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Kustomrama is an online encyclopedia dedicated to traditional hot rod and custom cars. Our mission is to PROTECT, PRESERVE and SHARE traditional hot rod and custom car history from all over the world. More info...

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Featured Stories

The Glen Smith Special March 25, 1931 one of the first known organized amateur speed trials was held at Muroc. June 14, 1931, at the age of 20, Glen Smith attended the Muroc Roadster Races with his homebuilt Model J Duesenberg inspired sweep panel dual-cowl phaeton! Glen's racer was constructed using various Ford-components, and the young kid from San Fernando, California won the Main Event that day. Bill Sharpe's 1955 Chevrolet - Dracula In 1959 Bill Sharpe of Lynwood, California was a founding member and the first President of the Tridents of Southern California car club. At the time Bill drove a mildly restyled 1955 Chevrolet that was dressed up with an eye-catching scallop paint job. Unfortunately Bill passed away way too young, but thanks to his nephew Brad, the story about Bill and his Chevy has now found its way onto Kustomrama. Chris Rusbach's 1941 Ford Coupe In 1988 Harry Rusbach Jr of Ridgefield Park, New Jersey bought a beaten 1941 Ford coupe that he decided to build into his daily driver. Harry spent the next 11 years restyling and enjoying the car before he sold it off in 1999. 8 years later, Harry's son, Chris, bought his dad's old custom back, and after a 10 year long rebuild, the "Rusbach Coupe" has never looked better than it does right now.


The Jade Idol Has Been Sold We just heard through the grapevine that "The Jade Idol" has been sold to a secret buyer! The Jade Idol was Gene Winfield’s claim to fame, and it was the car put him on the map nationwide! Billy Belmont of Dedham, Massachusetts has been the caretaker of this custom since the 1980s. Now the car is on its way to Winfield's Custom Shop, where Gene will recreate the orifinal fade paint job he laid in 1959. 07.26.2017 - Dave Stuckey Has Passed Away Monday, July 24, 2017 legendary Wichita, Kansas customizer Dave Stuckey passed away, 79 years old. Dave began restyling and hopping up cars at age 13. 16 years old he began working part time at Darryl Starbird's Star Kustom Shop, after school. While working for Starbird, Dave completed the first version of his famous Lil Coffin' show rod. 06.01.2017 - Bud Unger Has Passed Away We're sorry to inform that legendary East Coast customizer Herbert "Bud" Unger passed away today, 96 years old. Bud was born in Hancock, Maryland in 1921. He had 7 brothers and sisters, and his family were very poor when he was growing up. Bud's father was a master mechanic, and he taught Bud a lot about the care and respect for using tools.

Lost and Found

Lost: Norman Kopp's 1932 Chevrolet Two Door Sedan Have you seen this 1932 Chevrolet two door sedan lately? Norman Kopp is trying to locate his old high school hot rod. Norman bought the Chevy back in 1957, when he was a sophmore. He lived in Beloit, Wisconsin, and he was a member of the Road Gents of Beloit car club. Under the direction of his brother, Norman installed a 1952 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 engine, transmission, rear end and steering gear in the car. In 1962 he... Lost: Harry Hoskin's 1955 Chevrolet Harry Hoskins' 1955 Chevrolet was originally restyled by Barris Kustoms in the 1950s. Being a mild custom, the top on the car was supposedly chopped in the late 1950s to win top honors at a San Diego car show. In 1962 Jack Fox bought the car from a relative of Hoskins. Jack used the car as his daily driver for two years, before selling it off in 1964. Jack lived to regret selling the car, and a while back he got in touch with Kustomrama to see if we could help him trace his old custom.n! Glen's racer was constructed using various Ford-components, and the young kid from San Fernando, California won the Main Event that day. Looking for Info: Charles Marshall's 1950 Cadillac Roadster Back in 2000, when Charles Marshall, of Palo Alto, California, bought this sporty 1950 Cadillac roadster in Los Angeles, he was told that the car was supposedly built in New Jersey in the 1960s. The design of the car is heavily inspired by the 1953 Cadillac LeMans concept car. Charles is currently looking for info on his old custom, so please ket us know if you recognize it.

