Wednesday, June 18, 2014

All my friends know the Low Rider

You really never know what you'll find on the streets of Brooklyn! Need proof? Check this out!
A 1963 Chevy Impala done up in full Lowrider style from the '80s!
I don't even know where to begin with this find. The '63 Impala is wildly popular with collectors and customizers, and always has been. They made tons of them in every body style, parts are widely available and cheap, and they were good looking cars from the factory. For these reasons they became the #1 choice for Lowrider conversions.
 This was built to be a show car back in the day. The 100-spoke Dayton rims are a 1980s Lowrider hallmark that you never see today! Massive rims and low profile tires have been the rage for the last 10/15 years, but when I was a kid buying Lowrider Monthly (which I did for years) these were the wheels of choice. Since the frame is painted maroon and the wheel well in the main body color you know this was set up for car shows and possibly a magazine spread at one point.
The triple taillights on each side means this is a top-of-the-line impala, as the Bel Air and Biscayne models only had 2. These have been converted to clear lenses from the red originals, and obviously anything that could be chromed was done so liberally.
The chrome eyelids on the headlights are another '80s touch that really started in the '50s. Rarely do people go for it when restoring a car today.
You've gotta love glittery metal flake paint! This was achieved by painting the entire car gold (probably many coats in this case), and then spraying a clear coat over it with millions of small pieces of shiny metal mixed in. They probably went through this metal flake clear coat process several times to get to this level of glitz. Now for the best part:
Oh yeah this custom roof pin striping is out of control! SO EIGHTIES!

Somebody spent a boatload of money on building this car. Those dual swept-back antennas look like they came from an old wooden speedboat, but they are Impala originals. I like how the perfect side faces the street while the missing gas door & trim side faces the sidewalk.
Even the inside got the custom paint and chrome treatment. It'd be tough to drive this on a bright sunny day without blinding yourself! See those 4 little switches under the dashboard to the left of the steering wheel? This baby's equipped with a power hydraulic suspension for front/back, side to side, and three-wheel-motion. Funny how the original upholstery still resides within on a car where everything has been so thoroughly customized. 
This was the last thing I expected to see on the East Coast! In Boyz in the Hood Ice Cube drives a '63 Impala (though his was a convertible). 25 years ago at the height of the Lowrider craze people were building cars just like this one for export to Japan where they were commanding huge sums. These days you rarely see pinstriped metal flake rides sitting on Daytons so I feel lucky. Hopefully the owners will keep this thing frozen in time a little longer!

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