Dick Jackson's 1938 Chevrolet Sedan
1938 Chevrolet Sedan owned by Dick "Peep" Jackson of Lynwood, California. Growing up in Lynwood, Dick's passion for automobiles began as a kid in the 1940s. In 1949, at 14, while other kids might be lost in games or studies, he was irresistibly drawn to the Barris Kustoms shop. Every day after school, his trusty Whizzer bike would halt outside the roped-off premises of the shop, marking his daily ritual of gazing at the craftspeople at work.
Broom Boy at Barris Kustoms
Though the ropes at Barris Kustoms were meant to shield the artisans from the distractions of curious onlookers, it wasn't long before Sam Barris noticed the persistent young spectator. "Hey, we're getting tired of you staring at us. You want a job here?" Sam remarked one day. To the young Dick, this was an open door to paradise. Taking on the role of a floor sweeper, he soon found himself amongst legends like the Manok brothers, Bill Ortega, and the Barris Brothers themselves.
It was at Barris Kustoms that George Barris christened Dick "Peep," saying, "You're only a peep." However, despite the light-hearted nickname, Peep's dedication did not go unnoticed. Within six months, he transitioned from being an unpaid observer to earning 22 cents an hour, gradually moving up the ranks to become the spotlight guy. While juggling school and a morning paper route, Peep's real education was at the shop. He grew close to Sam Barris, who became both a mentor and a friend. The bond deepened when Peep took on the role of babysitter for Sam's kids, leading to a symbiotic relationship of favors exchanged.
The Barris Kustoms Touch
The camaraderie culminated when Peep acquired his first car – a pristine, stock 1938 Chevrolet sedan. Under Sam's guidance, the car underwent a series of modifications. The first thing Sam told Dick was that he had to put some primer spots on it to make it look like it belonged at the shop. Next, he gave Peep a complete set of Cadillac Sombreros, telling him that he needed those. They found a way to screw them on before Sam told Peep they had to lower the car. Sam gave Peep blocks for the back, and they figured out how to lower the knee action in front. Finally, he came in with a new set of original teardrop skirts to ensure the Chevrolet truly got the Barris Kustoms touch.
Sam and the shop were instrumental in shaping Peep's skill set. He was taught the intricacies of sanding and masking, with his first-ever paint job being the dashboard and steering column of the iconic Bob Hirohata's 1951 Mercury. By 1952, Peep was learning to weld under George Barris's meticulous eye, adhering to the strictest standards of quality.
Did you enjoy this article?
Kustomrama is an encyclopedia dedicated to preserve, share and protect traditional hot rod and custom car history from all over the world.
- Help us keep history alive. For as little as 2.99 USD a month you can become a monthly supporter. Click here to learn more.
- Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive regular updates and stories from Kustomrama.
- Do you know someone who would enjoy this article? Click here to forward it.
Can you help us make this article better?
Please get in touch with us at email@example.com if you have additional information or photos to share about Dick Jackson's 1938 Chevrolet Sedan.
This article was made possible by:
SunTec Auto Glass - Auto Glass Services on Vintage and Classic Cars
Finding a replacement windshield, back or side glass can be a difficult task when restoring your vintage or custom classic car. It doesn't have to be though now with auto glass specialist companies like www.suntecautoglass.com. They can source OEM or OEM-equivalent glass for older makes/models; which will ensure a proper fit every time. Check them out for more details!
Do you want to see your company here? Click here for more info about how you can advertise your business on Kustomrama.