Jerry Berg's 1934 Ford

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The Coupe as it looked when Jerry bought it in 1956. Photo courtesy of Eirik Berg.
Photo courtesy of Eirik Berg.
Jerry's Coupe during the chop. Here with the roof off. Photo courtesy of Eirik Berg.
Jerry chopped the top 4 inches. Photo courtesy of Eirik Berg.
Photo courtesy of Eirik Berg.
Photo courtesy of Eirik Berg.
Photo courtesy of Eirik Berg.
Photo courtesy of Eirik Berg.
The Northern Star at Seattle's Northgate Auto Show in 1958. Photo courtesy of Eirik Berg.
Photo courtesy of Eirik Berg.
Photo courtesy of Eirik Berg.
Photo courtesy of Eirik Berg.
Photo courtesy of Eirik Berg.
Photo courtesy of Eirik Berg.
Jerry with the coupe. Photo courtesy of Eirik Berg.
Photo courtesy of Eirik Berg.
Jerry with his mom outside Seattle's Northgate Auto Show in 1958. Jerry's mom and dad liked to travel to his car shows. Photo courtesy of Eirik Berg.
The Northern Star as it looked when it was featured in Hot Rod Magazine November 1958. Jerry was 21 years old at the time, and the photos were taken during Seattle's Northgate auto show in 1958. Photo by Allan Carter.
Photo by Allan Carter.
Photo by Allan Carter.
Photo by Allan Carter.
Photo by Allan Carter.
Photo by Allan Carter.
The Northern Star at the 1959 Tacoma Toppers show. Photo courtesy of Dick Page.
The Northern Star as it looked when it was featured in Rod & Custom September 1959. Photo by Bud Lang.
Photo by Bud Lang.
Photo by Bud Lang.
Photo by Bud Lang.
Photo by Bud Lang.
The Northern Star in an indoor souvenir program.
The Northern Star at the second annual Rod and Custom Car Show in Seattle. According to Jerry's son, Eirik Berg, the Seattle Headers car club used to bring in live trees and bushes to make their club display stand out from the rest. Photo by Pete Sukalac, courtesy of Custom Cars Magazine.
Jerry and the coupe with his fellow members of the Seattle Headers car club. Photo courtesy of Eirik Berg.
Jerry sold the coupe to Ben Sebastian of Kenmore, Washington in 1963. Ben restyled the car into a version called Plum Cherry. This photo was taken during the rebuild. Photo by Ben Sebastian, courtesy of Larry Moe.
A photo dated June 1969, showing the fenders and the car during the rebuild. Photo by Ben Sebastian, courtesy of Larry Moe.
Ben with the coupe during the rebuild. The photo is dated November 1970. Photo by Ben Sebastian, courtesy of Larry Moe.
The Northern Star as it looked after Ben Sebastian had built it into the Plum Cherry. The photo is taken in Ben's driveway. Photo by Ben Sebastian, courtesy of Larry Moe.
Photo by Ben Sebastian, courtesy of Larry Moe.
The Plum Cherry at the 1971 Portland Roadster Show. Photo by Ben Sebastian, courtesy of Larry Moe.
The Plum Cherry at an indoor car show in Seattle. Photo by Ben Sebastian, courtesy of Larry Moe.
According to Russ Meeks, this photo was taken in 1974, at the first show the car attended after Russ had installed independent Jaguar rear and front suspension. This version did also feature a blower. Photo by Ben Sebastian, courtesy of Larry Moe.
The coupe was repainted several times while Ben owned it. This photo was taken during one of these paint jobs. Photo by Ben Sebastian, courtesy of Larry Moe.
A photo of the Plum Cherry from 1976.
This photo of Ben's "Plum Cherry" coupe was taken at the 1976 Roadster Show. Photo courtesy of Firebirdonline.com.
The coupe as it sat when Larry Moe of Federal Way, Washington bought it in November of 1995. Photo courtesy of Larry Moe.
Larry had to box and rebuild the frame. Photo courtesy of Larry Moe.
Photo courtesy of Larry Moe.
Photo courtesy of Larry Moe.
Photo courtesy of Larry Moe.
Photo courtesy of Larry Moe.
Larry with the coupe as it sat in November of 2012. Photo courtesy of Larry Moe.
Photo courtesy of Larry Moe.
Photo courtesy of Larry Moe.
Jerry Berg reunited with his old coupe in November of 2012. Photo by Eirik Berg.
Photo by Eirik Berg.
Jerry and Larry Moe with the coupe. Photo by Eirik Berg.
Photo by Eirik Berg.
A photo of the Plum Cherry version of the car hanging in Larry's garage. Photo by Eirik Berg.

