Lowriding is a lifestyle that just captivates folks from all walks of life. Often times, youngsters feel such a strong influence from the sport that they become hooked, dedicating their future to the slow and low world of the Boulevard. Max Alvarado is one of these riders; in fact, aside from his immediate family, Max Alvarado’s life has been consumed with the Lowrider passion since he was a twelve-year-old boy. Growing up in Elk Grove, CA., Max had a neighbor who had a customized Lowrider that was the talk of the block. Any passersby that caught a glimpse of the machine respected it and none more so than Max. Much to his delight, the neighbor asked Max if he would be willing to wash the machine if he was paid to do it. Chances are that Max would have done it for free, but the neighbor paid him anyway, and this became a regular routine that left Max forever intoxicated with the passion of Lowriding.
As he grew older, Max began to test the waters, initially holding the keys to a ’58 Apache truck. He continued his journey through several different makes and models, sitting behind the wheel of a few G-bodies; namely, a Cutlass and a Buick Regal. His dream ride, though, was to own the very car that most people agree represents the Lowriding lifestyle as a whole. Of course we’re talking about the 1964 Chevrolet Impala Convertible, a staple in the garages of countless Lowriders for decades. At one point, Max did get close to that dream and bought a ’64 Impala hardtop, which he named “Mad Max ’64.” This ride was clean and while it gained a lot of attention for him, it just simply lacked the convertible option he ultimately wanted. Determined to have one someday, Max pressed on.
In 2003, Max joined the large, family-oriented, and always positive USO Car Club. The club’s camaraderie would prove to be the perfect support system for his search, as he longed for the chance to build the coveted convertible. The club brothers took great care of Max, and looked for any opportunities that might help to put him in the driver’s seat of his dream ragtop. Finally, the dream became reality when one of the club members decided to sell Max an all-white topless ’64 Impala for a cool fifteen grand. The car was nice, but Max wanted to give it his own personal style and touch, and he instantly got down to business.
Modeling the ’64 build after the famous all-red 1961 Impala Convertible named “99 Problems,” Max decided to give the ragtop a complete frame-off restoration. The original “Mad Max ’64” hardtop had set the bar for him, so if his efforts fell short with this new “Mad Max ’64,” the disappointment would be hard to take. Because of the pressure he trudged on, he sent the car to Andy, of Andy’s Customs in Sacramento, California, who completely rebuilt the 327-c.i.d. V8 engine and transmission. While he was now certain that the car would run like a dream, the next step was to make it look like it did, too.