Lou Schafer & Sons

1951 Buick Blue Danube Clone :: Lou Schafer & Sons

The Blue Danube
1951 Buick
Owned by Lou Schafer & Sons Formerly owned by Jack Walker
Lyle Lake moved to California from Orlando, Florida in 1956 driving his mildly customized '51 Buick Riviera hardtop. He went to work at Barris Kustom in Lynwood and eventually became shop foreman. With the help of Sam Barris, Lake's Buick was transformed into a full custom show stopper. Most casual onlookers didn't even recognize it as a Buick but thought it was another chopped '49-'51 Merc. It was so unrecognizable that George Barris got it cast in an episode of the Twilight Zone television series as a car of the future.
The beautiful lines of the top were created by chopping it 3 inches in front and 6 inches in the rear. The grille shell was formed by molding tubing to the opening as well as the hood. Bumpers made from '53 Chevy ends welded to Cadillac bullets frame the tubular grille. The headlights received shades that taper back into the fenders. In the rear the fenders were extended and the ribbed sections from two '54 Mercury taillights were spliced together and mounted upside down above the '53 Olds bumper. Modified Buick side trim separated the Sky Blue metallic, Pearl Blue, and Ocean Blue mist three tone paint highlighted by Dean Jeffries pin striping. As years went on the car was modified with a different grille, hubcaps and fender skirt removal. It was last seen in the L.A. Harbor area in the early '60s.
Jack Walker of Belton, Mo. is a custom lover of long standing who has recreated cars that have disappeared or are thought to be unobtainable. In 1997 Jack found a suitable car and tracked down Lake in Hobbs, New Mexico. With Lyle's advice, Kenny Baker chopped the top and Dick Huckans, of Sperry, Oklahoma did all the remaining bodywork and duplicated the three tone paint job. Bob Bond duplicated the original Dean Jeffries pin striping."

This recreated clone is now owned by Lou Schafer & Sons.

The Blue Danube Buick (on TomStrongman.com)

Lyle Lake '51 Buick Blue Danube Clone (Rik Hoving's album on Fotki.com)

Buick Blue Danube Lyle Lake - Barris (Rik Hoving's album on Fotki.com)

Blue Danube - Profile of a Custom Car

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