Jack Nethercutt's 1952 Oldsmobile

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Photo by George Barris.
A construction photo of Jack's Oldsmobile from a featured story on Barris Kustoms that Spencer Murray did for Hop Up May 1953. Photo courtesy of Hop Up Magazine.
Photo by George Barris.
John Manok and George Barris lowering the roof back into position before welding the A-pillars. Photo by George Barris.
Photo by George Barris.
A photo of Jack with the Oldsmobile. Photo provided by the Nethercutt Collection.
Photo provided by Jack Nethercutt.
Another photo of Jack the Oldsmobile. Photo provided by Jack Nethercutt.
Photo provided by the Nethercutt Collection.
Photo provided by the Nethercutt Collection.
Photo by George Barris.
The Vienesse at the Compton Drive-In. Photo by George Barris
After the car was mangled in the rear quarter, Jack brought it back to Barris Kustoms to have it repaired. Photo by George Barris.
The Vienesse advertised for sale by Jack Nethercutt.
The Vienesse as it appeared when it was featured in Trend Book 206 Custom Cars 1962 Annual. Ronnie Smith was listed as the owner by then. Photo from Gasit Collection. Provided by Rik Hoving Custom Car Photo Archive.[1]
Photo from Gasit Collection. Provided by Rik Hoving Custom Car Photo Archive.[1]

1952 Oldsmobile Holiday 98 restyled by Barris Kustoms for Jack Nethercutt of Santa Monica, California. Jack bought the Oldsmobile in 1953. He was 16 years old at the time, and he drove his brand new Oldsmobile straight from the Oldsmobile dealer to Barris Kustoms.[2] At Barris Kustoms the top was chopped and a new molded grille opening was made out of exhaust tubing. The gravel pan was molded in and the front bumper guards were sectioned and fit with 1953 Mercury bumper bullets. A floating bar from a 1953 Ford was installed between the modified bumper guards. The hood was shaved and peaked and the headlights were frenched. Custom made parking lights were integrated below the headlight rims. The car was shaved for door handles and deck lid ornamentation and the doors were push-button operated. The side trim was a combination of 1953 Dodge and 1953 Ford side trim. Jack had George and the guys install custom fender skirts on the car. Functional scoops were fabricated in front of the fender skirts. The stock taillights were kept, but they were frenched into the extended rear fenders. Twin Cadillac antennas were installed on the rear fenders. The exhaust was routed through square slots in the rear bumper and backup lights were integrated into the bumper guards. Jack also had Barris install dual spotlights. Once the bodywork was done, Jack's Olds was painted copper with a gold roof. The car got its power from a gold plated 1953 Cadillac engine. Because of its extensive use of gold plating, Jack's Olds was often referred to as the "Goldsmobile" although it's real name was "Vienesse". Among the guys at Barris Kustoms working on the car was George Barris, John Manok and Frank Sonzogni.[3]

Jack's car was later mangled in the right rear quarter, so he had to bring it back to Barris Kustoms to have it repaired.[3] In 1960 the Vienesse was featured in Customs Illustrated September 1960, by then it was owned by Ronnie Smith of El Cajon, California. According to the story, fins, beaks and scallops were not Ron's thing, as he was into the smooth, traditional styling of yesteryear. The same story stated that the top had been chopped 4 inches. It also claimed that the bumperettes were from a 1952 Lincoln and that the rear fenders had been extended 1 1/2 inches.[4]

Where is it Now?

Jack Nethercutt is currently looking for his old car, as he wants it to be part of the Nethercutt Collection. The Vienesse has been lost for a long time, and nobody knows that happened to it after 1962. San Jose Rod and Wheelers member Lenny Macchiarella claims he saw the car advertised for sale in the Auto Trader in 2000. It was still located in El Cajon, and it had been painted white. Lenny tried to buy it, but it was already sold.[5]

Magazine Features

Rod & Custom May 1954
Motor Trend March 1954
Trend Book 133 Custom Cars 1957 Annual
Customs Illustrated September 1960
Trend Book 206 Custom Cars 1962 Annual



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