Roger Miret's 1954 Chevrolet

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"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 doesn't do things halfway. In 2010, after conquering the world with his band Agnostic Front, the godfather of hardcore set out to build what would eventually become his first full-fledged show car. From the first dual antennas were frenched into the passenger side quarter panel, it would take seven years and thousands of hours before "Morphine" could finally make its debut a the 2018 Grand National Roadster Show. "I wanted something that would be recognizable for decades as great as the Moonglow when it comes to a 1953-54 Chevy classic custom," Roger told Kustomrama. Inspired by customs he had admired in the little books, Roger wanted to be hands-on the whole build, and the work had to be done between tours. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
A photo of the Chevrolet taken in Roger's driveway the first time he had it home back in 2010. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
An early construction photo of the Chevrolet taken in December of 2010. "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 levels. The first level was a late 1950s backyard high school iteration. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Mike and Roger began the build by shaving the gas door and frenching dual antennas into the passenger side rear quarter panel. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
The headlights were given a 1955 Chevrolet treatment in lead. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Mike working on the hood. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
The hood was shaved and peaked before Mike and Roger began preparing the car for paint. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Roger dressed the grille up with extra teeth. 15 in total. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
The car ran chromed wheels when Roger bought it. During the build, he decided to scrap these for a set of reversed and fade painted original wheels. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
The body masked up for paint after Mike and Roger had completed the first round of modifications. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
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. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
The top mocked up to check height, flow and looks. They ended up taking 2 inches up front and 4+ inches in the back until it looked right. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
The top welded back on and work on the slanted posts have begun. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Mike extended the catwalk before the newly chopped top received a 1949 Chevrolet Coupe window. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Anoher mock-up of the slanted posts. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Custom taillights mocked up. 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. The quarter panels were reworked to house flipped 1956 Chrysler taillight lamps. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Mike working on the custom taillights. "I partnered up with Mike because his metalwork was incredible and way past anything I could have ever done," Roger told Kustomrama. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
The quarter panels were peaked and raised 3 1/2 inches, lowered another 1 1/2 inches, and moved back 1 inch. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Switches for the airbags hidden in the old ashtray. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Roger decided to keep the inline-six engine, dressing it up with a Wayne valve cover and dual carburetors on an Edmunds Custom intake manifold. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Roger trying out some ideas for the paint on the roof in July of 2011. "The thought was to use chrome tape." Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Scallops masked up on the front fenders. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
The Chevy leaving one of the rented shops in July of 2011. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
The Moonglow inspiration is very evident in this photo. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Roger experimenting with custom paint design for the dashboard in 2012. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
The build as it sat in July of 2014. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
One step closer to paint. By September of 2014 the body had finally been covered in purple primer. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
The trunk, engine compartment, door openings, and dash were painted in April of 2015. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
It's all in the details. The door openings received custom paint before the rest of the body was painted. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Before Eric 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. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
A first iteration of the dash. "In this photo, you will see that we had painted the dash really nice, but after we painted the car it didn't blend right so we did the dash, again," Roger chuckled, adding that there were so many things that were done multiple times, "like headlights and taillights." Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Notice the chromed hinges. More details. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Wet sanding and final paint preparations taking place in May of 2015. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
June 15, 2015 the body was finally covered with a light blue metallic House of Kolor base. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Mike and roger used a custom blue-tinted House of Kolor Orion Silver Shimrin Basecoat with Teal, Blue and Voodoo Violet Kandies on the car. Check price and availability for the same basecoat through House of Kolor on Amazon.com.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Siver areas being masked in with tape. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Blue fogging added. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Roger and Eric Rowland in the paint booth. Both Eric and Mike became members of the Rumblers, 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." Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
The build as it sat mid-July 2015. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Flames masked off on the roof. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Ron Hernandez pinstriping the flames on the hood in silver. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
The body covered with clear paint. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Roger and his daughter Nadia after working on the floors all day. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
September of 2015, Eric getting ready to polish and buff up the paint job. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
The dash was shaved and smoothed before Eric gave it a custom paint job that matched the rest of the car. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Bumpers, and chrome back on the car in November of 2015. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
A photo of Roger with the Chevy taken in February of 2016. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Brian Willingham of BW Upholstery stitched a silver and blue metallic custom interior for the car. This photo was taken in May of 2016. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Brian working on the door panels. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Custom knobs were made by Nic at Traditional Knobs. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Step right in. Roger had slippers made for the car that matched the custom upholstery. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
The inner wheel housings were also dressed up with tuck and roll. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
The whole build start to finish eventually span over seven years. Roger is the vocalist for the New York Hardcore band Agnostic Front, and the build time has a lot to do with him being busy touring. "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." Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Body and paint on Roger and Jimmy Chadwick's Phoenix Rumblers custom rides by Eric Rowland. The photo is taken in front of Roger's 1961 Schreiber Mid Century Modern home. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
An early iteration of Morphine was shown at the 2017 Indoor Custom Super Show before Roger installed the 1953 Cadillac hubcaps. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
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. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo by Howard Gribble.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
A photo of Morphine taken at the Goodguys Spring Nationals at Westworld in Scottsdale, Arizona. Roger won the Period Perfect award with the car at the show. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Morphine returned to the 2019 Grand National Roadster Show where it was shown inside the Suede Palace. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Roger won the "2019 Suede Palace Best of Show" award with Morphine at the Grand National Roadster Show. He also got a Top 100 nod. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
After a 7+ year haul of up and downs now the fun and merits of the endless Yodels and coffee pay off! Roger and Eric posing for their rewards shot. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.
Morphine is a Hop Up and Kustomrama Feature Car. Photo courtesy of Roger Miret.

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

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.[1]


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.[1]


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.[1]


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.[1]


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.[1]

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."[1]


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.[1]


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.[1]


"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[2]


Roger's Custom Parts List


Magazine features and appearances

Hop Up Vol 14 No 2


References




 

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