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William J. Unger's 1949 Cadillac Convertible of Chicago, Illinois. Built from a fusion of General Motors parts, the build was completed in 1950. It gained national recognition when it was featured in Motor Trend October 1950. In 1951, two photos of the car appeared in Trend Book 101 Custom Cars, in an article named "Customs With Character - A Lineup of Cars With Singular Personalities."
Joaquin Arnett's 1934 Ford 3-window coupe of San Diego, California was completed in 1951. Joaquin sold the coupe to Andy Granatelli of Chicago, Illinois shortly after it was completed.
Brad and Gale Bez' 1948 Buick Roadmaster. The old sports custom was was located in Milwaukee and then moved to the Chicago area where it was in a garage fire. In 2009 it was purchased by a St Louis Buick collector. Brad and Gale are currently looking for info about who built their one-off custom.
The Tucker 48
Jim Laughead's 1951 Chevrolet Bel-Air of Chicago, Illinois. Jim's Chevrolet was restyled by Vince Kane Body Shop sometime between 1955 and 1957.
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." Russell Johnson of Chicago, Illinois bought the car from George in 1983.

George and Sam Barris

The famous customizers George and Sam Barris were born in Chicago, Illinois. Sam was born on October 6, 1924, and George was born on November 20, 1925.

The Tucker 48

The Tucker 48 was built in Chicago.

The 1950s 

Arthur Naebig of Chicago, Illinois has been into customs since he first read a copy of Motor Trend back in the late 1940s. In the 1950s he hung out with some of the local drag racers, and in 2019 he told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama that they did a lot of night street racing, "and one of the spots was on the South Side on Western Avenue up a hill. Supposedly, one of the speed shops in Chicago made an angled adapter to keep carburetors level while going up that hill." Around 1950-1951, when Arthur was 12-13 years old, he used to ride his bike over to Granatelli and hang around in the showroom where they displayed a yellow 1937 Cord 812 2-seat convertible.[1]

Hot Rods of Chicago, Illinois

Howard Mitchell's 1930 Ford 5-Window Coupe - The Alazane
Russell Gerrits 1931 Ford Roadster
Joaquin Arnett's 1934 Ford 3-Window Coupe

Custom Cars of Chicago

William J. Unger's 1949 Cadillac Convertible
Nick Kolbasuk's 1949 Ford
Jim Laughead's 1951 Chevrolet Bel-Air Hardtop
George Barris' 1963 Buick Riviera - The Villa Riviera

Sport Customs of Chicago, Illinois

Brad and Gale Bez' 1948 Buick Roadmaster Roadster

Custom Body and Paint Shops of Chicago, Illinois

Vince Kane Body Shop

Hot Rod and Custom Car Shows of Chicago

Custom, Sports Car and Hot Rod Show
International Hot Rod Custom Show

Citizen of Chicago

Andy Granatelli
George Barris
Howard Mitchell
Jim Laughead
Nick Kolbasuk
Russell Gerrits
Russell Johnson
Sam Barris

William J. Unger


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