Five years ago, Eric Hokenson bought an orange ’63 Bel Air with gaudy yellow flames puking out of the front fenders. His initial intentions were to do a couple of quick modifications, flip the car, and make a few bucks to fund some other vehicle builds. After dropping in a supercharged 5.3 LS with a 4L60E, something strange happened: he discovered he really enjoyed driving the car. The interior, frame, suspension, and driveline were priority, with paint and body coming later. The problem: Eric is a custom painter and the gaudy, shoddy paint wasn’t a good calling card, so he got this idea to let people sign their names and make comments and suggestions on what the car should look like with a permanent marker. The idea slightly backfired though: thousands of signatures later, it’s now fairly famous as that “sweet car with all the signatures on it.” He still hasn’t gotten to the paint, but the ’63 now has a custom twin-turbo system, and a bigger, beefier 4L80E transmission. With the help of his apprentice, Bobby Willard, Eric has a new goal: build the world’s coolest cars in a hometown-hot-rodder style. If you want to see more of the build, check out

By The Numbers

Engine: stock 5.3-liter with ported 241 heads, custom Intake manifold, ’02 Z06 cam, ported throttle body, twin Precision 58mm ported turbos with Turbo Smart 40mm wastegates and Turbo Smart 38mm blow-off valve

Trans: performance-built 4L80E

Rearend: Mosier Fab9 rearend with 3:55 gears

Suspension: custom RideTech air suspension, splined interchangeable antiroll bars, custom rack-and-pinion

Brakes: 13-inch crossdrilled and slotted rotors and custom calipers up front, 12-inch drilled and slotted rotors and custom calipers in the rear

Wheels & Tires: 18x8 and 18x9 Foose wheels