For fans of Hot Wheels, Speed Racer, and ’60s Chevy’s, David Novelo’s, Bob Huffman-built, 1965 Impala is the equivalent of throwing all your favorite automotive elements in a blender and flipping the switch.
It was holding court indoors at the Grand National Roadster Show and caused quite the commotion. When I first saw it, I thought it was a 1966 Riviera, but after closer inspection, it was indeed a trusty full-size Chevy. Heavily chopped and re-styled front and rear, it is the realization of a Harry Bradley (of Hot Wheels fame) sketch that Huffman brought to life back in the day. It also has a heavy dose of Mach 5 influence in the front fender peaks as well.
According to Novelo, “Originally owned by Bob Huffman, the car was re-styled by Tom Chafin, who worked for George Barris at Barris Kustoms in 1967. It was featured in kustom mags beginning in 1969. The car has been lengthened two feet, chopped four inches, and doors “suicided.” Check out the fender flared at the wheelwell to accentuate the body lines. The front grille features a handmade-bar treatment, the rockers have been shaved, T-tops were added along with rear fender scoops and a frenched-in antenna. The car is still sporting its white Mother of Pearl paintjob from 1979.”
What a treat to see this survivor ’60s kustom and know it’s found a trusted, faithful shepherd in David Novela. Thanks for showing and sharing this artifact of a long-gone SoCal kustom kulture with the world.