A “side piece” is a slang name given to a man or woman who you are seeing outside your marriage. For 35-year-old Manuel Perez Jr. of Pueblo, Colorado, that’s exactly what it means to him in his ’65 Chevy Impala with the assist to his wife, Jennifer. Manuel bought and built a ’94 Caddy for her and when he found the ’65 it took a lot of convincing for her to allow him to trade the big body for the Chevy.

The Impala wasn’t in the best shape, but Manuel had big dreams for his side piece.

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In order to make sure the old Chevy would crank every time, Manuel removed the stock motor and replaced it with a Corvette motor. The very next step was removing the old stock, ripped-up interior and replacing it with a more modern upgrade of materials and colors.

Colorado Fastback.
Colorado Fastback.

As you can imagine, the body lines weren’t perfect or even straight when Manuel received the Impala. The dents had to be worked out of every side and new metal had to be welded to put the classic back together. The paint was the next step, which included some ghost patterns from front to back. From there, the attention was turned to the undercarriage. Once perfected, it was time to install the hydraulic suspension to bring the Chevy to the ground at the touch of a switch.

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As the president of PlayTimes Over Car Club in Colorado, Manuel must set an example of clean, well-built rides. “Side Piece” came a long way and fills that spot perfectly.

Manuel wishes to thank his wonderful wife, Jennifer, and their four children for supporting him throughout the build. He also wishes to thank his brothers, Arnold and Louie, and his father-in-law, Carlos. Extra thanks goes out to cousins who pitched in and helped, and his car club members. Having a side piece usually gets you in trouble, but for Manuel, it’s getting him attention.

1965 Chevy Impala

Vehicle Nickname
Side Piece

Owner
Manuel Perez Jr.

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Car Club
PlayTimes Over

City
Pueblo, Colorado

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Engine
’69 327 SBC built by Carlos Gutierrez

Suspension
Arnold Perez installed the two Showtime pumps with six batteries

Interior
Joe Carrio from Joe’s Auto Upholstery handled the worn-down interior by adding fresh new white vinyl

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Body/Paint
Omni red and orange basecoat with silver patterns, House of Kolor Kandy Tangerine

Wheels/Tires
72-spoke, 13×7 gold center Dayton Wire Wheels with Hankook tires