1957 Ford Custom original owner John North built car and owned by Gene Pitney
- Make: Ford
- Model: Fairlane
- Type: Coupe
- Trim: John North Custom
- Year: 1957
- Mileage: 47,651
- Color: White
- Engine size: 312 CI Y Block V8
- Number of cylinders: 8
- Transmission: Manual
- Drive type: RWD
- Interior color: White
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1957 Ford Fairlane John North Custom
1957 Ford Custom by John North
and owned by Gene Pitney (singer/songwriter).
Great for Museums and “Real Deal Collectors”
Major iconic piece of custom car history are seldom available.
This John North 1957 Ford (E code engine 2 x 4) 3 speed manual on the floor is one of those rare iconic cars.
Besides all that it is a great driver, very fast and 90% all original from 1957/58. It was customized as a brand new 1957 Ford 2-door hardtop from the dealer to the custom shop in 1957. Just take a look at the photos of John North and family with the tons of trophies and you can see this was one of the the most awarded custom cars of the last half of the 1950s.
To top all this off this car was chosen to be the iconic logo car this year for the famous 2017 Hot Rod & Kustom Fall Out in Connecticut.
Picture used for the 2017 Hot Rod & Kustom Fall Out in Connecticut.
This is history that money can’t duplicate, only “real history in time” can make a car this iconic.
This car is a true piece of U.S. automotive history when custom cars were built by the great masters.
Now for more detailed information:
This car comes direct from a collection that collects only the most authentic, documented and historic collector cars.
In 1957, John North (1935 – 2013) purchased a new 1957 Ford and with only 12 miles on it, proceeded to immediately customize it and named it the “White Pearl”.
This car has probably received more trophies over the years then 99% of all other historic custom cars.
The first showing was at the 1958 Hartford (CT) AutoRama and John took home the trophy. Later, the car was shown several times during the late 1950s and early 1960s while winning over 50 awards!!
John North with many of his trophies featured in The Spotlight, December 1959.
John North later sold the “White Pearl” (as the car was known) to his neighbor Gene Pitney (1941-2006) singer/songwriter. (We have no documentation from Gene Pitney or his family but rely on the information passed down from John North before his passing).Gene Pitney would take the car when he performed to his concerts until somebody shot out the windshield, maybe because they thought he put on a terrible show. After that Gene Pitney never took it to shows.
It should be further noted that this car has probably appeared in more custom car magazines starting in 1957 until currently then just about any other significant custom cars.
Magazines Featuring “The White Pearl
Rod & Custom, July 1957 “4 Door Charmer” p. 60-61
Rodding & Restyling, June 1959
Car Craft, July 1959 “Battlegrounds for Glamour”
Rod Builder, November 1959
Car Craft, January 1960 “Stockers Are Not for Me”.
Hot Rod, January 1960 “Score with Scallops”
Hot Rod, August 1960 Cover Photo
Rod Builder, November 1959 “Cultured Pearl”
Custom Rodder, July 1959 “Tops in Tail Lights”
Custom Cars, December 1958 “The Big Show”
Custom Cars, November 1959 “White is the Color”
Car Speed and Style, June 1959 “Autorama Time Again”
Rod Builder Annual, November 1960
Old Cars News & Market Place, June 15, 2006 “Coast Customs Meet in the Midwest”
Automobile Magazine, September 2006 “Kustom Konvergence”
Cool Cars Square Roll Bars by Bernie Shuman, Fifties Hot Rodding in New England 2006 Hammershop
Hot Rod Deluxe Annual 2011 “1958 Auotrama Crowd Photo”
The 1957 Ford Custom today is almost entirely original as John North customized it after he bought it new. The exception to this is paint work to the rear deck. The interior is almost 100% original along with the gold leaf scalloping on the paint except for the rear deck.
It should be noted that when John North purchased the car new, it had a 3-speed manual transmission (he later mounted to floor) and the factory installed 312 c.i., E-Code, Y-Block V8 with two four barrel carbs (285 HP race engine). The Dual Quads are known as an E-Code engine. (Ford Thunderbirds of the period could also be ordered with an E-Code engine and today a 1957 Ford Thunderbird with an E-Code engine can possibly sell approximately for triple what a standard engine Thunderbird will sell for).
Customized Features of this 1957 Ford Custom by John North
Fully chromed Ford engine. See John North’s signature on firewall, his nickname “Moose”.
Scalloped nose, deck, raked.
TV in dash (period correct)
White tuck and rolled interior (original). Also original tuck and roll steering wheel cover and rear seat area removable tuck and roll cover.
Dummy Spot Lights
TV facade mounted in dashboard/glove box area.
Custom Nerf bumpers
Gold leaf scallops
Nosed and decked
Famous “one off” taillight treatment.
Great sounding glass packs.
As the founder of the collection that the car is currently in, I drove this car as recently and I can tell you that this car drives fantastic. The car is tight as a drum, doors close with the sound of a vault door. The engine, transmission and brakes work like they should and the glass packs gives the car a sound that is unforgettable. The E-Code engine with the 2x4 carburetors gives close to neck snapping acceleration.
I suggest that you take a good look at the high level of customizing on this car and the wonderful and tasteful visual that this car presents. You can see why it frequently stole the show and received so many awards because of its great beauty and stance. (Some credit must go to the Ford Motor Company as the basic design of any 1957 Ford hardtop is certainly the favorite among Ford enthusiasts and collectors) and customizers.
I do suggest that you check out the photos. This is a car that will be thought of as a Rembrandt for the custom car genre for future decades to come. Yes, there are plenty of custom cars out there but very few are historical, well documented icon and as beautifully executed in design as the John North/Gene Pitney “White Pearl”. To top it off, the fact that this car is almost entirely original in terms of paint, chrome, interior as John North customized it in 1957 is just the frosting on the cake.
Let us not forget that the engine and transmission are original to this car. There is only one John North 1957 Ford 2-door hardtop and certainly this car would be welcomed at any serious car show or museum. To our amazement this car has an endless life cycle, there is a car show in the Hartford CT area this year 2017 and 99% of its members have never seen this 1957 John North Ford Custom, but this year they have made the 1957 John North Ford Custom the centerpiece and logo for the show and most of the t-shirts that they are selling will have the 1957 John North Ford Custom imprinted the shirt.
We realize that this has been a very lengthy description and thank you for your patience in reading all this information.
This car has survived in its original form for sixty years and now deserves to have another caretaker that will continue to preserve the rarest of automotive history
We don’t mind messages through eBay with comments regarding the beauty of the car but if you are a serious bidder hoping to purchase this car we suggest that you call at 847-668-2004 cell rather than email or text messages.
Note – the back seat Tonneau cover was on when we took the photos for eBay.
In closing, we want to remind you that while there are many fabulous reproductions of real custom cars in the market place, actually finding a TRUE CUSTOM WITH PROVENANCE FROM DAY ONE is a rare opportunity.Keep in mind that there is a good reason that the 1957 John North “White Pearl” received over 50 serious trophies in its day. This car is truly a master piece and would be a great addition to any car museum or serious Car Collection.
Good luck in your bidding.