Custom 1958 impala

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1958 Chevy Impala Custom – Benny’s Bowtie

Sometimes a build just stops you in your tracks and you can’t help but stare – this was the case with Benny’s 1958 Chevy Impala Custom when we came across it at Hot Cars & Cool Nights in Seaside, California last month.

1958 Chevy Impala Custom

Sure, this wouldn’t be the first 1958 Chevy Impala Custom on air bags, but the way the whole ride comes together is special. From the understated tweed interior to the purple exterior that’s enhanced with multi-colored hot licks it’s a car that Benny has completely made his own.

1958 Chevy Impala Custom

Most of the work on his car has been completed by Benny himself. The exception is the paintwork which was done by his friend, Robert Vasquez. The result of Robert’s work is nothing short of awesome; it’s a one-of-a-kind job but this hasn’t kept Benny from enjoying the car and taking it out to cruise as often as he can, usually with all his buddies in the Castroville Midnighters.

1958 Chevy Impala Custom

1958 Chevy Impala Custom
1958 Chevy Impala Custom

1958 Chevy Impala Custom

He’s owned the car for over three decades now and he’s stuck with it since this was the first model of Impala ever made. From the factory the car has a specific type of styling you can’t get anywhere else, especially not today.

1958 Chevy Impala Custom

While it’s immediately clear that much of the Chevrolet has been modified over the years this is balanced out by a number of factory parts that have survived for six decades. It’s a build that, once you see it, draws you in as you look at what’s been changed and what’s withstood the test of time.

1958 Chevy Impala Custom

But this doesn’t mean that even some of the factory parts haven’t been modified in some way. The original wheels and their matching center caps rotate independently of each other; that is, as the wheels roll down the road the center caps stay in place. It’s this attention to detail that many may overlook that really adds to this particular Impala.

1958 Chevy Impala Custom

1958 Chevy Impala Custom

But when you ask Benny what he likes most about his ride, his response is “the whole car.” This includes the numbers-matching 348c.i. V8. For a badass cruiser like this, Benny’s prioritized what really matters to him; he admits that other than keeping the motor healthy, he hasn’t given this area much attention – standard fare for custom car guys.

1958 Chevy Impala Custom

1958 Chevy Impala Custom
1958 Chevy Impala Custom

Inside the Impala, the tweed interior is complemented by the Grant Steering wheel and all of the fifties-era bells and whistles you’d expect along the dash. It’s here where Benny can control the ride height and blast his train horn. Yes, a train horn, complete with a police siren.

1958 Chevy Impala Custom

1958 Chevy Impala Custom

Of course, you have to test this sort of thing out. Don’t worry, we went out to the middle of nowhere to give it a try. With car guys getting a bad rap as the younger generation flies around the road in cars which attract loads of negative attention from law enforcement, we wouldn’t want to contribute to this inaccurate image of car culture.

1958 Chevy Impala Custom

Benny instead leads by example with his 1958 Chevy Impala Custom.

1958 Chevy Impala Custom

1958 Chevy Impala Custom

1958 Chevy Impala Custom
1958 Chevy Impala Custom

He also has a ’56 Oldsmobile as well as another ’58 Chevy convertible he’s been wrenching on in the garage in his spare time, so we might need to pay him another visit soon. In the meantime, Benny will be enjoying his bad ’58 every chance he gets.

1958 Chevy Impala Custom Photo Extra!

About the authorRelated posts

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Trevor Ryan

Trevor Ryan is a track day photographer from Northern California. He has experience in many different areas of photography but always comes back to automotive work in the end. To him, nothing is more rewarding than creating an amazing image of a car. Having purchased a ’66 Mustang almost six years ago, he had no choice but to end up immersed in car culture sooner or later. He also owns a ’99 Miata that he takes to the track. He has love for every part of car culture and besides track days often makes it to drift events, Cars and Coffee, tuner shows, and anything else he can find.


1958 Chevy Impala - Custom Purple Passion

William George's '58 Chevy Impala

Espanola, located about 25 miles north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is called "The Lowrider Capital of the World." It is also William George's hometown. Growing up exposed to every type of modified vehicle, William acquired the desire to own a customized car long before he acquired the funds. Now, as an adult, he is able to drive cars that were out of reach during his childhood.

