Apr 07 2015

The Aztec 55 Chevrolet Convertible

The-Aztec-55-Chevrolet-Convertible-2Current Owner:

The late Bill Carr was George Barris’s roommate when he bought his new ’55 Chevy convertible, He worked his regular job as an insurance adjuster and hung out at the Barris shop after hours. With Sam Barris’s help he mildly customized his new Chevy. But Carr wasn’t satisfied and decided he wanted a radical custom unlike anything ever built. Another Bill, Bill DeCarr, worked at a new car plant during the day and at Barris’s at night. The two Bills and George put their hands together and George came up with some sketches. Sam helped the came by chopping the windshield, one of his last jobs before returning to Sacramento. All of the metal work was accomplished in evening hours by the two Bills over a two year period. Studebaker gravel pans were used in pairs to form distinctive grille opening both front and rear. Unique bumper grille combinations were made using “57 Desoto grilles and 57′ Olds kucense housings. Mercury Turnpike Cruiser quad headlights were mounted in widened front fenders. The fins from a ’55 Studebaker Hawk were molded to the rear quarter panels.

Many of the grants of customizing had a hand in the Aztec. The three piece top, as well as the upholstery was done by the Carson top Shop. Bob Hirohata has formed the tail light inner and dash knobs. Junior Conway did all the block sanding and paint prep. George Barris mixed and sprayed the candy paint he called Golden Honey. Dean Jeffnes added the pearl scallops and pin striping.

The finished product was a sensation. It was featured on numerous magazine covers, showed all over the country and the readers of Motor Life magazine voted it “Custom Car of the Year” for 1958.