JU­NIOR’S FIERY MEM­O­RIES

(As Told to Greg Sharp)

Hot Rod Deluxe - - News -

Her­shel “Ju­nior” Con­way was still paint­ing for Barris when it hap­pened. De­cem­ber 7, 1957, was a windy, rainy night. The wooden roof was of course soaked in paint, sol­vent, and thin­ner. Boxer Archie Moore’s mag­ne­sium-bod­ied, Ray­mond-loewy-de­signed Jaguar burned, as did Jayne Mans­field’s pink ’55 Jaguar XK-140. Ge­orge wanted to pack it in af­ter­wards—go get a job some­where—un­til his then-fi­ancée, Shirley Na­has, con­vinced him to stick it out and fin­ish the Ala Kart for the 1958 Oak­land show. So, the build­ing was re­built and ex­tended to the side­walk. That’s where Lloyd Bakan opened an ac­ces­sory shop, Wil­fred Manuel did up­hol­stery, and Dean Jef­fries painted and pin­striped. In the process of iden­ti­fy­ing pic­tured ve­hi­cles and peo­ple for these cap­tions, Ju­nior re­vealed or con­firmed de­tails that only an in­sider would’ve known. —GREG SHARP

> In the first frame, cus­tomizer Jay John­ston (left) and long­time Barris em­ployee Cur­ley Hurl­bert ob­serve Archie Moore’s melted mag­ne­sium Jaguar. The ’54 F100 is the Wild Kat of Martin and Mor­ris Sra­bian, a rad­i­cal cus­tom fea­tured posthu­mously in CC...

> Jay John­ston’s lat­est re­vi­sions to “Chimbo” Ya­mazaki’s evolv­ing cus­tom in­cluded canted quad head­lights, a ’57 Olds bumper-grille assem­bly con­tain­ing two Ed­sel grilles, ’56 Buick tail­lights, and Cadil­lac bumper ends. Note the charred in­te­rior of Ron...

> The chopped ’41 Ford coupe with hard­top styling is a to­tal mystery. Ge­orge owned the ’56 Con­ti­nen­tal Mark II in the fore­ground, orig­i­nally painted “Sam Bronze,” now pearles­cent white. The ’36 coupe in the back­ground be­longed to Ron Guidry of the Long...

> Ju­nior was stumped by the ’56 T-bird and the full-fend­ered ’32 road­ster get­ting quad head­lights. Imag­ine the view of the busy shop’s ac­tiv­ity from those sec­ond­floor apart­ments!

> Ju­nior re­mem­bered the ’41 mov­ing out­doors years ear­lier, aban­doned by some­one who failed to pay off the chop job. The Im­pe­rial was brought in by the pres­i­dent of an oil com­pany.

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