As you’d expect at a custom car event in the Motor City, the 2011 Detroit Autorama had plenty of hot rods, muscle cars and customs based on cars from Detroit. Detroit, though, isn’t the only place where people love cars. Southern California is said to be the place where car culture took off, and the west coast has indeed germinated enough automotive trends that most major car companies now have design studios somewhere near Los Angeles. Though hot rods and customs have traditionally dominated SoCal car shows, in recent years lowrider clubs have become significant presence. The biggest custom show in Califorinia is the Grand National Roadster Show, but its top trophy, the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award, is only open to traditional roadster rods. The Detroit Autorama’s Ridler award, on the other hand, is open to any kind of custom car, as long as it can run under its own power. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that the Los Angeles Car Club decided to display this completely amazing Chevrolet *Monte Carlo Convertible at the Detroit show, though I doubt the car is frequently fired up or ever even sees pavement.
Every square inch of the body (including the undersides of the trunk lid and clamshell front clip) is decorated with murals of buxom babes, video monitors, and shades of copper colored metal flake paint. It appears that the entire drivetrain and suspension, from valve covers to brakes (including the rotors) has been gold plated. The engine, apparently a small block Chevy, has been intricately engraved. The glass on the windshield has been etched extensively as well. A Jaguar IRS has been fitted to the rear end, again completely gold plated. On the interior, the Monte’s been switched to right hand drive with a tiller replacing the steering wheel.
I’m an old sports car buff, so from my part of car culture, this car is completely ridiculous. It’s the definition of a trailer queen. On the other hand the car is completely awesome. At the Autorama, it was difficult for me to shoot video of the LACC’s MC because of the crowds gaping at all that gold. As show cars go, you don’t get more showy than this.
*I think it’s a Monte Carlo. I’m going by the tail lights and rear quarters. The paint and gold plating is so amazing it’s hard to tell what’s beneath it. Besides, whatever car it started as, it was pretty much a tabula rasa for the artistry on display here. Not my cup of tea but simply stunning work, beautifully executed.
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