Several new exciting vehicles have recently joined the SPEED: Speed Science in Motion special exhibition at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
One of the stars of the show is a Custom 1934 Packard Aquarius owned by Metallica’s James Hetfield and built by Rick Dore Kustoms. It all began with a stack of sheet aluminum and an idea to inject some American custom car styling into classic coach building design ideology. The result is Aquarius, a completely original, hand-formed coach built custom for the ages.
For those familiar with the work of French coach builders Figoni and Falaschi, their influence–and specifically that of the ’38 Delahaye 165 cabriolet – is apparent. But equally at play is the sinister elegance born from American customizers of the 40s and early 50s. Long and low, the roadster has a familiar silhouette that’s all its own.
The flowing teardrop body is complemented by aggressive details like the beautifully scalloped side pipes. Enclosed pontoon fenders carry chrome rearward while the ornate DuVall-style windshield and lift-off hardtop exude early hot rod spirit.
It’s a delicate balance with undeniable rhythm and flow, masterfully executed by some of the most gifted hands in custom car building and metal shaping.”
Aquarius is owned by James Hetfield of Metallica and is a magnificent follow up to the singer’s Black Pearl, a saloon style vehicle built on a Jaguar frame and also created by Rick Dore.
With a track record and automotive taste such as Hetfield’s paired with the skills to conjure up a masterpiece inherent within Dore, we’re sure that the list of awards that will grace Aquarius will be plenty.
Aquarius was styled by Rick Dore, Marcel, and Eric Brockmeyer. The hand formed panels are mounted onto a 1934 Packard frame. Ron Mangus upholstery graces the interior and Coker tires move this celestial chariot along.
Other rare and notable vehicles now on display in SPEED are a 1932 Alfa Romeo Grand Prix; a 1963 Shelby Cobra 289; a Ford GT; and a Dragonfly 850 CC inboard Hydroplane.
1932 Alfa Romeo Grand Prix
1963 Shelby Cobra 289
Holdover vehicles in SPEED include a LOLA T70 Mark II Chassis SL71/21 and a 2017 Top Dragster.