Gary Oliver's 1955 Chevrolet

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The El Prado II as it appeared after Paul Hatton had pinstriped and scalloped it in 1984. Unfortunately, Gary doesn't have any photos of the original El Prado. Photo courtesy of Gary Oliver.
Photo courtesy of Gary Oliver.

1955 Chevrolet owned by Gary Oliver of Pontiac, Michigan. As a kid, Gary used to ride his Schwinn Corvette bicycle downtown to watch the guys parade down the main street with their customs. "Once I was old enough to have a car, I bought my red 55 Chevy" Gary told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in 2021. Named "El Prado," Gary's Chevrolet was dressed up with a scallop paint job by Paul Hatton of Hatton's House of Crazy Paints in 1960. According to Gary, the original El Prado was just a poor kid's custom car. "If I would have had enough money, I would have had frenched headlights, antenna, bubble skirts, and Packard taillights. You can only do so much when you are 16 years old and working at Western Union delivering telegrams."[1]

El Prado II

In the 1980s Gary decided to clone El Prado. An older California car was located through a friend in the summer of 1984. After picking up the car, the mag wheels that sat on it were replaced with stock rims and wide whitewalls. Just as back in the days, the wheels were dressed up with Buick hubcaps. Geeting the car scalloped was a problem for Gary, as he didn't have any photos of the original car, and he couldn't remember exactly how the scallops were. After locating Paul Hatton, he had him scallop the clone in 1984. "I remember he charged me $80 to scallop my Chevy in 1960," Gary told Kustomrama. He charged $800 for the clone 24 years later. Just as back in the days, the name was lettered on the rear quarter panels. Paul also pinstriped the das, and in the center, the words "Deja Vu" were painted at Gary's request. Other modifications included cut springs, reducing the height of the car by approximately 6 inches. Dual dummy spotlights were also installed along with a pair of lakepipes. Since completing the build, Gary has been collecting autographs of singers who were on the radio in 1960, when he had the original El Prado. In 2021 the collection consisted of 35 autographs. [2]

Magazine Features and Appearances

Classic Chevy World January 1998



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