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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 All Early Customs!
Kustomrama are returning to Wildwood, New Jersey with a 2nd annual Customs by the Sea custom car show. The 2015 Customs by the Sea will be held October 3-4‚ at the beach, 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.
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


Lee A. Jagla's 1923 Ford Model T Pickup
1923 Ford Model T roadster pick up owned and raced by Hayward V-Eights member Lee A. Jagla of Hayward, California. Lee got the hot rod as a gift from his parents for his high school graduation from Hayward High School in 1960. He enjoyed it for 5 years before it was put into dry storage. It stayed in storage for the next 48 years. After Lee passed away, the historic hot rod was sold to Norway in 2014. Click here for more information and photos


Fred Cain's 1940 Ford Coupe
Fred Cain's 1940 Ford coupe is an early East Coast Custom built by Fred Cain of Wilmington, Massachusetts. The first version of the build was completed in 1948, and Fred raced it the same year. Over the years the car has been lost, resurrected, and restored. It spent some time on the West Coast and in Texas, but will now return to the East Coast in October for the 2nd annual Customs by the Sea car show in Wildwood, New Jersey. Click here for more information and photos


Larry Ernst's 1952 Ford Convertible - Pharaoh's Pacer
After having Barris Kustoms restyle a brand new 1951 Chevrolet Bel Air, Larry Ernst of Toledo, Ohio decided to have Clarkaiser Custom Shop restyle his 1952 Ford Convertible in 1954. The build took 1 1/2 year, and it was completed in 1955. Larry was a Roman Catholic priest who later became a monsignor. In order to hide his dark side from the church, he used to enter the car at shows as Grant Macklin. Click here for more information and photos

Lost and Found


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


Lost: The Kandy Apple Kart
JP Randall has been looking for an old Milwaukee, Wisconsin custom for over 40 years. The car, named "the Kandy Apple Kart", is a 1955 Ford owned by Roven Chariots member Dick Nielsen. Dick was a Manager of a Badger Paint Store in Milwaukees Southgate Shopping Mall. JP saw it when he was 13 years old, and the car has been haunting him ever since. Do anyone know the car, or know what happened to it? Click here for more information

Kustomrama Photo Archive


The Vern LaCoursiere Photo Collection
Vern LaCoursiere is a member of the legendary Tacoma Toppers car club of Tacoma, Washington. Vern rode the bus to school during high school, and he couldn't wait to buy his first car after graduation so he could join the Toppers. 19 years old, in 1957, he bought his first car, a 1949 Ford that he restyled himself. Tom Tufte has scanned and shared some of Vern's old photos with the Kustomrama Photo Archive.
Click here to check out the Vern LaCoursiere 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


The Bud Unger Photo Collection
Herbert "Bud" Unger of Hancock, Maryland is a legendary East Coast custom car builder. Bud started working on cars at age 15 in 1936. During WWII he learned to shape and form aluminum in the Air Force. He returned from the Air Force in 1946 and started building custom cars shortly thereafter. Bud had an eye for design, and built some very tasteful West Coast styled cars.
Click here to check out The Bud Unger 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


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



08.27.2015 - 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.


08.04.2015 - Bo Huff Passed Away
After a 5 year battle of cancer, legendary Utah customizer Bo Huff passed away at his home in Dragerton on August 4, 2015. Bo was a driving force in the community and a familiar name and face all over the world. He first took an interest in cars in the 1950s, watching the older guys in town with their lowered cars. He was inducted into the National Rod & Custom Hall of Fame and the Kustom Kemps of America Hall of Fame. Click here for more information on Bo Huff


08.08.2014 - RIP Einar Valsjø
August 5, 2014 was a sad day for Norwegian custom history, as Einar Valsjø passed away. Einar was a pioneer in the field, who completed his first build, a customized 1952 Mercury around 1963. Much of the work on the Mercury was done outside, during the winter. Once completed, the Mercury became one of the first custom cars of Norway. Einar went on to build an paint many cars, for himself and for other. He is best known for his Mako Shark show car, a customized Corvette that hit the show circuit of Norway in three different versions. Click here for more information on Einar Valsjø

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

Legends of the Rod & Custom Hall of Fame


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


Gene Winfield - Chopping the Jade Idol
Leroy Kemmerer's 1956 Mercury, better known as the Jade Idol, was the car that placed Gene Winfield on the custom car map for real. The build was started in 1958, and it was in fact the first car that Gene ever sectioned. Jonnie King has interviewed Gene about the Jade Idol and how he sectioned it.
Click here to check out 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...


Additional Information, Feedback or Corrections

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