Goodguys 2023 Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year!
Congratulations to George Eliacostas for winning the Goodguys 2023 Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year title with your 1960 Buick Invicta built by CAL Auto Creations! We’ll see you and your vehicle in Scottsdale, Arizona November 17-19, 2023 at the 26th Speedway Motors Southwest Nationals as part of our 2023 Top 12 display!
Sometimes the best custom cars don’t look custom, they just look better than stock and beg you to study them to learn why. There’s no better example than the X60, the 1960 Buick Invicta of George Eliacostas. Built by CAL Auto Creations, it retains the essence of the original Buick design, but every inch has been enhanced, refined, or custom fabricated to achieve an appearance – and performance – that’s light years beyond what came off the assembly line. It’s like a concept car built in the future and transported back to 1960.
The mechanical elements go well beyond OEM technology, starting with a custom frame with hand-crafted rails and crossmembers, a custom front suspension with machined control arms and Penske coil-over shocks, and an engineered independent rear suspension. All the suspension pieces are painstakingly detailed, while Baer brakes mount on each corner. The 19×9- and 19×11-inch wheels are intricate engineering achievements, each consisting of nine interlocking components and incorporating a faux machined whitewall, all wrapped in Pirelli rubber.
The drivetrain is based on a 401c.i. Buick Nailhead V8 but gets more sophisticated from there. A crank-driven centrifugal supercharger provides boost and is mounted among the custom front accessory drive setup. A custom intake with a single throttle body and sequential fuel injection delivers the fuel mixture to the smoothed and detailed engine, while the 4L80E transmission has a custom billet pan that matches the engine oil pan.
The CAL Auto Creations team re-engineered the Buick’s Jet Age body, enhancing the lines with a subtle wedge section, relocated front wheel openings, and manipulated proportions to improve visual flow. All the trim was CAD designed and custom machined, as was the one-piece rear bumper. Hand-crafted elements include the front bumper and headlight housings, while the custom-machined taillight bezels incorporate the fuel filler in the center. The team at Painthouse Texas applied the beautiful sage metallic green finish.
The inside follows a similar approach – 1960 with a refined twist. It’s built around rare original hard-back bucket seats, which were modified with custom trim. The CAL Auto team designed rear seats to match, along with a custom machined console and hand-formed door and side panels. Starline Hot Rod Interiors covered things in pearlized leather and NOS cloth, while the dash was updated with a ’64 GM tilt steering column and an updated Wonderbar radio with hidden Bluetooth technology.
The Buick earned the prestigious Al Slonaker Memorial Award at the Grand National Roadster Show to begin the year and was a natural choice to become the Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year finalist in Del Mar. Both are fitting rewards for a stunning custom built with incredible craftsmanship and style.
Photos by Michael Christensen