There’s no denying that once the lowriding bug has bitten you, it’s impossible to find a cure. For Mike Ramirez of Moreno Valley, lowriding has been in his blood for as long as he can remember. Growing up with older brothers who cherished their classics more than any other possession, Mike knew that he wanted to follow in their footsteps. By the age of 17, Mike was lucky enough to score a ’61 Impala hardtop for his very first ride. Although Mike may have appreciated that ’61, he found himself running through cars faster than most young men. Mike’s collection ended up including a ’65 Impala convertible and even a ’48 Chevy Bomb. Finally, with some patience and an urge to finally settle down, he landed on the beautiful car featured here, a ’64 Chevy Impala convertible known as “Dedicated 6-Fo.”
This was the car that Mike had every intention on dedicating to his niece, Yessenia Ramirez, who was very dear to him. Mike recalls a fond memory of driving Yessenia to her Quincenera back in 2000 in his ’65 Impala and how much she enjoyed sharing those rides in her Uncle’s lowrider. Years later, when she was planning her wedding, Mike promised her that he would drive her on her big day in another convertible lowrider, just as they did when she was just a young girl. Heartbreakingly, Yessenia never had the chance to share that special ride with her Uncle Mike. She was diagnosed with cancer at an untimely age, which moved quickly through her body, taking her life in 2005.
Although they never were able to celebrate her wedding day, Mike still felt the need to fulfill his promise, as he knew Yessenia was looking down from above, smiling at his efforts. Mike started the search for a convertible worthy of Yessenia’s memory and ended up meeting Leo Sierra who had a ’64 ragtop available for sale. There’s no doubt that it was a project vehicle and coming from the East Coast it was full of rust, but Mike was determined to turn it into a gem. Mike and his brothers were willing to take on the project feet first no matter what the cost and effort was needed to complete it. As Mike and his brothers call it, the “Ramirez Classics” shop (in Mike’s garage) started full-speed ahead at the project. Their first task was pulling out the original 327 V-8 engine and power glide transmission and working their way onward from there. The car was completely taken apart and then dropped off over at Rufino’s Auto Body. Once at Rufino’s, the sheet metal work was completed and the body was made straight and ready for paint. The frame was sandblasted and coated by Mike himself, before reinstalling a variety of restored or brand-new components. Engine, transmission, upholstery, exhaust, and just about everything else that could be thought of, was also restored or replaced until the 6-Fo Rag was ready for its new debut and no doubt, the approval of Yessenia.
Of course, Mike gives big thanks to the Man above for allowing him to make this build a reality and honor his niece’s memory. A special thank you goes to his brother, David Ramirez, for all of the positive feedback throughout the process of this Impala’s restoration. Mike hopes that his niece, Yessenia, will continue to ride with him in spirit, may she rest in peace.
Owner: Mike Ramirez
Vehicle: 1964 Chevy Impala convertible
City/State: Moreno Valley, California
Club: Lo Nuestro, Inland Empire Chapter
Engine: 1964 Chevrolet 327-cid V-8 built up by Jerry Kamimura at Pacific Engines in Covina, CA. Brian at Jerl’s Mufflers in Riverside, CA, installed a new exhaust system.
Body/Paint: Lupe at Rufino’s Auto Body in Riverside did the major bodywork before laying down a DuPont charcoal grey finish. Apolonio of AB Polishing in Montclair, CA, handled all chrome plating needs.
Interior: Javier Silva of El Socio in Tijuana, Mexico, handled the upholstery needs, redoing them to the original design, but done in leather and velvet (instead of all vinyl).
Sound System: Luis Rios of Moreno Valley took care of Mike’s audio needs, installing a Sony head unit and amplifier and a pair of Pioneer tweeters, 6×9-inch midrange speakers, and 10-inch Panasonic woofers.
Setup: Mike Ramirez’s own Ramirez Classics in Moreno Valley, CA, lowered the stock suspension down two inches all around.
Tires: Premium Sportway 5.20s
Wheels: Dayton 14×7-inch 72-spoke