The Ralphy Morales Photo Collection

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A photo of Al Ayala with an in-progress 1951 Mercury custom. The quarter panels on the car have been modified to house 1954 Packard taillight lenses. According to Ralphy, the car was owned by a guy from Indio. The photo was taken circa 1954 - 1955, and Ralphy came in right after it left the shop. Gil Ayala's 1951 GMC truck is parked behind the Merc in the photo. Photo courtesy of Ralphy Morales.
A front end shot of the Indio Merc. Photo courtesy of Ralphy Morales.
A photo of Ralphy with Gil Ayala's 1955 Ford Thunderbird at his Huntington Park High School graduation in June of 1956. Ralphy did all the assistant work on Gil's Wild Bird, and the deal between Gil and Ralphy was that Ralphy could take the custom to his High School graduation. Photo courtesy of Ralphy Morales.
A photo of Gil Ayala with the Wild Bird taken during the rebuild. Photo courtesy of Ralphy Morales.

Ralphy Morales worked with Gil and Al Ayala at Gil's Auto Body Works. He worked at the shop in 1956 when Gil restyled his 1955 Ford Thunderbird. Ralphy's deal with Gil was that he could take the custom to his High School graduation. A promise that he kept.

In 2016 Ralphy told Kustomrama that Al was the main one that did the bodywork on the Wild Bird. Gil painted it, and Ralphy did all the assistant work on the body.


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