El Co­qui

IT’S GREEN AND IT’S GOT HOP

Low Rider - - CONTENTS - STORY & PHO­TOS BY PHIL GOR­DON

Ja­son Diaz's '84 Chevy Caprice Clas­sic

Look any­where in the United States and one can find the com­mon frog, but in Puerto Rico there’s a spe­cial frog that’s no­to­ri­ous for its ex­tremely loud mat­ing. De­signed to be an au­di­ble warn­ing to com­pet­ing male frogs, and a mat­ing call to all fe­male frogs, the in­va­sive frog is called Co­qui. So when Ja­son

Diaz was asked to come up with a name for his new build, it was only ap­pro­pri­ate to use the Co­qui as in­spi­ra­tion—es­pe­cially since the frog is known for its high hop range and unique green color.

Born and raised in Chicago, Ja­son took a rather un­usual foray into the lowrider cul­ture. “I was heavy into stereo,” Ja­son tells LR. “In fact my very first car was a decked-out

'86 Subaru.” As time passed, he up­graded to a mini­van for more au­dio room and it was dur­ing this build that he threw on his first set of wire wheels. As chance would have it, he had some friends driv­ing out to Cal­i­for­nia for the Ma­jes­tics pic­nic so he hitched a ride and came back with a new per­spec­tive—and a new project.

Once he ar­rived at the pic­nic he spent the next five hours in com­plete amaze­ment. He pe­rused all the dif­fer­ent styles, wit­nessed his first hop com­pe­ti­tion, and his en­tire out­look on cus­tom ve­hi­cles

changed. His in­ter­est led to many ques­tions and one of the lowrider own­ers even men­tioned that he had a half-done project for sale. With in­ter­est, Ja­son asked if he could see it and the owner had it brought down. It was a com­plete '84 Chevy Caprice Clas­sic with worn-out paint, and a cut frame that was ready for a hy­draulic setup.

Ja­son shelled out the $500 de­posit, hired a trans­port com­pany, and once home wired the owner the rest of the ask­ing price. Ja­son brought the Caprice to a shop to add a hy­draulic sus­pen­sion that was good enough to com­pete with the hop­pers he saw in Cal­i­for­nia. The next month there was a show in Indy and Ja­son got in the car and drove the car to Indy, but half­way there the trans­mis­sion went out. The Caprice was towed the rest of the way, un­loaded from the trailer and hopped at the show tak­ing Third Place.

Once back to Chicago, Ja­son put the Chevy away for the next two years, re­fo­cus­ing on other things un­til a friend con­tacted him. His friend was sell­ing an LT1 out of a

'96 Im­pala SS so once again Ja­son scooped up the mo­tor and the project was back on. Ja­son sent the Caprice to Du­ran’s Bodyshop where they added the moon­roof and grafted Cadil­lac quar­ter-panel win­dows on each side. From there, the shop put the car aside

to work on other jobs for the next two years un­til Ja­son took the car back and put it in his garage.

Now as a mem­ber of Ma­jes­tics in Chicago, Ja­son en­listed the help of his friends and mem­bers Rafi, Raul, Al­berto, Alex, Jimmy, Sil­ver, David, Sal, and Beto to paint the belly and en­gine bay. It was all hands on deck as the group added a freshly pur­chased frame from Pit­bull Hy­draulics that took months to put into place. His cus­tom painter Raul from Musher Body Shop in Cicero added a cus­tom Kiwi paint on the Caprice ex­te­rior, en­gine, and trans­mis­sion.

El Co­qui was ready to be de­buted in 2017 and came out swing­ing, over­com­ing ev­ery ob­sta­cle. Ja­son wishes to thank all his friends and fam­ily for their help, ded­i­ca­tion, and mo­ti­va­tion, in­clud­ing Bruce, Jimmy, Raul, Alex, Sil­ver, Al­berto, Arturo, Sal, Beto, David, and Johnny. Like the frog in Puerto Rico, El Co­qui is ready to hop at any time in Chicago.

CAR MODEL 1984 CAPRICE CLAS­SIC BY CHEVRO­LET

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.