The opening day of SEMA is always an exciting occasion. New products are revealed, new and old companies tout their services, and new builds by customizers always bring in the crowds. Tuesday morning was no exception. Crowds of people started gathering around the Mecum Auction booth for the revealing of the Last Barry Lobeck ’32 Ford.
Richard Wood, of Richard Wood Kustoms, was asked by his friend, Bruce Hamilton, to complete this Barry Lobeck car. Bruce bought it from a friend who was going to finish it but did not have the heart to do so after Barry’s passing in 2011. Initially Rich felt some trepidation but was honored to take on this project. Rich and his team received the car in boxes of parts. It took over a year to complete. Rich stated, ” It was not too difficult to stay true to Barry’s design or as it is known, the ‘Lobeck look’, of the correct rake, traditional wheels and tires, and keeping it simple.” Rich took it a step further by etching the “baby moon” hubcaps with the “Lobeck” name, adding A/C, and hiding the stereo system. According to Richard, “Even though this is a hot rod, it has the comforts of home.”
Richard started learning his trade at the age of 12 when he rode his bike to a shop in the next town to work with a guy to learn pin striping and custom painting. After high school, Richard attended and graduated from WyoTech, where he learned fabrication and other useful skills that made him the great customizer he is today. Upon graduation, Richard opened his own shop, Custom Car Crafters. During the past 30 some years, Richard has received numerous awards and worked with some of the greatest custom builders.
Richard sold his business a few years ago to retire but “wrenching” was still in his blood so he opened Richard Wood Kustoms, where he and his team of WyoTech graduates build custom rides and are involved in two reality shows. Richard felt honored to do this Lobeck car and he and his team are sentimental about completing the build.
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