As a kid I grew up loving the cars of the 1960s and early 1970s. The styling was incredible and the muscle car wars produced some unbelievable cars.
Growing up a child of the 90’s, even in rural Alabama, the mainstream emergence of gangster rap put the lowrider scene on the map. I was always into cars that were “different”. I prefer the Olds Cutlass to a Camaro. Give me a Buick Grand National over a Corvette. For a teenager in 90’s Alabama, low-riders like Ice Cube’s 1964 Impala in Boyz In the Hood don’t get more “different”. You take a car that long and square and slam it to the ground and it makes quite a striking profile.
I appreciate the quality and work that goes into the traditional lowrider style, but it’s never been my thing. However, the incredible lines on those cars left an impression on me and it had always been my goal to own one.
I was sitting in Talladega, Alabama one random night while helping my sister-in-law move. I randomly checked craigslist and saw a 1964 Chevy Impala for sale in nearby Anniston. After convincing my wife, I had my brother meet me at the cars location and a deal was made.
I didn’t have space to work on the car at my house, so I had my brother take it home and I went down on weekends and worked on it. I spent the better part of a year’s worth of free weekends working on stripping the car down and removing the old bondo from the body. Once I had a good view of the condition of the car, it was apparent that we’d need a parts car to get it fully restored.
A friend sent word that he had seen a 1963 Impala in a barn near my brother’s house. A few days later and I had purchased that car from the owner and drug it to my brother’s house. My dream had always been a 64 Impala, but looking at that 63, I just couldn’t deny that it was so much sexier. The angular lines on the front and rear of the car just make it so much sportier.
I decided at that point to use the 64 to restore the 63. I spent another few months working on it and getting it running and driving. I drove it around for a couple of months and then began the full restoration.
After spending a couple of years of free weekends breaking the car down, cleaning up the frame and rebuilding the suspension I got to the tedious and complicated task of rust repair. I’m no welder, and decided to look for a shop to help me get the car to the finish line.
I found a shop in Atlanta and sent the car to them. I’m going to leave out a lot of detail, but 3 years later I pick the car up in pieces with a body that isn’t worth repairing.
I then shipped it to a shop in Birmingham. That shop examined the car and recommended that I buy a new body to start over. I found a car with a solid, fairly rust-free body in Atlanta and brought it to them. Over the next few years, the car would progress in short spurts. However, after 3 more frustrating years I again went to pick the car up.
By this time, I was just too busy to take on a full restoration project. I found a third shop in Alabaster, Alabama and dropped the car off. It’s a small shop, so progress has been slow. However, it appears as though the end is near.
From people that know me and of the car, I get asked about once a week how it’s coming. My reply for over two years has been: “talk to the shop this morning, it’ll be done in two weeks”.
Below are some pics of the car in it’s current state.