Frank Livingston

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Frank Livingston's 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline as it looked when he bought it in 1952.
This version of Frank Livingston's 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline made its public debut at the 1955 National Roadster Show in Oakland.
Frank with his Chevy. Photo from the Ron Brooks collection.
Frank and Joe Bailon at the 1957 National Roadster Show. Frank is holding his Custom Car d'Elegance award. Photo from the Ron Brooks collection.
Frank Livingston's 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline, The Caribbean, as it appeared in 1958. New for the year was the two-tone green scallops by Mel Pinoli.
Frank Livingston's 1951 Chevrolet Fleetline, The Elegant Relic, was completed in 1988. This was the car that brought Frank back into the show car world.
Frank Livingston's 1949 Mercury, Moon Fire, was restyled by Paul Bragg and completed in 1994.
Frank Livingston's 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline, the Caribbean II. Frank's fourth 1949 Chevrolet was built as a recreation of his first 1949 Chevrolet, the Caribbean. The recreation was restyled by OZ Welch, and the build was completed in 2002.

Frank Livingston was born April 17, 1934 in Oakland, California. He grew up in Castro Valley and attended Hayward High School. His love for customized cars was heavily influenced by the cover of Motor Trend December 1950, showing three Barris restyled 1949 - 1950 Chevrolets parked outside a drive-in restaurant.[1] In 1952 Frank began to work at San Leandro's Begier Studebaker. One day, at work, bringing a car to Len's Paint Shop in Oakland, Frank spotted the painters' personal car, a mildly customized 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline sitting outside the shop. The car had been nosed and decked, and the stock taillights had been replaced by 1951 Pontiac units. It was lowered, fit with flipper hubcaps and painted Oldsmobile green. Frank liked the mild custom a lot, and he ended up buying it from the painter, a fellow named Phil. After buying the car, Frank joined the Satan's Angels Car Club around 1953/1954. Frank had Bernie Shanklin of Shanklin's Custom Shop in Hayward, California restyled the Chevrolet for him. This version made its public debut at the 1955 National Roadster Show in Oakland. Later on it also appeared in Car Craft June 1956. Frank was a president for the Satan's Angels from 1955 to 1958. In 1957 another version of the Chevrolet, named the Caribbean, was shown at the 1957 National Roadster Show. This version was restyled by Joe Bailon of Bailon's Custom Shop, and it won the Colonite Wax Best Paint Award and the Custom Car d'Elegance award. This version of the car did also appear on the cover of Car Craft January 1958. Another version of the Caribbean was shown at the ninth annual National Roadster Show, held February 15-23, 1958. At the show, Frank came second in the Semi Custom Sedan class, behind Bill Wolfe’s 1951 Mercury.[2]


By 1959, Frank was married and he had gotten his first child. As he wanted something more comfortable for the baby to ride in, he traded the Chevrolet for a 1953 Oldsmobile hardtop and some cash with a guy in Oakland. Later on, he heard that the car had been wrecked in Vallejo, California. As he didn't want to see the car in a wrecked condition he never went over to check out the remains. Later on Frank regret that he never went to Vallejo to see if anything could have been salvaged from his old custom. Later on in 1959, Frank went to work for the Almeda County sheriff. Due to the hours he was working, he lost touch with most of the club members. In 1960 he transferred to the San Leandro Police.[3]


In 1963 Frank was inducted into the Grand National Roadster Show Hall of Fame. By then he had lost some of his interest in custom cars, and was not into custom cars again until 1984. In 1986 Frank retired from the San Leandro Police. Since 1959 he didn't do much with custom cars. He always had an old pick-up to mess around with, first a 1939 Ford, then a 1953 GMC and finally a 1940 Ford street rod pick-up. In 1984 he bought a mild custom 1951 Chevrolet Fleetline that eventually became the custom that got him back into the show car world. Frank named the car The Elegant Relic. The Elegant Relic was completed in 1988, and it hit several magazines. Frank was now off and running with a series of Chevrolets, a 1956 Oldsmobile and a radical chopped 1949 Mercury called "Moon Fire". In 2002, Frank finished a near clone of The Caribbean called The Caribbean II. It was a mild custom when Frank bought it, and the idea was to give the car a little tweaking and drive it "as is," until his wife urged him to re-create his first 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline that he bought in 1952. Frank took her advice, borrowing the overall design from his first car as it appeared when it made its debuted at the 1955 National Roadster Show.[3]


Frank Livingston's Cars

Frank Livingston's 1937 Ford Sedan
Frank Livingston's 1929 Ford Coupe
Frank Livingston's 1941 Ford Pickup
Frank Livingston's 1947 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery
Frank Livingston's 1948 Ford Coupe
Frank Livingston's 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline - The Caribbean
Frank Livingston's 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline - The Crown Jewel
Frank Livingston's 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline - The Caribbean II
Frank Livingston's 1949 Mercury - Moon Fire
Frank Livingston's 1951 Chevrolet Fleetline - The Elegant Relic
Frank Livingston's 1951 Chevrolet Convertible - The Faux Ragtop
Frank Livingston's 1951 Chevrolet Station Wagon
Frank Livingston's 1954 Buick Century
Frank Livingston's 1956 Ford F100 - Stepin' Bad
Frank Livingston's 1956 Oldsmobile


References



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