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Rizcayne...The Saga Begins

Improving Safety and Driveability with Classic Performance Parts Components

As you may recall, in the May '02 issue's What If? feature, Jimmy Smith penned a way-cool rendering of just what my low-buck '64 Biscayne beater might become given a bit of sorely needed attention. Both CRM Editor Rob Fortier's aim to extol the virtues and endless possibilities of '50s and '60s mild customs, and Jimmy's artwork served their purpose and motivated me to see for myself just how easy (and relatively inexpensively) a halfway solid mid-'60s driver could be converted into a neat mild custom.

Having purchased the '64 two-door post as cheap, reliable rainy season transportation (an economical $2,500 investment), I realized that without spending a huge sum of cash, it was definitely conceivable I'd likely wind up with a pretty darn nice driver--that is, with a bit of planning, some elbow grease, and the help of the aftermarket.

In my case, having a plan was a must, as this time of year is a bit cold and damp for many early morning, 40-plus-mile, one-way commutes to the office on a bike. So, any modifications to what Rob laughingly refers to as the "Rizcayne" would have to be undertaken with this in mind. The plan, in a nutshell, boils down roughly to this: safety, reliability, driveability, comfort, and, of course, looks.

The first order of business was to pay some attention to the Rizcayne's safety and roadworthiness. The '64's rather tired 250-six and three-speed would have to be addressed in the near future, but it was determined that it was smarter to focus on the car's steering and braking capabilities first. After all, building a solid foundation, i.e., suspension, brakes, and steering, is by far the smartest way to begin any automotive project.

To this end I enlisted the aid of a few of the most respected names in the automotive aftermarket to get the ball rolling. Classic Performance Products was an obvious choice for a brake and steering system upgrade because their dropped spindle disc brake conversion kit is one of the industry's highest quality and easiest to install conversions available. To go hand-in-hand with the CCP conversion I chose a set of Eaton Detroit lowering coil springs. And to keep the Rizcayne's down time to a minimum (and so I could chronicle the upgrade for the pages of CRM), I asked Archie Green of Archie's Automotive to perform the upgrade while I tried (sometimes in vain) to elbow my way into the mix with camera in hand.

So, check out the accompanying photos and get in on the start of a cool custom conversion that could easily become a bit of motivation for you to start a relatively quick and easy project of your own.

SOURCES
Classic Performance Products
175 East Freedom Avenue
Anaheim
CA  92801
800-522-5004
www.classicperform.com
Eaton Detroit Spring
1555 Michigan Ave.
Detroit
MI  48216
800-345-5323
www.eatonsprings.com
ARCHIE'S AUTOMOTIVE
120 S. Plum Ave., Dept. CRM
Ontario
CA  91761
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