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  • Phantom

Along Came a Wagon

What's everybody?! Phantom here. New home, same lackluster composition skills you've all grown accustomed to and that would make my high school English teacher cringe lol. A question I've seen a lot of lately is "What is 187 Customs?" Well, 187 Customs is Shawn and I's new venture. "Well what are y'all gonna do?" Customize anything we think is cool, show you how we did it, and sell you the parts to duplicate it if you think it's cool too! From 3000 horsepower race cars, to lowriders, to off-road International Scouts, to Donks, to late model GM trucks, and anything in between, if can be cool, we're gonna show it to you!

Our first project happened almost by accident. If you follow our social media closely, you know that we've been looking for a '71-'76 Impala or Caprice convertible for myself. Shawn's 1972 Impala convertible on 26's in one of my favorite vehicles I've ever drove. The attention that car gets is unmatched by any vehicle I've ever been behind the wheel of.

The week of Outlaw Armageddon, Shawn found a 1975 Caprice convertible for sale in Michigan. The owner sent us a video of what we he said was all of the major rust so we asked that he hold on to it for us and we would be there the following Monday to bring it home. So after the grueling week that is known as Outlaw Armageddon, we left early Monday morning to start the 14 hour trek to Michigan. Unfortunately, once we got there, the car was just more of a project than we were willing to take on at this time. Defeated, we started our trip home with an empty trailer. But, we hadn't ate all day so we stopped at the first Big Boy's burger joint we found to grab a bite to eat. While waiting on our Super Big Boy fatty burgers, I looked over to see an almost puzzled look on Shawn's face while looking at his phone. A few minutes went by and then he handed me his phone and said "check this out." At first, I didn't really know what I was looking at, but I knew it looked cool. An ad on Craigslist for a 1976 Impala station wagon with a short, simple description of 400/350. While I didn't know exactly what I was looking at, Shawn was noticeably excited by seeing this. Apparently he has been searching for '71-'76 Impala wagons for nearly 2 years (even before purchasing his '72 Impala 'vert). The ad had been on there for 6 days so we didn't really expect it to still be available and if it was, it was probably more than we were looking to spend at the time. There was a number on the ad so I text to see if it was still available and how much they were asking for this sweet ride.(they were a blue too, which hardly ever happens when texting Craigslist people lol- iPhone ftw lol). A couple hours and decent nap passed but when I woke up, I had a reply message stating the car was still available and what they were asking for it. A few quick questions to the seller and then our promise that we would be there the following morning to check it out and we had locked in a deal. As we pulled into Dexter, MO bright and early the next morning we laid eyes on this rad machine and instantly knew we were taking this thing home.

I actually planned to drive this thing home, and I would have had the front brakes not locked up as I ran out of gas coasting into the gas station just a couple miles down the road lol. No big deal though. Thanks to a couple locals, we got the wagon loaded on the trailer and headed west to get this thing in the shop to make it road worthy. Now, this is where many of you will lose interest, but it's just what we like. So bear with us and just appreciate the effort involved in giving this classic a new identity. Once we got the front brake situation situated, we had to get the stance right so we could fit these rose gold 26" Asanti wheels on it. A quick trip to the local O'Reilly to get some front coil spring spacers and some lowering blocks for the rear and we were ready to get to work. Future plans for the suspension include coilovers on the front and some double adjustable shocks on the rear. However, we did what we could with what we had for now. And it turned out great.

As you've seen on our social media over the last couple weeks, we wanted skirts on this thing. Unfortunately, the '71-'76 Caprice/Impala wagons didn't come with skirts from the factory and the skirts from the sedans and coupes don't fit. So, we, or rather, Shawn's dad Richard, made skirts! Now, you would think the actual process of making the skirts; shaping, molding, fiberglassing, trimming, fitting the skirts would be the hardest part of this project. And I gotta think that for most people it would be, but he made it look EASY from start to finish took him less than a full days worth of work. Pretty wild to watch. The hardest part was matching the 43 year old paint...and he even nailed that as well.

And now the finished product...PERFECT! As far as we know, this is the first 1976 Impala wagon with fender skirts!

No immediately plans for it right now. We're just too busy with filming and the SEMA Scout Project to really dive into another project. Eventually, Rick will do the paint and body. Kicker will put the slap in it. And I think 1000+HP blow LS would be pretty sweet under the hood. But, for now, I'm just gonna daily drive it as much as possible and enjoy the incredibly smooth ride as I set the cruise control (yes the factory 1976 vacuum operated cruise control still works) at 80 on the interstate on my daily commute.

As usual, thanks for sticking around to the end of my ramblings, and keep an eye on this one cuz it's gonna be something to see!

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