Rosario Onorato understands what it’s like to own a family treasure. “The Blue Rose” has been in his family since its manufacture in 1964 when his dad bought the car new from Seaboard Chevrolet in his hometown of San Pedro, California, to haul the family around. The six-four served the family for four years before “Rose, ” as his friends and family call him, started to transform the car into the frame-scraper that you see here.
You might remember the Onorato brothers from the LRM family affair article in May 2003 issue of Lowrider. At the time, The Blue Rose was being repainted for the 10th time and getting a total makeover. As you can see, the car turned out incredible. The original roses were kept and, with this car, beauty is more than skin deep as there are all kinds of things that the untrained eye might miss. Shaved door handles, reworked moldings and bar grille are just a few of the subtle tricks on this slick ride.
The brothers certainly live up to their “Kings of Clean” nicknames, but don’t get it twisted, as the Onorato bros are true riders and drive this car often. They’re still breaking in the new engine that they built. In the early ’70s, Rose began to make a lot of the changes to the car, adding his own personal touches and installing hydraulics unbeknownst to his parents or so he thought. Mr. and Mrs. Onorato soon realized what was going on and made him take the hydros out of the car. Soon after, the hydros went back in and, with Rosario being the oldest, he exercised his seniority and led the way with a lot of his ideas being incorporated into the car.
The Blue Rose has spent all of its life looking for the cruise spots and logging thousands of miles-the true test of a real rider. Rose doesn’t believe in trailer queens and you can find the brothers cruising the car anywhere that there’s a good cruise spot. The Blue Rose has once again come into full bloom with the help of Dennis Felder at J&D Automotive, painter extraordinaire Steve Deman and his brother Agostino. With his two sons Frankie and Anthony waiting in the wings for the car, the ’64 is sure to come into bloom a few more times in its life.
|TECHSPECS: The Blue Rose|
|OWNER: Rosario Onorato|
|VEHICLE: ’64 Chevrolet Impala|
|CITY/STATE: San Pedro, California|
|CLUB: No affiliation|
|ENGINE/DRIVETRAIN: Rosario runs a Chevy 350-c.i.d. V-8 with Competition cam, Dart II heads, ceramic-coated headers, 670-cfm. Holley Street Avenger carb, Edelbrock Permastar intake and HEI ignition, connected to a 350 Turbo transmission with a 2500 stall converter and posi-traction. Built by Dennis Felder of J&D Automotive in Inglewood, California.|
|BODY/PAINT: Extensive paint and body mods with custom fabricated moldings, shaved keyholes and lettering, and custom flat-lens taillights. The ’64 was painted candy Oriental blue with graphics done in Murano candies, pearls and flakes. The airbrush work on “Rose” was done by OG Abel and all of the other paint and bodywork was done by Steve Deman of Harbor City, California.|
|INTERIOR: Velvet with leather inserts covers the stock seats while a leather headliner is overhead and wool carpet underneath. Other interior highlights include power windows, windwings, OG color bar and billet steering wheel. The mechanical work was performed by Dennis Felder at J&D Auto and all interior work performed by A&B Custom Upholstery in Harbor City.|
|SOUND SYSTEM: A complete Alpine audio system with an Alpine 9827 head unit, two Alpine V12 amps powering Alpine speakers and two 12-inch JL W 3 subs.The install was performed by Rick Leal.|
|SETUP: Two old school Tailgate pumps controlled by Waterman dumps power 6-inch (front) and 8-inch (rear) cylinders, with two switches, six solenoids and three batteries rounding out the setup. All hydraulic work was performed by Anthony Fuentes at Homies Hydraulics in Paramount, California. The car sits on a Canadian Lance Higgins reinforced frame and also features molded upper and lower A-arms.|
|TIRES: P175/70-R14 Hankook|
|WHEELS: 72-spoke 14-inch Dayton|