1975 Chevrolet Caprice Classic: White Knight

What started as a modest upgrade snowballed into a build that could rival any Donk in the game.

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Story by: Evan “Evo” Yates
Photography by: Andrew Link

As simple as men may seem at times, when it comes to cars and women, some of us are in constant conflict. We desire that sexy, curvaceous model that grabs all the attention but also want the good girl we can bring home to Mama. The Donk game exemplifies this pattern, as we want that loud, flashy whip on super-size shoes that turns all the heads, while we yearn for that clean and classy ride we can cruise anywhere in with less fanfare. Jonathan “Ross” Ivy is a perfect example of this whip-game conundrum and, fortunately for him, he can have both.

Ross got a taste of what owning a flashy Donk entails back in 2011 when he hit the scene with a supercharged, Kandy-gold 1975 convertible on 30-inch Forgiatos. After dominating the Internet, shutting down car shows and scoring a spot on the cover of RIDES [July/August 2011], the veneer of owning an attention-grabbing Donk had worn off, somewhat like having a high-maintenance video vixen on your arm. Ross decided to pay some attention to his first love, the other ’75 Caprice convertible in the stable.

“It was the first thing I ever bought once I made some money,” he explains. “So I decided it deserved to receive the full treatment.” After linking up with Sandman from Sandman Designs on a couple other game-changing builds, he shipped his pearly prize to Nashville for a drivetrain upgrade. “I originally sent it to Sandman for a motor and tranny only,” says Ross. Sandman discarded the old 468 big block motor for a fuel-injected Ram Jet 502 big block. “I actually downgraded in horsepower,” says Ross. “But I was going for looks under the hood this time, on top of the horsepower and reliability.” After the drivetrain was complete, Ross decided that since this particular Caprice held so much sentimental value, they would go through the entire car, leaving no weak links in the chain. “After he finished the motor, we kept coming up with more ideas, and one thing turned into another,” says Ross.

The lengths to which the valuable ’vert was upgraded are almost unfathomable, from the custom coilover suspension to the $7,000 Wilwood brake system featuring 16-inch rotors and six-piston calipers. On the interior, nothing was left stock, most notably the custom metalwork made possible by the in-house CNC machine Sandman has at his disposal. “He just keeps coming up with ideas for things he can make with that CNC,” explains Ross.

With the Donk complete, Ross and Sandman are both eager to load up the superior Chevy on the trailer and tour the South for the sole purpose of schooling the masses as to how nice this ride really is—because, admittedly, it’s one of those cars that can’t be fully appreciated unless witnessed in person. “It’s one of the top-notch, classier cars,” says Ross. “Somebody is always going to have a bigger system, a bigger wheel or a bigger motor, but detail for detail, there’s not another Donk out there like mine.”

 

Spec The Technique:

Year/Make/Model: 1975 Chevrolet Caprice

Performance: Ram Jet 502 big block crate engine; Holley Performance throttle body; polished accents by Joe from Superior Polishing; Hooker Headers; custom powder coating by Mr. Speed; custom Sandman Designs serpentine kit, crossmember, brake proportioning valve heat shield; Excessive Amperage high output 400 amp alternator; polished pulleys; powder coated bracket; Bowtie Overdrives 4L80e transmission by Hall Meade Transmission; TCI EZ-TCU transmission control unit; Hydratech hydroboost brake boost; Wilwood brakes, 16-inch rotors in front, 14.25-inch rotors in rear; Northern Radiator, Hurricane fans; Dakota Digital electronic fan controller; custom driveshaft; Chevrolet Impala SS rear end; Hotchkis bushings, sway bar bushings; Yukon Dura Grip 4.11 gear ratio; 30 spline axles; Viking Performance front and rear coilovers, custom mounts; Rick’s Stainless Tanks gas tank; custom upper arms; billet, powder coated steel radiator support, custom dimple dies

Exterior: All polishing and chrome done by Joe from Superior Polishing; new bumpers and strips; custom side trim; deleted wipers and cowl area obstructions; custom engraved billet cowl panel; Quad HID kits; custom emblems, skirt fitment, suspension and stance; dual NOS mirrors; 3-stage custom bright white pearl paint and Dakota Digital LED taillights, blacked-out by Kevin and Cameron at 777 Kustomz

Interior: All interior work done by Mark Stephens from Stephens Brothers; custom dash, control panel, chrome vents; Dakota Digital gauges, climate control and fan controller with actuator controller; custom door panels, speaker enclosures with billet grilles and stainless inserts; seat stitching, medallions with “Ross” engraved; installed power seats and windows; chrome, leather-wrapped Billet Specialties steering wheel; Porsche Silver leather and suede, wool carpet, top installed on chrome rack done by Joey in Miami; door panel control center, deleted interior handles; Painless Performance push-button start system installed in keyhole column; motorized actuator trunk lift

ICE: Pioneer double-DIN head unit; two JL Audio HD1200/1 amplifiers, two HD600/4 amps, eight 6.5-inch ZR midbass drivers, eight ZR tweeters, four 12W6v3-D4 subwoofers in a custom wrapped and painted fiberglass enclosure; two Stinger batteries; billet and chrome all throughout trunk interior; custom “IVY” and “Sandman” badges

Wheels/Tires: Custom painted Forgiato Quinto wheels, 28×9-inch front, 28×10-inch rear; Lexani LX-THIRTY tires, 275/25/28

Shout-outs: Kevin and Cameron from 777 Kustomz for body work and paint; Joe from Superior Polishing for chrome and polishing; James Terry from Mr. Speed Powder Coatings for all powder coating; Mark Stephens from Stephens Brothers for upholstery; Troy Miller, Eric Hitt, Justin Kelly, Dvace Mendoza and Brian Hayes for all the help


  • Teresa Davis Lewin

    Paint and custom/body work by Kevin Lewin @ Triple 7 Kustomz, Hendersonville, TN

  • Jazzy MGMT

    1975 Root Beer Brown Caprice Classic on 24 inch rims is Killin the streets in the Hansen Hills “Jazzy”

    • Big Mac

      I love the “Glass House” AKA Caprice Classics The West Coast have the best cars