the donato/barris "bronze flame" roadster

During our California trip, we stayed at our friends Kyle and Mia's house in La Mesa, a San Diego suburb. One evening, Kyle who's a member of the Deacons car club, took me to another member's place. John Bade welcomed us in his garage so I could check out a car I was especially looking forward to see it "in the flesh": a model a roadster, built by the Barris shop in the early 1950s. John's garage was already open when we arrived, and there it was, in all its glory. An unrestored roadster from the 50s, with a track nose, a bronze and green paintjob mimicking the paint scheme of a WW2 fighter plane, a true survivor. Unfortunately, it was already dark outside, so some of the pics got a little blurry. But here they are for you to enjoy...

Originally, the roadster didn't have front brakes. But as John likes his cars to drive and to stop, too (the previous owner used to drive the roadster on the road for years without front brakes or even lights...), he added a set of brakes to the Franklin front end.

Sorry that I didn't remove the old slot race box from the trunklid. But in a way, it kinda pays tribute to the day when John saw the roadster for the first time in 1996, in a garage, covered with boxes...

The dashboard remained almost untouched to this day.

With the aluminium hood removed, you can take a look at the rebuilt flathead. If you want more info about this car, there's a great story in HOP UP Magazine issue four (2002), written by John himself.

Next to the roadster was sitting another very interesting car, a 1932 five-window coupe, built in the mid 1950s. It still wears the original 50s black lacquer paintjob...

...as well as the gorgeous tuck'n roll interior. Ain't that beautiful? Many thanks to Kyle and John.

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