Project Car Hell, Low And Slow Edition: 1964 Impala or 1949 Mercury Trio?

Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that's the coolest... and the most hellish! In our last plunge into the Lake Of Fire, we saw the Alpine A310 stomp the Matra Murena like Napoleon pulverizing the Russians in the Battle of Austerlitz, with a decisive 70-30 split in the poll. Today we're going to go from PCH Édition Débâcle to something a little closer to home: Lowrider Project Hell!




First, let's have the anthem!

Before you go lining up your airbrush artist and gold-plating shop, you need to get a starting point. Since we're going old-school traditional here, the obvious choice would have to be the '64 Chevy Impala coupe. Now, you could find yourself a nice original '64, but have you priced them lately? You won't be able to afford that huge mural depicting La Noche Triste across the hood if you blow your entire roll on Day One, and it's simply unacceptable to get a four-door or even a Biscayne. We've got the solution, though, and a fine one at that: This 1964 Impala Two-Door (go here if the ad disappears) has a totally reasonable price tag of only $1,800. There's rust, the engine and glass are missing, but the seller has "ALL THE DOORS AND FENDERS AND HOOD and trunk WHICH ARE SRAIGHT," plus "95%" of the trim. The seller really does want to sell the car, not like those other guys who spam their basket-case Impalas on Craigslist because they "just want the world to know that they own a Impala." The drivetrain will be easy and cheap, which means you'll have plenty of time and money left to take on... everything else!

Come on, doing a '64 Impala lowrider is like building yet another big-block '69 Camaro- sure, you'll love it... but you'll just be one of a very large crowd. How about going with an for an earlier era for your classic lowrider? Something just as iconic, but that would turn heads on Whittier Boulevard in 1955 just as readily as today? We're going back into time, back to a topsy-turvy world in which you could utter "Mercury" and "cool" in the same sentence and not have everyone avoid eye contact with you. Yes, 1949, when these three '49 Mercury coupes (go here if the ad disappears) were made! The seller claims one of the three is "THE BEST ONE" (though it's unclear how that was determined) and he or she "WOULD SELL ONE OR ALL." As an added bonus, the cars are located in the Flaming Lips' hometown of Norman, Oklahoma, which means you'll be humming "One Million Billionth of a Millisecond on a Sunday Morning" every time you look at your new project! It's not clear how many cars you get for $3,950, nor is it clear whether you get any drivetrain or interior components. Take heart, though, because you can see at least two unbroken pieces of glass in the photos! Once you've made one solid '49- hey, with three cars you've got a real shot- you can get started on applying many, many coats of hand-rubbed lacquer paint, put together a rumbly flathead engine, etc.

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