Mike Alexander, legendary custom-car builder, dies

Mike Alexander won numerous awards for his custom cars.

Mike Alexander, half of a Detroit-area brother duo who became famous for their custom cars, died July 18. He was 80.

Beginning in the 1950s, Mike and Larry Alexander, who died in 2010, created legends such as the Grasshopper (a '31 Ford Model A pickup), the Victorian (a '55 Ford Crown Victoria), the Silver Sapphire (a '32 Ford, which landed on the Beach Boys' "Little Deuce Coupe" cover), the Venturian (a '56 Chevy), The 69er (a '34 Ford) and the Adonis (a '60 Ford Starliner).

He showcased cars at Detroit Autorama, a show for hot rods, muscle and customized cars, winning several Ridler Awards for the best of show. In 2012, he was honored as one of the Pirelli Great 8 -- the Ridler Award finalists -- for the Vision 33, which was his last car in the Detroit Autorama.

Alexander also worked for Heinz Prechter as vice president of American Sunroof Co.'s custom-car division.

-- Autoweek