Levels to the Game
Ben Coleman's '75 Chevy Caprice convertible
For most, the process of building a lowrider is typically the same. We find a car we like and little by little we turn our dreams into reality. It’s a story that’s been told time and time again and in the end it winds up feeling like we’re back in the education system and graduating from one stage to the next.
At first we save up for a two-stage paintjob, and from there we graduate into pearls and flakes. Then there are the adventurous few who will go on to earn a master’s degree by entering the world of custom candy patterns and pinstriping. But for the lucky few, the journey isn’t necessarily one that involves an evolution of upgrades, but rather a change in major and the start of a fresh, new platform. Such is the story of Ben Coleman of Las Vegas.
Ben originally began by restoring an '85 Chevy Caprice but quickly decided to move onto an '82 Buick Regal. His ascension continued when he traded up for the coveted “Glasshouse”—arguably one of
lowrider’s most popular models ever made. While the newly acquired '76 Caprice gave Ben a glimpse of what the lowrider mountaintop looked like, deep down he knew his climb wasn’t quite over.
You see, he couldn’t fully enjoy the view while enclosed in a hardtop; and while the '76 held a special place in his heart, he knew his climb was far from over and wouldn’t be completed without landing a highly coveted convertible. In fact,
Ben was so fond of that hardtop that when he was finally able to acquire the prized convertible, he decided to build an exact replica of the “Glasshouse” he had previously owned.
Having gone through the process once prior, he knew exactly what to do. In an almost ritualistic pattern, the interior was shipped off to Wizard’s in Las Vegas where the seats were redone in '63 Impala stitching and patterns with '59 Impala factory inserts. The interior was further upgraded with molded kick panels and matching painted accents. Lil Greg of TKO Customs dug up the formula for his custom Autumn Copper color originally created for Ben’s “Glasshouse,” while legendary artist Gary Jensen was called upon once again to lay down some copper leafing and pinstripe lines, which would flow among the vehicle’s distinct bodylines.
The convertible’s restoration continued with a complete chrome suspension, new Zenith wire wheels, and a hydraulic setup featuring a two-pump whammy tank, hard lines, four dumps, and four switches, all custom built by the local Vegas team at Black Magic Hydraulics. And as Ben sits perched atop the mountain of car customization, many would say he’s now enjoying the view, but we think otherwise because knowing Ben he’s simply looking for another mountain to conquer.
The Caprice convertible was discontinued in 1975. That year, 8,350 found buyers, and one of those few represents Streetwise in Vegas.
CAR MODEL 1975 CAPRICE CLASSIC CONVERTIBLE BY CHEVROLET
A touch of '63 and '59 interior inserts add some nostalgia to this classic ride.