A hard-working man who is also a great provider for his family knows his priorities–putting food on the table and clothes on the backs of his children, paying the bills, and managing to put some cash in the savings account for emergencies. But, if there’s anything left, he has a little mad money for whatever he wants to indulge in. We’re talking about a man such as James Oropeza of Norwalk, California, who works hard as a self-employed truck driver and plays just as hard, as is evident with his beautiful ’58 Chevy Impala dubbed “Koral Kaos.”

A great deal of the work found on the car was done by James. The engine work he did at A.L. Cams in South Central Los Angeles, California, where the engine was built up. That meant going into the ’75 small-block and doing up the pistons, reworking the cam, dropping in a billet gear drive and HEI ignition for more spark. The radiator came by way of Jack at Mattson’s Radiator. The impressive powerplant is dressed to kill and can perform with the best of them via a 350 Turbo transmission fitted with a 2,800-rpm stall converter.

The suspension received a fair amount of work as well, as “Big Frank” of Homie’s Hydraulics worked his magic on the trailing arms, upper and lower A-arms, boxed in the rearend and took care of the sway bar. Big Frank also helped James out with the hydro hookup. James made sure that the frame was adequately reinforced and did the chassis work. The chrome and stainless was handled by Danny Gaitan of the Bumper Shop in Los Angeles, and that cool green glass was installed by Mark “the Glass Man.” Terrific is just one of the words that can describe this work of rolling art, created in James’ spare time and with his spare money. James’ 21/2-year journey winds up here in the pages of LRM, a fitting place for a lowrider of this caliber.

Koral Kaos
Owner: James Oropeza
Vehicle: ’58 Chevrolet Impala
City/State: Norwalk, California
Club: No affiliation
Engine/Drivetrain: Blueprinted 350-c.i.d. engine featuring .040 bored over pistons, mild camshaft, billet gear drive, HEI ignition, Holley double-pump carb, shaved 302 heads and block-hugger headers built and mated to a 350 Turbo transmission by A.L. Cams in South Central Los Angeles, California.
Body/Paint: The immaculate exterior was achieved by having “Pollo” and “Kapi” at Jerry’s Body Shop in Compton, California, do up the car right. The name of the car is a nod to its color, PPG coral with a bone-colored top.
Interior: Henry’s Customs in Duarte, California, installed a Cars One upholstery kit.
Sound System: Henry’s also integrated an audio system consisting of a Kenwood head unit tucked into the glove box, a pair of 21/2-inch tweeters, four 61/2-inch midrange drivers and a pair of 12-inch woofers. A 600-watt amp and 1,500-watt Alpine amp tucked neatly into the trunk enclosure provide the power. The signals are directed via an MB Quart crossover that’s makes everything sound terrific.
Setup: Mini whammy tank, four Delta dumps, 6-inch cylinders, Homie’s pre-cut springs, #8 hoses (front), #6 hoses (rear), four Trojan 1000 batteries and four switches all installed by “Big Frank” of Homie’s Hydraulics.
Tires: P155/80-R13 Winston
Wheels: 13-inch LA Wire