Teddy Zgrzemski's 1954 Ford
1954 Ford owned by Teddy Zgrzemski of Rockwood, Michigan. Teddy was Bill Hines nephew, and Bill helped him customize the car into the radically restyled X-Tremist. When Joey Ukrop interviewed Teddy about the car for the book Hot Rod Detroit, Teddy said that he only wanted frenched headlights, rounded hood corners, a bar grille and maybe split bumpers; " But I came home from school one day and went to the shop and he had the whole front end cut up with welding rod and tubing." Bill told Teddy he would front clip if Teddy tackled the rear. "I always thought the front end was ugly, and he always thought my back end was ugly."
Up front two 1959 Chevrolet lower pans were butted together in order to create a floating grille. The front fender flares were extended and the stock headlights replaced by canted quad headlights. The hood was shaved and fit with a radical scoop, the hood corners were also rounded. The rear sections of some 1958 or 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air side trim strips were used as side trim. Twin stacked lakers were bracketed to the rocker panel, and emerged from molded rocker panel sheath. In the rear the original taillight housings were capped over and molded to the fender creating two bullet-like projections on each side. Tunneled 1959 Cadillac taillights were fit inside the housings. Inside Bill installed Thunderbird seats mounted on special mountings. The upholstery design was executed by Ray Kulakowski.
Shortly after completion, the car was shown at the Detroit Artillery Armory in Oak Park. "I was completely broke. I didn't have any money to buy headlights or taillights." He scoured his uncle's shop for burnt out bulbs to fill the voids. It wasn't a big problem Teddy told Joey Ukrop, he was perfectly satisfied being a 16-year old with a car in a car show. The X-Tremist was also shown at the first annual National Champion Custom Car Show in 1960.
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