Despite the pervasive popularity of lowriders in his town, William didn't grow up dreaming about hopping hydraulic suspensions, skirts, airbrushed graphics, and 13-inch spoked rims. His taste leaned toward customs. Several years ago, after gathering inspiration from local car shows, hot rod and custom magazines, and a few earlier project cars, William fell in love with the '58 Chevy's body style. Finding the right raw material was probably the most challenging part of the project, but a friend who owned a couple of stock '58s eventually found an Impala hardtop and swapped it for William's restored '50 Chevy.

William had plenty of ideas for the car, but his experience as a builder couldn't keep pace with his enthusiasm as an owner, and he conceded that if the car was going to get built the way he really wanted, it would have to be built by a pro. He eventually hooked up with Jamie Johnson at Hot Rod Haven in Albuquerque, who took over the buildup.

The guys at Hot Rod Haven-Jamie, Jim Johnson, Will Morton, and Andy Barrow-took the car down to the bare metal and redid the whole thing, smoothing the panels, finessing the gaps, modifying the wheelwells, converting the roof's rear contour to a third brake light, and filling the grille opening with bars and teeth from a '59 Corvette. Jamie is friends with legendary custom builder Gene Winfield, who saw the Impala and offered to paint it-on the condition that they section the car 4 inches. Jamie and William declined, but Gene shot the paint anyway. Who else could've blended those multiple tones so well?

The Impala was completed in January, just hours before William had to leave to get to the Grand National Roadster Show. The kid from the lowrider capital is riding high now, enjoying the car he always dreamed about. With that accomplished, William is now talking about finding another '58 he can restore to original condition as a contrasting partner to this outstanding custom.

William GeorgeHernandez, New Mexico1958 Chevy Impala Custom

ChassisThe stock frame was modified with a Mustang II IFS and stainless tubing in the front, and a Hot Rod Haven triangulated four-link with a Ford 8-inch in the rear. Both ends ride on an Air Ride Technologies ShockWave spring/shock system. Brakes are 11-inch discs in the front, with drums in the back.

InteriorRon Mangus built the custom seats and stitched up the purple and lavender shades of suede. The leather extends the length of the custom console and across the width of the car underneath the dash. The entire dash was modified with Haneline engine-turned panels, filled with Dakota Digital instruments, and painted to match Winfield's exterior design. The 15-inch Impala wheel was finished to match the rest of the interior, and Vintage Air was added to provide cool comfort. Painless Wiring feeds juice to everything electrical, including the Alpine touch-screen sound system.



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1958 Chevrolet

<-- 1957 Chevrolet - 1959 Chevrolet -->

The slogan for the new Chevrolet in 1958 was: Easier handlin, safer going. Because all 58 Chevrolet had a totally new safety girder chassi. And the body was wider, longer and lower. Impala where introduced for the first time, Impala was the top of the line model. The base series was Del Ray, the mid range was Biscayne. And Bel-Air was now a four door car. Some Chevrolet was powered by a 348 cid 315 hp Super Turbo-thrust V8 engine. Chevy's first big block V8. The new Glide-ride front suspension was installed as well in 1958.

Notable changes in 1958: New front dual headlights, new grille and bumper, new rear bumper, triple rear break and parking lights, air scoops on the sides, new trim and a new roof.

model-year production was 1,283,584 cars.

1958 Chevrolet Customs

Andy Southard's 1958 Chevrolet Impala
Bruce Schwartz' 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air - The "Blue Car"
Chuck Burkart's 1958 Chevrolet Impala
Chuck Miller's 1958 Chevrolet Impala
Dave Stuckey's 1958 Chevrolet Impala
Dennis McKee's 1958 Chevrolet Impala
Don Delgado's 1958 Chevrolet Impala
Doug Osterman's 1958 Chevrolet Corvette
Frank Goehring's 1958 Chevrolet Impala
Frank Gould's 1958 Chevrolet Impala - The Limelighter
Gary Minor's 1958 Chevrolet Impala|
Jim Doss' 1958 Chevrolet Impala
Joe Hurst's 1958 Chevrolet Impala
Joe Previte's 1958 Chevrolet Impala
John and Rebecca Hackler's 1958 Chevrolet Impala
Lasse Mäenpää's 1958 Chevrolet Impala
LaVonne Bathke's 1958 ChevroletCorvette
Pat Mulligan's 1958 Chevrolet Impala
Phil Sowa's 1958 Chevrolet Impala
Ray Strappazon's 1958 Chevrolet Impala
Rich Wroblewski's 1958 Chevrolet Impala - Jade East
Robert Guadagno's 1958 ChevroletCorvette
Skip Batchelor's 1958 Chevrolet Impala

