A Complete Car Restoration of a 1976 Chevy Custom
Many thanks to
Joaquin Rivera for providing
all the pictures of his immense project.
After the Custom Cloud sat abandoned in Tijuana,
for 12 years, Joaquin bought it for $500. Note the
broken hood ornament, taillight, and right quarter panel.
Also, note the right quarter has detached from the
body at its bottom,
the mirrors are the cheaper plated version, the dirty interior with
loose wires under the dash, and the door panels have been butchered.
Then, Joaquin bought a 1975 Monte Carlo to scavenge
Some trips to salvage yards found the body parts that
were still missing.
Only car lovers know the joy of junk yards. The sparkle off the
from the broken glass gleaming in the sun. The sweet smell of gear
in the air. And, the priceless value of the buried treasure to be dug
Joaquin mounted the bumpers from the 1975 parts car
the Custom Cloud. Here the car has made it to the body
shop. The rusted steel under the vinyl top (now removed)
has been cut out, and new strips have been welded in.
The broken piece of the right quarter has been reattached.
The old paint has been sanded off the whole car,
and all the quarter damage has been filled in.
Here a coat of primer has been applied, and some re-sanding
has been done. A new vinyl top is now being fitted.
Oooh, can't you just smell the wet paint?
Joaquin said, "The (Custom Cloud) was missing the original
and transmission when I bought it. The previous owner purchased the
car with a cracked engine block, and pulled the drive train to rebuild it.
He lost track of who had what, and never recouped it. I installed the
350 V8 and transmission from the 75 parts car to get this one drivable.
It did not pass CA smog, so I had the choice of rebuilding this 350
or looking for a 1976 400 V8 like the CC had originally. I found the
400 with the correct date codes and had that rebuilt and installed in
the CC. The transmission from the 1975 was rebuilt too."
Before, during, and after shots of the engine.
It sure looks like new, now, Joaquin!
Back from the body shop and going back together.
The masking tape is off, and new tires, wheels, and
pinstripes are on.
But, as the torn headliner shows, the interior still needs fixing.
Even the bottom was repainted. Note the new
exhaust, tires, shocks and sway bar bushings.
Joaquin couldn't repair the original hood ornament,
so he bought one on eBay for $100. The new spoke
wheels are Appliance Fine Wires. The Rolls Royce
decals for the spinners were bought on eBay.
Here, the interior is all cleaned up and repaired.
The deck lid
jam is nicely painted, and a new gasket is installed. Joaquin
even made special compartments on each side of the trunk.
Finally it's all back together. Note the outside
"sport" mirrors that Joaquin took from his parts car. He filled
gaping holes in the door panels with new speakers and grills.
All assembled, waxed, and ready to show. That
right quarter looks
like new. The shiny parts toward the edges of the deck lid are added
back-up lights, since neither the taillights nor the bumper include
The after-market turn signals were added to the fenders
the 1975 Monte Carlo front bumper has no turn signals in it.
"Best Newer Car after 1972"
Goodrich Aerostructures sponsors an employee-owned car contest
in which Joaquin won this award with his magnificent effort.
The Custom Cloud Story
Custom Cloud and Classic Coach ads
The Custom Cloud that Charlie Wolters
More Custom Clouds and Classic
Jon Tedesco's Scrapbook
You may contact Charlie Wolters at:
or at phone:
Thank you for visiting.