Searching for that perfect project car is much like finding that perfect ring for your lady. It requires a lot of forethought, patience and a rough estimate as to how much you're willing to spend. And just like a ring, the work doesn't end there. After landing that perfect piece, the true test of patience comes in. From taking it to the body shop to finding the perfect parts, a lot of concern and time is put into who takes care of your new family member.
Just ask Mitchell Ramirez of Lakewood, California. He searched for months for that perfect '65 Chevy Impala and once he found one in good condition, the laborious process began. For starters, he sought professional counsel from his brother-in-law Donald Tovar. He wanted to make sure that he was getting into the right fit for a build, and after getting the green light, he picked it up.
The first goal was to pull out the 327 engine and have it delivered to George Wong for a breath of fresh air. Mitchell wanted to make sure that the vehicle was put together in the grandest of fashion so he opted for a frame-off restoration, which started over at Bowtie Connection in Artesia, California. It was there that John Kennedy and the crew pulled the body off of the frame and had it brought over to Wally at WASP Automotive. Wally had his crew remove any signs of "cancer" and proceed with straightening the body. With the preciseness of a surgical hand, each and every part of the vehicle was removed, replaced or reworked to meet the stringent expectations.
Once the body was doused in PPG marine aqua, it was color-sanded, buffed to perfection and then shipped back to be placed on the reworked frame. The nuts and bolts all throughout the vehicle were zinc plated by Bobby Apriso, while Bowtie Connection handled the powdercoating.
It was important that every nook and cranny on the '65 was inspected, and as with any true car builder, nothing less than perfection was expected. Since the vehicle's completion, it has already taken a First Place award in the '60s Original class and received praise from many of the industry's most critical thinkers. It's yet another example of lowrider craftsmanship at its finest, and future plans for this open thinker of lowriding also include a set of 18- or 20-inch wheels, and then returning to the show circuit with a new look and fresh flavor.
Hard '65Owner: Mitchell RamirezVehicle: '65 Chevrolet ImpalaCity/State: Lakewood, CaliforniaClub: No affiliation
Engine/Drivetrain: 327-c.i.d. V-8 rebuilt by George Wong of La Palma, California, with Powerglide transmission. Lou's Mufflers in Hawaiian Gardens, California, reworked the stock exhaust system.
Body/Paint: Wally at WASP Automotive in Oak Hill, California, did the body work and applied PPG marine aqua paint.
Interior: Freddie at Bowtie Connection in Artesia, California, retained the stock oyster color throughout.
Sound System: Gordo at Homies Hydraulics in Paramount, California, performed the installation of an Alpine head unit/CD player with Kicker speakers.
Suspension: Bowtie Connection restored the stock suspension.
Wheels: Stock 14x6