When Joe Rodriguez originally purchased his ’64 Chevy Impala, all he cared about was cruising and having a good time in one of the finest automobiles. Almost thirty-years later, his grandson, Andy, can say the same exact thing about the same exact vehicle. Nearly three decades after Joe initially purchased the Chevy, Andy was able to convince his grandfather to sell his prized possession-as long as it was guaranteed to stay in the family. Andy happily obliged his grandfather’s wish, although once the car was in his care, he was determined to give it a complete makeover.
In order to keep up with today’s highways and city streets, Andy dropped a new crate motor in the Chevy, adding a little punch to it. His next step was adding the necessary frame reinforcement, which he did before wrapping and molding everything, including the A-arms. With some wiring help from Faso of Cruzin in Style C.C., Andy added a full hydraulic suspension. Although the solid white original paint looked clean, Andy needed something that would stand out more. He turned to Jerry Richardson for the metal work and then Danny Ray for the snakeskin green paint. The final touch came when his father, Art, who owns a custom interior shop, called Rod’s Designs, decided to add a new twist. The team got to work replacing the stock interior with a full custom hot rod-inspired cabin from front to back.
Andy wishes to thank the numerous people that helped him make this dream a reality starting with his grandfather, Joe, and his father, Art. His thanks are also extended to Barb for helping to sew up the seats despite having a broken arm. He also sends his gratitude to all his friends who were willing to drop everything to lend him a hand and most of all to his girl, Lucy, for not once complaining about where all the money went. “I maxed out three different credit cards and emptied a bank account to achieve what I wanted to,” Andy tells us with a laugh. “Still, it was worth it all to have done something I can be so proud of.”.
“The Money Pit”
Owner: Andy Rodriguez
Vehicle: 1964 Chevy Impala
City/State: Waukegan, Illinois
Paint: Sherwin Williams Ultra 09 Dodge Viper Snake Skin Green painted by
Danny Ray at Sunray in Waukegan, Illinois.
Suspension: Four Fennerstone pumps, four Delta dumps, eight color-matched Deka marine batteries and four console-mounted switches.
Interior: Andy’s father, Art, added a four-bucket seat style custom-built front to back center console, including all saddle tan leather with suede inserts and snakeskin. He also added a suede headliner, custom built door panels, a one-off arm rest with chrome molding, billet specialties handles and window cranks, and a billet steering wheel wrapped in leather and suede.
Audio: Sony DVD head unit, Rockford Fosgate 800-watt amplifier, six Rockford Fosgate components, and two TV monitors. Andy and Li’l Ray performed all the work.
Engine: Chevy 350-c.i.d. crate motor 60 over with Corvette heads, Polished 350 transmission, short block huggers with straight-pipe exhaust, an Edelbrock Endurashine carburetor, and chrome plating done by Anaheim Plating in California, and A & R Plating in Chicago.
Wheels: 13×7 72-spoke custom built wheels built by Jesus from Freaky Tales.
Tires: Tire Paws 155/80R13’s.