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First Coast Gears: A one-off Toyota Camry wagon coupe and customized Ford Thunderbird make for an eclectic mix

11:39 AM, Jul 28, 2012   |    comments
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Area Car Shows

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The variety never ceases at car shows around the First Coast. Case in point is last Saturday's Sunshine State Chevelles cruise-in at the Bono's on San Pablo Road. 

Sure there were sweet Chevys motoring through, but who would have thought a one-of-a-kind Camry station wagon coupe would also be in the mix?

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If you're thinking to yourself, "I don't remember Toyota making a Camry coupe station wagon," there's a good reason: Toyota didn't.  Ed Buck, who lives in Arlington, bought a 1996 Camry wagon and a 1996 Camry coupe as a donor car. Then he and buddy got to work, literally welding the two bodies together. I'd dare anyone detect where the bodies were fused. Their work is impeccable.

"It's welded in at the roof," said Buck. "I wanted a two door wagon.  It's been fun. I drive it every day to work." In fact, it's been so much fun that the Toyota shows more than 200,000 miles on the odometer, but you'd never know it given its condition. 

Other custom touches include a front bumper from a Toyota Matrix, meshed grille inserts from a Cadillac Escalade and CTS, Lexus wheels and the removal of the Toyota Camry branding. This wagon also has some scoot thanks to the TRO supercharger.

Buck was especially pleased with how his two-tone paint job turned out, with the primary color being Ocean Blue. The paint changes shades based on the light and is based on a Maserati color, according to Buck.

You can't miss the candy green paint on Matthew Stroup's 1973 Ford Thunderbird. Stroup, who lives in the San Pablo area, got his T-Bird about five years ago and has been working on it ever since. He got the mechanicals up-to-stuff, including a new bored out 460 Ford engine, but the externals are what get his Thunderbird noticed.

Besides the stunning green candy paint, the most eye catching feature is a set of color-matched 22-inch StreetSpin by Davin spinners. 

This Thunderbird will be a tailgating favorite with multiple video screens and speakers in the trunk, powered by a Pioneer AVH-P3100DVD/MP3 receiver and Kicker speakers. Next up for Stroup: Getting the panels, body and paint to the level of perfection he's striving for.

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