Jerry Silvester's 1950 Ford

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A photo of Jerry's Ford photographed at Morningside High School, Inglewood, California in 1957. Photo courtesy of Howard Gribble, from Howard Gribble's Flickr Account.
Jerry striking a pose in the Ford. Photo courtesy of Howard Gribble, from Howard Gribble's Flickr Account.
Custom accessory included twin Appleton spotlights and Dodge Lancer hubcaps. The side trim was taken from a Ford Crestline. Photo courtesy of Howard Gribble, from Howard Gribble's Flickr Account.
At Alex & West Body Shop the car received a shaved 1951 Ford hood and top grille bar. The stock grille was replaced with two 1951 Kaiser grille bars and the front bumper was shaved for bumper guards. 6 chromed teeth were installed on top of the front apron. Photo courtesy of Howard Gribble, from Howard Gribble's Flickr Account.
1955 Oldsmobile headlights gave the car a modern look. Photo courtesy of Howard Gribble, from Howard Gribble's Flickr Account.
A colorful sarape from Tijuana, Mexico protected the white rolled and pleated naugahyde upholstery for everyday driving. The interior was dressed up featuring chromed garnish moldings, a chromed steering column, and custom made plexiglas dash knobs. The custom made plexiglas dash knobs were often made in high school shop class but also became available commercially. The dash was pinstriped in white and red by Steve Feinberg. Photo courtesy of Howard Gribble, from Howard Gribble's Flickr Account.
Later on, the steering wheel was painted pearl white by South Bay painter Karl "Mr. B" Burns. Note that the rear view mirror has been repositioned top to bottom, a popular trend that mimicked some late '50 cars. Photo courtesy of Howard Gribble, from Howard Gribble's Flickr Account.
Jerry assumes the customary position for the driver of a cool custom car -- seated low and looking through the steering wheel. This practice has been mentioned as a possible alternative origin for the term "low rider". It was certainly common practice in LA at the time, as illustrated here. Photo courtesy of Howard Gribble, from Howard Gribble's Flickr Account.
The rear end was conservatively restyled. Photo courtesy of Howard Gribble, from Howard Gribble's Flickr Account.

1950 Ford owned by Jerry Silvester of Inglewood, California. According to Howard Gribble, Jerry's mildly restyled Ford is a typical example of a custom car that would be seen on the streets of Southern California in 1957. It featured body and paintwork by Alex & West Body Shop in Los Angeles, and a white and blue rolled and pleated upholstery by Johnny's Top Shop. At Alex & West Body Shop the car received a shaved 1951 Ford hood and top grille bar. The stock grille was replaced with two 1951 Kaiser grille bars, and the fenders were modified to accept 1955 Oldsmobile headlight rims. The front bumper was shaved for bumper guards, and 6 chromed teeth were installed on top of the front splash apron. In addition to the custom upholstery, the interior was dressed up featuring chromed garnish moldings, a chromed steering column, and custom made plexiglas dash knobs. The dash was pinstriped in white and red by Steve Feinberg. Later on, the steering wheel was painted pearl white by South Bay painter Carl "Mr. B" Burns. A lowered stance was achieved by installing 2.5 inch dropped spindles up front. One coil was also removed from each spring to lower the car additionally. The rear was lowered by installing 4 inch shackles. Twin Appleton spotlights, Dodge Lancer hubcaps, and Ford Crestline side trim wrapped up the style on Jerry's custom cruiser.[1]


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