Roger Miret's 1954 Chevrolet
1954 Chevrolet 210 owned by Rumblers car club member and founder Roger Miret of Scottsdale, Arizona. Known as "Morphine," the car was restyled by Roger and Mike Lewis. The build was started in 2010 and completed early in 2018.
- 1 Lowered by Empire Customs
- 2 Phase 1: Mild high school custom
- 3 Phase 2: Chopped top
- 4 Phase 3: Full show car
- 5 Custom paint by Eric Rowland
- 6 Custom upholstery by Brian Willingham
- 7 Hopped and dressed up
- 8 The seven-year build
- 9 Roger's Custom Parts List
- 10 Magazine features and appearances
- 11 References
Lowered by Empire Customs
Roger bought the Chevy from a friend in Tucson in 2009. It was burgundy back then, and the previous owner had commissioned Empire Customs in Tucson, Arizona to lower its stock chassis by installing a custom Air Ride set up that featured an ERC unit with solid airlines. Roger purchased it in the middle and had Empire finish it anticipating his next move.
Phase 1: Mild high school custom
"Initially I set off to make it a mild custom," Roger told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in 2020. He wanted to start out mild, taking the car through three different phases. The first phase was a traditional late 1950s backyard high school iteration, and he and Mike began the build by frenching dual antennas into the passenger side rear quarter panel late in 2010. "I partnered up with Mike because his metalwork was incredible and way past anything I could have ever done," Roger told Kustomrama. "Mike never had a shop, and we rented space to work." The gas door was shaved before Mike and Roger moved forward. Up front, Roger dressed the grille up with extra teeth, 15 in total, before the headlights were given a 1955 Chevrolet treatment in lead. It was then nosed, decked, and shaved for door handles. The hood was also peaked before Mike and Roger began preparing it for paint early in 2011.
Phase 2: Chopped top
Mike and Roger were just about ready to spray the body when Roger decided that he wanted to take the car a little further before hitting the streets with it. Instead of paint, they set out to chop the top in January of 2011. Mike, who performed all custom body metal fabs, took 2 inches out of the front. In the back they took 4+ inches out until it looked right. During the chop, the catwalk was extended, the pillars were slanted and a 1949 Chevrolet Coupe window installed before Mike began reworking the rear of the car.
Phase 3: Full show car
Roger's final vision for the build was completely inspired by Duane Steck's Moonglow. "I wanted something that would be recognizable for decades as great as the Moonglow when it comes to a 1953-54 Chevy classic custom." The work on the rear quarter panels was originally what Roger had planned for the third iteration of the build. And just as the Moonglow, the quarter panels were reworked to house flipped 1956 Chrysler taillight lamps. During that operation the quarter panels were peaked and raised 3 1/2 inches, lowered another 1 1/2 inches, and moved back 1 inch. The skirts were lengthened and flared and the rear bumper was lowered, extended, reversed, and frenched before Roger dressed it up with a 1949 Chevrolet license plate guard. The deck lid radius was reshaped before Mike and Roger finally began preparing the car for paint.
Custom paint by Eric Rowland
All the original stainless steel on the roof was reworked before Eric Rowland began to prepare the car for its wild custom paint job in 2015. Built in a late 1950s style, Roger wanted the paint job to pay homage to legendary custom painter Larry Watson. Both Eric and Mike became members of the Rumblers while prospecting on Roger's car. "My other Rumbler brothers here all had their hands in on Morphine," Roger told Kustomrama, "and not just a little work, we all got busy." Featuring House of Kolor custom paint, the body was covered in a custom blue-tinted Orion Silver Shimrin Basecoat with Teal, Blue and Voodoo Violet Kandies before Rowland began masking up panels Roger and Eric spent countless hours going over every detail from the inside out adding panels on the dash and door jambs and laying out ideas with fine line tape to make sure the car was perfect from every angle. Roger is the vocalist for the New York Hardcore band Agnostic Front, and he had to leave on a tour while they were painting the car. "I felt like something was missing, and so did Eric. I told him to go ahead and flame it. He did it and sent me photos out on the road. We went back and forth and made some changes. Not the best way to do it, but it turned out perfectly right," Roger told Hop Up Magazine about the paint job. Blue paint was applied around the panels for a fade paint effect. Ron Hernandez was enlisted to pinstripe the seaweed flames and door jambs in silver before the Watson inspired paint job was sealed with layers of House of Kolors UC35 clear coat.
Custom upholstery by Brian Willingham
Inside, the dash was shaved and smoothed before Roger installed a custom 1954 Chevrolet wheel and custom knobs by Nic at Traditional Knobs. Brian Willingham of BW Upholstery started stitching a full custom two-tone interior for the car in May of 2016. Brian had been watching the car's progress, and he told Roger that he knew what he was looking for. By then the build had transformed into a full show car, and the interior, including the trunk, engine bay, and wheel wells were upholstered in silver and blue metallic vinyl that matched the radical paint job. Brian also made a pair of driving shoes for Roger. "We were all influenced by the little books and from under the hood to under the trunk to the actual inerior- he nailed it."
Hopped and dressed up
Under the hood, the engine bay was shaved and smoothed. The 235 engine was rebuilt and hopped up with an Edmunds intake, Wayne valve and side cover, Stromberg carburetors, Pertronics ignition, Fenton headers, true split exhaust with 12" glass packs. A 200R4 transmission and a 1956 Chevrolet rear end with Gambino Kustoms triangulated four-link was installed by Scott Miller at Ace Custom Fabrication. The original wheels were reversed and painted with a fade paint job before Roger installed 1953 Cadillac hubcaps and 6.40-15 BF Goodrich Silvertown tires with a 3-inch whitewall. Diversified Metal performed all the chrome work and polishing.
The seven-year build
The whole build start to finish eventually span over seven years. The build time has a lot to do with Roger being busy touring Agnostic Front. "I had to be hands-on the whole build," he told Kustomrama. "The only way I wanted it and to feel proud when it was done." Morphine was completed early in 2018, and it made its big debut at the 2018 Grand National Roadster Show. Unfortunately, Mike passed away before the build was completed, but the Grand National Roadster Show was always his vision with the build.
"If you really want to be part of something and you have that much passion towards it, you'll know enough to research it and find the history of it; and history is so important, history is everything."
Roger Miret - 2008
Roger's Custom Parts List
- Extra Grille Teeth: 1954 Chevrolet | Check price and availability on Amazon.com
- License Plate Guard: 1949 Chevrolet | Check price and availability on Amazon.com
- Taillight Glass: 1956 Chrysler | Check price and availability on eBay
- Hubcaps: 1953 Cadillac | Check price and availability on eBay
- Tires: BF Goodrich 640-15 3 Inch Whitewall Tires | Check price and availability on Amazon.com
- Paint: House of Kolor Orion Silver Shimrin Basecoat | Check price and availability on Amazon.com
Magazine features and appearances
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