When Abel Perez of Pacoima, California, started working on this ’65 Chevy Impala he never imagined that he would be undertaking a full five-year frame-off project. Abel has been lowriding for years, first turning heads back in ’84 when his “Summer Madness” ’65 Impala graced the pages of the January issue of LRM that year. Abel mentioned that nowadays things aren’t the way that they used to be. Back then, people would just paint a car, add hydraulics and be done with it. Now, you need to do the engine, undercarriage, interior and trunk to try to win your class. Since Abel wanted to outdo his last ride built back in the ’80s, he had to go all-out and not leave anything untouched.

Abel was ready and willing to use all of the connections that he had accumulated through the years to build this custom Impala. After locating a ’65, Abel took the car home and, with his Uncle Pepe and his brother Javier’s help, disassembled the car and left it ready for paint. The stripped-down body was flatbedded over to Northridge Auto Body in Northridge, California, by Abel’s friend George of Anthony’s Towing, who made sure that the ’65 got there in one piece.

The time-consuming paint job on “Fantasia” was done by Maclovio Garcia of Northridge Auto Body. With an idea of what Abel wanted, Maclovio mixed up a few candies and pearls. The result was an array of candy purples and pinks. The three-stage candy finish accented the moonroof and shaved antennas, mirrors and side emblems. With all of the paint work complete, the car was shipped to Walt Prey of Walt’s Pinstriping in San Fernando, California, where Walt worked his magic with his fine-line brushes. The car was then taken home and Abel, his brother and uncle jumped back on the project by stripping down the “belly” and frame.

The frame was sandblasted to bare metal and prepped for paint. After a few weeks of work, the belly was ready to be painted. The car was then taken back to Maclovio of Northridge Auto Body, who painted the undercarriage components. With the engine compartment empty, Maclovio also sprayed the firewall and engine to match the exterior of the vehicle. Everything was then shipped back home one more time where the car was ready to be put back together.

First on the agenda was to rebuild the stock engine, which was dressed up with chrome as well as billet accessories. The engine was also hooked up with an Edelbrock intake and carburetor combination to allow the car to run better than stock. The transmission had just been rebuilt, so Abel and Javier just went through and serviced the tranny. The brothers then moved on to the hydraulics. Since Abel comes from the old school, he looked into his stash and pulled out two baby Adel dumps, faucet slowdowns and OG check valves. After assembling the control valves, the brothers installed two Fenner Stone pumps that were powered by four Trojan 31-series batteries. Abel and Javier also measured the car and made custom steel-braided lines for the hydros. Abel also had fellow Premier club member Danny Arriaga hard-line the setup to ensure no leaks in the trunk compartment.

Abel then took all of his trim and undercarriage to Jose Ramos of V&C Metal Polishing of North Hollywood, California. Jose made sure that all of the trim was straight before it was polished and plated. V&C also chrome plated the complete undercarriage. The suspension was then ready to be bolted back on to the car. While the car was being worked on, Abel also took a few trips to the Pomona, California, Antique Auto Swapmeet where he found a couple of options that he wanted for his new ride, including a tilt steering column, power windows and vent windows.

When it was time for the interior, Abel went to Big Henry of Henry’s Customs in Duarte, California. Henry was left in charge of putting together the interior and the components involved with the job. After completely gutting the interior, Henry called on master installer Sergio to install a Kenwood CD head unit, two Kenwood amps, Kenwood mids and highs, as well as two 10-inch woofers. Sergio also installed the custom gauges that were mounted in the center of the dash. Then it was up to Henry to work his stitching magic. Henry started off by cutting up piping, followed with several hundred biscuits that adorn the interior and trunk. To accent the look, Henry used Plexiglas throughout the car including in the trunk.

Since Abel comes from the old school he knew that he had to have 5.20 tires, and after shopping around, he found a set of Premium Sportways. Even though he’s hardcore old school, Abel realized that he had to step up to the new millennium so he broke out his credit card and bought a new set of all-chrome Dayton wire wheels to be mounted in the OG 5.20s.

At this point, Abel’s latest ’65 was pretty much finished. Abel just had one more task and that was to name the vehicle. Maybe because the results were so fantastic, he settled on “Fantasia,” which was a definite improvement over its sibling’s Summer Madness moniker. Abel could not have put this fantasyland car together without the help and support of his brother Javier, his mother, his tio Pepe, and his better half, Shawna. Special thanks to los primeros of Premier C.C., who motivated Abel as well as helped him finish the car. Stay tuned to see what other magical creations Abel and Premier break out with in the future.

Owner: Abel Perez
Vehicle: ’65 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport
City/State: Pacoima, California
Club: Premier C.C.
Engine: 327-c.i.d.
Setup: Two OG Fenner Stone pumps, two baby Adel dumps, four Trojan 31-series batteries
Tires: 5.20 Premium Sportway
Wheels: 13×7 88-spoke all-chrome Dayton