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The Silhouette was built by Bill Cushenbery of Monterey, California. In 1962 Cushenbery was rated by many as the best new customizer in America. Cushenbery opened up his first body shop in Wichita, Kansas in 1952. He found out that the custom car market in town already was dominated by Darryl Starbird, so after 5 years, he decided to move his operations to Monterey. The Silhouette was the first scratch built custom to roll out of Bill’s Monterey shop, and he won the first place in the “Tournament of Fame” contest with the car at the 1963 National Roadster Show, beating Starbird’s three-wheeled Futurista.
Darryl Starbird's Futurista of Wichita, Kansas. Starbird debuted the three-weeled bubble topped build at the 1963 Oakland Roadster Show. This was Starbird’s 6th bubble top build, and he sold it to Monogram after the show. Unfortunately, it fell off a transporter and was destroyed. Fifteen years later Starbird turned the remains of the car into the Star Trek Coupe.
The Car Craft Dream Rod was built by Bill Cushenbery for Bob Larivee of Promotions Inc. The first drawings of the car appeared in Car Craft October 1961. The build was completed late in 1963.
Ed Roth's Mysterion of Maywood, California. After completing the Rotar, Roth returned to his shop to build the Mysterion. He got the idea for car 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.
Gene Winfield's 1935 Ford Shop Truck of Modesto, California. The '35 was Gene's second shop truck, and when he got it, half of the kustomizing had been done by Rick Lefelt. After completing the build, he started showing it in 1960. Before the 1963 season, Gene painted the truck with 40 coats of Candy Blue lacquer over a pearl base.
Kalle Jonasson's 1939 Mercury Convertible of Costa Mesa, California. Originally restyled in the 1940s or the 1950s. An earlier iteration of Kalle's Mercury was supposedly spotted in Lynwood, California in 1958. By 1963, it had been repainted in Green Metalflake, and an old photo shows it sitting at a car dealership in San Diego. Kalle bought the car in May of 1978 and spent two years restoring it, giving it his own look.
Ron Kozak's Bubble Top Studebaker of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The build was started in 1961 and completed in 1963. Photo courtesy of Pat O’Connor - Canadian Hot Rod History.
The Strip Star is a show and competition race car built by Gene Winfield of Winfield's Custom Shop for the Promotions Inc Show Car Division in 1963.
The first version of Lars Erik Ljungkvist's 1932 Ford Roadster, of Huddinge in Stockholm, Sweden, was completed in 1963. At the time there were about 30 hot rods in Sweden.
Orin Meyer's 1932 Ford 5-Window Coupe of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Orin first saw the car in 1957, when it was owned by Norman Fortini of Plymouth, Massachusetts. He purchased it from Duncan Weaver around 1960, and this photo shows the coupe as it appeared in 1963.
Bruce Olson's 1932 Ford 5-Window Coupe of Beach, North Dakota. The first version of Bruce's coupe was completed in 1955. In 1962 Bruce and his family moved to Fremont, California, bringing the coupe along. In 1963 the coupe received bobbed rear fenders, a custom hood and more.
Leon Kendrick's 1932 Ford 5-Window Coupe of Houston, Texas. Featuring stacked dual headlights and a panel paint job, the "Wild Deuce" iteration of the coupe started appearing in magazine in 1963.
Bengt Wennergren's 1949 Ford of Enskedefältet in Stockholm, Sweden. When Bengt bought the Ford, the rear end was already restyled by Leif "Grillkorven" Rose. The build was completed in 1963.
DeWayne Iverson's 1949 Mercury of Tacoma, Washington. DeWayne purchased the car from a lot in Tacoma in 1963. The car had already been customized when he got it.
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.
Irvin Kirschner's 1955 Chevrolet of Westwood, New Jersey. Known as The Pirate, the car was the second East Coast bubble-top custom that made its debut in 1963. Restyled by Tony Bruskivage for Irvin Kirschner the 1955 Chevrolet custom featured a huge plastic bubble that enclosed the entire 4 place cockpit on the car. Photo from The Brian Frederick Photo Collection.
Dan Contreras' 1957 Chevrolet of Norwalk, California. Restyled in 1963, Dan's Chevrolet featured Copper plated spotlights, wheels and side pipes.
Ron Volpe's 1957 Ford Convertible of La Salle, Illinois. Ron was a member of the Illinois Valley Mis-Fires. Between the years 1960 and 1963, he took the car through five different stages. This photo shows the fifth and most radical iteration of the car that was restyled in 1963. By then, the car had received an asymmetrical scoop on the hood, radiused wheel wells, and a fogged paint job.
Dick Scully's 1958 Ford Thunderbird of Chicago, Illinois. The car was Darryl Starbird’s fifth bubble top custom. Completed in 1963, Dick’s Thunderbird was given the name Electra. The Electra featured one of Starbird’s largest bubbles, as it covered all four passengers and most of the trunk.
Tom Holden’s 1959 Chevrolet El Camino was a radical bubble-top custom from Detroit, Michigan. Named Ultimus, the build made its debut at the 1963 Detroit Autorama. The Ultimus featured two hydraulically operated vacuum-formed canopies from Cadillac Plastics Company. Photo courtesy of Carscoops.
Bobby Freedman's 1962 Jaguar XK-E. In 1963 Dick “Korky” Korkes built a bubble-topped 1962 Jaguar XK-E for Bobby Freedman. Bobby’s Jaguar featured a double bubble that was split by a center panel with chrome bands across the roof. When George Barris saw the car, he offered Korky a position as shop foreman Barris Kustoms. Korky took the offer and solicited Freedman to pay his way out to California. Freedman agreed and Korky packed up, installed a tow hitch on the Parisian, rented a uhaul, loaded on the Jaguar and headed out West. Never to look back again.
George Barris' 1963 Buick Riviera of Encino, California. George, who owned and operated Barris Kustom City in North Hollywood, California, designed the car himself. Known as "The Villa Riviera Buick," the build was completed in 1963. In 1964 a white iteration of the car appeared in the popular Surf-movie "For Those Who Think Young".
Bob Nordskog's 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, The Asteroid, was restyled by Barris Kustoms in 1963.
Miles Masa's 1962 Chevrolet Impala of Downers Grove, Illinois. Restyled from a wreck in 1963, the car was shown as "The Stardust."

