Last Ride


Searching for the hidden beauty in a ’62 Chrysler. Did they find it?

By Al Dente Photos by TheBruntBros

Elwood Dapp outdid himself with his final custom. How could he have topped this?

So, what does a body shop guy
do in his spare time after spending
his work week banging out
the dents and dings on other
folks’ fenders? Why, bang on his own
fenders, of course. That’s what Elwood
Dapp, of Dapp’s Auto Body, in Paradise,
PA, did. ’Course, most folks don’t know
it, but there’s a Paradise in New York, too.
It’s called “Harris Publications.”
But, back to Dapp’s.
Over the course of 30 years or so,
El had banged out some four cars for
himself—all customs—working evenings
and weekends. No golf, no fishing, no
poker, and no time to read Mopar Action.
Just bangin’ on cars. Elwood’s last
creation, which, just by coincidence,
happens to be the one you see
here, is El’s only Mopar. It’s a ’62 Chrysler
Newport, and it consumed some 2800
hours in the lives of Elwood and fellow
Dapp bodyman, Jerry Jones. It must’ve
also consumed Elwood himself, as that
big golden tow-chariot of fire swooped
down recently, to escort Elwood up to
that big body shop in the sky ($3.00 first ¼
mile, $1.50 each add’l mile).
Elwood’s vision for the Chrysler was to
take (in his opinion) one of the ugliest and
most unpopular cars in America (in reality,

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