Robert Eugene Winfield (June 16, 1927) is a legendary American custom car builder, painter, designer, and dry lakes racer. Known as "Windy" amongst friends, Gene began restyling cars in a chicken coop behind his mother's house at 1309 Figaro Avenue in Modesto, California after WWII. 73 years later he is still running Winfield's Custom Shop. The shop has been relocated to Mojave, California, and Gene is touring all over the world chopping cars and laying down his signature fadeaway paint jobs. He has been inducted into Darryl Starbird's Custom Car and Hot Rod Hall of Fame, and was honored as "Builder of the Year" at the 2008Detroit Autorama.
Born in Missouri
Gene was born June 16, 1927 in Springfield, Missouri. 18 months old, he moved to Modesto, California with his family. His father Frank had been a butcher in Missouri, after moving to California frank worked as a butcher for a while, before he built himself a hamburger wagon. The wagon was an old truck chassis with plywood sides, and the business was called "Frank's Nickle Lunch". Gene's parents were later divorced, and his mother Virginia took over the lunch wagon and renamed it "Modesto Nickel Lunch". After the city closed down Ginny's lunch wagon business, she purchased a property and built a full-service sit-down version of her lunch wagon. All of the Winfield children had to work at Ginny's lunch bar, and 10 years old Gene started his career as a carhop.
Gene's First Car
Before Gene started to build cars, he was very into building and customizing model airplanes, and photography. Wherever Gene went, he brought his camera, taking pictures of customs on the street. If he saw an automobile that had been modified, no matter how small the modification was, he took a photo. He had the photos developed at the local drug store. It usually took more then a week before he had his photos on paper, but once he got them, he studied the photos over and over again, picking up what looked good and not. His friend Bart Bartoni had the same interest, and Gene and Bart used to exchange and discuss their photos. 15 years old, before getting his driver license, Gene bought his first car, a 1929 Ford Model A Coupe. Gene fit the car with two antennas, foxtails, and wig wag taillights before he hopped it up so he could go street racing with it. The Model A Coupe was the first car that Gene ever painted. When he got it was black, but Gene painted it dark blue instead. One day, a taxi pulled out in front of the Model A, and the coupe was wrecked. After the coupe, Gene bought himself a 1931 Ford Model A Roadster. If you wanted to be a true hot rodder in California, you had to have a roadster.
The Conrad Special
While growing up, Gene's father Frank was a friend of the owner of Conrad's Auto Body in Modesto. Conrad owned a car called the Conrad Special that was built in his shop and featured a loaded Ford flathead V-8 with 4 carburetors and stack sticking through the hood. In his younger days, Gene drove the car to Los Angeles for Conrad. Conrad wanted to sell it, and had Gene drive it to Gary Cooper and Keenan Wynn's house.
Windy's Custom Shop
Gene joined the navy right after graduating from high school in 1945. The World War II was still going on, and the government had a program in which enlistees could serve the duration of the month plus six months. The war ended 6 months after Gene joined the Navy, so his career in the Navy ended after a year. Back in Modesto, Gene wanted to start customize cars instead of just taking pictures of them, so he began working on cars in a little chicken house behind his mothers house at 1309 Figaro Avenue. The "shop" was about 20 feet by 35 feet, and had a dirt floor. One of the first cars that Gene modified in the shop was his brother Frank Winfield's 1941 Plymouth. Gene chopped the top and windshield 3 inches, before he sent it to Hall Upholstery for a Carson style top. Working on his own and on his brothers car in the chicken coop, he started to get calls from friends wanting him to work on their cars. In the beginning Gene was just doing simple modifications such as lowering suspension and shaving emblems. As business were picking up Gene also started doing more work like changing grilles, modifying headlight and taillights, and eventually chopping tops. One of the first cars Gene did extensive custom body work on was Alvin Serpa's 1946 Ford Convertible. Before Gene moved out of the old chicken coop he had expanded the shop three times, added a spray booth, and hired some employees.
The Modesto Century Toppers
In 1946 Gene Winfield, got together with some local hot rodders and formed the Modesto Century Toppers Auto Club. Gene was voted president of the Modesto Century Toppers at the first club meeting.
Hot Rods and Racing
With Windy's Custom Shop up and running, Gene wanted to finally build himself a real hot rod. He sold his 1931 Ford Model A Roadster around 1948, and bought himself a 1927 Ford Model T Roadster instead. Hot Rod Magazine had just hit the stands, and as a dealer Gene got 6 copies to sell each month. Using the magazine as a reference Gene built his first complete hot rod based on ideas from the cars he saw in Hot Rod Magazine. After completing the build, Gene entered it at the first National Roadster Show in Oakland. At the show, Gene met Harry Westergard. As a young student of auto-body customizing, Harry Westergard and Dick Bertolucci were the customizers and hot rodders that inspired Gene most.
