As a staff member here at Lowrider Magazine, I can assure you that we truly value our position and legacy within the great culture of Lowriding. For more than thirty years, a feature spot in our pages has been the dream of many incredible builders, all looking to use our magazine as a worldwide platform to share their amazing automotive works of art. JD Delgado of South Gate, CA., is one of those builders. Like the many who came before him, JD had his sights set on building a magnificent ride; a ride which he hoped would one day be shared with the masses through the pages of our magazine. After trying for many years, JD brought this incredible build to our attention, and we had no choice but to grant him this feature spot; a spot that he had undoubtedly earned through blood, sweat, and tears.
Thanks to the help of John Kennedy of the Bowtie Connection, JD was able find a clean, starter 1963 that had survived the Japanese exportation. Originally, JD set out to merely freshen up the car and fix the minor wear and tear that the car had endured since its completion. Had he done this, the car would have turned out black on black, and from what you can see, that obviously didn’t happen. After purchasing the car, JD called Cruz of Sunroof Performers, so they could install a 44-inch moon roof. This would turn out to be the beginning of the build, as the roof of the Impala served as the focal point of customization. After cutting a hole into the roof, the moon roof cover section obviously needed to be repainted, and thus, the odyssey began.
Once JD’s car was in the hands of Mario’s Auto Works, the ideas for that car began to flow. One of the first ideas was to make the roof look as if it was completely made out of metal, so that when the graphics were laid out, they could continue and flow through the roof. To accomplish this look, the team took the 44-inch glass and replaced it with a metal skin, which was formed to the shape of the car’s freshly installed glass. This allowed the Mario’s crew to lay out the old-school flake graphics which complemented the car’s fire red base.
With the car on a body stand, Mario shot the engine and transmission in the same PPG paint finish. While this was being done, the crew at Homies Hydraulics worked quickly to build up the engraved hydraulic accessories by Hernan. After this step, the x-frame that was reinforced by Cesar would later be powder coated by JD’s friend Pancho. Pancho also powder coated the wheels and other accessories, as Craps Hydraulics took care of all the plumbing from the front to the rear of the car. The frame and the exterior of the car received a triple plated dosage of chrome, which was added by Sergio at Metal Finishing of Los Angeles. This allowed Hollywood Fuzz to install the power windows and fresh chrome plated frames.
As you read earlier, Bowtie Connection’s crew had a lot of influence on the build, as the shop helped to dial in the car’s previous work. They also take credit for the custom interior that the shop stitched up. Freddy installed the suede headliner and the leather seats, which were also added to the car. While the car was at the shop, they also tuned the engine to make sure that it purred like a kitten, but drove like a beast. With a beefy engine, the car would need a beefy sound system that could be heard over the roar of the motor. This was taken care of by Gordo of 562 Kustoms of Paramount, who installed a Pioneer head unit and 3 8-inch Fosgate woofers.
With pinstriped wheels by Curly and 72-spoke straight lace Zeniths of California on the car, the Impala was ready to cruise but not without receiving the USO plaque; as JD had recently opened up the newest USO chapter in Los Angeles. This was a perfect fit for JD, who is all about his family. In fact, without the support of his wife, Lora, and his USO family, this car would have never become the amazing machine that you see here today.
Owner: JD Delgado
Vehicle: 1963 Impala, Super Sport
City/State: Los Angeles, CA
Club: USO Los Angeles
Engine: GM Performance ZZ4 383 crate motor. To allow the engine to breathe properly, an Edelbrock intake and Carburetor combination, as well as an Edelbrock air cleaner and valve covers was used.
Body/Paint: A PPG cranberry two-stage paint job was prepared and sprayed. The paint was accented with old-school graphics laid out on the roof.
Setup: A two-pump setup with aluminum blocks, chrome fittings, and three Adex square dumps for accuracy powered by eight 31-series batteries.
Tires: Cornell 155/80R13’s
Wheels: 13×7 72-spoke Zenith of California Wire Wheels