Custom Cars

Part rebellion, part fashion, there's no end to the custom car originality. View photos of the 1950s Revival Leadsled, the complexly engineered Frankenstude and the Limelighter, among others.


Early lowriders cruised the streets of California in the 1930s in customized cars to impress the girls. Find out why these 10 bajito y suavecito cars made our list.

Some people dream of owning a brand new Escalade or Maybach, but others have bigger -- and older -- dreams. If you'd rather drive a classic, the accessibility and ease of car restoration can turn that vision into reality.

Do you love custom cars? Buckle up and get ready for a wild ride through the world of custom cars, then and now!

The Timmis-Ford V8 Roadster is a unique reproduction built at the rate of only about one per year. Buyers are able to purchase this 1934 Ford V-8 Deluxe Roadster replica for about $60,000. Learn more about this rare replicar.

The flowing proportions of the Afterglow were inspired by a car built by a custom pioneer more than 50 years ago. Quality execution modern building techniques and an eye-catching coppery paint job produced a winner. Learn more about the Afterglow.

The Paso Robles Custom Car Show is considered the best in the world. Historic customs mix with ground-scraping lowriders vintage hot rods follow ­modern machines and billet beauties share with grungy rat rods. Read about the Paso Robles car show.

The bullet-nosed Frankenstude debuted at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Its unique design, complex engineering, and robust performance potential made it a hit. Read how Frankenstude helped launch a new wave of custom takes on '50s cars.

Since 1950, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance has been the ultimate car show. Steeped in tradition, it is an exclusive and elegant celebration of the history of the automobile. Read more about hot rods at this classic invitation-only event.

Custom cars made for TV were unique creations. Cars such as the Batmobile were usually built from pre-existing concept vehicles like the Lincoln Futura. Learn more about the Batmobile the Green Hornet's Black Beauty and the Monkeemobile.

The AMX-400 was a Barris Kustom creation an example of the rarely attempted custom muscle car. The larges modification on the car is the top which was reduced by a full 4 and a half inches. See photos and learn more about the AMX-400.

The Limelighter a Bill Cushenbery custom creation cost $10,000 to built in 1964. The car got its name from the unique citrus-green paint job. The Limelighter also features the original Nash instrument pods. Learn more about this custom car and see photos.

The Ford Custom Car Caravan was Ford Motor Company's answer to the custom car craze in the 1960s. It set the stage for Ford to show off new concept vehicles that might not have otherwise been seen. Learn more about the Caravan in this article.

The 1950s Revival Leadsled custom car was built when mainstream America seemed to rediscover the smooth curves of the '50s. This chop-top proves that the appeal of a well-designed custom car is timeless. Read more about the Revival Leadsled.

The Grasshopper was the calling card of the Alexander Brothers of Detroit in the 1960s. The custom work on this truck was subtle but yet it left a lasting impression with its green paint job. Learn more and see photos of this custom 1931 Model A pickup.

Cole Foster found the 1954 Chevy hardtop in a junkyard, then worked on it off and on for six years. The Chevy illustrates Foster's philosophy--fresh purposeful and designed to look as good in 30 years as it does now. Read more on the custom '54.

Nadean made her debut at the Detroit Autorama, arriving at the peak of the forward-thinking high-tech billet-aluminum phase of custom history. It's a clean-sheet redesign that makes a very modern design statement. Check out Nadean the hot rod.

The Marquis is an example of a custom car with mostly fabricated parts. The interior is trimmed in gold and white, and another prominent feature is a full-length center console. Learn about this 1962 custom car created by Bill Cushenbery.

Custom cars are more than just a form of transportation. They represent a lifestyle and an attitude that's part rebellion, part fashion, and 100 percent American.

The Wally Welch Mercury was one of the first 1949-51 Mercs ever to receive a top chop. The car was bought in the 1950's but later restored in 1985. Find out more about the Wally Welch Merc and other custom cars.

The Matranga Mercury was one of the first custom car masterpieces created by Barris Kustoms. Unfortunately, the original Matranga was demolished in a wreck during a race on a wet road. Learn about this influential 1940 Mercury custom car.

The Ohanesian 1940 Mercury combine good design sense and quality craftsmanship. The car features a removable top that features seams that give the top the look of one solid piece. Learn about this winning custom car restyled by Dick Bertolucci.

The Pisano/Ogden Buick was a 1941 convertible originally built by drag racers Tony and Joe Pisano. Modifications include a five-inch-chopped windshield and the removal of the door-handles and tail lights. Learn about this beautifully restored custom car.

La Jolla was built by a teenage Harry Bradley one of the most respected custom car stylists in history. Every panel on the car received some sort of customization when this car was originally modified. Learn about his first great custom design.

The Buddy Alcorn Mercury was one of the best-executed custom cars of its time. The car features an incredible amount of skilled labor that was going out of style in the late 1950s. Learn about this 1950 Mercury custom car created by the Ayala brothers.

The Blue Danube was a 1951 Buick Riviera extensively customized by Barris Kustom. The name of the car comes from the distinctive paint scheme which features three shades of blue. Learn about this custom car and see the best of 1950s customizing.