Gene Boucher's 1956 Ford
1956 Ford hardtop restyled by Bill Cushenbery of Cushenbery Custom Shop for Gene Boucher of Monterey, California. Bill built the car, known as the Marquis, after he had moved his business from Wichita, Kansas to Monterey, California, and after he had completed the well known El Matador. With the Marquis Bill wanted to achieve a touch of asymmetrical styling by placing a raised peak down the right side of the hood. Bill was a fan of occasional offset touches like this, but felt that it had to be applied with subtlety and discretion. He felt that it was best confined to really bold customs, such as the Marquis, or reserved for completely new designs where it could be integrated into the overall theme. Bill meant that applying an asymmetrical feature without regard for a car's basic styling could lead to aesthetic disaster. The sculpturing along sides and at rear was all Bill's own design, and a popular custom trend of its time. The grille cavity housed horizontally mounted, chromed flat grille bars with a backing made out of chromed mesh. The quad headlights were frenched and fit with Lucas headlights and bullet-like bumpers canted inward from the reworked fenders. The body was sectioned 6-inches, and the rear end was modified to accept 1959 Buick fender fins and a huge grille incorporating canted 1959 Pontiac taillights. Four rows of chromed tubing filled the sculptured rear grille area. The Buick fenders were incorporated into the original fenders' faired tips. V's were flared into the top of the fender tips, and the rear fender wells were opened and radiuses. Power was supplied by a Thunderbird engine. A Naugahyde upholstery, including a padded and upholstered roof, was made by Manger. Candy gold paint was applied by Don Mathews of Monterey.
The build took two and a half year to complete, and the Marquis made its debut in 1962. January 6, 1962 it was shown at the San Mateo Autorama. Later on the same year, the Marquis was featured on the cover of Car Craft June 1962, one of several magazine appearances for the car. Gene owned the car until he passed away. As with many other 1960s customs the Marquis fell into disrepair. It changed hands several times, and it was briefly owned by noted customizer Gary Minor, who saved it from oblivion, before it eventually ended up with Bud Millard of Milbrae, California. Bud had Jerry Sahagon restore the car for him. Jerry started the restoration, but it was later moved on to John Aiello of Lucky 7 Customs in Antioch and Jose Heredia for finishing. During the restoration Cushenbery's original design was altered as a new and modernized interior was made for the car featuring modernized equipment such as digital gauges, a modern tilt steering column and a modern steering wheel. The upholstery work was performed by Jerry Sahagon. The rear wheel openings were also reshaped and rounded out the way Cushenbery originally intended to have them. As the car was rushed to completion, Cushenbery had to drop this design when the car was first built. The restored version of the car was painted by Bill Reasoner.The restoration of the Marquis was completed in 2000. After the restoration the car has been shown at different museum and collections such as the Petersen Museum, Harrah's Museum in Reno and at the California Auto Museum in Sacramento.
The Marquis is still owned by Bud Millard, but it is currently up for sale. The price is to be negotiated, so if you are interested in the car mail Kustomrama at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set you in touch with Bill.
Rod & Custom April 1962
Hot Rod Magazine May 1962
Car Craft June 1962
Popular Customs Spring 1963
Car Craft February 1963
Popular Customs January 1966
Classic & Customs july 1983
Custom Rodder March 1998
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