The Joe Crisafulli Scratchbook and Photo Collection

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A 1955 Plymouth that Joe restyled while he was running River Body Shop in San Jose. The car belonged to a fellow member of the San Jose Rod and Wheelers. Photo courtesy of Joe Crisafulli.
A photo of Joe Crisafulli's 1951 Oldsmobile. Joe did the Oldsmobile in his dad's garage, late in 1959, while running J & J Auto Painting out of it. Photo courtesy of Joe Crisafulli.
An early photo of Jerry DeVito's 1957 Ford Fairlane, the Maze, right after Jerry had bought it. Modifications included a shaved hood, molded headlights, dual Appleton spotlights, lakes pipes, and what seems to be 1957 Plymouth hubcaps. Joe Crisafulli snapped the photo at Lake Tahoe; "I remember the car was brand new, and we took it to the drag strip. He wanted to break it in. After that we took it to Lake Tahoe to drive in the snow. I mean off road with street tires." Photo courtesy of Joe Crisafulli.
A photo of Joe Crisafulli's 1951 Oldsmobile. Joe restyled the Olds in hid dad's garage, while running J & J Auto Painting out of it. The garage was a garage with a dirt floor and no doors. Joe had a compressor in the shop that was made out of a refrigerator pump and a hot water heater tank. He did the body work in the garage, but painted elsewhere. Like Tony Alvez' 1950 Cadillac, that he painted on the lube rack in Fred Spitilary's Flying 'A' gas station. Photo courtesy of Joe Crisafulli.
A photo of Chuck Burkart's 1958 Chevrolet Impala taken in the driveway behind Flyers Body Shop were Joe Crisafulli gave the car a flame paint job in 1959. Later on the same year, Joe gave Chuck's Impala a more modern scallop paint job. Photo courtesy of Joe Crisafulli.
A photo of Joe with his Oldsmobile dated July 1957. Joe bought the Oldsmobile in December of 1956. He was 20 years old at the time, and worked as an apprentice at a G.M.C. truck shop. They let him use the torches at the shop to weld the hole in the hood after he had shaved it. He was not allowed to use the paint booth, so he gave the car a shiny black paint job with gold scallops in the family garage, on a cool summer night in 1957. Photo courtesy of Joe Crisafulli.
In 1958 Frank Goehring brought his brand new 1958 Chevrolet Impala to Flyers Body Shop in San Jose for a full custom treatment. He asked Joe Crisafulli, who worked for Flyer Tabata at the shop, what he could do to his car. Joe drew these sketches for Frank to illustrate his ideas...and this is what rolled out of the shop in the end: Frank Goehring's 1958 Chevrolet Impala. Photo courtesy of Joe Crisafulli.

Joe Crisafulli of San Jose, California is a founding member of the San Jose Rod and Wheelers car club. The club was formed by Joe and five other members in 1954. In order to get in to the club, and hang a plaque on your car, you had to have something done to your car. Custom work or engine work. In the beginning, Joe believes he was the only one in the club that had a car that featured custom work. Joe had a 1947 Ford that Ken Conn had shaved the deck lid on, and Joe had installed 1949 Lincoln taillights on. After that they needed a dragster, so the club decided to rebuild the engine. Ken's dad had a Ford aut repair shop. With a rebuilt engine and tranny, the club were off to the drags at Little Bonneville in San Jose, California.[1]


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