Model: Monica Goe
Back in 1996, Brandon Kinnard was living in Fairbanks, Alaska – a place that receives plenty of unpredictable and very inconsistent weather throughout the year. Given these conditions, the custom car scene there is not a fraction of what it is in California, or even throughout the continental U.S. for that matter. For Alaskan residents, custom car shops are few and far between and, alternatively, having car parts shipped up to them is not too cheap either. Regardless, the day that Brandon – a teenager at the time – walked through a movie theater parking lot and saw a dude named Mike Bartch come around the corner hitting the three-wheel motion in a ’64 Impala changed his life. It was that spectacular sight that sold Brandon on the idea that he had to get a Lowrider car of his own one day.
Staying on high alert, Brandon kept his eyes open for any opportunity for the right car to come onto his radar. It seemed to almost drop into his lap just a short time later when he was washing his car one day. A ’63 Impala drove by with a “for sale” sign in the window, and Brandon immediately jumped into his friend Russ’s car and they chased down the classic Chevy. On his 18th birthday, Brandon bought the car and stored it into his garage for the winter. During that cold season, he saved some money and purchased a set of 13-inch spoke rims and a hydraulic setup. By spring, the hydraulic setup was getting installed and by the summer, it was ready for cruising. Brandon says that rolling in the Lowrider during the Alaskan summertime is great because they get 18 to 20 hours of daylight per day!
Brandon admits that it was hard for him to build this car, especially at first. He didn’t know much about building Lowriders and really didn’t know anybody to call for help. Thanks to the assistance of locals Jeff Hutson and Dewayne Brown of the GoodFellas Car Club, Brandon was pointed in the right directions to get things done. Along the way, Brandon also learned quite a few things on his own.
After a few years, it seemed the small custom car scene in Fairbanks just about disappeared. People were selling their cars, moving out of the area, and just weren’t customizing their rides like they used to. There really wasn’t anybody for Brandon to go to for support and he eventually decided to give Lowriding a break.
Once he had taken a couple years off, Brandon came back with another ’63, but this one was a convertible. He had it for a year and then decided to sell it and go back to having a hardtop. That’s when he acquired the “Alaskan Passion” ’63 Impala. He came up with that name because it had the West Coast style but with a little Alaskan swag. With his new ’63 project, Brandon made a move to the larger Alaskan city of Anchorage, about 350 miles from Fairbanks. From there, he hooked up with Uso Car Club and made some great connections to get his ’63 to the point it’s at now. Brandon gives big thanks to his Uso Family, Embellish Customs, Sound Works Car Audio, Phat Customz, and TNT Auto Body for all their help and support on the buildup of this rolling masterpiece.
Owner: Brandon Kinnard
Vehicle: 1963 Chevy Impala
City/State: Anchorage, Alaska
Club: Uso Car Club
Engine: 1963 Chevrolet 283-c.i.d. V8 built by Miguel Aguirre from San Diego, California. Transmission is a 2-speed power glide. FlowMaster exhaust.
Body/Paint: Poney’s Auto Body Shop in San Diego’s east county did the necessary prep work before Tom Reed of TNT Body Works in Anchorage laid down a PPG silver star finish.
Interior: Miguel Aguirre upholstered the interior in the OG fashion by using a Cars reproduction kit. The ride was also upgraded with custom kick panels, power windows, back window blinds and a digital dash.
Sound System: John Murphy of Sound Works Car Audio in Anchorage installed an Alpine flip-out head unit, JL Audio HD amplifier, Alpine Type X tweeter and mid-range speakers, and JL Audio W7 woofers. An eye-popping large 32-inch flat screen TV was installed in the trunk and hooked up to a PlayStation 3 gaming system.
Setup: Reggie Russell of Phat Customz in Anchorage installed an Oasis air compressor and an airbag setup on this reinforced and powder coated X-frame. 7 switches control the rides altitude.
Tires: Hankook 155/80/13 whitewall
Wheels: 13×7 Dayton