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Designer Steve Stanford named to Grand National Roadster Show Hall of Fame

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Steve Stanford. Photo courtesy Steve Stanford Designs.

The Grand National Roadster Show is still a few weeks off, but the 2016 inductees into its Hall of Fame have already been named. Of the four included in this year’s class, artist and designer Steve Stanford is perhaps the name most familiar to Hemmings readers.

Steve’s passion for cars dates to his childhood, when a neighbor in Saint Louis, Missouri, passed along custom-car sketches that he’d drawn. Steve took up art as a hobby shortly after, and at age 18 enlisted in the Air Force to learn a fallback career.

While stationed at California’s George Air Force Base, Steve’s pinstriping skills came to the attention of his squadron commander, who promptly appointed him as the squadron’s semi-official artist. Customizing for clients as his schedule allowed, Steve perfected his craft during his military service, and had little trouble finding work as an automotive artist upon his discharge.

Through the 1970s and into the 1980s, Steve worked for a series of shops in Salt Lake City, and later in Southern California. At Carter Pro Paint in Chatsworth, California, Steve’s talents came to the attention of Car Craft tech editor John Baechtel, and his exposure in the magazine led to a steady stream of work as an illustrator. In the years since, Steve’s art has graced the pages of numerous magazines, including Car Craft, Hot Rod and The Rodder’s Journal, and an ever-expanding selection of his work can be seen on his Facebook page, Steve Stanford Designs. In 2014, Steve was honored with a retrospective of his work at the Petersen Automotive Museum.

Other inductees into the 2016 GNRS Hall of Fame include Mickey Himsl, who, with brother Art (a 1992 GNRS Hall of Fame inductee), founded Custom Paint Studio in Concord, California. Though the brothers have collaborated on numerous well-known hot rods (including Alien, an America’s Most Beautiful Roadster winner), Mickey’s best known creation is Moonshiner, a ’26 T-bucket, first shown at the 1959 Oakland Roadster Show.

Luc De Ley, along with father Marcel and brother Marc, run Marcel’s Custom Metal in Corona, California, a nationally renowned shop that has created bodies or panels for projects from Boyd Coddington (Aluma-Tub and others), Metallica frontman James Hetfield (Black Pearl), and Chip Foose (1936 Ford Coupe and others).

Oz Welch runs Oz Kustom in Oroville, California, a shop that has developed a reputation for building award-winning cars. Oz’s work has taken numerous awards since the mid-1980s, and in 2008 he was named Builder of the Year at the Sacramento Autorama. His own cars include a 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline, The Caribbean II; a 1949 Mercury, Bad Apple; a 1950 Chevrolet truck; and a 1963 Ford Thunderbird, Lucille.

For more information on the 2016 Grand National Roadster Show, including the Hall of Fame luncheon, visit