Miss Taboo

Hot Rod Deluxe - - Scrapbook - Dal­ton Carter

I wanted to send in pho­tos of a real-deal, early 1960s cus­tom, Miss Taboo, which be­longs to my grand­fa­ther, CJ Carlile, and me. Miss Taboo is a 1956 Chevy 150 two-door sedan that was orig­i­nally a county sher­iff’s car when brand new in 1956, then turned in and sold as a used car in late 1957 to Ron Luchs of Beaver­ton, Ore­gon. From then the car was on its path to be­com­ing a well-known Port­land-area cus­tom car.

The car evolved from 1957 to 1962, when it went through a few accidents and lots of cus­tom work. Mod­i­fi­ca­tions dur­ing this time in­cluded ’57 Chrysler 300 head­lights, ’56 Chevy Bel Air side trim (with the op­po­site-side front fender trim on the quar­ter-panel to make a loop), a ’54 Chevy grille with 19 teeth, ’59 Im­pala bumpers front and rear and nar­rowed 3 inches, and ’59 roll pans un­der the bumpers. The last big mod was the ad­di­tion of 1960 Chrysler 300 tail­lights. All cus­tom work was done at Vern’s Body Shop in Beaver­ton.

The car was shown all over the North­west in the early 1960s. It graced the cover of the May 1960 is­sue of Rod & Cus­tom. The car was sold in the mid 1960s and fell into dis­re­pair.

My grand­fa­ther bought the car in the mid to late 1970s. He had been track­ing the car for years, as he fell in love with it when it was on the magazine cover. He did a mild restora­tion and started show­ing the car in the North­west again. Then in 1990-1991, Ron saw the car again and wanted to buy it back. My grand­fa­ther agreed to sell him Taboo with the con­di­tion that he would get first chance to buy it back if the car was ever put up for sale again. In 2009 Ron’s health was start­ing to de­cline, so he called my grand­fa­ther and made good on that prom­ise. When asked what he wanted for the car, Ron sim­ply said the same price he paid when he bought it from my grand­fa­ther. The deal was sealed, and Taboo was com­ing back to our fam­ily.

The car needed a full restora­tion, so my grand­fa­ther and I tore it down. We fixed the is­sues the car had, un­do­ing var­i­ous later changes to get the car closer to its early 1960s ver­sion, but build­ing it as if it had made one more pro­gres­sion in changes around 1963-1964. Most of the restora­tion was done in the garage. Only for paint did the car leave the garage.

The car was fin­ished in 2014, and we have been show­ing it again as a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of what the cus­tom scene was in the Port­land, Ore­gon, area in the early 1960s. The car has lived its en­tire life in the Port­land area.

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