WELCOME !
ABOUT JONNIE KING
HALL OF FAME LEGENDS HEADLINE NEWS !
FIRST TIME VISITORS: IMPORTANT INFO !
COUNTRIES LOGGED-ONTO THE HOF LEGENDS SERIES !
LEGENDS CLASSICS CD CATALOG
HOT OFF THE PRESS: THE LEGENDS IN PRINT !
THE LEGENDS CRUSIN' VIDEO GALLERY
VISIT SOME OF OUR FRIENDS
CONTACT US
JOE BAILON: THE EARLY YEARS
THE GEORGE BARRIS TRIBUTE PAGE
THE BO HUFF TRIBUTE PAGE
DOUG THOMPSON: THE
Paul Le Mat:
DARRYL STARBIRD: THE HALL OF FAME MUSEUM !
DARRYL STARBIRD'S '57 CADDY BROUGHAM CONCEPT:
DARRYL STARBIRD: NEW BUILDERS & THE ENGLISH WHEEL !
DARRYL STARBIRD:
DARRYL STARBIRD:
DARRYL STARBIRD: A FAMILY AFFAIR & THE BUBBLE TOP BOOK !
DARRYL STARBIRD ON: HIS GIFT, OKLAHOMA, AND, THE LEGENDS !
DARRYL STARBIRD: DRIVING THE PREDICTA !
DARRYL STARBIRD: PRODUCING CAR SHOWS !
DARRYL STARBIRD/JEFF MYERS:
DARRYL STARBIRD: THE EARLY
GEORGE BARRIS:
GEORGE BARRIS: THE STORY OF
GEORGE BARRIS: STREET RACING, BULLET HOLES, MOVIES & TV !
GEORGE  BARRIS:
GEORGE BARRIS:LARRY ERNST BELAIR/SHOP FIRE !
GEORGE BARRIS: THE ALA KART STORY !
GEORGE BARRIS: THE BUGARIN MERC !
GEORGE BARRIS: THE SAM BARRIS MERC !
GEORGE BARRIS: THE
GEORGE BARRIS & JOHN D'AGOSTINO: NEWEST BUILDS FOR 2015 !
GEORGE BARRIS/JOHN D'AGOSTINO: OLD SCHOOL/NEW SCHOOL !
GEORGE BARRIS & JOHN D'AGOSTINO IN SWEDEN !
GENE WINFIELD: ORIGINS/FIRST SHOP !
GENE WINFIELD'S FAVORITE CARS !
GENE WINFIELD'S
GENE WINFIELD: SECTIONING THE
GENE WINFIELD: THE AMT S&C DIVISION, AND, THE
GENE WINFIELD AND THE STORY OF THE
GENE WINFIELD: PAINTING MANUEL ARTECHE'S RADICAL '41 FORD CUSTOM !
GENE WINFIELD: TRAVELING & PAINTING WORLDWIDE !
GENE WINFIELD: LIFE IN THE FASTLANE !
GENE WINFIELD: FADEAWAY PAINT JOBS
JOE BAILON: CREATING
MIKE ALEXANDER'S STORY:
MIKE ALEXANDER:
SPENCE MURRAY: BEGINNINGS OF A CAREER !
BLACKIE GEJEIAN: EARLY HISTORY, NASCAR, AND, THE GNRS !
BLACKIE GEJEIAN: THE
DICK
DICK
DICK MAGOO: HIS PERSONAL RIDES & THE  CHOPPED '49 MERC !
DICK
POSIE:  NEW DESIGNS & SCOTT KILLEEN PHOTOGRAPHY !
POSIE ON RODS, CUSTOMS & SAWING  A CAR IN HALF !
POSIES: TEAMWORK, TECHNOLOGY, & EARLY INFLUENCES !
POSIES
POSIES DRIVEN DIRTY TOUR: HOW IT BEGAN !
NORM GRABOWSKI: BEGINNINGS/FIRST CAR !
POSIES: EARLY CARS & SUPER SLIDE SPRINGS
HOW POSIES CREATED THE FLEETLINER !
NORM GRABOWSKI:
NORM GRABOWSKI: THE
NORM GRABOWSKI: THE ORIGIN OF THE KOOKIE CAR !
NORM GRABOWSKI:
FRANK LIVINGSTON:
FRANK LIVINGSTON'S
JIM
JOHN D'AGOSTINO'S HOTTEST NEW CONCEPT- PROJECT: '56  PACKARD...
JOHN D'AGOSTINO: WORLDWIDE TRAVEL & 2013 WINNERS !
JOHN D'AGOSTINO & GEORGE BARRIS: THE 1940 CADILLAC !
JOHN D'AGOSTINO BUILDS:
JOHN D'AGOSTINO: GETTING CARS FROM THE USA TO EUROPE !
JOHN D'AGOSTINO & GEORGE BARRIS: DESIGNING KUSTOM CARS !
JOHN D'AGOSTINO CREATES
JOHN D'AGOSTINO: ORIGINS & FAVORITES
FRANK LIVINGSTON '49 CHEVY: CLOSE TO A CLONE !
BO HUFF'S '56 CHEVY:
BO HUFF'S '36 FORD 2DR...
BO HUFF:
BO HUFF: HOF INDUCTIONS & BO'S BOOK !
BO HUFF CREATES THE
BO HUFF TALKS ABOUT HIS HEALTH...
BO HUFF: ON UTAH, HIS MUSEUM, AND 60'S CARS !
BO HUFF: THE SAM BARRIS CLONE !
BO HUFF: NEW PROJECTS & GENO'S '49 MERC !
 MURPHY'S  RADICAL '54 FORD PICK-UP !
KEITH DEAN WITH STORIES OF HIS DAD, AND, THE BRICKLIN !
KEITH DEAN: EARLY YEARS & FAVORITE CARS !
STEVE STANFORD: BEGINNINGS & THE EARLY YEARS
STEVE STANFORD: NEW IDEAS & WORKING WITH THE CLIENT !
STEVE STANFORD: CREATING A STYLE, HEROES, & THE HOF !
STEVE STANFORD: DOUBLE-PLAY !
STEVE STANFOR CREATES THE NEW AMC !
STEVE STANFORD: BILLY GIBBONS'
CHUCK MILLER'S AWARD-WINNING '32 FORD ROADSTER !
CHUCK MILLLER:
CHUCK MILLER'S CARS: THE FUTURE & THE PAST !
CHUCK MILLER CREATES THE HURST OLDS !
CHUCK MILLER: MODEL KITS & HOF INDUCTION !
STEVE FRISBIE MEETS
CHUCK MILLER: THE LINDA VAUGHAN STORY !
CHUCK MILLER: FAVORITES !
STEVE FRISBIE: RESTORATIONS & NEW CUSTOMERS !
STEVE FRISBIE: BUILDING THE
STEVE FRISBIE: FROM THE EARLY YEARS TO SUPER RODS !
CHUCK MILLER: WINNING THE
JIMMIE VAUGHAN ON: HIS '63 RIVIERA & WINNING GRAMMIES !
JIMMIE VAUGHAN: ON NORWAY, GARY HOWARD &  HIS '51 CHEVY !
JIMMIE VAUGHAN: ON GARY HOWARD & HIS '61 CADDY !
GARY HOWARD: MIKE YOUNG'S IMPALA & CARS WITH SOUL !
GARY HOWARD: BUILDING THE HOT ROD CADDY !
GARY HOWARD: BUILDING JIMMIE VAUGHAN'S '54 VICKIE !
LEE PRATT: THE LONG, LONG LeSABRE !
LEE PRATT'S FABULOUS '41 BUICK !
LEE PRATT: THAT FANTASTIC '49 FORD, PT. 1
LEE PRATT: THAT FANTASTIC '49 FORD, Pt.2
M. K. JOHN: PUBLISHED ART & MOTORCYCLES !
M.K. JOHN: BEGINNINGS/MAG.FEATURES !
ELDEN & JERRY TITUS: EARLY YEARS AT STARBIRD'S & THE VOODOO SPIDER !

