Thanks to popular culture, the 1964 Chev Impala is the essential low-rider — much as the ’32 Ford is, to many, the essential hot rod. And candy paint, hydraulic suspension, and wire wheels are all necessities for street credibility. Even avoiding the cliché that is Eazy E’s Boyz N Tha Hood, myriad pop-culture figures — primarily from the West Coast of California — have made a ’64 low-rider aspirational to an entire generation.
It was a slammed ’64 in the cult classic film Cheech & Chong: Up in Smoke; prominent West Coast rappers Ice Cube [“got a pile o’ dollars, still rollin’ Impalas”], WC [“the six-four pancaker”], and 2Pac [“hit the three-wheel motion, all day”] were all vocal ’64 aficionados. The ’64 Impala has become more than the family barge that Chevrolet designed it to be — it’s a deity in the religion that is low-riding.
The origins of low-riding are actually far removed from the rappers that made it a world-famous phenomenon, but the point is that it is a world-famous phenomenon — that’s why we came across this three-wheeling ’64 just down the road from our offices in Auckland Central. The Impala belongs to Hayden, who runs Mount Maunganui–based Jokers Wild Kustoms — a one-stop shop for just about anything low or custom.
This gives Hayden a special advantage when it comes to his own cars, as you can probably tell by looking at this one. In the short time that he’s owned it, the car has undergone a thorough transformation — just look at it.
Arrow-straight bodywork layered in obligatory candy-red paintwork takes care of that side of things, and the hydraulic suspension — sourced and installed in-house — gives that up-down, side-to-side ability, as well as the ability to three-wheel as demonstrated here.
However, one of the most impressive features on this car is in the wheels. Thirteen-inch wires are a common sight under these cars, but these are a touch more special than your average rollers. The Zenith 72-spoke have been custom engraved, and feature intricate 23K-gold plating and black powder-coating for an appearance that just screams ‘quality’.
The 23K gold extends to headlight and tail-light bezels, badges, and various other brightwork pieces throughout the car, and the effect is simple and classy. The contrasting gold and chrome accentuates all of the exterior trim, which is not always easy on a vehicle of this size, highlighting what is not only a good-looking low-rider, but a car design that has stood the test of time.
You can check out a few of the other Loyalty IV Life Car Club cars here.