Mint Condition

It took three years to make this fine '59 match its moniker.

Superiors Car Club of Los Angeles, California, is known for having members that are true riders; they hop what they got! But they also have some of the sweetest show rides around. This ultra-clean ’59 Chevy Impala called “Mint Condition” is a prime example of what we mean. It’s the latest in a long line of lows owned by 35-year-old “Ant,” as he’s known on the street, that include a ’61, ’62, ’63 and ’64.

However, the hardtop didn’t look this “hard” when Ant bought it for two grand. In fact, the engine and tranny were trashed, the interior was a mess and body was in need of, well… a new body! Luckily for Ant, he knows Tommie of Super Natural Auto in Gardena, California, so he asked him if he could bring the bucket back to life.

“I own a tow truck business and I’d taken cars to Tommie’s shop before, so I knew the condition the cars were in when they get them and how they looked after they restored them,” says Ant. Tommie finally agreed to take on the project but told Ant that it would take a long time and a lot of dough. It took three years, $25,000 and the combined talents of Tommie’s team and several other top shops (plus friends like Charlie Brown) to create this fine ’59. But we’re sure you’ll agree that it lives up to its name.

Mint Condition
Owner: “Ant”
Vehicle: ’59 Chevrolet Impala
City/State: Los Angeles, California
Club: L.A. Superiors C.C.
Engine/Drivetrain: Fully painted and chromed 400-c.i.d. V-8 from a ’77 Impala with a Edelbrock Performer intake, Holley carburetor, billet air cleaner and valve covers, MSD ignition and Flame Thrower II coil, Taylor sparkplug wires, Holley fuel pump, serpentine system, custom radiator, Cool-Flex hoses, 21/2-inch custom exhaust and a Turbo 350 transmission, built by Friday at Super Natural Auto in Gardena, California.
Body/Paint: Extensive sheet metal cutting, welding and restoration by Paco and Ricardo of A Universal Auto Body in Gardena, California. Body (Cali skirts, engine block, batteries and solenoids)–a custom mix of PPG L’amour green, yellow and white over a white base and all chrome body parts, trim, front bumper guard with chrome bullets and twin rear deck antennas.
Interior: OE-style green vinyl seats with multicolored inserts and matching door panels from CARS, Inc. in Fullerton, California (and custom vinyl trunk upholstery), installed by Ben Medina at Supreme Auto & Home Upholstery in Inglewood, California. Gordo of Auto Restylers in Paramount, California, installed Dakota digital instruments.
Sound System: Alpine AM/FM/CD/MP3 head unit, Clarion seven-band equalizer and wireless remote in the glove box, custom kick panels with Alpine component speakers, four JBL 6×9 tri-axial speakers in the rear deck and two 12-inch JL Audio subwoofers and two Rockford Fosgate amps in the trunk, also installed by Gordo.
Setup: All-chrome undercarriage and rearend (plated by Ruben’s Chrome in Los Angeles), fully wrapped frame and hydraulics, four chrome “Big Boy” pumps with backing plates, aluminum blocks, three square dumps, faucet handle slowdowns, hex filler caps, steel-braided lines (soon to be hardlines), 14 batteries, four Prestolite solenoids, four switches, chrome front and rear cylinders and springs, by Tommie and “Baby Rat” at Super Natural.
Tires: P155/80-13 Dayton skinny whitewall
Wheels: 13×7 chrome 144-spoke Player wire with green-painted centers and nipples