1951 Motor Trend Cover Car/Convertible of the Year what more do you need to say. Awesome !
1932 Ford/1951 Motor Trend Cover Car/Convertible of the Year
A T T E N T I O N – Museums & Collectors of Exotic, Historic Cars.
The car that you see before you is one of the most famous, post war sport customs ever made. It appeared as the only car on the cover of a issue of Motor Trend 1951. It was also voted by Motor Trend as the Convertible of the Year. It is hard to find a car with more history.
It is also necessary to understand that after World War II when the G.I.’s returned from the war they had experienced the European sports cars. To quote Joe Bortz, ‘there was nothing like a 2-seater car being produced in Detroit so the customizers, rather then just producing the pre-war 4-passenger custom cars decided to make their own two-seater sports customs”. These were two-seater cars that would have special customized coachwork body by the customizer.
This car was produced by a shop in California in 1950 and received many awards and great notoriety in the early 1950’s. It is interesting to note that the car has only been in one family for 60 years. It is the seller’s hope that this car finds its way into the hands of somebody who will appreciate the historic significance of this car.
The seller describes the car so eloquently so we have decided to present you with story of the seller’s family legacy.
Excerpts from the seller’s comments:
This Historic hand-built Hot Rod was restored after many years. Hot Rods were born in L.A., and the ‘40’s was the beginning when young car designers first began to imagine bigger, better, faster, flashier, louder, truly custom cars.
The seller’s great-grandfather was one of those dreamers, those engineers, the artists who turned their energies and talents into leaving some scorched Southland pavement behind them. He built the car for speed and raced all over Southern California, on the tracks and on the streets as well. The original builder of this car was known around the Valley for his reckless abandon and living life large.
The dream was to create a car that no one else had ever seen. Something that would have the builder’s personal signature of pure perfection that included the best of everything…and then this car was born from that dream.
The entire body of the car was hand-crafted, top to bottom, stem to stern, including the louvered hood by the builder with the help of his son. The parts of the car came from what he deemed the best: Zephyr clutch, Kong ignition, 1948 Mercury Flat Heat motor, ’32 Ford chassis, Eddie Meyer dual manifold and Meyer heads, plus a whole lot more. A ’48 Buick contributed a fender and lights, a ’48 Lincoln donated another fender and skirts, a ’50 Olds chipped in the taillights, and even Cadillac came to the party – offering up the grille work. Altogether, 14 different cars and over 16 custom parts make up this one-of-a-kind Hot Rod.
A big catalyst for this sports custom was its ¾ grind camshaft, and the customized ignition (using Charles Kong manual advance). Ironically, given the fact that this machine contained so many state-of-the-art features, its construction was charmingly low-tech – the hammer, the bare hands, and a supporting cast of sandbags were mainstays of his concrete-floor horse-carriage shop. The father and son team labored away in hundred-degree heat but didn’t seem to notice.
Yet despite its design for speed, the car did carry its muscle-car weight: they welded the frame using 3/8” pipe, and the body came from 19-gauge sheet steel. How such a hulk (sporting a 100” wheelbase) could leap (rather than merely lumber) to such speeds, in today’s weight-conscious world, boggles the mind.
Many, including Robert E. “Peter” Petersen, saw the builder as a pioneer and deemed this sports custom car as the pinnacle of the coach-built, custom hotrod creations of the day. The car that turned out so stunning that Petersen declared it the Convertible of the Year for 1951, and featured it on the cover of his fledgling Motor Trend Magazine launched scarcely two years before.
This amazing machine appeared in local LA car shows and the Holywood Santa Claus Lane Parade. “Pete” Petersen himself drove the car in the Christmas parade for many years. And every Friday at the local drive-ins, this sports custom was a favorite of all the car hops all over the valley. A few years later when the builder endured a tragic death the grief stricken family his the car into storage where it was never seen again.
The car was passed onto the seller and described the thrill of riding in the custom coach with the copper dash, and a three on the tree! After 30 years in storage it was a mess and had to be pushed onto a flatbed trailer. With the help with one of the best restorers the car was brought back to its former glory. The bright red body coat instantly grabs your attention and then a thousand other details keep on drawing you in.
This custom was built with passion and restored out of love.
The opportunity to own an amazing historic custom car with this car’s provenance is an extremely rare opportunity for any museum or exotic car collection or a rare custom car collector. Opportunity Knocks with this great custom!