Life can move in mysterious ways sometimes, and at the end of the day, it’s funny how some things work out. Take the case of 28-year-old Tommy Garcia of Lexington, South Carolina. As a child, he grew up around classic cars, and at the age of sixteen, he realized that he had the passion to buy one. For four years, this dream of owning a classic car evaded him, until it finally became a reality when Tommy turned twenty. What’s the reason behind the four year delay, you might ask? Well, finding a classic Impala in the South can prove to be easier said than done, as most frames are depleted with rust or simply falling apart from lack of care. In Monetta, South Carolina, Tommy found a ’63 Chevrolet Impala SS that was ripe for a rebuild. It was originally purchased for a complete transformation, however, the car’s owner had lost his passion and drive for the project.
Tommy stepped in, offering a respectable dollar amount as well as promises to provide updates on his rebuild for the previous owner. His sincerity and business sense swayed the owner, and he allowed Tommy to buy the vehicle. Ecstatic, Tommy put the Chevy on a trailer and brought it back home. The first step in the building process was to make sure the mechanics were in working order. The Impala was brought to Bernie Hajack, a very capable and certified Chevrolet mechanic. Bernie removed the stock motor and rebuilt it from the ground up, using the original factory specifications as his measuring stick. Supreme Plating, out of California, was the destination shop for the majority of the car’s chrome additions.
With the help of his father, Tommy was able to focus his attention on the car’s suspension. The Garcia men lifted the heavy Chevy frame in their family’s garage, and built a perfect hydraulic set-up. Tommy and his dad installed a four-pump chrome setup with 17-inch Pro Hopper whammy tanks, ultimately finished off with polished Hi-Jacker blocks and stainless steel hard lines and also, four Deka batteries line the sides of the trunk for proper weight distribution.
The father and son combo sought out to give the Impala perfect detail, so they decided to strip the ’63 down to the bare metal. The replacement parts necessary were taken with the Impala to Richard Wright, Jr.’s Custom Paint & Body in Lexington, South Carolina, where Chris “Goofy” Stewart completed the body work. Richard pulled the Chevy into the paint booth and laid down an Orion Silver basecoat, and several coats of House of Kolor Kandy Organic Green with a green flake. A friend, Mike Louder, added the finishing touches on the roof by spraying a similar mixture of paint to the basecoat, while Jeffrey Brewer went to work, laying down the patterns that Tommy had previously designed.
Keeping true to his intention to stay as close to a factory look as possible, Tommy cleaned up the interior by using the same paint pattern on the dashboard as was laid on the exterior. The leather seats were replaced with white leather by Fulmer’s Top Shop in Aiken, South Carolina. The trunk and setup were lined with fiberglass panels and painted to match the exterior of the ’63. Trey Steele added pinstripping throughout the trunk panels and batteries.
This incredible Chevy Impala has now been with Tommy for almost eight years. Would that interfere with his relationship? Probably not, as long-time girlfriend Jessica says, “I am one of the very few girls that cleans cars at shows.” She adds, “I can say it’s been a joint project, because I’ve been through the entire build along with Tommy, I even helped [to] assemble the pumps.” As a proud member of Obsession Car Club, Tommy is happy to be a part of the club’s tradition for having the finest rides in the South. “Green With Envy” started out as a one-man project, but was finished with the help of a family. Kudos to Tommy and his build partners for creating this truly exquisite ’63 Impala.
Green With Envy
Owner: Tommy Garcia
Vehicle: ’63 Chevrolet Impala SS
City/State: Lexington, South Carolina
Club: Obsession C.C.
Engine/Drivetrain: Rebuilt V8 327-c.i.d motor by Bernie Hajack; stock Powerglide transmission; chrome plating by Supreme Plating in Inglewood, California; dual Flowmaster exhaust, rerouted straight out the back, instead of behind the wheel installed by Avery’s Automotive
Body/Paint: House of Kolor Organic Kandy Green was coated using green flake by Richard Wright, Jr.’s Paint & Body in Lexington, South Carolina; roof was coated with a silver-green pearl by Mike Louder; patterns by Jeffrey Brewer at Salters Custom Paint & Body in Monetta, South Carolina; pinstripping by Trey Steele of Trey Steele’s Paint Shack
Interior: Kandy Organic Green dashboard to match the exterior; white leather upholstery, door panels and headliner by Fulmer’s Top Shop in Aiken, South Carolina; OG vacuum trunk release mounted in the glove compartment
Sound System: Panasonic CQ-C5110U head unit, four MB Quart hi’s, JL Audio midrange speakers mounted in the kick panels and custom rear deck, two 10-inch JL Audio subwoofers built into a custom enclosure in the trunk with two Matrixx amplifiers, and Stinger four gauge wiring; installation by Tommy
Suspension: Custom chrome four-pump Hi-Jacker setup using Pro Hopper whammy tanks from T & D Customs in Goose Creek, South Carolina, polished Hi-Jacker blocks, stainless steel hard lines, 8-inch Hi-Jacker cylinders (front), 12-inch (rear), four painted Deka group 31 1100 CCA batteries installed by Tommy and his father; frame was wrapped and painted green to match
Tires: 175/70R14 Hankook wide whitewalls
Wheels: 100-spoke all chrome Roadster wires