CC Outtakes: Seven Customized Chevrolets – From Souped Up To Nuts

It may (not) come as a surprise to some of you, but customized cars aren’t exactly my thing. They do crop up on occasion, though, so I have a few in my files. The overwhelming majority of what can be found on the streets here are of the JDM boy-racer kind, as might be expected. Foreign cars do occasionally get the treatment too, though – I’ve covered some before, including Chevrolet.

It so happens that Chevy is the number one custom victim (though VW might give them a run for their money) in the Japanese classic car scene, at least according to my completely limited, empirical and subjective experience. So I’ve complied a little post here to give you an impression of the lay of this strange and often colourful land. My commentary will be minimal, as I don’t have much to positively contribute other than the photos, so they’ll be doing most of the talking.

We’ll kick off with something very, very mild in the form of this 1987-90 Caprice Classic. Only the (deflated) lowrider wheels qualify it as any kind of “kustom.”

Clearly, this car is in distress and sleeps outside – not a great sign. The tin worm is already at work…

I’ve not been able to narrow down the model year, as these seem not to have changed much between their last facelift in 1987 and the end of production in 1990. But perhaps CC will know.

Moving swiftly to the year 1972 and this hi-riser Caprice coupe.

Messed up the interior shot, I’m afraid. Some angles where you don’t see the donk rims are actually very presentable…

But the profile is just painful. Sorry, sorry, I’ll shut up.

An Oklahoma car, eh? Interesting, but not quite as interesting as the shape of that backlight.

This is the first of two ’64 Impalas – and the only rat rod of the bunch.

Artfully done, I must admit. I can recognize a well-made cup of tea, even if it isn’t mine.

Ditto the interior, which looks 95% original to my (utterly untrained) eye. The tailpipe location is a tad unusual. Why would you want to put that there?

I really went to town on this thing. Well, it was kind of a novelty for me. And located on a rather quiet street. Enjoy the tranquillity while it lasts…

Yeah, this is also a ’64 Impala of sorts… Driving one of these in 21st Century Tokyo in stock form would be just too normal for some.

This is a synthesis, a distillation, a compendium of all the tropes one can associate with customized cars. With added gold plating for good measure.

Funny how, in contrast to the ’72 Caprice, this one’s profile is probably its best angle.

We continue our voyage through Eastern Impalaland with a 1962 rear-bumper-scraper coupe.

Full disclosure: I really like the colour on this one. And the styling is better than the ‘64s too, especially the front.

Is it me, or does that rear end styling have a wee bit of the Batwing left in it? Speaking of which…

Yaaaaay, the scary Chevy came to the party! I’ve seen a few of these here by now. Nobody can resist the lure of the ‘59.

Kind of like the first Chevy in this post, the only thing that makes this a custom are the toy car wheels. The rest is irreproachable. Well, apart from those half-moon chrome headlight covers. Ugh.

Easily fixed, though. I’d also get rid of the continental kit – totally ruins the Batwing effect.

Saving the best (maybe?) for last with a true old-school klassik kustom with a 1953 “Bel-Camino.”

An impressive amount of work, time and money went into this thing, clearly.

Kinda makes one wish that Chevy had made the El Camino in the early ‘50s, doesn’t it?

There we have it, seven Chevy customs tied in a neat little bow. Hope I didn’t yuck anyone’s yum in the process. I’d love to see the ’62 with a set of stock wheels, but that 1953 pickup was the one that I admired as was.

I’m still not a convert by any means, but the craft involved on that one is amazing.


Related posts:


Curbside Classic: 1990 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Brougham LS – Embarrassing FWD Cadillacs Since 1987, by Tom Klockau

Curbside Classic: 1972 Chevrolet Caprice – Cadillac Carbon Copy?, by Tom Klockau

Curbside Classic: 1964 Impala Sport Coupe – Six Cylinder Three-On-The-Tree Oxymoron, by PN

Museum Classic: 1959 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe – The Chevy Horror Picture Show, by T87

Curbside Classic: 1953 Chevrolet Bel Air – A Message From 1953, Part 1, by Jon Stephenson