<-- 1962 - 1960s - 1964 -->

Hot Rods Built or Completed in 1963

Lars Erik Ljungkvist's 1932 Ford Roadster
Leon Kendrick's 1932 Ford 5-Window Coupe - Wild Deuce

Show Cars Built or Completed in 1963

Bill Cushenbery's Silhouette
Darryl Starbird's Futurista
Ed Roth's Mysterion
Gene Winfield's Strip Star
Ron Kozak's Bubble Top Studebaker
The Car Craft Dream Rod

Custom Cars Restyled or Completed In 1963

Bengt Wennergren's 1949 Ford
Roy Abendroth's 1955 Buick Century - The BuSonic
Irvin Kirschner's 1955 Chevrolet - The Pirate
Dan Contreras' 1957 Chevrolet
Ron Volpe's 1957 Ford Convertible - Red Robin II
[[[Dick Scully's Electra|Dick Scully's 1958 Ford]] Thunderbird - Electra
Tom Holden's 1959 Chevrolet El Camino - Ultimus
Miles Masa's 1962 Chevrolet Impala - The Stardust/The Goofy Grape
Jeannie O'Neal's 1962 Ford Thunderbird
Bobby Freedman's 1962 Jaguar XK-E
The Solar Scene
George Barris' 1963 Buick Riviera - The Villa Riviera
Bob Nordskog's 1963 Chevrolet Corvette - The Asteroid
Ray Farhner's 1963 Chevrolet Corvette - Outer Limits

Cars Sold In 1963

Tom Pollard's 1929 Ford Roadster


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