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.
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.
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.
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."
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
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
Custom Cars Destroyed in 1957
Hot Rod and Custom Car Clubs Established in 1957
Custom Car and Hot Ros Shows Held in 1957
Did You Enjoy This Article?
Kustomrama is an online encyclopedia dedicated to traditional hot rod and custom cars. Our mission is to protect, preserve and share traditional hot rod custom car history from all over the world.
- Find out how you can become a contributor.
- Forward this article to a friend.
- Subscribe to our newsletter and receive updates on 1957 and other subjects featured on Kustomrama.
Help Us Make This Article Better
If you have additional information, photos, feedback or corrections about 1957, please get in touch with Kustomrama at: email@example.com.