Frank kept tinkering on the Cad in his spare time, and one thing eventually led to another. He installed air springs, relocated the front shock mounts, C-notched the frame, and even raised the driveshaft tunnel, all so the massive 20×8.5- and 20×10-inch Intro wheels and Nitto tires would tuck up tight and put the frame on the pavement.
“Now the paint started to bother me,” Frank says, referring to some lacquer checking on the hood and deck. “I painted my Chevelle, so I thought I knew what I was in for. I really didn’t realize how much molding was on this car!” He discovered some minor rust after stripping the car down, so with the welder out for repairs, he proceeded to shave the door handles, hood, and deck, and fill holes in the core support and inner fenders. After countless hours block-sanding the 19ft body, Frank converted his two-car garage into a temporary paint booth and sprayed the custom-mix PPG blue basecoat/clearcoat finish himself.
Moving inside, Frank tore apart the dash, fit new Auto Meter instruments in the stock cluster, and had Red Line Gauge Works reface the gauges to match the car. He also removed the stock radio and ignition switch, made a trim piece to fill the voids, and mounted the new ignition switch and Eclipse head unit/DVD player behind the retractable ashtray door.
Audio Concepts in Simi Valley handled the stereoinstallation, mounting Diamond Audio component speakers in custom kick panels and building trunk enclosures for the Diamond Audio amps, 10-inch subwoofers, and Eclipse eight-disc CD changer. Scosche sound dampening materials and connectors were used throughout. Meanwhile, Doobies Upholstery laid down new carpet and recovered the dash and door tops; the rest of the original upholstery was good enough to keep. “The last big modification was a disc brake conversion,” Frank says. “My friend Dustin Burr at Wilwood helped figure out how to run 13-inch rotors up front. This wasn’t an easy task.” Six-piston calipers were mounted on custom brackets, while Bent Custom & Performance routed new hard lines to the Wilwood aluminum master cylinder.
When finished, Frank’s Cad had become the quintessential SoCal convertible–low, long, and cool, with just a dash of flash. He wasn’t the only one who thought so, as a local NBA player recently stepped up to buy the car, leaving Frank to ponder his next project. Will it be another ’60s mild custom? We sure hope so.