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Welcome to Kustomrama - Traditonal Rod & Kustom Wikipedia

Kustomrama is a Wikipedia dedicated to traditional hot rods and kustom cars. It is an online encyclopedia covering all aspects of our kulture. Everyone is welcome to contribute and start new and interesting topics on the Kustomrama Wikipedia. Write about yourself, your company, your car, your favorite kustom or your all time automotive hero. All entries are welcome as long as they somehow relates to traditional Rods & Kustoms.

Kustomrama Wikipedia is a project that will evolve and grow over time. Join this community today and help Kustomrama become the number one Traditional Rod & Kustom Wiki!!

For feedback, inputs, stories or if you have some cool old photos to share, feel free to mail us at:



Customs by the Sea - Calling Pre 1952 Customs!
Kustomrama is returning to Wildwood, New Jersey with the 3rd annual Customs by the Sea custom car show. The 2016 Customs by the Sea will be held right next to The Race of Gentlemen. It's a gathering of early customs, and the show is open for 1952 and earlier automobiles, restyled in a pre 1952 style. The date for the show will be announced later.
Click here for more information


Kustomrama Newsletter
Subscribe to the Kustomrama Newsletter and receive regular emails about new stories, news and events that have been added to the Traditional Rod & Kustom Wikipedia.
Click here to sign up

Featured Stories


Bruce Bartlett's 1953 Studebaker Starlight Coupe
In September of 1953, Ramblers of Long Beach members Bruce Bartlett and Don Chapman bought a brand new Studebaker each. Don's father ran his own Studebaker agency in Huntington Park, so Don picked a '54 hardtop, while Bruce went for a '53 Starlight Coupe. The friends brought their cars to Barris Kustoms to have them restyled. While George Barris worked with Don on his car, Sam Barris worked on Bruce's Studebaker!
Click here for more information and photos


Ray Ellis' 1934 Ford 5-Window Coupe
In February of 1965 Ray Ellis of Sydney, Australia became the proud owner of his first hot rod. He had just turned 17 years old, and the car was a gift from his dad. The same year he became a member of the Romans Hot Rod Association, the first hot rod club of New South Wales. Due to a blown out header, and an enthusiasm to build a hot rod, Ray started rebuilding the car early in 1966. It was time to channel it.
Click here for more information and photos


Robert Martinez' 1949 Ford
1949 Ford owned and restyled by Robert Martinez of San Diego, California. Around 1955 - 1956, Robert worked with Carroll "Red Eye" Gentry at Styler's Custom Shop. By November of 1956, he had started his own shop, Broadway Auto Body Shop in Chula Vista, California. The Ford was built before, or while he worked with "Red Eye" at Styler's.
Click here for more information and photos

Lost and Found


Looking for Info: Eddie Dominguez' 1939 Mercury Convertible
In 1960, Eddie Dominguez of El Paso, Texas bought an already customized 1939 Mercury convertible from a local kid. According to rumors the car was an old custom that came from the San Diego area. 48 years later the car was advertised for sale at the Los Angeles Roadster Show. An older fellow who saw it at the show told the seller that a buddy of him had bought the Merc brand new from a Long Beach Mercury dealer.
Click here for more information


Lost: Virgil Shuck's 1940 Mercury Coupe
When did you last see a 1940 Mercury coupe with a 1955 Chevrolet grille? Virginia custom car enthusiast Roddy Moore is currently trying lo locate Virgil Shuck's 1940 Mercury custom. Built in Pineville, West Virginia in the late 1950s, the car wound up in a junkyard in Christiansburg, Virginia, before it was sold to Ohio in the 1970s or the 1980s.
Click here for more information


Lost: Gary Elmore's 1953 Studebaker Coupe - Exotica
Gary Elmore Jr. is currently trying to locate his dad's old Studebaker custom. Gary Sr. was from Castro Valley, California, and he was a member of the Swanx of Oakland car club. He did most of the work on his car himself. It was completed around 1959-1960, and it hit the show circuit as the "Exotica".
Click here for more information

