Enthusiast Motor Insurance

Sunday Driver

Episode 6:
John D'Agostino and his 1957 Kustom Chrysler Imperial

Sunday Driver

John D'Agostino and his 1957 Kustom Chrysler Imperial


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John D'Agostino and his 1957 Kustom Chrysler Imperial

See one of the most celebrated car builders in the world, John D’Agostino, reunited with his striking creation, the 1957 Kustom Chrysler Imperial — nicknamed “The Imperial Royale” — for the first time in 25 years.


Stars, Cars and the D’Agostino Touch

John D’Agostino is one of the most well known and celebrated car builders in the world, winner of two King of Kustoms rings and builder of over 100 highly awarded kustom cars. His creations attract high-profile buyers, including Blink 182’s Travis Barker, who owns three of his kustom Cadillacs.

Legendary pioneering customisers the likes of Harry Westergard, George Barris, Joe Bailon, Gene Winfield, Darryl Starbird and Bill Hine inspired John to build in a very unique way. Coupled with his passion for luxury cars and his love of old Hollywood, John builds his Celebrity Kustoms in honour of that period’s great stars — and his creations are what he imagines they would drive…only better.

John has a penchant for building luxury cars from the 40s and 50s that feature a high degree of

workmanship and stunning colour, as evidenced in his 1957 Kustom Chrysler Imperial featured in this episode of Sunday Driver. Nicknamed the “The Imperial Royale”, this striking car debuted at the Oakland Show in 1997. It has stood the test of time, still looking as perfect as it did 25 years ago.

Although John’s notoriety provides him a long list of high-end clients looking for the “D’Agostino Touch,” he prefers to conceive and build his kustoms for himself. This way, he gets to design every detail as he envisions it. Once finished, the car is either shown in a museum or at a notable car show (usually picking up an award along the way), and after that, John sells it and uses the money to fund his next kustom build. It’s been a winning strategy he’s used since 1998, with most of his kustoms pre-selling before he’s even finished them!

1957 Kustom Chrysler-Imperial
1957 Kustom Chrysler-Imperial

Always Striving for Excellence

John is known worldwide for his ‘Crystal Award of Excellence’ that he rewards to exceptionally designed kustoms. Winning cars must be a traditional style kustom — based on a car model from 1936-1967 — with a full silhouette change. They must also have outstanding workmanship, design, innovation and most importantly, use of colour.

When he created the award, he wanted it to be the equivalent to winning a Grammy or an Oscar. He started the award in 2013, and has since given it to over 100 cars across the globe.

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