1968 Chevrolet Impala: Final Ride

David “Mr. Topo” Tiscareno’s gorgeous ’68 Impala Custom is now his legacy.

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Story: Evan “Evo” Yates

Photography: Andrew Link

A procession of Kandy lowriders—gold, green, blue, red and everything in between—some hoisting different plaques, are all in line for support. Another lowrider leads, an unusual one. It’s a hearse, and inside is a Kandy-blue casket matching a fallen rider’s pride and joy. David “Mr. Topo” Tiscareno, who passed away merely a month before going to print, was the definition of a true rider, as he loved his family, his club and, of course, his Kandy-blue Impala.

Mr. Topo’s sexy ’68 began as a cruiser-level lowrider with a modest metallic paint job and hydraulics, but as David bent more corners, he created the need to take his customization to the next level. “He initially painted it one color, Metal Flake Blue,” explains Elite Car Club vice president Albert De Alba. “He was an in-the-streets kind of guy, and as time went by, he started hopping and three-wheeling more and started to mess up the car a little bit.” As the understandable damage from flinging around a 3,700-pound car like a child’s toy persisted, repairs and touch-ups were needed, something that proved difficult when dealing with a custom paint job. “In our club, we have real strict rules about your car being top-notch,” explains Albert. “So you can drive it, enjoy it and mess around with it, but once you damage it, you gotta get on it and fix it quick.” So as Mr. Topo hit the streets, the vehicle would continue to receive upgrades during repairs, and it blossomed to what we see today. “Because that color wasn’t easy to touch up, sometimes we had to mask certain problems with patterns and stripes, and it just kept getting better and better. He ended up with a crazy paint job,” proclaims Albert.

For the guts, Mr. Topo went with a plethora of blues and purples to accent the exterior’s vivid composition. Bucket seats were added and trimmed in a unique combination of suede, tweed and carbon fiber, and the headliner, doors and floor were also covered in prominent purple tweed. The dash and custom Impala insignias on the door panels received matching paint from the exterior, and all other metals were dipped in cool chrome or glittering gold. Subtle accents like the custom blue speedometer and Impala brake pedals can be found throughout, as nothing was left untouched on this lush low-low.

Although his passing was unexpected, Mr. Topo had a vision for his ride, if he were no longer living. “One of his wishes was that he never wanted the car to be put up and forgot about if he passed,” explains Albert. “He wanted to keep it at the shows, on the streets and with his club. And his wife, Lucy, vowed to keep that promise for him.” Albert continues, “Despite being featured in videos and little pictures here and there, he never lived to see his car come out in a full feature in a magazine. He would have been proud.

Spec The Technique:

Year/Make/Model: 1968 Chevrolet Impala Custom

Performance: 350 small block; chrome Edelbrock intake and carburetor; chrome valve covers; 350 turbo transmission

Exterior: Metal Flake Blue with candy patterns and gold-leaf pinstripe; gold-plated grille and exterior trim; paint by Mario Sr. and Big Al at Mario’s Autoworks

Interior: Custom bucket seats with tweed materials; custom Impala door panels; molded dash

Ice: Stock

Wheels/Tires: 13-inch Galaxy Wire wheels; Cornell tires, 155/80/13