Nothing exemplifies class, style, and old-school flair like the sweeping fins and jeweled grill of a 1959 Impala. For many, the car is considered to be the holy grail of Lowrider cars, and the value of these rolling gems has soared greatly in recent years. It took several years of waiting and saving for Saul Rudy Vasquez to finally attain his own two-tone blue ’59 Rag, which was actually his second ’59! “If I had known the convertibles were worth that much more, I would have gotten one first, but instead I jumped the gun and bought the coupe,” Rudy says. “I have no regrets because I got my feet wet with the hard top.” Buying the coupe also taught Rudy another lesson. Owning someone else’s car is like dating their ex-wife; sure she’s with you now, but people never seem to let you forget who had her first. “With my other car, I was always being told that I didn’t build that car. That kind of offended me,” Rudy says. “I knew I could build a car, and I just had to do it to shut everybody up. I know every square inch of my car, from the front to the back, because I built it,” Rudy says with pride. The car came together in record time and was on the street in less than a year, thanks to motivation from some tough circumstances. “I started working on the car when I got out on bail and built the car in 12 months. It helped to keep my brain occupied and the year went by pretty quick,” Rudy explains. “I knew I was going to beat the case, but I only had 12 months to build it.” Rudy’s successful court experience also lent credence to the car’s name. “Since I won, it is called “Not Guilty ’59 Case Dismissed,” says Rudy with a grin. The beauty of a rare classic like this ’59 Impala is that unlike other more common customs, they retain their value better than a treasury bond. Despite the car’s monetary value, Rudy is a firm believer in enjoying his cars and not leaving them tucked away somewhere in a garage. “This car is a driver. I like to jump on the freeway and go, even on my 5.20s and 13s,” Rudy beams. “I just need 30 seconds to wipe it down and let’s go!” Rudy would like to give a big thanks to his family and friends. He sends an extra special thanks to his wife, who didn’t know his car would be featured until she got a chance to see it in the pages of LRM.
“Not Guilty ‘59 Case Dismissed”
Owner: Saul Rudy Vasquez
Vehicle: 1959 Chevy Impala Convertible
City/State: Santa Ana, CA
Engine: 1972 Chevy 350, Aamco 700R Transmission, Headman Headers, Street and Performance pulleys, MSD Ignition, Optima Batteries, Champion spark plugs.
Setup: Two Pumps, four Adex dumps, one-inch steel Hooping blocks, all stainless steel tubing by owner, Homies batteries and blocks, fully wrapped and molded frame, y-bone by Anthony at Homies, electric booster, Ididit steering column, front and rear disk brakes.
Body/Paint: Bodywork by Bert at the Chevy Shop, El Monte, CA., two-stage PPG Speedway Blue by Saul at Chevy Shop, El Monte, CA.
Interior: OG pattern interior by John at Bowtie, Dakota Digital gauges.
Engraving: Carols Salas.
Chrome: Bio Mag Plating, Santa Ana, CA., and Anaheim Plating, Anaheim, CA.
Stereo: Customer center console and kick panels by owner and son, Pioneer head unit, Hi Fi. Amps, MB Quartz tweeters, JL mids, D.D. woofers.
Wheels: 13×7 Zenith Wire Wheels chrome and powder-coated candy blue.