Anthony Abato's 1954 Oldsmobile

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A photo of the Comet from The Ray Soff Photo Collection.
A photo of the Comet that Ken Bausert snapped at the 1960 Hartford Autorama. Photo from The Ken Bausert Photo Collection.
Anthony's Oldsmobile as it appeared in 1961.
Another version of the Comet shown in the souvenir program for the 4th annual Ram Rods Rod and Custom Car Show in 1961
Another version of The Comet being displayed at an indoor car show in Providence, Rhode Island

1954 Oldsmobile Convertible owned by Anthony Abato of Jersey City, New Jersey. Tony's Oldsmobile was also known as "The Comet". Tony bought the car brand new in 1954 and started to customize it right away. Both front and rear fenders were extended. The extended front fenders housed recessed canted quad Lincoln headlights and the rear fenders housed a pair of homemade Lucite lenses with thin chrome bands running through the center. The grille was made from a combination of DeSoto and Buick parts. A cut down 1957 DeSoto grille and bumper was used with 1959 Buick checkerboard trim. The side trim was made using 1/2 inch round rod that framed stainless steel panel inserts. Split bumpers protected the rolled pan in the rear. A conny kit was added to the custom rear end. This version of the car sported 1957 Cadillac hubcaps.[2]

Inside the car featured a white Naugahyde interior with contrasting buttons upholstered by Caravan Upholstery of Jersey City. When the car appeared in Trend Book 197 Custom Cars 1961 Annual the car had taken 3 months to build.[2] According to Traditional Rod & Kulture Illustrated 4 the car toured the East Coast Show Circuit until it was destroyed in a house fire in 1961.[3] But since the car is shown in Popular Customs Winter Issue 1963 at an indoor car show in Providence, Rhode Island together with the Car Craft Dream Rod the fire that destroyed the Comet must have happened after 1963, since the Car Craft Dream Rod wasn't completed until late 1963. This show coverage showed a redone version of the car. This version of the car had received a new front bumper and a grille with the lettering "COMET" integrated. The lakes pipes running along the rocker panels had also been molded in since its feature in 1961. The car was uodated with new hubcaps, and a new continental kit cover that matched the hubcaps.[4]

Anthony's son Gary Abato built a 1929 Ford Model A Tudor that he called The Comet as a tribute to his dad's old kustom.[3]

Magazine Features

Rodding and Re-stytling February 1960
Car Craft April 1960
Trend Book 197 Custom Cars 1961 Annual
Trend Book 205 Restyle Your Car
Popular Customs Winter Issue 1963
Popular Hot Rodding December 1963



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