Gil Losi, co-founder of Team Losi Racing, collaborated with Steve Cook Creations to construct the remarkable 1961 Bubble Top Impala for the renowned Detroit Autorama. A beloved annual exhibition of custom cars and hot rods that has been captivating enthusiasts since 1953. Sadly, Gil Losi, the visionary behind this exceptional creation, passed away last year, leaving behind a legacy of innovation and passion for the automotive industry.
Losi’s meticulous attention to detail shines through in the remarkable build, meticulously crafted from the front to the back. AutotopiaLA‘s Shawn met Overdriven Performance’s Brandon to discuss the impressive modifications made to the Impala. Notably, the car’s outstanding performance secured it a coveted spot among the esteemed Great 8 finalists at the Detroit Autorama event.
The initial task involved inspecting the undercarriage, which showcased a bespoke Art Morrison chassis that was meticulously customized, complete with intricate paintwork, pinstriping, meticulous detailing, and well-crafted paneling.
To complement the body, a Ridetech ShockWave air suspension system was installed, fulfilling Losi’s desire for a low-riding Impala. While the headlights and taillights remained stock, Losi’s attention to detail is clearly evident as every trim on the car was meticulously handcrafted from solid brass. Notably, the 1961 Impala forwent side mirrors, adding to its unique design.
Powering the Bubble Top Impala was a formidable 540 cubic-inch twin-turbocharged big block engine sourced from engine builder Mike Moran, who previously registered a mind-boggling 6,144 hp on the dyno. The Impala, according to Brandon, boasted an output of 2,000 hp, a staggering figure strategically aimed at securing the prestigious Ridler Award. However, the engine was eventually detuned to 1,800 hp.
The power is channeled exclusively to the rear wheels through a GM 4L80-E transmission. Enhancing its appearance, the car features custom Billet Specialties wheels, with the front wheels measuring 18 inches and the rear wheels measuring 20 inches in diameter.
Gabe’s Custom meticulously crafted the Ferrari-red-themed interior of the Impala, incorporating a center console sourced from a Cadillac CTS-V. Carbon fiber accents were limited to the surrounding area of the Dakota digital gauges, adding a touch of sportiness. The car was also equipped with a rear-view camera.
Featuring a powerful engine and meticulous design elements, the presenter speculated that the 1961 Bubble Top Impala could potentially fetch a price of half a million dollars. While the project car is currently available for purchase, the specific location or platform for its sale was not disclosed.