Friday, February 19, 2016

Right place, right time, car gets to be with the Beach Boys on the Ed Sullivan show because it scored a place in the New York Worlds Fair

With 15 dollars, a Chevy roadster was pulled out of the Luna Park junkyard on Coney Island, and without welding equipment or any power tools Joe used a hacksaw to section the car 6 six inches and channel the body over the frame 4 inches. The top was also chopped 2 inches from stock, installed atop a '32 Ford frame, which had been shortened, completely boxed, and fully plated in polished stainless steel.

 Reassembly was done using just standard pop rivets. Finish work was done in lead, a material with which Joe was a pro.

The paint job was done in the garage with 2 cases of J C Whitney laquer spray cans that he applied w patience, than rubbed by hand. That paint job won him numerous trophies.

The grille shell is an interesting piece. It was made from two original shells, each cut in half, with both top pieces molded together after sectioning 3 inches out of the center. A custom stainless steel cover was made for the front of the grille.

Covering the front tires is an original set of Harley-Davidson motorcycle fenders. Headlamps are from a '34 Ford truck, and the roadster has a pair of HD signal lights to boot.

After winning Best of Show at the 1964 New York Coliseum Rod and Custom extravaganza, Joe Sbrigato was asked by General Tire to display his car in its booth at the New York World's Fair.

The payment was a brand new set of whitewall tires, while at the fair, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys asked to borrow the car for the Ed Sullivan the next week.

But they needed 3 roadsters so Joe asked two of his drag racing buddies from Long Island and New Jersey to bring their rods on the show.


  1. "With 15 dollars, a Chevy roadster was pulled out of the Luna Park junkyard on Coney Island,..."

    Shows how cheap and available late 20's-early 30's cars were in the 1960's!

    1. To put it into perspective, a 1920-30 car in 1960 is like a 1980-90 car today.

  2. I wonder where those three cars are today

    1. well, the yellow one is still around, that's how Hot Rod Magazine was able to do the photo shoot.
      The other two? Probably lost in time