I love Sport Customs – but it took me a long time to learn to call them by this name. If you think handcrafted fiberglass specials from the 50s are rare, just try to find a sport custom. We estimate that for every 10 or more fiberglass specials that were built, there may have been 1 sport custom. But what is a sport custom?
The term “Sport Custom” was first used by in “Dan Posts’s Blue Book of Custom Restyling” in 1949. Dan Post had discussed the definition of the car in an early 1947 book but not given the term. But in 1949 nearly on page 1 is his first chapter “Sport-Custom Cars….How They Came To Be.” The is the first usage of the “Sport Custom” term I can find. For those of you wanting to explore more of the Dan Post custom car archives, click on this link.
Another term often used for these cars is “American Boulevard Cruiser.” Both terms describe a car with the following characteristics:
- Sporty in nature
- Most were made from steel, a few in aluminum and less in fiberglass
- Powerful drivetrain
- Larger than a sports car in size with a typical wheelbase of 110 inches or greater
- A completely new body design or one so heavily restyled that it has taken on an original (or nearly original) shape
And the funny thing about American Sport Custom cars is there’s hardly any left. Connect that to the rarity of the cars to begin with and the fact that unlike fiberglass specials, nearly every sport custom is a “one-off” and you can begin to understand why I find them fascinating. And exciting when a new one is discovered. And that’s what recently happened to me when Richard Brown sent me a photo of a car that he had recently acquired. A car that he calls the “Porter Pegasus.”