For Ricardo Bazon who comes from the city of Moreno Valley, California, naming his ride “The Only One” was an easy choice for his candy oriental blue ’61 Impala convertible. The nickname he gave his ride, though, is not for the year this classic Chevy model represents, but for the fact that this is his first car. Actually, it’s his first show car too! I guess if you were young and your older brother took you around to various car shows you become brought up in the show car cultural surroundings and it has an effect on you.

Not too many people can say that their first ride was a custom car and a Lowrider Magazine cover feature all in “one” either. Ricardo has been through some hard trials and tribulations in his building plans to complete this convertible ride. Expectations do come harder when you aren’t building an ordinary car to start out with. Ricardo had to set his sights high for his scale of builds because, being an enthusiast, or when you visit all types of car shows, you always notice the turntable, jackstand cars in the middle aisles. There you will find an education on how to build cars to meet the quality and scale of today’s customizing standards.

There at the shows you will also always take interest in the show signs that tell about who painted the car, who upholstered the interior, the airbrushed murals, and so forth. For Ricardo, his choice to build his one-off classic became Top Notch Customs out of Riverside, California, who have built nothing but award-winning, show-caliber, trophy-taking, and cover magazine-featured rides for a long time now. From the engine compartment to the hydraulics installed in the trunk, it just doesn’t end there as Peter and Paul Toma will do a car completely in just a couple of months too if you want. They will also come with you all the way to the middle of an arena to help you set up your 20×20 car breakout display. I guess that’s also included for the personal love within the build.

Though for Ricardo, who graduated to the top with this one-of-a-kind build, difficult struggles or finding the right shop doesn’t always complete a car’s build, family does! For that he thanks his one and only wife, family, and parents for their understanding and support on this till the end.

Tech Specs

Vehicle Year/Make/Model: 1961 Chevrolet Impala Convertible

Vehicle Nickname: The Only One

Owner: Ricardo Bazan

City/State: Moreno Valley, CA

Body/Paint: Louie’s Customs Candy by Top Notch Riverside, CA. Pinstriping by Mike Lamberson.

Engine: GM 350 Tune Port, Turbo trans, CFR Radiator

Suspension: Molded frame, firewall, trunk, underbelly, and custom hydraulic setup by Top Notch Customs, MagnaFlow exhaust, Castaneda custom engraving, chrome and polishing by AB Polishing, Montclair, CA, Speedy’s Metal Finishing & Metal Masters

Upholstery: California Upholstery Bell Gardens, Dakota Digital dash, Flaming River column

Sound System: Alpine touch-screen, Focal Speakers, JL Amps

Wheels / Tires: Galaxy 13s / Coker Sportway tires