Photo Archive

The Brad Masterson Collection When Brad Masterson worked for George Barris, before he went working for Bill Hines, George had a major clean-up at this North Hollywood shop. During the clean-up he threw out tons of material. Luckily, Brad jumped in the dumpster and saved what he could. When Olav Kvipt was working with Brad in his shop, he spent hours scanning all of Brad's photos and documents. The Ron Dragoo Collection In the mid 1950s Ron Dragoo of Long Beach, California spotted Dick Jackson's 1954 Mercury Monterey on the street! He fell in love with the Merc, and decided that he just had to have it. Bill Layman did the same thing, and in 2005 he completed a 1954 Mercury custom inspired by the Jackson/Dragoo Merc. After reading about Bill's Merc in The Rodder's Journal, Ron decided to share his photo collection with Bill. The Vern LaCoursiere 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.

The Jim Kierstead Collection Jim Kierstead of Inglewood, California got involved with cars at an early age. He was born in 1923, and grew up in Los Angeles when hot rodding and custom just began to be hot. During WWII he met Sam Barris in the Navy. They became good friends, and when he was discharged in 1945, he bought a 1939 Mercury that the duo restyled. Unfortunately, Jim died in a car crash with the Mercury in 1947, T-boned by a Duesenberg. His family has decided to share Jim's photos with Kustomrama, so the legacy will go on. The P.A. Flink Collection In 1967 P.A. Flink attended his first Hot Rod Show in Stockholm. Not only did he attend it, he also exhibited a moped at the show named "The Peacock". During the late 1960s and 1970s P.A. became a regular visitor at the shows, bringing his camera to immortalize the Swedish hot rod and custom scene. The Mickey Ellis Collection The Ogden, Utah area had a strong car scene in the 1950s and 1960s, and cruising Washington Blvd, the main street of Ogden, was the thing to do every night. Mickey Ellis was one of the local kids that spent much of his time cruising up and down the main street. Mickey was a member of the Stags of Ogden car club, and luckily for us he took some great photos back in the days that he has decided to share with Kustomrama.

Top Lists

Gene Winfield ranks his top 3 favorite builds Gene Winfield is a legendary customizer, painter and hot rod racer. Born June 16, 1927, Gene has been restyling cars since 1945, and he is one of the best known and most recognized builders in the world. They say choosing your favourite build is like choosing your favourite child! We Gene what his top 3 favourite builds are? Cole Foster ranks the 3 greatest customs of all time Custom car and bike builder Cole Foster of Salinas Boys Customs is known for creating cars that are so clean they don’t have lines - they simply flow. We asked Cole what his all Time Top 3 Customs are?

For Sale

For Sale: Don Broyles' 1932 Ford Roadster 1932 Ford roadster owned and built by Don Broyles of Dayton, Ohio. Don originally built the roadster in 1951. He wanted the car to sit low, so he Z'd the frame and channeled the body. The grille shell was filled and sectioned before Don installed a wraparound nerf bar. It was powered by a Ford Flathead V-8 engine and it sported a deep purple paint job. Since 1995 Ron Olfers of Austin, Texas has been the caretaker of the roadster. Ron has now decided that it's time to pass the torch. For Sale: Joe Wilhelm's 1939 Nash Coupe Joe Wilhelm of San Jose, California started doing custom work-part time on his own and others cars around 1945, and this 1939 Nash was his first custom. He bought the Nash right after the was in 1946 and immediately started customizing it. Joe went on to open up Wilhelm's Custom Shop in San Jose, and he owned the radically restyled Nash all the way up until the late 1960s or early 1970s. Luckily the car survived, and the historic Northern California custom is now currently up for sale. For Sale: Dean Jeffries' 1956 Porsche 356 Carrera In 1957 Dean Jeffries was a recognized custom painter and pinstriper working out of Barris Kustoms. As he wanted to expand his talents into customizing, he bought an almost brand new Porsche that he gutted inside and out. Once completed, the Carrera gathered 30 first place trophies in car shows throughout the whole country. Jack Walter bought the old custom in 1971. Since then he has restored the car twice. In 2007 he decided to take it all the way, and restore it back to how it looked when it was featured on the cover of Rod & Custom October 1959.

