Loyal Lowrider Magazine readers may remember Manuel Molina's 'chillin' '63 Chevy Impala convertible, 'Mocha Frost,' from our September '98 issue. Among the car's admires was Manuel's brother George Molina. George had never owned a full-on custom car before, but this 27-year-old homeboy from Fullerton, California, admits that he had 'a '61 rag in mind' after his brother built Mocha Frost. With Manuel’s help (he found a suitable '61 for his brother in Tennessee), George is now the proud owner of 'El Pirata' ('The Pirate'), one of the finest boulevard raiders in all of Southern California.

Like his brother, George obviously possesses a 'commitment to excellence,' and decided that he wanted to deliver a winner at any cost. George insisted on a vehicle worthy of flying the Brown Pride – Orange County club plaque and one to lead the silver and black attack. Two years and thousands of dollars later, this rag has the riches.

The source of power is a totally reworked 327-c.i.d. 'Turbo Fire' Chevy engine, loaded up with plenty of pirate plunder like a polished Edelbrock carburetor and OG Chevy valve covers, courtesy of 'El Pilas' at Bell Auto in Santa Fe Springs, California, George knew that he had a good thing going with the guys at Bell Auto, and it was there 'Pancho' rebuilt the chassis (with additional suspension work done by Brown Pride club members 'Mouse', '64 Joe', and Meno).

It was also at Bell Auto where 'Charro' prepped the car for paint and shot the two-tone silver and black lacquer color scheme in honor of George’s favorite pro football team. Further running up the points on the car's exterior are dual antennas, OG bullet spotlight (one of several items obtained by George during his frequent 'raids' on the Pomona, California, automotive swap meet), heavenly chrome plating by Angel's Plating of Santa Fe Springs and a set of 100-spoke black chrome wire wheels complete with two-prong Chevy 'bowtie' spinners.

Meanwhile, Homies Hydraulics in Paramount, California, hooked up El Pirata with a hot hydraulics setup. The trunk treasure consists of two Marzocchi pumps with an OG square dump for precision movement in the front end of the car and a Delta pump to handle the action in the rear. A set of 8-inch cylinders on all four corners, plus 2-ton springs, eight Trojan batteries, Prestolite solenoids and four dash–mounted switches help this ground-pounding marauder hit front, back and three-wheel moves with ease.

The masterful interior was the handiwork of 'Maestro' at Stitches in Bell, California. George and the others who ride in this pirate ship do so in comfort. The original bench seats were treated to silver and black vinyl with cloth inserts, while the door panels were acquired from Cars 1 in Fullerton. Though mostly original in style, the '61 interior does feature a dash-mounted GM compass and an all-Alpine sound system (with 12-inch JL Audio woofers) wired up by 'Gordo' at Auto Restyles in Paramount. Good ol' Gordo also gets the credit for stitching up the bowtie logo floor mat in the trunk.

Having completed a super '61 convertible that's every bit a match for his brother's '63, George should feel like he’s on top of the world. His car is certainly of championship caliber. Now if only his favorite football team could follow his example of excellence.

Text by Jeffrey Rick and Photos by Marco A. Patino(Oct. 2000)





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