On the cover of our LOWRIDER April issue, there are three things that undeniably stand out. There is the candy gold custom paint scheme, the curvy model posed to complement this chosen ride, and the most important object that stands out above all is the fastback style and impactful design of the ’67 Impala’s aerodynamic look. When it comes to the three or four types of car designs that lowriders can customize to blow away all other makes, models, and years of cars, this style of Impala dominates inside or outside any car show.
This Chevrolet has the design to end most arguments, because any other styles of cars are too square and need major body alterations to get close to those roofline slopes that go continuously down at the back. The fastback design started in the 1930s, as designers began using elements from aircraft aerodynamics to smooth out the boxy-looking automobiles of the day. It is said that the early designs of the Packard automobile were ahead of their time, as they featured the first known sloped-down roof trend first.
When it comes to the ’60s style of automobiles, the fenders and rear quarter panels became more fitting for the adaptive, contoured body design. Chevrolet’s 1965 Impala sported the first sloped-back look, while the Buick Riviera would later follow suit in ’66. The 1967 Impala model was also redesigned with an enhanced Coke bottle shape that featured Corvette-inspired front and rear fender bulges. The curves were the most pronounced with the 1967-1968 models.
All said here is that when it comes down to customized lowriders, you can have all the best colors, paint, and painters in the world, but without the right body to perform it on you can’t enhance a car’s look without a great body style to help it flow! Just ask a painter what favorite style of car will allow him to show his talents off, and they will agree with what was just said.
Guys, those favorite lowrider classics we own are getting harder to put together. Bombs were called bombs back in the ’80s because they were over 40 years old. Today we find that the popular ’70s styles of favorite rides are now over 40 years old too. With that said, it’s harder to find these cars in the junkyard or on eBay. Let’s remember that there are a lot of different makes and models of the same years manufactured by GM that will interchange with each other. For instance, windshields, side windows, and chrome strip moldings from a ’72 Caprice fit a boat tail-style Riviera. A ’64 Pontiac and Oldsmobile will have parts that can interchange with a ’64 Impala as well. The purpose of interchangeable parts is that it also helped out in creating large numbers of parts instead of just a couple at a time.
Back in the mid-1920s General Motors had become the world’s largest manufacturer of automobiles. Much of its success is because the company began offering a number of brand-name vehicles in a variety of price ranges for marketing purposes, while still keeping the costs of production down by including in each design a large number of commonly used, highly standardized components used in other various models. So the parts are out there, you just need to do your homework as there are junkyards who have parts directories that include various interchangeable parts and there are also online databases that have sister and clone lists of parts for you as well. Your best bet is to find and buy the car that has everything included from here because, in the long run, a few extra thousand on a car purchase will definitely save you double that cost, plus the headaches.
Congratulations on the big “Four-O” anniversary and accomplishments to the New Style Car Club and their decades of commitment. This powerhouse of an establishment has a lot to do with lowriding’s historical past, present, and future as well. New Style, as they claim to be, still has that look that’s new and one that never goes out of style. Long may they ride!
Take a look of this early image back in 1964 at a General Motors Design Center as they work on half of a clay model ’66 Oldsmobile Toronado and the other half being a ’66 Buick Riviera. Do you see any interchangeable parts there?
Until the next issue, love and worship your rides as a temple…