You may recognize the title of the column, but the contents on this page may surprise you. Don't be alarmed. It's all good. What we've done is create a new format for Stylines, one that will utilize the talents of some of the best automotive designers out there, ultimately creating a forum which should give you some really good ideas for both current and future custom rod projects. Not only will you see concept designs from Steve Stanford, but "stylized" ideas from Chris Brown, Jim Smith (whose work you should all be familiar with from previous What If? articles), and a few other selected artists, as well. This month, we let Steve's pension for '60s Kool run rampant-basically, giving him no parameters to follow-and his notes should make it even more obvious what era his heart is really in. Imagine if you will, though, these early-influence creations with the latest technology has to offer beneath (Ford/GM crate powerplants, disc brakes, hidden high-end sound systems) and you've got the makings for the ultimate ride. Enjoy!
'64 Ford GalaxieNot to say it hasn't been done before, but I've never seen a '60 Merc grille in a '64 Ford Galaxie before. Accented by the hardtop's side (body) coves, this grille swap is a natural. This is a pretty mild custom otherwise: some trim removal, custom paint, "tucked" Bellflower tips, Skylark wires, some airbags or lifts, that sort of thing. Wonder if there's a big enough market for a repro '60 Merc grille. . .
'56 Ford F-100Nowadays it's all about sport trucks, but back when these were "custom trucks," Ford's '53-56 F-100s were all the rage. Still are, actually. For this drawing, I used two, notable, early-'60s full custom pickups for inspiration-Dave Robertson's lime gold '56 and Otto Rhodes' chopped, canted-fendered, pearl white '53. Sticking with the theme, I went in yet another direction with the blended Watson or Winfield candy/pearl pink and magenta, wild mesh with bullets grille, super-low stance, cheater whitewall slicks on chromed Buick wheels, fully pleated interior and bed cover, and the then-popular '55 Chevy pickup rear fenders.
'63-65 Buick RivieraWith all of the tweaking and restyling that's been done to the '63-65 Riviera, how come nobody thought to mold in the trademark head/parking lights? As it turns out, you won't end up with a Buick Wildcat, but what a nice way to further clean up the front of this car. It didn't stop there, of course-there's also the blended paint, sculptured interior, no vent wings, new side scoop, new grille, etc. etc. to keep things interesting.
'64 Rambler ClassicSomebody say "different"? You can't get more unusual (and still have a good-looking car) than a '64 Rambler Classic hardtop, especially slammed, shaved, and with 18- and 20-inch American five-spokes. Kinda looks like an "AMC Nova," huh? The metallic green color I've seen on a new Ford Contour, but the rest here is stock, stock, stock. I guarantee this car will get built, somewhere, judging by the reactions I've seen to this sketch so far.