The Jerry Drake Photo Collection

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OUCH! A photo of Adrienne Hooper's 1956 Mercury dated December 1959. Earlier the same year, Jerry "Spider the Crazy Painter " Drake gave Adrienne's Mercury a scallop paint job similar to the one found on Jerry DeVito's Maze. Just as the original Maze, the Wild One version of Adrienne’s Mercury was short lived. By December of 1959, it had been driven into a telephone pole, wacking up the front end. Jerry learned this several years later, and he had no idea what happened to the car after that. That was until Adrienne got in touch with us. She could tell us that the crash was not the end of the Wild One; "The car was restored. Actually, my younger sister was driving the car and she turned a corner and hit a tree. She should not have been driving such a nice custom car," Adrienne told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Howard Tirban’s 1951 Chevrolet, “Lil’ Bitty Pretty One,” received one of Jerry’s signature scallop paint jobs in 1959. Howard was a good friend of Jerry, and his car was nosed, decked and dressed up featuring a 1954 Chevrolet grille bar, chromed and shaded headlight rings, short lakes pipes, and flipper hubcaps. Being a late 1950s custom, Howard ran it without fender skirts in the rear. The body was decorated with red scallops and traditional pinstriping. A weirdo was also painted on the gas filler door before Jerry applied the name of the car underneath the door. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Another photo of Howard Tirban’s 1951 Chevrolet, showing the pinstriping that Jerry did between the scallops. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
A rear end shot of Howard Tirban’s 1951 Chevrolet. The taillights were shaved and replaced with 1941 Chevrolet units. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
A close up of the weirdo that Jerry painted on the gas filler door on Howard Tirban’s 1951 Chevrolet. The name of the car was also added underneath the door. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
A photo of Carl Casper with his 1951 Chevrolet custom at the 1961 Lansing Rod & Custom Show. Jerry laid out the scallop paint job on the car in 1960. The car, known as the “Exotic Empress” went on to win the NHRA Nationals in Detroit in 1961. Carl got into Promoting car shows for the ISCA, and he took over the Lansing Rod & Custom Show. He made Jerry his Show Director and they became very close friends. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Rudy Rodriguez’s 1954 Ford at the 1958 Muncie, Indiana Auto Show. Rudy was a friend of Jerry and a member of the Capitol City Customs. His Ford was restyled by Lloyd Cooper at Cooper Body Shop, and it was scalloped by a Larry Watson imposter; “It was done either at the Muncie or Fort Wayne show. He had an “exclusive” to the show. He laid out Rudy’s scallops on Saturday night after the show had closed, and painted them with “rattle cans.” He was going to stripe them on Sunday, but someone who knew Watson personally “blew the whistle” on this guy and he was asked to leave the show immediately.” Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
A photo of Rudy Rodriguez with his Ford at the 1958 Muncie, Indiana Auto Show. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Terry Smith's 1954 Ford at an indoor car show. When Jerry bought his 1955 Ford Fairlane in 1956, he wanted to have it restyled, but there were few people around that could help him out. Four years prior to buying the Ford, Jerry had ridden motorcycles with a kid named Larry Cooper. Larry’s dad, Lloyd, ran a traditional body shop in Valley Farms, Lansing, named Cooper Body Shop. When Jerry bought his Ford, Lloyd had already done two custom cars at his shop; Terry Smith’s 1954 Ford and Rudy Rodriguez’s 1954 Ford. Terry was Jerry’s rival, and as he was having his car done at Cooper, Jerry didn’t want Terry to know what he was having done. About a mile from Cooper Body Shop there was another body shop, named Blaisdell Body Shop. Blaisdell Body Shop was run and operated by a fellow named Ed Blaisdell. As Lloyd, Ed did also run a traditional body shop. Jerry thought Ed and Lloyd were rivals, so he approached Ed about doing the Fairlane: “Thinking that Lloyd had probably chided Ed with how good they were, I approached Ed on doing my car. He jumped at the chance to show Lloyd what he could do.” Ed gave Jerry good prices on all the work if he could do it on the weekends when his body shop was normally closed. Jerry and Terry were having changes made to their cars every three months. What Jerry did not know, was that Ed Blaisdell and Lloyd Cooper got together every Saturday night at Cooper’s body shop, drinking whiskey and trading bullshit. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
A photo of the engine compartment in Terry Smith's 1954 Ford. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
A photo of Russ Edgers' 1957 Ford convertible taken outside of Cooper Body Shop in 1959. This is the only photo we have so far of Cooper Body Shop, were Jerry Drake and Larry Cooper painted several cars between 1959 and 1960. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
A photo of Ken Foress' 1952 Mercury convertible of Lansing, Michigan. Ken was a good friend of Jerry, and in 1959 Jerry gave Ken's Merc a flame paint job. The job was done at Cooper Body Shop. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
A page on Dell Chandler's 1960 Pontiac Ventura from Jerry's photo album. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
