Iconic Steel: Jerry DeVito’s ’57 Ford, “The Maze”

Jerry-DeVito-1957-Ford

Photo: George Barris

Like a lot of young guys in the late 50’s, Jerry DeVito had been bitten by the Custom bug. He bought his ’57 Ford Fairlane brand new and didn’t have too many miles on the black Fairlane when he made a trip to Wirth’s Body Shop in Campbell, California where J.R. Wirth and Bill Babb started bringing Jerry’s mild custom visions come to life.

F5720-viThe car received a pre-requisite dechroming, shave, a nose, and deck. A tube grille was added up front while four rows of louvers, a pair of ’56 Buick portholes, and a custom scoop found a home on the hood.

The car got an altitude adjustment via a pair of lowering blocks in the rear and by modifying the spindles up front. The stock taillights were replaced with a pair of Cal Custom “Satel-Lites”.

On the inside, the Ford was treated to a brilliant white tuck ‘n roll upholstery job, neatly trimmed with Black piping to add some contrast by Burns Upholstery in San Jose, California.

Images Courtesy Of: Car Craft, Custom Rodder, & Kustomrama

When the body and interior were completed, the car was then sprayed with a metallic lime green by Wirth’s. Joe Crisafulli of J & J Painting in San Jose scalloped the car in various shades of green then pinstriped in silver. The car was then finished with a pair of chrome lake pipes, dummy spots, and a set of Edsel wheel covers.

The-maze-jerry-devito-1957-ford3Jerry’s Fairlane was a hit on the show circuit in 1957, taking home plenty of awards and trophies. The car got national attention a few years later when this version was featured in the February of ’59 issue of Car Craft.

It wasn’t long before Jerry decided it was time for more custom work to be done to the Ford in preparation for the 1958 show season. The stock headlight bezels were replaced by a pair of ’56 Ford F-100 trim rings and each headlight received an upper and a lower “beak”. The fins were extended and got similarly styled “beaks” while the stock tail lights found their way back into the car, this time tunneled a full 6-inches. Six custom scoops were added as well–2 on the roof above the rear window and 4 on the rear quarter panels.The-maze-jerry-devito-1957-ford6

The Grande Bros of San Jose sprayed the car in a green-gold base, then Bob Heinrichs applied that infamous scallop job in shades of gold, lime gold, lavender, burgundy, Candy Apple red and Chinese blue which was then striped in white. The Maze had been born and was featured in the March of ’58 issue of Custom Rodder in this configuration. 

Jerry-devito-1957-ford-the-maze-4The car kept evolving over the next couple of years in order to continue being a strong competitor at shows and even hit the cover of Custom Cars in August of 1960, but Jerry sold it that same year. He says that the second and most famous version of his car is still his favorite. We think that most of us feel the same way, considering pictures of the Maze still pop up in books, magazines, and all over the internet.

It has definitely made a lasting impression on the founder of Kustomrama, Sondre Kvipt, because he and his friends have been busy creating a near clone of the Maze using a ’57 Ranchero as a basis. Be sure to check out Kustomrama for updates on his build!

The-maze-jerry-devito-1957-ford8

 

About the author

Bob Helfrich

I'm in love with all things mechanical and have been for as long as I can remember. I love writing about these machines as much as I love wrenching on them.
Read My Articles

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