When I was at the Mooneyes Xmas Party a couple weekends back, Jose Acosta’s Impala stopped me in my tracks. There are many reasons for this, all of which are more or less immediately apparent.
Jose’s lowrider is the result of a wild combination of incredible paintwork, exuberant interior trim, and awesome old school vibes that carried over from his childhood. None of it would make sense on a car from any other era, but here, on this Impala SS, it all comes together.
I mean, just look at that dash. Can you imagine the questions if you got pulled over in this thing? It’s pure madness.
The Impala wasn’t always this way, of course, and Jose tells me when he picked the car up in 1997 outside Modesto, California it was totally stock, wearing a conservative tan color. Obviously, that didn’t last.
As Jose was building the car in the early 2000s, he eventually sent it over to Alex Valdez for paint. You might wonder, as I did, how one specifies for this very specific job. It turns out Jose didn’t specify anything, instead giving Alex free reign with the car.
“I told him to go wild, and just that I wanted something old school,” he says. The palette and design scheme were all dreamed up without approval; Jose didn’t even know what color the car was going to be when he went to pick the SS up. It’s certainly proof that sometimes artists are better left to do their thing, rather than being steered along by badgering clients.
In one sense it’s a very straightforward build; the car makes use of AccuAir suspension, wears chrome Cragar mags, and retains its original 327ci Chevy V8 up front. But, on the other hand, this Impala certainly has its own flair.
Jose says he was always really into old school style, and that growing up in the ’70s he was “surrounded by it.” So, just over a decade ago, Jose created something for himself, a wicked cruiser that still brings a smile to his face and stops passersby both on the street and at shows.
I know it’s not for everyone, although, given the chance, I’d most definitely cruise it. Would you?