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In an attempt to get into the youth market, Ford Motor Company teamed up with AMT to launch the "Custom Car Caravan" in 1962. Together they wanted to create and campaign customized and performance-themed Fords. Or, as Ed Roth described it in his book, "making sure all of Ford's stuff was in the car shows around the country." The first cars were built in-house, but it didn't take long before Ford started to commission famous customizers such as George Barris, the Alexander Brothers, Bill Cushenbery, and Gene Winfield to dream up and execute life-size Ford customs.
George Barris' 1963 Buick Riviera of Encino, California. George, who owned and operated Barris Kustom City in North Hollywood, California, designed the car himself. Known as "The Villa Riviera Buick," the build was completed in 1963. In 1964 a white iteration of the car appeared in the popular Surf-movie "For Those Who Think Young". In AMT's annual 1965 Riviera model kit, parts were included to build your own Villa Riviera, thousands of kits were sold and the box featured a beautiful rendering of the Villa Riviera.
The Alexa was a 1964 Ford Galaxie that Mike and Larry Alexander restyled for the Custom Car Caravan. Just as the Adonis, the Alexa featured an asymmetrical air intake on the passenger side of the hood. The builders that were invited to participate in the program would propose a drawing, and if Ford liked it, they'd give out a car for a dollar. According to Gene Winfield, AMT organized and administered the Caravan, while Ford paid for it. AMT's part of the deal was that they got the rights to promote and sell the cars in kit form.

Cars Owned by AMT

Bill Cushenbery's 1940 Ford - The El Matador


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