M.K. JOHN: MAKING GREAT ART !
ELDEN TITUS: THE ROCKET CAR !
ELDEN TITUS:
MARK MORIARITY & THE CAR CRAFT
MARK MORIARITY: SAVING SAVELESKY'S '55 BEL AIR !
MARK MORIARITY BUILDS THE
MARK MORIARITY: EARLY DAYS/ROTAR !
MARK MORIARITY: BUILDING BUBBLE TOPS !
JOHN KOUW: THE
LOU CALASIBETTA: KKOA HALL OF FAME INDUCTION, 2010 !
LOU CALASIBETTA: THE A BROTHERS & THE GOLDEN INDIAN !
LOU CALASIBETTA: THE EARLY YEARS, AND THAT HISTORIC GARAGE !
LOU CALASIBETTA: THE
LOU CALASIBETTA: THE
DENNIS McPHAIL: THE EARLY YEARS
DENNIS McPHAIL: DOING DESIGNS FOR ED
JEFF MYERS:  THE BEATNIKS CLUB & ITS MEMBERS !
JEFF MYERS: THE SUPER SEVILLE !
VOODOO LARRY:
VOODOO LARRY:
VOODOO LARRY: FROM THE BEGINNING...
DINO & THUNDERFLITE !
BRAD MASTERSON ON BILL HINES & SLINGIN' LEAD !
BRAD MASTERSON: THE CKD RIVIERA PROJECT CAR !
BRAD MASTERSON: HIS SHOP AT A  LEGENDARY ADDRESS !
BRAD MASTERSON: THE BARRIS-HINES CONNECTION
FRITZ SCHENCK: EARLY YEARS, EARLY CARS !
FRITZ SCHENCK'S COOL CARS !
JERRY TITUS: FAMILY VALUES & KUSTOMS !
JERRY WEESNER/JONNIE KING: CRUSIN' !
WEESNER  & THE MOVIE STAR !
JERRY WEESNER & NORM GRABOWSKI: CRUSIN' HOLLYWOOD, 1957 !
JERRY WEESNER'S PHOTO-OP TIPS !
ALAN MAYES:
ALAN MAYES: PUBLISHING CKD/OSR
CANDY CLARK: HER
Paul Le Mat On: VIETNAM, BOXING, AND SWEDEN !
Paul Le Mat: NEW MOVIE-NEW BOOK !
Paul Le Mat: HIS FAVORITE FILMS !
Paul Le Mat:
ROCK & ROLL RADIO HISTORY: THE DAY ELVIS DIED...
ROCK & ROLL RADIO HISTORY: THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED
THE RICK NELSON TRIBUTE PAGE
THE RICK NELSON INTERVIEW: Pt. 2
THE MANUEL ARTECHE TRIBUTE PAGE

