'65 Chevelle Wagon
Over The Top
Rick Billuni ran into the guys at Hot Rods and Custom Stuff in Escondido, California, many years ago. The relationship started with smaller jobs on his personal cars, then their first full build together. Rick really enjoyed that first car, and wanted another. This one would be different though; his previous cars had been 100 percent show, and he didn't spend much time on the road. This time Rick wanted something that would be just fun to drive.
Hot Rods and Custom Stuff is known for their turnkey cars, ranging from the 1920s through the 1970s. They do everything in-house from frame building to final painting, with exception of chrome and powdercoating. They start with totally unrestored, destroyed, or unfinished cars, and produce top-notch custom or restoration builds.
Rick brought a '65 Chevelle wagon that had much of the fabrication work done, but it still needed a lot. First things on the list were the exhaust, brakes, and fuel system plumbing, mounting the air conditioning unit, and setting up the stereo. Since this would be a driver, not just a show car, it would need all of the comfort items commonplace in modern cars, like plush leather-wrapped seats from a modern-day GTO and power accessories.
Next on the build list was the body. They did only minor modifications to smooth the look of the car. They shaved the gas door, smoothed the firewall, and replaced the factory drip rail with round stock. They are finishing the assembly and will unveil the car at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona.
By The Numbers