Kustom Age: Watson’s House Of Style

Pete-angress-1952-ford-5Style is everything in Kustom Kulture. Without the knack for style and eye for paint schemes possessed and exhibited by Larry Watson, surely there would be a lack of eye-catching design today. Larry opened of shop shortly after graduation during the summer of ’57 in Long Beach, California. This iconic shop was called Watson’s House of Style. The name still resonates in the hearts and minds of those who remember the golden age of kustomization.

Larry-watson-firestone-blvd-shopLarry’s vision for the shop was to insure that you could have the rarest looking car in the auto community–whether new or old it didn’t matter. To promote this ideology Larry invested in a brand new 1958 T-Bird that had been mildly customized by George Barris and painted by none other than Larry himself.

Watson’s House of Style specialized in metal flake, candies, flames, panel schemes, cob webbing, and pin striping. With the insane amount of talent Watson had, Long Beach was the ideal spot for his shop, due to the fact that California was a Mecca for the hot rodding community. After gaining fame and respect from customizers and enthusiasts alike, Larry decided to pack up and sell shop in order to pursue an acting career with his wife in 1966.

Willysvi-viReturning in late ’66, Larry reopened up shop in Lakewood, California. With drive and determination Larry had to get back in the show circuit. In order to reclaim his name he threw a lace paint job on Doug Carneys 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix, a style that Watson had never attempted before. The car made its debut in April 1967 at an event at the Los Angeles Sports Arena put on by the Tridents CC. After feeling like he was at that height of his painting career Watson decided to retire from shop business in order to act once again.

Despite retiring, Larry’s painting career never actually stopped. He painted and striped the cars of actors, actresses, producers, and casting directors to help get a leg up. Since then Larry appeared in 141 projects including, MacGyver, Mission Impossible, and Columbo. Larry had it all–talent, cars, and the desire for nothing but success.Watsonimg503vi-vi

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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