when he was a high school sophomore.
Jack Schleich's 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe of Oceanside, New York was first built in 1957. This is how it appeared in 1958.
Laverne A. Stetzer's 1932 Ford 5-Window coupe of York, Pennsylvania. The car, known as the York Coupe was built by Glen "Rudy" Rudisill and his father at G.E. Rudisill & Sons in 1957.
Ron Guidry's 1936 Ford 5-Window Coupe
Nick De Simon's 1940 Ford coupe of Jersey City, New Jersey. Nick worked for his dad at De Simon Auto Body, and he was a very talented body man and fabricator. The build was completed around 1957.
Vern LaCoursiere's 1949 Ford coupe of Tacoma, Washington. Vern is a member of the Tacoma Toppers car club. The Ford was his first car, and he bought it and restyled it in 1957, when he was 19 years old.
Ron Dunn's 1950 Ford of Glendale, California. Known as the "Monte Carlo", Ron's Ford was restyled by Valley Custom Shop. The first iteration of the car was completed in 1952. In 1957 the car was involved in an accident, and it was brought back to Neil Emory and Clayton Jensen for a makeover. The second iteration of the "Monte Carlo" was completed sometime prior to June of 1957.
Buddy Alcorn's 1950 Mercury as it looked after Dick Jackson updated it in 1957.
Noal Johnston's 1951 Mercury of Ogden, Utah. Noal was a member of the Stags of Ogden car club. The Merc was restyled in 1957.
Roy Hewitt's 1951 Mercury of Cadillac, Michigan. Restyled back in 1956-57, the car featured handmade bubble skirts by Roy.
Chuck Sanders' 1951 Oldsmobile, The Black Panther, as it appeared in 1957.
Jim Genty's 1952 Ford Victoria of Miles City, Montana. Jim's Ford, named "Nugget", was restyled by Jim and some friends in 1957.
Keith Hunt's 1952 Ford convertible of Salt Lake City, Utah. The car was already customized when Keith bought it in the Winter of 1956. It had been damaged at a used car lot, so Keith had Tanner Body Shop fix it up. The build was completed early in 1957. During the build, Keith became a member of the Falcons of Salt Lake City car club.
John Bozio's 1953 Buick Roadmaster of East Hartford, Connecticut was restyled between 1956 and 1957.
Don Chaves' 1953 Mercury, after it was restyled for the second time in 1957.
Rudy Rodriguez’s 1954 Ford of Lansing, Michigan. Rudy's Ford was restyled by Cooper Body Shop around 1956 - 1957.
Terry Smith's 1954 Ford of Lansing, Michigan. Terry was a member of the Capitol City Customs, and his Ford was restyled by Cooper Body Shop. The work was done sometime around 1956 - 1957.
Bobby Yamazaki's 1954 Mercury was completed in 1957. The car was destroyed in the Barris Kustoms shop fire only hours after it was ready for delivery.
The first version of John Nadzon's 1954 Mercury of Parsippany, New Jersey was restyled by Korky's Kustom Shop in 1957.
Tad Hirai's 1955 Buick Century was restyled in 1957.
George Barris' 1955 Chevrolet truck, the Kopper Kart, was built as a promotion vehicle for Barris Kustoms of Lynwood, California. The build was completed in 1957.
Dick Gonzales' 1955 Studebaker as it looked in 1957. This version was known as Strawberries and Cream.
An early version of Eric Bracher's 1956 Chevrolet as it appeared in 1957
David Rolin's 1957 Ford of Sacramento, California was restyled by Dick Bertolucci of Bertolucci Body & Fender Shop and Harris' Body Shop between 1956 and 1958. This photo shows the car under construction in 1957.
Dick Jackson's 1957 Ford of Compton, California was restyled late in 1956 or early in 1957. Dick, who started out at Barris Kustoms ran his own shop Advanced Custom Paints in Compton, California when the Ford was restyled. Later on in 1957, Dick traded the Ford with Buddy Alcorn for his 1950 Mercury.
A Crash Helmet Magazine group shot of some Cut-Outs of Long Beach members taken in 1957. The members in the photo are, from left to right Ron Dulin and Dick Gonzales. The two gentlemen in the center are un-identified, while Glenn and Gary Thorton sits on the right side. The guys are posing in front of Ron Dulin's 1956 Plymouth Fury, the "Strawberries and Cream" version of Dick Gonzales' 1955 Studebaker Speedster and Gary Thorton's Pickup truck. Photo from The Cut Outs of Long Beach Photo Collection.
Joar Kristiansen's LeSabre of Askim, Norway. Inspired by Harley Earl's 1951 GM LeSabre the build was started in 1953 and completed in 1957.
The 2nd annual Portland Roadster Show was held October 18 thru 20, 1957 at the Multnomah County Fair Grounds in Gresham, Oregon.

