The Lowdown

Words by Gavin / Pics by MS Photo

There comes a time in every child’s life where he or she goes through a phase. Some collect stamps, others choose to take up a marble collection but in the 90’s I was a gangster. Not just any gangster, I was an American gangster. Hip Hop influenced my fashion sense, my mind set, it influenced my attitude, even the way I spoke. I used to listen to West Coast Rap and got caught up with all the beef (rap battles between mc’s) that it represented. One of the greatest Hip Hop artists who is the godfather of west coast rap is Dr Dre. Dr Dre is a record producer that has been responsible for many successful albums and a string of hits. The song that sticks in my mind was a 2001 hit called Still Dre where the video sees him and Snoop Doggy Dogg cruising down the streets in a Chevy Impala on Airbags.

I will forget my reaction the first time I saw  that car in the music video will forever remain in my memory. It was unique and rare at the time in comparison to any other vehicle. The Chevy Impala with its wire wheels, low stance, and long sleek body was just too cool for school. I remember telling myself I want to be a rapper (that lasted for 5 minutes) … The history of Low riding started in the late 40’s due predominantly to the White American Hot Rod culture. When heating or cutting the coils of your suspension, you could easily lower your vehicle to desired heights. These rides where sometimes call sleds. They sported 15” DIA. wheels with large white walls.

This Chevrolet Impala belongs to Sundru Pillay. I can only imagine picking up the garage door every Sunday, taking this bad boy out to play. You do not have to be a gangster, a thug, a fanatic to appreciate this car. It is a car that can be appreciated by all, young or old. Durban has the best climate for drop tops, and driving along the coastline is really special. On the day of the shoot, we spent hours just trying to get away from the attention. We decided to shoot the car from another car, whilst trying to find a secure location. We had a better chance finding a rainbow than a secure location.

When you sit in a car of this caliber, it takes you to another time. The ability to zone out and relive another era each and every time you hold the steering wheel. In recent times if you are a gamer, the Chevy impala plays an integral role in the game Grand Theft Auto. GTA is one of the highest selling video games in the world grossing millions. If the producers considered using Chevy Impala in the video, it was not a decision that they took lightly, the car must be popular and rare to have even been considered.

The Impala is equipped with Discs all round, Air ride suspension, independent remote start, Custom one off interior, wire wheels, custom air cleaner, and automated boot lid. The ice install is subtle and all audio bits are of the Focal brand. The install is so subtle and classy; it actually set the entire interior off.

I do hope that if Sundru ever gets the opportunity to buy his dream car, a Ferrari Testarossa, he would consider selling this to me. I can see myself now cruising the streets of Durban with Cypress Hill on the radio, making up fake gang signs.

Special thanks go out to Gavin (East Coast Automotives), Kriben (KS Audio), and Seelan (Custom Auto car and general)

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