Back in December 2012 Rod Authority spotlighted Aaron Watkins of R.A.W. Rods Restorations & Customs along with one of his projects that garnered a cult following on pro-touring.com. That project, dubbed “Blue Pearl,” is a 1950 Chevy 2 Door sedan that was set to be modded out with the performance capabilities and modern technology afforded by street rod builds. Readers can check out the first story here to get up to speed.
Photos Courtesy Of: Aaron Watkins
One of the reasons that this build stirred up a lot of craze was because of the attention to detail that Aaron Watkins exhibited when updating his fellow pro-touring.com forum members. His photos and poignant descriptions are a testament to masterful work and the makings of a legendary talent.
A little over a year later Blue Pearl is 99% finished and prepping for the 2014 show circuit. See what’s been done since Rod Authority last touched on this exciting project.
Aaron wanted to experiment with a show n go license plate system only he went ahead and fabricated the custom bracketry that would secure and house the components. Here you can see his test fitting and mock up of the show n go mechanism in motion.
For wheels and tires Blue Pearl was outfitted with 17×7 Billet Specialties Turbines with 255/45r17 tires in the front and 18×9 Turbines with 255/45r18 tires in the rear. These 10 spoke chrome wheels give Blue Pearl that performance look without compromising the integrity of the 50’s classic body.
Aaron chose a matte black finish for the chassis and a semi gloss black for the motor. His choice on the color of the block was based on not wanting “the engine to stand out because of the engine cover that will be painted on top.”
TCI Engineering’s coil spring front end with billet adjustable coilovers are accompanied by 12-inch Wilwood brakes. In the rear Aaron installed TCI’s bolt in 4-link also complimented by billet adjustable coilovers and 12-inch disks. This is definitely one mean looking frame that is outfitted to perform and intimidate in one fell swoop.
Blue Pearl’s paint comes from House of Kolor. For anyone that wants to know the specific shade used for the project, it’s called Majestic Blue Pearl. To further exhibit his intricate sense of continuity and quality of work, Aaron installed Dakota Digital VHX gauges which have a “blue carbon fiber look to compliment the pearl blue paint job.” On top of that, Aaron also swapped out the original lights in the Vintage Air control knobs with blue LEDs to match the VHX gauges. That’s some serious detail–one way to set a build apart from the rest.
When Rod Authority says that Aaron has the stuff of a legend in the making we mean it, practically everything was done in house at his own shop including fabrication of the center console and upholstering of Blue Pearl’s bucket seats. For those wondering, Aaron used PVC boards to sculpt the one off center console.
This was Aaron’s reply, “Lol, I’m sure there are a few things I can’t do. I just got to the point a few years ago where I was tired of sending customer cars or my own out for things like exhaust or interior only to find they’d come back and it wasn’t what they said they were going to do. I’ve even had them come back with small chips, wiring or bolts loose, and for big money it should not be that way. So I figure I can do it just as bad for less…lol. That’s what drives me to try new things.”
Saying that Rod Authority is thoroughly impressed with this build is an understatement. We look forward to seeing more projects from Aaron Watkins and the crew at R.A.W. Rods Restorations & Customs in the future.
For a full recap of project Blue Pearl from beginning to end check out the build thread here. As far as 2014 goes Aaron says, “we should have everything done by May for the NSRA show here in Knoxville, Tennessee at Chilhowee Park.