The Riviera Visits Atlas Speed & Custom
A few months ago, Lee Pratt and I were sitting in the grass at the Vintage Speed & Custom Revival admiring my newly acquired Riviera from afar. We were discussing the finer points of the first generation Riviera when I made the comment that the paint on mine was just decent, but that the body seemed to be really straight. He agreed, but then sheepishly dropped a bomb on me.
“It is pretty straight,” Lee said. “Except for that driver’s front fender.”
Once he pointed it out, I couldn’t stop looking at it. It was a wave from the front of the wheel arch to the rear. You could only see it under certain lighting, but when you did see it – when you were aware of it – you couldn’t NOT see it. It drove me bat shit crazy from that point forward.
A month later I was at the Hot Rod Revolution shooting the shit with Mike and Jamie from Atlas Speed & Custom when the subject came up. The two were exhausted from not only playing the show with their band Pushrod, but also from thrashing on a ’32 Roadster that they had built in essentially two months just for the Revolution. I figured their weakened mental state, due to a lack of any kind of sleep, made for the perfect opportunity to take advantage of them.
“You know,” I said. “You guys should take this car home with ya…”
It worked. Both Jamie and Mike were on board and the next thing I knew, my Riviera was headed for North Texas to Atlas Speed & Custom. The plan is a simple one. The end game for this car is a sort of “hybrid” GT/mild custom, so nothing fancy is called for in the paint and body department – a liberal shave and a clean respray of the stock Verde Green. That’s it… Bill Mitchell got it right and I’m not inclined to argue with the man now.
Anyway, Jamie is now working away in the “Quonset hut of speed” and the Rivi will soon be ready for the next stage of this project. I figured I’d post this feature now and Jamie can reply to it with progress shots and what not. So, stick around… This could be fun.