Chevrolet Custom Legacy

This customized ’57 Chevrolet hardtop has a long and illustrious International Show Car Association (ISCA) history. Originally built as a mild custom in California in the early 1960s, it was painted by the legendary Gene Winfield, and won trophies at several noted outdoor shows. After extensive modifications by another customizing icon, Bill Reasoner, it was renamed “The California Nugget,” after which it won a series of awards, culminating in an ISCA Grand Finale Championship in 1982. Over the years, this car has received so many custom modifications, it’s impossible to list them all. Suffice it to say, the wraparound windshield was chopped three inches, and the coupe was fitted with a hardtop from a ’57 Buick. The body was sectioned and dropped over a hand-built square tube frame. Hand-formed fins extend the rear of the car and a molded rear bumper has been contoured to match.

A custom grille was fabricated and headlight assemblies from a 1962 Chrysler were adapted to fit the fenders. Many suspension pieces and the engine block were gold-plated and hand-engraved, a process which took over a year to complete. The hardtop was painted with a wild candy purple/blue blend over a magenta stripe, with a yellow lower accent that highlights the wheel openings and rocker panels. The body was then ghost-flamed for maximum visual impact.

Under the scooped hood, with its molded twin Chevrolet nacelles, is a highly modified 327 cubic inch 1968 Chevrolet Corvette V8 with a Potvin style, crank-driven 6-71 GMC supercharger, fed by a pair of side-draft Weber carburetors. This competition style induction system is only rarely found on street-driven cars; it was more prevalent in the 1960s on dragsters and Bonneville racers, to facilitate a low silhouette. A mirrored surface under the hood helps display the highly polished engine. As a rule, customs don’t often have highly modified engines; this car is an exception. A sturdy Muncie four-speed manual transmission handles the shifting, and it’s linked to a fully independent Jaguar E-Type suspension setup.

In 1997, the car was torn down, rebuilt, further modified, painted by Marcos Garcia, and re-introduced as “The Legacy,” in deference to its long history. A custom sculpted leather and vinyl interior was handcrafted exclusively for this car. Other exclusive interior appointments include a custom-crafted overhead console with a Sony CD/Tuner and a Sony 4-inch color TV/VCR monitor.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.

327 cu. in. 1968 Chevrolet Corvette V8 with a Potvin style, crank-driven 6-71 GMC supercharger, fed by a pair of side-draft Weber carburetors, Muncie four-speed transmission, fully independent Jaguar suspension, disc brakes.

Source: RM Auctions

Gallery: Chevrolet Custom Legacy