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Keystone Auto Parts of Toledo, Ohio. Started by Abe Leibovitz during the Depression in the 1930s, this used auto parts yard was the place Harry Markiecki and other Toledo hot rodders bought their parts in the 1950s.
Jim Skonzakes' 1922 Ford Model T-Bucket of Dayton, Ohio. In 1959 Jim bought the famous Kookie T hot rod from Norm Grabowski. After buying the car, Jim brought it to Larry Watson at Watson's House of Style for a cosmetic makeover. Larry gave the car a Rose Pearl paint job with Candy Red flames.
Middletown Pacemakers: The Story of an Ohio Hot Rod Club - Author Ron Roberson is a third-generation Middletown Pacemaker member. His father and grandfather were founding members of the club, and Ron has been attending club meetings as long as he can remember. Ron became the youngest member of the club, and he hung around until it disbanded when he was 16. Thanks to Ron's book, the legacy of this Middletown, Ohio club is now well documented and preserved for future generations. Click here to check price and availability on Amazon.com.
Don Broyles' 1932 Ford roadster of Dayton, Ohio. The car was originally built in 1951. In 1956 Don installed a 1956 Chevrolet Corvette 283 engine in the roadster.
Ron Hart's 1951 Ford Club Coupe of Cincinnati, Ohio. Ron was a member of the Cincros car club, and he built the sectioned Ford in 1954.
Laverne A. Stetzer's 1932 Ford 5-Window coupe of York, Pennsylvania. The car, known as the York Coupe was built by Glen "Rudy" Rudisill and his father at G.E. Rudisill & Sons in 1957. Rick Yokum of Lexington, Ohio bought the coupe in 2005.
Ralph Neal's 1932 Ford Roadster, of Ashtabula, Ohio.
Dick Bair's 1939 Ford Convertible Sedan as it looked in 1948.
Dan and Ken Hiramoto's 1941 Buick Century convertible of Cleveland, Ohio. Built by Dan and Ken, the car went trough several iterations between 1951 and 1962. This photo shows the Raven version of the car as it appeared in 1958.
Wayne Knudsen's 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe of Toledo, Ohio. The chopped and channeled coupe is believed to have been built by Knudsen in the mid-late 1950s. It was later acquired by Warren Bookman, the organizer of the Toledo Auto Rama. Under Bookman's ownership, the car was prominently showcased at the Auto Rama, drawing significant attention and acclaim from attendees and automobile enthusiasts.
Dennis Murphy's 1939 Ford Convertible Sedan of Wyckoff, New Jersey. Murphy purchased the car in Ohio in 1960. He was 15 years old at the time, looking for his first car, and was excited when he saw a hot rod for sale by the side of the road. A deal was made, and his dad drove it the 400+ miles back to their home in New Jersey.
Don Boeke's 1957 Ford Convertible of Dayton, Ohio. Boeke built the car after he was discharged from the US Navy. Taken circa 1960, this photo shows the car after he had painted pearl scallops on it and dressed it up with lake pipes, custom hubcaps, and a Canadian grille.
Dan Hiramoto's 1941 Buick Century convertible of Cleveland, Ohio. Built by Dan and his brother Ken, the car went trough several iterations between 1951 and 1962. This photo shows the car as it appeared in 1961 after Dan had taken full possession of it.
Dean Jeffries' 1947 Mercury Convertible of Lynwood, California. Restyled around 1955 - 1956, Jeffries dressed the Merc up with murals, flames and pinstriping. In 1957 he sold it to Pharaohs of Toledo car club member Jerry Halak of Toledo, Ohio.
Milton Depuy's 1949 Ford of Cleveland, Ohio was restyled around 1956. Milton's Ford was sectioned 4 inches and fit with a 1951 Ford Victoria top.
Jim Walker of Dayton, Ohio bought the remains of Sam Barris' 1950 Buick Sedanette and had it restored back to it's former glory.
Larry Ernst's 1952 Ford Convertible of Toledo, Ohio. Restyled by Clarkaiser Custom Shop, the first version of the car, named "Pharaoh's Pacer", was completed in 1955. Larry was a Roman Catholic priest who later became a monsignor. Owning a radical and famous custom car put him at some odds with senior members of the church, so he showed the car under the fake name Grant Macklin.
Kenneth Kamp's Otter is a fiberglass bodies two-seater built by Kenneth Kamp of Norwood, Ohio. 9 Otters were built, the first one was completed in 1953.
Jack Aberth's 1953 Studebaker of Copley, Ohio. Restyled by the Moorehead Bros of Akron, the build was completed sometime between 1953 and 1956.
George Barris' 1955 Chevrolet truck, the Kopper Kart, was built as a promotion vehicle for Barris Kustoms of Lynwood, California. The build was completed in 1957. Jim Skonzakes of Dayton, Ohio bought the truck from George in 1960.
Bob Gunya's 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible, of Cleveland, Ohio.
Sam and Carl Lombardo's 1956 Ford of Brecksville, Ohio was restyled some time between 1956 and 1958.
Jerry Halak's 1958 Ford Convertible of Toledo, Ohio. Jerry was a founding member of the Pharaohs of Toledo car club. Restyled in 1958, it only took 42 days and $500 to transform Jerry's convertible into a nice custom.
Ron Volpe's 1957 Ford Convertible of La Salle, Illinois. Ron was a member of the Illinois Valley Mis-Fires. Between the years 1960 and 1963, he took the car through five different stages. This photo shows the fifth and most radical iteration of the car that was restyled in 1963. By then, the car had received an asymmetrical scoop on the hood, radiused wheel wells, and a fogged paint job. Ron sold the car to a used car dealer in Princeton, Illinois in July of 1963. Rumors have it that the car was then sold to a fellow from Ohio, possibly Dayton.
Sonny Kahal's 1932 Ford Tudor Sedan. Sonny showed the car at the Detroit Autorama in the mid-1950s. Back then, it featured a chopped top, a 1951 Oldsmobile engine, and bobbed fenders. Herb Derose of Toledo, Ohio purchased the car from Sonny in the mid-1960s.
The Toledo Mystery T. Ford Model T Bucket built by a fellow named Gary. Around 1970 Gary worked as a parts puller at Keystone Auto Parts in Toledo. Do you recognize it?
Charles Ritter's 1955 Chevrolet of Warren, Ohio. Ritter owned the car in the early to mid 1970s, and it was already customized when he bought it.
Virgil Shuck's 1940 Mercury coupe of Pineville, West Virginia. Built by Virgil and his father at Shucks Body Shop, the build was started in 1957. It was completed sometime between 1957 and 1959. The car eventually wound up in a junkyard in Christiansburg. In the 1970s or the 1980s it was sold to Ohio.
Dave Facey's 1939 Ford Coupe of Lakeland, Florida. For years, Dave used to pass by the radical custom on his way to work. It sat in a backyard, and in the early 1980s, he finally decided to stop and check it out. He bought it, and the seller told him that the sectioned and channeled car was built in the Ohio area. Dave eventually sold it to "Big George," who put in a big block Chevy running gear and additional customizations. He named it "The Silver Rose" and showed it for several years.
Glen Patrick's 1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster of Beavercreek, Ohio. Glen resyled the Chevrolet in 1985. Inspiration for the build came from the Barris Kustoms built High School Confidential 1948 Chevrolets.
John McLaughlin's 1955 Chevrolet of Sapulpa, Oklahoma. In the late 1950s Jim sent the car on a train from Oklahoma to Barris Kustoms in California to have they finish the build and paint it. Jim Allen of Milford, Ohio bought the car circa 1992 - 1993.
Robert Ansetta's 1951 Ford Crestliner of Morris Plains, New Jersey. Robert owned the car from the mid 1950s to the early 1960s, and most of the custom work on it was done during those years. Robert passed away in 1961 before the build was completed, and it was his brother Vinnia that finally completed the build in 1983. Fred Ritter of Warren, Ohio bought the old custom in December of 2021.

