Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
August 2, 2012

In the heyday of car customization, the place to be and where history was being made, was southern California. Names like Winfield, Roth, Barris, Watson, and others were the kings of the "Kustoms." These late '50s to early '60s rides are much coveted today and we're surprised more people don't pay tribute to the era with their builds like Larry Olson of the great state of Washington has done with his '57 Ford convertible.

Larry calls his '57 an "unmistakable revisit" of the wave of "Kustom Kruisers" that rolled out of southern California shops during the mid-'60s. The '57 sports dozens of professionally done body mods, along with plenty of modern tech thrown in for a unique marriage of '60s Kustom and modern Restomod build techniques. The 100-percent-rotisserie restoration/modernization of the convertible includes such classic mods as raised rear wheel openings, 3-inch pie sectioning and 1.5-inch channeling, along with a traditional chop, rear wheel tubs, radiused door corners, and more. Motivation is from a 5.4L four-valve modular from a Lincoln Navigator, backed by an automatic trans. The interior features Thunderbird Super Coupe seats in leather, Vintage Air HVAC, and a 1,000-watt stereo.

The drop top rides on a Fatman Mustang II front setup and a four-link rear, with coilovers at all four corners. A late-model 8.8-inch Ford rearend sits out back and Cragar Street Pro 390C wheels are found at all four corners wrapped in sticky Kumho Ecsta Supra 712 rubber and covering the disc brakes. Larry takes the car to local events when possible, and has won a best in class at the Spokane, WA auto show for his efforts.

Quick Specs

  • '04 Lincoln Navigator 5.4L 32-valve modular engine
  • '04 Lincoln Navigator 4R100 four-speed automatic
  • Custom fabbed ceramic coated headers/exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers
  • Fatman Fabrications Mustang II front suspension/four-link rear suspension
  • Cragar Street Pro 390C wheels, 17x6 front, 17x9 rear
  • Kumho Ecsta Supra 712 tires, P215/50ZR17 front, P285/40ZR17 rear
  • Griffin aluminum radiator
  • Sullivan intake with custom cowl induction
  • Frame media blasted and powder coated
  • Body chopped, tubbed, channeled, and pie-sectioned, rear wheel openings raised
  • Door corners radiused, custom stainless steel grill, '05 Jaguar headlights
  • Hidden fuel filler behind hinged left taillight
  • '04 Lincoln Navigator instrument cluster molded into dash
  • Remote keyless entry for doors and trunk, power windows
  • Power convertible top with Mercedes-Benz cloth
  • Custom Scottish-leather interior, '96 Thunderbird Super Coupe 8-way power seats
  • 1,000-watt Alpine audio system
  • Billet Specialties half-wrap leather steering wheel