Meanwhile over on the “Left” coast…
California’s goulash of car culture was setting the tempo for automobile customization after WWII with Los Angeles holding court at the epicenter of the creative maelstrom. From the garages of Larry Watson, Ed Roth, George Barris and Dean Jefferies to the emerging lowrider scene in the barrios of East L.A., the blueprint now known as the SoCal Kustom emerged. Often confused with lowriders, the two genres share attributes of a lowered stance, Tru-Spokes/Supremes and paneled paint jobs but diverge from there. Chevrolets and Fords have long been the canvas for a SoCal kustom and few deviate from the blueprint.
Dig “Redemption,” Bruce and Kathleen Van Etten’s 1959 Edsel Ranger Hardtop with an incredible Rebel Design masterwork panel paint job by automotive Da Vinci James Dean. Rod Authority first laid eyes on the car in 2015 when it debuted at the Sacramento Autorama with (surprisingly) little fanfare. Since then it has taken many awards and created quite a commotion in NorCal kustom car circles.
Bruce, Kathleen, and their son Jay Walding hail from Citrus Heights, California, a suburb of Sacramento and are well known in the Nor Cal club scene as key players in the Relentless Left Coast car club. With nine member families in it’s NorCal club, Relentless has eight chapters around the country, including one in Japan.
Van Etten first came to know about this old Edsel around 2011 when a kid offered it in trade for a 1940 Chevy pickup he owned. He recounts “The car was a clean, original car that had previously been owned by a rodder mag journalist. It was cream with a red rood and coves, had new wiring, a rebuilt front end and had been resprayed by a local tech school. I knew the previous owner and called him and he gave the backstory of the car and aside from some tin worm in a rear quarter and the rocker panels, he said this was a solid old Edsel…”
“The windshield was cracked, so we took that out and that made it easier to paint the dash. I’m really happy with the result,” Van Etten said, “We took the car to James in October 2014 and he had about 4 months into it, putting in roughly 400 hours.”
- Bombs Mag Supershow First in Class 2018
- Sacramento Ford and Mustang Show – Best of Show 2017
- Devotions and Socios car shows – Best Paint Awards
- Candy Apple Joe Bailon Award-Best Paint
- Sacramento Autorama 2018 – Best In Class