THE JOHN BUTTERA TRIBUTE PAGE
BOYD CODDINGTON TRIBUTE PAGE
THE DON FERRARA TRIBUTE PAGE
THE DICK DEAN TRIBUTE PAGE
THE ELDEN TITUS TRIBUTE PAGE
THE LARRY WATSON TRIBUTE PAGE
THE BETTIE PAGE TRIBUTE
ORIGINS: THE KUSTOM KEMPS OF AMERICA
THE ORIGIN OF ROD & CUSTOM MAGAZINE
ORIGINS: OL' SKOOL RODZ & CAR KULTURE DeLUXE !
MURPHY'S
MURPHY'S
THE
ORIGINS: BUILDING THE R & C DREAM TRUCK !
THE ROD & CUSTOM DREAM TRUCK SAGA, Pt.1 !
THE ROD & CUSTOM DREAM TRUCK SAGA, PT.2
SPECIAL:
SPECIAL: GENE WINFIELD &
SPECIAL: THE BATMOBILE !
SPECIAL:
SPECIAL: THE HIROHATA MERC !
SPECIAL: GENE AUTRY'S '57 SEVILLE !
THE LEGENDARY CKD
HEAR OUR EXCLUSIVE DEMO !
CORPORATE AIR TRAVEL
PHOTO/IMAGE INFO


DOUG THOMPSON WITH 5 CARS HE BUILT_FINAL.jpg

                                                                   
       A HALL OF FAME LEGENDS SERIES 10th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL:

                     
 
 THE EXCLUSIVE DOUG THOMPSON INTERVIEW: BUILDING JACK WALKER'S "HIROHATA MERC" CLONE..
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DOUG THOMPSON IS one of the most-unique custom car builders of  all-time ! 

During the course of over FIVE decades, Doug created not just "custom cars", he created beautiful lasting-works of Automotive Art: true "Rolling Sculptures" of the highest quality imaginable...with almost all of them still on-the-road, in private museums, or, still with their original owners.  A testament to Doug's passion for guaranteeing that every car that left his shop not only was beautiful, but that it could be driven anywhere, at any time by its owner !

Doug, like many of the "old school" builders he admired, worked by himself in building these one-of-a-kind customs that were consistent award-winners.  And, when I say "by himself" that's exactly what I mean !  Doug did it ALL:  the designing, the body work, the engine rebuilds, the chassis rebuilds, the drivetrain & transmission, wheel/tire combos, the wiring, the painting, the upholstery (with, sometimes, the help of his wife, Nita)...whatever needed to be done to build that car, Doug Thompson did it !

In a recent phone conversation we had, Doug told me that every car that he built was created for each particular customer's style & needs...he never built two cars alike. 

FOR A GOOD EXAMPLE of that concept, take a close look at the photo at the Top of this Page: Clock-wise-left from Richard Ratty's '46 Packard in front, there's Ed Guffey's '50 Ford, Jack Walker's '51 Hirohata Merc, Bill Schultz's '58 Impala, and, Ray Hetrick's '50 Merc the "Scorpion".  Each of these built specifically for those owner's. 

