A study of '60s magazines also shows how popular Buick Skylark and Chrysler wire wheels were on rods and customs. Chrome reverse wheels-open faced or with spider caps-were favorites too. As for tires, the wide whitewalls popular in the '50s fell out of vogue as new 1-inch whitewalls like U.S. Royal Masters hit the streets. Other sidewall looks-including dual white pinstripes, redlines, goldlines, and raised white letters-came about almost annually through the decade. Today, you can find 1-inch whitewalls in radial form at most tire chains, or get authentic bias-ply versions from Coker Tire. Companies like Coker and Diamond Back Classics also offer radial whitewalls, redlines, and other vintage-looking rubber that looks appropriate for the era.

The candy paints made popular in the late '50s only got more vibrant in the '60s. Not only that, but metalflakes, pearls, and other enhancers made the colors pop more dramatically. To make the most of such hues, custom painters experimented with techniques like panel painting, fades, lace effects, and cobwebbing. If candies are too wild for you, keep in mind that basic reds, blacks, and blues remained rodding staples through the decade, and that that mid- to late '60s saw more subdued browns and greens being used as the resto-rod look began taking hold.

Sixties-style interior decorating relies heavily on that old rodding staple-vinyl. White rolls 'n' pleats are appropriate, but the decade saw many all-black cabins too. Button-tufted and diamond-pleat stitching was increasingly popular later in the decade. Customs often contrasted white vinyl with brightly colored metalflake vinyl, frieze, or other funky cloth. And let's not forget that show-car favorite: angel hair! Following new-car trends, bucket seats became popular in both rods and customs.

Properly accessorizing your ride can go a long way toward landing that '60s look, and there are a number of repop parts available if you don't feel like scrounging the swap meets or eBay. Spider caps, metalflake steering wheels, vintage-style wheels, underdash air conditioning units, retro gauges, vintage fabrics, and scores of other parts are all available if you know where to look. We've highlighted a few such components and companies to get you pointed in the right direction.

Nothing says you can't tweak '60s styles, though, as evidenced by our cover cars. Paulette Zaragoza's '33 Vicky has many mid-'60s hallmarks-Buick wires, skinny whitewalls, and candy gold paint-but a closer look reveals a modern fuel-injected V-8, overdrive transmission, and independent suspensions. Roy Brizio's '55 Chevy, meanwhile, evokes an early '60s feel, but substitutes 17- and 18-inch billet wheels patterned after the Corvette hubcaps that might have been used back in the day. Roy even had Diamond Back Classics dress up the low-profile tires with thin whitewalls.

Similarly, a few rodders are putting a modern spin on the show-rod concept. Elden Titus' Voodoo Spider and Vampyre evoke '60s vibes, but use contemporary underpinnings and large-diameter wheels. This is in addition to clones and restorations of famous '60s rods (Roth's Mysterion and the Monkeemobile, respectively) and more authentic-looking tributes like Shuten's Astrosled or Fritz Schenck's Roswell Rod.

Your WayThe '60s were many things to many people, but above all, the decade exuded a "do your own thing" ethos. So if we can leave you with any advice, it's simply to not get boxed in by rigid rules. We've rounded up some photos and products to get you thinking, but in the end it's up to you to decide if the '60s vibe is right for your ride, and how best to achieve it.

SOURCE
Alsa Corporation Old School Flake
Temecula
CA
American Racing
1275 Davis Rd., Suite 300
Elgin
IL  60123
8-00/-321-5489
3-10/-635-7806
www.americanracing.com
PML Incorporated
AUTO AIR COLORS
14 Airport Park Rd.,
East Granby
CT  06026
Radir Wheels
Coker Tire
8-00/-251-6336
coker.com
Real Rodders Wheels
Diamond Back Classics
www.dbtires.com
Roth Flake
ET Wheels
1965 West 140th St
San Leandro
CA  94577
Speedway Motors
P.O. Box 81906
Lincoln
NE  68501
4-02/-474-4414
EZ Boy Rod Interiors Stewart Warner
866-797-7223
www.sw-performance.com
Grant Products
700 Allen Avenue
Glendale
CA  91201
213-849-3171
800-952-6947
Stockton Wheel
Stockton
CA
8-00/-395-9433
stocktonwheel.com
House of Kolor
210 Crosby St.
Picayune
MS  39466
6-01/-798-4229
www.houseofkolor.com
Vintage Air
10305 I.H. 35 North
San Antonio
TX  78233
800-862-6658
Juliano's Wheel Smith
MAS Racing Products
6-51/-644-6811
masracing.biz
Wheel Vintiques
5-59/-251-6957
wheelvintiques.com
Mooneyes USA
10820 S. Norwalk Blvd.
Santa Fe Springs
CA  90670
5-62/-944-6311
Whitewall Candy Store
12922 Harbor Blvd., PMB 896, Dept. R&C
Garden Grove, CA 92840
714-649-2393
www.whitewalltires.com
Newstalgia Wheel