The Ronn Ives Photo Collection

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A photo of Ronn with his in-progress 1950 Ford custom taken in 1965. "I bought the car for $40 at age 14 and began customizing it," Ronn told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in 2018. "Here you can see I'd made and installed nerf bars for the front end." Photo courtesy of Ronn Ives.
A photo of Ray Moe, a good friend of Ronn, with Ronn's 1950 Ford. "At this point, I' had removed much of the front weight, raised the front, was shaving the body, had built by hand and installed a new, steel front floorboard, and was about to switch the 3-speed on the column to a Hurst 3-speed on the floor. I had also redone the interior in black and blue. I planned on the exterior being blue." Photo courtesy of Ronn Ives.
At age 10 Ronn began customizing 1/25th scale car models. "I loved doing this. As you can see, I had some outside success as well." Photo courtesy of Ronn Ives.
The Astronauts performing at a custom car show in Denver, Colorado in 1965. The Astronauts was a popular rock and roll band from Boulder, Colorado who had a minor hit with "Baja" in 1963. Photo courtesy of Ronn Ives.
Ed Roth's Outlaw photographed at an indoor car show in Denver, Colorado in 1965. Photo courtesy of Ronn Ives.
Ed Roth's Surfite. Roth had two cars on display at the 1965 indoor car show in Denver.
Ray Farhner's X-Ray photographed at the same 1965 indoor car show in Denver. Photo courtesy of Ronn Ives.
Ray Fahrner did also have two cars on display at the 1965 Denver indoor car show. This 1963 Corvette was shown as the "Cyclone." The kid in the photo is Ronn. Photo courtesy of Ronn Ives.
A photo of Clint Carmen's T-Bucket from the same 1965 Denver, Colorado indoor car show. Clint and his hot rod hauled from St. Louis, Missouri. Photo courtesy of Ronn Ives.
A photo of Ronn with his in-progress Ronn's 1950 Ford custom. He was 15 years old when this photo was taken. Photo courtesy of Ronn Ives.
A photo of Mike Acton with his 1953 Ford. Mike was a good friend of Ronn, and he remembers that the car had a larger engine and was raised all around. It ran American mags, hood pins and a custom interior. Photo courtesy of Ronn Ives.
A hot rod tub that Ronn drew in 1962. As a young teen, Ronn designed and made "hot rod-themed" drawings and T-shirts. The T-shirts were custom made for his friends. Photo courtesy of Ronn Ives.
Another one of Ronn's old hot rod drawings. This one dates back to 1962. Photo courtesy of Ronn Ives.
A cartoonish Ford Mustang drawing by Ronn from the 1960s. Photo courtesy of Ronn Ives.
An in-progress weirdo drawing from the 1960s. Photo courtesy of Ronn Ives.
HAWK! Another weirdo drawing by Ronn from the 1960s. Photo courtesy of Ronn Ives.
A drawing of Bill Cushenbery's El Matador by Ronn. Photo courtesy of Ronn Ives.
"Draggin Wagon," another 1960s weirdo drawing by Ronn. Photo courtesy of Ronn Ives.
Another iteration of the "Draggin Wagon" by Ronn from 1966. Photo courtesy of Ronn Ives.

Ronn Ives and his family moved to Denver, Colorado in 1963, when Ronn was 13 years old. In 2018 Ronn told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama that he has been following car design since he was 10 years old; "I read about it all the time, watched for cars, and began building models as my early way to get involved in it. Denver is a large city with good weather. The car scene was huge, with most cars being modest in their outcomes - who of us had much money? I knew no one! Haha," Ronn chuckled. "Yes, there were very special cars, but they were usually only seen at shows." At age 14, Ronn bought a 1950 Ford that he began customizing. The year was 1965, and he paid $40 for the Shoebox Ford, his ticket to finally owning a custom car. It was a Flathead V-8 powered two-door, and Ronn began by shaving the body and raising the front; "My plans were for a fine shaved clean 1950 Ford. Nice inside and out. I was cleaning and de-rusting the undercarriage - painting it safety yellow! I knew people that were at the drag strips, and they offered to help me build the Flathead up, and, it was the fashion in Denver at the time NOT to LOWER it, but to RAISE it all the way around. I probably would've chopped the top also, but as a boy, I never reached that level of money." A black and blue interior was installed, and Ronn had plans for the exterior being blue.


According to Ronn, the trends in Denver were mainly affected by the influence of California. "By the middle to late 1960s, everyone interested in cars began switching to new muscle cars and left the older cars to die. At this time, you could have purchased just about any older car you wanted for under $100. And, in Colorado, with its dry environment, the cars were still in good condition decades later." The Ford ended up sitting undriven for years, so Ronn eventually decided to sell it to a friend who wanted to do more to it. "My tastes had changed. I wanted smaller, lightweight, good handling sports cars. I bought the VERY FIRST 1970 Datsun 240Z to be delivered to Colorado. I had it about 25 years, sold it to a friend." Ronn has owned a lot of cars over the years, including a 1949 Buick Super convertible that he sold to Oslo, Norway.



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