Pack your Baggins-es, we're going on a trip.

I've always had a fascination for science fiction and fantasy, and an even deeper one for the kustom style of the late 1950s. All of these hold the key to an escape from the day-to-day routines, and if you squint a bit, you begin to see how they might come together. Let's imagine that custom cars never fell out of vogue, and remained on the radar throughout the 1970s. Granted, the trend has always slanted more toward coupes of the hardtop variety, but the 1956-57 Chevy Sport Sedan has some clean lines. Taking inspiration from some great tri-year customs, I kept seeing a vision of a slick sedan that perhaps saw continual updates through the 1970s. And the rest, well, is revisionist history. This particular example would have prowled the streets somewhere between the era of show rods and vans, treading pavement on the more sinister side of town.

Granted, there's a lot going on here, but we're not straying too far from the original character. The top gets a neat chop and a tuck 'n' roll insert, and in keeping with this fantasy bent, we're going to pull some wizardry by stretching the front doors, and moving the 'jamb rearward a hair. The Chrysler rear quarters and custom taillamps lean outward, while the decklid germs a slant inward, with a molded Continental kit terminating neatly behind that rear grille. The slightly canted, stacked quad headlamps and front pan would be holdovers from the late 1950s, but the bumpers and inserts would be made of later 1960s pieces. The 1957 Olds trim has a neat interior-matching panel, and those dual lakes pipes and five-spoke mags nod to the lowrider side of things. The flames, buried under layers of candy golds and yellows, add attitude, and the whole thing is simply fearless in the face of being different.