Traditional Custom Built to Drive – Bill Ganahl’s ’64 Rivi
“I wanted a car that I didn’t get to build for my customers,” says South City Rod & Custom owner Bill Ganahl, “a traditional custom built just to drive based on customs of the ’60s. People don’t typically spend a lot of money on true traditional customs, so I wanted to build a nice example inspired by Gary Howard, Lee Pratt, and the Bellflower style.”
Bill did just that, somehow finding the energy to work on his ’64 Rivi during evenings and weekends after long days in the shop. It helped that he kept the chassis simple, leaving it stock except for air springs. Buick GS wheels and Vercelli 1-inch whitewalls completed the look and get turning courtesy of a 425c.i. Nailhead updated with Pertronix ignition, Offenhauser valve covers, and a dual exhaust breathing through Magnaflow mufflers. It’s backed by the original TH400 automatic.
The body was kept simple, too, with shaved emblems, shaved and tucked bumpers, and a ’65 Riviera grille with the headlights moved behind the park light grilles. Bill’s father Pat handled the bodywork and sprayed the lilac PPG paint, and then Darryl Hollenbeck sprayed lace patterns on the roof using House of Kolor materials. Chris Plante stepped in to stitch the gorgeous white leather interior with Cadillac cloth inserts.
We’d love to see more people build mild customs like Bill’s tasty Riviera – clean, simple, street driven, and cool.
Photos by John Jackson