Southern California Plating Company's 1935 Ford

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An early version of the So-Cal Plating truck without the sign attached to the side of the padded Carson Top. It is believed that this photo was taken in 1936, shortly after the truck was finished. In this photo, all but one of the rear bumper tubes have been removed to attach a trailer hitch.[1]
A photo of the So Cal Plating Truck from the Aldo Chiappero Collection on Found Film Society. The photo was taken at a midget race in 1937. Photo courtesy of Found Film Society.
A photo of the So Cal Plating Company Truck from The Jimmy Summers Photo Collection. This photo was taken after the truck had received bigger headlights. Some people believe that Jimmy Summers installed these headlights on the car in the late 1930s or the early 1940s. Coming across this photo in Jimmy’s personal album adds another vote to that suspicion. Photo from The Jimmy Summers Photo Collection.
This is the last known photo of the truck taken by Spence Murray in 1944.

1935 Ford Phaeton restyled by Frank Kurtis and George Du Vall for the Southern California Plating Company. Known as the "Southern California Plating Delivery Truck", this was the first car/truck that wore a DuVall Windshield. The build was completed in 1936. The chassis and body were lengthened 12 inches between the front doors and rear fenders. The rear doors were welded and filled. Chad Schultz of Joe Newell's Body Shop built the lift up rear door to accommodate bumpers and other plated items, with a flat door inside. The distinctive Cord inspired grill was handmade by Frank and George out of flat brass formed into a sort of lazy Z-cross section, followed by careful bending into the curved shapes, before it was all plated. Brand new 1936 Ford front fenders, hood, and radiator shell were fit on the car before the grille was made. The car was restyled using a 1936 Cadillac front bumper, custom made rear bumper, hidden Wood Lites headlights placed in the apron between the fenders and the grille, smooth running boards and custom SoCal chrome wheel covers hiding the wire wheels. The tires had whitewalls on both sides. The padded top on the car was made by George Thomas Top Shop in Hollywood. The first pictures taken of the car shows it without the "So. Calif. Plating Co." teardrop sign attached to the sides of the padded top. Once completed the car was painted by Charles Remidi in the standard So. Cal. Plating's Sea Foam Green color.


The car has been gone for decades, and the last photo proof of the car is a picture taken in front of a gas station in Hollywood in 1944. The picture is taken by Spence Murray. In the last known photo of the car, the teardrop sign on the top is gone, the door handles are turned to the front, and the car has been fit with headlights.

Where is it Now?

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Magazine Features

Motor Life May 1955



Rodders Journal 36
The American Custom Car
Rik Hoving Custom Car Photo Archive


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