KOBE BRYANT'S 1963 CHEVROLET IMPALA CUSTOM CONVERTIBLE
As the world of custom cars and professional sports often overlap, many professional athletes want a car that mirrors their performance or style. One of the best examples of that is this custom 1963 Impala convertible made for basketball legend Kobe Bryant. As one of the all-time great players in the NBA, known for his tenacity and drive, the Impala needed to be molded in the same way. The build was originally commissioned by his wife, Vanessa, as a Christmas gift, who sent it to the crew at West Coast Customs to start the transformation.They began by media-blasting the body down to bare metal, making sure the fitment was tight and body lines smooth. Then a custom House of Kolor blend of purple and royal blue was applied, giving the car a similar hue to the purple Bryant donned as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. All the chrome and trim was rechromed and polished, as well as new glass installed all the way around. To finish off the look of the exterior, a matching purple convertible top was installed.For the interior, everything was reupholstered in white leather and accented with royal blue carpet and seat piping. The door panels were stitched with a custom pattern, featuring genuine Swarovski crystals. A top-of-the-line stereo was installed, featuring a Sony amplifier, trunk-mounted subwoofers and multiple interior speakers.For the engine, a 327 small block Chevy was built with Edelbrock performance upgrades and a brand-new exhaust. The front brakes were converted to power discs to help with drivability. What really sets the car apart, however, is the suspension. Equipped with 2 Pro Hopper pumps, three Adel dumps, front 6” cylinders and 12” rear cylinders, the car will raise and lower with the flick of one of four switches. Powered by eight recently replaced batteries, the hydraulic suspension also features rear coilovers and molded front upper A-arms for a smoother ride. Capping off this classic style lowrider is an essential set of 13” 100-spoke Daytona wire wheels painted to match the body.Once the car was complete, it was featured in the November 2007 issue of Lowrider magazine and remained in Bryant’s personal collection for several years. Built with a level of detail and quality befitting of a five-time NBA Champion, this 1963 Impala is a great collection piece for car and sports enthusiasts alike.
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