Monday, February 15, 2010

THE RIK HOVING FILES: 1947 Ford Convertible Owner Unknown...

1947 Ford Convertible Owner Unknown

The first time I saw this wonderful early custom was in one of the Don Montgomery books. The photo you see here below is from the collection of Bart Bartoni. The first thing that stopped me from flipping to the next page in the book was the extreme beauty of the padded top, and especially the slanted forward “B”-pillar. Over the years that I have had this photo I must have looked at it for hours.  

Photo from the Bart Bartoni Collection - 
The 1947 Ford in front of the Barris Compton Avenue shop with
a 1939-40 Mercury Custom on the other side of the street.

At first I looked mainly at the car it self, but later I started to look at the background, and noticed the other custom, what looks like a 1940 Mercury. And then I recognized the ground and the hedge from other photos. This photo was taken at the Barris Shop at 7674 Compton Avenue in Los Angeles. And perhaps this was the Sam Barris 1940 Mercury Convertible across the street. So could this 1947 Ford be a Barris custom? 

The 1947 Ford on the driveway of the Compton Ave. shop. 

Not long after that, I found another photo of this car. And this time it showed the car “unfinished”  without skirts and hubcaps and it sat in front of a shop. Upon close inspection I noticed the writing on the wall on the right. Barris Shop... I compared it with other photos I had of the Compton Ave. shop and yes I was sure now, taken at the Barris Shop. So now I was pretty sure this must have been a Barris Custom. But who was the owner? And why have we never seen this car before in any of the other books and magazines.

Photo from the Johnny Zaro Collection

The photo above was taken with the car parked in front of the Barris Shop at Compton Ave. This must have been in the late 40’s. Perhaps ‘48, or early ‘49. Could the 1941 Ford parked halfway in the garage perhaps be the Paul “Snooky" Janich Ford?

Even though the photo is grainy and a bit blurry it sure show the wonderful stance of this car. Not as low as we are currently used to, but this was the 40’s and you would get a ticket if you drove your car to low.

Photo from the Trother MacMinn Collection

The last two excellent photos of this custom show the car at the Dry Lakes, most likely El Mirage. Throther MacMinn took the photos. But unfortunately he did not write down who owned the car. 
These two photos appear in the recently published book with fantastic photos from the Throttler MaMcMinncMinn Collection “Hot Rods and Custom Cars”. 
Photo from the Trother MacMinn Collection
This photo shows the great stance of the car, and how the top of the
 grille was removed and the body above the grille elegantly reshaped.

So with all the photos we have of this great sample of an early Barris Custom we still have no idea who owned it. Nor do we know where the car ended up. The Padded top sure has a unique shape. Perhaps made by the Carson Top Shop, or possibly at Gaylords. And the front end modification is rather unique as well. 

The Ford is a really great sample of early Barris styling. Less is more certainly works on this car. The fenders and headlights are not even molded in which became such popular treatments in the late 40’s. The front body work above the grille was reshaped, the windshield chopped and a fantastically shaped Padded top made for it. The side trim on the hood was shortened and the car was lowered slightly in the front and some more in the back. Smooth ripple disk hubcaps on wide whites. The Chrome rock shield on the rear fender is besides practical a nice element that helps shape the car 

Perhaps this article might be read by some older enthusiast who recognize the car from back in the days. And if we found out more about it we sure will give you an update here.

No comments:

Post a Comment


About Me

Barris Kustom City is dedicated to the preservation of early Barris Kustoms history, images and merchandise.