THE CANADIAN LOWRIDER SCENE JUST GOT BETTER
Abel Giroux's '61 Chevy Impala
A '61 Impala isn’t easy to come by, and it’s with good reason. Many were lost to scrap yards prior to them being highly sought-after collectibles, plenty have been left to rot, and if you’ve ever searched for one in the States you already know that they’re not too easy to find.
But searching for one on the East Coast makes for an even more difficult task, and it comes with good reason. For starters, many of the cars from the ’60s didn’t come with factory rust proofing. In addition, many snow cities apply what locals call a “salt brine” to their streets, which is when a truck sprays salt on the streets to help melt the snow—a process which in turn wreaks havoc on the undercarriage of cars, promoting rust and deterioration at record speed. This ultimately leaves the East Coast with a smaller inventory of classics to choose from. It’s something that Canadian resident Abel Giroux is all too familiar with.
As the owner of a towing company, Abel has long been ready to purchase a '61 Impala but had trouble finding one. In fact, he wanted one long before the Internet was an active part of our lives, and back in the day he’d
scour classified ads but never had much luck. Fast-forward to present day and luck would strike when he found his dream car on www.kijiji.ca —Canada’s local classified ads website.
The car was located in London, Canada (13 hours away), but was well worth the drive.
“The car belonged to an 87-year-old man who was unable to drive it anymore,” Abel says. “It was complete, had no rot, rust, or even dents, but it had definitely been weathered and needed to be redone,” he adds.
With plans drawn up in his head, he’d enjoy the Impala for a quick minute before he decided to go allin and start the restoration—which is where the nightmares began. From a local body shop hacking the paintjob to an LS engine swap that eventually caught on fire, his troubles were mounting, but he decided to change his game plan. This is when he realized that he needed to source quality craftsmen who could do the job right. His best option was to do a little homework, even if it meant traveling further. Abel chose Switches and Thangs located in Toronto. “They basically redid everything in the car and ended up saving the build. If I had to do it over again, I would take it to the right people from the start,” Abel says.
Since completing the build, Abel has been blessing the streets of Canada. The resilience of his build has created a definite neck-breaker. While it’s one of Canada’s finest representatives of lowriding, nothing has been more memorable than the time he used it to take his daughter to prom, an event that made all the trials and tribulations of building this car well worth it.
LS1 Montreal drop-top six-one.
1961 IMPALA CONVERTIBLE BY CHEVROLET CAR MODEL
House of Kolor Cobalt Canadian classic convertible.