Robert Robledo from Pasadena, Texas, has been into the lowriding scene since ’96 when he joined Latin Kustoms Car Club, an organization that was started by “Tonka” in Houston, Texas. The club is now centered in Pasadena and is one of the strongest clubs in the Lone Star State. Their quality cars are frequently driven to barbecues, car shows and special events. Robert is one of the few original members still with the club.
Robert’s project started when fellow Latin Kustoms member Ben Garcia purchased the ’63 Chevy Impala “rag” and sold it to Robert 20 minutes later for $4,500. After the car was purchased, it was taken to the Latin Kustoms shop, where all of the club members work on their cars and help each other out. With help from his club brothers, Robert’s car was built in seven months. The ’63 was taken apart and the restoration started with different club members working on certain parts of the car.
The engine was taken apart, restored and accessorized by Robert and his friends. They then hit up Shorty’s Hydraulics in Houston, where they purchased some Veterano pumps before hard-lining the setup and painting it to match the car. The suspension was also reinforced to take the abuse of the hard-hitting switching that Robert does when he’s cruising.
The only thing that wasn’t touched at the Latin Kustoms shop was the body, which was sent to Lil’ J.R. at Main Street in Houston. He straightened the body, blocked it and then painted it to Robert’s liking. Being a fan of the movie Boyz N The Hood, Robert decided to paint his ’63 the same champagne gold color as the car seen cruising in the movie. Pinstriper “Curly” was then flown in from California just to lay some gold leaf and nice thin pinstripes to accent the body lines of the ’63.
The car’s name, “Hood Rich,” was given by Latin Kustoms president Joe since the original plan was to gold plate all of the accents. Before all the parts were sent out to the plater, however, it was decided to just to do a few pieces in gold with most of it being chromed out. The car was reupholstered in the original style by Arjona Upholstery in Pasadena, and the audio/video was handled by Danny G, also in Pasadena.
After seven months of tearing apart the car and working together, Robert and the Latin Kustoms members built an award-winning ’63 rag. Robert would like to give special thanks to Danny Gonzales, Latin Kustoms C.C. members (his “other family”), Adam Rivera and Last Minute Customs for making Hood Rich such a success.
Hood RichOwner: Robert RobledoVehicle: ’63 Chevrolet Impala convertibleCity/State: Pasadena, TexasClub: Latin Kustoms C.C.
Engine/Drivetrain: The ’63 got an engine swap from an ’85 Chevy. The 350 engine was taken apart and rebuilt with accessories and plenty of custom-bent hard-lines, full billet pulley system, clear water hose, polished headers, chrome carburetor, and chrome valve covers. The members of Latin Kustoms built the engine at their shop in Pasadena.
Body/Paint: The body was straightened, blocked and painted by Lil’ J.R. at the shop Main Street in Pearland, Texas. The color was based on the car in the movie Boyz N The Hood. The car was then given to “Curly” to add pinstriping and gold leafing. The name of the car was placed on top of the radiator.
Interior: The interior was reupholstered in the OG style by Arjona Upholstery in Pasadena.
Sound System: The sound system was hooked up by Danny G with a full set of Memphis Audio woofers, highs and mids.
Suspension: The car was taken apart and the frame was reinforced and painted to match the exterior. The undercarriage was then chromed out, including the A-arms, brake assembly, fuel tank and rear axle.
Tires: P155/80-R13 Cooper
Wheels: Custom engraved two-tone gold- and chrome-plated 13-inch Zenith wires