What do you do when you’ve completed two out-of-the-box-style turntable Lowrider vehicles? You test what you can do inside the box. For 40-year-old Juan Gonzalez Sr. of Miami he did just that. After having huge success with his 1989 Ford Ranger and his 1965 Ford Thunderbird that was published in LRM in June 2007, Juan decided to do two things differently. First he wanted to try to build something other than a Ford and secondly he wanted to test his talents on the iconic lowrider vehicle. The goal was to build a Chevy Impala for his son Juan Jr.
One of his USO club members found a 1964 Chevy Impala in Georgia. It was a clean vehicle but definitely could use some love from Juan. Once the new Chevy was home, Juan got straight to work customizing the interior. The seats were sent out to Masters Seat Covers in Miami for a combination of vinyl and suede, while he gutted the cabin and replaced every inch with purple.
From there he turned his attention to under the hood, adding chrome and modifying the already tough Chevy motor. His mechanic Tommy, who has worked on every one of his custom vehicles, was more than happy to lend a hand. When it came time for the Impala to come closer to the ground, Juan and his son assembled the four CCE pumps, painted the racks, and ran all the hoses, pistons, and springs. The hard lines were designed and bent by Martian to complete the setup.
One of the most important decisions for building a lowrider is making sure the exterior will stand out among a sea of Impalas. To set his above the rest, he turned to Justin Crato of Magic City Kustoms in Miami for a one-off purple coating with graphics, pinstriping, and silver leafing. Once the exterior was complete the only thing Juan needed was some tunes. He got his hands dirty by adding an entire Audiopipe system throughout the Chevy.
Juan used to take his son to shows when he was a kid and push him in a stroller, now Juan plans on riding to shows with his son who is now, 17. Wicked 64 was built for his son, and Juan wants the Lowrider legacy to be carried eventually to his son. “I built the car for my son,” Juan tells LRM. “My son is the owner of Wicked 64.”
Juan and his son Juan Jr. wish to thank his USO club members, Alvaro, Martian, Tommy, Justin Crato, and, most importantly, Juan Jr.’s mother and Juan’s wife Ivone for putting up with everything for the past 19 years. Wicked 64 is a true gift from father to son and the plan is to have it in the family for a very long time.
1964 Chevy Impala
Juan Gonzalez Jr.
metallic purple basecoat, custom patterns. Pinstriping, silver leaf done by Justin Crato of Magic City Kustoms in Miami
modified 283, four-barrel Edelbrock carburetor
four CCE hydraulic pumps with gauges, 16-inch cylinders in rear and 8-inch cylinders in the front, chrome Y bone, four Interstate batteries done by Juan Gonzalez and Alvaro Torres, stainless steel hard lines done by Martian
purple vinyl with purple suede by Masters Seat Covers, door panels wrapped in vinyl and suede, fiberglass front and rear dash painted to match
Pioneer head unit, Audiopipe system installed by Juan Gonzalez, X8 6.5 loudspeakers, X4 horn tweeters, X2 12-inch SQ12 competition subwoofers inverted, X2 2000 watt amplifiers, X1 1200 watt four-channel amplifier, Kinetic 1800 battery
13×7 center-gold Dayton wire wheels, whitewall Uniroyals