Red Hot Rocket

A wildly wicked '62 street machine

Mike Harrington Jun 1, 2005 0 Comment(s)

The year is 1962. Booker T and the MGs have a huge radio hit with their song, "Green Onions," and Chevrolet has a huge hit with its high-horsepower Impalas. A warm summer night and everything is all right cruising in a classic like this, "Green Onions" is blasting from the radio, one hand is loosely draped over the wheel, and the other free arm is hangin' out the window. Knuckles are dragging, the radio is blasting, and the loud pedal is mashed to the floor. Could it get any better? Well as a matter of fact...it can.

Take a gander at this tasty Impala. Owned and operated by Victor Hernandez, this big bow-tie can be spotted flying low over the Phoenix valley in Arizona. Originally purchased just over a year ago, Victor has put some time and vision in his quest for the ultimate cruising Chevrolet. After all, he's wanted one of these cars nearly as long as he can remember, so he's had some time to think about it.

As much as we love the old Chevrolets, they can lack the giddy-up and go when compared to today's cars. When Victor took possession of his dream machine, the task of putting some of the latest and greatest parts began immediately. Victor decided to go with a `04 GM crate motor and a mild cam. Always Hot Rods of Arizona was given the task of installing the new 350 mill and updating the aging electrical system. If you've ever driven thorough Arizona in the summertime, you know just how high the mercury can climb, so Vintage Air was next in the lineup of the Impala's upgrades. And when it's hot outside, the Impala will keep you cool on the inside.

With a solid foundation of a newly installed powerplant, the all-important task of any Hot Rodder is the stance. After all, what fun would it be if you had some horses under the hood and no real way to control them? The best way to add control to these classically long cruisers is with an Air Ride suspension system. Air Ride Shock Waves lower the altitude of this Impala while adding the modern and updated comfort any guy could hope for. Besides the Air Ride control system, Victor gave the rest of the suspension all the attention it needed to make it safe and reliable.

Rounding third and headed for home, Intro Wheels, Nitto tires, and Stainless Steel brakes round out the package and add further control to the former land yacht, 18x8 in the front with P235/40ZR18 x10 and in the back 20x10 wrapped in P275/35ZR20. With all the important issues such as stopping, turning, and driving in order, Victor's final stretch was to give it some color. Escobedo paint shot the car in a stunning Dodge Viper Red. Hot rodders, lowriders, and the average layman all stop for a brief second and watch this knock em' dead Impala. I know it stopped me for a few minutes, and I just stared at it. All these improvements were done in just a year's time, and are there more plans and modifications in the future? You bet, after all, no hot rod is ever really finished, is it? But then that's nearly half the fun, isn't it? Building them, driving them, and then building them up some more.

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