Kustomrama Photo Archive


The John Bozio Photo Collection
John Bozio is an East Coast customizer from East Hartford, Connecticut. John bought his first car, a 1939 Buick Century, at age 15 in 1951. The Buick was John's first custom attempt. Several customs followed, mostly Buicks, and luckily for us, John took photos of them all.
Click here to check out the John Bozio Photo Collection


The Gordy Brown Photo Collection
Gordy Brown is a well known Salt Lake City, Utah customizer. He has been into hot rods and customs for the most of his life, and started out customizing cars at age 14 in the mid 1950s. In the early 1960s Gordy moved to San Fernando in Southern California, where he opened up his own shop House of Customs.
Click here to check out the Gordy Brown Photo Collection


The Jim Papworth Photo Collection
Jim Papworth was a member of the Culver City Screwdrivers. He joined the club in 1948, and was active until late 1950. Jim's first car was a 1932 Ford roadster that he bought in 1947. After the roadster followed a row of early Fords that Jim raced on the dry lakes. Luckily for us Jim took a lot of photos that he has shared with the Kustomrama Photo Archive.
Click here to check out The Jim Papworth Photo Collection

Featured Projects


The Kustomrama Dream truck
The Kustomrama Dream Truck is a tribute to the custom cars of the late 1950s. Being an admirer of Jerry DeVito's wildly restyled 1957 Ford Fairlane, that we all know as the Maze, Sondre Kvipt decided that he wanted to recreate this car as a Ranchero. The build was started in Oslo, Norway in January of 2014, lead by Sondre's brother Olav.
Click here for more information and photos


Gil Ayala's 1955 Ford Thunderbird - The Wild Bird
Gil Ayala's personal custom, a 1955 Ford Thunderbird, known as the Wild Bird, has been sold to Scandinavia. Gil's Thunderbird is one of the few known surviving Ayala Customs, and it will be a great addition to the Scandinavian custom scene. The restoration will be featured here on Kustomrama, and in order to an as accurate job as possible we need your help! Click here for more information and photos

For Sale


For Sale: Jim Logue's 1954 Ford Convertible
What might have been the first ever hydraulic lifted car is currently up for sale. The lifted version of Jim Logue's 1954 Ford convertible, was completed in 1958. Jim used hydraulic lifts from aircraft surplus parts to raise and lower the front and rear suspension on his car. We have no exact date documenting when the build was completed, but we know that Jim's Ford had lifts installed when it was featured in Custom Cars February 1959.
Click here for more information


For Sale: Lloyd Myers' 1949 Mercury Convertible
Lloyd Myers' 1949 Mercury convertible is currently up for grabs. Lloyd was a member of the San Jose Rod and Wheelers car club, and his Merc was originally restyled in the late 1950s. Gary Wise of Olympia, Washington bought the car as a project in 1993. After buying it, he spent two decades bringing it back to the condition it appeared in in the custom car magazines of the early 1960s. The restoration was completed in 2014.
Click here for more information


For Sale: Barry Atkins' 1955 Chevrolet
Rumor has it that Barry Atkins' 1955 Chevrolet was first restyled in 1958. In the early 1980s Red McCormick of East Hartford, Connecticut bought the car from Durham, Connecticut. Red sold it to Barry Atkins, who restored it and restyled it further. Today the car is owned by Marc M. of WIttmann, Arizona. Marc have two other projects that he needs to get done, so the Chevrolet is up for grabs.
Click here for more information

Featured Events


Customs by the Sea 2015
The 2nd annual Customs by the Sea was held October 10-11, 2015 in Wildwood, New Jersey. The show was planned to take place October 3-4, 2015, but due to hurricane Joaquin, it had to be postponed one week. While the first Customs by the Sea was a celebration of traditional custom cars from all decades, the 2nd Customs by the Sea was a celebration of the early custom car.
Click here to see photos from the 2015 Customs by the Sea


Grand National Roadster Show 2015
The 66th annual Grand National Roadster Show was held January 23 - 25, 2015 at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. One building at the show was dedicated to celebrate different aspects of the Southern California Car Culture, while another building was dedicated to the 75th Anniversary of the 1940 Ford.
Click here to see photos from the 2015 Grand National Roadster Show



