Santo Vasques' 1950 Chevrolet Convertible

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A photo of Santo's Convertible from The George Contaoi Photo Collection. Taken at the 1957 Long Beach Renegades Car Club Renecade, this photo shows a rare iteration of the car featuring a scallop on the hood. Photo from The George Contaoi Photo Collection.
A trunk shot of Santo's Chevrolet taken at the 1957 Long Beach Renegades Car Club Renecade. Duane Steck's Moonglow, Pete Angress' 1952 Ford, and Jud Morgan's 1956 Ford F-100 can be seen behind the car in the photo. Photo from the George Contaoi Photo Collection.
The second version of Santo's Chevrolet was scalloped by Larry Watson in 1957. According to Larry, it was the most radical scallop paint job he did that year.
A photo of Santo's Chevy taken at the 1958 Krankers Motor Revue in June of 1958. The Long Beach Renegades made the top showing at the show, taking home 5 of the 15 prizes. Renegades President Santo Vasques won the Full Custom Award with his 1950 Chevrolet. Photo from The George Contaoi Photo Collection.
Photo by George Barris
The first iteration of Santo's Chevrolet was nominated as one of "The 10 Best Customs" in Custom Cars January 1958.
A photo of Saint's Chevrolet taken at the 1960 Renegades Rod & Custom Motorama. This photo appeared in Car Craft November 1960, in a coverage from the show. Photo by Bud Lang, courtesy of Car Craft Magazine.

1950 Chevrolet Convertible restyled by Schelhaas Custom Shop for Long Beach Renegades president Santo Vasques of Long Beach, California.[1] Santo's Titan Red Convertible was featured on the cover of Car Craft May 1957. This version was fitted with a custom made top utilising a 1953 Chevrolet Bel Air rear window. The two-piece windshield was replaced by a one-piece windshield from a 1951 Oldsmobile that had been chopped 4 1/2". A narrowed 1955 DeSoto grille was modified to fit in a 1953 Chevrolet grille shell. Hooded headlights were built up around 1955 Cadillac headlight rims. The stock front bumper was frenched and inverted for a new effect. Trunk and hood were shaved, and the emblems had been replaced by traditional imitation gold pin striping by Larry Watson of Watson's House of Style. The pin striping was done in 1956, and Larry did also pinstripe gold scallops above the headlights and around the taillights. Side trim and door handles were removed for a cleaner look. Rear fenders featured air scoops fit with four chrome teeth on each side. In the rear, Santo's Chevrolet was fitted with a 1956 Chevrolet bumper and 1956 Packard taillights. The exhaust was routed through the bumper. The interior was done in red and cream rolls & pleats using DuPont leatherette. The trunk was done in a matching red rug with cream piping and spare tire cover. The deck lid was operated by an electrical screw-jack. Santo's car was radically lowered through modified A frames with stock coils in front, in the rear the frame was C'ed, and the driveshaft tunneled. In Car Craft May 1957 you can see that the car is dressed up with Dodge Lancer Hubcaps and dual spotlights. Ed Schelhaas's painter George Newton painted the car in a Tahitian Red nitro lacquer. After a while, Saint brought his Chevrolet back to Watson to have more pinstriping added.[1]

Larry Watson's Most Radical Paint Job of 1957

A second version of Santo's Chevrolet featured a wild scallop paint job by Larry Watson. The scallops were applied in 1957, and according to Watson, it was the most radical scallop paint job he did that year.The scallops have been described as looking like a map over the Los Angeles Freeway System. The scallops were painted in gold metallic and pinstriped in white. This version of the car was shown at the ninth annual National Roadster Show in 1958. At the show, Santo won an award for having the best car in the Full Custom Convertible class.[2]

Custom Cars 10 Best Customs

The first iteration of Santo's Chevrolet was nominated as one of "The 10 Best Customs" in the January 1958 issue of Custom Cars Magazine.[3]

Magazine Features

Trend Book 143 Restyle Your Car
Car Craft May 1957
Rod & Custom July 1957
Car Craft October 1957
Custom Cars November 1957
Custom Cars January 1958
Custom Cars June 1958
Motor Life July 1958
Car Craft February 1959
Custom Cars 1959 Annual



Car Craft May 1957
Lowrider: History, Pride, Culture


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