Bill Hines and his lil Bat 1950 Ford

In Memory of Kustom Car Legend Bill Hines

Southern California kustom legend Bill Hines, a man short in stature but large in kustom car circles and long on talent passed away yesterday. He was 94. We always admired Bill for his humble nature and his true grit not to mention his “no excuses” work ethic. He wasn’t one for the limelight. His happy place was his shop in Garden Grove, California, shaping metal and slinging lead.

Throughout the years, Bill attended many Goodguys events and was the consummate gentleman. He never once asked for anything, not even passes to get in. He was a man who believed you make your own way in this world. We respected the heck out of him.

A Michigan native, Hines built his first custom car, a 1941 Buick convertible while working at a gas station that he owned and operated out of Lincoln Park, Michigan. In the 1960s, he worked at Barris Kustom before opening Bill Hines Kustom Auto. He was noted for several breakthroughs and was one of the first people to introduce candy paints to the Detroit, MI area. He was also one of the first to install a hydraulic system into a kustom, Tats Gotanda’s ’59 Impala aka the “Buddah Buggy.”

Perhaps his most notable build was the “Lil’ Bat” 1950 Ford custom which was featured on the cover of Rod & Custom magazine in March 1959.