Raymond Abasta of Moreno Valley, California, had a pretty good idea, a clue if you would, as to what he wanted to have for a lowrider. "I purchased the Caprice in late '99 from neighbors who lived near my parents," he says. "It was in fair condition and, being on a budget, I only had the interior done first. Then I re-plated the bumpers, trim and other parts before having the paint job done and then the hydros were last."
Model: Nellie Padilla
Raymond is the president of the Inland Empire chapter of Uniques Car Club. The benefit of having talented people in the club is obvious in the photos. Not only was the Caprice built in stages, but the work and integrity of the Chevy was done mostly in Raymond's garage over the span of four years.The undercarriage is as clean as they come with chrome from front to back, and the trunk features blue vinyl that's been embossed with Blue's Clues doggy footprints. A crown-shaped window gives a glimpse of the audio system and the two-pump setup is kept tidy with more vinyl panels at all sides of the trunk area.
The Caprice project was definitely a joint effort and the car is dedicated to Raymond and wife Roni's baby girl Gabriella. The car will probably be given to her when she's old enough to ride around in "The Clue."
Owner: Raymond Abasta
Vehicle: '66 Chevrolet Caprice
City/State: Moreno Valley, California
Club: Uniques C.C.-Inland Empire chapter
Engine/Drivetrain: With help from friend Art Urena, Raymond had the work on the '78 350-c.i.d. small-block done at his home. There's a ton of chrome found on the car and plenty of performance items such as the 4-bbl. Holley carb, Holley fuel pump and Edelbrock intake manifold. Anything that needed to be redone was sent over to "Elias" at Corona's Polishing in Fontana, California.
Body/Paint: At this point, the car seemed to be a club project with members from the Orange County chapter pitching in to help by molding the hood for a clean look. Then the firewall was shaved and molded by bike club members George and Jose. As for the rest of the car, next-door neighbor "Bike Mike" handled the '66 with finesse by painting it using a Sherwin-Williams silver base with light blue for the body and off-white for the rooftop. The trunk mural of singer Mariah Carey was done by "Sal" of Orange County. Mr. Mike Lamberson of Ontario, California, did what he does best with a pinstriping brush and created the illusion of body moldings along the flanks of the car.Interior: Roger Valdez from the Top Shop in Moreno Valley, California, did a great job at the simple but tasty upholstery. The plush digs are done up with blue velour, white vinyl and woodgrain inserts. The OG light blue carpet kit and vinyl headliner looks factory perfect, but for a little twist, the OG steering wheel has been painted two-tone to go with the cabin flow.
Sound System: Raymond's buddy "Big C" rocked the ride out using a Panasonic head unit, 500-watt Kenwood multi-channel amplifier, four 6x9 three-way speakers and a set of 2.5-inch tweeters to give the '66 Chevy some tasty tunes.
Setup: Raymond's homeboy Juan of Uniques C.C. helped out by doing all of the suspension work at Raymond's garage. The H-frame is reinforced at stress points near the belly, arms and arches. The rest of the work was split between Santiago, Gabe and Raymond, who did the hookup using two Red's Hydraulic pumps with a big block and regular block along with three dumps, four switches, six solenoids, six batteries and #6 hoses. The cylinders in front are 8-inch while the rear has 12-inchers. The coils are 3.5-ton units in front and 2-ton jobbers in the rear.
Tires: P155/80-R13 Cooper
Wheels: 13x7-inch L.A. Wire with bullet center caps