Gene Winfield’s creativity was a significant point in the automotive industry. His legendary works continue to live in timeless displays and famous movies. Read more about his life and Gene Winfield net worth.
Gene Winfield’s love for cars didn’t stay behind the wheels, and he turned them into animated artworks for everyone to see. His classic designs continue to be the base inspiration for many who aspire to make a name in the industry. At 81 years old, Winfield was honored with the Builder of the Year award in 2008.
Today, Gene Winfield net worth is $2 million. No one can say “hot rod” without referring to the legend’s name. At 94 years old, Winfield is still actively working in his shop for projects.
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Gene Winfield Early Life
Robert Eugene Winfield was born in Springfield, Missouri, on the 16th of June 1927. Two years later, the whole family permanently moved to Modesto, California. His love for cars began when his older brother Glenn opened up a wrecking yard where 15-year old Gene bought his first ride, a 1928 Ford Coupe, for just $75.
Gene Winfield Career
The beat-up 1928 Ford Coupe was probably the most beautiful thing he has ever seen. His first attempt at customizing a car was adding an antenna to the old Coupe. After that, he realized that he could do so much more. And since they have a wrecking yard full of car parts, the brothers decided to open a shop in 1942.
The Winfield brothers found success almost immediately after working on a few of their friend’s cars. Their outstanding bodywork strolled the streets, acting as a 24/7 advertisement for the shop. It called on more customers for design and customization work. Later that year, Winfield Used Cars opened in Modesto.
Winfield’s Custom Shop and Racing
He took his passion for cars in 1951 when he started showing interest in car racing and applying a more colorful look on his wheels. After opening Winfield’s Custom Shop in the hometown of Modesto, Gene came up with a design famously known as The Winfield Fade by carefully fading two candy colors together.
His other dream was to build himself a hot rod. Winfield successfully put together a 1927 Ford Model T Coupe with a top speed of 135 mph. He used the beast of a machine to participate in drag races at dry lake events. Winfield held a NASCAR license from 1951 and 1953. He raced with a T-rail dragster and a 1950 Ford Mercury.
In 1953, Gene Winfield decided to retire from racing altogether and settled down to married life.
The Winfield Paint Job
Gene Winfield popularized the blended candy paint jobs, a process where he mixed two colors, and it came out blended. From 1957, he traveled the globe and did work with his trademark. He slowly became known for his fresh out-of-the-box ideas in the world of automobiles, and it led Winfield to better opportunities in the industry.
He kicks it up unveiling the Jade Idol, a two-door hardtop 1956 Mercury, which Winfield worked on from 1956 to 1958. Its exquisite look and superb finish earned Winfield national recognition as a top custom builder.
Gene Winfield Famous Car Builds
In 1962, Gene Winfield hopped on the Hollywood bandwagon to produce cars for movies and television. It’s great to put a name on one or three of these iconic cars that you probably wished you had in your garage.
Some of Winfield’s famous Hollywood projects are as follows:
- Maxwell Smart’s car for Get Smart
- Reactor for Bewitched
- Catmobile for Batman
- Galileo 7 shuttlecraft for Star Trek
- 25 vehicles he built for Bladerunner
- 6000 SUX for Robocop
Gene Winfield Fun Facts
- Winfield drove at 135 mph in a Ford Model T (“The Thing”) at Bonneville Speedway.
- In 1962, Winfield joined Aluminum Model Toys (AMT) as a consultant style designer for their model kits.
- Winfield also worked with Detroit automakers who turned to artisans to add their custom touches to factory cars.
- Winfield developed the Pacifica Ford Econoline van, the Mercury Comet Cyclone Sportster, and the Strip Star, an aluminum-bodied sports car with a powerful 427 V8 engine as part of the Ford Custom Caravan.
- Winfield Created The Reactor in 1964, an aluminum-bodied mid-engined front-wheel drive from a Corvair Chevrolet Turbo-Air 6 engine flat-six, combined with a Citroën DS.
- Winfield was honored as the Detroit Autorama “Builder of the Year” in 2008,
- Winfield has participated in the International Show Car Series (ISCA) circuit since 2013. Fans and enthusiasts alike come from worldwide to watch him do his thing in the event’s “The Summit Racing Equipment Chop Shop” show.
Gene Winfield – King of Kustoms
In 2011, Gene Winfield was featured on MotorlandTV’s famous segment, King of Kustoms. The documentary was about the life and career of Winfield, as a pioneer and one of the best custom builders of our time.
At least three of his creations won America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award, a recognition closely comparable to an Academy Award for Best Picture in the world of automobiles. At 94, he has a lot to give to the industry.
Gene Winfield Net Worth – Frequently Asked Questions
How Much is Gene Winfield Net Worth?
Gene Winfield net worth is estimated at $2 million. He has been customizing cars for eight decades and is still going strong at 94. Aside from big projects, Winfield occupies himself teaching the younger generation about designs and customization on anything that has an engine and moves on wheels.
How is Gene Winfield Doing?
After his movie projects, Gene Winfield resumed building and designing customized automobiles. He does so in his own company in Mojave, California.
What Cars Did Gene Winfield Make?
The most famous cars Gene Winfield made were:
- Pacifica Ford Econoline van
- The Reactor, a Citroën DS with a Chevrolet Corvair motor
What Age is Gene Winfield?
Gene Winfield was born on the 16th of June 1927, which makes him currently 94 years old.
Gene Winfield Net Worth – Final Thoughts
Gene Winfield net worth is estimated at $2 million. He remains one of the most respected people in automotive design, and his style and remarkable dedication to his passion helped sprung many successful designers today. So much so that people banded together when he needed help going home.
In 2018, a GoFundMe page appeared on the site. It was to help Gene Winfield get a flight home. The then 91-year old Gene suffered a broken hip while attending a car show in Finland. His existing medical conditions also made it impossible for him to travel via a commercial flight. In just two days, the page raised $98,000.
According to John Stiff, the office manager at Winfield Rod & Custom in Mojave, donors included well-known figures like Barry Meguigar, President of the California-based car company, Meguiar’s Inc. There’s also Billy Gibbons, Syd Mead, and Rob Ida. Others kept in touch during the ordeal, willing to help more.
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Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.