Dave Puhl's Illusion

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The Illusion was completed in time for the 1965 Indianapolis Nationals, where it won the Experimental Sweepstakes and the Body Shop Achievement award. According to the magazine 1001 Custom Car Ideas, the car was so asymmetrical that it looked like one car from the left side and a completely different car from the right side. The Illusion was one of the last big asymmetric themed show cars to hit the circuit.
A construction photo of Dave Puhl with the Illusion developed in October of 1965. Photo from The Roger Lick Collection.
Another construction photo of Dave Puhl's Illusion. Notice the little model of the car. The coupe in front of The Illusion seems to be Joe Briske's 1934 Ford 3-Window Coupe. A radical hot rod by Puhl known as "The X Altered". Photo from The Roger Lick Collection.
Photo by Eric Rickman.
Photo by Eric Rickman.
Photo by Eric Rickman.
Photo by Eric Rickman.
Photo by Eric Rickman.
Photo by Eric Rickman.
Photo by Eric Rickman.
Photo by Eric Rickman.
A Du Pont ad with the Illusion in from 1967.
An ad from 1971 for the Aqua Velvet/Lectric Shave Custom Car Sweepstakes where the car was the grand prize.

The Illusion is a show car built by Dave Puhl at House of Kustoms in Palatine, Illinois. The Ford based custom coupe incorporated asymmetrical design, a very popular mid 1960s trend. The body was hammer welded and leaded. A brushed aluminum divider ran the entire length of the car. It was painted with 25 coats of translucent gold and fit with Windows made from yellow plexiglass. The taillights were tucked up into sheet aluminum shrouds. Inside, all gauges were mounted to the driver's right in a walnut-paneled, dash located insert. Mold, trim and glass were all handiwork of Dave. The upholstery was done by Imperial Custom Interiors.

Power came from a High Performance Ford 289 engine, garnished with various chromed goodies from Speed Headquarters in Fox Lake, Illinois. The front suspension was independent through Morris Minor torsion bars, trunnion adapted Corvette spindles, and adjustable Heins joints highlight front gear. The steering came from a Morris Minor. The Illusion ran on Astro Supremes wheels by Von Esser that were stuffed into Goodyear tires from R.R.R. Motors in Homewood, Illinois.

In 1965, the Illusion won the 1965 Experimental Sweepstakes at the Indianapolis Summer Nationals. In 1966 it won the Sweepstakes at the Los Angeles Winter Nationals. After that it was leased out, touring the United States and Canada.[2]

In 1971 the Illusion was advertised by Aqua Velva as the "Aqua Velva's Custom Car", and it was the grand prize in the "The Aqua Velvet/Lectric Shave Custom Car Sweepstakes." The winner also won an all-expenses paid trip for two to the Indianapolis Speedway where you could drive the car around the track.

Magazine Features

Argus Book 207 1001 Custom Car Ideas



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