SP Rides: The Rainmaker


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By Michael Kitchens

Owner: Larry Caetano
Age: 66
Occupation: Retired
Hobbies: Nothing but friends and cruising.
Year/Make/Model: 1936 5-Window Ford Coupe
Color: Candy Red with Flame Accents
Engine: 454, Bored out 30 over, aluminum bowtie heads, Edelbrock 4-barrel intake manifold, Avenger Carburetor
Drivetrain: Turbo 400 transmission
Interior: Chrome and Brass Accents, real custom Koa Wood A/C install, Custom Upholstery, 2×8-inch inch subs
Wheels and Tires: 195/66R15 BG Goodrich on 15-inch Centerlines Front, 31x1850R15s on 16-inch Centerlines Rear
At age 66, Larry Caetano is living the good life. Recently retired, he spends much of his time hanging with friends and cruising. He’s owned a large variety of classic and even some modern cars. His everyday ride, in fact, is a 2003 Ford Lightning, an automobile that packs a bit of “oomph.”

“I like a little power,” says Larry.

Which explains his fascination with this 1936 Ford 5-Window Coupe. Some may call it a classic, but the car is obviously a Pro Street Hot Rod as soon as you lay eyes on it. Larry picked this beauty up while flipping through a buy and sell mag on the Big Island nearly a decade ago.

“Some of (the car) was in the house, some of it was in the back of the house. (It was) everywhere,” remembers Larry, chuckling. He put the car together as best he could, then had it shipped it over to Oahu to begin the restoration process.

Larry enlisted his friends, Mort and Steve, for the build. They started with the rolling chassis, then moved on to work on the framework, which included sand blasting, creating the transmission and motor mounts, and finally by running the Ford through the paint booth. The paint was initially started by a gentleman named Hannibal, but finished by DNN. The Candy Red paint was laced with gorgeous flames done by Cosmic Airbrush and then layered in several layers of clear coat. The most difficult part to build, according to Larry, was the car’s doors, which in a gorgeous reversal features trick suicide doors with shaved handles.

Larry didn’t play around when it came to the power side of the house. The engine is a 454ci bored out 30 over, and features aluminum bowtie Chevrolet heads, an Edelbrock 4-barrel intake manifold and an Avenger carburetor on top. The ride also has an MSD ignition mated to a Turbo 400 transmission. Larry also took the time to install a custom A/C setup to keep cool during those hot cruises down the H3.

With a Pro Street setup, the entire rear end is narrowed in order to tuck the 18-inch wide Hoosier Pro Streets, which are wrapped around Centerline wheels. The fronts feature BF Goodrich Tourings and the ride looks mean.

Interior-wise, the entire vehicle has been done up to match. Featuring bucket seats instead of the bench seat, the upholstery was custom made and features a silver, black and red color scheme designed by Larry and installed by Aloha Upholstery. You literally have to sit in the car to take it all in, with its custom-chromed pieces here and there, an awesome shift knob, and real Koa wood accents in both the dash and the consoles. Overhead, Larry hand-molded and installed a custom center console. Even the floor mats match the flamed out ride perfectly.

“I made it to fit me … it’s perfect and I enjoy the ride,” says Larry.

People call Larry’s ride “The Rainmaker” because whenever he brings the car out, it rains and pours. Yes, ladies, this man is single, so look him up if you want to go cruising in his tricked out hot rod during a raging thunderstorms. It’s a ride you won’t forget.