<-- 1956 - 1950s - 1958 -->

According to Motor Life May 1957, the activity in the custom or restyled car field had never been greater than it was right then. They also claimed that nor had the individual builders ever exhibited more ingenuity in taking a standard Detroit product and remaking it.[1]

Custom by Paint

Custom by paint was one of the hottest trends of 1957. A radical lowering and a scallop or flame paint job was all you needed in order to stand out at the High School parking lot. Larry Watson painted his first scallop paint job in his parents driveway in 1956. The car he painted was Bob Schremp's 1954 Chevrolet Bel-Air. After Bob showed the car off at the Clock Drive-In it seemed like every day after high-school Watson had a scallop job to do. Upon graduating from school in September of 1957, Watson opened up his first shop Watson's House of Style in North Long Beach, California on Artesia Boulevard. In order to promote the new trend, Watson bought a brand new 1958 Ford Thunderbird that he took to Barris Kustoms for some mild modifications. Bill Hines and Bill DeCarr, that worked at Barris Kustoms at the time, nosed and decked the car, shaved the handles and rounded the corners before Watson painted it with six coats of Pearl over a fine Metallic silver base. Watson 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.[2]

1957 was also the year Gene Winfield came up with his famous faded, blended candy paint job technique. The technique was discovered after he tried to blend two candy colors together. The faded paint job became a trademark of Gene Winfield, and since then he has been traveling all over the world laying his famous paint jobs.

Juvenile Delinquency

The total number of teenagers arrested in the country in 1947 was 34,376. By 1957 the number had climbed to 253,817. As early as 1953 a Boston judge was quoted saying; "We have the spectacle of an entire city terrorized by one-half of one percent of its resident. And the terrorists are children."[3]

Hot Rods Built or Completed in 1957

Jerry Woodward's 1929 Ford Model-A Roadster
Quint Meland's 1931 Ford Model A Roadster - The RoadStar
Norman Kopp's 1932 Chevrolet Two Door Sedan
Jack Schleich's 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe
Laverne A. Stetzer's 1932 Ford 5-Window Coupe - The York Coupe

Custom Cars Restyled or Completed in 1957

Nick De Simon's 1940 Ford Coupe
Vern LaCoursiere's 1949 Ford Coupe
Herb Gary's 1949 Plymouth - The Aztec
Pete Millino's 1950 Ford Convertible
Buddy Alcorn's 1950 Mercury
Noal Johnston's 1951 Mercury
Roy Hewitt's 1951 Mercury
Chuck Sanders' 1951 Oldsmobile - The Black Panther
Mary Kolbert's 1952 Chevrolet Bel Air
Jim Genty's 1952 Ford Victoria - Nugget
Keith Hunt's 1952 Ford Convertible
Rod & Custom Magazine’s Dream Truck was completed in 1957. The build took 4 years.
John Bozio's 1953 Buick Roadmaster
Don Chaves' 1953 Mercury
Rudy Rodriguez’s 1954 Ford
Terry Smith's 1954 Ford
Bobby Yamazaki's 1954 Mercury
John Nadzon's 1954 Mercury - The Mysterian
Dean Jeffries' 1956 Porsche 356 Carrera
Duane Steck's 1954 Chevrolet - The Moonglow
Tad Hirai's 1955 Buick Century
George Barris' 1955 Chevrolet Truck - The Kopper Kart
Dick Gonzales' 1955 Studebaker
Eric Bracher's 1956 Chevrolet
Ron Aguirre's 1956 Chevrolet Corvette - The X-Sonic
Ed Roth's 1956 Ford F-100
Bob Palladino's 1957 Buick Century - The Candy Wagon
Jack James' 1957 Buick Special
Harry Okuda's 1957 Dodge
Darol Jorgenson's 1957 Chevrolet Corvette
Dick Jackson's 1957 Ford
George Contaoi's 1957 Ford Fairlane
Jerry DeVito's 1957 Ford Fairlane - The Maze

Dream Cars Built or Completed in 1957

Joar Kristiansen's LeSabre

Custom Cars Destroyed in 1957

Ron Guidry's 1936 Ford 5-Window Coupe
Bobby Yamazaki's 1954 Mercury
Joe Crisafulli's 1956 Oldsmobile

Hot Rod and Custom Car Clubs Established in 1957

Counts of the Cobblestone
Haulin' Gents
Kingsmen of Miles City
Stags of Ogden

Custom Car and Hot Ros Shows Held in 1957

Portland Roadster Show



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