An Impala is to men what diamonds are to women—objects of desire and something to dream about. Yet just like women gauge a diamond based on its cut, color, clarity, and karat weight, men do just about the same when it comes to gauging their Impalas. We look for the depth of the color, the clarity of the paint- and bodywork, as well as the final cut of the clearcoat. And while we don’t judge anything based on a “karat weight” system, the final culmination of all that’s been done equates to an interpersonal classification system that lets us know when our car is so dialed in that we know we’re pushing that serious weight.
The Impala is also a societal trigger that reminds us of times past. It reminds us of our aunts and uncles, our fathers and mothers, it’s the car that many of us grew up in and around, and for Lalo Cazares, his story begins like so many others.
Influenced by his Uncle Tury, Lalo remembers the pride his uncle would take in his car. A true lowrider in every sense, it was his uncle who got him hooked and it’s an obsession that started at the age of 6.
Being that young, it left plenty of time for Lalo to start planning for a build of his own. It wasn’t until 1986 that he’d purchase his first convertible 1960 Impala. Since then, he’d shuffle through a fistful of cars up until his friend sold him a 1963. The car was already in good shape and would have been perfect for many, but not for Lalo. He wanted to make it his own, so that’s when the rebirth began.
To begin, he contracted Tijuana painter Sal Manzano to strip and refinish the car in House of Kolor candy blue. It was then followed up with a series of intricate patterns, textures, and pinstriping to tie it all together. With the custom paint complete, he sent the car over to California Upholstery for a full interior makeover. They added four bucket seats, a custom center console, and completed the auditory ambiance by installing a full sound system to help cancel out the rumble of the 350 that was rebuilt and fine-tuned by Art “Timmy” Suares.
Once complete, he spent the next three years enjoying his ride when he decided that a few more mods were necessary, so he had JNR Kustzoms add a few more patterns as well as a two-pump hydraulic setup. In its final form, Lalo is now the proud owner of this showstopping beauty. When asked his final thoughts on the car, his answer was simple and strong: “It’s right where I want it to be.”
1963 Chevrolet Impala
350 engine with Edelbrock carburetor
House of Kolor candy blue with turquoise, lavender, and purple patterns in fades and lace patterns
Two Homies Hydraulic pumps, four dumps, aluminum blocks, and four Group 31 batteries
Baby blue vinyl and suede in four bucket seats
72-cross-lace 13×7 Dayton with 5.20 Premium Sport