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.