Ted Wells Puts His Touch of Magic on this Old School Hydraulics Setup

A '61 Impala with a trunk setup that'll send ya back in time

Story: Danny J. | Photos: Danny J. & Kiko Salazar | Aug 10, 2021 9:04 am PDT

Every custom car has a focal point, especially when it comes to lowriding. It might be the color combo on the wire wheels, a specific mural, or maybe it’s the paint job that catches your attention. Either way, this is the beauty of lowriding. With much to gaze at, the devil truly is in the details, and it’s up to the owner of the car to play with your heartstrings.

As a Majestics car club (IE chapter) member, Tom’s 1961 Impala is a stunner. It doesn’t need a candy paint job, pinstriping or gold leaf to set it off. It’s a super clean restoration that struts confidently down any Blvd.

If it were to be driven at stock height, his Impala could quickly pass as a super clean restoration sitting on a set of wires with no juice. But with the front locked up, it gives you a clear shot of the chrome front suspension, immediately letting you know that he’s got work in the trunk.

A show stopper at all angles 

When I first spotted Tom’s Impala headed towards me, I could see the A-arms glistening, and I wasn’t alone. As he got closer, you could see the crowd waiting anxiously for him to get closer, and the closer he got, the more people stood in formation waiting to get a better look. Funnily, it reminds me of when guys see a sexy lady in a miniskirt from afar. We look, stop, and wait for them to get closer to make sure that what we’re envisioning checks out.

Up close, Tom’s Impala checked out to be a beauty. With a blemish-free body, and chrome undies, she strolls with confidence, and the Dayton wire wheels act like a rock on the finger, letting you know she’s been spoiled by its owner. At this point, I had to find out what was in her trunk and let me tell you; she didn’t disappoint.

This Impala has one of those trunk setups you can stare at all day. Again, it’s a classy build—void of molded panels, neon lights, speakers, TVs, or candy paint.  Tom’s trunk setup has bare floors with a single back panel with a Majestics logo embroidered into it. Setups like these get me excited. For starters, they have nothing to hide. There is no carpet or paneling to hide poorly finished trunk floors. It’s a bare-bone setup that lets the hydraulic system take center stage.

One good look at the components and install let you know this is the work of the legendary Ted Wells

I love symmetry, and one glance in his trunk lets onlookers know this was no budget build. This is the work of a Professional. The work of an artist who loves his craft. So who built the incredible setup? Well, Tom teamed up with a living legend, and if you know the game, you have to know his name. Ted Wells. 

The trunk was a collaborative effort. The setup was designed  by Ted Wells, while the pumps were assembled by both Ted and Tom. Once complete, the system was installed by another hallmark name in the game: Homies Hydraulics. It was a collaborative effort that made for stellar results and it shows. The setup is raw, with bare floors and a single divider panel that hides the JL Audio amps and subwoofers.  

It’s all in the details


This trunk setup is a mechanical masterpiece. Filled with all the good stuff, what initially caught my eye were the glass oil catches – and I’m not gonna lie, at first glance I thought the were small jars of dab. Modifications and routine maintenance of the hydraulic system is handled by Locos for Life Hydraulics

(Left) Vision Industries headlights accent the chrome front fascia (Right) Lay it Low 

Tim McClain, the proud owner of this ’61 Impala (Right) The chrome undercarriage done by Mr. Impala

(Left) The engine is super clean (Right) The Majestics Inland Empire Plaque

As a photographer who’s shot for the past decade, I’ve shot close to 100 cars, but nothing beats shooting a lowrider. There are so many angles to hit, too many details to choose from and Tom’s car certainly didn’t disappoint. 

To truly appreciate a lowrider you have to pay attention to the details  

According to Tom, this build is far from complete. Tom plans to add more chrome, change the Daytons up with black spokes, and possibly do a mural. In all, Tom’s 1961 Impala is an excellent example of what’s possible if you’re willing to take the time and spend the money to work with some of the best in the industry.