11.11.2015 - Gene Winfield Debuts New Build at the SEMA Show
November 1, 2015 legendary customizer Gene Winfield's latest creation, a 1952 Chevrolet custom named "Desert Sunset", made its debut at the 2015 SEMA Show. "Desert Sunset" featured one of Gene's signature fadaway paint jobs, and it was show in the Eastwood booth. Click here for more information on the Desert Sunset


11.05.2015 - George Barris Passed Away
November 5, 2015 we lost a legend, as George Barris, the Kustom Car King passed away. 13 years old George started customizing cars with his brother Sam. He learned the trade by hanging out with legendary custom car builder Harry Westergard. In 1942 he moved to Los Angeles, where he went on to establish the world's most famous custom car shop; "Barris Kustoms." Click here for more information on George Barris


10.28.2015 - The Spohn Palos Being Restored
October 28, 2015 the 1952 Spohn Palos was sent to Manns Restorations in Festus, Missouri for a proper restoration. Current owner Wayne Graefen, first saw the old GM Lesabre inspired Spohn custom as a kid in Palos Park, Illinois in 1957. He spent over 4 decades trying to locate the car. In 2011 he was reunited with the old German custom, and he ended up buying it. Now 4 years later he has finally decided to restore it back to it's former glory. Click here for more information.

Recommended Reading


Street Rod & Custom Showtime
Street Rod & Custom Showtime is a hardcover book that documents the history of Britain's indoor hot rod and custom car shows. We all know the history about how hot rodding started in California nearly hundred years ago, and how it spread to become a worldwide phenomenon. What not so many people know, is how and when hot rodding started in the UK. This book tells the story from the humble beginnings in the 1950s, to the victorious 1980s. Click here for more information.


King of the Kustomizers: The Art of George Barris
After 5 years of hard work, Brett Barris and Douglas Nason's book "King of the Kustomizers: The Art of George Barris" is finally out. A huge release party and book signing was held at Gaslpin Auto Sports September 1, 2015. The hardcover book containing nearly 500 pages jam-packed with never-before-seen photos and design illustrations, illuminating how Barris’ creations helped redefine the automobile’s place in American culture. Click here for more information.


Inside Hot Rodding: The Tex Smith Autobiography
LeRoi Tex Smith was a passionate builder and racer. He was also a great storyteller, and in addition to publishing several books on the subject, he spent much of his life working for magazines such as Hot Rod Magazine, Street Rodder and Rod Action. Unfortunately, Tex passed away June 11, 2015. Luckily for us, he was able to complete his autobiography before he left us. Published by Graffiti Publications, the 256 pages hardcover book was released August 1, 2015. Click here for more information.

Kustomrama Styling Studio


Kustomrama Styling Studio no. 9 - 1941 Lincoln Zephyr Convertible
Janne Kutja has been down in his archive again, and found a design he drew back in 2006. This concept is based on a 1941 Lincoln Zephyr convertible. Main modifications include a chopped and leaned back windshield amd a padded top. Fanatics will also see the Janne has replaced the original one-piece windshield with a split one.
Click here for more information and photos


Kustomrama Styling Studio no. 8 - 1940 Mercury Coupe
Janne Kutja is back with another previously unseen design from the Kutja Design Archive. This concept came alive when Janne wondered how a 1940 Mercury custom would look with a roof similar to a 1940 Ford or 1941 Mercury coupe. Puzzled by this, Janne designed something that easily could have rolled out of Barris Kustoms prior to the Matranga Merc...maybe after that as well? Click here for more information and photos


Kustomrama Styling Studio no. 7 - 1953 Kaiser Hardtop Coupe
Janne Kutja is back with another previously unseen design from the Kutja Design Archive. This one, dated 2008, shows the potential that lies underneath the lines of a big and bulky 1953 Kaiser. You rarely see customized 1950s Kaisers. In fact you don't see too many 1950s Kaisers at all. In 1953 a total of only 29,945 cars were produced. Let's hope this design by Janne can help a car or two survive in a recycled and restyled version. Click here for more information and photos

