Born initially as a sports coupe, the Impala was officially introduced in 1956 at the General Motors Motorama as a concept car. With a hardtop V-8 starting at $2,700 and a V-8 convertible for a couple hundred more, it sounds dead cheap by today’s standard, but it was still quite a hefty price tag back then. By 1958, the all-new body style was 5 inches lower than previous models and it possessed enough chrome to land it a close Second to the Cadillacs of the same era. Sixty years later, the 1958 remains one of the most coveted of the Impala marque and one of the top picks for lowriding and purists alike.
Just ask Wray Ortiz Jr.; he knows the brand all too well as he was born into an Impala family. In fact, when Wray was born, his father told his mother that “the new owner of my 1958 is here.” His dad was referring to his Anniversary Gold 1958 hardtop. It was a source of pride, but as with all budding families cars come and go and that 1958 was no exception. And while the car was long gone, the memories never left, and Wray went onto build four 1958 hardtops as well as three convertible 1958s.
The Glen Green 1958 you see here is his latest work, much in part to his wife, Regina. She fell in love with the car so they had to get it and since owning it they’ve restored what is perhaps one of the cleanest, most optioned 1958 hardtops around. It has the highly sought after 348 with two-speed Powerglide, as well as a factory continental kit, skirts, factory air conditioning, positraction, dual antennas, dual spotlights, power windows, power steering, power brakes, two-tone paint, and even a factory-installed windshield washer. The Glen Green color is also the color GM used on most of their advertising material back in 1958.
With his other two 1958s already sitting low with air ride, it was a no-brainer that the hardtop needed to be brought back down to earth. To complement the new stance, Wray added a new set of 72-spoke Zeniths wrapped in 5.20 Coker tires. Even though this car has a lot of accessories, Wray is always on the lookout for more, and you never know because in the process he just may add another 1958 to the collection.
1958 Chevrolet Impala
Wray Ortiz Jr.
348 with two-speed Powerglide
Glen Green paint
Ciadella interior kit
72-spoke Zeniths wrapped in 5.20 Coker tires