The mainstream debut of this clean all-black ’76 Chevy Impala was made at Lowrider Magazine’s 2005 Tour stop in Fontana, California. The car, subtle in appearance, caused a quite a commotion as spectators were stopping to take pictures and get a closer look at this glasshouse coupe owned by Nabor Vargas. People seemed to like the mirror-like finish on the sleek black paint job, in addition to the black top, black interior and black rims, complementing the ride, which is slammed very low to the ground. Nabor says that his first time showing it at a local car show got him a First Place trophy, not a bad start, but that’s not all that showing this ride got him. The talk at Fontana caught the attention of the LRM staff who set up a photo shoot with Nabor’s car within a couple of weeks.
Nabor lives in the city of Indio, California, which is a little more than 100 miles east of Los Angeles. Meeting him at about the midway point in the city of Redlands, there happened to be an amusement park known as Pharaoh’s Lost Kingdom (pharaohslostkingdom.com) which has a large statue of a pharaoh at the front end of the park.
Being that the landscape of the Coachella Valley (where Indio is located) is very dry and hot, much like the desert area of the pyramids and pharaohs of ancient Egypt, the locale perfectly represented the car. The park staff was nice enough to accommodate Nabor and LRM to do the shoot, and before anyone knew it, park visitors had another attraction to check out: a low-ride! Within just a couple minutes, people were crowding around to check out Nabor hit the switches on his triple-black cruiser, as well as check out the hot model, Alexia Lei.
Nabor is originally from San Fernando, California, where he grew up around the lowriding lifestyle. His uncles would take him and/or one of his six brothers cruising on the famous San Fernando Boulevard just about every weekend. All of his brothers have built cars so it was destined for him to have a lowrider of his own and eventually become the co-owner of an automotive shop known as Indio Auto Accessories.
The ’76 is just one of many lowrider cars that Nabor has built, but it’s his latest creation. First purchased at the very reasonable price of $800, he has invested another 10-grand to bring it up to traffic-stopping status. Nabor found the car while installing a windshield in Cathedral City, California. The glasshouse ironically had missing glass, no front end, no engine and was full of dents!
When Nabor brought it home, his friends laughed at it. But within a year, Nabor had the last laugh when the car received a new paint job, interior makeover, stereo system, hydraulics, rims and a rebuilt engine. Chrome plating upgrades were also done (thanks to Empire out in San Bernardino, California). A large moonroof was added, as well as a unique handmade billet grille. This ride lays low, and with the black and chrome theme going on, it’s a perfect jewel.
Nabor sends big thanks to his brothers Rudy and Ramon Vargas, and also to Benjamin Felix, Randall Maness and daughter Arianna. Up next for Nabor is another clean Impala, so be on the lookout soon for a gem of a ’59 convertible!
Jewel Of The Nile
Owner: Nabor Vargas
Vehicle: ’76 Chevrolet ImpalaCity/State: Indio, California
Club: Bajitos Del Valle
Engine/Drivetrain: ’86 Chevy 350-c.i.d. with RV cam, Edelbrock carburetor and chrome accessories.
Body/Paint: Good friend Alejandro Rodrigues of Indio took this ride to his house where he did all of the bodywork, including adding in a 44-inch moonroof and ’76 Chevy Caprice header panel, and shaving the body’s moldings. Mario Leyva of Mario’s Auto Body (also in Indio) finalized the exterior makeover by applying a jet black paint job and sealing it with tons of clear for a mirror-like finish.
Interior: Pancho at Barajus Upholstery in Indio did up an eye-catching black leather interior, in the original fashion, with unique gray patterned inserts. Besides the seats, all interior panels were also wrapped in black leather.
Sound System: Nabor and his shop, Indio Auto Accessories, took things into their own hands when it came to the sounds. A Pioneer head unit, two Memphis 500 amps, two Kicker tweeters, two Kicker midrange speakers, and two 10-inch Memphis woofers kick out plenty of sound for local Coachella Valley cruises.
Suspension: Nabor took on the task himself when it came to installing the hydraulic suspension. A two-pump ShowTime Hydraulics setup was installed in the trunk along with two square Adex dumps, while 6-inch cylinders in the front and 10-inch cylinders in the rear are paired up with precut 211/42-ton coils for altitude control. Four batteries and two switches power and manage the system.
Tires: P155/80-R13 Remington whitewallWheels: 13×7 OG Wires (custom black and chrome combo)