When it comes to styling and an imposing stance, the 1959 Impala is undeniable. Their distinct trademark fins flow with ease, and instead of going straight up like the tailfins of Chryslers of the same era, the tail on the 1959 flows at clean angles and makes its way back to the car in an exaggerated V-formation. Simply put, it would be hard to find a car with such historic and easily recognized lines because the 1959 truly is the mothership of classic cars.
Almost a full 2 inches longer than its predecessor, the 1959 Impala is what dreams are made of and the owner of this Impala can surely agree. After spending 20 years in the car game, Texas lowriding enthusiast—and lieutenant of state police—Jesse Valdez may have started off in the mini-truck scene but his heart was always set on a 1959 Impala.
So, after being referred to a lead by his good friend Carlos Salina, he ended up buying a fellow rider’s car in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Once back home, his first order of action was to unbolt the body to start a complete frame-off restoration that would span the length of four years. Inside this classic car is a time capsule that sports a classily restored interior that includes factory analog gauges and all the bells and whistles found in that year, make, and model.
For the suspension, Jesse went with 8-inch cylinders up front and 12-inch cylinders out back, thus keeping this winged beauty ready for whatever, and all at the flick of a switch. But what really gets us is the cleanliness and simplicity of his build. There’s something about a fresh and straight, single-color build that makes the chrome pop and the body lines stick out but ask if he’d change anything about his build and he’d be the first tell you that he would have chose another color than black.
But building up his Impala into what is today was no easy task, and in turn forged many great memories and friendships with the family and friends who helped him assemble his dream. The traditional ground-up restoration is finished off with the body being doused in layers and layers of black paint and the end result is a car that represents not only the lowrider community but also his fellow brothers and sisters from the West Texas USO Car Club.
1959 Chevrolet Impala
USO West Texas
350 engine with Edelbrock intake/carburetor, powdercoated air filter/valve covers, and aluminum radiator
CCE whammy pump, two dumps, two switches, six solenoids, four 31-series batteries, 8-inch cylinders in the front, and 10-inch in the back.
Original kit from Ciadellas
Alpine stereo with all Alpine speaker and amps
13×7 OG Wire Wheels with 155/80R13 tires