Tom Viviano's 1952 Oldsmobile

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Photo by Ralph Poole
Photo by Ralph Poole
Photo by Ralph Poole
Photo by Ralph Poole
Photo by Ralph Poole

1952 Oldsmobile 88 Holiday owned and restyled by Tom Viviano of Stockton, California. It's a long way from Army tanks to customs, but Tom managed to bridge the gap using his background as a bodyman and painter in the restyling of his car. At the age of 19, Tom left his hometown to enlist the Army. Tom ended up in the transportation end of things, including tank maintenance, where he learned body and paint work. After discharging, Tom left with a lot of metalwork and painting experience. He bought a totalled 1951 Ford which he totally restored and traded for a 88 Holiday, the next step was to transform it to a full blooded custom.[1]

With the help of Joe Wilhelm, they peeled of what they felt was unnecessary chrome and filled the holes accordingly. The hood was reshaped to fit a 1954 Kaiser air scoop, not lead whatsoever was used for the job. The ornament and deck lid handle were removed, however the door handles were kept. The front end was updated by installing a 1954 Oldsmobile grille, and the fenders were reworked to receive 1953 Buick headlight rims. The trailing edges of the rear fenders were extended 1 1/2 to accept the 1954 Willys taillights, a rarely used part for customizers at the time, though a neat modification. Once the bodywork was done, it was painted many coats of glistening black. $300 was the exact amount that Tom put into the car for the customizing. A nice mild custom that looks stock at first glance, but at a second look you'll see that it's a custom.[1]

Magazine Features

Rod & Custom June 1955



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