The Howard Gribble Photo Collection
Howard Gribble has been into custom cars since he was ten or eleven years old. Back then, he decided that one day he was gonna have a car with shaved door handles. "It just seemed like such a bold thing to do," Howard told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in 2020. In the 1960s he buys himself a Polaroid camera and starts taking pictures. This sparks another interest, and within a few years, he has decided that he wants to become a photojournalist. Money that he used to spend on cars was now spent on camera housings and lenses. Howard is a quiet, kind, and humble person. He is very passionate and enthusiastic, but he doesn' take up much space in a room. Howard never pursued a career as a photojournalist, and for almost four decades his wonderful photos were only seen by a handful of people. That was until he discovered the Internet and Flickr. Around the same time as Justin Bieber started using YouTube to spread his music, Howard began sharing his photo treasures on Flickr. Both became instant hits and has since then become well known around the world.
Howard was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, but moved with his family to the South Bay area at age 8. While in junior hight school, Howard started to notice customized cars in the area featuring scallop paint jobs, pinstriping and flames. He started drawing pictures of the cars he saw cruising the streets. By the time he was in high school, custom cars dominated his interests, and he started collecting car magazines. At age 15 Howard got his first car, a 1950 Ford sedan that he wanted to give a "George Barris" style, but due to a limited budget the project never really took off. In 1965 Howard bought a 1961 Ford Starliner that he and his friend Carl Darling turned into a customized boulevard cruiser. After the Starliner followed a range of nice custom cars with a lowrider touch.
In the mid 1960s Howard purchased a Polaroid camera to take photos of his different interests. He upgraded to a 35 mm camera, and started attending Southern California car shows on a regular basis. Since there were no magazines covering the Lowriders or the custom car scene, Howard took his camera to the shows and photographed the cars for his own personal enjoyment.
In 2006 Howard signed up for a Flickr account so he could share his photos with the world. He started uploading photos of his various interests, including custom cars and lowriders. So far millions of people all over the world have seen Howard's amazing and continuously growing collection of photos. Howard has contributed some good looking photos and stories to Kustomrama the last year, and now we are expanding the cooperation with this gallery featuring some selected photos from Howard's collection. Some have been published before, and some are making their debut here.
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