The SEMA Show is the world’s largest automotive trade show, and it has vehicles and parts to appeal to every type of car enthusiast. Spend a day roaming around the various halls of the Las Vegas Convention center and you will find everything from import performance parts to off-road accessories to autocross and drag racing vendors. One thing that is a bit under-represented at SEMA is Kustom car culture.
The “DIY” mindset of the Kustom car world praises finding and scavenging parts from junkyards, other cars, and above all, custom fabrication. This type of hot rodding is not about ordering crate engines or reproduction parts from a catalog, but about putting in the sweat equity to create something truly original – a car that satisfies the artistic vision of the builder. In a sense, it’s the opposite of these big name companies selling cookie-cutter speed parts to the masses. However, you can still find a few true Kustoms at SEMA if you look hard enough.
In 2014, we featured a wild 1950 Chevrolet “Vanilla Shake” built by Donn Lowe. In 2015, we came across another amazing car, this 1952 Chevrolet called “Desert Sunset,” which was built by none other than Gene Winfield!
The name Gene Winfield is often mentioned in the same breath as George Barris, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Von Dutch, and other greats. These guys were among the originators of Kustom car culture in Southern California. They built truly custom automobiles by chopping roofs, shaving door handles, frenching headlights, and other sheet metal wizardry.
So let’s talk about the car! We are looking at a 1952 Chevrolet 2-door sedan that has been extensively modified. The car was built by Wheels Unlimited Kustom and was on display at the Eastwood booth at SEMA 2015. With its chopped roof, fat white wall tires and chrome lake pipes, this thing is the every inch a Kustom car.
Gene Winfield is known for his outstanding paint jobs. His eye for custom colors and designs means that no two Winfield-painted cars are alike! This car features hints of golden yellows, orange, and a white stripe running the length of the body. It really does look like a desert sunset, with colors that shift as you view the car from different angles.
It was a real treat to see this car in person! Unfortunately, I could not find any specs for this build (engine, suspension mods, etc), so if you know anything about this car, please do chime in by posting a comment! Hat’s off to Mr. Winfield and the team at Wheels Unlimited Kustom on a killer build!