Craig Montgomery was born and raised in West Philadelphia. A true, blue-collar American, he spent much of his teens as a factory worker and had the ultimate fascination with classic American cars. During that time, he grew fond of the mid-’60s Lincoln with the suicide doors. After a few years of saving and hard work he not only had one but two. He referred to the pair of black and white Lincolns as “Yin & Yang.” This only elevated his desire to build a lowrider—but not just any lowrider, Craig wanted to raise the stakes and create a lowrider like Philly had never seen.
To accomplish this, he struck up a deal with his fellow club member, Tage, for a 1963 Impala that was a solid project car. Upon its return, Craig began by having it sandblasted followed by a paintjob. After getting the car back from the paint shop, Craig felt that he needed to be taken to another level. “It was supposed to be a simple build but after seeing some West Coast cars, I knew I had to do a full frame-off restoration,” Craig says. That’s when he reached out to Albert DeAlba in California. Once they agreed on the terms, Craig shipped out the trey to Cali and Albert handled it from there. They began by striping the car and redoing the bodywork. He then sprayed the body with PPG cream with a green House of Kolor pearl over it. The roof was then patterned out with multiple candy greens. Phillip Rincon laid two-tone green striping and gold leafing throughout the body of the car with intricate design on the hood and trunklid. Sal Elias then airbrushed a Philly-themed mural underhood and a mural of Craig’s four kids in the molded trunk. “The car is a tribute to Philadelphia and my children, Craig VI, Jace, Owen, and baby Stephanie.”
The Automotive Doctor hooked up the 350 with all the bells and whistles while Hoppo’s got to work on the suspension, which included a four-pump setup. The final pieces of the puzzle were to have Art of Sound drop in the custom beat while California Upholstery handled the guts and interior ambiance of this classic coupe.
Five years after purchasing the 1963 “Brotherly Love” was complete, but it wasn’t until his car was loaded up and headed out to Las Vegas for the Super Show that it felt real. Luckily for us, we had a chance to photograph the car before it headed back to Philly. It’s definitely a head-turner deserving of both the feature and attention it gets.
1963 Chevrolet Impala
Drastic Auto Club
Crate 350 with March pulleys, Powermaster alternator, Edelbrock intake, Holley carburetor, Billet Specialties valve covers and air filter cover, Hedman headers, Taylor wires, MagnaFlow exhaust, BeCool aluminum radiator, and Optima battery
PPG cream with green pearl over it, multiple flake green and yellow patterns over a silver base
Ford 9-inch axle with ABS disc brakes, four Hoppo’s gravity-fed pumps, four slowdowns, four dumps, and eight Delco batteries
Dakota Digital gauges, ididit steering column, Lokar shifter and door pulls, Street Rod Headquarter door handles and slash-style steering wheel, Vintage Air A/C unit, custom bucket seats wrapped in cream leather and green vinyl inserts, and a full center console
Pioneer double-din, two JL Audio amps, four 6×9- and 6.5-inch JL Audio speakers, and two 12-inch JL Audio subwoofers
13×7 Dayton wire wheels with Coker 5.20 Premium Sport tires
Automotive Doctor, Cal Blast, TNC, Engrave It Inc., Frankford Plating, Phillips Finelines, Sal Elias, California Upholstery, Sergio Muniz, Hoppo’s, Art of Sound, Artist Technicians