Hot Rod Parts and Speed Shops in the 1950s

According to Ron Roberson, there were two speed shops around the Middletown area in the 1950s that were popular sources for good after-market parts. These were Bob Kyle's shop in Hamilton and Brockman's in Dayton. "Dick Weinle's shop in Cincinnati was a little father drive, but it was also very popular, especially with the drag racers. Prior to those shops' existence, there were always the mail order houses like So-Cal and Racer Brown. Some of the local machinists became quite adept at hot rod pieces, and the local parts departments at the various car dealerships usually had one special counter person that all the hot rodders would ask for. The Ford garage in Middletown, for example, had Mom's cousin Dick Lovelace behind the counter, and Dick knew all the hot rodders and the parts they needed."[1]

Hot Rods of Ohio

Norm Grabowski's 1922 Ford Model T Bucket - The Lightning Bug / The Kookie T
Bob Hamke's 1927 Ford
Ray Van Elta's 1928 Ford Phaeton
Charley Mayenchein's 1930 Ford Model A Phaeton
Don Broyles' 1932 Ford Roadster
Lou Schafer's 1932 Ford 5 Window Coupe
Laverne A. Stetzer's 1932 Ford 5-Window Coupe - The York Coupe
Lynn Wineland's 1932 Ford
Paul F. Johnson's 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe
Paul F. Johnson's 1932 Ford Roadster
Ralph Neal's 1932 Ford Roadster
Sonny Kahal's 1932 Ford Tudor Sedan
Wayne Knudsen's 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe
George Montgomery's 1934 Ford 3-Window Coupe