Cars Using 1958 Chevrolet Parts

Backup Lights
Don Tognotti's 1955 FordThunderbird - The Green Voodoo

Cilio Guerriere's 1951 Plymouth
Milt Goodman's 1955 Chevrolet

Grille Mesh
Terry Browning's 1958 Ford Ranchero - The Ruby Ranch

Corvette Grille:
George Mizzi Jr.'s 1950 Mercury Convertible - The Purple Bug

Jerry Sprague's 1932 Ford Roadster

Don Compton's 1939 Chevrolet Business Coupe
Harvey Funk's 1941 Chevrolet
Jim and George Bernardo's 1948 GMC Pickup
Don Ellis' 1955 Ford Thunderbird
Milt Goodman's 1955 Chevrolet
Von Hunter's 1957 Plymouth
Leonard T Menard's 1959 Chevrolet Corvette

Front Parking Light Bezels
Junichi Shimodaira's 1930 Ford Model A Tudor Sedan - Rod Riguez

The Ala Kart
Ed Roth's Outlaw
Neil Sidders' Outlaw
Fritz Schenck's Outlaw Clone
Darrol Finger's 1934 Ford 5-Window Coupe
Maximilian King's 1940 Mercury Convertible
Louis Schindler's 1947 Chevrolet
Ken O'Neil's 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline
Hank Katzenmaler's 1951 Ford Tudor
Otto Rhodes' 1953 Ford F-100 - The Mountain Pearl
Richard Lee Tiago's 1957 FordRanchero
Terry Browning's 1958 Ford Ranchero - The Ruby Ranch
Roxy Pearson's 1959 Chevrolet Impala

Taillight Lenses
The Bonaguro Special
Dick Jackson's 1957 Ford Thunderbird

Corvette Taillights:
Dan Hiramoto's 1941 Buick Century Convertible - Raven

Roof Scoop
Bob Stonoff's 1936 Ford
Larry Douglas' 1950 Mercury
Darol Jorgenson's 1957 Chevrolet Corvette

Front bumper
John Nadzon's 1954 Mercury - The Mysterian
Milt Goodman's 1955 Chevrolet
Stan Makrush's 1955 Chevrolet Convertible

Steering Wheel
Ed Roth's Outlaw

Front Seat
Otto Rhodes' 1953 Ford F-100 - The Mountain Pearl

Calvin Wiekamp's 1958 Ford Thunderbird

The Juxtapod
Eldon E. Schmidt's 1929 Ford Model A Roadster
Art Lehner's 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe - The Blue Indigo
Bob Davis' 1935 Ford 5-Window Coupe
Art Lehner's 1939 Ford
Larry Sanford's 1940 Mercury 4-door Convertible
Frank Livingston's 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline - The Caribbean II
Kyle Phillips' 1949 Chevrolet Coupe
R. E. Miller's 1955 Ford Pickup
Manuel Gonzalez's Californian

Corvette 3-Speed Transmission
Art Lehner's 1932 Ford 3-Window Coupe - The Blue Indigo

Side Trim
Ron Fagundes' 1952 Ford Victoria - The Ronbardue Kart

Nomad Chrome Trim
Barris Kustom's 1957 FordRanchero

Rocker Chrome Trim
Ted Graziano's 1940 FordSport Custom

Corvette Headers
Keith Treece's 1932 Ford Roadster

Coil Springs
Ed Roth's Outlaw

Rear Axle
Eldon E. Schmidt's 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

Paint Color:
Jerry Feigner's 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air - Lil Honey Bee


Standard guide to 1950s american cars by John Gunnell

1958 Chevrolet Impala Alloway's Hot Rod Shop 2021 Goodguys Nashville Nationals

Car of the Week: 1958 Chevrolet Impala custom

Ron Kiblinger had multiple muscle cars and antiques that had gone unnoticed at car shows — mostly because they were in a line of cars that were the same or similar to his. His passion was to build a unique show car using a 1958 Chevrolet Impala.

