El Matador

The El Matador was one of the very highest profile custom cars of the early Sixties. Representing an unbelievable amount of work executed to the highest standard, many elements of the car were excellent. For instance, the enlarged rear window treatments and the smoothed trunk, as well as the canted quad headlights, were really lovely. The french-curve running boards and the too-large scoops leading the rear fenders were out of place and too heavy. The car enjoyed a sterling show car career after which AMT bought the car and took it to Dearborn Steel and Tool to be fitted with a Ford small block engine and a four speed so that Budd "The Kat from AMT" Anderson could drive the car on promotional tours for the model kit company. Sometime after that, the car was sold and fell into relative obscurity. In the Eighties, the car appeared again, this time with a one-piece/tilt front end and was painted black. After that, it was parked in a Florida garage which burned down and collapsed on top of the car which lead to its abandonment in that humid climate and near destruction. As detailed in Custom Rodder magazine, Murphy and the Striper acquired the car and pieced it back together with donated panels while preserving the maximum amount of original custom sheet metal. Returned to its original splendor, it reigns again as a custom icon. Interestingly, the car was expertly cloned in the Eighties.  Here at the Custom Clinic, we're searching our archives for more information and photos, but please enjoy the photo we have and the extensive bibliography below.

A scale model of the El Matador is underway presently. Please visit here for more details about El Matador at the International Model Car Builders' Museum:

 

 

Bibliography

Here are the references we at the Custom Clinic have found to this great car. If you know of other references, please let us know by sending an e-mail to the Custom Clinic.

Hot Rod

June

1961 

pgs. 66-67

Car Craft

July

1961

pgs. 28-29

Custom Craft

September

1961

pgs.14-15

Rod & Custom  

November

1961

p.16-18

Car Craft

February

1962

p. 25

Customs Illustrated

May

1962

pgs. 6-10

Customs Illustrated

March

1963

pg. 16

Speed Mechanics

August

1963

p. 19

Popular Hot Rodding

November

1963

p. 39 (color?)

Custom Car Yearbook

No. 1

1964

p. 222

Custom Rodder

Summer

1993

pgs. 32-35

Custom Rodder

Fall

1993

pgs. 30-33

Custom Cars of the Fifties (book)

 

1993

p. 115 (primer)

Custom Cars of the Fifties (book)

 

1993

p. 116-117

Custom Rodder

January

1994

pgs. 30-34

Custom Rodder

March

1994

pgs. 40-41

Custom Rodder

July

1994

pgs. 28-31

Classic & Custom

August

1996

cover, 39, 40-41

Rod & Custom

December

1998

pgs. 84-85

 

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El Matador
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