Bob Maisenbacher

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Bob restyled the first version of Mandy Holder's 1951 Mercury. Around 1956, Mandy drove the Merc to California to have it restyled additionally by Barris Kustoms.

Bob Maisenbacher of Springfield, Illinois. In the early 1950s Bob was a body man in his day job at Springfield Welding. He went on to open up his own body shop, Park Avenue Body Shop. In 2015, lifelong friend Jim Delaney told Kustomrama that Bob used to do custom work in his garage at night. Bob was a member of the Knucklebusters of Springfield car club. Jim was a member as well, and the two became friends when Jim asked him to weld the top on his Model A Ford coupe back on after he had chopped it in 1953; "After that he "apprenticed" me while he did a number of custom and restoration jobs, among them was Mandy Holder's 1951 Mercury, a 1909 Brush, and a 1934 Ford coupe with a LaSalle hood and grille. Later he hired me as a body man until I decided to go to college."[1] When Mandy's Merc was featured in Car Craft March 1958, the story said that Bob had restyled the Merc at his Mize Custom Shop in Springfield, Illinois.[2] According to Jim, Bob's custom shop was very informal. He had a double garage and worked there evening as weekends doing custom body work; "So, no, there really wasnt' a sign for the place. Just creative body work in a guy's garage."[1]


Bob went on to become an antique restorer and dealer. His skills were so well appreciated that he was charged with the restoration work at Frank Lloyd Wright' Dana House in Springfield. There he oversaw restorers and himself restored Wright’s furniture, re-created some frieze work on the exterior and re-wired the house nightlight system, a complicated low-voltage system featuring 16-way switches throughout the structure. He also was a self-taught watch repairer and a restorer of player pianos. Jim Delaney would characterize Bob as a first-class mechanical genius with an inborn artistic sense.[1]


Cars Restyled by Bob Moisenbocker

Click here to see cars restyled by Bob at Mize Custom Shop


References



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