Imagine knowing exactly how your car is going to look before you even build it. While most of us know in our heads what we want, there are few that will lay it all out. And in the case of Eugene Minniweather III, he not only sketched up his entire interior but brought samples of the material as well as the color codes.
But even all the planning in the world couldn’t have prepared Eugene for what he was about to experience. With original plans to have the car done in two years, that dream soon turned sour after dealing with three painters in what was to become a 10 year ordeal.
Spotted this clean G Body with the chrome undies on
Eugene and the painter nailed the red color
Eugene and his fiance, Ashleigh
The Journey for this 1976 Caprice Classic Landau started in 2008 when Eugene bought the shell with a vision of having “everything red.” The car was in such disrepair it took four complete cars to complete the one you see here. “I had to buy four different cars because they don’t make many reproduction parts for these cars since they’re not as popular a platform as let’s say the Impala,” says Eugene.
His dream soon turned into a nightmare after dealing with the first painter – an experience that cost him three years of his life and $7,500, just to pick it up the exact same way he left it.
At this point in time, the frame had been done by Jayson from Westside Customs in Hillsboro and powdercoated by STB Powdercoating in Portland. His buddy Joe Dinsmore helped him assemble and paint the Chevy 350 small block while Buick Mike did the internals.The chrome was all done by Northwest Plating from Vancouver, Washington. The only thing he really needed to complete the build was the shell.
Eugene and the owner of “Stacy’s ’76 Caprice” from Menace II Society
It’s a whole lotta red in this mug
After pulling the car out of the shop he found another painter who was willing to blast the shell and paint the belly for $7,500 and Eugene was all in. That is, until two days later when the painter asked for an additional $3,000. After having a bad experience with the first painter, Eugene was already turned off and had a gut feeling that this was going to be another bad deal so he pullled the car.
At this point, his dream was getting dim and he started to lose hope until some of his club brothers and fiance pushed him to fulfill his dreams.
“It takes a tribe to get things done. It’s never a one-man band finishing a car and I’m thankful for them,” says Eugene. That’s when he ran into a retired mailman that laid paint in his backyard. After striking a deal, Eugene dropped the car off and went with the red color code off of a Porsche 911. He went full steam, and even had them rhino line any part of the underbelly that may come into contact with rocks since he planned to put miles on it.
With the paint complete, it was time to cut and polish the car before marrying it to the frame — a task his club brothers helped him with.
(Left) The triggers (Right) Intellitronix digital dash
After the car was assembled by Joe and Eugene the only thing left to do was the interior. The first interior guy he consulted with wanted to make changes to the design and material selection, and Eugene wasn’t having it. He spent plenty of hours mocking it up and he wanted every detail to be exact, especially the 1950 Ford dash him and his buddy Joe cut and molded to make fit. The only thing that didn’t make it to life was the original gauge concept he had, but at the time no one made displays similar to that so he had to improvise. “Until you build it you would never know how things would work out, you gotta just move with it,” said Eugene.
Being born and Raised in Portland, Oregon him and his fiance Ashleigh had to throw in some hometown flavor by adding shapes that resemble the famous St. Johns Bridge Cathedral.
Clean on the inside
and just as clean on the outside
With the interior wrapped up, Eugene and Jayson built the trunk panels and had them upholstered by Mike and Joe at Bright Upholstery Hydraulics, a task they did to sheer perfection. After that Eugene and Jayson went to town and assembled the trunk setup.
As for the stance you see, that was achieved all thanks to the 14×7-inch, 96 spoke Zenith wires on Premium Sportways. Suspension mods include extended and boxed A-arms, Pro Hopper springs, and three Pro Hopper pumps. Beat comes by way of a Pioneer head unit with three JBL amps, four JBL speakers, and two JBL subwoofers.
The Caprice is a definte looker, and that’s exactly how I found it after visting Elysian Park for Glasshouse Fest 2021. At first sight, my eyes were glued on it. That’s when I noticed the license plates. It turns out, Eugene, Ashleigh, and his club brother Joe brought the car down from Portland and that made for the perfect opportunity to shoot his car and share his journey.
Eugene said he’s been trying to attend Glasshouse Fest for the past 12 years and is glad he finally made it out.
Palm trees and lowriders
Three painters, two interior guys, and 10 years later the car is finally done and Eugene thought there was no better suited name than “In My Feelings” because building the car definitely put him through all kinds of emotions. “There’s not a nut on this car, I didn’t turn myself,” said Eugene, and it’s a sentiment not a lot of people could say. But that wasn’t to say he did most of the work himself. Eugene said without the knowledge of his friend Joe Dinsmore this car would probably still not be finished without the countless hours and weekends he spent working on it. What Eugene said was just a friend from work who loved cars turned into his best friend after spending years working on cars together.
Needles to say, this car has so much sentimental value to Eugene and the vision was just too strong to give up even after 10 years. When asked if he’s done with the car, Eugene said he’s just getting started. He plans to get it pinstriped, add a custom color bar that goes the length of the dash, and definitely more chrome. You really have to see this car in person because if this is any indication as to how Portland gets down, then it’s safe to say that “Portland don’t play.”
During the Build: A few of the original sketches that he drew of his interior back in 2008 as well as some progress pics including Mike the painter and Eugene’s friend Joe getting down on the wiring.