When addressing the driveline, Lou was determined to keep the original mill nailed to the 'rails. Richard Desautels of Xtreme waved his magic wand over the original 390ci V-8 first by grinding the block and heads smooth. His full rebuild included fresh bearings, slugs, and rings while also doing all necessary machining and balancing. To bring a level of excitement to the mix he topped the engine off with a '58 Cadillac Tri-power intake breathing deep through a set of Rochester 2G carbs, which were treated to a full rebuild and dunk in the shiny tank by Holley Custom Speed Shop. Topped with a smoothed '58 Olds J2 air cleaner, the engine comes to life through a Joe Hunt Magneto-look electronic distributor while all belts are run through custom fabbed pulleys and brackets. The team also added a 2-1/4-inch exhaust complete with dash-mounted city/country electric bypass cutouts, and a pair of Dynomax mufflers wrapped and welded smooth. Desautels then rebuilt the original four-speed automatic transmission and let it twist the goods through one of his custom fabbed driveshafts.
With the massive body on the rotisserie, the Xtreme team went to work first smoothing out the entire underside, filling over 75 holes and raising the driveshaft hump 4 inches. They then shifted their focus to instilling many of the mild touches into the exterior to give the car its unique persona. Focusing on the rear, the three-piece bumper was heavily reworked with the ends peaked and all seams welded smooth. From there the team extended the quarter-panels 3 inches, allowing the bumper to be tucked and frenched. The rear body panel was upgraded to accept three rows of bullets (where only one existed prior) while also incorporating an integrated back-up camera into place. One of the many signature updates include the one-off custom steel side molding, which give the body its dramatic appeal. Starting with machined steel blanks, they were form fitted to the exterior contour and when completed, sent out for plating. Moving to the front of the car, the firewall was filled and smoothed, while the hood was molded into a one-piece unit. Addressing the frontend, the grille was treated to a subtle blackout treatment to highlight the chrome bullets while underhood, a custom filler panel was fashioned from fiberglass to take up the glaring space between the grille and radiator support. The five-piece front bumper was then tucked and reworked into a three-piece unit with all seams welded smooth and the license plate recess removed. Finally, the entire body was nosed, decked, and shaved clean. The team should be applauded for the razor-sharp body since blocking an area this massive takes fortitude and dedication to get it right. Ken LaFlamme filled his spray gun and laid out a meticulous Tri-color combination of PPG Soft Yellow, Vanilla Shake, and Chateau Mauve Firemist across the body panels bringing the car to life.
When it came to the interior, Jack Carroll designed a business office befitting one of Detroit's finest and called on Rick Trebino to do the honors. Trebino sculpted a combination of Chateau Mauve leather and plum brocade cloth to cover the '60 Buick Electra 225 convertible front buckets and custom fabbed rear buckets while instilling plenty of signature style into the seating area. A flowing custom console by Xtreme houses the Retrotek Speed Smart Shift and 7-inch Kenwood video screen while the restored dash features neat touches like a custom tach and push-button start. Plenty of thump was added to the mix by Rudy Desautels of Xtreme who installed the Kenwood, Kicker, and Polk audio components as well as wiring the entire deal. The completed car is nothing short of breathtaking and now that it has completed the show circuit, Lou is ready to hit the open road and rack up the miles. That's just wicked cool in our book!