Some lowriders set out to build a car with a clean paintjob, working drive train, and functioning hydraulics; but only a small group of lowriders are willing to take it to another level. Enter Manuel Diaz, and his meticulously built ’62 Chevy SS convertible. Manuel is no stranger to the peaks and pits of car building, as this veteran lowrider has owned quite a stable of them over the years. His history in car building is actually what led him to beauty you see featured here.
Years ago, Manuel sold a ’63 Chevy convertible to Rick, from OG Unlimited out of Seattle, Washington, and a friendship ensued. When it came time for Rick to find a home for a ’62 Chevy SS convertible, he contacted his old friend, Manuel, to give him a crack at it. Manuel was open to the idea, bought the ride, and the build began.
Rick completed the majority of the Impala’s work out of OG Unlimited. The ’62 was painted with a green PPG mixture and capped off with a green convertible top. An original-style interior kit was purchased from Ciadella and installed, along with power windows and vents.
At first glance, the ’62 appears to be another traditional Impala sitting low and pretty but before you judge, remember the time-tested adage; “beauty is more than skin deep.” Firing up this rag is a fuel-injected LS1 and tranny combo, harnessed out of a Camaro Z28. Surprisingly, the LS1 small-block and trans dropped right in after some minor fabrication work was completed.
Rick made some motor mounts, a new cross member, and had to reshape the trans tunnel a bit for extra clearance, but the install was actually a fairly easy process. Rick couldn’t find a set of headers built specifically for an LS-powered ’62 Chevy, but he had a hunch that some fourth-generation Camaro Hooker shorties might fit—and he was right! Manuel decided on this drivetrain not only for its reliability, but for its looks as well. The headers attach to custom dual 2.5-inch pipes that lead to glass pack mufflers, giving the ’62 that meaty sound worthy of its SS badges.
In order to feed the mill, Rick once again got a little creative and had a custom aluminum gas tank built, and heisted a fuel pump off of an ’02 Camaro. Keeping it from overheating is a polished radiator hooked up to an electric fan. The stock rear end was shortened and put in place to finish off the rolling chassis.
Completing the ride and making it a full-fledged lowider is the car’s Pesco setup, which was built by Ted Wells. After eight long years, the ride is completed and has become Manuel’s main obsession during his days off. He swears by this drivetrain combo so much that he has decided to use this LS1 package on another new project he has in the works!