Seeing Lowriders going down the street hitting switches is what attracted Harold James of Fairfield, CA into the scene at the age of fifteen. “Once I saw that, I knew I had to have one,” admits Harold. He got his feet wet with a 1973 Mustang and lowered the car the best way he knew how; he heated the springs! Despite his humble beginnings in the Ford, he went on to build a long list of cars in an obsession that has lasted him a lifetime.
Fourteen years have passed since Harold bought his ’63 from a friend in Fairfield. “He had a “For Sale” sign in the window and I couldn’t resist. I ended up buying it from him,” explains Harold. The car was already in fair condition and it was drivable, but there were many modifications that Harold sought to add to the Impala. He started off by re-doing the interior, painting it a candy red, and adding hydraulics and rims to it. After five years, Harold still wanted more out of the car and he made his mind up to completely change the entire project. He had higher aspirations. “I redid the car because I was tired of it and I wanted to take it to the next level to try and win sweepstakes.” The car was winning trophies, but it didn’t have what it needed to compete in the full custom category. The car received an entire makeover, as it received new paint and interior work, while also receiving a fully-chromed out engine and undercarriage. “I also upgraded the hydraulics, sound system, and everything else,” says the proud owner.
This devoted member of Tradicionals car club was happy to add the club’s plaque in the window and begin showing off the car. He has taken several Best of Show prizes at various shows and is consistently adding or changing stuff on the car. “If I sell this, I will build one more,” vows the show winner. “It won’t be extreme because I want to drive it but it will be very nice.”
Owner: Harold James
Vehicle: 1963 Impala Convertible
City/State: Fairfield, CA
Engine: 283-c.i.d., Walter Prosper air cleaner, Edelbrock carburetor and polished manifold, Mallory ignition and sparkplug system
Body/Paint: Steve Santos of Tekni Color in Fairfiled, CA laid out the paintjob. Medicine Man of San Leandro, CA added the murals under the hood and trunk and pinstripe artist Rory of Dublin, CA added the stripes.
Interior: Gary and Kurt Gardener of Vacaville, CA did the upholstery; C&C Customs made all the dash accessories and Vincent Delgado of Sacramento, CA added the custom fiberglass.