Around 1949 Gene started racing in sanctioned events at the dry lakes. He had converted his 1927 Ford Model T Roadster into a lakes car. May 7, 1949 he towed the car to El Mirage to see how fast it would run. Before the meet Gene had brought his roadster to Alex Xydias' So-Cal Speed Shop in Burbank and talked to Doane Spencer about setting up the car. At El Mirage, Gene clocked his roadster at 112.35 mph on his first run. He got back in line, and on his second run he went 121.45 mph. On July 16, 1949 Gene ran under the name Don L. Breidenbach. Don was a member of Alex Xydias' Sidewinders club, and as he didn't show up for the meet, Gene ran under Don's name so the Sidewinders could earn club points. Gene turned 124.3 mph that weekend. While running his shop, and racing his roadster Gene began to collect parts for another car. He wanted to try something new, and decided to build a 1927 Ford Model T Coupe known as The Thing. Everybody was racing roadsters, so Gene wanted to be different. Once completed, The Thing was clocked at 135 mph at Bonneville.
In addition to illegal drag racing, and dry lakes racing, Gene was also very active competing in jalopies at local tracks, holding a NASCAR license from 1951 to 1953. His first jalopy racer was a 1934 Ford Coupe. After that he had two 1937 Ford sedans, two 1937 Ford coupes, and two 1939 Mercury coupes. He would usually buy an old car for $25, gut it out, fabricate a roll bar, and install a single seat and seatbelt. Power was usually provided by a stock Ford Flathead with shaved heads, increased float level and jet size in the carburetor, and an advanced timing.
The Tokyo Years
In late 1949, Gene closed his shop, and reported to the U.S Army. He was stationed at Fort Ord near Monterey, California, about two hours from Modesto. While on leave Gene would go to Modesto in order to work on and race his roadster. In late 1950, the army shipped Gene to Japan as a trained cook, but when he arrived, he was placed in charge of the battalion hobby shop instead. After arriving, Gene ordered all of the necessary items to open a hobby shop for his battalion. At night he would teach classes in leatherwork, model airplane building, and copper tooling. He also included a photo lab, so he could learn how to process film. While putting the hobby shop together, Gene and three other GI's came together and rented a small shop in the city where they started building cars. After opening the shop, they hired a Japanese metal man. Not able to pronounce his name, the only called him "Hammer Happy". Hammer Happy earned $6 a day working for Gene and the other GI's. In the shop, they built 4 cars. The first was a little sports car with a Crosley engine. The second was a full-size sports car based on a 1939 Ford convertible with a loaded flathead and stepped frame, front and rear. The third car was a half-chopped and half-sectioned 1941 Ford coupe that they installed 1946 Ford] fenders on. Gene raced the 1941 Ford in the first stock car event ever held in Japan. The fourth car they built in Japan was a 1941 Ford convertible that they hand formed new front fenders, hood, and a grille for out of sheet metal. Working with the young Japanese craftsman, Gene learned how to do fine hammer-welding, sheet metal shaping and metal-finishing. Prior to that Gene was welding up panels before he leaded the joints with a lot of lead. In late 1951 Gene returned from Japan, and went back to work in the old chicken coop. Business was a little slow in the beginning, but eventually friends found out that Gene was back, and work started filling up. When Gene reopened his shop, he decided to change it's name from Windy's Custom Shop to Winfield's Custom Shop. Back in business Gene decided to focus on his business, and wasted no time getting back into racing.
Gene's First Custom
After returning from Japan in late 1951, Gene decided to focus more on his shop, and less on racing. As a part of this, he felt that he had to build a custom car for himself that could represent his shop and what he did for a living. He ended up buying Peter Hischier's 1950 Mercury that he had previously nosed and decked for Peter. Peter worked out in Gene's shop on Saturdays, and instead of getting paid, Peter traded his labor for shop labor. Gene began immediately to turn the car into a mild custom, by frenching the headlights and installing a custom floating grille bar.
The End of Gene's Racing Days
In 1953 Gene got married, and he quit racing altogether.
The Winfield Fade
In 1957 Gene Winfield came up with his famous faded, blended candy paint job technique. The technique was discovered after he tried to blend two candy colors together. The faded paint job is a trademark of Gene Winfield, and he has been traveling all over the world laying his famous paint jobs.
The Jade Idol
In 1958 Gene Winfield built the Jade Idol, the car that helped Gene gain national recognition. The Jade Idol was based on a 1956 Mercury, and took Gene two years to build.
Gene took magazines for several magazines in the 1960s, including Custom Rodder.
In 1962 Gene was hired by AMT as a style designer for model kits. Gene worked on a consultant basis until 1966 when he was hired full time to run their new Speed and Custom Division Shop. In the Speed and Custom Division Shop Gene built full scale cars for AMT which would be used as promotional vehicles.
