…..So he had Steve Gibson Auto Body remove the emblems and door handles, but leave the signature portholes and side spears (which, along with the bumpers, were replated by Paul’s Chrome). The shop also frenched in a quartet of ’59 Cadillac taillights in the original locations before Steve Kallam loaded up his paint gun with Sikkens Ferrari Red urethane. When complemented with Boyd Coddington 17- and 18-inch wheels and meaty Michelin 225/50R17 and 255/55R18 rubber, the bright red hue helped create the tough, hot rod look Frank was after.
Frank changed things up a bit more in the Buick’s cabin. “The rear seat frame and metal dash (with modifications) are all that remain from the original interior,” Frank says. In between, he installed ’99 Acura bucket seats straddling a 2003 Buick Park Avenue console, and had Ray Hester wrap the seats and side panels in beige leather. Meanwhile, Mike Warwick wired the dashboard before it was fitted with custom aluminum panels, Classic Instruments gauges, an Aiwa stereo, and controls for the Vintage Air system. Finishing touches came in the form of an ididit tilt column, Billet Specialties wheel, and Juliano’s seatbelts.
The end result of Frank’s two-year effort is a very special Buick that’s a little bit custom, a little bit hot rod, and very cool all over. It’s a well-rounded cruiser that’s built to use and enjoy. “This car is driven–no trailer queen here,” Frank says. “I believe what I like most about this car [is] it’s just fun to drive. To me, that’s where the payoff is.”