About Our Cover Cars

HANDBOOK 505: 1963 Lincoln Continental

When approaching a project build its good to have a slogan or mission statement to get you through the delays and other tough times. When it came to our 2017 SEMA Show car Nick Griot coined a winner... "Built for burnouts and disturbing the peace."

These fourth-generation, slab-sided Continentals make classic custom cruisers. Produced between 1961 and 1969, the highlights of these cars include suicide rear doors, a tilt-away steering wheel, and a big V8. They are also credited for being the last four-door American convertible offered for public consumption. The '63 model, like our cover car, was the last year before a mid-cycle facelift for 1964 where the Lincoln got three inches of additional wheelbase, a redesigned roofline, and a slight front grille update. So the '63 is the nimble speedster of the bunch. Motivation was provide by a 430-inch V8 rated at 325 horsepower.

We ditched the '60s era V8 and swapped in a Ford Motorsports 427-cubic-inch V8 that generates well over 500 horses. But it's the big Lincoln's stance that turns heads. J-Rod & Custom of Black Diamond, Washington executed the project. The J-Rod crew used Ride Tech air shocks and other custom suspension components to give the Lincoln the ability to cruise the open road or scrape frame at the push of a button. Being a black car, the body work had to be first class and J-Rod delivered, gapping the panels beyond factory spec, fabbing custom outer fender tubs and a false smooth firewall, and smoothing the slabs to perfection. The interior stays close to the original in design but Jamie McFarland updated the materials and build quality.

The old Lincoln was a hit at the SEMA Show and has been on call in our Auto Display on numerous occasions. We're looking forward to putting some miles on her and attending some car shows.


HANDBOOK 504: Horse-Drawn Tanker '32 Willy's Sedan

A 20th Century Tanker and a Willy's four-door sedan was combined to make this modern hot rod by Ed (Sr.) and Eddie (Jr.) Pettus of Eddie's Rod & Custom, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.


HANDBOOK 501: 1972 Chevy Suburban

The 1972 Chevrolet Suburban is an SUV from another era. Big motor, Big body, meant to carry Big families to the woods for Big fun! Richard certainly understood that concept when he found this 'Burb and undertook a one-year, frame-off restoration.

With an extensive original options list, this truck was clearly prized by its original owner. Richard sought to stay true to the rig's first life, while adding tasteful and practical modifications for convenience and comfort.

The truck was rust and accident free, and was sprayed its original Tangier Orange and white scheme. Inside, the stock seats were replaced with units from a 2000 Suburban, then covered in Camaro orange-and-black houndstooth. A modern entertainment system was added, including monitors front and rear. Powered by a 350 GM crate motor, it put out substantially more than the 220 hp from ’72 at 350hp. Dual batteries were installed, and the air conditioning system was re-plumbed for better-than-new performance.

Once completed, in true homage to its intended purpose, Richard loaded up his kids and some camping gear, and hit the road for a National Park tour!


HANDBOOK 500: 1981 Bobby Unser PC9B Indy 500 Car

In the most controversial finish in the history of the Indy 500, Bobby Unser, who passed away in May, crossed the line first in this car and was declared unofficial winner. The next morning, Mario Andretti was declared winner when Unser was charged a one-position penalty for passing cars while exiting the pit during a caution. Five months later, after court proceedings, Unser was again awarded the win. It's a controversy that continues to this day.