by Jesse Marinoff Reyes ( Jesse Marinoff Reyes Design, Maplewood, N.J.)
Rod & Custom (Combined with HOP UP)
March 1955 issue
Photograph: Ralph Poole
Design: Wayne Bender
Art Director: Wayne Bender
The cover’s custom station wagon by kustom-king George Barris (b. 1925). This issue also had a terrific feature on pin-striper Art Summers (who’d been striping since 1920). Or, according to the Hokey Ass Message Board (H.A.M.B.), a site for enthusiasts:
“When Von Dutch came on the scene around 1953, he was really breaking new ground. There had been pinstripers and sign painters before WW2, but they typically laid conservative lines to highlight beltlines and wheels. Dutch was the first to embellish hot rods and customs with extravagant, freeform designs in the middle of shaved hoods and decks, and to embellish headlights, dashes, louvers, and lots of other details on cars.
Because his work got a lot of ink, there was lots of demand for work like his. But not everybody could afford Dutch, and not everyone wanted to deal with his eccentric personality.
Before long, other young stripers like Dean Jeffries and Ed Roth followed suit, and built their own reputations within the rod & custom community.
Art Summers was something different. He was an older guy, probably born around the turn of the century, and had worked as a pinstriper on automobiles pre-war. When they stopped striping cars at the factory, he turned to sign painting and made a modest living that way for 15 or 20 years. A few restorers employed Art to dress up their restoration projects, and Bill Harrah would occasionally fly Art up to Reno to work on his cars for several days.
When the Von Dutch style of striping caught on among young car guys, Art’s career was revitalized. On the West side of LA, he was the guy, and in the mid-’50s he was probably doing 10 or more cars a week. A “full” striping job by Art cost about $35!”