Brandon Brusca of Carson, CA got started in the Lowrider scene back in the 80’s; a time when his grandfather would let him tag along to various classic car cruises. The scene was surreal to the impressionable Brandon, and he soaked everything in pretty quickly. “I remember that at the end of the night, all the Lowriders would come in and I fell in love with the paint jobs, the music, and their whole style,” says the candid enthusiast. His infatuation bubbled to a peak when Brandon purchased his first Lowrider–a 1963 hardtop he found at the Pomona swap meet in 1988, while he was a freshman in high school. “I’ve always liked the long sleek design and the sharp lines of the ’63 Impala,” says Brandon. It was only a couple years later, in 1990 that Brandon found this ’63 Impala. “I ran into a guy that wanted to sell it to start his own business. The car was running and it was pretty much stock when I bought it.” Luckily for Brandon, the previous owner didn’t know and didn’t care that under the Impala’s hood there was a rare 409 engine.
Excited to begin work, Brandon tore the car apart and did a frame-off resto with a stock-colored paint job and chrome undercarriage. He debuted the car in 1996 and while the car took home many awards and also landed a front cover, Brandon found it hard to truly standout amongst the height of the stock-style Impala craze. “I had always admired Lifestyle cars like “Sun Goddess,” “Butterscotch,” “On the Rocks,” and “Paradise,” Brandon explains. “My eyes always drew to those cars because of the bright yellows and oranges and I loved the magenta stripes.” In 2005, Brandon decided to tear the Impala down in favor of starting fresh. “As I got older, I started to see some of the mistakes that I had made and they really started to bother me; so I figured that if I tore it down that I would be able to fix those mistakes.”
Brandon was contacted by a guy from Kansas City who was selling an Algon intake manifold. “I wasn’t looking for that manifold but it came across it and it was a piece of history for the 409’s,” he says with a smile. The Algon in Brandon’s ’63 is documented as being 1 of 12 for high performance 409 fuel injection manifolds ever made. “There is a reason why you don’t see that style of manifolds on the streets, and it’s because they are very temperamental,” he cautions. “Still, when I was building the car, I wanted to do things that were different but I also wanted to make sure that I stayed true to my Lowriding roots. It was a very hard thing to do; especially since I was trying to have racing nostalgia parts from that era but I also wanted to build the next generation of a Lowrider.”
Owner: Brandon Brusca
Vehicle: 1963 Impala Convertible
City/State: Carson, CA
Engine: Curt Harvey built the 409/425 4speed, large port high performance ALGON with Kinsler Mechanical Injectors, Magneto Vertex built by Don Zig, Muncie M22 transmission with Hurst close throw shifter, 2-chamber Flowmaster exhaust, 690 Doug Thorley tri-y headers, Street & Performance wide mount, Taylor Wires solid core, Mark 7 billet SPAL fans, 4 wheel disc brakes.
Body/Paint: Angel Zaragoza of Classic Carz Hot Rods in Chatsworth, CA took care of all the bodywork including shaving the emblems, gas door. Macklovio Garcia of Northridge, CA and Danny D worked on the multi House of Kolor paint. Walt Prey and Danny D are credited for the fine pinstripping work.
Interior: Armando’s Rod & Custom in San Jacinto, CA did the four buckets seats in all leather and suede. Dakota Digital gauges and billet trim was added to finish the interior look.
Sound System: Mario Escamilla of Montebello, CA installed the Sony I-pod head unit, Precision Power Art Series amps, two JBL 6″x9″ and a 10″ Kicker Solo-baric subwoofer.
Chrome: Johnny 58 is responsible for the custom grill. Universal Plating of Irwindale, CA did all the chrome and Hernan of Hernan’s Custom Engraving did all the engraving.
Setup: Brandon took it upon himself to install the 4 Eemco motors, 3000psi piston pumps. Lincoln Versailles of Super Natural Hydraulics in Gardena, CA handled the frame work. Hoppos Hydraulics in Ontario, CA molded the trailing arms and A-arms. Big Frank built the battery rack and pump table.
Tires: Original Premium Sportway
Wheels: 72 spoke Daytons