Link's Custom Shop

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Link Paola's 1940 Ford Convertible was customized before the new 1940 Ford was introduced to the public in in 1939.

Link's Custom Shop was a body, paint and custom shop operated by Link Paola in Glendale, California. In 1939 Link was working in the bodyshop of a Ford dealership in Glendale. Back then the new models were delivered to dealers before they were released to the public so the dealers had time to arrange showroom layouts and plan the big opening day. The Ford dealer where Link worked got a load of 1940 Ford models about a week, or ten days early. One of these was a convertible which Link fell in love with, and he convinced the dealer to sell it to him. He did, and Link began customizing the Ford after the agency closed each night. He was always known as a fast worker and it only took a couple of days to do the metalwork and chop the windshield. He took it to Carson Top Shop for a top, in those days it took about 4 days if you made a reservation. When he got it back he painted it maroon. He finished it up, without the dealer knowing what he'd done, and on the day the '40 models were displayed for the first time Link parked his in front of the agency. Link's car drew a larger crowd then the stock '40s inside so Link was fired right on the spot. After being fired, Link opened up his own unnamed one-car shop. The shop was shop was located right across from that same Ford agency that he previously worked for. While he operated the unnamed shop, he restyled Spencer Murray's 1941 Ford Convertible and Spencer Murray's 1941 Chevrolet Convertible. Later on he restyled a 1946 Chevrolet Convertible for Spencer, by then he was working at a Chevy dealer.[1]

In 1947 Link opened up "Link's Custom Shop" at 3451 No. Verduco Road in Glendale, California. Shortly after, in 1948 Spencer Murray started to work for Link in his shop. Later in 1948 when the brand new 1949 Chevrolets was introduced Link had a friend at an insurance company who arranged for Link to buy at auction 1949 Chevrolets that had been totaled. The theory was to buy totals for a couple of hundred dollars, rebuild the car and re-sell it for an easy profit. The shop got so they could strip down any bodystyle 1949 Chevrolet and rebuild it within a couple of hours.[1]

Sometime after 1952 Link moved on to become an Oldsmobile dealer, and stopped doing bodywork and customization work.[1]


Bob McCutchen
Link Paola
Sam Gates
Spencer Murray

Car Restyled By Link's Custom Shop

Bill Faris' 1938 Ford
Link Paola's 1940 Ford Convertible
Dean Batchelor's 1941 Pontiac
Spencer Murray's 1949 Chevrolet


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