by Bob Wannall #3069, President, Board of Trustees
Some garages are showplaces, with pristine tile floors and
gorgeous displays of Buick automobilia. Check out the three gorgeous garages
in the Riview (Vol. 30, No. 2 & 4, and Vol. 32, No. 2). Some, like mine,
are funky storage spaces with work benches, shelves of parts and cleaning
supplies, oil stains on the floor, shop vacs, leaf blowers, and Rivieras carefully
parked the middle.
Garages — and driveways — are the traditional meeting place of car junkies.
I spent an inordinate amount of my teenage years gathered in driveways
and garages with my buds, talking about dream cars we’d like to own, and
peering into engine bays of what we actually drove. My Mom’s Falcon rocked
101 angry horsepower, but I loved it anyway because Dad wasn’t letting me
anywhere near his Riviera.
That same hanging-out-in-the-garage spirit lives on within us when we
gather around our Rivieras in a driveway or parking lot or a city park. We
talk cars, but now we remember the ones we bought and now regret we ever
sold. We swap ideas, seek advice, give advice, and together help each other
enjoy our distinctive Rivieras.
Here’s an idea: call one or two nearby ROA members. Invite them over to
your garage. Call it a Garage Gathering. Wear a mask, keep your social distance.
Talk. Laugh. Keep it simple: bring in some subs. It’s just friends, bound
together by our affinity for these old Rivieras. Leave smiling. Plan to do it
again. Happy holidays and happy motoring.
Resurgence of Customs
By Ray Knott #1, Director/Editor
Long before I was old enough to drive, I was fascinated
by custom cars designed by Gene Winfield, George Barris
and Darryl Starbird featured in Car Craft and other magazines. I’ve since
learned that I was part of the First Golden Age of customs that ran from
the late 40s through the mid 50s. I was so impressed that I painted flames
on my first car, a 1949 Ford. This era faded when manufacturers introduced
exciting sport cars with muscle. The second Golden Age occurred during the
early 60s when many customs appeared in movies and on TV, such as the
Bat Mobile and Green Hornet. I was very impressed with a custom ’63 Riviera
that appeared in a 1964 film starring James Darren entitled “For Those
Who Think Young.” This outstanding custom known as “Villa Riviera” was
created by George Barris and is currently owned by an ROA member. The
car was featured in a six-page article in the Jan./Feb. 2017 Riview, Vol. 33,
No.1, available for viewing on our website.
Other than lowriders in southern California, customs faded from the
national scene until the late 80s. That’s when designers like Kenny Youngblood
and Steve Stanford came on the scene and car shows like Goodguys
featured customs. Today on social media, we see many customs and appreciate
the quality of workmanship and imagination. We had the opportunity
to feature several customs in recent issues. Although many ROA members
prefer originality, ROA has always welcomed modified and customs at our
shows as well as in the Riview.