Lowell Williams Sport Custom – Archie’s Special: Part 1

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“Every custom or sport car built in home garages or small shops is the product of some individualist’s ideals and dreams shaped in material form.”

Hi Gang…

I love how this article starts out – it speaks to the uniqueness that each builder/owner brought forth in forging their design out of steel, aluminum or fiberglass.  And this sport custom as you’ll learn in a later article – built by Lowell Williams – took nearly 2000 hours to complete.  This was definitely a passion he pursued to its final finished day.

Dean Moon took the photos which is unusual since the car was in Ohio and Dean was located on the west coast. He may very well, though, have been on assignment for this magazine in the summer of 1953 and may have written the article too.  More research needed here.

Let’s have a look at this car and its design.  And away we go…


Archie’s Special:
Hop-Up Magazine: September, 1953

Every custom or sport car built in home garages or small shops is the product of some individualist’s ideals and dreams shaped in material form.  Parts and sections of fourteen different automobiles collectively unscrambled themselves in the progressive mind of Lowell Williams resulting in the beautiful sportster pictured here.

Indicative of good taste and clear thinking are the low, clean lines used in the final formation of the body design.  Well balanced in the length and shape of the fenders in conjunction with the long, low hood line give the impression that this machine came from the drawing board of an accomplished designer.


Building the car in Mansfeld, Ohio, far from the “chrome and clutter” environment Lowell has managed to keep the nose of the car smooth and unladen with the pounds of excess chrome and ornamentation so often found on sportsters.  Even the headlights have been mounted on the bumper brackets in order to retain a desired unbroken fender line.

The wide hood opens at the top of the grille and extends back to the windshield leaving the engine compartment and all its components readily accessible for repairs and adjustments.  The chassis is basically Ford with hydraulic brakes, rigid frame beefed up to eliminate twist and flex, and stiff shock absorbers of the Houdaille 50/50 action type.


Engine is a 1946 Mercury converted into a smooth running functional unit that can be driven for everyday use on the streets yet still has plenty snap for acceleration drags and light competition activities.  The engine has been located back from the front axle in order to take advantage of the better handling characteristics so dependent on chassis weight distribution.

The lines are so low that “cut-a-ways” were incorporated for entrance instead of doors.  This point contributes greatly to the overall rigidity of the body and chassis assembly.  Upholstery combination is rather unique.  Red trim with orange rolls.  The inside of the cockpit is very clean with plenty leg room and easy to reach pedals and floor shift.

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Instrument panel is functional in design in that it also is built in as additional body bracing.  Instruments are all Stewart-Warner.  From left to right they indicate: fuel level; oil pressure; speedometer; tachometer; water temperature and vacuum gauge.

White side wall tires along with the wire spoke hubcaps seem to give the car that final touch.  The lovely blonde seated on the car is Miss Virginia Johnson of Indianapolis, Indiana.  She tells us she is just “crazy” about Hop Ups and Sports Cars.  We are inclined to agree with here.

Then again I think we would agree with her no matter what she said.  Wouldn’t you?


As you can tell from the title of this article, there is another part left to this story.  Is it another article?  Did we find the car?  Stay tuned to your Sport Custom channel to learn what we have to share in the near future.

Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember gang…

The adventure continues here at Sport Custom Central.



* Click on the following link to view all stories on:  Lowell Williams Sport Custom – Archie’s Special


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Lowell Williams Sport Custom – Archie’s Special: Part 1 — 2 Comments

  1. Interesting car and I have seen it before. And yes, somewhere I still have this magazine too. The wheel covers shown were very popular in the 1950s and were Gaylord brand. I believe these were made by the same folks who had the Gaylord car made.

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