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
. Photo courtesy of Jerry Drake
Rudy Rodriguez’s 1954 Ford
at the 1958 Muncie
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
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
, 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
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
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
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
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
Jerry demonstrating the height of the car. Photo 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..
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