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78: Darryl Starbird, Custom Car Builder + John Buck, Grand National Roadster Show + Dennis Doty, Custom Model Builder

Show Date: 01/30/2016

Darryl Starbird, Custom Car Builder

excerpts from

Darryl started his legacy in 1954 when the art of customizing was still brand new.

Darryl Starbird (from his website)

In 1959 at the NHRA National Custom Car show in Detroit the Sweepstakes and Top Custom Shop Achievement awards were given by a virtual landslide decision to a candy coated 1957 T-Bird, called the LePerle and the Star Kustom Shop.

Starbird introduced his first bubble topped creation, The Predicta. First of its kind the car featured stick center steering, drivability from both driver and passenger sides, push button controls, TV and much more. It took home the sweepstakes for car of the future and found its way onto the cover of four national magazines. Motor Life picked it as the Top Custom of 1960 and Car Craft presented a plaque for being in its Top Ten Roundup. During a seventeen week tour in fifteen states, the Predicta took home almost every possible award, copping the twelve foot trophy as an overall winner at Miami’s International Motorama.

The “Predicta” lead the way for fifteen more bubble top cars such as “Forcasta”, “Futurista” “Cosma Ray”, “Illusion” each one gaining national magazine covers giving Starbird the title the “Bubble Top King”. He went on to build over hundreds of fabulous cars over the years with all kinds of body modifications and all made out of metal, no glass here! His cars have been featured in every major national automotive magazine with over fifty covers to his credit.

Building is not only Darryl’s talent for in l963 he became consultant for Monogram Models Co, subsidiary of Mattel where fifteen models of his original designs found their way into 1/24th scale and 1/8th scale kits selling over one million world wide, one of them being the “Predicta”.

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John Buck


John is the owner and promoter of the Grand National Roadster Show. The show celebrates it’s 67th year and becomes the longest running indoor car show.Once known as the Oakland Roadster Show, it is the longest running indoor car show in the world! Produced at the Fairplex in Pomona for the 13th consecutive year.

Over 500 show vehicles will compete for awards inside the Fairplex buildings. Another 400-800 vehicles will join the event Saturday & Sunday for the 11th Annual Grand Daddy Drive-In.

Visit GNRS website


Dennis Doty


Free-Lance model car writer who wrote model car how-to articles for Monogram from 1966 to about 1971. He worked for Jo-Han Model Cars as a promotional model builder and painter. He is an advid model car builder and collector. He has written for Model Cars Magazine, Model Car Science, Old Cars Weekly, Ford Illustrated, Packard Illustrated and many more.

Influenced by Roth, Barris Winfield, Starbird, Cushenberry and Alexander Brothers.

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