I have photographed a few of his cars over some time, and I was used to finding little gold nuggets visiting his typical Hollywood mansion. But a few years back, the 47 Cadillac that greeted me outside his house was anything but small! The late 40’s Cadillac’s are very popular cars to restore, custom or original, but I had never seen anything like this matt black monster. I did understand much more when I heard the name of Frank De Rosa, the famous customizer.
This was going to be Franks De Rosa’s personal car, but Barry kept nagging him so much, he sold the car to him ½ finished.
SoCal speed shop did all the windows. Walt at Alerdyne in Temecula CA did other extra body works Jesse James shop did all the Airride suspension. To make sure this would be a strong boulevard cruiser Barry installed a 502 Chevy crate motor with Edlebrock carburetors and the usual 305 transmission. The back lights came from a 59 Cadillac, but the headlights last saw first light on a Mercedes!
It is a delight to meet people like Barry on location, everything else becomes a background, my c phone is left in my trk and my whole focus is on the car and how to light it and what lenses to use, high and low..
If I keep that focus it’s hard to screw up a shoot like this, even with all that black to manage.
Barry Wiess is a custom car, motorcycle and vintage Airstream enthusiast. He and his brother Joey collects and modifies anything cool. Both do a project car every 6-10 years. They drive it to a lot of car shows to meet his friends and have a lot of fun. One year he took his 36 Airstream to The Passo Robles show, and he created a big patio for his friends, serving sodas and hot dogs. “Good way of returning all the parties I was invited to” he laughs. He is always on the lookout for something special and unusual.