The George Contaoi Photo Collection

From Kustomrama
Jump to: navigation, search
A photo of Duane Steck's 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air taken at the 1957 Long Beach Renegades Car Club Renecade. Duane was a member of the Long Beach Renegades, and his backyard built custom is widely known as the "Moonglow". The first version of the "Moonglow" was completed in 1956, and it gained national recognition when it was featured on the cover of the January 1957 issue of Car Craft Magazine. Mid 1957 Duane was busy restyling the car, and it received a new grille opening. The rear was also modified slightly before Larry Watson gave it a white enamel paint job with pinstriping. The second version, seen here, never made it to any magazines as far as we know. Shortly after the Renecades show the car was restyled again, and it received a silver metallic nitro lacquer paint job with scallops by Watson. Photo by George Contaoi.
A photo of Bill Burnett's 1955 Ford Crown Victoria taken at the 1957 Long Beach Renegades Car Club Renecade. Bill was a member of the Renegades, and it is a little unclear who actually restyled his car. According to old magazine articles, the work was performed by Barris Kustoms, Dick Williams, and Schelhaas Custom Shop. The car ran a 1954 Chevrolet grille that had been fitted with extra teeth. It was also nosed and decked, and the headlights had been frenched. Dean Jeffries scalloped the car in gold before he decorated it with pinstripes on the body and dash. Later on in 1957 Bill sold the car to Larry Quatrone. Larry paid $1800 for the car. As he was only 15 years old at the time, it sat in his backyard until he turned 16 and had a driver's license. Larry told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama that he believes that it was his father that really wanted the car! The Renegades used to hang out at a house at the corner of Willow and Studebaker, two blocks from Larry's house, and as a little kid, he loved to go over and look at the cars when they were parked outside. The 1955 Chevrolet next to Bill's Ford in the photo belonged to Jerry Feigner. Photo by George Contaoi.
A photo of Santo Vasques' 1950 Chevrolet Convertible taken at the 1957 Long Beach Renegades Car Club Renecade. Santo's Chevrolet was restyled by Schelhaas Custom Shop. The first iteration of the car, found on the cover of Car Craft May 1957, was painted Tahitian Red with gold pinstriping by Larry Watson. Later on in 1957 it received a wild scallop paint job by Watson. Larry later claimed that this was the most radical scallop paint job he did that year. If you look closely at this photo, you can see that the car has received a scallop on the hood. A rare photo of this car. Photo by George Contaoi.
A trunk shot of Santo Vasques' 1950 Chevrolet Convertible taken at the 1957 Long Beach Renegades Car Club Renecade. The 1956 Packard taillights look right at home on Santo’s Chevrolet. When the Renegades won the 1958 Car Craft Car Club of the Year Award Santo had become President of the club. Duane Steck's Moonglow, Pete Angress' 1952 Ford, and Jud Morgan's 1956 Ford F-100 can be seen behind Vasques' Chevrolet in the photo. Photo courtesy of George Contaoi.
A photo of Bob Webster's 1957 Chevrolet. Bob was a member of the San Bernardino Krankers car club, and his car was known as "El Tigere". Photo by George Contaoi.
Lloyd C. Hammond's 1949 Ford. Lloyd was from Rialto, California. He was a member of the Krankers, and his Ford was known as "The Majestic Lady." Taken at an indoor car show, the photo was developed in June of 1958. Photo by George Contaoi.
Here's the fifth version of Duane Steck's Moonglow as it appeared at the 3rd annual Krankers Motor Revue 1959. Photo by George Contaoi.
The third version of Duane Steck's Moonglow, featuring a scallop paint job by legendary custom car painter Larry Watson. George took this photo at an indoor car show in 1958. Duane Steck, who restyled the car himself in his own backyard, was a member of the Renegades car club of Long Beach. Photo by George Contaoi.
Mandy Holder's 1951 Mercury at the 1957 Long Beach Renegades Car Club Renecade. The show was held Thursday, July 4 on the grounds of Bellflower High School. Mandy drove all the way from Springfield, Illinois to have Barris Kustoms do some work on his Mercury. The photo was developed in July of 1957. Photo by George Contaoi.
A photo of Ron Coleman's 1951 Ford hardtop of Covina, California. Developed in June of 1959, the photo was taken by George at an indoor car show. Photo by George Contaoi.
A photo of Carol Lewis' 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air taken outside of the Barris Kustoms Lynwood shop. Carol was Dean Jeffries High School Sweetheart, and her Chevrolet featured a licking flame paint job by Dean. Developed in June of 1957, the photo was taken before the tragic shop fire that took place December 7, 1957. Photo by George Contaoi.
A faded color photo of Long Beach Renegades member Jud Morgan's 1956 Ford at an outdoor car show. Known as the Rambler, Jud's truck was fit with a Nash grille and headlights. Photo by George Contaoi.
This photo of Dean Jeffries' 1947 Mercury is taken outside the Barris shop in the summer of 1957. Photo by George Contaoi.
Notice the crazy head Dean painted on the hood. Photo by George Contaoi.
The deck lid was also decorated with a crazy figure, pulling his guts out with its left hand, and shuving a nail in his ear with the right hand. Photo by George Contaoi.
Here you can spot the Barris Kustoms' 1949 Ford in the back. Photo by George Contaoi.
A close up on the hood. Photo by George Contaoi.
Photo by George Contaoi.
Here we have John W. Britton's 1949 Ford. The photo is taken during the summer of 1957.
This used to be George Contaoi's 1949 Oldsmobile Fastback. It was mildly customized and striped by Pat Eskibar of San Bernardino. The engine was hopped up by installing a set of experimental heads with larger valves that George acquired from the GM dealer. Photo courtesy of George Contaoi.
Dick Jackson's 1957 Ford at an outdoor car show. The photo might be taken at the Squires Charity Auto Show held May 5, 1957. The photo is developed in July of 1957. The banner behind the Studebaker is an ad for Paul Lehrbass' 1952 Pontiac that the club gave away Saturday, September 7, 1957. Photo courtesy of George Contaoi.

Kustomrama Photo Archive

George Contaoi of the San Bernardino Krankers, California was born in 1934. In 1949, he graduated from San Bernardino with a custom 1941 Ford Tudor. He later owned several custom cars, and is still active in the car scene. During the late 1940s and up to the late 1950s, he was quite active playing with the camera. George has shared his entire collection with Kustomrama, so keep tuned to see the upcomming photos.


Did you enjoy this article?

Kustomrama is an encyclopedia dedicated to preserve, share and protect traditional hot rod and custom car history from all over the world.

Can you help us make this article better?

Please get in touch with us at if you have additional information or photos to share about The George Contaoi Photo Collection.

This article was made possible by:

SunTec Auto Glass - Auto Glass Services on Vintage and Classic Cars
Finding a replacement windshield, back or side glass can be a difficult task when restoring your vintage or custom classic car. It doesn't have to be though now with auto glass specialist companies like They can source OEM or OEM-equivalent glass for older makes/models; which will ensure a proper fit every time. Check them out for more details!

Do you want to see your company here? Click here for more info about how you can advertise your business on Kustomrama.

Personal tools
Help us