Kustom Age: Gene Winfield’s Wild Silver Screen Kreations

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAEvery trophy tells a story–best paint, best interior, or even best car. The reality is most people with talent can acquire a trophy one way or another.

Spinner1981AFor builders and customizers, the silver screen has always brought a whole new aspect of respect and publicity to their careers. A handful of names have embraced the silver lining and regality of Hollywood’s main attraction.

Within this elite group of individuals possessing undeniable concept design and fabrication skills there is one important name amongst the hot rod community–Gene Winfield.

Gene always had an attraction to cars and a knack for seeing imperfections in certain builds. Critical about what was aesthetically pleasing, Gene upheld the term perfection.

Gene_Winfield_and_Leonard_Nimoy_posing_next_to_the_just_completed_full-scale_Galileo_7_mock-upPerfection is not the entire reason why Hollywood accepted him with open arms. The one-off mindset and futuristic flow of Winfield’s metal work melted the minds of production agencies leaving them too powerless to say no.

As Winfield outclassed most of the competition he invented a star. Originally named “Autorama Special,” this custom was a wild hand built ride now known as the “Reactor.”

Gene’s popularity exploded off the chart. In the midst of all the commotion and praise, he decided to flaunt it around movie lots and various studios as a means of self-advertisement.

The car became a hit with directors and producers alike leading Gene into a new market of custom builds. The “Reactor” ended up playing prominent TV rolls in Star Trek, Batman, and Bewitched.

Gene Winfield’s “The Reactor,” Images Courtesy Of: Wasted Wheels

Needless to say, Gene’s talent and work ethic were pushed to the limit in 1982 when he was asked to build 25 hi-tech cars for the futuristic film, Blade Runner. Shortly after accomplishing the near impossible, Gene was recruited to build for a few other block busting hits like: Robocop, Back to the Future II, The Last Star Fighter, Trancers, and The Wraith. After all was said and done, Gene’s favorite still hits home with the rest of the “Trekkies,” the Galileo Shuttlecraft from Star Trek.shuttlecraft_spacecenter04

About the author

Korky Hickman

Shawn aka Korky is just your average gear head–always down to lend an extra hand and hungry to gain new knowledge. He lives by the words of Gene Winfield, "Everyday is a schoolday." One of Korky's missions is to continue the pursuit and preservation of Kustom Kulture. He is dedicated to wrenching, addicted to kustomizing, and a believer of the built not bought philosophy.
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