Frank Livingston's 1949 Chevrolet, Caribbean II

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A construction photo of Frank's Caribbean II. Photo courtesy of Legends of the Rod & Custom Hall of Fame.
Frank's fourth 1949 Chevrolet, The Caribbean II, was built as a tribute to his first 1949 Chevrolet as it appeared in 1955. The first version of the build was completed in 2002.
The Caribbean II at the 2003 Grand National Roadster Show. Photo by F. R. Childers.[1]
The second version of the Caribbean II featuring a center section from an Australian 1956 Holden and white scallops by Art Himsl. The scallops were applied in 2007. Photo provided by Frank Livingston.
Photo provided by Frank Livingston.
Photo provided by Frank Livingston.
The Caribbean II at the 2009 Grand National Roadster Show. Photo by F. R. Childers.[2]

1949 Chevrolet Fleetline owned by Satan's Angels member Frank Livingston of San Leandro, California. Frank bought his fourth 1949 Chevrolet as a mild custom. After attending a car show in Antioch, California, he spotted the Chevrolet on the back row at a used car lot, on the way home. It was red at the time, the headlights were frenched and it featured the stock grille. The hood and deck were molded, and the rear fenders and drip rails were filled in. The idea was to give the car a little tweaking and drive it "as is." Frank did that for a while, until his wife Kathy urged him to re-create his first '49 Fleetline, that he bough in 1952. Frank took her advice, borrowing the overall design from his first car as it appeared when it made its debuted at the 1955 National Roadster Show.[3]


Frank's tribute build, named the Caribbean II, featured a few subtle alterations such as a 1950 Oldsmobile one-piece windshield, flared rear fender skirts, flared rockers, and the rear fender scoops. Small Chrome teeth were installed in the scoops. As the original build, The caribbean II was fit with a slightly narrowed 1955 Plymouth grille bar. After a while, Frank swapped the Plymouth center section with a center section from an Australian 1956 Holden. The hood was shaved, extended and rolled with the fenders into the new grille opening. The front fenders were extended and the headlights frenched with 1954 Mercury chrome rings. The front bumper was slightly narrowed and the bolts were shaved and filled in. The rear fenders were extended as well, and reworked to accept a pair of 1951 Frazer taillights. The deck lid was shaved for ornamentation, and the splash pan was molded in before a 1951 Pontiac rear bumper with filled bolts was installed. A 1949 Chevrolet license plate bracket was mounted on the bumper. The side chrome strips were shaved along with the door handles, and the doors were pushbutton operated. Once the bodywork was done, the car was painted in House of Colors Pagan Gold. Diamond dust was added to the clear top coats. Paint and bodywork was done by Oz Welch of Oroville, California. A pearl white and pearl Naugahyde roll and pleat interior was upholstered by Bob De Vine of Martinez, California. The trunk was finished in a similar design. Ivory Mercedes carpeting bound with matching Naugahyde was used on the floors. A 1958 Chevrolet 6-cylinder engine was chosen as powerplant. The engine was hooked to a turbo 350 transmission and a 10 bolt GM rear end suspended on airbags with on-board compressor and air tank. A Mustang front suspension with power disc brakes and power steering was installed for a smooth and safe driving experience. The car was converted to a 12 volt system, and Frank installed a Sanyo stereo with both cassette and CD player. Inside, Frank installed a late model GM column topped with a Billet Specialities Classic wheel and floor shifter. The build was completed in 2002, and has been displayed at several shows including the Grand National Roadster Show. In 2007 pearl white scallops with yellow pinstriping were applied by Art Himsl of Concord, California.[4]


For Sale

Frank's 1949 Chevrolet is currently up for sale, for more information mail mail@kustomrama.com


Magazine Features

Rod & Custom March 2004
American Rodder September 2004
Kustoms Illustrated 26


References



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