1934 Ford 3-Window Coupe owned and restyled by Seattle Headers member Jerry Berg of Seattle, Washington. Jerry bought the old coupe from a couple in 1956. It was their only car, so he had to find them another car before he was able buy the '34. Jerry's coupe is also known as the "Northern Star", and it gained national recognition when it was featured in Hot Rod Magazine November 1958. When the story was made, Jerry was 21-years old, and the car was supposedly his sixth hot rod.[1] The first version of the car was completed in 1958, but Jerry wasn't happy with the way it handled on the drag strip. The tires spun and made a great smoke show, but he didn't have enough weight in the back to go faster than 13 seconds in the 1/4 mile.[2] According to Hot Rod Magazine November 1958, the coupe was weighing in at the bottom of the "B" Gas Class, cranking on 104 with a 13.0 e.t.[1]


The Northern Star featured a 4 inch top chop, shaved door handles and solid hood sides. The hood was entirely formed out of aluminum. The deck lid handle was removed, the deck lid corners were rounded, and the rear end was fit with a simple nerf bar carrying the licenseplate in the center. The fenders were filled in, and the taillights relocated to the nerf bar. The body was painted lime gold metallic,[3] and a set of sparkling 1956 Lincoln Premier wheel discs were installed for a modern look. The paint was ordered from Barris Kustoms. The running boards were made out of deck material normally used on high end yachts.[2] The upholstery was done in fully padded white pleated leather. Pleated leather was used on the bench, door panels, dashboard, roof and roll bar. The door panels featured a nautical star on each door.[1] Under the louvered hood, Jerry installed a monster of a completely chromed Firedome Hemi engine from a 1953 DeSoto. The DeSoto engine had been bored to 276 Cu, In. and fit with a 4-carb Weiand manifold, an Iskenderian camshaft, Mallory ignition and large valves and ports. A Cragar adaptor hooked the engine to a Ford transmission. Hydraulic brakes had been installed along with adjustable shocks and wide base safety rims. The car rolled on 6.70 x 15 Double Eagles tires in the front, and 8.20 x 15 tires in the rear.[1] The front axle was dropped 2 1/2 inches and fully chromed.[3]


Jerry sold the coupe to Ben Sebastian of Kenmore, Washington in 1963. The car was in several pieces when Ben bought it. Ben made the hood and fenders tilt forward, he installed a front nerf bar and he installed quad headlights and Plymouth station wagon taillights.[2] Ben's version of the car was named "Plum Cherry". In 1971 Ben showed the Plum Cherry at the Portland Roadster Show. Ben rebuilt the coupe at least three times. By 1974 a blower had been installed on the Hemi engine, and Russ Meeks of Portland, Oregon had installed a chromed Jaguar independent front and rear suspension. The coupe was also repainted a number of times while Ben owned it. Once in flames and scallops. It was also re-upholstered twice. One version featuring angel hair. Ben owned the car until the late 1980s. it was then sold to a fellow in Edmonds. The guy in Edmonds ripped the DeSoto Hemi out, and pretty much destroyed the drivetrain, paint and upholstery before he sold it to a young man in West Seattle. Larry Moe of Federal Way, Washington bought the coupe from the fellow in West Seattle, Seattle in November of 1995. By then it was in a horrible shape. It had been painted in black primer and it had been fit with a stock 302 Ford engine and a four speed transmission. The upholstery had been painted black. Upon driving the coupe home, Larry went through a bunch of old hot rod and custom magazines. He spotted the Jerry Berg coupe, and recognized the car due to the nerf bars, the reworked radiator and the rounded deck corners. Larry traced down Jerry, who came over to check out the remains of his old coupe around 1997. Jerry told Larry about Ben, so Larry decided to pay Ben a visit. Ben gave Larry photos of the coupe from when he reworked it and showed it up and down the coast as the Plum Cherry. Larry is currently busy fixing the car up, bringing it up to todays standards, and as far as he can tell, it is currently undergoing its 5th rebuild. First went the 302 and the horrendous hose lashup Ben installed to the radiator for the tilting of the front end. Larry has decided to rebuild it as a Hi-Boy, as he has always admired most of the '34 fenderless coupes. It was necessary to rebuild the frame, box it and make a new rear crossmember to get the car to sit right and to build a transmission mount. After the frame was boxed and rebuilt, Larry installed a 1955 Chrysler Hemi with a 60 overbore, an Isky regrind camshaft, a Weiand manifold and two 4 bbls carburetors along with a 727 transmission by B&M.[4]


Magazine Features

Hot Rod Magazine November 1958
Rod & Custom September 1959
Custom Cars April 1960


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Hot Rod Magazine November 1958
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Eirik Berg
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rod & Custom September 1959
  4. Larry Moe




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