’61 Chevy Impala
City / State
John Hardy wanted to build something to represent his city to the fullest. This wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but then again, John didn’t exactly grow up in the easiest neighborhood. Raised in the notorious Grape Street neighborhood of Watts, CA, John was surrounded, among other things, by some of the most well built Lowriders in the scene. This ’61 Impala was purchased from John’s friend V-Max, the expert owner of Ultimate Hydraulics, now located in Norco, CA. V-Max had built a few Lowriders for John previously, so it was only natural that he be given the reigns to John’s new project.
The ’61 started as a two-pump street hopper, but after seeing how amazing the build was turning out, John had a change of heart and decided to make it a full-blown street and show car. Everything on the car was rebuilt, fixed up, or purchased new, in order to make the Chevy a top notch contender. John wanted a Lowrider that still had some horsepower, so he told V-Max to swap out the original engine with an ’06 Chevy Corvette LS2 engine. V- Max happily obliged, and after the engine compartment was painted, the new engine was set into place. The LS2 engine had some modifications added as well. These mods included a polished intake manifold, new headers, a radiator, new reservoirs, painted dust guards, a custom air filter, Flextube hoses, an upgraded CPP break booster with chrome a alternator, a new water pump, polished pulleys and an A/C compressor. When the car was finished, it was sent to the Vegas Super Show in 2010, where it took home 3rd Place in the Full Custom category. Be sure you check our future issues for a full story and pictures of John’s Clean ’61 Impala, affectionately known as “Grape Vine.