Candy Coated, Tangelo Dream – So-Cal Kustom 1963 Chevy Impala Wagon

Wagons ho!

Dig this tangelo-hued wagon we recently captured for you. It straddles the fine line between low-rider and So Cal Kustom and hits the sweet spot right in the crosshairs.  We love ’60s GM wagons, and this Impala 9-passenger sled ticks all the right boxes. Owned by Adam Hartley, of Las Vegas, Nevada, he’s added just the right amount of bling to go with the stance and we’re keen to get the backstory of the car.

Adam recounts of finding the wagon, and the Chevy Astro Van he traded for it. “A guy approached me at SEMA to buy my van, but couldn’t come up with the money, so we traded for the wagon. The wagon was originally built as a lowrider and was featured in a magazine. The owner parked it years ago, and the hydraulics and drivetrain were left to die. I towed the wagon home, and my wife, Dawn, being the beautiful soul that she is, met it with open arms.”

Taking just six months to build, Adam put the car through a rigorous refresh and transformed it into what we see today.

According to Adam, “After getting it home, we ripped out the hydraulics and cleaned, rebuilt, and bagged the suspension. Andy Terrones hand-made the engine bay inner panels and wheel wells to clear the raised wheels and suspension. Brian at Discount Muffler installed a paint-matched crate engine and transmission fresh off the brown truck from JEGS.

“Steve Platt hand-made the fiberglass kick panels, door pods, and rear speaker box for the JL Audio separates and W6 subs, then Ryan Evans painted everything to match.

“Joe Musso and Ryan Evans performed the bodywork and painted the car in record time ,and the car debuted as a House of Kolor SEMA car. We used House of Kolor Tangelo Pearl, Persimmon Kandy, and as you can see, it’s a killer.”

The car is running a 350 crate engine backed by a Turbo 350. Nothing fancy here, just reliable small-block power.

Next up was the suspension. First thing was to replace all bushings with Energy Suspension units. Adam wanted the car low to the ground, and with the help of Joe Musso, he made it happen.

First, the factory front and rear springs were ash-canned, and a set of  Firestone 2600 airbags were swapped in. A switch box with ten circuits was fabricated, and the car was brought back down to earth,  The wagon had 20-inch wheels on it during an earlier iteration, but were swapped out with 15-inch Supremes and whitewalls. Adam upgraded the car with a front disc conversion kit from Classic Performance Products, as well.

Inside, the car has a new tan upholstery, custom stereo by Steve Platt, factory rear window camping screen, and Vintage Air AC.

Adam and the family are enjoying the car. “We’ve done lots of road trips scouring for parts with buddy deals —good and bad — that got it where it is today. I’ve driven all three of my boys from elementary to high school — including prom in this car, I used it to replace my water heater and drywall, I’ve also driven all the way to the Lone Star Roundup with my son Drew and good friend Juan Aguilar.”

What a way to see the USA, in a 1963 So-Cal Kustom Chevrolet!

About the author

Mitzi Valenzuela

Mitzi is a Southern California gal who loves shooting classic cars with pinup girls. You may have seen some of her work featured in a number of publications or in the pinup calendar she produces every year that is sold worldwide. She loves traveling to different car shows around the world and have been fortunate to visit places like Japan and Australia.
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