When Jay Everett unveiled his hand-built coupe at the Petersen Motorama in 1953, it marked a new direction in custom cars.
At the time, most American customizers were basing their work on pre-existing cars from Detroit. Everett took the more difficult and more rewarding path of building his own full-bodied creation from scratch, and that new approach made a huge impact, evidenced by coverage in virtually every major custom and hot-rod publication of the time.
The car officially bore the Astra name upon its reintroduction by Everett in 1956. It also featured a number of refinements to the original design, including fresh new blue paint applied at George Barris’s shop.
The Astra coupe proved to be the beginning of Jay Everett’s great career in design, the fruit of a skilled and imaginative young man’s will to self-expression and excellence that presaged his later accomplishments.