We first thought that Jose Castro’s ’63 Chevy Impala convertible, “Pumpkinhead,” rolling out of El Paso, Texas, was inspired by the 1988 movie of that name in which a man conjures up a gigantic vengeance demon called Pumpkinhead to destroy the teenagers who accidentally killed his son. The truth is that Jose simply likes orange. He’s already owned a custom Suzuki V-twin TLR motorcycle that was burnt orange in color and calling this orange pearl ’63, his very first lowrider, Pumpkinhead was a no-brainer.
“I’ve liked lowriders since I was a child,” Jose says. “And since I first saw an Impala, I’ve wanted one. Since then, I’ve been interested in lowriders and now I own one.” This ’63 was actually a hardtop when it was acquired, but Jose made the conversion to ragtop with the help of Robert Rios at R&R Customs in El Paso. In fact, Robert and his R&R crew were in charge of this project from the get-go and did a sweet job.
So sweet, in fact, that the car has won many awards, such as Best of Show, Best Pearl Paint and Best Engine. Some of Pumpkinhead’s admirers have tried to turn Robert’s head with wads of cash, but he won’t budge. “I’ve turned down plenty of offers for this car,” he admits. “This car is our family heirloom.”
On the subject of family, there are some important people in Jose’s life that he would like to recognize for their encouragement and support-his parents, Jose and Soledad Castro, his loving wife, Rosie (“she’s my backbone”), and their two kids, eight-year-old Destiny and newborn Jose A. Castro IV. He would also like to thank Robert Rios and R&R Customs as well as Estilo Car Club for all of the help that they provided on this project. “I appreciate everything you all have done.”
PumpkinheadOwner: Jose CastroVehicle: ’63 Chevrolet Impala ConvertibleCity/State: El Paso, TexasClub: Estilo C.C.
Engine/Drivetrain: Robert Rios at R&R Customs in El Paso stressed performance when he equipped the 327-c.i.d. V-8 engine with such chrome-plated components as a Holley air cleaner that sits on top of an Edelbrock carburetor.
Body/Paint: Oscar at R&R Customs applied the appealing orange pearl paint with Ortiz adding expert pinstriping. Artist “Chepe” was particularly inspired when he laid down a hood mural described by the owner as featuring “a nude woman standing in front of a scary pumpkinhead.”
Interior: Robert Rios stitched together the orange and white upholstery with checkered orange seats and orange carpet.
Sound System: An Alpine system bumps Pumpkinhead’s top tunes.
Setup: Robert Rios also installed a two-pump Pro Hopper setup with eight Workaholic batteries.
Tires: Remington wide whitewalls
Wheels: 13-inch Dayton wires