Leroy Heinrichs' 1947 Plymouth

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Leroy's coupe as it appeared on print in the San Jose News August 19, 1957. Photo courtesy of the San Jose News.
Another early photo of the coupe after Louie Stojanovich had bought it from Leroy. This photo was taken at a San Jose Rod and Wheelers event at the IES Hall in San Jose. Photo courtesy of Joe Crisafulli.
Another photo of Louie's coupe from the same event. Photo courtesy of Joe Crisafulli.
Photo by George Barris
A photo of Louie's Coupe taken at the 1962 San Jose Autorama. Photo from The James Handy Photo Collection.

1947 Plymouth club coupe originally owned and restyled by Axle Busters of San Jose member Leroy Heinrichs of San Jose, California. All the stock exterior trim were shaved from Leroy's coupe, except for the side trim, that were shortened on the hood. Both doors and deck lid were converted to electric solenoids. Leroy frenched the headlights by using 1952 Ford headlight rims. Shaved 1949 Dodge bumpers were installed, and a custom grille was hand made. An early version of the car, featuring a scallop paint job can be seen in an article on custom cars printed in the San Jose News August 19, 1957. According to this story, Leroy valued his car at $2,900. In the story.[1] Custom painter Joe Crisafulli believes Bob Heinrichs painted the scallops on Leroy's Plymouth.[2] Leroy was Bob's nephew.[3]

Leroy sold the coupe to San Jose Rod and Wheelers member Louie Stojanovich in 1957. Louie, who was the cousin of Jerry DeVito, another San Jose Rod and Wheelers member, restyled it further, and cutouts were made through the front fenders so he could use a set of functional lakes pipes to the rockers. The body was also later repainted in 18 coats of Candy Burgundy lacquer with some gold outlines and scallops. Louie had Modern Upholstery in San Jose to install a pleated white interior with contrasting carpets. Louie wanted some more power and swapped the stock straight-six for a 1954 Chrysler six bored and stroked to 1/8 inch. The engine was fit with an Iskendrian camshaft, Jahns pistons and an Edmunds manifold topped with triple Carter carburetors. Finally the car was fit with dual spotlights, a set of whitewall tires and chromed and reversed Buick wheels. Louie was later hired at Barris Kustoms in North Hollywood as a painter.[4]


In January of 1959 the Candy Burgundy version of Louie's coupe was shown at the 4th annual San Mateo Custom, Rod & Sports Car Show. In March of 1960 Louie's coupe was shown at the Kustom Kar Kapades show in Monterey, California.[5]


Gene Winfield Makeover

Gene Winfield reworked the front end of the car at Winfield's Custom Shop, where the car received a big grille and headlight opening, dual canted headlights and a custom grille.[6]


Painted at Barris 

In the late 1950s, while Teddy Zgrzemski was working for Barris Kustoms, Louie brought the Plymouth in after Gene Winfield had completed the new front end. "Junior and I block sanded it and prepped it," Teddy told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in 2019. "Then Junior painted it a Candy Tangerine."[6]


References



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