TEXT AND PHOTOS BY SAUL VARGAS
Classic Performance Products, Inc. was established back in 1991 by Jim Ries,
who has been in the automotive industry for close to 25 years. Jim started
the business after working for his dad at SoCal Trucks and then leaving
Golden State Pickup after 12 years of service. Since opening back in '91,
CPP has grown enough to employ 23 workers, one of whom happens to be Jim's
dad, Jack Ries, who originally brought Jim into the world as well as into
the automotive profession.
The focus at CPP is on '47 through '72 Chevy and Ford
cars and trucks, but the shop is also well-known for their complete bolt-on
brake systems. These brakes are considered to be among the industry's only
true bolt-on systems. In most cases, these CPP brake kits come pre-assembled
and include all of the pre-bent brake lines that usually make installation
a breeze. CPP also sells other suspension items, including power steering
kits, tilt columns, drop spindles, sway bars, complete suspension packages
and many other custom accessories. Most of these products can be seen on
their Website and are available through mail order.
CPP has been involved with many high-profile lowrider
projects, including the building of a front and rear suspension (including
a brake kit) for the '64 Chevy Impala belonging to Los Angeles Laker center
Shaquille O'Neal. Shaq's Impala was fully customized as the driver's seat
had to be moved all of the way to the rear seat in order for the 7'-1"
Shaq to be able to drive it. Other projects that CPP has contributed to
include three of the four LowriderMagazine/Gumout giveaway cars,
including the last Gumout giveaway Impala. CPP set up this classic silver
'64 with an upgraded steering system as well as a braking system.
When it comes to stopping your old classic car, you might
have to pay these guys a visit. If you do stop by this one-stop chassis
shop, make sure that you mention that you read about them
here in Lowrider. Until then, we'll catch you at our next shop stop.