The Purple Nurple

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A few months back I showed pictures of a kustom car that had been painted all over – even the original trim work was painted rather than re-chromed. I complemented some portions of the car but was unsure about the painted trim.

Well, here is another that has followed this idea – but not to such an radical extent. And I am starting to like the idea for several reasons.

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The Detroit stylists who started applying chrome trim to cars in the 40’s gradually increased their influence, though I couldn’t say whether they gave us more chrome because we wanted it or if we got more chrome because they gave it to us. Trim started to take over the entire lines of some cars and even the customisers were a little overblown. Eventually it all rocked back the other way – as these things always do – and we had the Plain Jane 70’s cars with straight panel lines, straight seams, and no discernible style. Fiat, Trabant, and Reliant designers stayed in this phase forever…

Well, if you can make a compromise somewhere you can use the chrome to beef up the look of the bumper, and then blend body lines with a complementary colour. You needn’t shave everything off the car or try to buy whatever the yards can prise off and  send it all to the chrome-platers. You can balance it like this ’60 Chevrolet. The exact balance of what you want and what the designers thought that America wanted in 1960 is up to you.

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1960 in North America was a tense time. There was a lot of military tension and a lot of air power development. The GM designers picked up on this and gave us side trim that looked like fighter planes and a front nose trim that looked like rocket firing ports from an Lockheed F-94. ( Go google this and see if I’m right…) The big tail fin era had just passed but they were still there…just laying down. I suspect that if they could have gotten away with incorporating USAF insignia or SAC blue stripes down the side they would have done so…

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Well, this ’60 has gone the other way – the paint job is complex and deep. It was difficult to capture the sparkle of the metalflake in the bright sunshine without blowing out the image. It is there all right and ghosts along under the top coat, together with a number of fun little messages and graphics.

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Western Australian enthusiasts can look at the design of the top  – those big windows and minimal pillars – and imagine a 5-hour road trip to Geraldton at the height of summer sitting in the back seat….I suspect that this was a car best appreciated in the northern states of the US or in Canada, and even then it would have not been fun in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, or Alberta between June and September.

Did we have them? I don’t know – my family was driving a ’57 black Chevy 4-door at the time. Did the cars of the time have bullet tail lights and trafficators? Possibly, but the amber lenses were never seen in North America until much later – it was always just red taillights and white indicators. When we saw the European cars with the ambers we thought them the coolest thing on the road.

And then we saw the mustard-yellow Porsche…


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