Ray Farhner's X-Ray

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A construction photo of the X-Ray being built. Photo courtesy of Justin Greene - Wild Child's Custom Shop.
Another construction photo of the X-Ray. Photo courtesy of Justin Greene - Wild Child's Custom Shop.
A photo of the X-Ray that Grier Lowry captured on August 25, 1963. With its sleek, silver contours and futuristic body, this show car looked like it drove straight out of a science fiction novel and onto the lush backdrop of a lakeside view. The X-Ray wasn't just a feast for the eyes; its supercharged engine promised a roar as impressive as its space-age aesthetic. Photo by Grier Lowry, from The Ray Soff Photo Collection.
The X-Ray photographed at an indoor car show in Denver, Colorado in 1965. Photo from The Ronn Ives Photo Collection.
The X-Ray as it sat in 2012 when it was advertised for sale in Kansas City.

The X-Ray is a show rod built by Ray Farhner at Farhner Custom Shop in Raytown, Missouri. Farhner was a pivotal figure in the custom car world during the 1950s and 1960s. While many custom car builders were concentrated in California, Farhner distinguished himself by operating out of Missouri. His unique approach and strategic promotion through his custom car show circuit, "World of Wheels," positioned him as a significant influencer in the industry.[1]

Jaguar XK 150 Chassis and Drivetrain

The X-Ray, arguably one of Farhner's most imaginative works, was built using a Jaguar XK 150 chassis and drivetrain. This custom car showcases Farhner's exceptional creativity and understanding of 1960s customizing trends. It has been featured in prestigious publications like Hot Rod Magazine's 1963 Custom Car Yearbook 1, Rod & Custom December 1963, and the book Wildest Show Rods of the 60s and 70s.[1]

Design and Features

The X-Ray is renowned for its unique design elements that were ahead of their time. The car's wedge shape, dramatically scalloped body sides, and integrated cycle-style front fenders were groundbreaking. Its polished Jaguar XK twin-cam 6 engine and roadster-like passenger compartment exemplified the pinnacle of 1960s custom car design. Interestingly, modern Formula One cars share many of these design elements, highlighting Farhner's visionary approach.[1]

The Evolution of The X-Ray

Around 2012, the X-Ray was rediscovered in Missouri. It evolved over the years while maintaining its original identity, and back then, it featured a light yellow paint job adorned with intricate blue, white, and red scallops, which accentuated its body details. Despite these changes and updates like later wire wheels and rectangular headlights, the X-Ray remained largely true to Farhner's original vision. The car still had its old bias ply tires and retained the original, albeit aged, upholstery and interior trim.[1] In 2012, it was listed for sale in Kansas City. The asking price was $50,000.00.[2]

Magazine Features

Popular Mechanics November 1963



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