Roy Hagy

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Roy Hagy is a legendary custom car builder. There were several "custom body" shops in the Los Angeles area dating back to the 1920s, such as Bohman and Schwartz, Coachcraft and Don Lee Body Works, but two of the first to specialize in customizing based on base-line production cars were Jimmy Summers and Roy Hagy.[1]

Roy operated a custom shop on Vermont at Second Street.

The Bistagne Brothers

George Bistagne and his brother Tom learned how to do the body work from Roy circa 1939 - 1940.

Tom Sparks

Tom Sparks worked for Hagy in his shop for about a year around 1942 - 1943, when he was about 15. In an interview with Pat Ganahl, Tom said that he didn't know when Hagy got his start, but it was before his time. According to Pat, he said nothing that Hagy seemed like an old man at the time to him. "When Tom was there, Hagy was working in a back room at Russell Johnson's paint shop." "Customs were just starting to come in," said Tom. "Hot Rod were '26-'27 T's, '28-'29s, or '32 Fords. But Hagy worked mostly on what we call fat-fender cars today: '36s, '39-'40s. He did mostly filling, removing handles, recessing license plates, and chopping tops. Hagy didn't like to use much lead- he'd metal-finish everything. All Hagy did was custom work, but there wasn't much competition. And he always worked alone." Tom was just a "sand boy" there, and he didn't get paid. He did learn to gas weld and paint while working for Roy.[1]

Tommy Winship's 1940 Ford Coupe

Roy built Earl Bruce's 1940 Ford coupe for original owner Tommy Winship. Hagy chopped the top, filled the quarter windows, rounded the door corners, and dechromed it. Pat Ganahl asked Tom Sparks where this style came from, and Tom replied that he didn't know. He also told that they weren't doing it to 1933 Plymouths; "It had to start sometime in the mid- to late- 1930s. They certainly weren't chopping tops on Model T's." Tom said that Hagy and Jimmy Summers were the only one he knew of chopping tops at that time, but he also noted that "We weren't in Hollywood, and we didn't go very far."

Cars Built or Restyled by Roy Hagy

Tommy Winship's 1940 Ford Coupe



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