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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

Bob Mikkelsen's 1951 Chevrolet Fleetline In 1965 Bob Mikkelsen of Shelton, Washington spotted a mildly restyled 1951 Chevrolet Fleetline beside a car repair shop in Yakima. It had some damages and was slowly starting to deteriorate, so Bob pulled in and made an inquiry about the car. The owner of the body shop told Bob that it belonged to a fellow name Norman Brown. Norman had bought the Fleetline new in Goldendale. He started restyling it in 1952, and it was built over a three-year period. Dan Wittenberg's 1928 Ford Model A Roadster Pick Up Dan Wittenberg of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada was smitten by the hot rod fever in 1953, when he was 17 years old. He had a buddy, Fred Merkley, who was building a channeled Model A roadster at the time. Dan wanted to build something for himself as well, so the friends found scraps of lumber and used building materials and built a two-car garage behind Dan's mother's house on 33rd near Fraser. The garage would become a hub for hot rodding activity over the next years. 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.


09.26.2017 - Joe Bailon Has Passed Away We just heard that legendary Hayward, California customizer Joe Bailon has passed away. Joe revolutionized the scene with his "Candy Apple" paint in the mid-1950s, and we all knew him as "Candy Apple Joe." RIP Joe. You will be missed. Our condolences go out to Joe's friends and family. 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.

Lost and Found

Lost: Norman Kopp's 1932 Chevrolet Coupe Norman Kopp's 1932 Chevrolet Coupe of Beloit, Wisconsin was originally owned built by Norman's brother. The first running completion was in 1958, then the build was completed three years later. In 1964 Norman sold the coupe. He can't remember who he sold it to, or where it went, but for some reason, he believes it went to someone in Illinois. 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.

Photo Archive

The Ron Aguirre Photo Collection Ron Aguirre of Rialto, California was a pioneer in the field of hydraulic lifted cars, and in the late 1950s he built a custom Corvette, known as the X-Sonic. The X-Sonic was for many year acknowledged as the first car ever using hydraulics to raise and lower the front suspension. The X-Sonic was also the first show car featuring a bubble top plastic roof. The Fred Austin Photo Collection Fred Austin was a member of the Chancellors of Van Nuys car club. The club was originally founded in the mid 1950s. Fred became a member of the club around 1961. By then the club had a club house and a dragster, and it consisted of about 30 members. The Chancellors of Van Nuys put on some big car shoe at Devonshire Downs in the San Fernando Valley, something that really helped build up the clubs name and reputation. The Richard Korkes Collection Richard "Korky" Korkes is a legendary East Coast cusotmizer born in Whippany, New York. Korky customized his first car at age 17 in 1952. He started a car club called the Free Wheelers of Whippany before he opened up his own custom shop called Korky's Kustom Shop. Korky has shared some photos from his personal collection that we will share in this archive.

Top Lists

Kevan Sledge ranks the 3 greatest customs of all time Kevan Sledge is a founding member of the So. Cal Shifters car club. Kevan has had a passion for cars since he was a young kid, and began building hot rods and customs as a hobby in the late 1980s. In 2011 he started up Sledge Customs, turning his hobby into a full time profession. 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

Lawrence Garrison's 1940 Mercury Convertible In 2011 Birger Meland of Lier, Norway bought Lawrence Garrison’s channeled 1940 Mercury from Pat Orosco in California. For a long time, the history of this old custom has been full of holes and rumors. In June Birger told us that he wanted to restore the car back to how it was originally built. We applauded the initiative and agreed to help him research the history of the car. 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.


Featured Video: Bill Cushenbery's Silhouette II Space Coupe Restoration Project Loads Into Outlaw Garage In July of 2017 Barry H Gremillion made a deal with Nelson Vels at Outlaw Garage, and the project was moved to his shop in Santa Clarita Valley. After an 8 1/2 year delay the historic custom car restoration project finally resumes. 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.

Calling all Early Customs for Customs by the Sea, a pre-1952 custom car show presented by Kustomrama and the Race of Gentlemen. Pre-Registered Cars Only. Register Here.

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