The Keith Christensen Photo Collection

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An early photo of Keith's 1955 Buick. Keith bought the Buick late in 1954, and it was his first new car. "Polar white and beautiful dark green leather inside. I drove a 1950 Olds 88" before that. It was SUPER fast, but not enough design with all of the new cars out on the market." Photo courtesy of Keith Christensen.
A Norwalk Coachmen club shot taken in 1955. Keith Christensen was the first President and a founding member of the club. In 2016 Keith told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama that the club started in the living room of his folks home in Norwalk late in 1952; "Our club had its beginning in my folk's living room in Norwalk." Norwalk is southeast of Los Angeles, approximately 22 miles. "It was an area of farms and dairies, which of course have faded due to rural buildup. This is why you will see many names of the two dominate nationalities, Dutch and Portuguese, as owners of many hot rods and low riders." Photo courtesy of Keith Christensen.
Keith's Kustoms of America membership card from 1955. "In January of 1955, after a few visits to Barris' shop on Atlantic Blvd., I was let into the back room of their facility. There was Sam Barris working on an old Mercury. He was cutting the top off. Now, in later thought, I realize he was chopping the roof of the car. In the middle of meandering, I was stopped short by George. He said something like, "Hey kid, what are you doing in here?" I told him that I had been there the previous week and that he had lowered my 1955 Buick, and he replied, "Oh yeah, I remember you." He said, "Come on into my office. I want to show you something." After we entered, he went over to his desk and pulled out a card, and said, "Do you want to join my elite club, 'Kustoms of America'?" I said, "Sure." So, he sat down and typed my name onto the card. He then explained that I would get certain benefits at no charge. I don't remember what they were, something about a newsletter and notices about upcoming shows." Photo courtesy of Keith Christensen.
A 1957 Ford Ranchero that Keith's little brother, Wayne, purchased in 1957. It was a pristine powder blue, a sight to behold and a canvas ready for the youthful ingenuity of the Christensen brothers. Without missing a beat, Wayne and Keith immediately lowered it on the ground. It was then adorned with real Appleton spotlights and Oldsmobile fiesta hubcaps that added a touch of elegance. In 2023, Keith told Kustomrama that having the Ranchero lowered "on the ground" was "the most a kid in high school could afford back then." But the Christensen brothers weren't done. As Wayne navigated through high school, his love for the Ranchero only deepened. The subsequent modification was a game-changer. "Later my little brother who owned the car, installed a Paxton blower," Keith noted with a hint of pride. The Ranchero now housed a potent 292 V-8. Photo courtesy of Keith Christensen.
A photo of Keith taken after he purchased Gene's Mufflers from Gene Moore. Photo courtesy of Keith Christensen.


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