Greg Peterson loves powder-the kind you spray on car parts and bake in a 390-degree oven for 10 minutes or until done. He ought to-he owns Extreme Powder Coating, a company he started from the ground up about nine years ago. Greg takes pride in his company's ability to coat very large parts and loves to show off his work.
The Buick on these pages represents a little more than three years of his work. Greg bought this Buick in 2004 and planned to build a great-looking car that showcases the benefits of powdercoating. "I bought it on eBay. I only paid $2,200 for it," he tells us. He had been looking for a wagon to build so he and his wife, Linda, could go cruising on weekends and travel to Goodguys shows. Greg had been working on a '62 Chevy bubbletop but wanted something different. He knew he found the right car when he saw the Buick but wasn't sure what the original powerplant was, because the previous owner had already dropped in a big 455. "It ran pretty good; I could have driven it like that for a while," Greg says. But he had a plan for the car and implemented it right away.
"I wanted to use this car to promote powdercoating. There are 145 powdercoated parts on it," Greg tells us. To do that, he took apart the car completely, determining which parts he wanted to coat and what to do with the stuff he couldn't. The stuff destined for the coating oven had a date with the grinding wheel first. "The frame alone spent 80 hours at the grinder's," he says. A frame is a big thing to coat, but Greg's company has an oven large enough to accommodate a 40-foot-long part. So after all that grinding, he shoved the frame in the oven. The rear axle, transmission, inner fenders, intake manifold, and 139 other parts followed in short order. Soon enough, a finished car emerged-a car with one foot in the muscle car world and another in the street rod world. The hopped-up 455 serves up a tasty dish of horsepower, while the shaved, smoothed, and frenched sheetmetal wows the crowds at the nostalgia shows. Straddling the line is his company's powdercoating. Its appeal is universal.
Who: Greg Peterson
What: '67 Buick Special wagon
Where: Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, a city whose borders extend into Steele and Dodge counties.
Engine: Though the wagon already had a 455 when Greg bought it, he says it was a little strung out, so he replaced it with a newer 455 that was bored 0.030 over by RPM Engines in Faribault, Minnesota, and assembled with a steel crank, Diamond 10.50:1 pistons, Total Seal rings, and Federal-Mogul bearings. A big Isky cam provides the soundtrack, acting on TA Performance shaft-mount rocker arms and 2.20/1.80-inch valves. The cylinder heads are stock Buick iron castings that RPM Engines treated to a port job.
Induction: The Edelbrock intake manifold is one of the numerous parts Greg powdercoated. It was treated to a smoothing session with a grinder and flap wheel prior to the spray and bake treatment. A Barry Grant Speed Demon 850 carburetor is perched on top, followed by a Billet Specialties air cleaner. Greg was quick to tell us that he has one of those rare Buick Star Wars air cleaners, but it didn't fit the Barry Grant carb, and he didn't have a different carburetor to swap in before the photo shoot.
Transmission: Greg's friend Ron Krieger built the TH400 trans, which was also smoothed and coated before going into the car. The torque converter is from Oregon Performance and stalls at 2,500 rpm. A B&M transmission oil cooler was installed to keep fluid temperatures in check.
Rearend: A factory driveshaft leads back to the original rear axle and spins a set of 3.42:1 gears on a Positive Traction differential. Guess what? Greg also powdercoated the rearend.
Exhaust: Stock Buick manifolds are bolted to the engine. Greg coated them and the rest of the exhaust system with a special ceramic powder. The exhaust diameter measures 2.5 inches and incorporates a pair of Flowmaster mufflers.
Did you know Buick was founded in 1903? Now you do.
Suspension: "This was going to be an airbag car from the beginning," Greg tells us. His Buick is home to a full front and rear set of Air Ride Technologies' Strong Arm suspension parts. The kit comes with everything: control arms, sway bars, bushings, air tank, and controller. Greg's one deviation was using a set of Heidts front spindles in place of the stock GM ones. Some may scoff at airbag cars, saying they're show car only, but their owners beg to differ. Greg swears the car handles like a Corvette.
Brakes: Wilwood provides the stopping power via pairs of 13- and 12-inch rotors on the front and rear of the car. They are gripped, of course, by a set of Wilwood forged calipers.
Wheels/Tires: While the Air Ride suspension contributes to this car's in-the-weeds look, the effect is exaggerated by the oversized 18- and 20-inch Budnik Gasser wheels with 235/45R18 and 275/35R20 Nitto NT555 tires stretched tightly around them.
Paint/Body: Greg did all the sheetmetal work in-house, shaving the door handles and frenching in a set of Buick GS fender vents. Scott Steadman sprayed the Brittany blue and Lexus pearl-white paint scheme. Lenni the Pinstriper of Krazy Kolors Painting did the lettering and silver leaf work.
Interior: Greg turned his local street rod shop guys loose inside the car, and the result is a bit of a departure from what the Buick designers had imagined in 1967. Lakeside Rods redid the dash, fitting an Auto Meter tach to the left of the speedometer and setting a trio of smaller gauges into a mesh bezel on the right side of the dash. Old Skool Kustoms did the upholstery, covering the original seats with cloth from a '67 Caddy. The company also added the Alpine sound system. One especially cool touch is the speaker grilles in the door panels that mirror the fender vents. L&L Street rods handled all the wiring and hid the Air Ride suspension controller box in the ashtray.
"This is my eBay beater.There are a lot of eBay parts on this car."
Thanks: Greg wants to thank his wife, Linda, and all the employees at Extreme Powder Coating.