“It’s alive! It’s alive!”
Halloween always gets us thinking about famous horror-movie creepsters, from Count Dracula to Freddy Krueger, but the king of all creature features has to be the woebegone being who lumbered through the classic film Frankenstein.
Pieced together from fragments of dead people, Frankenstein’s monster was an experiment gone awry in the most terrible way. But in the world of custom cars, automotive creations that merge parts of different car brands often have happier endings.
Sometimes such “Franken-cars” are novelty acts, such as the custom shown at Goodguys in Scottsdale a few years back that was built with the front half of a ’50 Chevy and rear half of a ’50 Studebaker coupe. Now that was whacky.
Not so today’s Pick of the Week, which is a charmingly old-school street custom by some imaginative builder who brought together the distinctive features of two brands to create a unique cruiser that’s certain to turn heads.
The 1954 Chevrolet 210 custom coupe advertised on ClassicCars.com looks like a classic lead sled from back in the day, complete with a chopped top, flames and lake pipes. But its most distinctive feature is the addition of custom rear fenders and the taillight fins from a mid-50s Packard.
So from the rear, the car kind of looks like an extensively customized Packard, which turns into a Chevy as you get around to the sides and front. Between the pointed tailfins is a continental kit tire cover emblazoned with the car’s campy nickname, “White Lightning.”
Fun stuff, and the Purcellville, Virginia, dealer who is selling the Chevy seems to appreciate the throwback nature of this intriguing Franken-car.
“This is an old school custom that has had extensive custom features added,” the seller says in the description. “Extended quarter panels with Packard tail lights, chopped top, custom fender skirts, frenched headlights, custom grille, dual spot lights, lake pipes, continental kit, complete custom interior with bucket seats and console.
“Truly a one of a kind old-school custom. All topped off with a custom paint job with flames.”
The ’54 Chevy custom is designed more as a carnival ride for the eyes than as a performance street rod, since it’s powered by a vintage 235 cid inline-6 engine with automatic transmission, though with the added incentive of triple one-barrel carburetors. No matter because this is a car for cruising low and slow, not for patching out from stoplights.
The seller does not list a price for the car but asks that prospective buyers call for a quote. From the photos, it looks to be in great condition, and it’s doubtful that such an unusual expression of vintage custom work will go cheap.
But it’s a lot more likely that the villagers who arrive to see this Franken-car will be carrying cameras instead of pitchforks.