Sergio Avila of Santa Ana, California, was bit by the lowrider bug at an early age. By 12, he was already building his first eye-catching ride: a Schwinn tricycle. Three years later, his older friend Peter (who was also the Klique Car Club president) drove by Sergio’s sister’s house where Sergio was hanging out. Peter rolled up in his lifted Buick Regal. Peter asked him if he wanted to go cruising to Whittier Boulevard and then on to Hollywood Boulevard. Sergio didn’t have to think twice and jumped at the chance to go. Peter was even cool enough to let Sergio hit the switches there on the boulevard! It was a day that Sergio would always remember and he says that it was then that he knew that he was hooked on lowriding for life.
Jump ahead some time later to the year 2000 when Sergio was rolling in his ’64 Chevy Impala hardtop. He was talking to his close friend who had a ’62 Impala convertible that had just been sitting in the shop for years and needed a lot of work. Sergio’s ’64 was pretty clean and didn’t need as much work, but Sergio really wanted a convertible. So, Sergio offered his friend a trade and his friend accepted! Two and a half years later, Sergio had a ride that was built to turn heads at the car shows and at the local cruise strip on Bristol Street in Santa Ana!
Sergio thanks his friends, family and fellow Klique members for their help and support with the buildup of this ’62. He says that he has more plans for this ride, but all that he could tell us was that it was a “surprise.”
Double DownOwner: Sergio AvilaVehicle: ’62 Chevrolet ImpalaCity/State: Santa Ana, CaliforniaClub: Klique C.C.-Orange County
Engine/Drivetrain: When it came to the engine buildup, Sergio did it all himself over at Chapo’s garage. An ’86 Chevy 350-c.i.d. V-8 was dropped into the engine bay along with a chrome Edelbrock intake, 700-cfm Edelbrock carb, and a 350 transmission with shift kit. A Toio exhaust (done by Ralph’s Radiators and Mufflers in Santa Ana) was also installed.
Body/Paint: Frank G. at Frank’s Customs in Garden Grove, California, handled the bodywork, shaving the firewall and preparing the body for paint. Top quality paints from House of Kolor were used to do the candy purple color scheme with boxed ghost patterns. The traveling striper, Angelo Maisano, added the elegant touches of pinstriping before “Spider” of Good Fellas in Orange, California, added a ghost mural depicting three real exotic dancers from California Girls in Santa Ana.
Interior: Frank G. also helped out Sergio’s brother, Harvey at Avila’s Upholstery, when it came to tackling the interior necessities. Four custom-made bucket seats, center console and floor shifter were placed neatly inside the convertible’s cockpit. A molded digital dash finished off the look. Overall, the interior and trunk were wrapped in a tweed material.
Sound System: Sergio knows a lot about cars and that knowledge doesn’t stop when it comes to custom stereo installations. A Jensen head unit was chosen to control the system, consisting of 5.5-inch Alpine tweeters, 6.25-inch midrange speakers, and a couple of 12-inch Audiobahn woofers. For visual entertainment, three TV monitors were also installed. Suspension parts (along with many other parts and accessories) were chrome plated by Peter Tapia at Anaheim Plating in Anaheim, California.
Setup: Frank G. once again proved his auto customizing skills, installing the hydraulic setup consisting of two pumps, four batteries, 3-ton springs and 8-inch cylinders. Two switches control the moves. The setup was finished off by Richard and Bobby at Rod’s Customs in Westminster, California. They installed the chrome hard-lines which allow the bloodline of the hydraulic system to flow effortlessly. The stock X-frame was reinforced by Sergio himself.
Tires: P155/80-R13 Hercules whitewall
Wheels: 13×7 Golden Star