Regular readers might remember Jesse Carbajal and his 1978 Monte Carlo that we featured two years ago. Since then, many thought he was laying low, but he was actually working his ass off to get this 1965 Impala off the ground. It was a project few knew of, and a work in progress that ultimately became not only a cover car but one badass ‘vert that proves once again that the real ones move in silence.

The new project was not something he was actually planning, it just happened. “I wasn’t in the market for a new project, but I came across a deal I just couldn’t pass up,” Jesse says, when referring to the locally sourced car that he scored for $2,500. The former owner had lost interest in the project and while he did get a smoking deal, the car resembled a puzzle set that had been thrown off a bridge. After collecting all the pieces, he had acclaimed lowrider painter Louie Carrillo take a look at the biggest piece of the puzzle, the shell. So after agreeing on a number, it didn’t take long before Carrillo prepped the body and doused the shell in Candy Magenta. The car was reassembled by Top Notch Customs, who were also responsible for the engine. The final stride of the build was to have Sin Shop drop in the hydraulic setup and California Upholstery stitch up a custom interior with a full Pioneer system.

In all it took two years to get the build done and when he busted it out at the Los Angeles Car Show, it was the first time that even members of his car club Unique had seen it. Surprised, happy, and shook, they had no clue that he had another project in the works, but it was a great surprise for the club, which delivered an even greater sense of accomplishment for Jesse—a man who believes in less talk and more work.

1965 Chevrolet Impala

Unique Passion

Jesse Carbajal

Santa Ana, CA


350 with chrome oval air filter, Edelbrock Enduroshine carburetor and intake, Tuff Stuff starter and alternator, Eddie Motorsports hinges, aluminum radiator, and a Flex hose

House of Kolor Candy Magenta with pink fades and stencil patterns

Disc brake conversion and a double-whammy setup with six batteries

CPP billet steering wheel, Dakota Digital elliptical gauges, Lokar door handles, and custom seats wrapped in multicolor leather

Pioneer double-din with two Pioneer amps and four Pioneer 6.5-inch speakers

13×7 Zenith wire wheels with 5.20s

Louie Carrillo, Top Notch Customs, Robert Castillo, Mike Lamberson, Johnny at Trunk Works, Sin Shop, Gil and Frank, and California Upholstery