Lowell Helms' 1950 Ford

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Lowell's shoebox during a photoshoot for Hot Rod Magazine, May 15, 1957. Hot Rod passed on a featured story, but Custom Cars ran a color version on the cover of Custom Cars December 1957. Photo by Eric Rickman, courtesy of Hot Rod Magazine.
Photo by Eric Rickman
Photo by Eric Rickman
Photo by Eric Rickman

1950 Ford Tudor owned by Lou Helms of Bellflower, California. The car was totally shaved for exterior trim and handles to achieve a cleaner look. The front end was restyled by installing a 1953 Chevrolet grille shell which housed a 1953 Chevrolet grille bar with nine teeth, the front of the hood was modified as well to fit the new front. The front fenders were extended by using 1956 Oldsmobile headlight rims. The front and rear gravel pan was molded to the body along with the rear fenders. The windflairs were expanded and fitted with 1951 Buick taillight lenses that were recessed and frenched. The body was lowered by cutting the coils, C'ing the frame and installing lowering blocks, dropping the body 8 inches further down to the ground.[2] Ed Schelhaas did all the custom bodywork on the car. Once the bodywork was done, Larry Watson of Watson's House of Style covered it with sapphire mist enamel as base adding leaping flames all over the car. The flames were metallic gold, tipped in white and pinstriped in black. Larry and Lou were classmates at Bellflower High School. Lou was taking up photography, and Larry made him his personal photographer. Larry nicknamed Lou "Brush Browns" due to his long thick bushy eyebrowns. He told Lou he wanted to cut them off to make his own long brushed pinstriping brushes.[3] The bumpers were shaved for bumper and license guards, dual spotlights, Oldsmobile Fiesta hubcaps and lakes pipes finished up the style. The interior was done in blue and white genuine leather by Jerry's Upholstery.[2]

Magazine Features

Custom Cars December 1957
Custom Cars February 1958
Trend Book 156 Custom Cars 1958 Annual



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