Custom Cloud: The Unique Blend of Chevrolet and Rolls-Royce in Automotive History

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Chevrolet and Rolls-Royce might not seem like they have much in common, except for a curious blend that occurred decades ago when British GM gearboxes were utilized. This fusion resulted in a unique and eccentric creation known as the Custom Cloud, courtesy of Jon Tedesco during the 1970s.

Conceived in the mid-1970s, the Custom Cloud was essentially a Chevrolet Monte Carlo adorned with Rolls-Royce-inspired front and rear sheet metal.

Tedesco even went to the lengths of incorporating a grille nearly identical to contemporary Rolls-Royce models. Despite its novelty, the venture met its end due to a lawsuit, although a few of these cars have survived.

The silver specimen showcased here, based on the 1975 Monte Carlo, now resides at the Isle of Man Motor Museum. It represents the inaugural Custom Cloud, likely preserved through a restoration performed some years back.

The inspiration behind the Custom Cloud stemmed from Tedesco’s vision to attract more clientele to South Florida Chevrolet dealerships.

Recognizing that traditional tactics like clowns and free hot dogs were no longer sufficient, he sought to customize a car. Rolls-Royce, with its prestige and iconic design, served as the perfect muse. Teaming up with businessman Lenny Borger, Tedesco established Custom Cloud Motors Inc.

Debuting at the 1975 Miami International Motor Show, the Custom Cloud quickly gained attention. Tedesco capitalized on a loophole in Rolls-Royce’s patent for its grille while also sourcing original Rolls-Royce taillights and even going so far as to manufacture more when supplies ran dry.

However, the success was short-lived. Rolls-Royce executives took notice at the 1976 New York Auto Show and initiated legal action, citing infringement on their design patents. Despite Tedesco’s efforts, the lawsuit resulted in modifications to the Custom Cloud, and ultimately, the company was sold in 1978 after producing only around 20 units.

Underneath its distinctive exterior, the Custom Cloud retained the mechanics of a standard Monte Carlo. The interior remained largely unaltered, while the engine bay housed a 350-cubic-inch V8, one of four engine options available with the second-generation Monte Carlo.

While opinions on its aesthetics may vary, there’s no denying that the Custom Cloud is a unique specimen in automotive history, blending elements of Chevrolet and Rolls-Royce in a curious and captivating manner.


By Jayson O'Neil

Jayson is a car-o-holic, and you will often find him writing about cars & bikes here at DaxStreet. You can reach out to him at [email protected]

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