When you're a young car enthusiasts it's often all about power and performance, the thrill and excitement of owning and driving a modified car that puts a smile on your face every time you hit the GO pedal.
This was certainly the case for local enthusiast Drew McConville who, over the past decade or so has owned some of the Illawarra's toughest and most well-known rotaries including several 9 and 10-second street cars like the RX3 pictured here...Drew lived for the quarter mile thrill; the quicker and wilder the car, the better.
Like many of us though, the introduction of some new little faces into the family changed Drew's attitude towards unnecessary risk taking a brought about a change of pace.
Having dreamed about owning a lowrider Impala since he was a kid, it made perfect sense that now was the time to work on bringing that dream to fruition and after over a year of searching for the right car, Drew handed over the cash for this 1963 2-door Impala Hardtop.
The car was purchased as an unfinished project but with 90% of the hard work done. Exterior-wise the long, angular lines of the car all remain the same, the fresh platinum silver duco suiting the car to a tee and when it's combined with the bucket-load of factory chrome work that Drew had either fully restored or imported from the US for the car, the result is, as you can see here, simply stunning.
Wheel choice is always a make or break part of any car build and Drew of all people knew this. While like us he agrees that there is only a handful of wheels that really suit these big girls, with the car riding on factory suspension rather than the popular air bag or hydraulic setups where you can slam the ride height at the flick of s witch, going with something like a set of 13 inch 100-spoke Daytons wasn't going to work in Drew's opinion.
As cool as they are, we tend to agree...
So after much deliberation and a few counter lunches with close friends, the decision was made to go with a larger set of wire wheels that would tuck up nicely at cruise height and still give the car that classic lowrider look Drew was after.
Under the hood the previous owner had fitted up a freshly-built 327-cube Chev with a pair of 350 heads and a mild cam. Originally the setup came equipped with a 650 double-pumper carb that was actually borrowed off a boat of all things which upon closer inspection looked to had seen better days and so he enlisted Simon Kryger from Innocent Motorsports to swap it out for a new vacuum assist 600 Holley.
The combo, while nowhere near as potent as Drew's last car; a 700hp 20B Mazda RX7, the warmed-over V8 provides plenty enough mumbo to get the two tonne of American steel moving along at a decent pace.
Inside the car, like the outside is all class. The factory pews and door trims have all been trimmed with classic style in a mix of black leather and velour, with the dash colour coded to the cars exterior.
Despite its age, Not only is the the car's cabin a very inviting space and insanely comfortable to cruise in, you've even got a few mod cons at your disposal to make it even more awesome, like this digitally-retrofitted vintage radio, equipped with AUX point to play your favorite tunes straight off your smart phone or portable MP3 player. How cool is that!!
Having been through the pain of electrical dramas in previous builds, Drew didn't want to take any chances this time around so he had good friend Enzo from Regional Auto Electrics re-wire the whole car from front-to-back, hiding as much as possible from sight and giving Drew piece of mind in the process.
Once all the upgrades and fiddly personal additions and changes were completed it was time to cruise and that's exactly what Drew's been doing non-stop since the car hit the road for the fist time a few months ago.
So if you're out and about and you see Drew cruising in his '63PALA' be sure to give him the thumbs up for creating what is one seriously cool ride!
Want to see more of this wicked machine...? Check out the full feature photo gallery HERE.