Custom Cars of Ohio

Dennis Murphy's 1939 Ford Convertible Sedan
Dick Bair's 1939 Ford Convertible Sedan
George Lehnhauson's 1940 Ford
Ted Maedel's 1940 Ford Convertible
Tom Franken's 1940 Ford
Virgil Shuck's 1940 Mercury Coupe
Dan and Ken Hiramoto's 1941 Buick Century Convertible - Raven
Dan Hiramoto's 1941 Buick Century Convertible - Raven
Jack Stewart's 1941 Ford
Dean Jeffries' 1947 Mercury Convertible
Glen Patrick's 1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster
Richard Rough 1949 Chevrolet Club Coupe
Richard Shea's 1949 Chevrolet
Milton Depuy's 1949 Ford
Sam Barris' 1950 Buick Sedanette
John Cassaubon's 1950 Ford Club Coupe
Dick Schneider's 1950 Mercury
Frank Katzler's 1950 Oldsmobile 88 Holiday
Jack Stewart's 1950 Oldsmobile - The Polynesian
Don Hurley's 1951 Oldsmobile 88 - The Kopper Dust
Larry Ernst's 1951 Chevrolet - The Bel Air Royal
Robert Ansetta's 1951 Ford Crestliner
Ron Hart's 1951 Ford Club Coupe
Larry Ernst's 1952 Ford Convertible - Pharaoh's Pacer
J.G. Schmidlapp's 1952 Oldsmobile Holiday 88
Dan Wylie's 1952 Pontiac Catalina
Joe Siegfried's 1953 Ford Four-Door
Jim Skonzakes' 1953 Lincoln Capri - The Golden Sahara
Jack Aberth's 1953 Studebaker
Milton J. Antonick's 1953 Studebaker
Wayne Ludmas' 1954 Chevrolet
Jack Purdy's 1954 Ford
Charles Ritter's 1955 Chevrolet
George Barris' 1955 Chevrolet Truck - The Kopper Kart
John McLaughlin's 1955 Chevrolet
Bob Gunya's 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible
David Shugarman's 1956 Chevrolet
Joe Flowers' 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air - The Venus
Sam and Carl Lombardo's 1956 Ford
Don Fletcher's 1957 Chevrolet 210 - The El Capitola
Don Boeke's 1957 Ford Convertible
Jerry Halak's 1958 Ford Convertible
The Kopper Kart
Ronald Heitman's 1959 Chevrolet Impala - The Candy Angel
The Forcasta
Merle Taggart's 1963 Buick Riviera

Dream Cars of Ohio

Kenneth Kamp's Otter

Custom, Auto, Body, and Paint Shops of Ohio

Charlie's Top Shop
Cliff's Upholstery
Fostoria Customs
Jerry's Auto Body
Larry Kramer Custom Cars Inc.
Lou Schafer & Sons
Moorhead Bros
The Egyptian Custom Body and Paint

Upholsterers of Ohio

Bob Durant

Car Clubs of Ohio

Cluster Busters of Toledo
Motor Menders

Citizens of Ohio

Bill Dugan
Bill Steiskal
Blaine Stone Jr.
Bob Durant
Bob Gunya
Carl Lombardo
Charles Ritter
Charley Mayenchein
Chester Carey
Chuckie Gollahon
Dan Hiramato
Dan Wylie
Dave Lenhart
David Shugarman
Dick Bair
Dick Schneider
Don Boeke
Don Broyles
Don Hurley
Duffy Denemark
Eula Gollahon
Frank Katzler
Fred Ritter
Garry Roberts
George Montgomery
Glen Patrick
Grant Macklin
Herb Derose
Jack Aberth
Jack Purdy
Jack Stewart
Jerry Halak
Jerry Kear
Jerry Koenigsmark
J.G. Schmidlapp
Jim Allen
Jim Skonzakes
Jim Walker
Joe Flowers
Joe Siegfried
John Cassaubon
John Zagray
Ken Hiramato
Larry Ernst
Larry Kramer
Larry Nadrasik
Lou Schafer
Lynn Wineland
Merle Taggart
Milton Depuy
Milton J. Antonick
Paul F. Johnson
Ralph Neal
Ray Van Elta
Richard Rough
Richard Shea
Robert Albers
Ron Gunya
Ronald Heitman
Sam Lombardo
Steve Carrasas
Ted Maedel
Tom Dill
Tom Franken
Tom Nowak
Warren Bookman
Warren Wise
Wayne Knudsen
Wayne Ludmas



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