The ’64 Chevy Impala That Almost Got Away

When opportunity strikes, you better be ready

When opportunity presents itself, you have to pull the trigger. No really. You have to pull the trigger. Those special opportunities don’t come often and when they do it’s for a split second and at that point you either want it or you don’t. In short, good fortune can detect even the slightest amount of hesitation, and if you don’t act on it, those blessing will be given to someone else who will. Just ask Bert Nolan.

Looking to build his dream car, Bert searched high and low in search of the perfect 1964 Impala. As he scoured sites in an almost ritualistic fashion, his leap of faith would find him the perfect project car. A pretty straight 1964 with just a bit of rust was sitting there ready for the taking, and while his gut told him this was the car to get, logic convinced him to sit on it for a few days. As days passed, he finally decided to pull the trigger and that’s when he found out that the vehicle had been taken to auction. In total disbelief, Bert knew he blew the perfect opportunity and went back to his daily routine of scouring the web. Two weeks after striking out on that deal, he clicked away in search of another opportunity, and that’s when it struck. There, right before his eyes, sat the same car he had just missed out on earlier. It had been relisted and with absolutely no hesitation he gave the owner a call and asked if he could hold it for two days so he could scramble to put the money together.

Two days later Bert showed up, did a once-over on the car, and handed the gentleman his money. No test-drive, no bargaining, just a straight across the board transaction and minutes later he was headed back home. Before even getting back home, Bert already knew what his plans were for the car. He wanted a sympathetic restoration that brought the car back to its original factory condition. After much patience and hard work it was finally done-at least for the first phase. Upon completion, he took the majestic beauty out on its first maiden voyage to a local car show. With the windows down, and the paint glistening, he was only half a block from his house when the car was hit. In disbelief, he got out and realized that it was still repairable, except this time around he had a change of heart and decided to rebuild the car as full-blown lowrider.

With the help of his RTR family, the reconstruction of his Impala began. For starters, all repairs were done, all body panels either replaced or straightened, and then it was up to Pitra Poeng to lay down the custom blue paint. From there Chavo laid some ‘striping, Keo Sanh dropped in a 350 crate motor, while Amos cleaned up the interior with a Ciadella interior. Of course no lowrider would be complete without Dayton wire wheels and custom sounds, but that was all taken care of by the Chan Bros.

But the final build was a bittersweet journey. Tragically, his brother died during the build process. Knowing deep down inside that no first cruise would be complete without him, Bert decided to take the urn with his ashes and take him along for the first ride in his newly revamped ride.

1964 Chevrolet Impala SS

Vehicle Nickname

Out For Action

Owner

Bert Ortiz-Nolan

City/State

Seattle, WA

Club

Riel Time Resto

Engine

Good Wrench 350 crate motor with 650-cfm Edlebrock carb, polished three-core radiator, electric fan, two-speed powerglide transmission, Accel HEI distributor, Ram Horn exhaust manifold, and 3-inch dual Flowmaster pipe

Body/Paint

Custom PPG blue

Suspension

The setup consisted of two Pro Hopper pumps with three Adex dumps, aircraft valves, and four batteries

Interior

Ciadella original interior kit in Jewel Blue and chrome was added

Sound

Alpine deck, two Rockford Fosgate amps, Memphis mids, and a 10-inch Alpine subwoofer

Wheels/Tires

13×7 72-spoke Dayton with 5.20 Premium Sportways