It’s been a while since we’ve shown you anything on our “Project Low Rod” ’65 Buick Riviera. That’s because after discussions with several sources, the owner of the car decided to back up, take a different path and basically start over. For one thing, it no longer has airbags. Opting for a more OG style, Richard from Evergreen Hydraulics in Montebello, California (featured in Hydraulics Hotline, Setup of the Month, April 2003) will be juicing it. The engine has been removed and stored, and renowned lowrider painter Ruben “Buggs” Ochoa has been commissioned to “oversee” the body modifications and do the all-important paint job. Though known for his intricate multicolored graphics, Buggs is equally adept at full body paint.
For more than 30 years, Buggs (a nickname given him because of all of the VWs that he’s painted) has produced countless show-winning lowriders. He was featured in LRM back in 1978 in a 12-page write-up and his creations for Imperials Car Club also appeared one of only two lowrider features ever run in Hot Rod magazine. In the ’80s, Buggs even produced his own car shows, drawing the cream of the lowrider crop together under one roof.
In this article we’ll bring you up to date on the body mods created by Joseph “’50s Joe” Garcia of the Drag-N Shop in Santa Fe Springs, California, including shaved door handles, slightly flared fenders, shaved and filled cowl vents, and opened-up hood vents. To complete the metal mods, Buggs had Robert at California Horse Power (San Dimas, California) shave the firewall.
We’ll also show you how Buggs and his crew wet-sanded the Sikkens Colorbuild primer, taped off the car, laid out the roof and trunk for graphics, sprayed the Sikkens Medium Course base and added the “flaked” Sikkens Clear Two topcoat. Buggs chose to use Sikkens brand products because of their quality materials, ease of application and high pigment concentration. “All of Sikkens’ products are top quality and easy to use,” says Buggs. “For instance, Sikkens primers let you lay down up to six coats which makes the surface smoother, instead of three or four coats like most other brands. And their basecoats and clearcoats only require two coats because of they are so highly concentrated.”
Follow the photos and you’ll see how far our Rivi has progressed, now that it’s found a new direction…and a new director.