This month in Lowrider, we are proud to feature Junior Garcia's latest automotive creation. This pristine '64 Impala had a breakout showing this year at the Las Vegas Super Show, not only catching our attention and the attention of the thousands in attendance, but also taking home numerous awards, including first place in the saturated "Full Custom" class.
Junior's quest for the perfect '64 began over 10 years ago, when he purchased the Impala from the friend of a family member. This survivor car was driven from the city of Whittier and taken to Junior's home in Garden Grove, as an excited Junior jumped into the car and immediately took it home to add it to his already extensive collection of Lowriders.
Junior knew that the process of building an award-winning car would require having plenty of time, money, and patience. Time is what Junior had the most of, so with that on his side, he had the '64 was taken apart and dropped off at Choice of Colors in Garden Grove, CA. Even though Junior wanted to build a stock restoration, Edgar Villegas of Choice of Colors worked on planning a color scheme for the Impala. This process resulted in a candy lime green, which was sprayed over the stock body. The gold base candy was accented with fine lines, all painted by Angelo Maisano. Other tricks applied to the paint job included a mini-flaked roof with flames, which was also pinstriped by Angelo. This was the first major step in what would eventually become a grueling ten-year build, and with the car looking the way it did, Junior had no choice but to take the car to the extreme; he would have to throw his dreams of having a stock car out the window.
After fully committing to the new build direction, Junior had the frame removed, so that Edgar could work on painting the floorboards. While this step was being completed, the rolling chassis was sent to Richard from Evergreen Hydraulics of Hesperia, who molded and cut the frame to withstand the upcoming hydraulic setup. Richard also molded the suspension to compliment the work that he had already completed on the frame. The hydraulics were a key addition to this car, as Junior told Richard "take your time, and build me something nice." The results were 8 batteries, 4 aluminum blocks, two custom whammy tanks, 4 squares, and 4 filters which were all connected by chrome fittings and approximately 120 feet of 3/8 seamless stainless steel tubing. The setup and battery racks were also chrome plated by Advance Chrome Plating of Santa Ana, in order to give it that show-stopping finish that Junior hoped would complement the rest of the trim that was already chromed-out.
The six-month hardline job included tubing the fuel and brake lines, as well as the engine compartment. Richard from Evergreen also took on the project of putting the engine together, once it was returned from the machine shop. The stock 283 engine was taken and painted so that it would match the exterior of the car. He really wanted the car's engine to turn heads, so he headed to Zoops and purchased a front-runner style serpentine pulley system. He also purchased an Edelbrock performer intake and carb which was coated with their Endura-shine coating. To allow the engine to breathe, Junior used a Walter Prosper air cleaner. Since there was now a high amount of chrome installed under the hood, Junior used a Matson Radiator to help keep the engine running cool.