Photos by Steve Temple
It's only fitting that a battleship-gray 1927 Chrysler would be chock-full of rivets, some 3,000 in all, just like on those huge steel dreadnoughts. And it's also fitting that Bear Metal Kustoms hammered this 3-window coupe together, since the company specializes in bare-metal, mechanical-style street rods. Owner/founder Jason Pall sometimes goes to great lengths to find the right grade of tin, though.
"I drove all the way from California to Denver, Colorado to pick [the body] up," he recalls. Then it sat at his shop for several months without anything being done, just waiting for the right guy to come along.
That would be alfalfa farmer Bob Rohrer, who showed up at the shop to check it out, saying he wanted to buy a hot rod to add to his Gasser, Pro Street Willys and truck collection. When he saw the Chrysler, he made Pall an offer that he couldn't refuse, basically giving him free rein to build what he wanted, with only occasional input from Rohrer.
Rohrer would periodically stop by the shop to check on progress and offer up his ideas, and after 11 months the Chrysler was done just in time for Sacramento Autorama. Since then, it has shown up at a slew of other events, where spectators often praise the all-Mopar drivetrain, but also wonder out loud if the doors were stretched. Actually, they were not, because Pall went to some pains to make sure the roof chop preserved the right proportions, and the factory frame is longer than a Ford of the same era. Onlookers are also stunned by all the handcrafted components, along with the WWII treatment. Damn the torpedoes
Published Dec 7th, 2015
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