Blaisdell Body Shop

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Jerry Drake's 1955 Ford Fairlane, India Ivory, was probably the only car that Ed Blaisdell customized. Jerry is a well known Michigan pinstriper that operated under the name "Spider the Crazy Painter." He bought the Ford in 1957, and it went through several modifications between 1957 and 1959.

Blaisdell Body Shop was a traditional body shop in Lansing, Michigan run and operated by Ed Blaisdell. In 1957 Lansing teenager Jerry Drake commissioned Ed to customize his 1955 Ford Fairlane. Jerry's Fairlane was supposedly the only car Ed ever customized. In 2015 Kustomrama interviewed Jerry about his car; "Ed Blaisdell's Body Shop and Lloyd Cooper's Body Shop was only a mile from one another. I thought they were rivals but found out later that Ed got together with Lloyd every Saturday night at Cooper Body Shop, drank whiskey and traded bullshit with each other."[1]

"Even though I had ridden motorcycles with Larry Cooper about 4 years prior to this, I couldn't have my '55 Ford worked on at Cooper Body Shop because Terry Smith (my rival) was having his car done there and I didn't want Terry to know what I was having done."[1]

"Prior to this, Cooper had done two customs: Terry Smith's 1954 Ford and Rudy Rodriguez's chopped 1954 Ford. Later, Larry Cooper had his car done there and they did all of the bodywork on "The Wild One." I am positive these were the only four customs that they did."[1]

"Thinking that Lloyd had probably chided Ed with how good they were, I approached Ed on doing my car. He jumped at the chance to show Lloyd what he could do." Ed gave Jerry good prices on all his work if he could do it on weekends when his body shop was normally closed."[1]

"When I really got into customizing my car, both Terry and myself were having changes made to our cars every three months. I finally beat Terry at the Lansing Autorama in 1959 and quit showing my '55 shortly after this because of the impending rust starting to surface. Lloyd thought Ed did an.outstanding job on my car, especially the tunneled taillights. This is what he told me. I don't know if he ever told Ed this or not."[1]

Ed died of a massive heart attack around 1959 - 1960. "Both men had their residence right beside their shops. Ed did not show up for work one day and one of his employees went into Ed's house and found him slumped over his bed--dead! Evidently, he tried getting up and never made it. My car was the only custom Ed ever did."[1]

Cars Restyled by Blaisdell Body Shop

Jerry Drake's 1955 Ford Fairlane - India Ivory


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