Some Lowriders forget they have the luxury of resources near them in the form of shops and parts, while others have to search far and wide to make their cruising dreams come true. The well-travelled Lowrider is one who truly knows no boundaries, and Julio Alvarado is one of them. Born in Juarez, Mexico, Julio moved to the San Fernando Valley in California with his mother when he was nine years old. In the late 80s, California was packed with custom Chevy Impala’s and thus began Julio’s obsession with riding in a ’64 Impala of his own. While he enjoyed living in the heart of Lowrider country, his mother had to relocate the family to Dalton, Georgia – not exactly a hub of Lowrider activity. Undeterred, Julio kept his Lowriding passion alive although he was unable to find a ’64 in good condition in his new state. He did come across a ’61 in the land of peaches, so he purchased it and began to customize it. After his visit to a body shop for reinforcement, Julio was told that his Chevy’s frame could not be properly reinforced for hopping and three wheeling. Crushed, he still continued to bring his Impala throughout the Country to car shows and picnics. At a show in Kentucky he ran into a guy that was admiring his ’61 and offered a straight trade for a ’64. With Julio’s dream car in front of him, he grabbed the opportunity.
Since he was already in Kentucky, Julio decided to enlist Josh Culver of Culver Customs in Louisville, as Josh’s shop, Culver Customs has the reputation for great frame-off custom work. Once the Impala was at the shop, Josh and his father, Harry, removed the frame off the body and prepped it for coating. In the paint booth, layers of Mandarin Copper were sprayed throughout the entire frame. The Culver’s reinforced and wrapped the frame and body for strength. Josh enlisted the help of Kenny Ochs in Louisville for the engine work. The motor was removed and completely rebuilt, and a Ford nine-inch rear end was added. The Chevy was then driven to Hamilton, Ohio where Chad “Mr. Hardline” Ferman put his expertise to the test. A completely unique setup was installed using a two-pump Pitbull Hydraulic system with a custom-made aluminum whammy tank. He added zig-zag slow down valves and custom hard lines that run from the pumps into a one-inch thick plexiglass wall through the speaker box and then run out the back. Hard lines are run to the 8-inch front cylinders as well as the 12-inch rear cylinders. Eight Trojan batteries were added to the sides and painted by Josh to complete the color flow. With the completion in sight, the Impala was driven to Ron Lucas in Shepherdsville, Kentucky for the cabin alterations. A CarsOne interior kit was purchased along with a custom carpet kit. The seats were wrapped in white vinyl. Every inch of chrome was removed and polished to bring out the shine. The stock gauges were taken out and painted from the stock black colors.
Once Julio saw the work that Culver Customs and friends had done, he knew he made the right choices for his build shops. The Chevy was brought back to Georgia and one-by-one conquered every show it attended. Aside from being a solid show winner, the car has been a fun one to put together. “If I can’t play with my ’64, it does me no good,” Julio says with a smile. “Some people want to hop, I just want to three.” Named “L.A. Hennessy” for two things he loves, he decided to join Bounded CC., because of his friendship with Rudy Zamora, the club’s President. Julio says, “I couldn’t have done all this without the help from Josh at Culver Customs, my mom and dad, and my fellow club members for giving me the motivation and inspiration.” A well-travelled machine, “L.A. Hennessy” is taking over the show circuit state by state.
Owner: Julio Alvarado
Vehicle: ’64 Chevrolet Impala SS
City/State: Dalton, Georgia
Club: Bounded C.C.
Engine: The ’64 got a full makeover by Kenny Ochs in Louisville, Kentucky. The V8 327-c.i.d. was removed and rebuilt. Everything was chromed and painted to match. A 750 Holley carburetor was installed. The turbo 350 transmission has a shift kit installed. A custom handmade fan shroud out of aluminum was bolted in. The vacuum lines were given the hard line treatment.
Body/Paint: The body was straightened, blocked and painted. Josh and Harry Culver of Culver Customs in Louisville, Kentucky sprayed the Impala with Sherwin Williams Mandarin Copper and cleared with Sherwin Williams clearcoat. Josh Culver and Brian Papa of Papa Studios in Atlanta, Georgia did the gold leafing and pinstripe work.
Interior: Ron Lucas in Shepherdsville, Kentucky adding a custom dyed carpet kit reupholstered the interior. The stock gauges were removed and repainted to match the exterior. All chrome moldings were taken out and polished for shine.
Sounds: A Clarion head unit was mounted in the glove compartment with Eminence components throughout the cabin. Two 12-inch Eclipse subwoofers were added to a custom enclosure with a plexiglass window. Two Audiobahn amplifiers power the stereo system. Tim Phelps of Brooks, Kentucky, did all the work. The enclosure was designed and built by Spade Kreations in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Suspension: The Impala was taken apart and fully wrapped for support. A Ford 9-inch rear end was added for more support. Chad “Mr. Hardline” Ferman from Hamilton, Ohio installed a one-of-a-kind hydraulic setup using two Pitbull Hydraulic pumps with a custom-made aluminum whammy tank. Four Super Duty Adex dumps were mounted using shaped hard lines. Zig-zag slow down valves and custom dump caps were put in place. The hydraulic setup has hard lines run to the front 8-inch Pitbull cylinder and the rear 12-inch cylinders. The setup has no visible hoses. Eight Trojan Group 31 batteries line the sides of the trunk. The car lifts from a 4-switch panel mounted on the dashboard. Josh did the frame wrapping & Harry Culver of Culver Customs and the setup was designed by Josh and Chad Ferman and built by Mr. Hardline.
Tires: Coker 5.20 radials.
Wheels: 13 x 7 100-spoke OG Wires custom built, the chrome was stripped and color matched with gold leafing.