All of which brings us to where we left off two-and-a-half years ago, when the coupe was on its way to the paint shop. Bob Cole, of Long Beach, California, prepped the extensively modified sheetmetal before laying on the Glasurit Bordeaux Red, a hue from Volkswagen's 1948 color charts. This understated color perfectly follows John's self-imposed design cue of "nothing flashy, with no single detail standing out," and works well with the minimal chrome on the car. Incidentally, those are '41 Ford bumpers, with the rear coming from a woodie, as John liked the dip in the center, to which was added a '49 Chevy license surround. Even this was reworked, being narrowed 4 inches and with an inch removed from its depth.

Pete Engle of Westminster Auto Upholstery got the nod to tackle the interior, as he "completely got the concept we were going for," according to John. He heavily modified the foam in the Wise Guys split bench seat to make it appear vintage, then used leather and wool and German square weave carpet to produce a period-looking interior. John had bought a '48 Chevy steering wheel at the last WCK Paso Robles show with the intention of repainting it, but that steering wheel ended up deciding the palette of colors they'd use in the coupe, with the fabric matched to the wheel.

Now that its appearance in the Showcase of Customs at the Long Beach Motorama is done, John promises there will be no more pampering, and he'll drive the car everywhere. He uses it some weeks to drive to and from work, though its longest trip so far was from Austin to Phoenix on the return trip from the Lone Star Roundup two years ago. "I knew we had major engine issues before the trip so I trailered it to Austin, but I also knew I would be swapping the engine on our return so I figured I would drive it to its death. That is exactly what happened; we lost all oil pressure in 105-degree heat and rolled off the road and onto the trailer." Those issues are long gone now, and the fully sorted coupe is proving to be a reliable driver. We might just wait awhile before road tripping with you though John, just to be sure ...