Parting Shot

Gene Winfield Moves From His Longtime Home and Shop

By Brian Brennan   –   Photography By Ron Covell

The name Gene Winfield is and has been synonymous with the world of hot rodding, especially custom car building, for longer than most of us can remember. Gene has been to more events than, dare I say, any of us. He is a welcomed figure everywhere and his past and present projects are always attention-grabbers. His enthusiasm for our hobby and his business world never ceases to amaze.

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Gene Winfield was born on June 16, 1927, and in his 96-plus years of life he has seen it all in our industry. To this day he still has that great smile and those piercing eyes … you just know looking at Gene that he “knows” what’s happening.

Well, even Gene thought it was time to move on. He has lived and worked in Mojave, California, for the past 20-plus years. Well, as of late this year, he has decided it’s time to move and begin a new chapter is his ever-expanded life. It was back in early October of this year that he held the last open-to-the-public event at his shop (Winfield’s Custom Shop) at what will become the old shop located on Sierra Highway (6 miles south of Mojave).

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It was back in November of 2009 when the ISCA presented Gene with his “Legends of Hot Rodding” award during the HRIA dinner at the SEMA show. Flanking Gene was the late Bob Larivee Jr. (nicknamed J.R.) on the left, and Bob Millard on the right.

Read More: The Winfield Award

The 16th Annual Winfield-Watson Gathering, sponsored by Rod Tossers Car Club, was held and had a great turnout with exhibitors taking home a coveted dash plaque and goody bag–but you had to be there by 7 a.m. It was also referred to as the “Gene Winfield Auction/Yard Sale.” There was lots more to do and enjoy. As always, if Gene is involved it’s going to be a good time had by all. Look for this annual get-together to continue when Gene sets up his new shop.

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Modern Rodding’s own Ron Covell took the time to drop by the latest in the long line of Winfield-Watson events.

Gene tells us he is about to start on a new project and just felt it was time for a change. While he wouldn’t be specific as to where he is moving, we believe it will be in the greater L.A. area. He does tell us that he will continue to travel and make guest appearances and, most importantly, will continue to teach classes.

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Before walking in the door to Gene’s shop take the time to read the sign: “Welcome to “Winfields Sleep Deprevation Headquarters 9am-9am”. Spelling isn’t what’s taught at the shop but if you want to learn about hot rodding and the art of customizing be prepared for long days and nights. It’s normal!

Right now, he is finishing up a project for this year’s SEMA show and we will respect keeping it under wraps until then. He also recently finished a “V-8 Guitar” project for Billy F. Gibbons, yes that Billy of ZZ Top.

For all of Gene’s friends nationwide stay tuned, as soon as Gene settles in we will bring more news. MR

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