Blue
Tan
408 V8
3 Speed Automatic

If you've been to any hot rod show recently, you've undoubtedly seen the row after row after row of 32-34 Ford 3-window coupes, a bunch of highboy roadsters, and they're almost all red or black. Most probably have a small block Chevy with a 4-barrel carburetor, too.

Isn't time for something a little different?

This 1934 Pontiac coupe is a former ISCA show winner that was given a $100,000+ makeover in 2000. It's definitely not black or red, and the Pontiac body is both larger and better proportioned than a comparable Ford 5-window coupe. On this rod, all the beautiful detailing that was a hallmark of all '30s cars, not just the expensive ones, remains, including that killer Indian head hood ornament and the gorgeous waterfall style grille. Other notable features include the skirted fenders with Pontiac's trademark speed streaks (although Pontiac didn't know at the time that they would become a styling cue they'd use for the next two decades), dual horns under the headlights, and the functional cowl lights, which are often the first things hot rodders remove. Noteworthy modifications include a filled top, converting the rumble seat to a traditional trunk, a frenched-in fuel filler door, and shaved door handles, all expertly handled by Paul Metz of Metz Rod & Custom in Eustis, Florida. Metz is responsible for all the other metal work on the car, and for making that gorgeous OEM steel look so spectacular.

Getting a car of this vintage to fit together properly is only part of the equation - the other part is finding exactly the right hue to bring out the detailing and highlight the shape, without looking too modern. Metz chose 1957 Chevy Tropical Turquoise and laid it down over the Poncho's lovely curves, along with two coats of pearl blue to give it some depth and a unique look that's only visible under just the right conditions. Once all the paint was cured, it was color sanded and buffed to a show-winning shine that was the perfect foundation for some subtle color-matched pin striping that was hand-applied on the nose and deck lid.

Of course, restoring a car of this vintage, you just can't overlook the jewelry, and there's a lot of it on this Pontiac. All the chrome was refinished to show standards, including the original bumpers and that incredible V-shaped grille. The guys doing the plating were pros, too, because all the detailing in the hood ornament is still clear and crisp, unlike cheap plating shops that simply grind down the piece until it's a shapeless blob to eliminate pitting. The stainless was all straightened and polished as well, and the result is a glittering turquoise machine with a ton of eye appeal.

With the open hood sides designed to show it off, you know they couldn't just throw any old motor in there and call it done. Displacing 408 cubic inches, the Mike Evans-built small block Chevy inhales through a Turbonetics Evolution turbocharger drawing through a four-barrel carburetor. Externally, just about every component was removed, polished, plated, or ceramic coated to look as dazzling as it runs. Most of the turbo's components were ceramic coated for durability and heat resistance, but the real star of the show is the chrome-plated exhaust pipe which exits on the right side of the motor right through the front fender, much like the supercharged Auburns, Cords, and Duesenbergs of the '30s. A cool little stainless steel grommet was fabricated to shield the paint from the exhaust's heat, leaving observers with the impression that this is one carefully crafted rod with nothing overlooked. Other details, such as the A/C system, massive radiator, and expertly laid-out wiring and plumbing reinforce the notion that this is a very well engineered piece.

The stock Pontiac ladder frame was heavily reinforced to cope with all the additional horsepower and beautifully detailed for show. The transmission is a sturdy TH400 3-speed automatic, which handles the blown small block's power with ease, and it spins a chrome-plated driveshaft. Out back, a Jaguar independent rear suspension, complete with inboard disc brakes and coil-over shocks, has been grafted into the chassis, while up front it uses a GM-style front clip with Saginaw steering and power disc brakes. The entire chassis was bathed in more of that pearl-enhanced Tropical Turquoise paint, and anything that wasn't painted was polished or chromed. The floors were given a spatter-style textured paint that is virtually indestructible and provides contrast as well as some sound-deadening. The massive single exhaust system has been fabricated from stainless steel and fully polished, and you'll note that there is no muffler - with the turbo, it's not necessary and the car sounds like nothing you've ever heard. Out back a stainless steel gas tank was fabricated and polished, and it rolls on a set of 15-inch billet wheels with traditional big-n-little radials for just the right stance.

Luxury is the theme inside, with acres of alabaster leather and suede covering the coupe's passenger compartment. Contrasting turquoise strips were sewn into the seat covers and custom door panels, and the dash was painted to match the body. Speaking of the dash, it has been filled with trick Dakota Digital gauges that monitor everything from speed to oil pressure. The controls for the Vintage Air A/C system have been mounted to the dash as well, while the Alpine AM/FM/CD stereo head unit lives in its own custom pod in the headliner above the windshield. Six speakers powered by a 200-watt amplifier deliver the sounds in righteous fashion. A billet steering wheel atop the chrome tilt column features a wooden rim for a vintage feel, while the rest of the hardware is polished billet aluminum. Like the rest of the car, the interior is full of thoughtful touches, including ambient entry lighting under the dash. The trunk has been upholstered to match, and opens with the touch of a button.

This car includes a good-sized build book with photos of the work done in 2000, as well as a bunch of receipts and manuals, all critically important with something as unique as this rod. It has also appeared in several magazines as well as online before it arrived here at RK Motors Charlotte.

Hot rodding is all about individuality, although you'd hardly remember it by looking at all the cookie-cutter rods out there (hell, there are even some guys mass-producing their “unique” brand of roadsters). This Pontiac will never be duplicated and between the stunning body and killer powerplant, it won't be mistaken for anything else. This car also cost more than your average rod to build, with no corners cut and every upgrade possible already built in. Fully tuned and exciting to drive on the road, this car could still be competitive at just about any show you attend. So forget about building your own Ford from a box, pick up this Pontiac and go have some fun this summer. Call now!

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