Working for AMT, Gene made connections with Hollywood and started making cars for movies and television series. Among the lengthy list of creations are the Maxwell Smart car from "Get Smart," The Reactor, built for the "Bewitched" TV series, and even the shuttlecraft for "Galileo 7" (the Enterprise's scout ship) from the "Star Trek" series.
In 1970 Gene Winfield decided to open his own shop in North Hollywood, to be close to the movie industry. Gene called his new shop Winfield's Special Projects. Winfield creations have also found their way into more than 20 Hollywood films, including "Bladerunner," for which he built 25 vehicles, "Robocop" and "The Last Starfighter." He also created the flying version of the Delorean time traveler for "Back to the Future."
After connecting with Hollywood and the movie industry, Gene also started to work with advertising related vehicles. Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. wanted to convey the point that they could finance any car. So, Winfield built the "anycar" ... out of 30 different cars. For Chevrolet, he cut a car in half lengthwise and made both pieces independently driveable. For Sunoco, Winfield froze a car in giant block of ice only for it to be chipped out and started. The list goes on.
In 1974 Gene closed his shop in North Hollywood, and began working for Traditional Coach Works in Chatsworth. In 1977 Gene quit working for Traditional Coach Works, and he opened a small shop in Van Nuys. In his new shop, Gene continued building late model customs. By 1979 Gene had moved his shop to Canoga Park.
The Brancusi of the Custom Car World
Noted author John DeWitt considers Gene Winfield as the Brancusi of the custom car world; "Brancusi, noted for his profoundly simple structures like the Bird in Space series, believed that "simplicity is not an objective in art, but one achieves simplicity despite one's self by entering the real sense of things." In 2002 John published the book Cool Cars, High Art: The Rise of Kustom Kulture. In the book, the Jade Idol is used as an example, and John describes it as "the apotheosis of an American production car envisioned as pure form. Created during a period of unrestrained expression, it is defined as much by what Winfield doesn't do as what he does."
Kings of Kustoms
In 2011, Kings of Kustoms released a 90 minute long documentary on Gene Winfield. Kings of Kustoms - Gene Winfield was the first episode in a planned series of DVD's documenting the visionaries that created the uniquely art form of customizing. The first episode featured an in-depth look at the life, cars, and history of Gene Winfield. Through the documentary we get to know the real Gene Winfield as we follow him race through the El Mirage dry lake at 200 miles per hour, build hot rods, custom, show and movie cars, paint his signature fade paint jobs, charm girls and dream about his next creation. Click here to purchase a copy.
Accident in Finland
In September of 2018, Gene attended the Yankee Car Show in Lahti, Finland where he was chopping the top on Qvintus Brusefält Ån's 1949 Chevrolet live at the show. During the show he suffered a bad fall, breaking his hip. After surgery, he came down with pneumonia. Due to some pre-existing medical conditions, oxygen use, and the requirements of healing from the fall, Gene was not able to fly commercial after the accident, and he was stranded in Finland. After the accident, a GoFundMe campaign was launched in order to raise enough money to fly Gene safely back home. Created October 10, 2018, the goal of the campaign was $150,000 USD. October 12, two days later, $89,305 USD had already been donated by custom car fans and supporters. The same day the goal was reduced to $98,000 USD due to reduced transportation needs, and the goal was met later on the same day. October 28, 2018 Gene returned safely to the US after a month's stay in the US. The trip home went smoothly and without complications.
Gene Winfield's Racing Days Scrapbook
Late January of 2021 Gene released a book about his racing days titled Gene Winfield's Racing Days Scrapbook. The 120-page book was announced on Instagram, and it was offered for sale on Gene's webshop at www.winfieldscustomshop.com.
Recommended books about Gene Winfield
Gene Winfield's Personal Rides
Gene Winfield's 1927 Ford Model T Roadster
Gene Winfield's 1927 Ford Model T Coupe - The Thing
Gene Winfield's 1929 Ford Model A Coupe
Gene Winfield's 1931 Ford Model A Roadster
Gene Winfield's 1932 Ford Roadster
Gene Winfield's 1933 Ford Truck
Gene Winfield's 1935 Ford Truck
Peter Hischier's 1950 Mercury
Gene Winfield's 1950 Mercury - The Solar Scene
Gene Winfield's 1956 Mercury
Gene Winfield's 1958 Chevrolet Impala
Gene Winfield's 1961 Cadillac
The Strip Star
Cars Restyled by Gene Winfield
Click here to see cars restyled by Gene Winfield at Winfield's Custom Shop
Gene Winfield Master Car Builder Video Interview On E-Rider
The Legendary Custom Cars And Hot Rods of Gene Winfield by David Grant
Classic Customs and Lead Sleds by Bo Bertilsson
Winfield's Custom Shop
Winfield's Custom Shop is a custom shop started and operated by legendary customizer and painter Gene Winfield of Modesto, California.
