Building a car the second time around is always easier than when you do it the first time. In this case, Rick Rock, owner of Low Life Hydraulics, proved this theory when he chose to rebuild his ’63 Impala convertible. Rick’s love for Lowriding stemmed from his early days as a kid growing up in the harsh climate of Inglewood, CA., where he saw too many of his close friends end up in jail or six feet underground. Rick did not want to end up in either of those circumstances, so he kept his nose clean and his hands dirty, choosing instead to stay inside the garage building cars rather than being outside causing trouble.
By 19, Rick started cruising Crenshaw Blvd. with his best friend, Snoop. When he wasn’t showing his love for vehicles out in the streets, he was inside working on them, earning his stripes at Hi-Lo Hydraulics for a number of years until he knew it was time to open his own shop, Low Life Hydraulics, in Inglewood, CA. The work paid off and Rick’s extensive knowledge of auto building has lead him to a very successful career in Lowriding; a career he wanted to reignite by renovating his ’63 Impala.
Rick always wanted a clean car that not only showcased his workmanship, but was also fully functional in the streets. The first time he built this ’63, it took a few years to complete, but proved to be well worth the effort, as it was featured in LRM back in 2003. Rick attended many car shows and rode the ’63 until he became bored with it. He decided it was time to rebuild the entire car, and in 2008 he did just that, vowing to completely tear down the ’63 Impala and get it ready for the shows and streets once again.
The car’s engine was replaced with a rebuilt 2000 Chevy engine, and was accented with plenty of chrome and aftermarket parts. Juan Luna, at Lowlife Hydraulics, took the engine apart and added a polished carburetor, chrome flex fix hoses, billet valve covers, a chrome water pump and accessories. The body of the car was in bad condition when it was first purchased, so Rick had George from Low Life Hydraulics reworked the entire car by replacing the floors, hood, and doors. After the car’s body was ready for paint, George painted it dark blue. The second time around, it was repainted the same color, but was then delivered to Curly from Curly’s Pin Stripping in Inglewood, to add custom pearl graphics on the entire car in the attempt of making it look like a Van Gogh painting. When your car is designed to become a masterpiece, why not really make it a masterpiece! John Harris put the finishing touch to the trunk of the car by airbrushing a mural of Jessica Alba and Eva Mendes over the Showtime Car Club logo. After the body was finished, the car was then taken to Efren at Riding Dirty in Hawthorne, CA. At the shop, Efren installed a new vinyl top and reupholstered the interior to achieve its OG look with baby blue cloth and vinyl. While the majority of the work is outstanding, the hydraulic setup is what makes Rick’s Impala stand out from the rest. Rick and Javier Casillas installed two Rockman Pumps, with a chromereservoir and OG square dumps with over 30 feet of custom bend tubing. As if that wasn’t enough, Rick sent the entire setup to get engraved and then re-chromed it again to give it an award-winning shine. The trunk was also redone with custom fiberglass housing for the sound system and custom graphics by Curly.
After a full year of working on his Impala constantly, he was able to finish his car on time to show at the Vegas Super show where he took home a few awards. Now Rick has over 16 years of Lowriding under his belt, and Van Gogh keeps taking names on the streets and at car shows. Rick has a few more tricks up his sleeve in the years to come, and will undoubtedly keep his tradition alive ‘til the wheels fall off.
Owner: Rick Rock
Vehicle: ’63 Impala Convertible
City/State: Inglewood, CA
Club: Showtime Car Club
Engine: 2000 Chevy with a 350 Turbo transmission and Flowmaster exhaust.
Body and Paint: Dark Blue with custom graphics done by Curly and a custom mural on the trunk by John Harris.
Interior: OG interior redone with cloth and vinyl.
Setup: Rick and Javier at Low Life Hydraulics did the setup. The setup includes two Rockman pumps, with 8-inch chrome cylinders in the front and 14-inch in the rear, with custom bend tubing and an all-engraved setup juiced by four batteries.
Sound System: Damien and Lui Da Man took on the job of building the two woofer housing and installing the headunit in the glove compartment while it’s powered by Rockford Fosgate amps.
Wheels: Custom painted to match the exterior 13-inch Goldstars.