A photo of Dell Chandler's 1960 Pontiac right after Jerry had finished striping it. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
In 2014 Jerry still considered Dell Chandler's 1960 Pontiac as one of his best creations. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Jerry did also paint the show sign for Dell Chandler's 1960 Pontiac. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
A photo of Jerry with trophies he had won with his show car India Ivory through December of 1958. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
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An early photo of Jerry's 1955 Ford at the 1st Conquerors Autorama in January of 1957. This version featured the original side trim. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
The first version of Jerry's 1955 Ford featured subtle body modifications such as a shaved deck lid and bubble skirts. It was also fit with custom taillights lenses. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
A second version of Jerry's 1955 Ford, featuring 1955 Oldsmobile headlights, a 1956 Plymouth grille and pinstriping by Bill Pierce. This photo was taken by George Wiegand at the Saginaw Auto-Rama in November of 1957. Photo by George Wiegand, courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo by George Wiegand, courtesy of Jerry Drake.
This version of Jerry's 1955 Ford featured seats, door panels and headliner upholstered in Green and White Naugahyde by Don's Auto Trim Shop. The carpets were dyed a dark green, and pleated mats were added. Photo by George Wiegand, courtesy of Jerry Drake.
The engine was hopped up by Rex Rohrer, featuring two chromed Stromberg carburetors on an Offenhauser 3 carburetor manifold, Gotha hi-lift rocker arms and a Mallory ignition with a 6000 volt coil. Everything in the engine compartment that was removable was given the chrome-dip treatment. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
"India Ivory" at the 2nd Conquerors Autorama in January of 1958. This version featured dark green scallops. Legendary pinstiprer Paul Hatton striped the car on the floor of the 2nd Conquerors Autorama. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Notice the "India Ivory" nameplate over the license plate in this photo. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
When Jerry first added the lakes pipes, they stuck out and away from the rocker panels. Everybody kidded with him, saying that they looked like a bar rail, so he had the original brackets re-worked so that the pipes were flush with the body and tight to the rocker panels. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
The bubble skirts were gone, and scoops were incorporated in to the rear quarter panels when Jerry displayed the car at the 1958 Conquerors Autorama. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
The two-toned green scalloped version of "India Ivory" at the 1958 C.M.T.A. Auto Show. The light green scallops were added about a year after the dark green ones. Jerry believes Paul Hatton did the striping on those. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
This version of "India Ivory" featured 8 inches extended fenders and deeply tunneled taillights Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Jerry kept changing the car, and this version featured pleated pedal pads and quick release safety belts. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Being a show car, the trunk of India Ivory was upholstered in green carpeting, containing chromed wrenches, a first aid kit, flares, flare posts, road reflectors, fire extinguishers, a flash-light, a lug wrench, tire irons and a chromed bumper jack. Jerry's sign reads "This car is not strictly for show purposes, it is a... Practical SEMI-CUSTOM and is driven daily." Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Dated September 1958, this photo was taken at an indoor car show in Muncie, Indiana. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
A photo of Jerry proudly posing next to "India Ivory". This photo comes from the Cars and Clubs magazine photo shoot. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Another photo from the Cars and Cluns magazine shoot, dated October 1958. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Jerry demonstrating the height of the car. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.
This photo, dated December 1958, was taken by George Wiegand in Muncie, Indiana. Photo by George Wiegand, courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Photo by George Wiegand, courtesy of Jerry Drake.
Jerry posing next to his custom. Photo by George Wiegand, courtesy of Jerry Drake.
An Injectors group shot taken next to India Ivory in Muncie, Indiana. Jerry is holding the trophy. Photo by George Wiegand, courtesy of Jerry Drake.
India Ivory at the 1959 Lansing car show, shortly before Jerry traded it for a 1957 Ford. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake.

Jerry Drake of Lansing, Michigan is a legendary pinstriper known as "Spider the Crazy Painter." Among some of Jerry's highlights was scalloping Carl Casper's 1951 Chevrolet, "The Exotic Empress," that went on to win the Nationals in 1961, and David Cassidy's Touring "T", that Carl Casper built for Screen Gems. Jerry was also a Show Director for Carl Casper for over 12 years. Jerry has scanned and shared his entire photo collection with Kustomrama. On this page we will present the photos and take a run down memory lane with Jerry..[1]


References



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