For fans of Hot Wheels, Speed Racer, and ’60s Chevy’s, David Novelo’s, Bob Huffman-built, 1965 Impala is the equivalent of throwing all your favorite automotive elements in a blender and flipping the switch.
It was holding court indoors at the Grand National Roadster Show and caused quite the commotion. When I first saw it, I thought it was a 1966 Riviera, but after closer inspection, it was indeed a trusty full-size Chevy. Heavily chopped and re-styled front and rear, it is the realization of a Harry Bradley (of Hot Wheels fame) sketch that Huffman brought to life back in the day. It also has a heavy dose of Mach 5 influence in the front fender peaks as well.
According to Novelo, “Originally owned by Bob Huffman, the car was re-styled by Tom Chafin, who worked for George Barris at Barris Kustoms in 1967. It was featured in kustom mags beginning in 1969. The car has been lengthened two feet, chopped four inches, and doors “suicided.” Check out the fender flared at the wheelwell to accentuate the body lines. The front grille features a handmade-bar treatment, the rockers have been shaved, T-tops were added along with rear fender scoops and a frenched-in antenna. The car is still sporting its white Mother of Pearl paintjob from 1979.”
Like many kustoms, the metamorphosis was ongoing with the car taking many forms and hues. Photo – Kustomrama
The original sketch by Bradley shows how faithful the Huffman and Chafin build was. Photo – Kustomrama
What a treat to see this survivor ’60s kustom and know it’s found a trusted, faithful shepherd in David Novela. Thanks for showing and sharing this artifact of a long-gone SoCal kustom kulture with the world.
Article courtesy of Rod Authority, written by Dave Cruikshank.
Not all Detroit styling trends are keepers. Here’s one of the shorter-lived design fads in the Motor City, the bustleback period of 1980-87.
As styling themes go, the Detroit bustleback look didn’t live long, running less than a decade before it disappeared without a trace. But while it was here, the quirky design swept up all three American luxury brands: Cadillac, Lincoln, and Imperial. Here’s a quick look at each.
The Detroit bustleback movement has a clear beginning with the 1980 Seville, above. Created by Wayne Kady, chief of the Cadillac styling studio and heavily promoted by General Motors styling vice president Bill Mitchell, the look was inspired by the razor-edge styling of the Hooper-bodied Rolls-Royces of the immediate post-war era. Mitchell made no bones about his regular borrowing from Rolls-Royce. “If you’re going to steal,” he proclaimed, “you rob a bank, not a grocery store.”
The short-trunk theme was employed with only minor changes through 1985 on the dour-door Seville, which then shared its basic platform and front wheel-drive powertrain with the two-door Eldorado. While the distinctive look generated plenty of buzz, it didn’t exactly set the showrooms ablaze. Sales languished at 20,000 to 40,000 units annually through the six-year production run.
Chrysler followed Cadillac into the bustleback craze for 1981 with the ’81-’83 Imperial, based on the J-body Cordoba platform and available only as a two-door coupe (above). A 318 CID V8 with electronic fuel injection was the sole engine on the order form, but a number of appearance packages were offered, including a Frank Sinatra edition. Sales were lackluster at around 17,000 total for all three years.
Ford’s Lincoln division was the third and last to enter the bustleback club in 1982, and it hung on the longest, employing the gimmick on the four-door Lincoln Continental through the 1987 model year. The Lincoln take on the theme included the division’s signature faux spare tire bump, below. Under the crisply folded sheet metal, the seventh-generation Continental was a stretched Thunderbird.
While the Detroit bustleback look was short-lived, it did serve one useful function: The sawed-off decks allowed automakers to shrink the footprints of their aging and bulky luxury platforms. As each of the three Detroit bustlebacks were retired from the market, they were replaced with smaller, transverse-front-drive vehicles.
Article courtesy of Mac's Motor City Garage.