Larry Watson was a legendary custom painter and pinstriper. In 1955, at the age of 16 Larry began his pinstriping career. Upon graduating from school in September 1957, Larry opened his first shop Watson's House of Style in north Long Beach, California on Artesia Boulevard. Larry decided that he wanted to start a new trend; customizing with paint. In order to promote his new trend, Larry bought a brand new 1958 Ford Thunderbird that he took to Barris Kustoms for som mild modifications. Bill Hines and Bill DeCarr that worked at Barris Kustoms nosed and decked the car, shaved the handles and rounded the corners. After that Larry painted the car with six coats of pearl over a
fine metallic silver base. Larry didn't tint the pearl with transparent mixing black toner that eliminated the cloudiness, and he thought the car turned out too bright. Larry thought the bright look made the car look way too large, so in order to fix it up, Larry taped the panel lines of the bird with 1-3/4 inch tape and shot candy apple burgundy over it. With this paint job many thinks that Larry invented the Panel Paint Job. The Thunderbird was the first car featuring a silver pearl and candy burgundy paint job
In 1966 Larry sold his shop, that was then located on Lakewood Boulevard
in Paramount. After selling his shop he moved to Mexico to pursue an
acting career with his wife. While Larry was away, two other "Watson"
custom paint shops sprung up, one in Downey, and one in Burbank. When
Larry returned to California in late 1966 he opened up a new shop on
Artesia in Lakewood. Larry determined that he had to get his name back
on the show circuit. Watson left the custom car scene in favor for a
blossoming Tv and movie acting career. He painted ND striped numerous
luxury or sports cars for actors, actresses, directors, producers, or
casting directors to gain entree. Between 1967 and 1985 Larry ended up
in 141 different shows, such as MacGyver, Columbo, and Mission Impossible.
Larry retired in Apple Valley, California, and spent much time creating
his private museum loaded with pictures and artifacts from his custom
car and TV days. Larry Watson died July 20, 2010 after struggling with
brain cancer for a while.
WATSON Larry (Lawrence D. Watson)
Born: 7/21/1939, Lynwood, California, U.S.A.
Died: 7/20/2010, Canyon Lake, California, U.S.A.
Larry Watson's westerns - actor:
Lancer (TV) - 1969 (deputy)
Gentle Savage - 1973 (deputy)
Ransom for Alice! (TV) - 1977 (guard)