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SP Rides: Charlie’s Got A Cool Ride

April 11, 2014
 
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BY MICHAEL KITCHENS

Name:  Charlie V. Molina
Age: 39
Occupation:  Corrections officer
Hobbies: Cars, motorcycles, family
Year/Make/Model: 1947 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan
Color: Metallic Root Beer
Build Time: On and off for 10 years
Exterior:  Chrome tips, color-matched Swamp cooler, Fulton window visor
Interior: 10-switch box, Supremacy plaque, relocated battery box, carpeted trunk
Suspension: Viair 480 compressor, 4-gallon aluminum air tank, Asco manifold valves, custom brackets with Universal Air and Firestone air springs
Wheels and Tires: Custom-painted Wire wheels, mileage whitewall tires at 175/70R16s
 Shout-outs:  “Thanks to my wife and kids, and Supremacy family.”

To say Charlie Molina became an automotive enthusiast at a young age is an understatement. After all, he already owned his first ride — a modified mini-truck — at just 14. Since that time, he’s called about a dozen modified vehicles his, but his heart has always been set on a bomb. The term “bomb” originates from the hydraulics pulled from a B-52 bomber that was used to raise and lower the ride in its earliest form.

“This old dude, Mel Falcon — he was the only one running around with a bomber,” Charlie recalls. “Most were turned into hot rods, but Mel even had recon for his hydraulics!”

Charlie became so interested in the bomber style that he began a Mainland search for the ride of his dreams. He found a bomber in Reno, Nev., and immediately flew over to see it, but was heartbroken to find that the VINs did not match the title. On the way back to Honolulu, however, he stopped in Sacramento and, by chance, found a 1947 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan. With cash in hand, Charlie picked up this gorgeous specimen and called his trip a success.

For the uninformed, the Aerosedan was the most expensive but best-selling Chevrolet in 1947, thanks to its spectacular fastback styling. Today it’s highly sought after by collectors as well as street and lowrider enthusiasts.

Initially, Charlie was perfectly content to just enjoy this Fleetline as is. But after five years of ownership, he determined the ride was in need of refreshment. With time on his hands, he set about giving it a new slick of paint. Several coats of deep Metallic Root Beer were layered onto the sedan. The exterior styling is all smooth curves, chrome and stainless trim with special additions to improve the overall look. The car features a color-matched “swamp cooler,” an aftermarket Fulton window visor, and chrome tips. Gorgeous red wire wheels fill the dropped bomber with a fantastic burst of color; they’re affectionately known as “chinas” due to their replica status.

Charlie was hesitant to add hydraulics because the car is usually chopped and cut to fit. Richie Baguio, owner of DMC Fabrications, came to the rescue with a custom-built air suspension kit. The kit includes a Viair 480 compressor, a 4-gallon aluminum air tank, and Asco manifold valves. Custom brackets utilize Universal Air and Firestone air springs while a sweet tinted 10-switch box controls everything. The trunk is custom lined with a soft, tan carpet and the battery has been relocated to the rear.

Of special note is the air tank that was designed and built by Hannibal Williams of Cycledelic Customs. Featuring a “torpedo” motif, the tank really sets off the bomber profile and adds a definite “wow” factor to the ride.

Charlie founded the Supremacy club in 1993 and you can’t help but notice the plaque resting in the rear window. In 2013, the club was featured in Lowrider magazine for its 20th anniversary and is quite a testament to the members’ lowrider lifestyle. For Molina, it’s all about family, so you can bet when you see this ride rolling down the streets, Charlie’s adopted family won’t be too far behind.