In the late 90’s, George Victoria of Los Angeles, CA was visiting a friend who happened to own a four-door Cutlass Supreme Lowrider. “My son was only three years old at the time and when he was sitting inside the Cutlass, he began to play with the switches,” says the proud father. This visit so inspired George that he went in search of his very first Lowrider project. During his quest, he came across a 1983 Monte Carlo in good condition and ended up buying the car with visions of fixing it up. He did just that when he took it to his friend who was a painter and added some rims after the paintjob was finished. Since his Monte Carlo was street worthy, George began a search for an Impala. “I wanted to get a 1962 Impala Convertible at the time,” George says. “I couldn’t really find one and then my dad told me that one of my uncles had a ’65 rag. I told him that I wasn’t really digging the ’65s but I went to go look at it anyway since it was a convertible.” Once he saw the good condition the car was in, he wanted it, but his uncle didn’t want to sell it. Three months later, the uncle decided to sell it to George. “When I bought it, I drove it from my uncle’s house in Huntington Park to my mom’s house in Compton.”
The itch to start working on it got the best of George, and he wasted no time in stripping the car down in his own backyard. “I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into,” admits George with a laugh. The car then sat in the backyard stripped down for ten years because George’s extra money was all going into the initial build of the Monte Carlo. “I told my wife that it was time for me to sell it in order to start building the Impala,” says George.
Once the Impala build began, George took it to get painted in Victorville, CA. “I would drive our there almost every weekend to see the progress on the car and after almost two years, very little progress had been made. So, one day I showed up with my truck and trailer and picked it up,” says a frustrated George. This experience turned out to be a blessing, as George was influenced by Louie Carrillo to take the rag to Paul and Peter Toma. “That’s where the magic happened,” George explains. “They knew that I wanted a frame-off car and they have such a knack and knowledge for car building that they easily exceeded my expectations. “The combination of the Toma Brothers and Louie’s Kustom Kandys worked out great for my build.”
While the car is finally complete, George is ready for his next challenge. “I’ve had my fun with this one, so I’m ready to build another one. Paul and Peter are already helping me out in getting a new project, and we are planning on doing the same justice to that one as we have to this one in hopes of building a nice street ride.”
George would like to thank Paul and Peter Toma of Top Notch Custom, as well as Louie Carrillo, Jose Zendejas, Alex Davalos, his wife and kids for all their support, and send an extra special thanks to his son and sidekick, Li’l George, who has always been there by his side since he was three years old.
Owner: George Victoria
Vehicle: 1965 Impala Convertible
City/State: Downey, CA
Engine: The Toma Brothers from Top Notch Custom in Riverside, CA installed the 350 with a 400 transmission. Magnaflow exhaust, Edelbrock intake and carburetor, March Performance Pulleys, CFR valve covers and oil pans, MSD ignition, Taylor wires, CFR cooling fan and Optima battery.
Body/Paint: Top Notch Custom in Riverside molded the firewall, dash, inner fenders, trunk and hood. Material Man provided the Sunrise Pearl and Spanish Gold. Louie’s Kustom Kandys of Riverside, CA also used some Sherwin Williams candy when he painted the convertible. Mike Lamberson, of Draggin’ Lines in Riverside, CA, stripped it and Alberto Herrera, of Quality Art in Visalia, CA, added the murals.
Interior: Joe Camacho of California Upholstery in Bell Garden, CA stitched the Cadillac seats and custom center console.
Sound System: Top Notch Custom installed the sound system that was mostly made up of Sound Stream equipment including the stereo deck, monitors, tweeters, mids and amps that push the Kicker L7’s.
Chrome: Speedy of Speedy’s Metal Finishing in Santa Fe Springs, CA added all the chrome while Jaime Castaneda of Castaneda Custom Engraving in La Puente, CA did the engraving.
Setup: Toma Brothers installed two RF2 hydraulic pumps, four Optima batteries and Billet blocks. They also reinforced and molded the A-arms.
Tires: Firestone 155/80/13
Wheels: 13″ Galaxy Wire Wheels