My Car Quest

October 30, 2014

Moal Coachbuilders – A Unique Custom Coachbuilder

by Mike –

Recently at the Marin Sonoma Concours d’Elegance Moal Coachbuilders had their own class! Moal Coachbuilders is a rare breed of custom car designers and fabricators. They don’t just build the body – they do it all. Here are a few of their creations.

The company is in Oakland, California and is run by third generation owner Steve Moal. His two sons are active in the business so it is now a four generation business.

Aerosport by Moal

Here is how Moal describe themselves on their web site,

Steve Moal’s grandfather William, a skilled wheelwright, emigrated from France just after the turn of the century and began outfitting horse-drawn wagons with hand-crafted bodies and wheels. By 1911 Moal’s Auto Metal Works was doing a wide spectrum of coachwork and repairs and in the ’20s, he began applying his skills to race cars and showcase speedsters. The tradition moved forward in the ’40s when George Moal, Steve’s father, founded a body and fender business on the current site of these modern works. George Moal was a skilled craftsman who fashioned bold instrument gauges, elegant wooden steering wheels and sleek, aerodynamic aluminum cowls and fins for high performance speedboats. Moal’s was also a regular gathering place for race car drivers, hot rodders and painters like the legendary Tommy the Greek.

A few years ago I had the pleasure to meet Steve Moal and get a tour of his facility – what a place! Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of that visit.

1933 Falcon by Moal

Owned by Eric Zausner as are many cars here. I also met Eric Zausner one time and visited his shop.

Moal Coachbuilders Falcon

Moal Coachbuilders Falcon

Moal Coachbuilders Falcon

Moal Coachbuilders Falcon engine

Airplane Engine

Moal Coachbuilders Falcon

P1080232

Moal Coachbuilders Falcon

Moal Coachbuilders Falcon

Moal Coachbuilders Falcon

1936 Aerosport

Owned by Eric Zausner.

Aerosport by Moal

Aerosport by Moal

Aerosport by Moal

Aerosport by Moal

Aerosport by Moal

Seduced – ’32 Ford Roadster

This car is owned by a former colleague of mine, Paul Hansen, and it won the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award in 2005.

Seduced by Moal

Seduced by Moal

Seduced by Moal

Seduced by Moal

Seduced by Moal

Seduced by Moal

Seduced by Moal

1934 Zephyr

Owned by Eric Zausner.

Zephyr by Moal

Zephyr by Moal

Zephyr by Moal

Zephyr by Moal

Zephyr by Moal

Torpedo

Owned by Eric Zausner.

This Hot Rod has a Ferrari 550 Maranello V12 engine that the owner bought new from Ferrari.

Torpedo by Moal

Torpedo by Moal

Ferrari 550 V12 Engine

Torpedo by Moal

Torpedo by Moal

Gatto

Owned by Bill Grimsley. I have featured the Gatto by Moal before.

Gatto by Moal

Gatto by Moal

Ferrari V12

Steve Moal

Steve Moal In The Center

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Comments

  1. pablo romera says:

    hello: my name is pablo romera, i would like to point out that the designer of some of these cars is my friend Alberto Hernández. he is, to my mind, one of the most talented designers there is, too bad he’s got a very low profile and no too many people get to know his work. He has an office at Moal’s shop, i would be nice to see a piece on him!

    keep up the good work! many thanks for letting us speak!

    • Recently I paid him a visit, he’s my uncle, and it was the first time I got to meet him personally, since he and my father have always been as close as possible I had always heard about his work, but I never knew it was this level of work! It’s just amazing, but yeah, he likes keeping himself at a low profile, even though he’s as amazing as it gets.

  2. jim farrell says:

    hi im an east coast rodder who loves to see real talent not a cookie cutter car super detail flowing lines nice stance but also a driver on my bucket list to go out west to see these cars in person really cool thanks jim farrell

  3. Fredric Quinn says:

    Hey Mike, Thanks for the posting of the fine photos, but your reportage’ is kind of sparce at best like , where exactly was the venue that you captured all of those fine photos? And when was it these photos were taken. My interest has to do with fatthat Mr.Eric Zausner has as recently as thispast Summer 0f 2013 relocated to the greater Wash.D.C. metropolitan area and we have his collection as a regular visitor to our exotic sports car gatherings in Great Falls, Virginia which I have video-captured in-depth in HD all of the MOAL cards you have within this article. I even video-captured his Ferrari V12 Torpedo showing up unannounced at the annual Ferrari Club gathering that occurred in Tyson’s Corner one fine Spring morning. How I found your website is researching his steampunked-out 1933 Falcon this pat Saturday morning leaving only one more of his collection left for him to show up with. I have a website that
    will showcase his entire collection with background commentary as I’ve been publishing video-capture for some 3 years now. Unfortunately my website has been thoroughly hosed because of a serious oversight on my webmaster’s part which disabled the WordPress app and he has to clean up the mess, but how do you yell at a close friend of some 17 years whose been serving as webmaster pro bono. I guess you get what you pay for and , being a Mac-guru I did give him my Mac G5 and G4 as a gift . That said , when the website is functional again I will include it in my profile with your website. Anyway, love the unique cars that you feature. Wouldn’t mind offering your site as a preferred link on my website, when it’s functional again that is.

    • Fredric,

      The date of this Post is May 29, 2013 and the first sentence says, “Recently at the Marin Sonoma Concours d’Elegance…”, one should be able to figure out where and when these photos were taken.

      I visited Eric once in his terrific garage in the East Bay (Oakland or Berkeley, I do not remember) a few years ago where I saw many of these cars and I visited the Moal shop once when he was there. He usually had 1-2 cars in process at Moal – but probably not now.

      Good luck with your web site.

  4. Hey Mike,
    Promise less typo errors this time out, but I had to report back to you that I thoroughly enjoyed the rare pivilege of being invited to Mr. Zusner’s open house exhibiting his stable of his MOAL full-metal thoroughbreds as well as his collection of Spin-dizzies and a RatFink riding in the single seat cockpit of a retro-sci-fi rocketship lamp made for him by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth himself. was given a fully guided tour explaining each of his 5 MOAL custom works of automotive art. And I got it all on HD video.( 1920 X 1080 ). Am in the process of carefully editing it down now for web publication soon enough to be interspersed along with the other in-the-field video-captures of him showing up in his choice of MOAL that particular morning in the wild. It’s almost too much material , and yet not enough as he has great stories to share, which is a happy headache to be able to work with. Also video-captures all of the framed & signed MOAL artist sketches of each individual car as well. And ,yes , he still presides over his domain from the desk made from a WWII plane wing. Suffice it to say that the greater Wash.D.C. area is glad to have him as is quite the character and the kind of All American Rogue that I want to profile for my website.

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