Charles Phoenix’s Slide of the Week: Homemade Sports Coupe, Irwindale, CA 1951

Charles Phoenix’s Slide of the Week: Homemade Sports Coupe, Irwindale, CA 1951


Someone’s pride and joy sits proudly posed curbside before a big rock pile, trio of ’49 Dodge sedans, ’39 Ford Coupe and ’20-something model A Ford. If a Jeep and a Ruffles potato chip had a baby this would be it. Clearly someone poured their heart and soul into this highly original garage craft project. And, yes the results are an inspiration to behold in every way. But – fair WARNING: don’t look at it too long because it will hypnotize you.

First of all that lipstick red and buttercup yellow two-toned paint scheme is stunning! Who needs a chrome bumper when you can have a yellow one? The expression on that mustached face-of-a-front-end couldn’t be more honest. That nearly unnoticeable hand cut grill is priceless. The perky pointed front fenders; streamline side panels and sassy, slanted tail end simply define unpretentious poetry in motion even while standing still. And how about the slight curve of the hood and whatever that chrome knob is sticking up through it. Make sure you don’t miss the rake of the frameless windshield; and eye-catching antenna set on the bias where the door should be but isn’t. But who needs doors when you have a car like this. You just jump in and out of it! And don’t mind the fact that it’s topless. So what if it rains. A few refreshing raindrops never hurt anybody.

In the most unassuming way the character of a car represents the dawn of a new age of high-styled, small-scale two-seater cockpit coupes made for the smart set du jour. It was two years ahead of Chevrolet’s Corvette debut in 1953 and Ford’s original Thunderbird with the porthole window in 1955.

We’ve all seen many automobiles in our day but never ever have we seen anything even close to this. No matter how you look at it – or it looks at you – this smart speedster oozes heart and soul from stem to stern.

Here’s to homemade, open-air sports coupe and YOU!

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