EVERY LEGENDARY R & C BUILDER has one special ride that set him "apart from the pack" and gave him the prominence that he deserved to give his career a major boost. With Darryl Starbird it was "The Predicta", for the Barris Brothers "The Hirohata Merc", Chuck Miller created "The Fire Truck", and, GENE WINFIELD did it with "The Jade Idol".
Gene is one of the nicest, and most prolific Builders & Painters in the Industry. He's been at it for over 6 Decades and continues to work at his craft on a daily basis, even to the point of giving seminars/classes at various venues throughout the year...teaching others on the art of putting together great Rods & Customs.
I've known Gene for many years and he is a true gentleman. When this Interview took place I wanted to focus on the one car that put him "on the map": THE JADE IDOL.
The '56 Merc that was to become an icon was originally built for Leroy Kemmerer of Castro Valley, California, and this story is short and to the point. But even in its brief time period, it encompasses Gene's philosophy of building winning customs completely and needs no further explanation !
Thanks again, Gene ! JK
ABOVE The restored "Jade Idol" in Billy Belmont's Shop, 2009. (Photo Courtesy of Street Rodder )
DO YOU KNOW WHAT Gene's "Favorite Cars" are, the ones he especially is proud of...outside of the "Jade Idol" of course ? Well, to find out just simply click-on this link and you'll find out !