Professionally Done

Story: Daniel J.  |   Photos: John Gary

Poppin’ a squat at Manhattan Beach

Erik Odom, best known to many as “Foots” – a nickname given to him by his friends father because at the age of nine he wore a mens size 11 shoes – is a bonafide gear head. As a member of Professionals CC, he is the owner of this 1964 Chevrolet Impala lowrider. Finished in Goldwood Yellow it’s as soothing to the eyes as it is the soul. But even more important than the car itself, is the story of the man who built it. He’s been lowriding since the 80’s, campaigned a 2,300 HP drag car, but in the end, even the adrenaline of high-speed 1/4 mile bursts couldn’t keep Foots away from going low and slow. As an avid lowrider, he’s built quite the reputation, but things weren’t always this plush, and this is his story.  

The Early Days


“I was tired of seeing my mom carrying the groceries, and I’m not gonna lie, I was tired too,” says Erik. As he reflects on his childhood, he remembers accompanying his mother on the bus to go the market. They went twice a week to help even out the load of the weight, and as years passed, Erik would watched others in the parking lot loading groceries into their cars, and that’s when he became determined to get one. 

I was raised by a single mother that did her best, and I was determined to get a car because I wanted us to go the market and load the groceries in the trunk just like everyone else did,” says Erik.

Erik Odom aka Foots and his 1964 Chevrolet Impala finished in Goldwood Yellow and fitted with mint green guts

Tired of their situation, Erik took immediate action and began mowing lawns. After saving enough money, he bought a used Mazda RX2 for $800. Excited to take his mother to the market for the first time. They took the maiden voyage to the local market, shopped, loaded up the groceries, and headed back home. As anyone could imagine, he was beyond happy. But that joy was overcome with panic when just a few blocks away, his car stopped. Inexperienced with cars, Erik was clueless. “I was trying to get the car going, and minutes later, my mom said, ‘Erik grab the bags, the next bus should be here in 9 minutes, so I grabbed the bags and cried on the way home.”

J&J Audio installed four JBL 6×9 speakers to occupy the rear deck while the interior sports a minty complexion with the necessary Color Sonic color bar. 

This was the moment that changed his life for the better. Luckily for Erik, he associated with an older crowd, so when he asked his buddies for help, they did more than that, they taught him a valuable life lesson. It turns out the slave cylinder bad out so instead of fixing it for him, they helped him do it himself and taught him the process. Hours later Erik dropped the transmission and changed both the clutch and slave cylinder, and the experience gave him a newfound confidence and a passion for not only fixing cars – but customizing them as well. 

Whammy Tank  Setup by Homies Hydraulics | Foots built the bored out 355 complete with World Race heads, bigger cams as well a upgraded pistons and rods.

Soon thereafter, Foots took his newfound skillset and began building cars the way he wanted to. From street port rotaries, to an RX7 with the first set of gold Dayton Wire wheels, Foots was on a mission. He used to lowride with friends,  and wanted one for himself and it wasn’t till years later he would start building a series of Impalas – the most famous being his his blue ’61 Impala. Equipped with three gates, two to the nose, one to the back and 14 batteries, that Impala was built to serve anyone who wanted to step up. Looking back, Foots remembers being one of very few hopping from inside the cars. “I always hit the switch inside the car, I could feel the rhythm of the car matching my body and it helps you find your groove.” So instead of hopping out and talking sh*t, he let his hands do the talking and served any willing takers. 

The build started with an Impala chassis put together by himself and Alvin Boone aka Bigman, and the paint was done by his longtime painter Casa.

At 10-feet the car is a looker, but get closer and you’ll come to appreciate the quality of his build. Eventhough the Impala was built roughly eight years ago, it’s a pristine example of a lowrider that’s been properly built. “It’s just a streetcar” says Foots. “Nowadays, the times have changed and if anyone pulls up on me and hits those switches, I give them their props and keep it moving whereas back in the days, I would let ’em have it.” 

Back then, Foots was lowriding for the action. It was about serving any would be takers, but nowadays, he sees lowriding as a source of therapy. It’s an escape from life’s daily routine and a chance to hang out with his fellow club brothers and those within the lowrider community. 

Listening to his story is also proof that it’s life trials and tribulation – and how we choose to react to them – that ultimately changes the course of our lives. On that fateful day his car broke down had he chosen to give up, or not fix his own car, then he may have not been able to bring his talents to the car world as he does today. 

Q&A with Erik Odom

We ask. He Speaks On It.

There’s a lot. Vic taught me most of what I know about lowriding, and  I look up to South Side car club. Guys like Anthony and Oscar do their thing and I always remember Mondo with the rag ’59.

But I can go on. The old school legends on the list would be Charles Clayton (Individuals), Droopy, Vic, Jessie, Del Dog, and Gary May.

After South Central car club disbanded, I decided to try drag racing. I did it for 14 years and got serious enough to become a member of a semi-pro league where I  raced a 2,300 HP, tube-frame, NOS injected, Camaro that ran the quarter in 8 seconds, at 180+ mph.

Not fast by today’s standards, but back then it was quick.

South Central car club never came back, so I decided to join my longtime friend Tweet from Professionals car club. I’ve been a member for six years now.  

Lowriding is different now. It’s definitely safer than back in the day. Back in the ’90s, it wasn’t always fun and games, and I remember it being like Wild Wild West. I knew of people getting snatched out of their cars or shot for their wheels at least once a month.

I still remember the 30-minute shootout at El Dorado Park. It was a race issue between the Blacks and Mexicans.

Thankfully the scene is nothing like before. Now, everyone’s older, and just chill, but I still ride like it’s 1991.

My friend Vic always told me to drive on the inner lane so I could bust a U-turn just in case something happened. It was a normal thing back in the day.

True To It. Not New To It: A Few Memories of Yesteryear and just a few of his Erik’s builds.