Home-Built Hero: Just The Right Amount Of Custom In This ’65 Impala


This ’65 Chevy Impala convertible is the kind of custom that you don’t see everyday. It’s got more flair than most with its white interior, reflective plate attached to the underside of the hood, and flames that go down just the driver side of the body. The custom touches on this car are subtle, yet powerful in a world of sometimes overdone hot rods.

After looking at just a few pictures, can't you tell why we had to take a second look?

The owner of this car is John Scholz of Spanaway, Washington, and he’s had it for a little over a decade. “I’ve been working on it for ten years,” he explained. “I got it from a guy that ended up going to jail for money laundering. I got it pretty cheap too.” As you can imagine, a cheap ’65 Impala doesn’t exactly come complete. “It wasn’t painted, the interior wasn’t in it, and the top wasn’t done. I basically had to put it all back together and paint it.”


The drivetrain is basically stock, other than the Turbo 350 transmission and Holley carburetor that John added. The engine is the 283 cubic-inch engine that came with the car, and the rearend is also stock. A stock drivetrain often offers great reliability and makes for a good cruiser.

How cool is that reflective plate under the hood? It gives a whole new angle on the engine compartment!

John has also added air bags which allow him to lower the car significantly from stock height. Completing the style is a set of  17-inch Dayton wires. Along with that, he’s added disc brakes all the way around, and the wheels are true knock-offs, so they’re easy to take off by just removing the threaded spinner in the center.


Along with a stunning white interior done by Parkland Upholstery, John has installed a Dakota Digital dash and LED accent lights everywhere. “The top is European canvas,” John explained. “All the windows are electric, even the wing windows.” Along with all of the glass in the car being power, the top and trunk lid are both electric so they go up and down and the push of a button.

The interior is just stunning.

As we mentioned, the flames on the car only run down the driver side. On top of going down just the one side, the flames are also raised and textured for a totally different look. They also flow into the door jam and on the fender well under the hood. It’s a really cool and unique way to do flames. It gives the car a little extra flair, and it’s not doing the same flame job that everyone else already has.

We love John’s Impala and think he did a badass job of getting this thing put together. It’s cool to see a car like this get the custom flair that John added. If you think your car has what it takes to be part of this series, shoot us an email with some pictures and details about the build, and we’ll consider it for our library of badass hot rods in our Home-Built Heros series.

 The trunk is powered because the previous owner had taken all the trunk hardware, so John had no way of keeping it close. Since he was going to have to buy all the equipment anyway, he figured he would just make it power operated instead of manual.

About the author

Kyler Lacey

A 2015 Graduate from Whitworth University, Kyler has always loved cars. He grew up with his dad's '67 Camaro convertible in the garage and made it a goal to one day have a classic of his own. When he was 17 he succeeded in buying a dusk pearl 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air four-door sedan and drives it as often as possible, even taking it camping by using it to pull a vintage Apache hard side trailer. When he isn't writing for Power Automedia, he restores antiques, works on his car, and spends time with his family.
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