This is a world-class show car called the Royal Tahitian. It was designed by Hall of Fame customizer John D’Agostino. D’Agostino had it built by Bill Reasoner in the early 80’s to a traditional custom style. It was on the show circuit even winning the West Coast Customs Best of Show award at the Paso Robles show in 1986. In 1987, it was traded to Gene Winfield for his Jade Idol. It then became less visable.
We have seen a photo of it that indicates it was part of a Canadian collection. We do know it was included in a multiple vehicle consignment to a 2009 RM auction in Monterey, CA. From there it went to Michigan.
A mutual friend put the two of us together. The most recent owner, a Ford retiree, had truly cared for this car and determinedly transformed it from a trailer queen to a capable driver.
It currently rolls on radial tires and has new front disc brakes. Both the steering and brakes are power. The engine is a 350 Chevy and the trans is a Turbo400. The Ford Granada rear end has 2.79 gears. It is truly a great cruiser. Especially since the front suspension and steering have all been restored.
A Vintage heat and A/C system provide great comfort. The wipers are electric. All gauges and lights function properly.
Now it is a very capable driver that deserves to go back on the show circuit. It truly is a world-class custom.
The car has been lowered, frenched and shaved. The grill is from a ’55 Pontiac, the bumper is ’54 Mercury, the headlight buckets are ’55 Chevy and the tail lights are ’57 Chrysler. The gorgeous chrome and stainless trim are mostly customized for this car.
The interior is striking in a pearl white naugahyde. The button-tufted style carries through the entire vehicle, including the headliner, package tray, trunk and floor mats. There is a definate bullet theme with the switches, lock knobs and steering wheel.
In its heyday, this car rolled on wide whitewall tires. The wheel covers had bullet centers. It sported fender skirts.
D’Agostino designed a fabulous custom car from a beautiful 1953 Mercury Monterey hardtop. The previous owner prepared it to be a capable driver. We hope the next caretaker will drive it and show it. Car lovers all over the world deserve to see the Royal Tahitian in its glory.