Windy's Custom Shop
After returning from the Navy, Gene Winfield opened up his first custom shop in 1946. The shop was named "Windy's Custom Shop", and Gene opened it up in an old chicken house behind his mothers house at 1309 Figaro Avenue in Modesto, California. The "shop" was about 20 feet by 35 feet, and had a dirt floor. One of the first cars that Gene modified in the shop was his brother Frank Winfield's 1941 Plymouth. Gene chopped the top and windshield 3 inches, before he sent it to Hall Upholstery for a Carson style top. Working on his own and on his brothers car in the chicken coop, he started to get calls from friends wanting him to work on their cars. In the beginning Gene was just doing simple modifications such as lowering suspension and shaving emblems. As business were picking up Gene also started doing more work like changing grilles, modifying headlight and taillights, and eventually chopping tops. One of the first cars Gene did extensive custom body work on was Alvin Serpa's 1946 Ford Convertible.
As business were picking up, Gene added on to the shop and doubled its size. Not long after expanding the shop Gene had so much work to do, so he had to hire some employees. He added on to the chicken house again, and built his own spray booth with a drain and lights on the sides.
Winfield's Custom Shop
In late 1949, Gene closed his shop, and reported to the U.S Army. He was stationed at Fort Ord near Monterey, California, about two hours from Modesto. While on leave Gene would go to Modesto in order to work on and race his roadster. In late 1950, the army shipped Gene to Japan as a trained cook, but when he arrived, he was placed in charge of the battalion hobby shop instead. In Japan, Gene and three other GI's came together and rented a small shop in the city where they started building cars. After opening the shop, they hired a Japanese metal man. Not able to pronounce his name, the only called him "Hammer Happy". Hammer Happy earned $6 a day working for Gene and the other GI's. In the shop, they built 4 cars. The first was a little sports car with a Crosley engine. The second was a full-size sports car based on a 1939 Ford convertible with a loaded flathead and stepped frame, front and rear. The third car was a half-chopped and half-sectioned 1941 Ford coupe that they installed 1946 Ford] fenders on. Gene raced the 1941 Ford in the first stock car event ever held in Japan. The fourth car they built in Japan was a 1941 Ford convertible that they hand formed new front fenders, hood, and a grille for out of sheet metal. Working with the young Japanese craftsman, Gene learned how to do fine hammer-welding, sheet metal shaping and metal-finishing. In late 1951 Gene returned from Japan, and went back to work in the old chicken coop. Business was a little slow in the beginning, but eventually friends found out that Gene was back, and work started filling up.When Gene reopened his shop, he decided to change it's name from Windy's Custom Shop to Winfield's Custom Shop. Back in business Gene decided to focus on his business, and wasted no time getting back into racing.
New Shop at 451 Tully Road
In 1953 Gene got married, and he stopped racing. He started to advertise in newspapers and magazines, and he got so much business that he couldn't handle it in his little shop. He found out that in order to attract a lot of work, it would be smart to move his business in to a larger city. He looked at Sacramento, San Jose, and Fresno before he decided to settle for San Jose. He found a shop were he could afford the rent, he purchased a license from the city, and went to the fire marshal for an approval. When the fire marshal found out that Gene was going to do bodywork in the old wood-frame building, he refused to give Gene a permit. Discouraged Gene returned to Modesto where he bought an old radiator shop at 451 Tully Road. After 9 years in the chicken house, Gene moved his business in to town in 1955. 
In late 1957, a couple of years after Gene moved his shop to Tully Road, the city came along and took part of the front of Gene's property to widen the street and put in curbs and gutter. Gene had to donate 10 ft. of land off the front of his property. They had to cut off his building, and build a new facade on it. Gene took those money, added some of his own savings, and added on to the back of his shop where he made a nice showroom and a complete paint department in addition to a new nice front designed by Dennis Wilson. The paint department was closed off from the rest of the shop, and had enough room to work on three cars. One of the first cars to be restyled in the new and expanded shop was Dick Fletcher's 1949 Ford.
Rod & Custom Construction
In 1985 Gene ran a company called Rod & Custom Construction in Canoga Park, California. The company was located at 7256 Eton Avenue, and they sold fiberglass 1942 and 1948 Ford custom coupes and convertible bodies. The bodies came with a chopped top, and all fenders and front and rear pans were molded to the body. Other modifications included inside door hinges, frenched headlights, rounded door and trunk corners, smooth firewalls and a custom dash. According to Kemp Gazette Vol. 2 No. 6, Gene was working on complete turn key fiberglass custom cars as well.
