According to Doug the coupe had been hot-rodded at some point in its life. After some investigation he noted that the coupe showed at one time it was gold, blue, and then the then-current black with flames. The body had all its fenders, was unchopped, sported a small-block Chevy (327), an automatic, and parallel leafs in the rear. Dave, as all good fathers should do, continually whispered into his son’s ear that he should get the coupe. After a week of encouragement Doug bought the car.

Fast forward a few years and it’s 1995 and the build begins in earnest, incorporating an original frame. As happens so often, he discovered that this frame was just too far gone; next up a set of American Stamping (ASC) framerails.

According to Doug, “My original intent was to use a small-block Chevy with a four-speed, but as luck would have it, a friend told me about a 348 for sale. When I got the engine, it looked so nice I changed the fluids, and it fired right up. When the time came to rebuild the engine, I found out that the engine had very little wear, and didn’t even need to be bored. As I was building the car, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted a five-speed, so I replaced the Muncie with a Tremec TKO-500.” The five-speed would eventually be outfitted with a Hurst shifter, a Zoom clutch, and an aluminum driveshaft by Denny’s Driveshaft.

As was mentioned during the early days of STREET RODDER and street rodding, in the ’70s, Jag rearends were common and, of course, thought to be very high tech. Rodders would drive their cars more often and longer distances. Couple this with the idea of having something “trick” that would also provide a more comfortable ride and it couldn’t be passed up. Doug found a Jaguar XKE IRS equipped with 4.11 gears and a limited-slip differential in the late ’70s. He didn’t know when or in what he would use the IRS but thought it a good idea to keep it around. It didn’t take long once the current project began that the Jag IRS would find a home. It’s now fitted with Aldan coilover shocks and Wilwood disc brakes. The rear wheels are magnesium (originally intended for racing) American five-spoke 8-1/2-inch-wide Torq-Thrusts wrapped with Coker Tire whitewall Firestone 10x15 cheater slicks. Coker also supplied the whitewall front rubber measuring 15x5.60 on 15x4 magnesium Americans. Although you will find it difficult to see, Doug made his own stainless steel lug nuts.

The front suspension is housed around a Magnum 4-inch dropped, drilled, and chromed I-beam axle using a mono leaf spring and Magnum spindles and steering arms, which work with a Vega box. Braking comes through a SO-CAL Speed Shop polished and as-cast Buick finned brake drums that act as a housing for the real stopping power—Wilwood Dynalite disc brake calipers.

The ’59-era Chevy 348 as mentioned earlier was in great shape and required little when Doug tore it down. However, being a true street rodder now was the time to install some goodies to make the W-motor rumble. Ross Pistons 11.25:1 slugs were positioned with Hastings rings, and Clevite bearings. However, some good old-school names like Isky for the camshaft, Offy for the intake and valve covers, Joe Hunt for the mag, and Rochester for a box full of 2G carbs bring the 348 to life and also give it plenty of attitude. The Jet Hot–coated homemade headers along with 2-1/2-inch stainless exhaust runs through the Stainless Specialties mufflers. Cooling is handled by a Walker Radiator Works copper cooler, a SPAL electric fan, and a Chevy water pump.