Bobby Massaron's 1956 Chevrolet

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The first version of the Venturian. Photo from the David Jenkins collection.
Photo from the David Jenkins collection.
Photo from the David Jenkins collection.
Photo from the David Jenkins collection.
Photo from the David Jenkins collection.
A photo of the second iteration of the Venturian taken at the 1965 Charlotte Coliseum Car Show. Photo from The Willard McPhatter Jr. Photo Collection.
Bobby-massaron-1956-chevrolet3.jpg

1956 Chevrolet restyled by the Alexander Brothers for Bobby Massaron of Detroit, Michigan. The car is also known as The Venturian.


The second iteration of the Venturian was restyled in 1964. In 1965 it won the prestigious Don Ridler Memorial Award. James Giovanni grew up reading the rod and custom magazines in the 1960s down the street from the Alexander Brothers last shop. In 2019 James told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama that he remembers well the first time he saw Bobby's Venturian; "I was maybe 10 years old, sitting in the back of my parents car, stopped at a traffic light on West Outer Drive Boulevard at Hubble Avenue, in the summertime, with the windows of Dad's new Chrysler New Yorker all down (only wealthy people in that era had the means to afford air conditioning in their expensive luxury cars, the New Yorker was the mid-line model). Daydreaming about what in the world I was going to occupy myself with at my grandparents home nearby, during our impending, hours long visit (they spoke mostly Italian, and little English that I could understand), I was suddenly and stunningly brought back to consciousness by an utterly gleaming, gold metal flake wall of color. As I began to comprehend what I was looking at, I spotted the unmistakable Alexander Brothers gold and red emblem glistening on the front fender. As I took in all that brilliant gold metal flake, a full view came into focus of a stunning custom car capped by a brilliant white roof, by nonother than my neighbors, Mike and Larry Alexander! I was painfully envious that this young, handsome, white t-shirted, swept-back dark haired, super cool guy at the wheel could be so fortunate as to be piloting such an incredible automotive art form...at that moment I knew that someday I would certainly own such a creation by these masters of the custom car. Little did I know at the time that I was lusting over "The Venturian"."[3]


The car was later owned by Al Liverman of Norfolk, Virginia.[4]


About 2002 James Giovanni bumped into Bobby at the Detroit Autorama. At the time he had recently re-acquired the Venturian, and he had it at home in his garage.[3]


References



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