Doyle Bidwell was born in October of 1943. He lived his early years in Torrance, California. His father was an accomplished artist and Doyle displayed a talent for art early on. As he neared his teenage years his artistic interests turned to custom cars and hot rods. Soon Doyle was drawing on paper the cars he aspired to own and build as he got older.
In 1959, as a freshman in high school, Doyle met Howard Gribble, who was also drawing his dream custom cars on school notebook paper. They quickly became friends and encouraged each other in their automotive art. The result was a sizable archive of those drawings that have survived to this day.
Upon meeting in high school Doyle and Howard discovered they had another thing in common. Both of them owned 1950 Fords and each was actively involved in customizing those cars. Neither was 16 years old at the time, which was the legal age to obtain a driver's license. But both were working on custom modifications to their cars despite being very limited in the way of money. All work on the cars had to be done by themselves and so neither of these high school projects saw completion.
Doyle belonged to a couple of clubs while he was in high school. "We started one called the Brahmans," Howard Gribble told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in 2020. "Then that club later became the Senecas.” While Brahmans is a religion in India, Seneca is an Indian tribe in the New York area. Howard has no idea why they picked those names, "probably because they sounded cool." The guys never made any jackets or shirts, "no, we were lucky just to afford the plaques." It was either Howard or Doyle that made the plaques.
Doyle married and started a family soon after high school but continued his interest in customizing by working on his personal transportation. The result was a number of tastefully restyled cars that he would own over the years to come.
In the 1970s Doyle and his family left Torrance and relocated to Escondido in northern San Diego County. There he worked in the body and paint department of a Ford dealership. Occasionally he applied pinstriping and graphics to vans and cars that the dealer sold. This type of work was much in demand for new vehicles at the time.
Over the years Doyle also did signs, graphics, and artwork for various clients. He would eventually quit auto painting and concentrate on his artwork. He continued to be a prolific artist until his passing in 2020.
Doyle Bidwell's Cars
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