SEMA Seen: Most kolorful kollection is House of Kolor’s

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house of kolor
1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza came off assembly line in Switzerland and was turned into a lowrider in France | Larry Edsall photos

Without doubt, and probably as no surprise given the company’s name, the most colorful display this past week at the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas was presented by House of Kolor.

The “House” was founded by Jon Kosmoski, who back in 1956 was working on a 1940 Chevrolet coupe hot rod project and was disappointed by the car’s paint job. So Kosmoski found a polymer chemist and they worked to create not only their own automotive paint finishes, but to do so using organic pigments that provided more brilliant coloring. Kosmoski also pioneered the use of base and clear coats with “kandy” colors.

house of kolor
The House of Kolor stand at 2017 SEMA Show

In the late 1990s, Kosmoski’s company became part of Valspar, a now 200-year old company that produced the paint and varnish that covered Charles Lindberg’s Spirit of St. Louis as it flew across the Atlantic Ocean and that currently features talking chameleons in its television commercials.

House of Kolor’s 2017 SEMA Show display included The Legacy, a stunning 1964 Chevrolet Impala lowrider by Albert De Alba; an amazing customized van; a beyond-exotic motorcycle; a mini tow truck; and a bright-green 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Monza lowrider so customized that you had to look twice to realize that it was, indeed, a Corvair.

Perhaps even more interesting, the Corvair was customized not in Southern California or northern New Mexico but in Norges la Ville, France, which is only a few hours west of Bienne, Switzerland, where General Motors had established an assembly plant to avoid the high Swiss taxes on imported vehicles.

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house of kolor

house of kolor

house of kolor

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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