Fred's Korner


Fred Lammers aka "Fred" or "Phred" is a Norwegian artist and illustrator from Oslo, Norway. Cars, kustoms & art: Fred has been involved with that as long as he can remember. He give his older brother credit for his interest in cars. He taught Fred about the makes and models and so on, but when it came to the tech stuff he was more interested in the design and soon started to draw and design stuff. Each week..well at least once in a while... Kustomrama presents a new masterpiece by Fred. Click here for a larger version and more art by Fred

Jonnie King's Legends of the Rod & Custom Hall of Fame


Bo Huff - The Sam Barris Tribute Build
In 2002 Bo Huff started recreating an old Dragerton custom he remembered from his teenage days. At the time, the car belonged to Stan Robles, a buddy of Bo. Before the car came to Utah, it had belonged to Sam Barris. Sam had restyled the car for hsimelf, and won First Place in the Convertible Class at the 1957 National Roadster Show with it.
Click here to hear the interview at


Darryl Starbird - The Hall of Fame Museum
Jonnie King interviews Darryl Starbird about his Hall of Fame Museum, a lifelong dream that came true. Darryl's concept and idea was to build a Museum and a Hall of Fame to showcase his life's work of internationally known vehicles that he had produced, and to honor the work and craftsmanship of his contemporaries.
Click here to hear the interview at


Frank Lviningston's 49 Chevy - Close to a Clone
In 1955 Satan's Angels member Frank Livingston debuted his newly restyled 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline at the National Roadster Show. The car went trough three versions before Frank traded it for a 1953 Oldsmobile in 1959. In 2003 Frank returned to the Grand National Roadster Show with a recreation of his first 1949 Chevrolet. In this interview, Jonnie King talks to Frank about his beautiful recreation.
here to hear the interview at

Featured Videos


1965 NHRA Winter National Drag Races, Pomona--Redone
Almost 10 minutes of digitized and edited 8mm home videos taken by Mike Tyler at the 1965 NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. Lots of pit area and return road images of many famous and not so famous muscle cars, gassers, and dragsters that "ruled' during the mid 1960s.
Click here to check out the movie


1958 MHRA Drag Race Lansing MI Featuring Speed Sport Roadster
This seven minute long 8mm home movie was recorded by Richard Cote of Dearborn, Michigan at a MHRA sanctioned drag race in Lansing, Michigan in 1958. Richard helped Larry Carline build the primered small block Chevy powered 1927 Ford Model T truck with the Paxton supercharger that can be seen in the movie.
Click here to check out the movie


Spritz by Fritz - Chop a Model A Top at Home
The man who gave us the Roswell Rod is out with another great how-to DVD. Fritz' third DVD is aimed at home builders that wants to perform a successful Model A chop at home, in their own garage, using their own tools. Work alongside Fritz in the garage as he chop a 1930 Ford Model A coupe 2 1/4 inches, fill the roof opening with an old Chevy station wagon donor panel, and show you every step of the way how he did it. Chopping a Model A Coupe has never looked easier!
Click here to check out the trailer



Kustomra'mag 5
Fifth issue of Kustomra'mag is just released. Kustomra'mag 5 features 80 pages of exclusive coverage from the A-Bombers Old Style Weekend 2008.

Click here to check out the fourth issue of Kustomra'mag


Kustomra'mag 4
Fourth issue of Kustomra'mag is just released. Kustomra'mag 4 features 80 pages coverage from the Jokers Car Show 2008, CKOS Lead Parkin' 2008 and Power Hot Rod Reunion 2008.

Click here to check out the fourth issue of Kustomra'mag


Kustomra'mag 3 - The Viva Las Vegas Special
Kustomra'mag 3 features 80 pages of exclusive coverage from the Shifters Car Show at the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend 2008. This is the biggest issue of Kustomra'mag so far.

Click here to check out the third issue of Kustomra'mag

Contents By



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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