Final Judgement 64
Final Judgement is a showstopper. Most high-level competitive lowriders fall under the term ‘trailer queens’ because they never kiss the pavement they once cruised pre-facelift and upgrades, but Final Judgement is in its own league. I’m not ranking this beauty higher than others, as that decision is left to judges, but Final Judgement is cruised by owner Guy Russell and his wife Marisol on city streets, next to dailies, delivery trucks and mopeds. The extent that this Impala SS is babied, is equally matched in miles enjoyed.
I have a ‘thing’ for orange ‘64s. After spotting Speedy’s two-toned, chromed out and engraved ‘64 from HighClass CC years ago in Los Angeles, I declared it my favorite. The first Lowriders and Classics stickers I made featured a photograph I took of Speedy’s ‘64. My first test run of shirts also featured a poorly cut out photo of his badass Impala. An orange ’64, hardtop or vert, makes my heart skip a beat. I lowkey break out in an eager sweat, and under my breath I murmur “ohhhh shiitttttt” as I enthusiastically approach, palms sweaty around my camera, eager to capture and keep a little bit of it for myself. We all have that particular genre, coveted patterns, and special build that makes our insides rumble with elation while we try to keep our cool on the outside. It’s the same childhood excitement we got while standing in the checkout line, when mom finally agreed to let us have a KitKat bar after a long day of being on our best behavior.
And then I saw Final Judgement, the MacDaddy of the candy aisle. “Mom….”
I was extended the prestigious opportunity to photograph Final Judgement at the Lowrider Magazine Vegas SuperShow in 2019. I’ll never forget the doubtful look on Guy’s face when Hiram of HTL Detailing asked him if I could get in the display to experience and capture the glory of Final Judgement. Guy was assured I would be supervised at all times while Hiram worked his detailing magic. Guy gave a subtle nod of approval. I slipped off my shoes and stepped into a 20’x20’ square of excellence.
My goal was to capture aspects that caught me by surprise, and to share angles rarely seen by car show attendees. On many cars, this is where attention to detail wanes, corners are cut and expenses are not spent. There’s no judgement there – everyone has a budget and they put their funds where eyes will fixate. To my amazement, every angle on Final Judgement is meticulously thought out and executed. All the bolts match. Everything lines up. Surfaces are flaked and painted correctly with care. The interior is laid and stitched perfectly, to a degree Louis Vuitton would approve of. There isn't one body panel on that car that doesn't show absolute dedication to craft and quality.
Guy Russell and Hiram welcomed me back to photograph Final Judgement at the Arizona Supershow, 2021. Several upgrades were added, including murals with engraved chrome ‘windows’ under the door on the rocker panels. Additionally, new murals were added to the hinge pillars and trunk jamb.
Final Judgement 64 was one of Majestics San Diego CC’s finest vehicles. I say 'was' because in February 2022 she was hit by a drunk driver while in transport. With God's grace, Guy and his wife Marisol emerged safely but Final Judgement was not so lucky. The rear end of the trailer was crushed, and although photos of the car itself have not been publicly released, I can imagine she's in rough shape. Guy has confirmed she will be back, better than ever. For someone who has repeatedly turned negative situations into something spectacular, I'll trust his word - this won't be the last we see of Final Judgement. She’s one heck of an Impala SS with a heart capturing backstory. For now, that story continues in the shop while she's upgraded and outfitted with further jaw-dropping artistry. A major shout out to all the highly skilled top tier craftsmen who worked on Final Judgement. I look at these works of art like collaborative museum pieces, combining decades of skills, knowledge and time to create unique celebrations. I'm so excited to see the beauty she dawns next.
Builder: Chava at Salvador Topete Restorations - @chava_ster
Chrome & Engraving: Swing's Engraving - @swingcustomengraving, Speedy’s Metal Finishing - @speedysmetalfinishing, Artisan Engraving - @artisan_engraving
Paint: Sal Manzano - @sal_chavalin_manzano , Mike Davey - @majesticmiked, Mercado - @mercadospinstriping
Murals: Shinji Hara - @shinji_hara
Interior: Lindy’s Auto Upholstery - @lindys_auto_upholstery
Hydraulics: 4 pump set up by Chava at Salvador Topete Restorations - @chava_ster
Engine: LS1 by K & A Auto Electric - @kandaautoelectric
Brakes: Disc by Chava at Salvador Topete Restorations - @chava_ster
Exhaust: Dual Flowmaster by Jesse’s Muffler & Brakes
LED Lighting: David Ward at Automotive Custom Lighting - @automotivecustomlighting
Stereo: Chuy’s Stereo
Mods: Guy Russell & Chava at Salvador Topete Restorations - @chava_ster
Ceramic Coating, Detailing, Paint Correction: Hiram at HTL Detailing - @htldetailing
Display Carpet: BHH Carpet - @bhhcarpet