A California Car is the gold standard for automotive enthusiasts, kept far from snow or salt or extreme climates that tend to deteriorate cars anywhere else in the country. But when the apocalypse sweeps across the globe, many coveted California Cars will crumble... but not The Quinn Reaper
, a 1972 Nova built to survive the barren landscape of nuclear Los Angeles.
We were driving through downtown LA when we first spotted The Quinn Reaper, a menacing Chevy that resembles a bastard-child between Road Warrior and Death Proof; as if Max Rockatansky and Stuntman Mike collided together into a badass apocalyptic murder machine. With flat-black paint, a rusty barbed wire clad bullbar and an extra 6" of lift in the rear, this was not a vehicle that fit in with the neighborhood. In other words, we loved what we saw.
We snapped a quick pic and posted it to our Instagram page, and the owner was soon identified by one of our followers: a gent named Aram Isaacs, co-owner of All American Speed Shop in Van Nuys. Aram was happy to meet with us for an interview, and we were stoked because we wanted to learn not just how, but why someone would take their muscle car in such an obscene direction.
The first thing to take note of is the name of the car: Quinn Reaper, which tells a lot about the idea behind this car. Quinn is of course a reference to Harley Quinn, the Joker's main babe. Aram -- who works for DC -- is quite the contrast of the hardened shell of a man who you might imagine drives this death-wagon, which might also be apparent from the "I Brake for Rainbows" bumper sticker, another dead giveaway that he doesn't take himself too seriously when driving it. In fact, Aram is a super down-to-earth guy, and you might wonder why someone such as himself would drive such a rugged machine. But to him, the car is a perfect homage to both his nerdy side and his roots in muscle cars and what they mean to him.
Truth be told, none of the modifications are that insane. The engine is a bored-over 350 with a mild cam, which Aram describes as "pretty tame, for muscle car standards." The rear-lift is achieved with "helper bars," which basically increase the arch of the leaf springs, adding a few inches of lift but reducing travel. Granted, muscle cars aren't known for handling anyway, so we can't knock him for it.
The real fun comes in the little things Aram has done to his car. He installed functional switch panels on the ceiling and floor from an old Boeing airplane that control the fuel pump, interior lights, and a few other nifty gadgets. But by far, our favorite mod has to be the loud-speaker, which would take serious restraint from us not to use constantly in LA traffic.
Aram admits that his car probably wouldn't survive in the real wasteland, but he raises a good point: the men and women behind Mad Max: Fury Road had a hell of a time keeping those cars running, too. It's all just another reminder that this build is all in the name of fun, and Aram loves having a car that people can look at and enjoy.
All in all, we think the Quinn Reaper is a unique take on a common muscle car platform, and we certainly approve of Aram's creation!