Look anywhere in the United States and one can find the common frog, but in Puerto Rico there’s a special a frog that’s notorious for its extremely loud mating. Designed to be an audible warning to competing male frogs, and a mating call to all female frogs, the invasive frog is called Coqui. So when Jason Diaz was asked to come up with a name for his new build, it was only appropriate to use the Coqui as inspiration—especially since the frog is known for its high hop range and unique green color.
Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Jason took a rather unusual foray into the lowrider culture. “I was heavy into stereo,” Jason tells LRM, “In fact my very first car was a decked out ’86 Subaru.” As time passed, he upgraded to a minivan for more audio room and it was during this build that he threw on his first set of wire wheels. As chance would have it, he had some friends driving out to Cali for the Majestics picnic so he hitched a ride and came back with a new perspective—and a new project.
Once he arrived at the picnic he spent the next five hours in complete amazement. He perused all the different styles, witnessed his first hop competition and his entire outlook on custom vehicles changed. His interest led to many questions and one of the lowrider owners even mentioned that he had a half-done project for sale. With interest, Jason asked if he could see it and the owner had it brought down. It was a complete 1984 Chevy Caprice Classic with worn out paint, and a cut frame that was ready for a hydraulic setup.
Jason shelled out the $500 deposit, hired a transport company and once home wired the owner the rest of the asking price. Jason brought the Caprice to a shop to add a hydraulic suspension that was good enough to compete with the hoppers he saw in California. The next month there was a show in Indy, and Jason got in the car and drove the car to Indy, but half way there the transmission went out. The Caprice was towed the rest of the way, unloaded from the trailer and hopped at the show taking third place.
Once back to Chicago, Jason put the Chevy away for the next two years refocusing on other things until a friend contacted him. His friend was selling an LT1 out of a ’96 Impala SS so once again, Jason scooped up the motor and the project was back on. Jason sent the Caprice to Duran’s Bodyshop where they added the moonroof and grafted Cadillac quarter panel windows on each side. From there, the shop put the car aside to work on other jobs for the next two years until Jason took the car back and put it in his garage.
Now as a member of Majestics in Chicago, Jason enlisted the help of his friends and members Rafi, Raul, Alberto, Alex, Jimmy, Silver, David, Sal and Beto to paint the belly and engine bay. It was all hands on deck as the group added a freshly purchased frame from Pitbull Hydraulics that took months to put into place. His custom painter Raul from Musher Body Shop in Cicero, added a custom Kiwi paint on the Caprice exterior, engine and transmission.
El Coqui was ready to be debuted in 2017 and came out swinging, overcoming every obstacle. Jason wishes to thank all his friends and family for their help, dedication and motivation, including Bruce, Jimmy, Raul, Alex, Silver, Alberto, Arturo, Sal, Beto, David and Johnny. Like the frog in Puerto Rico, El Coqui is ready to hop at any time and certainly attracts the ladies, although Jason is married so maybe we should leave that part out.
1984 Chevy Caprice Classic
’96 Chevy Impala SS 5.7 LT1 fuel injected, Kiwi Green engine block, March Performance bullet aluminum Sport Trac pulley kit, LT1 ceramic coated Hooker headers, polished intake, polished Lokar throttle body with stainless flex cable, custom MSD ignition wires, aluminum polished valve covers, engine and transmission wiring harness with reprogrammed EPU, chrome plated oil pan, Kiwi Green 4L60 transmission
Trans Star Kiwi Green, DuPont clear, 80’s Cadillac Fleetwood quarter panel glass window, 80’s Fleetwood rocker panels, 90’s Fleetwood moldings, 44″ moon roof, frame off restoration, painted belly, engine bay, full frame wrapped in 3/16″ and molded, painted Kiwi Green, pinstripe and silver leaf
two CCE rear pumps, one Bruce Customs front pump, 12 Deka batteries, 8″ chrome cylinders in front, 12″ 3-stage telescopic cylinders in rear, full chrome suspension, custom made Ford 9″ rear end, upper A-arms extended 1 1/2″, lower A-arms custom spring pocket with swivels, four switches
pillow top seats, 90’s Fleetwood digital dash, 80’s Cadillac door panels, 80’s Fleetwood quarter sails custom, 90’s Fleetwood seatbelts relocated to the doors and over the shoulder in rear seats
Kenwood Excelon head unit, Infinity Reference 4×6 in dash, 6×9 in rear deck, Infinity Reference 1000watt 4-way amplifier
14×7 100-spoke chrome Dayton Wire Wheels, 175/70R14 Hankook tires