The Lowrider As A Canvas

As I mentioned during my coverage of the Sacramento Autorama, this year’s show was big on lowriders.

Spread amongst several different buildings were cars representing various builders and Northern California lowrider clubs. Between them were dozens of high-level show builds, but one stood out as the most incredible lowrider show car I’ve ever seen.

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At some point about 60 years ago, this custom creation left the factory as a 1958 Chevrolet Impala Convertible, but now it’s better known by its show name The Final Score.

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Owned by Chris Roark of Vacaville, California, the Chevy is as much a piece of artwork as it is an actual vehicle. From top to bottom and front to back, there’s no area that hasn’t been plated, etched, or custom painted in some manner, and that includes the entire undercarriage.

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As you can see, the car was displayed lifted up into the air and sitting over a panel of mirrors, and they are completely necessary to showcase all of the work that’s been done underneath.

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The custom-plated wire wheels were also removed from the car during the show, and not just so people could get a better look at the barrels…

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Doing so gave an unobstructed view of the Impala’s engraved calipers, rotors and hubs. Something tells me this car doesn’t see a whole lot of miles out on the highway.

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And that’s perfectly fine, because there’s something amazing about a car that’s every bit as detailed underneath as it is up top. I make no exaggeration when I say that, because the frame has been painted and detailed with the same care as the body itself.

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On a car like this, the size and type of engine is not nearly as important as the bay itself, which in this case overwhelms the senses with intricate detailing everywhere from the valve covers to the firewall and the underside of the hood.

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It’s the same story with the interior. With a car that takes this much time to just to look at all the details, one can only imagine the kind of effort that went into actually building it.

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And at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. This is form over function at its highest level, and that’s exactly what makes the Chevy so intriguing. Regardless of your automotive tastes, the appreciation of the work and talent that have gone into a build like this should be universal.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia



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The intricacy it requires to make a car like this is astonishing. I appreciate lowriders for that reason, they are rolling art (typically).


Word to that.


Retinas have been pierced.


That's the idea!


If looks could kill, I'd be dead. Absolutely astonishing.


Just imagine it in person...


Gee, I know you're lucky but stop salting the wounds...


The paint job alone is incredible.


How many hours for this project! I wonder if the artist/builder knows himself! To my mind it not only takes immense talent but even greater dedication to conceive, execute and, most important, the discipline to see it through with incredible results. You can easily take 50 photos of this custom, I'd like to see the art on the spare tire cover, under the trunk, the back of the seats. We are amazed by this car, one wonders how the fanatical Japanese crowd would react to such a vision. And they love their Classic American Customs with a passion. It seems that the '58 Impala is a popular choice for the Lowriders.


I'm not even sure how you'd began to add up all the time invested. It's insane.


What's the point of you can't/won't drive it? It's a car shaped statue now.


That IS the point! From the outset of this project, it was meant to be a statue/art. My day job is doing development and support work with modern race cars, and I love this thing.

"Astonishing" is the perfect word to use here. I can't imagine the dedication/time/patience this must have taken.




I'm really digging the mexican blanket esq paint under the bonnet and on the dash as garish as it is. I love it! Swap off the discs and go for a cruise! Props to the builder. I can't imagine the effort it would take to put this thing together without scratching any of that paintwork or engraving let alone actually doing that work.


Hard not to admire the singular vision, dedication, and attention to detail ... even if it's garish, right?! Super cool!


That's absolutely insane! It's nice to see a show car that's not afraid to be one. I have to admit, after being completely bored by the current import scene the creativity in the lowrider scene has really been drawing me in. This is just stoking that fire.


Yep, I love "honest" builds of all types.


The level of detail in this build is actually mind boggling!

I feel like this post needed to be much longer to capture more than a hint of that detail though - how about another 50 pics?


Seriously, could have posted 100 pics of this thing haha.


As stated in other comments, I wouldn't mind 50+ pics of this project. Wow.


That is incredible


Beautiful car. Thanks for showing it to us Mike.
Been into lowriders a long time and had a few late 50s, early 60s GM lows in Australia. This car is typical of a top show lowrider. Stock body with the handles, locks and emblems removed. Note how the exterior chrome is not engraved. Unbelievably complex paint that enhances the lines. Only when it opens up do you see the amazing level of hidden details.

I prefer to see these cars all closed up leaving or arriving at a show.

So I went looking on the web. What I found was a three time winner of LRM's 'Lowrider of the Year'. A light blue 58 Impala coupe called 'Perfect Score'. Another top quality build with a very similar engraved undercarrage. Alas, it is no more. It rolled over in a trailer mishap in about '13. Evidently 'Perfect Score' went to auction post accident with another chassis fitted. Ended up in Canada where it was destroyed in a shop fire. Another reason I think this car shares parts with the blue coupe is that it has an identical rear license frame. Guessing it's owned and built by the same people.


That sounds very likely. The name makes perfect sense.


Insane build! I used to follow Lowrider Magazine way back before the days of the internet. It was when I was just learning about cars, so I'd float around from Sport Compact Car, to Super Street, to Lowrider, to Grassroots, to Truckin. I was always amazed at the amount of detail they put into the chrome and paint on lowriders. This thing is crazy!
I wouldn't ever go that far with a build, but I'll admit, I've wanted a huge boat with hydros to cruise around in, just so I could listen to "Dr. Dre" and do some three-wheel motion all over the place.


Hell yeah. I want to build a dedicated cruiser someday.


As an amateur auto painter myself, this is stunning. I can only guess at the amount of time and dedication that had to go into a build this detailed and complex. This is, without a doubt, a true work of art.


This is nothing short of a work of art. It might not drive or take turns but hoooooo leeeeee crap look at the dedication and artwork and planning and custom work required to create something like this.

And no, money can't just buy this. You can't just go to any builder and be like "this is what I want". I am speechless, great article Mike.


Thanks much!


This car is amazing! But when does it stopping being a car? I think this one has become art. It doesn't take away the fact that it is an amazing build and kudos to the owner. I personally can't image the hours in just the engraving alone...

Jason Dubreuil