Joe Andersen

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A young Joe. Photo courtesy of Terry Tradewell.
Photo courtesy of Terry Tradewell.
A business card from Joe's Gardena shop. Photo courtesy of Mike Davis.
A redone version of Joe's Florence Avenue shop. Photo from Colors by Joe Andersen
Joe painting an horse carriage. Photo from Colors by Joe Andersen
A promo photo of Joe from around 1968 showing him wearing one of the medallions he sold of his head logo.
Joe Andersen on his older days. Photo from Colors by Joe Andersen

Joe Andersen was a legendary custom car painter and pinstripers from Gardena, California. Joe started his pinstriping and custom paint business in a little garage on 64th street in Los Angeles, just about 80 feet east of Normandie Avenue, near Ansen Automotive. Louis Senter, the founder of Ansen, encouraged Joe and was a mentor for the aspiring artist. Joe did a lot of engineering for Louie in the early days as well.[1]

At age 17, Joe found a commercial property for sale at 1519 W. Florence Ave., Los Angeles that he purchased.[2]

In 1959 Joe started the Embers So Cal Car Club.[3]

Joe acquired a 1949 Chevrolet from his grandparents. The first thing he did was to replace the 6 cylinder engine with a Corvette V8 engine. He then painted the car silver and purple in what he called, "The Fade Away." Joe may be the first person ever to do this type of painting. There were many street cars, show cars and race cars painted at this shop. One of the cars was the fuel dragster of Stellings and Hampshire which was also known as, "The Red Stamp Special." It was candy red and silver metalflake and it is said to be the most beautiful dragster ever painted.[2]

Joe eventually sold the property at W. Florence Ave, and moved to a rented shop at 13805 S. Normandie Ave., Gardena, California. He expanded his business by adding retail sales of accessories which included Muntz car stereos, 8 track tapes and some chrome accessories. Joe left Gardena and moved to Palm Springs. There, he started a sign painting busines called, "Colors by Andersen." He did commercial building signs and real estate signs for the next several years.[2]

June 18, 2012 Joe passed away from diabetic complications. He had a simple cremation, and his ashes were sent to his brother in Oregon.

Joe Andersen's Cars

Joe Andersen's 1949 Chevrolet
Joe Andersen's 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix

Cars Painted, Restyled or Pinstriped by Joe Andersen

Click here to see cars restyled by Joe Andersen at Joe Andersen's Custom Shop


  1. Bob Holley
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Bruce Schwartz

Customs by the Sea is a traditional custom car show in Wildwood, New Jersey. Presented by Kustomrama, the show is open for pre 1952 automobiles, restyled in a pre 1952 style. Click here for more info...

Promote your shop, show or business on Kustomrama - This ad space can also be bought to promote cars for sale or to hunt down rare parts you're looking for. Click here for more info...


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