Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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The Creative Customs of Frank Kurtis

Posted November 30, 2009 9:52 AM by dstrohl

For decades, Southern California's romance with the automobile went well beyond ordinary transportation, reaching its ultimate expression with custom-bodied cars. From the beginning there were coachbuilders who fabricated special bodies from the frame up to the customer's order, but few could afford the high prices commanded by these firms.

Instead, the typical California custom was a second-hand Ford or Chevy whose production body was changed in appearance as much as the owner's skills or pocketbook would permit. The Los Angeles area blossomed with small shops with specialized in such esoteric tasks as top-chopping, channeling, sectioning, lowering, and nose-and-decking.

One of the craftsmen who turned out such customized cars during the thirties and forties is better known for his endeavors in the auto racing field, but Frank Kurtis created some wonderfully different bodies for his own and others' cars.

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