Thursday, December 17, 2009
So it's the seventies and Hollywood wants to cash in on urban culture. Blaxploitation films are being made and Dunham built cars are already on the streets waiting for staring roles. By the time the projectors stop, Les's cars are seen around the world in two landmark films: SuperFly and James Bond Live and Let Die. It's important to note Les created this style. He didn't follow the trend, he started it. And after the movies were made there was no reason for him to stop.
The mid seventies gas crisis left car buyers with choices devoid of that classic American, over the top, luxurious design. Excess was frowned upon and the mid-century attitude of the 50's was viewed as ugly. Cars where toned down, smaller and humble. So the buyer that wanted a glitzy custom, a flashy, big, American car had to have one built. The place to go would be Dunham Coachworks and Les ends up selling customized Cadillacs worldwide, to Pimps, Texas oil barons and anyone else who wants to strut there stuff with there feathers out. He continues to build cars to this day and since the early seventies has created some reoccurring designs. The two most popular being the Corvorodo and the Caballista. Both cars are based on the corvette chassis, with body designs hearkening back to classic American Luxury. The Corvorodo (the design featured in Live and Let Die) is a blend of Corvette and Eldorado, a true luxury sport coupe. The Caballista, a later design, being Corvette and early touring car.
Les has always done what he wanted no matter how out of step, and in doing so, inadvertently changed the face of American car culture and became a creator of pimp style. He never went looking for an audience, his audience found him. He's a real custom guy, a real maverick.