Kings of Kustoms
In 2011, Kings of Kustoms released a 90 minute long documentary on Gene Winfield. Kings of Kustoms - Gene Winfield was the first episode in a planned series of DVD's documenting the visionaries that created the uniquely art form of customizing. The first episode featured an in-depth look at the life, cars, and history of Gene Winfield. Through the documentary we get to know the real Gene Winfield as we follow him race through the El Mirage dry lake at 200 miles per hour, build hot rods, custom, show and movie cars, paint his signature fade paint jobs, charm girls and dream about his next creation. Click here to see the trailer.
Winfield's Custom Shop is still in operation, and is today located at 8201 Sierra Hwy in Mojave, California.
Cars Painted or Restyled By Winfield's Custom Shop
Don Tognotti's 1913 Ford Model T Roadster - "King T"
Gene Winfield's 1927 Ford Model T Roadster
Ray Andregg's 1927 Ford Model T Roadster
Paul Buckingham's 1927 Ford Model T Roadster
Peter Hischier's 1932 Ford Roadster
Dave Rettig's 1933 Ford
Bart Bartoni's 1936 Ford Phaeton
Joe Barnett's 1941 Ford Pickup
Frank Winfield's 1941 Plymouth
Wilfred Rusca's 1941 Willys Coupe
Alvin Serpa's 1946 Ford
Louie Stojanovich's 1947 Plymouth
Bart Bartoni's 1948 Ford Coupe
Benny Furtado's 1948 Ford
Qvintus Brusefält Ån's 1949 Chevrolet
Dick Mesa's 1949 Ford Convertible
Richard Fletcher's 1949 Ford
Frank Poli's 1950 Ford
LeRoy Gowart’s 1950 Ford
Chris Clark's 1950 Chevrolet
Jim Musick's 1950 Chevrolet Bel Air
Bill Wolfe’s 1950 Mercury
Larry Douglas' 1950 Mercury
Peter Hischier's 1950 Mercury
Garret Walther's 1950 Oldsmobile Fastback
Ray Goulart's 1950 Oldsmobile
LeRoy Goulart's 1951 Ford
Joan Vander Kamp's 1951 Ford
Bob Vincent's 1951 Mercury
Bill Wolfe’s 1951 Mercury
John Foxley's 1952 Chevrolet - The Jade Rival
Wheels Unlimited's 1952 Chevrolet - Desert Sunset
Nick Cozzitorto's 1952 Ford F-1 Pickup
Bruce Firpo's 1953 Chevrolet Bel Air
Jerry Soares' 1953 Oldsmobile 98
Bart Bartoni's 1954 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
Jesse James' 1954 Chevrolet 210 - The Old School Chevy
Richard Kinzey's 1954 Chevrolet
Richard Soderquist's 1954 Mercury
Dennis Reinero’s 1956 Oldsmobile
Lanny Ericson's 1956 Chevrolet
Tony Ferro's 1956 Chevrolet
Mike Sparrow's 1956 Chevrolet Corvette
Leroy Kemmerer's 1956 Mercury - The Jade Idol
Bart Bartoni's 1957 Ford
Bob Fryz' 1957 Ford - The Jade Idol II
Jack Smario's 1957 Ford
Mike Malfatano's 1957 Ford
Richard Zocchi's 1957 Oldsmobile
Cecil Lopez's 1958 Chevrolet Impala
Freddie Goodman's 1958 Chevrolet
Harry Craycroft's 1958 Chrysler
Richard Zocchi's 1958 Chrysler 300 - "Golden Sunrise"
Jerry Feldstein's 1958 Ford Truck
Winfield's Custom Shop's 1958 Oldsmobile
Mario Colalillo's 1959 Cadillac
Pete Kroeker's 1960 Chevrolet Impala
Richard Zocchi's 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix
Jim Noteboom's 1963 Buick Riviera
Richard Zocchi's 1963 Oldsmobile Starfire
Albert Seeno's 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix
Richard Zocchi's 1964 Buick Wildcat
Wheels Unlimited's 1965 Buick LeSabre
John D'Agostino's 1967 Lincoln Continental - Golden Sunset
The Solar Scene
The Rod & Custom Magazine’s Dream Truck
Roland Leong's Hawaiian
The Strip Star
The Comet Cyclone Sportster
Gene Winfield's Pacifica Recreation
It is hard to cover in only a few paragraphs 70 years of innovation, talent and craftsmanship that Gene Winfield has been associated with in the automotive world. He is one of the original California Customizers that started trends that would eventually cross the globe. Gene built his first roadster in Modesto, California while in high school during World War II and hasn’t stopped since. He opened Windys custom shop in 1946. He has raced cars on the streets, dry lakes and the earliest drag strips of the country. Gene and his car club attended and also hosted some of the first hotrod shows. In 1950 while in the Army he went to Japan. While he was there he built and raced a 41 Ford. After his return from the service in 1951 Gene opened Winfields custom shop in Modesto where he worked on projects like Rod & Customs dream truck. Over the years he has also contributed to articles in many rodding publications and even wrote a Q&A article for Car Kulture Deluxe. By 1960 Genes work was getting national recognition, most notably for his custom paint jobs. His eye for shades and hues led to the development of the first fully blended paint job. His canvas was the radically customized 57 Mercury dubbed the Jade Idol. It was quickly followed by another custom Mercury called the Solar Scene, a 1950 with electrically operated seats that swiveled out to greet the occupants. A couple of other famous Winfield cars are the Strip Star and the Reactor, both of which featured futuristic designs and handmade aluminum bodies. Both of these cars are animated with remote control devices and gadgets. These cars have won many prestigious awards at national car shows.
