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The Hirohita 1951 Mercury owned by Bob Hirohita and built by the Barris Brothers and Frank Sonzogni

Click on the first thumbnail with the gray border.


Probably the most famous custom car ever built, is the Hirohita merc.

Back in the early 50s there was a change going on in the custom car field. Cars were changing shapes but they were still quite high and bulky looking, so customizers began to streamline the bodies to suit their tastes. Bob Hirohata bought a 1951 Mercury and took it to the Barris brothers to have it customized. The most important thing that he wanted them to do was stop the top and make the side windows into a hardtop. He wanted the same style side windows that Barris brothers had used on Nick Matranga's 1940 Mercury Coupe.
Sam Barris and Frank Sognozi did the work of customizing the car and it made its debut at a car show in California. It was so radical that began to appear on all the magazines of the day.

Bob Nugent