He turned to John Matlack, who worked previously into the limousine-building industry, to handle the job. The car they used had been sitting in a field in Colorado for 17 years. The goal was to build the car with classic taste without taking anything away from the original style and appeal, utilizing the factory parts and improving on their looks. The job involved a 5-year rotisserie restoration. 


The '58 Impala doesn’t require much modifications to make it appealing. With all the chrome and being a large car, black paint was the logical choice — Tuxedo Black Metallic plus a lot of clear and polishing. The silver painted center panels of the bumpers have been chrome plated. The grille was finished in anodized chrome. The side and back glass is gray tinted. The rocker moldings have been powder coated black minus the top quarter inch. The 17-inch chrome wheels give the Chevy a modern stance.


A lot of time and thought was put into interior. Most custom interiors are made to look modern. Matlack and Kiblinger wanted this interior to look vintage using early 1960s Impala parts. The goal was to have people wonder: “Did Impalas come with bucket seats and console”? Or, this is how the interior should have looked like in 1958.

Interior features include:

• Smoothed dash with Dakota gauges in the factory bezel.

• Dash trim hand made to match the console.

• Custom air vents and radio mounts molded out of steel.

• Ididit tilt column with 3-inch smaller vintage steering wheel.

• Vintage Air with hidden controls mounted inside the console.

• 1962 Impala seats, powder coated frames and new foam.

• New reproduction 1964 Impala console.

• Dove gray Ultra Leather throughout. Perforated inserts in the seats to match the perforated headliner.

• Rear factory seat frame and foam modified to match the bucket seats.

• The headliner trim the chrome has been deleted for a cleaner look.

• Custom fitted and sewn European carpet.

• Custom clean wiring hand made to match the car’s components.

• Sound deadening throughout interior and trunk.

• All interior and trunk panels are made of ABS so they will not warp over time.

Engine and compartment:

Hundreds of hours spent smoothing the firewall, bottom of the hood, inner fenders and the core support to make the original 348 engine look like a diamond in a black jewelry box. The black paint on the firewall and hood was color sanded smooth and polished so the motor reflects onto the firewall and hood.

• The original 348 motor has been completely rebuilt and balanced.

• 90 hours were spent grinding and polishing the Edelbrock intake and ribbed valve covers.

• The smoothed exhaust manifolds were ceramic coated and all parts the engine components are installed with ARP 12-point stainless bolts.

• Holley 600 carburetor with electric choke were installed.

• An electronic ignition module replaced the points inside the original distributor.

• A Lamar Walden serpentine front runner kit was added.

• The unattractive original top tank radiator that sticks up above the core support was replaced with an aluminum radiator hidden by a custom-made housing and two Spal 13-inch fans.

• Wiring is hidden and the AC lines and components are hidden inside the passenger side fender well.

Chassis and drivetrain:

• The cast-iron power guide transmission was replaced with a Chevrolet 350 turbo.

• Power-assist steering was changed to a 605 power steering box conversion kit.

• Front end linkage was replaced.

• Front drums were replaced with a disc brake conversion kit. Rear brakes were rebuilt.

• Differential housing was powder coated and all bearings and seals replaced.

• Chassis and components were sand blasted and powder coated.

• Brake lines and gas lines were replaced.

• New front and rear Moog springs were installed.

• A ceramic-coated flanged exhaust system was bolted in.


The impressive sound system is controlled by a volume switch mounted inside the console.

• Lanzar tweeters molded into the A-pillar covers.

• JL Audio 6 x 9’s mounted behind the custom made ABS kick panels.

• Pioneer head unit with illumination matching the blue dash color lighting.

• American Bass 12-inch subwoofer.

• 3,000-watt Crunch Amp running the subwoofer and 1,500-watt Crunch Amp running the front speakers.

• Large power cell battery mounted in the trunk for the stereo and starting.

• Battery tender mounted permanently in the trunk.

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Impala custom 1958




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