Mel Gerrard's 1950 Oldsmobile
Mel's Oldsmobile is a nice example of a mid 1950s moderately customized car. At the Ayala Brothers, the hood and deck-lid were shaved for most of its ornamentation, and an electric deck lid latch was installed. The "88" hood ornamentation was replaced by a "76" series ornamentation. Holes in hood and deck were filled with brass, not lead. 1949 Chevrolet fender skirts were installed, before Al Ayala painted the car in a special shade of metallic maroon lacquer. Several coats of lacquer were sprayed over a base of silver-coloured primer. The window moldings, steering-wheel and sections of the dash were painted in the same colour. The rest of the dash and the steering column were painted in off-white lacquer.
Inside, Mel's Oldsmobile was upholstered in maroon and off-white Co-Hide plastic interior by Carson Top Shop. Front and rear seats were fitted with a pleated and rolled covering. The kick panels, door panels and rear side panels were finished with the same two-tone plastic. The interior colours matched the exterior of the car. The same colour scheme and materials were used for the headliner and sun visors which were done later by the Winters Upholstering Shop of Pomona. Winters did also upholster the rear compartment in off-white leatherette. Dual spotlights wrapped up the style along with wide whitewalls. The engine was kept stock but fitted with a dual exhaust system utilizing stock manifolds and 26-inch steel pack mufflers. According to a featured story in Trend Book 116 Custom Cars 1955 Annual, the total cost of the restyling was close to $700. The work was spread over an eight-month period.
Where is it Now?
Mel passed away in 2017, and his grandson, Cody Gerrard, is currently looking for the whereabouts of his grandpa's old custom. "I always wanted to see my grandfathers car being a car guy myself," he told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in 2019. The family doesn't know how long Mel owned the car, but they believe he sold it to someone he knew. Please get in touch with Kustomrama at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any leads on this old Whittier custom.
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