The ’58 Chevy Impala is a unique “animal.” There was nothing like the new Impala prior to its unveiling and this year’s model was totally different than the restyled and much sleeker Impalas that followed it. George Molina, a mortgage planner from Fullerton, California, is one of many who fell under the ’58’s spell. The 34-year-old member of SouthSide Car Club has been lowriding since he was 20 and claims that he builds cars for the “challenge.”
A three-year challenge was on as soon as George returned home from Colorado, where an online search had led him to this ’58 for sale for $5,000. Thanks to his brother Manuel and his SouthSide club “brothers,” as well as those fine craftsmen listed in the Tech Specs, the hardtop couldn’t be stopped and “SouthSide Blues” was complete (to the tune of $50,000). Good job, George.
Owner: George Molina
Vehicle: ’58 Chevrolet Impala
City/State: Fullerton, California
Club: SouthSide C.C.
Engine/Drivetrain: Mike Lopez at Bowtie Connection in San Pedro, California, mated the ’58 with a new 350-c.i.d. GM “crate” engine, loaded with billet dress-up accessories and a serpentine belt system, as well as a 350 Turbo transmission and Flowmaster exhaust with 2 1/2-inch pipes.
Body/Paint: SouthSide Blues is actually PPG pastel blue. Abraham at G’s Auto Body in Long Beach, California, smoothed the body and Jose at G’s applied the paint. George also added a sunvisor, two original GM spotlights and cruising skirts. Buena Park Plating in Buena Park, California, gets the credit for the chrome plating.
Interior: Back at Bowtie Connection, Freddy refurbished the ’58 with a CARS, Inc. restoration kit with cloth inserts. Power windows, power vents, OG color bar, Dakota Digital dashboard cluster, custom billet dash inserts, GM litter bag and NOS rear “mini blinds” are other interior modifications worth noting.Sound System: Good ol’ “Gordo” at Auto Restylers in Paramount, California, got busy on an all-Alpine system featuring an MP3 player and a pair of amps.
Setup: George paid a visit to the homeboys at Homies Hydraulics in Paramount and hooked up a “doubly-whammy” setup with Marzocchi pump heads, four Adel dumps, 8-inch (front) and 10-inch (rear) cylinders, 2-ton springs, four switches, eight solenoids, four Trojan batteries and stainless steel hard-lines. Homies also performed some chassis work. Other suspension mods include molded A-arms and trailing arms.
Tires: P155/80-R13 Bridgestone Insignia SL
Wheels: 13-inch 72-spoke Dayton with two-prong Chevy “bowtie” knockoffs