So yes, in his FIVE Decades of creating some of the most gorgeous cars on the Planet, Doug's legacy as an iconic builder of "Art-In-Steel", has firmly entrenched him in many Halls of Fame, and his exotic custom builds have won countless awards, been seen in-person, and, in magazines around the world, by thousands of Custom Culture fans !
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DOUG & I HAVE BEEN friends for many year's.  We first-met in 2001 when I drove the "INVICTA" to Starbird's Hall Of Fame Museum for the 6th Anniversary Celebration & Induction Ceremonies.  Doug complimented me on the INVICTA, loved the car...and, more importantly, complimented me for actually driving that beautiful Candy/Laser Red custom all the way to-and-from St. Louis !

Doug, his lovely wife Nita, and, I had breakfast there a couple of times that weekend, and always tried to keep in touch. We did the same in 2003 for the 8th Anniversary...and Doug wanted to take a picture of us before we left for home.  You'll see that photo below...coupled with one from 12 year's later.

Doug's stories were always so great to hear !  His memory banks are overflowing with Info, so, finally, in 2015 at Starbird's 20th Anniversary Celebration, we finally got to sit down both Saturday & Sunday that weekend to do an in-depth set of Interviews documenting Doug's long and varied career in the R&C Industry.

THE FIRST STORY I WANTED to cover was about Jack Walker's "Hirohata Merc" Clone.  I've also known Jack forever, and Jack has told me much about it from his perspective. Plus, I've seen the car up-close & in-person many times, as Jack has drives it !  It's been to Starbird's and almost every KKOA Lead Sled that I can remember.  So to hear Doug's complete history of the build was just fantastic !

As you listen to Doug talk, you'll hear the passion he has had for that '51 Merc that was built for Bob Hirohata, but, in addition, how he loved the work of the Barris Brothers...especially the amazing work that Sam Barris was able to accomplish, not only on this Merc, but on all of the cars he customized !

Doug started the build on this car in early-1983, and, finished it 18 Months later...just in-time so that he and Jack could take it to its first event, which was the KKOA Lead Sled in Springfield, Ohio, in 1985.

I WANTED THIS SUPERB Interview with Doug to use as a SPECIAL FEATURE to celebrate the10th Anniversary of the Hall Of Fame Legends Series.  It's a rare look into one of the most-famous customs ever created, and the Hirohata Clone, like the Ala Kart, the R&C Dream Truck, the Golden Sahara, and, the Aztec, is arguably one of the most-photographed customs in History !

Again, my personal thanks to all of you for your kind words, input, and, support for TEN of the most-wonderful & rewarding year's of my life...keeping the Oral Histories & Stories of these great Legends/Pioneers On-Line for all to hear, all-over-the-World, 24/7/365 !

Listen, learn, and, enjoy...DOUG THOMPSON'S STORY: THE BUILDING OF JACK WALKER'S "HIROHATA MERC" CLONE !

Jonnie King  (July, 2017)
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SPECIAL NOTE:
Doug Thompson has spent his career in the Mid-West...still lives here in Missouri.  Sometime in the mid-90's Doug became seriously ill, and sadly, had to give-up building cars due to his health. He still suffers from some medical conditions, but graciously agreed to spend as much time as we needed to do our Interviews.

He is still the "ultimate car guy", going to shows when he can, keeping busy at his home-base, and always willing to share his time, and his amazing insight, anytime I call.  And, a nicer guy you'll never find !

Thank you Doug, and Nita, for your kindness, friendship, and, help, for all of these year's.  JK
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Above Photo Left: Doug Thompson & Jack Walker with the first award they won for the Hirahato Merc, at the 1984 KKOA Lead Sled in Springfield, Ohio; Above Photo Right: Jack Walker, Owner, George "The King Of The Kustomizers" Barris, and, Doug Thompson,Builder, at an event in California in 1984, where George gave his official approval of the authenticity & perfect-build of the "Hirohata Merc" Clone !

   
Above Left: That's yours truly with Jack's Merc  when it was on-display in the Jack Walker Section of the Hall Of Fame Museum on June 5th, 2004. (Not to worry Jack: I always keep a Brillo Pad with me to buff-out any fingerprints that may result from my actions !) ; Above Right: My personal well-worn copy of the Fall 1992 Issue of Custom Rodder Magazine which features a terrific story about Doug, Jack, and the Hirohata Merc's re-creation by Doug.  If you can find a copy, a great story - with cool, rare pix - by Jerry Weesner, can be found on Pages 36 - 38 !

                

(Photo on the Left: Doug & myself at Starbird's, Hall Of Fame Museum's 8th Anniversary, June 2nd, 2003; Photo on the Right: Doug & I doing our Interview Session at Starbird's Hall Of Fame Museum's 20th Anniversary, June 7th, 2015.)
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TO HEAR GEORGE BARRIS' story about how he & Sam built the original, then-new '51 Merc kustom for Bob Hirohata, simply CLICK-ON-THIS-LINK and it will take you to that Page !

(NOTE: All of the photos on this page are courtesy of the Doug & Nita Thompson Collection...with sincere thanks!)