Next weekend, a group of handpicked traditional customs will take to the beach for the second annual Customs by the Sea. The event, which is hosted by the Kustomrama team, is held October 3-4 in conjunction with The Race of Gentlemen on the historic beaches of Wildwood, New Jersey.
This year, the show has been restricted to pre-’52 customs built in a pre- or immediate post-WWII style. These customs will be positioned near the starting line where early-style hot rods will be racing on the beach all weekend. Organizer and Kustomrama founder Sondre Kvipt says they’ve been strict with their selections—narrowing the field down to about 30 pre-registered entrants—but for a good reason. The Race of Gentlemen revolves around a carefully planned aesthetic, and Sondre strives to bring Customs by the Sea into that period perfect landscape. No panel paint, no Bellflower tips and no visible components newer than 1952.
He has received all types of feedback—both positive and negative—about these changes, but he believes sticking with the earlier customs will attract the right cars for the era the event emulates. Sondre plans to recreate the look of the early dry lakes meets where tastefully modified daily drivers were sprinkled throughout the pits. “I felt it was perfect for this show,” he says. “And I knew this rule would take the number of cars down from 200 to 20. But we wanted quality and not quantity.”
For the 2015 event, there will be early customs of all types: survivors, fresh builds, sports customs and works-in-progress. Paul Fry of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, is bringing his late uncle’s ’37 Ford cabriolet to Wildwood for the second year in a row. Jeremy Minamyer of Concord, North Carolina, is also returning to Customs by the Sea with his chopped ’49 Merc. The car appeared at last year’s Customs by the Sea in baremetal, and it’s slated to arrive with a fresh coat of paint.