The Custom Car Revival was a throwback to the Golden Age of Customs. One ride after the next, a tribute to the “old school way” of Custom building. Some rides current interpretations, others restored originals. “The Oriental”, Wes Guance’s radically redesigned 1955 Buick Century was as period perfect as you can get. Recently and expertly resurrected from near oblivion, the 1955 Custom Buick Century was a sight to behold.
Jim Wilkins is the current custodian of the Buick. Wilkins is responsible for the incredible restoration/resurrection of “The Oriental”. It was a tall order to assume the position of curator of this piece of Custom history. The restoration of this ride was more like a rehabilitation. Have a look-sy at what Mr. Wilkins had to start with. It was no small feat. The pics are courtesy of CustomCarChronicle.com.
Customized in 1959, Guance exercised his creative chops while reworking the Buick. First order of business was to remove all handles and emblems. With a fresh ’55 Buick Century canvas, Wes got to customizing. He started with a 1959 Lincoln grille. To fit the new grille and quad canted Lincoln headlights, the front fenders and hood underwent extensive reworking. A ’59 Plymouth lower grille finished off the frontend perfectly. “The Oriental” is as good looking going as it is coming. Much like the frontend, the rear fenders were extended and reshaped. Custom fabricated taillights adorn the rear end. Frenched dual antennae, creative trim work, paint and lake pipes, the detail that went into this ride and the subsequent restoration is staggering.
It’s a rare sight to see a Custom with the hood popped. However, we got a glimpse at what’s between the rails of this righteous ride.
A Car Craft article from 1964 mentioned that Wes spent more than 500 hours alone in the design and implementation of the original interior. Unfortunately, the original leather did not stand up to the test of time. The current interior ain’t too shabby and definitely gives a nod to the roots of this ride.
It’s like looking into a portal to the 1960’s. Take a trip back to the Golden Age of Customs, and cast an eye at some very special heavy metal. It was as fine as it was in 1959.
If you like what you see drop us a line and you won’t miss a single ride.
If you like rides like this, you will LOVE Custom Car Revival. Hit up their FaceBook page and make plans to attend this show next year.
Till the next time – Keep on Kruzin!