My Car Quest

September 23, 2018

A Unique Custom Coachbuilder – Moal Coachbuilders

by Mike –

At the Marin Sonoma Concours d’Elegance in May 2013 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.

Moal Coachbuilders 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 work 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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Summary
A Unique Custom Coachbuilder - Moal Coachbuilders
Article Name
A Unique Custom Coachbuilder - Moal Coachbuilders
Description
Steve Moal is a third generation custom coachbuilder with a multiple award winning track record.
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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. Fredric Quinn says:

    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.

  5. Roger B. Hirschland says:

    For those in the D.C. area or visiting the East Coast, just a little more detail about the car meet that Fredric refers to above. Every Saturday morning, from about 6:30 to 9, weather permitting, a vast array of really exotic cars, along with nifty but less unusual automobiles, congregates in a parking lot in the center of the village of Great Falls, Va. No entrance fee, no formal arrangements. Eric Zausner reliably shows up with one of his Moal creations — or some other unusual treasure — and they invariably attract huge crowds ogling the superior workmanship and design involved in their creation. All the cars that Mike has illustrated above have appeared in Great Falls, to great acclaim. The gathering is called Katie’s Cars and Coffee. The show dissipates by 9, because the parking lot is a commercial one and the spaces are needed for the local stores. So, if you’re in the area, it’s well worth a visit, but come early. Parking spaces go quickly!

  6. Thom Ollinger says:

    Great article, Michael. Possibly my favorite. I am excited to see that where as excellent custom coachwork used to only be found in Europe, now there are great coach builders here in the states. Moal, Vore, Ida, and others are creating some fantastic automobiles.

  7. Lennox McNeely says:

    I met Steve Moal and Dennis Varney when they competed in the Mille Miglia about 1996 if I recall. They had matching 1957 Alpha 1900 SS’s and had been in the Tour De France (now Tour Auto) together. They picked up
    one entry in the MM with Steve’s car when as a late entry you could possibly get in when some of the entered cars did not show up.
    I was with the late Bill Serri in his spectacular 250 Monza Scagletti Spyder Ferrari. I don’t think Steve and Dennis scored many regularity points as whenever we saw them they were going just about flat out passing the more carefully driven cars who were looking for MM points.. Subsequent to this I visited Steve Moal’s shop and I hope I can find pictures I may have taken.
    Here Steve was rebuilding another spectacular Ferrari which was Japanese owned and had gone off the road in
    an American rally. Steve and Dennis are true gentlemen of the Classic car world and I was thrilled to meet them.

  8. Wim van de Kimmenade says:

    Hey Mike,
    The beauty of these cars is absolutely stunning. It is always an immense pleasure to discover styling exercises combined with beautiful engineering. Influences by Hotrods, the Zagato inspired roofline of the Gatto by Moal, these are all cars that increase the hearbeat of carfans. I also would like to thank you for your contribution to my Face book page: “Sharing passion ofor car with other passionate obnes!” Keep up your terrific work! Wim

  9. Moal has an exception roster of talent that work alongside him fabricating his cars. And he is always gracious to give credit to those people and embrace them as equal contributors in the development process.

    It is truly a coach building operation hiring designers, fabricators, and using outside vendors to partner on many of the finished pieces for specialty clientele. I know because I too was one of those people, working with Moal for some years in the early to mid 2000s.

    Contributions to these great designs, without sounding arrogant, is a communal privilege, won by your talent, but fortified by the ease you exhibit working with a team. The Moal team is very much like an extended creative family. Much like Federico Formenti was to Tourning (largely unknown outside the house of Touring while doing his work) so too is Hernandez as he works with the Moal team creating unique and inspired creations. A great designer to be sure, but part of an incredible gathering of like-minded artisans and passionate patrons of their art.

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