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The 4 wackiest customs at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show

The 2020 Chicago Auto Show brought in droves of pony cars and herds of pickups, sprinkled in exotics and topped it all off with a healthy dose of Jeeps. However, away from the Rams and Jeeps crawling over various obstacle courses in McCormick Place, and opposite a luxe Infiniti display, showgoers flocked to a simple folding table, surrounded by four outrageous customs.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2020/02/10/4-wackiest-customs-at-2020-chicago-auto-show

Customs interest me because taste is so much a part of it.

To me, the Corvette wagon is tastefully done and pretty cool. The others are more towards the gaudy end of the spectrum. Others may use stronger words.

1/4 isn’t bad though. I have a few of the “little pages” style custom car mags from late 50s & early 60s and you are lucky to find 1 car in the magazine that isn’t gaudy in some way.

But, I appreciate the gaudy cars because otherwise every 36 Ford is done just like Calori, every 51 Merc has to look like Hirohata, 55 Chev like Sullivan’s Cheez Whiz and so on.

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Love seeing creative visions of custom cars. Thanks for showing these. I wonder if Goodyear is considering making more of those tires for customers for custom car applications. They couldn’t have been cheap. I doubt the urethane has a reasonable useful life as a real world tire.

One criticism though. The “lying on the floor” style photos, and artsy cropped photos can be nice, but they get old fast. These cars were composed by the designer from a normal “casual observer” height. I can’t get any feel of the scale or design of the front or rear of the Ice Princess car, and I’m sure the designer was looking at both as a whole compositions. The cropped shots are fun for posters, or for cars that are well known. These are unique sculptures; more difficult to comprehend as a whole based on these shots.

Can you take pictures of the whole car next time seeing this finder or a bumper is not the best way to let anyone figure it out.stop being artsy and let us see the cars not just a speedo.

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The vette nomad is sweet. A modern version of that could be fun. Small aluminum LS based v8 with a 6 speed manual?
I saw a Ferarri FF in person the other day for the first time, and loved it. I realize a lot of people think it’s hideous. I guess there’s not much of a buying audience for a car like this- smaller scale sporty 2 door ‘wagon’.
ferarri ff

I remember when car shows showed cutting edge designs like these. The last few i went to had what looked like fillers from the street just to fill the venue. An insult to the money paid to NOT be inspired. Speaking of which, when a guy built a car model with a huge out-sized motor for a contest, the model makers took note and then a custom car builder created the ‘‘real’’ things. Do any of you remember Zingers? https://bangshift.com/general-news/car-features/zingers-inspired-generation-car-geeks-talked-guy-built/

Having been involved in the early years of AUTORAMAs and WORLDs OF WHEELS, the model makers and the ZINGERS were actually inspired by the airbrushed Monster Shirts of Von Dutch, Dean Jeffries, Big Daddy Roth, Stanley ‘The Mouse’ Miller, and The Roach.

Re, The Golden Sahara II -
I see a tape recorder player but I didn’t see “the first-ever in-car phone”.

I agree with others, full size photos would have been much better to appreciate these customs.

All wacky… and horrible. :confounded:

I was able to attend the show and I agree that the pictures don’t do the cars justice. Especially the Ice Princess.

The glitter on the Rolls was nothing short of amazing. I can’t imagine that car on the road on a sunny day.

The Nomad, was not at all “wacky”. It inspired the tri-five real Nomads sans the corvette front end.

As far as wacky goes, the Golden Sahara II took the cake, and the Ice Princess second place.

Regarding the rest of the show, The Mach e, ain’t all that bad and the C8 Corvette is a home run. 18 months of production already sold out. There’s is a little too much “stingray” amid ship in the design, and my bet is that a facelift will smooth that out.

I like that Corvette Nomad too. Even a six would be good. Electric, AWD with some decent range and I might buy one from Chevy.

The canopies on the Ice Princess are not from an F-4 McDonnell-Douglas Phantom II. They appear to be versions of the ones used by Barris on the Batmobile. The jet used segmented units in front of the pilot and half-canopies over the pilot and backseater.

When I was young I was firmly in the more radical the better category. No more. For that reason the Corvette Nomad is the one I’d like in my garage. Actually useable.

I grew up on Long Island in the 1960’s. A man named Warren Sheiber was a member of our church and raced Corvettes. I’m not sure about the spelling of his name but when I google this version I get Corvette race results. I remember he had a white C2 “wagon”. He extended the cockpit with oak framed glass and a padded top covered in black vinyl. This is purely from memory so if anyone remembers him or the car I would like to know more.

Have to agree with those who want to see real pictures. It’s hard to figure out what’s going on with all but the Nomad, and there’s not a good interior shot of that one either. That caused the article to be a bit of a disappointment.

Thank you for all the car related stuff you post! Would it be possible to get some better photos though. especially the “ice princess”. Vehicles should always have at least one full frame photo. I went to a different web sight to actually view them. Its not the first time. Thanks for all you guys do! I’m not complaining, and I really enjoy the reading materials.

As for the Corvette Nomad, there is a company that makes fiberglass replica body’s. Don’t remember the name but it’s expensive. About a hundred grand just for the body, nothing else.

The custom cars from Klairmont Kollections were really cool to see at the Chicago Auto Show. Klairmont has an amazing car museum in Chicago that is now open to the public Thursdays thru Sundays (formerly, it was a private collection open only for special events).
For details visit their website at http://klairmontkollections.com/

Here are a couple more photos of the Sarah and Ice Princess I took at the Chicago Auto Show:



I saw the Golden Sahara at SEMA and spoke to the owner and the restoration shop owner. What a beautiful job performed to bring it back to its former glamorous self. There is a fiberglass kit car company that produced a small quantity of the Corvette Nomad body,they we not inexpensive and you had to come up all the other components,frame,drivetrain,glass,etc. I have seen two of them finished and they are stunning,Barrett-Jackson sold one at Mohegan Sun at their initial auction there.