Jeff Beard of Midland, Texas, says he has a weakness for cars. This coupe has brought his collection up to a “baker’s dozen.” With a stable of cars, he knows that an auction is always a great place to find quality vehicles, and he ran across this one while attending a Russo & Steele event with a group of buddies.
“I went there to buy a ’35 Ford that Roger Burman had built,” he says. “But I saw this car, and the color really grabbed me. I looked at it again and it was really sharp. I just kept coming back to it.” Jeff bought the car on Friday night when it went through. “I bought it on Friday, and then the Burman car went through on Saturday,” he says. “If I would’ve known it was going to sell for what it did, I would have waited for it on Saturday, but you never know at an auction.”
Goodguys fans may remember the Chevy as a 2014 Goodguys Street Rod d’Elegance finalist when it was owned by Jack LoPresti. The car was on its second revamp at the time, and several years later all Jeff had to do was make a few refinements and minor updates to bring it up to speed.
The car’s history goes back to David Douglas and his wife, Sandy. Sandy thought David needed a cool car for his 50th birthday and she gave him the coupe as a present. It was an all-steel stocker and had spent 20 years in storage in Pennsylvania. David had Marcel’s Custom Metal Shaping chop the top 2-inches in the front and 2-1/4 in the rear. In 2007 the chop procedure was featured in Street Rodder magazine’s September issue. Luc DeLay of Marcell’s also widened the running boards, bobbed the rear fenders, and narrowed the grille for the Alumacraft grille insert. The coupe was then taken to Roger Burman for final assembly and painted Viper Red.
The car was fitted with an Edelbrock-fed ZZ4 crate engine and a 700R4. Heidts IFS was added, along with Wilwood brakes and Billet Specialties wheels. Dan Weber Custom interiors trimmed the I.S.S. seats in Ultraleather and the car was finished in 2008. In 2009, David and Sandy brought it to the Goodguys Nostalgia Nationals in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and won a Street Rodder Top 100 pick.
When Jack LoPriesti got it a few years later he knew he had a great car to start with. He brought it to Showtime Customs and Hot Rods and let them take it to the next phase. They blew the car apart for the makeover. The Super Manufacturing chassis was pinched in the rear to accommodate a fully polished Kugel IRS with TCI coil-overs and the ZZ4 was traded out for an aluminum 376c.i. LS3 from Street & Performance and backed with a fresh 4L60E transmission. Other updates included Steve’s Auto Restorations headlights, Lokar taillights, and a two-tone leather interior from Howard Fabrications.
For the finishing touches, the Chevy was taken to Hot Rods & Hobbies in Signal Hill, California, and painted the stunning Lamborghini yellow with added pearl. No bolt was left un-turned and the underside of the car is as nice as the top. With a round of Schott wheels the car was ready for its second debut in 2014 at the Del Mar Nationals where it was a crowd favorite and earned a Top 5 Finalist spot in the Street Rod d’Elegance competition. In a spectacular “what are the odds” scenario, the yellow coupe was actually beaten out by another ‘35 Chevy – Wes Rydell’s ultra-rare ’35 Chevy Standard Phaeton, the “Black Bowtie” that had also captured the AMBR crown!
Time ticked on for the cool coupe, and it found itself in need of a new owner when Jeff was struck by its beauty. Rather than reinventing the wheel in making it his own, he knew he was simply going to enjoy this one. It was in great shape but did need a little attention. He brought it to Sachse Rod Shop, where they updated the engine compartment with a set of Billet Specialties valve covers and a custom metal engine cover that echo the three stainless steel trim strips they added to the hood sides and running boards.
With a few years on the clock, the interior was showing a little wear and tear, too. JD Glassworks in Lubbock modified the console and added a sound system. The trunk was also trimmed in leather to match the interior. “The trunk was different from the cabin,” Jeff says. “There was an aluminum Chevy symbol on the back panel wall and I felt it was looking a bit dated. I wanted it to match the interior so we trimmed it out to match.”
With a proper interior and a sound system to match, Jeff is happy with the car. He feels he’s added to its distinctive appearance without doing too much to “make it his.” It retains the spirit of the car he fell in love with. Better still, he says it runs and drives beautifully.
The little yellow coupe is racking up quite a story, and is currently in good hands. Will we see it again in another few years? Only time will tell. For now you can catch it at the Goodguys events in Texas that Jeff plans to attend, and perhaps a Scottsdale event, too. If you get a chance, stop and look it over. It’s easy to see why it caught his eye at that auction.