As the crown jewel of lowrider vehicles, the Chevy Impala was introduced in 1958. Because of the limited release and the popularity of this first-generation Impala, these vehicles have become the hardest to find and most expensive to build and restore; with the convertible model being the priciest model to procure. This fact was not lost on thirty-one year-old Juan C. Boizo of Athens, Georgia, who is also no stranger to Lowrider magazine. His immaculate '57 Bel Air, "Mi Obsession," was featured in the magazine's pages last March. When Juan first bought the Bel Air, the seller mentioned she had a couple of other cars she was looking to part with, but Juan was so motivated to bring the '57 home that he didn't bother exploring the other vehicles. Six months later and well into the Bel Air build, Juan revisited the owner to see if any parts for the classic Chevy were left behind. As she opened the large garage, there sat the holiest of lowrider grails: a '58 Chevy Impala convertible. Knowing it was going to a good home and would be once again right beside its former "Brother," the seller came to an agreement with Juan and he happily purchased the '58.
The buy was certainly a good one, but although the body was in perfect condition, the car needed some mechanical TLC as it did not run. Juan turned to David "The Grinch" Hess, of David's Impala in Lawndale, North Carolina, to get the gem on the road. The brake system was upgraded and the rear end was shortened to allow the car to sit on the 13x7 rims Juan had planned to add. Spotlights were an added option on the '58 Impala, so not many had them. Taking this into consideration, The Grinch added one to each fender, cementing this Chevy's "king of the road" status. The paint scheme was original so David maintained the look by spraying the Chevy Tuxedo Black and adding Rio Red to the side moldings.
Juan had fellow Obsession member, Perry Bunker, build a battery rack for the impending hydraulic setup. The frame was reinforced and molded to prepare the heavy Chevy for the standard movements. An aircraft setup was installed to bring the Impala to the ground using a two-switch system. The interior was upgraded by Israel Carillo, of St. Joseph Upholstery in Athens, Georgia. With everything coming together rather quickly, Juan turned his attention to the bumps; enlisting Stephen Conrad, of CZ Automotive in Athens, Georgia, to install a killer system. He added enough volume to ensure that Juan could cruise and enjoy his sounds throughout the Georgia streets. The build was finished when a set of 13-inch Daytons were mounted.
With two feature-worthy lowriders under his belt, Juan has perfected the blueprint on the ideal build. Juan wishes to thank many people; including Mike and Marshall for the pickup of the Chevy, David Hess for all the blood, sweat, and tears he's added to the Impala, his car club, Obsession including Perry, and most of all, his wife, Jaclyn, and his beautiful kids for always being there and supporting his love for Lowriders. "I got a lot of attention with my '57," Juan tells LRM, "but owning a '58, I've noticed a lot of people have started to hate me." His perfectly built Chevy may be hard to love but without his passion and determination, this wonderful work of art wouldn't have been possible.
"Hard To Love"
Name: Hard to Love
Owner: Juan C. Boizo
Vehicle: 1958 Chevrolet Impala convertible
City/State: Athens, Georgia
Club: Obsession C.C.
Engine: Numbers matching 348 with a turbo-glide transmission and original four-barrel carburetor and original air cleaner, Turbo Thrust exhaust system
Body/Paint: David Hess painted the Tuxedo Black and Rio Red trim. Spotlights were added to both fenders, cruiser skirts were painted, and dual antennas were added. David Hess helped with the bodywork.
Interior: Israel Carrillo, of St. Joseph Upholstery of Athens, Georgia, changed the door panels, carpet, convertible top and the trunk panels. The dashboard was painted by David Hess.
Sound System: Stephen Conrad, of CZ Automotive in Athens, GA, installed the Alpine head unit, Rockford Fosgate amplifiers, Rockford Fosgate mid-range and highs, and one 10-inch Rockford Fosgate subwoofer.
Setup: David Hess of David's Impala in Lawndale, NC, added the two Pesco 280 Aircraft pumps, Adex dumps, 6-inch cylinders to the front and 8-inch to the rear, controlled by two switches on the dash. The upper and lower A-arms were extended 1 inch, reinforced, and molded.
Tires: 5.20 premium sport white wall
Wheels: 13x7 Dayton Wire Wheels cross-laced black dish and hub powdercoated black