Monday, October 29, 2012

Rik Hoving's First Custom Car book.

It has been a while since I wrote my last story for this Rik Hoving Custom Car history Blog. I never intention to go so long without a new input on this blog... But I think I have a very good excuse for it.

For the last year or so I have been spending most of my spare time working on one of my long lasting dreams.
Writing my own book about Custom Cars.
And I'm very proud to say that I just finished this book!

My first book about Custom Cars is at the printer right now getting ready to be printed and bind into my very first and hopefully not my last Custom Car book. The book is planned to be all done at the beginning of December 2012, and if all goes as planned I should have it at the GNRS at the end of January 2013.
More details about pricing and where to get it other than at the GNRS will follow in the next couple of weeks. So far I have been too busy getting the book ready for the deadline that I did not have to much time for the other details yet.

The book is available directly from the publisher at:

So what is this book about
I hope I have created a rather unique book that will interests a lot of people.
The book title is the Jack Stewart Ford and the subtile 
a journey in time with the car and its owners
So basically the book is about one car?... well YES, and NO.

The cover of the book, well a 10% print of it.
This one is not even 2 inches tall. The real book will be
8.7 x 8.7 inches. 

Whats inside
Even thought the Jack Stewart 1941 Ford plays the key roll in the book, it sure has a lot more things to offer. The book starts with a inspiring foreword by Pat Ganahl. And then there is a Chapter about the history of the Jack Stewart Ford, showing many great, never before published photos of this trend setting historical important car. This chapter tells the story on how the car was built, when, where and how it ended up on the Mid West of the US and later in Denmark. 
Then there is a chapter in the book about inspiration, things that inspired Jack to built his custom car in the later part of the 1940's. It shows and tells about other custom cars that influenced Jack, or that were built with a similar theme. 

There is a section on the two major Custom Shops, Ayala and Barris that created this car.
And my most favorite part of the book are the chapters devoted to the four major caretakers. Here they get to talk about their years with the car. But these chapters also highlight many other cars and other vehicles these guys have owned prior and past the Jack Stewart Ford.
The Jack Stewart Ford has always been owned by people that had some very interesting cars, and done some great stuff all around.
On the Jack Stewart Research trip we have interviewed the former owners of the cars, And since then we have been in constant contact verifying the text I had written to make sure the stories are as accurate as they can be.

Jack Stewart had a 1953 MG Custom Sports Car that was customized by George Cerny, and Jack later built his famous 1932 Ford Roadster. Both of these and more are shown in the book with many never before published photos.
Jim Skonzakes (Street) had several very nice custom cars before the Jack Stewart Ford. And the famous Golden Sahara, kookie T and many other projects after he had sold the 1941 Ford. Some of his amazing stories get told in his chapter.
Bob Drake made the Jack Stewart Ford famous by driving it all around the mid West and creating several other great cars during the time he owned Jacks Ford.
And Palle Johansen the current caretaker has done everything in his power to restore the car back to its 1951 version. Plus he has had some great cars in the past and present as well.
All these caretakers had a great collection of wonderful info and photos to be shared in this book.
The book shows a great selection of never before published material on a lot of really great cars.

Some of the pages, again 10% prints cut and folded to make
them look like book pages.

There are some really great color photos in the book dated back to 1948-52 from the collection of Jim Street showing his early customs. 1941 Ford, 1949 Buick both in beige and dark purple and couple of the only color photos we ever found on Jack's 1941 Ford in 1951.
There are also a series of amazing photos of the Golden Sahara with the most accurate information on this fantastic show car ever published including the REAL story with documents on how the pearl white paint job was created.

There were a few people who I told that I would be working on this book, and when I told them in the beginning that it would be about the Jack Stewart Ford some were somewhat skeptical. They where afraid it might not be interesting enough focusing on just one car. But as soon as I showed them the first drafts they all knew they had been wrong and took their words right back.

I have created a small scale dummy of some of the pages from the book and took some photos of them to share here. And of coarse the best pages will not be shown here. For those you need to get yourself a copy of the book.
These photos are taken of 10% size prints and are far from the quality the finished book will be. The photos are just to give a first impression.
The next time I will show some photos of the book will be from the printer in Denmark Hopefully in the next ten or so days.

GNRS 2013
The plan is to have the book available at the GNRS 2013 where the real Jack Stewart Ford will be debuting as well. The car is currently being prepared for this show where it will be shown all done, except for the final paint. Early December the car and the books will be shipped from Denmark to California.
When the body of the car was stripped of its paint the metal underneath it looked so good and the craftsmanship of the Ayala's, George Barris and Bob Metz looked so great that it would have been a shame not to show it. So it was decided to finish the car as far as possible and do all the body work needed in metal and lead and show the car in bare metal.
At the show the car and the original owner Jack Stewart will be reunited again. And we will have the new book available there, and of course we will have Jack there to sign the book for those who want that.

I want to specially thank all the previous care takers of the Jack Stewart Ford, Palle Johansen, Scotty Gosson, Tony Miller and Paul Kelly for helping me out on this project.

Below is a small collection of the photos/documents that did not make it into the book.
I hope you enjoy it.

Rik Hoving

Jim Skonzakes his 1949 Buick in 1951

One of the many news paper articles about the Golden Sahara.
Jim Skonzakes (Street) toured the US Custom Car shows with
this masterpiece for many years.

One of the several early color photos from the Jim Skonzakes
Collection. Each had one of these date stamps on the back.

A bit blurry photo of the Jack Stewart Ford when owned by
Bob Drake in the mid 1950's.

George Barris and Bob Drake checking out the engine in
Jack's old Custom. This was in the 1980's as George his
Jacket and glasses clearly shows.


  1. I love the book. I can't wait to read it, i am an avid fan of cars and i am planning next week to bought a new one that's why i am looking for some ideas about cars

  2. If you’re a car enthusiast, I’m sure you’d want to have a copy of this book. Not only you will learn more about custom cars, but you can also consider it as one of your greatest collections. It’s one thing that is worth keeping. Might as well share it to other people in the future! ;)

  3. If only I had the ability to write as good as the best-selling authors, I’ll also write a book about my lovely car! Haha! I can’t wait to see how they featured a great car like Jack Stewart’s 1941 Ford! I just hope I can grab a copy. Where can I get one? Thanks. :D

    Ashely Redden

    1. Ashely Redden, the Jack Stewart Ford book is available directly from the publisher at:

      Rik Hoving