Fitzgerald came in multiple times to complete the customization of the car, gradually adding customizations: first the engine, then the paint, then the interior, and last back to the engine. The entire car was improved using custom fabricated material and took around two years to complete. Both the exterior and the engine bay feature aquatic themed airbrushed decals.
“The only thing that I could tell that was still untouched and stock were the dials in the dash,” said Matthew Books, marketing director of ACC. “The engine bay was entirely done in custom stainless finishes and had a custom lighting scheme that we did along with it. It complemented the custom paintwork, because the custom paintwork went into the engine bay and it looked like rippling water at the sides of the fender wells.”
The SEA III’s interior engine bay paint scheme was designed to give the effect of movement and light reflecting off the water, according to Books. LED lights are hidden in the engine bay, also designed to convey movement. The outer paint job features airbrushed rippling water and all manner of sea creatures-”including a mermaid. Airbrushing was chosen over wrapping because of the unique effect they wanted to create.
“With water it’s hard, especially with the level of custom work that this car has,” Books said. “It’s really difficult to do any kind of vinyl without it being a complete wrap of the car to get that finished effect and the detail work, like getting in on the eyes of the shark or the barracuda.”
Fitzgerald has spent more than $50,000 on the car on aftermarket addition. When he picked up the vehicle, Fitzgerald and Books discussed the possibility of utilizing the car for a nonprofit aquatic organization, such as the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida, the state where ACC is based.
Recently, ACC also customized a Cadillac XLR V and a 1955 Chevrolet Belair.
The ’55 Belair was customized with polished stainless steel hood inlay. The hood also has a single strip of red LED lights across the center hood brace, which is reflected by the steel.
“It was so reflective it looked like it was coming from underneath,” Books said. “That one also got some interior work, we did a really nice brushed center console piece.”
The XLR was the first of that line that ACC has customized. Books shared videos of the completed project with an online XLR community, and the feedback was positive.
“The fusebox has a cool custom caddy symbol on top. The header plate is done in polished stainless so it really looks great when you’re out. If he goes to a car show he can have the hood up with the sun is hitting it and have it look fantastic,” Books said. “He also got a custom exhaust filler panel and one of first tag frames for the Cadillac which has, again, the Cadillac emblem in the base.”
According to Books, the XLR products used in the build will soon be available for XLR customers to buy online and install personally.