Gene applied his body work talents to 3 roadsters that each won the 9 foot tall “America’s most beautiful roadster” award in 1955, 63,and again in 64. By 1962 his notoriety had brought himself and several other builders to the attention Detroit. Ford offered each customizer a new product to restyle. The “Ford custom car caravan” hit the show circuit in hopes of capturing the youth market. Four years later Gene was asked to run AMTs (a model car company) speed and custom division in Phoenix, Arizona. There they would develop full size show cars and accessories. One such creation was a plastic bodied car called the Piranha.
AMT built specialty vehicles for TV shows, feature films and movies. Some of Genes creations were the Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Get Smart gadget cars, the Galileo shuttlecraft from the original Star Trek series, a 31 chevy that converted to the NEW 1967 Camaro in under a minute for the Dean Martin show, a new Impala split front to rear for a Chevrolet commercial and he has also frozen a car in a block of ice for an oil company. Some of the movies and TV shows that feature his work are Ironside,
Bewitched, Robocop, The Wraith, Magnum Force, Back to the Future II and the list goes on. In some of his spare time Gene had done stunt work for tire companies. Some of Genes larger projects include 6 cars for Woddie Allens Sleeper and a monumental 25 cars for Blade Runner featuring Harrison Ford. Some of those cars had to be specially equipped with hydraulics to retract the wheels for a flying mode. One of
them he recently restored for Paul Allen’s Science Fiction Museum in Seattle, Washington. He is also currently working with the World of Wheels series chopping tops during the shows. Last year Gene chopped 17 cars total of which 10 were done during the car shows.
In the mid-eighties custom cars were on the rise again. Gene found himself with customers wanting to get their Mercury’s chopped, sectioned and frenched again. He saw a need for repair to these old cars. He then developed a line of steel and fiberglass parts for Fords and Mercury’s to include complete 49-51 glass bodies. The glass bodies have built in features like frenched headlights and already chopped roofs. Aside from custom work and fiberglass business Gene finds time to attend many car shows and events around the world each year and even found the time to recreate his old race car “The Thing” which
he races at Bonneville and El Mirage dry lake beds. Some of Genes newer creations include Maybellene, a 61 Cadillac with a Northstar engine and the Pacifica, a 63 Econoline pick up with a 5.0 mustang engine. Both vehicles feature air ride suspensions and are sporting some of Winfield’s finest signature paint jobs.
Gene has won too many awards and honors to mention but some of his best are as follows:
Oakland/Grand National Roadster Show hall of fame
Darryl Starbird’s national Rod & Custom Hall of fame
Kustom Kemps of America (KKOA) hall of fame
San Francisco Rod & Custom hall of fame
Michigan Rod & Custom hall of fame
San Bernardino Route 66 hall of fame
Detroit Autorama Builder of the year
NHRA’s lifetime achievement award “The Wally”
Grand Marshal for Modesto’s American Graffiti week
Some of Genes more recent TV work includes 2 interviews on Hot Rod TV, an interview with Dennis Cage from My Classic Car, the Old School Chevy and Insane 54 for Monster Garage, painted a Cadillac for Billy Gibbons (ZZTop) on TLC’s show Rides, demonstrated fabrication and painting techniques on Travel Channel’s Riding with Rossi and History channels Boys Toys Custom Cars where he also chopped a top, and 3 full size wind up cars for a Mobil oil commercial. With all that Gene is also in negotiations for his own TV show. If that isn’t enough, Gene travels the world teaching workshops on metal fabrication to pass his experience of customizing on to future generations. When asked about current projects, a twinkle of his eye and his trademark smile was all we were able to get out of him. When asked about his age he responded the same way. No matter what, he is still going strong and shown no signs of slowing down.
Wrritten by John Stiff and Jimmy Severino
Gene Winfield (born June 16, 1927) is an American automotive customizer and fabricator. In the mid-1960s, his designs caught the attention of the film community, resulting in a large body of his work appearing on screen, including in the iconic 1982 film Blade Runner.
