IN PART 1 OF HAROLD MURPHY'S "EL MATADOR STORY", we covered his love for the car when he first saw it in the magazines, later saw it in-person, and eventually came across it by accident.
Subsequently its then-owner, John McNally's garage caught on fire, the El Matador was in the garage at the time and, for all intents and purposes, was destroyed. But Murphy thought it could be saved and, for two years, tried to get McNally to sell it to him...with no luck.
FINALLY, McNally agreed to the sale, and this is where Murphy's story continues with:
PART 2...bringing this iconic custom back-to-life, like the "Phoenix" rising from the ashes, and restoring it to its former glory ! JK
NOTE: * Photo at Top of Page courtesy of Rik Hoving.
*All of the photos shown below were sent to me by Murph and come from his personal collection.
ABOVE: The "Customs Illustrated" Magazine feature on the El Matador. May, 1962
BELOW: The "Custom Rodder" Magazine feature on the El Matador's restoration. July,1994
Above: Left & Right...you can see the damage the fire did, and how much work Murph had ahead of him ! Just look at that trunk !
Above Left: Rear scoop restoration begins; Above Right: Rear scoop rebuilding taking shape.
Above Left: Murph checking the fit & spacing of the hood; Above Right: The early finishing/priming stage.
Above Left: Murph smoothing out the trunk; Above Right: The El Matador almost ready for paint !
Above Left & Right: Finished ! Painted ! The El Matador restored and making itself at-home in Murph's Garage !!
THE DuPONT AUTOMOTIVE PAINT DIVISION honored Harold with a Special Award for his many years of using DuPont Automotive Paint Products. At this special event famed Racing Legend JEFF GORDON, was chosen to present Harold with the Award.
Fittingly, The El Matador was featured on the Cover of the DuPont Automotive Calendar at that time, and Harold asked Jeff to sign his copy. And, that's what you see above: The El Matador Calendar Cover which Jeff Gordon autographed for Harold ...and added his Official Number "24" !
Again, thanks to Murph for this rare pic and the story behind it. JK
SPECIAL: My sincere thanks to HAROLD MURPHY for his help in putting together this fantastic story of his restoration of one of the most legendary customs of all-time: "THE EL MATADOR" !
Need To Reference PART 1 For Information, Pix, And, To Hear The Story ? Just Click-On Here !
FOR MORE INFORMATION & PIX OF THE "EL MATADOR" CHECK-OUT THESE SITES:
1. Bob Nugent's HOT RODS ONLINE...A truly great Site ! Plus, you'll get a comprehensive look at the El Matador from one of its former owners !
2. Rik Hovings Fantastic Photo Site for Rods & Customs with a full grouping of El Matador photos !
3, The KUSTOMRAMA Site: This Site is a "labor of love" for its owner, Sondre ! Get more info & see super-pix of El Matador !
THE WINDSHIELD FOR THE EL MATADOR came from a Nash-Healy. Seen one lately ? Well, there's a reason for that: They were built between 1951-1954, but only a total of 507 were produced !