The Ray Soff Photo Collection

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An early incarnation of Dean Jeffries' 1947 Mercury convertible taken before flames were added to the front end. George Egen snapped this photo during one of his California trips. Photo by George Egen, courtesy of Ray Soff, scanned by Richard Toonkel.
A photo of Herb Gary with his sectioned 1949 Plymouth. The car is also known as The Aztec. Herb owned and operated Gary's Auto Body in Sea Cliff, New York. Gary learned his trade solely from reading magazines, he learned his craft entirely on his own, and that included a long list of abilities such as hammer-welding and sectioning. He never used any filler of any kind, whether plastic or lead. When a job first called for a specific shape, panels were handmade from sheet stock and hammer-welded in place. He was well known for flawless results. Photo courtesy of Ray Soff.
A photo of Bob McNulty's 1955 Chevrolet Corvette custom that Drivin Deuces member George Egen took on one of his trips to California. The photo was taken outside of Barris Kustoms. Known as "The Shark," Bob's Corvette was shown at the 1958 National Roadster Show. It competed in the Customized Sports Roadsters class and won an award for being the best in its class. Later on the same year, Bob's Corvette was also nominated as one of 28 "Top Customs of the Year" in Motor Life July 1958. The Thunderbird next to Bob's Corvette in the photo belonged to Shirley Barris, George Barris' wife. Photo by George Egen, courtesy of Ray Soff, scanned by Richard Toonkel.
Another photo of "The Shark taken outside of Barris Kustoms. Photo by George Egen, courtesy of Ray Soff, scanned by Richard Toonkel.
Bob Smith's 1947 Ford Coupe. Featuring quad headlights, we believe this photo was taken at the 1959 Detroit Autorama. Photo courtesy of Ray Soff, scanned by Richard Toonkel.
An early custom by Les Dunham. The 1941 Ford in the photo has been chopped and hardtopped. Photo from provided by Ray Soff, courtesy of Les Dunham.

The Kustomrama Photo Archive

Raymond Soff of Saddle Brook, New Jersey is often referred to as a walking custom car Encyclopedia. He was born in 1946, and he has spent half of his life tracking down custom cars in the United States, talking to owners of cars that he admired in the magazines when he was a little kid. Ray’s growing collection of East Coast custom history contains thousands of photos and negatives, letters, notes and taped interviews.

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