Gene's second copy of the Pacifica
Reactor by Gene Winfield - Citroën DS chassis with Chevrolet Corvair Turbo motor
Gene Winfield with a female admirer 2014
Winfeld works with some kids while on tour of the International Show Car Association (ISCA) with the "Summit Racing Equipment Chop Shop"
Winfield was born in Springfield, Missouri, in 1927. His family moved to Modesto, California, in 1929, where he grew up. He was first exposed to cars when his older brother, Glenn, opened a wrecking yard. In 1942, he bought his first car for $75, a 1928 Fordcoupé, and promptly added a radio antenna with foxtail, despite it having no radio. Later that year, the brothers opened Winfield Used Cars in Modesto.
His second car was a 1930 Ford, powered by a 1937 flathead.
Career in Auto Customizing
In 1951, Winfield became interested in auto racing, driving 135 mph in a Ford Model T ("The Thing") at Bonneville Speedway. He soon opened Winfield's Custom Shop in Modesto, with an early innovation in custom painting, carefully fading two candy colors together, called "The Winfield Fade".
In 1962, building on his experience, Winfield joined Aluminum Model Toys (AMT) as a consultant style designer for their model kits.
Winfield also worked with Detroit automakers who turned to craftsmen to add their custom touches to factory cars. As part of the "Ford Custom Car Caravan", Winfield developed the PacificaFord Econoline van, the Mercury CometCyclone Sportster, and the Strip Star, an aluminum bodied sports car with a powerful 427V8 engine.
The Reactor (1964) was Winfield's next aluminum-bodied project, and was even more ambitious. It was a mid-engined front wheel drive two seater, with a very low profile due to the CorvairChevrolet Turbo-Air 6 engineflat six. It showcased a light aluminum body, like the Strip Star, but the technology went far beyond its novel bodywork. Winfield took the 180 hp (130 kW) turbocharged engine from a Corvair Corsa and mated it to the drivetrain from a Citroën DS, and retained the height adjustableHydropneumatic suspension of the DS.
A January 1967 episode of Bewitched was written around The Reactor and its unique abilities. In 2017, The Reactor was shown at Pebble Beach.
AMT hired him in 1966 to manage the new Phoenix, Arizona based Speed and Custom Division Shop, which built full scale cars as promotional vehicles, including for Star Trek: The Original Series.
Winfield also used the Corvair Chevrolet Turbo-Air 6 engine in a more conventional Rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout, The Piranha, a car originally meant to show the usability of ABS plastic in automotive materials. Winfield began producing this car as a kit, and made it a television star as well, first appearing in March 1967 on The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
After AMT closed this division in 1971, Winfield continued work in the custom auto body field in Southern California and appears as an honored guest at auto related events in the US.
Winfeld was honored as the Detroit Autorama "Builder of the Year" in 2008, and since 2013, has been on the International Show Car Series (ISCA) circuit, chopping tops and shaping sheet metal for the crowds in a special section of each show called "The Summit Racing Equipment Chop Shop".
Revered as "The King Of Kustoms", Winfield was featured in the 1st DVD in a series called The Kings Of Kustoms. The series is a documentary and will highlight various car customizers, such as VooDoo Larry from Chicago, Illinois, or Alex Gambino of San Jose, California.
- ^Lerner, Preston (2018-10-12). "A GoFundMe to Help Ailing Custom Car Icon Gene Winfield Just Raised $98,000". Road & Track. Retrieved 2019-11-17.
- ^ abcdefGeisert, Eric (July 2003). "Profile: Gene Winfield". Street Rodder. p. 230.
- ^"Custom Car Builder Gene Winfield - Model T Coupe - Automobile Magazine". Automobile. 29 April 2011.
- ^ abc"Gene Winfield - Legendary Custom Car Builder". c-we.com.
- ^ abBertilsson, Bo. Classic Customs and Lead Sleds. MotorBooks International. ISBN .
- ^"Gene Winfield - Kustomrama". kustomrama.com.
- ^ abcdJurnecka, Rory (28 Jun 2017). "These Two One-Off SoCal Customs Are Set to Invade Pebble Beach". www.automobilemag.com.
- ^"The Reactor - Gene Winfield". Fotki - www.fotki.com.
- ^"Piranha & Man from U.N.C.L.E. Car - Piranha "Roots"". c-we.com.
- ^"Piranha & Man from U.N.C.L.E. Car - Piranha "Spy Car"". c-we.com.
- ^Larivee, Bob (2015). Hot Rod Detroit. Oxford, Michigan: GP Publishing. p. 281. ISBN .
