Think of your car and how long it’s taken you to do whatever you’ve done to it, and then look at the details on this beautiful blue Chevy Impala ragtop, “Hustler ’63.” Now consider that owner Joel Garcia of Los Angeles, California, did it all in less than two years (including a six-month break) and it becomes apparent that he had everyone working at an accelerated pace. Joel works at Jagster Engineering Group, which specializes in laser-cut custom-made parts like plaques and just about anything else that you can think of. Many of the parts that you see on this car are one-off pieces.
Start off with a ’63 Impala convertible that Joel purchased for $8,500, then add to the mix “Mexico” of Mexico Collision Center in South Gate, California, and you have a winning combination. Mexico and his shop took care of a large part of the build-up, and during the process, Mexico had to move his shop, which was the cause for the six-month break.
The body was taken off of the frame, which was wrapped and molded by Chico at M&M Hydraulics in Gardena, California. The A-arms received the same treatment and all was made “flossible” with the addition of some serious chroming by Joe at Joe’s Polishing in Santa Fe Springs, California, and Golden Plating’s Juan Serrano (also in Santa Fe Springs). If you can think of it, it was chrome plated…suspension, chrome; pumps, chrome; transmission, chrome; floor pans, chrome. That’s right, we said transmission and floor pans. As you can see, nothing escaped paint or chrome on this car.
The hydraulics installed by Mexico in his shop consist of 8-inch cylinders and 21/2-ton springs up front, 10-inchers and 3-ton coils for the rear, a pair of custom pumps using Prestolite motors to drive the flow, four Adex dumps, two Prestolite solenoids and four switches, all of which give Hustler ’63 plenty of slick moves. The four batteries were given a fiberglass enclosure, which, along with some other goodies, was made by Mexico.
The crew at Mexico Collision Center consisting of Mexico, Pedro Betancourt and Don Beto Gomez got down on the “git down” and went to work smoothing and molding the firewall, hood, trunk and dash. They also shaved some of the body emblems and added a Continental kit. After it was all straight and cherry, candy Oriental blue paint was laid down on everything that didn’t move and some things that did. There’s no way that a car of this caliber wouldn’t have murals and they hit up one of the best in the biz when they put Fonzy of Air Shot in Montebello, California, behind the airbrush. The whole Hustler theme came to life when Fonzy laid down the hyenas, money, white tiger and Ben Franklin taking car of biz. Mike Lamberson put down the finishing pinstripe and lettering touches, which include a Chevy logo in place of the shaved emblem.
The OG interior was taken care of by Roman’s Auto Interior in Industry, California, and recovered in Mercedes Benz blue gray leather. A tilt steering wheel was added, along with a custom Impala shift knob made out of solid aluminum by Joel’s friend Armando. A Dakota Digital dash keeps a tab on vehicle speed and all of the motor functions. And on the motor tip, Mexico took care of that, too, with a rebuild on a ’90 Chevy 350-c.i.d. featuring a serpentine belt and all-chrome billet accessories like an aluminum radiator. An Edelbrock carburetor and intake manifold deliver the necessary combination of fuel and air getting sparked up by a Mallory Ignitor ignition, while 3-inch headers and exhaust spill into a pair of FlowMasters beatin’ up the eardrums.
Speaking of beatin’ the eardrums, in the way of music, Hustler ’63 sports a Kenwood 911 DVD/CD in-dash controller, which sends the 0s and 1s to a pair of Rockford Fosgate Punch amps. A duo of Kenwood mids and tweets in turn spit out the upper range, and a trio of Kicker subs bump in the trunk. Nelson at Uneek Auto Sound in Highland Park, California, put it all together and also wired up the two 6-inch screens and Rockford Fosgate caps in the trunk.
The finished product is one of those cars on which you see something else trick every time that you look at it. Joel would like to thank his mom and dad, girlfriend Liz, brother Alfred, Los Angeles C.C. and all of his Hustler friends for their support. They really helped Joel hustle it up and kick out one of the cleanest custom Impalas that we’ve seen in a while.
|Vehicle:||’63 Chevrolet Impala|
|City/State:||Los Angeles, California|
|Club:||Los Angeles C.C.|
|Engine:||’90 Chevy 350-c.i.d with Edelbrock carburetor and intake|
|Setup:||Two custom-made pumps featuring Prestolite motors, four Adex dumps, 8-inch (front) and 10-inch (rear) cylinders, 21/2-ton (front) and 3-ton (rear) springs, two Prestolite solenoids, four batteries, four switches|
|Tires:||5.20 Premium Sportway|
|Wheels:||13×7 blue and chrome “G Boys”|