The Award-Winning 1960 Buick Invicta X60 Custom from CAL Auto

Exploring the Legend: The Triple Crown Winning 1960 Buick

By Brian Brennan   –   Photography By NotStock Photography

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Oftentimes, keeping your hot rod stock can be as important as modifying. Assuming, for the moment, the workmanship and execution of said modification is expertly done, it doesn’t always mean that it enhances the final look. Such is the case with George and Angela Eliacostas and their 1960 Buick Invicta X60 custom, as it is such a custom that was taken “just” far enough.

There is no denying that this ’60 Buick Invicta was modified through countless touches while attention was being paid to the details. Still, throughout the process, the original theme and the design that its creators brought to life back in the postwar era remain.

02 the side shot of the award winning 1960 buick invicata x60 eliacostas cal auto triple crown rodding

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Read More: 1960 Buick LeSabre With Subtle Style

If you speak with the staff of CAL Automotive Creations (CAL), run by its leader, Andy Leach, you will learn that the X60 custom was designed to pay homage to the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. At this point, Eric Black of e.Black Design was called upon to lend his “pen to paper” and bring to life all those great ideas that had been locked up in everyone’s mind.

The Stratofortress, although a “tool of war,” has a shape and appearance of magnificence. Such is the ’60 Buick X60 custom. It truly is of magnificent stature, and its presence at any car show, indoor or outdoor, will attract a great deal of attention and conversation. And, in the end, isn’t that what a hot rod or custom is supposed to do?

05 front Angle View 1960 Buick Invicta X60 shot for modern rodding

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1960 Buick X60 Custom – Body
While retaining much of its original design, the body has undergone traditional mods made to customs by builders. Two inches were removed in a “wedge” fashion up front, and then the front wheel openings were moved forward 1-1/2 inches. This necessitated the hood being lengthened while the roof retained its stock height; we do see that the cowl area was reduced in size, which required the relocation of the windshield wiper towers. Bumpers, door handles, hood and decklid hinges, and oil pan are more custom one-off efforts. Note that all of the brightwork was beautifully handled by Advanced Plating.

11 artful customization under the hood of 1960 buick

1960 Buick X60 Custom – Engine & Trans
Although not easily visible, the firewall was recessed 6 inches. While the 401 Buick Nailhead engine is no stranger to this engine compartment, the custom-made front accessory drive and the billet front mounting system for the ProCharger supercharger and billet intercooler are, which necessitated additional space. Backed up to the original-style V-8 is a Bowler Performance 4L80E overdrive transmission.

08 award winning custom car that won triple crown of hot rodding

Read More: The 2023 Al Slonaker Memorial Award Winner is a ’60 Buick Invicta

1960 Buick X60 Custom – Chassis
The CAL staff fabricated the handcrafted framerails, which include the one-off independent rear suspension and the front suspension featuring custom upper and lower control arms. Other suspension components include Penske shocks and Baer brakes, which are comprised of six-piston calipers and 14-inch rotors in front and four-piston calipers with 12-inch rotors in back.

Rolling stock is made up of custom-made wheels that show up as 19×9 in front and 19×11 in back. The wheels that feature faux whitewalls consist of nine interlocking components and are made to resemble the 15-inch factory wheel. The rubber comes from Pirelli tires with 255/40R19 in front, followed by 265/50R19.

13 the custom car interior of this Buick

1960 Buick X60 Custom – Interior
The interior is truly one of the strong points of this custom, which is loaded with numerous strong points. Fundamentally, it is stock in its appearance with subtle “warming” that makes it even more spectacular to look at. Inside are what are described as “rare” Invicta bucket seats in front, which are then covered in pearlized custom leather that turns out to be N.O.S. material (Cordaveen Green leather and Che-Se Diamond material). Starline Hot Rod Interiors handled the amazing stitchwork. In the back, the side-by-side buckets exemplify more handcrafted work, showing off the GM hardback buckets. The seat trim is all machined and shows off custom Invicta logos and courtesy lights.

Resting between the front seating is a custom-machined center console with hidden cup holders and a charging port. Both items are part and parcel of modern hot rods and customs. The door panels are hand-formed and show off custom-machined trim and the obligatory armrest. The headliner is N.O.S. material, while the carpeting is stitched from custom-woven aircraft material by RedRock Custom Carpets.

17 1960 Buick dash in a customized hot rod built by cal auto

The dashboard and panels are more hand-fabricated workmanship that shows off a “tighter,” cleaner appearance. Dakota Digital instruments are then fit within the factory-style dash. Vintage Air systems also received the nod for the modern-day cool air system to be supplied. The ’64 GM tilt steering column is modified yet topped with a factory Invicta wheel, while the Wonder Bar radio (state of the art for its day) is now refurbished with Bluetooth technology.

0302 buick invicta custom with custom chassis fabrication

Read More: Dan Duffy’s Big Oak Garage Built Bubbletop 1961 Chevy Impala

1960 Buick X60 Custom – Awards
For the record, the major awards that have been awarded to the ’60 Buick Invicta X60 custom during 2023 are the Al Slonaker Memorial Award, Legend Cup, Triple Crown of Rodding Best Street Cruiser, and SEMA Battle of the Builders Hot Rod Category recipient. So far in 2024 it has seized the Barrett-Jackson Ultimate Best In Show (Cup) winner. That is an impressive list of awards, and we cannot recall another hot rod or custom to have taken home a tool chest (literally) filled with so much impressive hardware in a year’s time span. Should you find yourself in a position to “go take a look,” do so, as you will find it very satisfying. There is a lot of custom to see, and it’s all worthwhile. MR

Click on this issue’s cover to see the enhanced digital version of The Award-Winning 1960 Buick Invicta X60 Custom from CAL may 2024

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