For more than 100 years, the desire for individuality has been a motivation for customizing cars. The traditional custom car as we know it has been defined as an outgrowth of hot rodding, and many consider Northern California as the cradle of the custom car culture. Harry Westergard is a pioneer and a legend in the custom car field, and he is often recognized as the originator of the taildragger look. Today the term "Westergard Custom" is widely used all over the world. A great recognition to Harry and his tastefully restyled custom cars.
Harry Williams Westergard was born on January 9, 1916, in Detroit, Michigan. In the late twenties or early thirties, he moved from Michigan to Sacramento. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 had a sudden impact on the roaring twenties, and during the 1930s, it wasn’t common for a teenager to have his own car. Desperation is often the primary source of creativity, and California youngsters began to dress up their cheap Fords, Dodges, and Buicks to make them look like Cadillacs. Harry began restyling cars in the late 1930s, and as the depression drew to an end, customizing was all about smoothing, cleaning, and sharpening the stock lines of an automobile. Westergard did not have a shop back then, so he worked out of an old chicken coop at his home. Harry was known as a man that cared about other people. A local kid named George Barris used to hang out at the shop where Westergard worked. Westergard became George’s mentor, and the young kid was eventually put to work at the shop.
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