The Roger Lick Photo Collection

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A chopped and shaved Mercury convertible custom photographed at what seems to be an outdoor show. Oldsmobile Fiesta Hubcaps was the latest rage in 1957. Other modifications on this one include 1949 Buick taillights, a louvered hood and dual spotlights. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A sectioned Shoebox Ford custom. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A scalloped 1954 Oldsmobile custom that Roger shot at an indoor car show around March of 1958. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Dave Burgarin's 1951 Mercury of San Pedro, California. Wanting a car that gained as much response as the Hirohata Merc, Burgarin brought his Merc over to Barris Kustoms for a full makeover. The work spanned over several years as Burgarin's budget allowed it, and this photo of the car was developed in April of 1958. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A construction photo of Dave Puhl's 1956 Ford Thunderbird custom. Featuring canted quad quads, Puhl's Thunderbird became known as The Hybrid Bird. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A photo of John Anton Jr.'s 1955 Dodge custom. John was from Midlothian, Illinois. He bought the Dodge brand new in 1955. At the time, he ran a custom body shop named J&J Kustoms together with a friend. After buying the car, he drove it straight to his shop, where he spent two months restyling it. Taken at an outdoor car show, this photo was developed in June of 1959. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Gilbert Latus' 1950 Mercury of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Built by Vern Hoffman and Frank Chevonac, the main modifications on this one included a chopped top and extended 1951 Mercury fenders. The car gained national fame when it was featured in Custom Cars February 1960. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Another photo of Gilbert Latus' 1950 Mercury. In November of 2021, JP Randall told Kustomrama that he used to pass this Beauty each day on his way home from Jeremiah Curtin School on 31st and Morgan Avenue. "She sat on 27th and Morgan in Milwaukee," he recalled! Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A rear end shot of Dick Scully's 1958 Ford Thunderbird custom. This or a later iteration of Scully's Thunderbird featured work by Trend Automotive. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A photo of Ray Farhner's 1940 Ford custom truck taken at an indoor car show. Ray ran Farhner Custom Shop in Kansas City, Missouri, and his truck featured Buick lights, scooped fenders, late model Chevrolet rear fenders, Studebaker hubcaps, custom upholstery, and a scallop paint job. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Another photo of Ray Farhner's 1940 Ford custom truck taken at an indoor car show. Notice the exhaust running along the top of the pick up bed. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Pharaoh's Pacer. Larry Ernst's 1952 Ford Convertible was restyled by Clarkaiser Custom Shop of Detroit. This photo of the beautiful Toledo, Ohio custom was taken at an indoor car show, and the back of the photo has been dated May 1958. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A photo of John Cassaubon's 1950 Ford Club Coupe taken at an indoor car show circa May 1958. Cassaubon was a member of the Pharaohs car club, and his Ford was restyled by Clarkaiser Custom Shop. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A photo of Bill Carr's 1955 Chevrolet taken at an indoor car show. Restyled by Barris Kustoms, the iconic custom is known as The Aztec. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A photo of Harold Harden's 1950 Plymouth Convertible taken at an indoor car show circa 1959. Known as "The Black Knight," Harden's Plymouth featured a unique grille made from two 1959 Plymouth lower grille pans, 1958 Ford grille mesh, and four accessory bullets. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A photo of Carl Casper's 1951 Chevrolet custom taken at an indoor car show circa 1960. Known as the "Exotic Empress," this iteration of the car featured a scallop paint job by Jerry Drake. It went on to win the NHRA Nationals in Detroit in 1961. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Kustom Candy Cotton Pink! Tom Liechty's 1954 Chevrolet custom shown at an indoor car show circa 1960. The car was known and shown as The Golden Penny. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Tom and Dick Holynski's The Flame of Lackawanna, New York. Starting out with a Henry J chassis, the Flame was built of parts from nine cars. In 1960, the car won first class in the Handbuilt class at the first annual National Champion Custom Car Show in Detroit. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
What seems to be a mildly customized 1949 Plymouth Business Coupe photographed at an indoor car show circa September of 1960. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A photo of Joe Flowers' 1956 Chevrolet custom taken at an indoor car show circa September 1960. Known as "Venus," this well known Colombus, Ohio custom won the Semi Radical Custom Class at the first annual National Champion Custom Car Show in Detroit in 1960. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
An early photo of the Darryl Starbird built Forcasta developed in January of 1962. Built for Chuck Miller, Starbird built the Forcasta from a 1960 Chevrolet Corvair Monza. He started the build just after he had completed The Predicta, his first full-blown show car. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Can you pass the remote, please? A detail shot of the interior in the Forcasta. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A promo photo of the Forcasta from Roger's collection.
Another Forcasta promo photo from Roger's collection.
A mildly restyled 1960 Pontiac Convertible photographed at an outdoor car show circa June 1962. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Bill Cushenbery's Silhouette was the first scratch-built custom car to roll out of the Cushenbery Custom Shop. Cushenbery entered it in the "Tournament of Fame" contest at the 1963 Grand National Roadster Show. The "Tournament of Fame" is a strictly professional contest only open to the top customizers. Bill won first place in the class with the Silhouette, and he and his wife won a free trip to Europe. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A radical in-progress sedan custom that Roger photographed sometime before August of 1964. It looks like a Dave Puhl build, and it looks like it might have left the factory as a 1936 Ford Sedan. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A photo of Bill Cushenbery's El Matador taken in front of Cushenbery Custom Shop in Monterey, California. Developed in September of 1964, the radical custom is displayed next to a couple of huge trophies in the photo. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A postcard of Bill Cushenbery's El Matador from Roger's collection. The photo on the card is credited to Ron Freeman.
