Previously, we’ve featured a 1961 ragtop owned by Tanya Maxwell, wife of Ultimate Hydraulics owner Vernon “V-Max” Maxwell. Going back further, we featured V-Max’s 1958 Impala ragtop in its previous guise. So when Tanya’s ride was finished off with a supercharged LS9, he couldn’t have her showing him up with a faster car. Time to go all in and give the 1958 a makeover.
Originally this car sat in the backyard of V-Max’s friend for roughly 15 years. With enough persistence, eventually V-Max’s friend caved in and sold him the car. Although it was in rough shape, it wasn’t beyond salvaging and was eventually given an onyx black finish and fitted with an LS3. Now it was time for a brighter color and more horsepower.
For suspension, the previous 9-inch was removed and replaced with a Currie rearend as well as CPP air ride, CPP tubular A-arms, and a full set of Wilwood disc brakes. The older motor was exchanged for a new Chevrolet Performance LSA. It’s hooked to a 4L60E trans and is also fitted with MagnaFlow exhaust, along with Lokar cables, Optima batteries, and components from Airaid and Aeromotive. With over 500 horses, it really didn’t need anything else. Remington whitewalls on 14×7 original Daytons makes for the perfect rolling stock.
A Cars1 reproduction interior keeps everything period authentic and the Dakota Digital gauges, ididit column, 605 steering, and Vintage Air put all the creature comforts into the modern age. A Retrosound stereo gets plumbed through Cerwin Vega components for an old-school look with contemporary sound quality. For color, V-Max went with an Axalta fawn that was found on the 1964 models.
It took eight months to dress the 1958 in its new clothing, but V-Max assures us he’s done and just enjoys driving it. With a vintage pair of OEM Trail Master mirrors added, he still probably finds it hard to see any cars keeping up with him. A nod must be given to the crew at Ultimate Hydraulics for their work on the car as well as Brad Rogers and Louis Castillo. We think it’s a beautiful ride and hope you and Tanya are burning up the SoCal streets.
1958 Chevy Impala convertible
Vernon “V-Max” Maxwell
LSA with 4L60E trans
Stock with Axalta 1964 model fawn paint
Currie rearend, CPP air ride, CPP tubular A-arms, Wilwood disc brakes
Dakota Digital gauges, Vintage Air A/C, Cars1 upholstery, ididit column
Retrosound head unit and Cerwin Vega speakers, amps
14-inch Daytons/Remington 175/75-R14
LSA by the Numbers
|Engine Type||LS-Series Gen IV Small-Block V-8|
|Displacement (ci)||376 (6.2L)|
|Bore x Stroke (in)||4.065 x 3.622 (103.25 x 92mm)|
|Block||Cast-aluminum with six-bolt, cross-bolted main caps|
|Crankshaft||Forged Steel with eight-bolt flange|
|Connecting Rods||Powdered metal|
|Camshaft Type||Hydraulic roller|
|Camshaft Lift (in)||0.510 intake/0.540 exhaust|
|Valve Lift (in)||0.492 intake/0.480 exhaust|
|Camshaft Duration (at 0.050 in)||198-degree intake / 216-degree exhaust|