Paul Lehrbass' 1952 Pontiac

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Paul's Pontiac at a Squires Charity Auto Show May 5, 1957[1]

1952 Pontiac Catalina hardtop built by Cerny's Body Shop for Paul Lehrbass' of Compton, California. Paul was a member of the Squires Car Club of Compton, California. Paul's Pontiac was restyled by incorporating a 1954 Chevrolet grille with an Oldsmobile top bar up front. The hood was nosed and louvered and the trunk was decked. Rear fenders and taillights from a 1956 Oldsmobile 98 were grafted on to the car. Body seems were filled and new almost square-shaped wheel well openings were made. The exhaust protruded just forward of the rear wheels. Under the hood Paul hid an full race 377 cubic engine from a 1953 Cadillac. The engine was hopped up with Thomas magnesium pistons and rocker arms, Iskenderian cam, Grant rings, dual Buick Stromberg carburetors, Weiand manifold, Spalding flame-thrower ignition and a 1937 LaSalle floorshift transmission. Inside the car featured an upholstery by Jack's Top Shop. Once completed, the car was given a two tone paint job, featuring flames by the legendary pinstriper Von Dutch.[2]

Saturday, September 7, 1957 The Squires Car Club gave away Paul's Pontiac at an Lion's Drag Strip event.[1]

Paul's Pontiac was featured in Custom Rodder November 1959 in an article named "Concours d'California" covering the 11 greatest customs from California. The story states that the car is owned by "Peter Lehrbass". First I thought this could be a misspelling, but chances are that "Peter Lehrbass" was the lucky guy who won the car at the Lion's Dragt Strip event in 1957.

Magazine Features

Crash Helmet June 1957
Car Craft July 1957
Car Craft October 1957
Trend Book 143 Restyle Your Car
Custom Cars January 1958
Car Craft April 1958
Custom Rodder November 1959
Trend Book 197 Custom Cars 1961 Annual


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