Industry Legend GEORGE BARRIS, AND, Hall Of Famer JOHN D'AGOSTINO, both travel far and wide to visit shows everywhere,,,and they weigh-in on the subject of Rods & Customs...SWEDEN-STYLE !
From England to Japan, from Hawaii to Alaska, from Holland to Canada...Rods & Customs are on a WorldWide upswing. But, as George, and John, both have found out during the last few years, one of the true "hot beds" of Rods & Kustoms (with a "K" !) can be found in Sweden and the countries surrounding it !
SO, this past Summer, just before the Kustom Kemps Of America Lead Sled Spectacular in Salina, Kansas, my 'Cuz - John - called me and asked if we could do a Roundtable Interview with George, John, and myself when we got to Salina. Hey, two Legends at one time ? No problem ! Done deal, 'Cuz !!
John has been making the trip to Sweden every year since 1995; George was there in 2006 and 2009, and went there again for 2011...and took along GENE WINFIELD & DARRYL STARBIRD !
SO, for the first time theseTHREE Customizing Legends of the Fifties: BARRIS, WINFIELD, AND, STARBIRD...were Overseas together at one of the World's most unique R & C events: The Bilsport Custom Motor Show in Jonkoping, Sweden !
ALSO, being seen for the very first time outside of the U.S.A., was Jim McNeil's Legendary HIROHATA MERC ! PLUS, Gene Winfield's Restored Shop Truck, and, John D'Agostino's stunning, fresh, Stutz "BEARCAT" ! (All shown above.)
So, as you can tell, George Barris, along with John, and, Darryl Starbird, Bill Hines, Gene Winfield, Dick Dean, Joe Bailon, The Alexander Brothers, Bill Cushenberry, Larry Watson, et al, have once again proven that the power of the "Original" Customizers & Builders of these unique vehicles is stronger today than ever before...and loved the World over !! JK
( Top Of Page: One of the long, low, chopped Caddy's George is talkin' about...this one's a '56; Above: The '53 Buick -"Blue Danube"- is by Oklahoma's David Guymon, and was built for Sweden's Lars Hellgren)
(Above left: Cruisin' in England ! ; Above right: The Wild Green Machine in Japan !)
(Above left: France ? Oui ! Looks to me like it's a '59 Simca ; Above right: G'day, Mate ! Australia is kool for Kustoms too !)
(Above: This chopped, blue & white '56 Buick 4-door hails from Holland !)
NOTE: The above car photos courtesy of Rik Hoving. Rik lives in the Netherlands, is that area's Ultimate Car Buff and has assembled one of the most comprehensive Rod & Custom Sites for both Original & Current pix that you will ever see. Please check-it out, I know you will be amazed ! http://members.fotki.com/Rikster/