- Written by webmin
Scallops, fades, kandies, panels, Larry Watson was master of them all.
Inspired by Von Dutch, but largely self-taught, Watson began pinstriping cars when he was just 16, starting with his own 1950 Chevrolet, the Grapevine. By the time he graduated high school in 1957, he had enough business to warrant opening up his own shop, where he pioneered the use of wild paint schemes on customs. Working out of Los Angeles, not far from the Barris Brothers, Ed Roth and Dean Jeffries, Watson was able to apply paint to many notable customs, including Duane Steck’s Moonglow, Ron Aguirre’s X-Sonic and several of Ed Roth’s bubbletopped show cars.
Though he sold his shop and went to work in TV and movies from the late 1960s through the mid-1980s, he returned to painting customs in the 1980s and had been active in the hot rod and custom scene since then.
Watson died of brain cancer yesterday morning. A memorial service for Watson is reportedly scheduled for Saturday, July 31, at Westminster Memorial Park in Midway City, California. In the video below, Larry Watson tells the Mad Fabricators Society about his entry into pinstriping and his first customer.
UPDATE (28.July 2010): Axle posted a couple photos of Larry’s panel-painted casket.