Progress. A later photo of the radical sedan taken sometime before January of 1965. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
The Bat-adillac! A construction photo of John Anton Jr.'s 1950 Cadillac Convertible developed in January of 1965. According to his son, John Anton III, the radical build was started in 1959. John added a handbuilt roof with a handmade windshield. The middle of the roof was sculpted with scoops built in. The fenderskirts were also handmade with scoops built in, and the rear of the car featured big wild fins with taillights, a rolled pan, and other modifications. The front was also completely redone. People said the car looked like a bat, so John called it the "Bat-adillac." Needing money, John sold the build before it was completed. Roger's photo was taken after John had sold the car, and it shows that a later owner had cut the roof in half and made a landau-style roof. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A construction photo of Joe Briske's 1934 Ford 3-Window Coupe. Built by Dave Puhl at his House of Kustoms, the car became known as "The X-Altered." Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Quality time. A construction photo of Dave Puhl with his asymmetrical themed Illusion show car developed in October of 1965. The Illusion was completed in time for the 1965 Indianapolis Nationals, where it won the Experimental Sweepstakes and the Body Shop Achievement award. According to the magazine 1001 Custom Car Ideas, the car was so asymmetrical that it looked like one car from the left side and a completely different car from the right side. The Illusion was one of the last big asymmetric-themed show cars to hit the circuit. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Another construction photo of Dave Puhl's Illusion. Notice the little model of the car. The coupe in front of The Illusion seems to be Joe Briske's 1934 Ford 3-Window Coupe. A radical hot rod by Puhl known as "The X Altered." Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Bill Cushenbery's Silhouette. In 1962 Bill Cushenbery was rated by many as the best new customizer in America. Cushenbery opened up his first body shop in Wichita, Kansas, in 1952. He found out that Darryl Starbird already dominated the custom car market in town, so after five years, he decided to move his operations to Monterey, California. The Silhouette was the first scratch-built custom to roll out of Bill's Monterey shop, and he won first place in the "Tournament of Fame" contest with the car at the 1963 National Roadster Show, beating Starbird's three-wheeled Futurista. Back then, it was powered by a Buick engine. By 1966 the Buick engine had been replaced by a 427 Ford engine. This photo was developed in February of 1966, so chances are this was after the engine swap. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A photo of the Gene Winfield built Reactor taken at the 1966 National Roadster Show in Oakland, California. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Joe Briske's 1934 Ford 3-Window Coupe completed and displayed at an indoor car show. Built by Dave Puhl, the asymmetrical themed hot rod was shown as "The X-Altered." Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A photo of the Darryl Starbird built Forcasta taken sometime before February of 1966, after Jack Florence had given it an asymmetrical makeover. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Joe Cruces' Moray. A semi-bubble-topped and Metalflaked Corvette custom by Vacaville, California customizer Joe Cruces. The build was first shown early in 1966. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A photo of Dave Puhl's Illusion taken at an indoor car show. The photo was developed in November of 1966. Mention 1966, and many will recall the Soviet Luna 9's lunar touchdown or the debut of Star Trek on TV screens. But a year before, Dave Puhl of House of Kustom in Illinois introduced the world to his masterpiece: The Illusion. Epitomizing the spirit of the Swinging Sixties, this Ford-based marvel wowed with its asymmetrical design and gleaming gold sheen. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A slick, custom painted 1966 or 1967 Buick Riviera custom that Roger snapped a photo of sometime prior to 1967. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Larry Hopkins was a Pontiac dealer in Sunnyvale, California. This photo seems to have been taken at one of his stands at an indoor car show in 1967. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
There's more than one way to skin a cat! Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A mild Mercury custom photographed circa September 1972. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A photo of Bobby Massaron's 1956 Chevrolet taken at an outdoor car show. Bobby won the prestigious Ridler Award with his Alexander Brothers custom in 1965. That iteration featured a top with a troth down the center. Not happy with the top, Bobby told Mike Alexander around 1970 that he would like to redo the top. "So I took it off," Bobby told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in 2021. "Took it all apart, and Mike welded a new structure, and we put in a GTO back window in it." This photo was taken after the new top had been installed. Bobby sold the car in 1975, as he wanted to build a house and needed some money. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
Legendary Northern California customizer Joe Bailon signing autographs at a car show. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
A photo of Tom and Dick Holynski's The Flame that Roger snapped in 1995. Photo courtesy of Roger Lick, provided by Tom Perzentka.
This 1953 Mercury Monterey was Roger's last custom. It had a 350 Chevy and Turbo 350 transmission. It was lowered and had skirts, flipper wheel covers, and a customized grill and front bumper. Roger also had a chopped '40 Plymouth sedan at the same time but sold that, then the Merc. Photo from The Roger Lick Photo Collection, provided by Tony Halachoulis.


Kustomrama Photo Archive


Imagine stumbling across more than 30 photo albums filled with hot rod and custom car photos at a swap meet! That's exactly what Tom Perzentka did. Dating back to the 1950s, the photos in Tom's albums came from Roger Lick's collection, a well known Des Plaines, Illinois custom car enthusiast. Roger had some cool customs himself back in the day. Tom knew Roger. They had some mutual friends, and Roger lived only a couple of miles from where Tom grew up. Luckily for all of us, Tom has decided to scan and share Roger's treasure, ensuring his history and legacy will stay alive. Thanks for helping us keeping history alive, Tom. Illinois has a great hot rod and custom car scene and legacy, and we can't wait to get to know it a little bit better through Roger's photos.




 

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