When it comes to the car hobby, many women just don’t understand it. They think it’s some waste of money or impractical way that men posture their masculinity. Thankfully there are other women out there who embrace it with open arms, are supportive, join us at car shows, and share the same fluttering heart we feel about our lowriders. Those are the keepers and if you have one, you might want to think about taking her to some white-tablecloth dinners and treating her to a dozen roses more often. Gals like that are truly irreplaceable.

001 1961 chevrolet impala convertible front grille

If you know key players in the lowrider industry, then you should be familiar with VMax, whose company Ultimate Hydraulics cranks out awesome cars and top-notch components. Lucky for him, when he was on bended knee with his wife, Tanya, he picked a lady whose got the same passion for cars. So instead of just the nice dinners and flowers, VMax upped the ante and gave his wife a Valentine’s Day gift in the way of a candy red ’61 Impala rag. Hopeless romantics, eat your hearts out.

005 1961 chevrolet impala convertible hydraulics pump setup

VMax found this ’61 in Utah and rust had really staked a huge claim on most of the sheetmetal, but that didn’t stop him from proceeding with the build. Thanks to Dynacorn replacement panels, the car’s body was brought back to life. The frame, custom A-arms, floorboards, 9-inch rear were chromed in prep for the full hydraulic setup done by VMax. Four pumps, three Adex dumps, 8-inch front and 14-inch rear cylinders, and 10 solenoids all hardlined are powered by four batteries. A fully polished and supercharged LS9 was dropped in front of a molded firewall and attached to a 4L60E trans. Wilwood brakes bring the 14×7 Daytons wrapped in Hankook rubber to a stop.

006 1961 chevrolet impala convertible ss trunk badge

On the inside, Lexus seats were wrapped in leather and by Brad Rogers at Ultimate Hydraulics and straddle a custom console. The door panels were embossed with roses to continue the romantic theme throughout the car. Dakota Digital gauges sit next to a Pioneer head unit that carry tunes through Cerwin Vega amps and speakers. The candy apple red paint was done by Javier at Mexico Auto with Mike Lamberson adding leafing and striping throughout. A heavy dose of engraving came courtesy of Engrave It Inc. in Ontario, California.

007 1961 chevrolet impala convertible impala quarter panel badge

The car, better known as Ultimately Sexy, was delivered in time for the Black History Parade on Valentine’s Day. We couldn’t think of a more befitting occasion to debut it and think it’s one of the best ’61’s we’ve ever seen. For those of us lucky enough to also have a wife who supports our car addiction, being able to treat them to a car as nice as Tanya’s is going to be a tough act to follow. After our wives or girlfriends read this article, we certainly have our work cut out for us.

1961 Chevrolet Impala Convertible

Vehicle Nickname
Ultimately Sexy

Owner
Tanya Maxwell

003 1961 chevrolet impala convertible tanya maxwell

City/State
Norco, CA

Club
Ultimate Riders

Engine
Supercharged LS9 V-8 and 4L60E trans

008 1961 chevrolet impala convertible ls9 v8 engine

Interior
Brad Rogers at Ultimate Hydraulics. Lexus seats, custom console, Dakota Digital gauges.

Suspension
Four pumps, three Adex dumps, 8-inch front and 14-inch rear cylinders, and 10 solenoids, hardlined, four batteries. Chromed frame. 9-inch rearend. Engraving by Engrave It Inc

Body/Paint
Candy apple red by Mexico Auto. Striping and leafing by Mike Lamberson

004 1961 chevrolet impala convertible lexus seats

Sound System
Pioneer head unit, Cerwin Vega amps and speakers

Wheels/Tires
14×7 Daytons / Hankook 175/70R14

Let’s Get Technical

Coming up on its 20-year mark, the LS-series motor debuted in 1997 as the LS1 in the C5 Corvette. The all-aluminum LS1 V-8 went on to replace the LT1. A wide variety of engines from the LS platforms have been introduced, including both iron and aluminum variations, but all feature the following traits:

  • 4.40-inch bore centers (like the original small-block) Six-bolt, cross-bolted main bearing caps
  • Center main thrust bearing
  • 9.24-inch deck height
  • Four-bolt-per-cylinder head bolt pattern
  • 0.842-inch lifter bores
  • Distributorless, coil-near-plug ignition system

033 1961 chevrolet impala convertible ls9 v8

The LS9 seen in this car is the 6.2L supercharged and charge-cooled engine of the Corvette ZR1. It is rated at 638 horsepower. The LS9 uses the strengthened 6.2L block with stronger, roto-cast cylinder heads and a sixth-generation 2.3L Roots-type supercharger. Like the LS7, it uses a dry-sump oiling system. Here are the specs for the motor:

  • Displacement: 376ci (6.2L)
  • Bore x Stroke (inches): 4.065 x 3.622
  • Block: Cast aluminum with six-bolt, cross-bolted main caps
  • Crankshaft: Forged steel with nine-bolt flange
  • Connecting Rods: Forged titanium
  • Pistons: Forged aluminum
  • Camshaft: Hydraulic roller
  • Valve Lift (inches): .562 intake / .558 exhaust
  • Camshaft Duration (@ .050 inches): 211 degrees intake / 230 degrees exhaust

009 1961 chevrolet impala convertible intake