Beauty components for Bow-Ties

Ben Williams September 25, 2020 8 No Comments


Factory fender skirts and a pair of aftermarket “cruiser” skirts hang from the wall beams in one of Jim Carlson’s car barns.

Factory fender skirts along with a set of aftermarket “cruiser” skirts hang out of the wall beams in one of Jim Carlson’s car barns.

If you are restoring a monster of a Chevrolet muscle such as a’65 Chevelle Z-16 or a’66 Impala SS 427, you may want to cover a trip to the “beauty parlor” of Jim Carlson’s Auto Center at Holmen, Wis. Carlson can fix you up with things like a very rare instrument panel to get a “factory tach” Chevelle or a new-old-stock Chevy AM/FM radio in the mid’60therefore, that ai not a frequent thing, either.

Let’s state your 1959 Impala, Bel Air or Biscayne requires a “facial.” You’ve come to the ideal location. Carlson’s “beauty parlor” likely includes those chrome grille bits you have been on the lookout for. Not away — from his multi-acre outside storage space — you will find racks filled with great used front bumpers to replace the one that you dented last summer once you attempted to lift up the car with the mill bumper jack.

Jim Carlson shows off a rare ’65 Chevelle “factory tach” instrument panel and equally rare Chevy AM/FM radio.

Jim Carlson shows off a rare’65 Chevelle “factory tach” instrument panel along with both infrequent Chevy AM/FM radio.

Carlson is a collector, dealership, components peddler and restorer who enjoys’50s and’60s automobiles, especially Chevys, Mercurys and Buicks. Up before March 2007, his beauty parlor was a real one — a location that ladies moved to get their hair done. The unique thing about this “hairport” was that it was constructed within a trailer. That trailer was alongside Carlson’s auto lot. When the beauty parlor real estate became accessible, Carlson purchased it because the trailer made a wonderful place to put away his very best components.

The trailer is long and broad with wood-paneled cabinetry and a lot of curtained windows for natural light. The quality assembled trailer can be well insulated so it remains cool in the summer and dry year round. Carlson did not take something away. It remains put up with shelves, mirrors and sinks. He simply added items created to create “iron ladies” as amazing as their human counterparts.

Since purchasing it, Carlson was packaging each nook and cranny in his “once upon salon” together with his finest components, the majority of which live in mild brown boxes using turquoise-and-orange Chevrolet images on them. Sliding-door cupboards which formerly held styling gels and pomades are now full of wheel covers and headlamp bezels. Waxy newspaper wrappers with dark blue bow-tie images protect unused trim moldings from dings, dents and dust.

This is how the beauty parlor trailer’s interior looked in March 2007, before Jim Carlson started loading it with parts.

This is the way the beauty parlor trailer’s interior appeared in March 2007, before Jim Carlson began loading it with components.

How the beauty parlor looks today. Note the barber chair stacked with so many parts you can hardly see it.

How the beauty parlor looks now. Note that the barber chair piled with all these components you can
barely see it.

“Barber chairs” upholstered in burgundy vinyl are piled with chrome gravel protects, little display cases from Chevy dealerships along with other treasures located at the attics of now-boarded-up automobile shops. Some of those boxes are indicated with the costs that flea market sellers wrote on them using a Magic Marker 10 or 20 years past. Carlson states, “In a lot of cases, I am charging those same prices today, because my goal is to get this stuff into the hands of other car collectors.”

Carlson continues to be having a former International Harvester auto construction for 35 decades, however, local real estate costs have improved lately and he realizes that the opportunity to market is forthcoming.

If your Impala, Bel Air or Biscayne needs a “facial,” the beauty parlor in Holmen might have that grille you need to pretty it up.

If that your Impala, Bel Air or Biscayne requires a “facial,” the beauty parlor at Holmen may possess that grille you want to pretty it up.

Carlson continues to be spending a great deal of time lately cleanup the “backyard” of his business, which he explains as a “GM fan’s beat-the-crusher’ heaven.” He has sold off lots of the components automobiles he had since our last trip in 2008, even though he still possesses 75 or more these vehicles by a 1956 Caddy four-door hardtop into an IH tow truck. Today, his stock is largely 1955-1967 Chevy and that he has lots of those automobiles, for example eight 1958 Impala components cars in a row. ) It will not be long until the components cars really do must be crushed, therefore eliminating these has prompted some competitive advertising and sales of their better parts. Sales of all NOS components has picked up, also.

Carlson has two barns full of rare things that came off those components automobiles such as fender skirts, continental kits, sheet metal and chairs, and a few cars which are too good to part out. At one time, Carlson believed he could find all this really coordinated, but reality has set in and it is time to clean out the barns, also.

Jim Carlson’s Auto Center still has a lot of parts cars (and trucks), although the inventory is depleting as he aggressively works to sell his remaining stock.

Jim Carlson’s Auto Center still has a great deal of parts cars (and trucks), even though the stock is depleting since he harshly works to market his remaining stock.

Carlson sells his components or entire automobiles and copes with buyers in person, by phone or by mail order. He accepts both national and overseas orders. He has been sending parts throughout the world for decades and will help buyers select the ideal method to send a particular product. He simply sent a’59 Chevy sedan off to Sweden.

“My beauty parlor and my parts cars have helped lots of classics get prettier,” Carlson reflected. “But my days of helping people build beautiful beasts are heading towards the end, because each part I sell today brings me closer to the last one.”

Jim Carlson’s Auto Center
Holmen, WI

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