- ^"Attend Show-Boston World of Wheels-Autorama.com". Autorama.com. Championship Auto Shows (CASI). 2016-03-27. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
- ^Grant, David (2008). The Legendary Custom Cars and Hot Rods of Gene Winfield. Motorbooks. ISBN .
- ^ abc"Biography". winfieldcustomshop.com. Retrieved 2020-12-30.
- ^"Piranha & Man from U.N.C.L.E. Car - Other Winfield Creations".
- ^The Last Starfighter
- ^"The Super Car - Bewitched". harpiesbizarre.com.
- ^"Eartha Kitt discusses driving the 'Catmobile'". Archive of American Television. 23 October 2017.
- ^"Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Authority: The Galileo Shuttlecraft". startrekpropauthority.com.
- ^"Piranha & Man from U.N.C.L.E. Car Homepage". c-we.com.
- ^"10 TV Cars You Wish You Owned". wyotech.edu. Archived from the original on 2009-06-28. Retrieved 2011-07-11.
Shop gene winfield
The show must go on, even without host Gene Winfield
About 100 miles north of Hollywood, past the Angeles National Forrest near Rosamond on the western fringes of the Mojave Desert, the 11th annual Winfield and Watson Custom Car and Hot Rod Gathering, sponsored by The Tossers Car Club, was held this past weekend.
It may be a desolate piece of real estate near Edwards Air Force Base, but the Gene Winfield Custom Car Shop is something of a Mecca of “Kustom Kar Kulture,” Winfield, one of the gurus of early Kustom Kar fabrication, annually throws this “Mojave Pilgrimage” where the likes of the late George Barris, Bill Hines, and Sam and Chip Foose have shown up in the past, as well as well-known pinstripers and custom painting alumni who demonstrate their talents throughout the day.
But this year the 91-year-old Winfield wasn’t present for his own party. He was on a car-show tour of Europe and while in Finland sustained a broken hip that required surgery and he is awaiting transport home. Due to the cost of the special aircraft needed for such a trip, a gofundme effort has been launched while doctors to evaluate his condition.
Winfield is an American automotive customizer and by the mid-1960s his innovative designs were recognized by the Hollywood film industry. In 1982, he worked with Syd Mead creating 25 vehicles for the film Blade Runner.
Television studios also commissioned Winfield in the 1960s to do vehicles for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Piranha car), Get Smart (Sunbeam Tiger), Batman (Reactor driven by Catwoman), Star Trek (Shuttlecraft “Galileo”), as well as Bewitched and Mission Impossible.
The Piranha car in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was a plastic bodied car with a Chevrolet Corvair engine in the rear and was meant to show the usability of ABS plastic as an automotive material.
It’s always a pleasure to get out of Los Angeles, so the relaxing two-hour cruise through the Antelope Valley past the historic Willow Springs Raceway to Winfield’s place, a living, breathing salvage yard of treasures, was a welcomed get-a-way. Five acres of what was once a wrecking yard is now a trove of used car parts that blanket the spread.
Right at the entrance off Sierra Highway each year, Winfield stages a custom car. This year the field was a little lite due to thunder and lightning in the LA area, but notable customs made the pilgrimage to Winfield’s isolated shop.
The star car on display that was the car that put Winfield on the custom car map, the gorgeous Jade Idol. This work of art was a 1956 Mercury two-door hardtop that Winfield designed and restyled for Leroy Kemmerer. The car took two years to build and is finished with one of Winfield’s noteworthy fade-paint jobs in multiple tones of candy and pearl greens over a pearl white and black base and some gold powered for extra sparkle.
A pearl white naugahyde and green velvet interior with front seats that swivel (“cocktail” chairs) is accented by a television. It also has instruments that move with he steering column hub.
Two other favorite builds of Winfield were the Solar Scene, a chopped and channeled, Buick Nailhead-powered 1950 Mercury with front seats that pivot outside of the car, and the Reactor, a futuristic aluminum show-car built on a Citroen chassis with twist steering and featuring a semi-bubble windshield and top, with a turbocharged Chevrolet Corvair drivetrain up front.
The show this year also featured a charity art auction to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association and The Progeria Research Foundation.
For additional information, visit the Rod Tossers website.
Come on until both holes hurt me. - Let's try, that's it, I finished, ran to the toilet, otherwise I can hardly stand it. - Are you still going to do yourself. - You will do me, and I'll fuck you. That's it, this time is the last one.
- Ka for hcn
- Diy epoxy resin lamp
- Synonyms for mediator
- Iphone x plus cricket
- Yosemite scenic wonders
- 7mm savage rifle
And he received from Alla a gentle slap on the back of the head and, of course, a quick sweet kiss. On Tuesday, everyone gathered at exactly half past eight. Vovka and I came up first, then Andrei and Natasha, our future couple of newlyweds, as I understand it, they are.