Lyle Lake's 1952 Buick

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A construction photo of Lyle's Buick taken at Barris Kustoms in August of 1956. In the photo Lyle can be seen with a torch in the back of the car. The A-pillars are cut, and Lyle and Sam Barris is working on the 6 inch chop in the rear. Photo from The Ron Dragoo Photo Collection.
A photo of Sam Barris using an air chisel to cut the roof over the rear window on Lyle Lake's 1952 Buick in August of 1956. Photo from The Ron Dragoo Photo Collection.
According to Trend Book 143 Restyle Your Car, the top on Lyle's Buick was chopped 3 inches up front and 6 inches in the rear. The rear window was reformed and tilted forward to give the car a low slant line. Photo from The Ron Dragoo Photo Collection.
The Blue Danube in primer at an outdoor car show. Photo from The Ron Dragoo Photo Collection.

1952 Buick Riviera restyled by Barris Kustoms for Lyle Lake of Orlando, Florida. The car was called the Blue Danube because of the various shades of blue used on the car. The main body color of the car was pearlescent blue, the top was sky-blue metallic, while the bottom section was painted in an ocean blue mist. The Blue Danube was striped in white and copper by Dean Jeffries.[1]

Stock Buick Riviera side trim was used along with a straight chrome piece from midway on the door to the taillights. The top featured a three inch chop in the front and a six-inch slant back in the rear. Appleton spotlights were added to the car, the rear window was reformed and tilted forward to give the car a low slant line. In the rear, rubber wheeled roller wheels ran on ball bearings to allow the car to ride easier on bumps and dips in the road. The rear bumper came from a 1953 Oldsmobile. The bumper was cut to fit the rear fenders. The taillights came from a 1954 Mercury that were turned upside down and frenched.[1]

Third From the Sun

The Blue Danube appeared in an episode of the TV show The Twilight Zone called Third From the Sun. The episode was first aired January 8, 1960. Click here to wath the episode

Where is it Now?

While trying to locate the car, custom car collector Jack Walker contacted Lyle Lake. Lyle told Jack that the car was crushed, so in 1998 Jack decided to recreate the car instead.

Blue Danube Clones

Jack Walker's 1952 Buick Special

Magazine Features

Rod & Custom November 1957
Custom Cars March 1958
Car Craft September 1958
Trend Book 143 Restyle Your Car
Trend Book 156 Custom Cars 1958 Annual
Trend Book 197 Custom Cars 1961 Annual



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