Eric Bracher's 1956 Chevrolet

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An early version of Eric's Chevy, as it appeared in Trend Book 143 Restyle Your Car
Eric's Chevrolet as it looked when it was featured in the "Side Trim Mania" section of Custom Cars September 1957.
Eric's Chevy as it looked when it was featured in Motor Life July 1958.
This photo is from 1960, notice the new grille.
As it appeared in Custom Cars August 1960. Photo by Frank Faraone.
Photo by Frank Faraone.
Photo by Frank Faraone.
Photo by Frank Faraone.

1956 Chevrolet restyled by Joe Wilhelm of Wilhelm's Custom Shop for Eric Bracher of San Jose, California. An early version of Eric's Chevrolet, without the radically restyled front end, was featured in Custom Cars September 1957 in a section called "Side Trim Mania". The car was chosen for its excellent design in relationship to the overall appearance it had due to the two reversed 1957 Pontiac trim pieces that were spliced together for a spear-like effect. This version did also feature custom hubcaps and side exhaust pipes. The door handles were shaved and 1956 Packard taillights had been grafted on. Two peaks were made in the deck lid, and the hood was peaked as well. Two 1955 Buick deck handles were also installed on the peaked deck lid. The coils were cut on front, and blocks installed on rear to lower the car. The car was painted in white lacquer, and featured a black and white interior complete with a white Naugahyde tonneau cover.[1] In 1958 Bob's Buick was nominated as one of 28 "Top Customs of the Year" in Motor Life July 1958.[2]

Later on, the front got restyled with quad headlights in the reworked fenders, rolled pan, and a custom grille. By 1960, it had a grille and front bumper made by ribbed exhaust tubing. The rear bumper also disappeared, instead the rear was modified to fit 1956 Chrysler bumper tips. A custom roll pan was made and welded on, with a protecting Nerf bar attached. It was painted Green and Lime lacquer, hence the name "The Green Hornet". 1958 Lincoln wheelcovers wrapped up the style.[3]

Magazine Features

Custom Cars September 1957
Custom Cars January 1958
Motor Life July 1958
Custom Cars August 1958
Trend Book 143 Restyle Your Car
Trend Book 156 Custom Cars 1958 Annual
Custom Cars August 1960


  1. Custom Cars September 1957
  2. Motor Life July 1958
  3. Custom Cars August 1960
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