WHEN HE ATTENDED THE 32nd ANNUAL KKOA LEAD SLED SPECTACULAR IN SALINA, KANSAS, in 2012, it was the first time I had the pleasure of meeting the legendary JOE BAILON.
Joe joined my friends, GEORGE BARRIS, and, JOHN D'AGOSTINO, for our yearly Sunday Morning Interview Session on July 29th, 2012...and gave me some long-awaited Info that I'd wanted to ask him about: How did he create that iconic color "Candy Apple Red" Paint ? And, where did that Award Winning '41 Chevy "Miss Elegance" come from ? (Shown here: Joe Bailon, John D'Agostino, myself, and, George Barris)
JOE'S "MEMORY BANKS" WORKED OVERTIME and he filled me in with all the answers...as you'll learn as you listen. ALSO, you may hear some comments and input in the background from George & John...this was fun for all of us !
Again, my sincere thanks to George, John, and, Joe for one of the most "legendary" Interview Sessions ever on the Hall Of Fame Legends Series ! It was the very first time we recorded THREE Hall of Famers at one time !! JK
(The photo of all four of us together, and the one of Joe & myself, courtesy of John D'Agostino's Collection... with sincere thanks !)
A TRIBUTE TO JOE "CANDY APPLE RED" BAILON (March 18, 1923-September 25, 2017):
(Joe's personal card given to me at our Interview Session)
JOE WAS TRULY "At the top of his game" that morning of July 29th, 2012 ! Did a spot-on job after he knew we were going to record his oral history & memories of his career. In the process, he gave me some fantastic personal stories about, not only "Miss Elegance", but how he created that iconic "Candy Apple Red" paint that, through the years, has been applied to literally thousands of Rod & Customs worldwide.
I KNOW FIRST-HAND about that as my "INVICTA" has 10 Coats of "Candy Apple Red" covering it...and it looks just as perfect now as it did when it was originally applied in 1998 !! The original owner of the "INVICTA" was Manuel Arteche', and as a young boy he grew up in Auburn, California where Joe had his shop. He frequented the shop, Joe befriended him, and that's where Manuel learned his early love of customs, and many of the skills Joe taught him, that he later turned-into his profession as an Award Winning Upholsterer & Builder. (Joe & I talked at length about Manuel some "on tape" & some off...he was so very proud of what Manuel had done with his career, and, saddened by his early death at the age of 52.)
JOE RETURNED to join us once more in Salina in 2013 & 2014. He was a real trooper, as the heat was, most-of-the-time, in double-digits and Joe was outside at the Celebrity Booth almost all-day, every day, for 2-3 days. John D'Agostino & I tried to help him as much as we could...keeping him supplied with bottled water and anything else he needed. I made some "lunch/food runs" for us a number of times and made sure that Joe was taken care of by also spending some quality-time with him. He was a real gentleman and we became friends in the process...especially with my connection to Manuel and the "INVICTA" .
A number of times in both years (2013-2014) I expressed to John how badly I felt for Joe, that because of his advanced age (he was in his 90's then) many of those that came by his table weren't familiar with him, as he hadn't been in the Mid-West for many year's, and, some were too young to understand or know about, his legendary career and the Pioneer that he truly was.
HOPEFULLY, those that read about him here, and learn about him in all of the other forms of Media that have since covered his passing, will now realize Joe Bailon's long-lasting, never-to-be-equaled stature in the R&C Industry with the special accomplishments he made, and the superb customs he created.
R.I.P. Joe, and, George. You are both missed...not only just for today, but for all of the days to come.
Your friend,Jonnie King (9-26-2017)
[ NOTE: TO HEAR MORE of Joe's Interview stories here on the HOF Legends Site, plus his Oral History of his "Early Years/Beginnings", and his building his very first custom car, Simply CLICK-ON-RIGHT-HERE ! ]
ALSO, BE SURE TO SEE the really great Tribute to Joe "Candy Apple" Bailon in Issue #85 of Car Kulture DeLuxe for December, 2017. The Tribute's on Page 21...and this Issue is packed with GREAT Rods & Kustoms as Koolhouse Publishing celebrates it's 13th Anniversary. Congrats to them...and this Issue is a keeper for sure ! Here's a Direct Link to their cool Website: http://www.ckdeluxe.com/
MY SINCERE THANKS TO THE BARRIS FAMILY for their Info, Help, and Support. And be sure to visit the Official GEORGE BARRIS Website ! Conceived & Created by the Barris Family, it's a wonderful Tribute to George's History, and filled with Info, rare Photos, and some great Merchandise that you can purchase to help be a part of that History ! Here's the Direct Link that will take you there: http://www.barris.com/
DON'T FORGET TO "Cruise-On-Over" to JOHN D'AGOSTINO'S "Celebrity Kustoms" Site ! See some of John's FANTASTIC Award-Winning Kustoms, view his rare Archive of Photos, see some new builds he might be putting together, and, buy some very kool "Celebrity Kustom" Merch ! Simply CLICK-ON-THIS-LINK...and you'll be right there: http://celebritykustoms.com/
("Miss Elegance" photo at top of page courtesy of Kustomrama)
SPECIAL: TO READ MORE OF JOE BAILON'S HISTORY, and see some of his other cars, go to this Link on the great Kustomrama Website !http://www.kustomrama.com/index.php?title=Joe_Bailon