Featured Events

Ventura Nationals 2017 This 2017 Labor Day weekend the Ventura Nationals celebrated its 16th annual show in Ventura, California at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. The show kicked off on September 1, 2017 with a preparty in downtown Ventura at the Majestic Theatre. Lonestar Round Up 2017 April 8th and 9th, 2017 the Kontinentals car club held their 16th annual Lonestar Round Up in Austin, Texas. A show with small beginnings, now can only be explained as a sea of cars from all corners of the country and even attracts Hot Rod and Kustom enthusiasts from other countries outside of the states. Grand National Roadster Show 2017 The 68th annual Grand National Roadster Show was held January 27 - 29, 2017 at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. Close to 1,000 cars attended the event. Theme for the 2017 show was "The Magic Happens Here," and cars and vendors were encouraged to decorate with the theme. Featured building 9 exhibited the 60th Anniversary of the Tri-Five Chevy's

Featured Projects

Olav Kvipt's 1939 Mercury Coupe - The Jim Kierstead Tribute Build Olav Kvipt's 1939 Mercury coupe is built as a tribute to Jim Kierstead's 1939 Mercury coupe. Jim's coupe was restyled by Sam and George Barris between 1945 and 1947, and it is said to be the first 1939 - 1940 Mercury coupe that the Barris brothers chopped the top on. Jim's family originally emigrated from Norway back in the days, and they are related to Olav and Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama. 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 is a great addition to the Scandinavian custom scene. The restoration. We followed the restoration of the car, and it's trip halfway across the world on Kustomrama. 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.


Jonnie King's Legends of the Rod & Custom Hall of Fame: George Barris - Creating "The Golden Sahara" In 2009 Jonnie King sat down with George Barris and John D'Agostino, during the KKOA Lead Sled Spectacular in Salina, Kansas, to talk about "The Golden Sahara." "The Golden Sahara" is one of Jonnie's personal favorites, so he asked George to give him the fill story on the legendary "Dream Car." Recommended Reading: Hot Rod Gallery II Throughout his 40-plus year career, Pat Ganahl has accumulated more than 30,000 images. 350 of "some" of the most interesting and best photos from Pat's collection have found their way to Hot Rod Gallery II. Published by CarTech, the book was released August 18, 2016, and according to the publisher, the book contains more great photos and stories from hot rodding's golden years. 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.

Fred's Korner: Black Wings 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. Jonnie King's Legends of the Rod & Custom Hall of Fame: Norm Grabowski - Norm in the Movies Jonnie King and Norm Grabowski got together a few years ago at both Darryl Starbird's Tulsa Rod & Custom Show and the KKOA Lead Sled Spectacular in Salina to talk about Norm's remarkable career. Norm was a great story teller, and according to Jonnie he had a perfect and honest way of giving info on any subject he asked him about. In this episode he talks about the "Kookie Car" and how he got into being an actor in Movies and TV Shows. Featured Videos: Silhouette II Space Coupe: Jim Roten Interview - January 5, 2017 Barry Gremillion interviews Jim Roten about the Silhouette II Space Coupe. Jim who co-created the design for Bill Cushenbery, and in this movie he share his drawings and thoughts about the historic cars.

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Kustomrama is an online encyclopedia dedicated to traditional hot rod and custom cars. Our mission is to protect, preserve and share traditional hot rod custom car history from all over the world.

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