When something is destined to be yours the world has a mysterious way of making it happen. Usually it is just a matter of time before it comes to fruition. Sometimes, however, destiny tends to take a little bit longer than it should.

For years, Tony “SD Tone” Martinez looked over his neighbor’s fence and admired his 1962 Chevy Impala. Daily encounters with his neighbor routinely consisted of the standard friendly hello followed by, “You ready to sell me your car?” A question always answered with and awkward and firm response of “No!”

It became an almost daily ritual that would take place for over 15 years until one magical day the owner finally agreed to sell him the car. When that YES finally arrived, Tony immediately took action, bought the car, and almost immediately began the restoration process, which was all planned out during his 15-plus year wait.

No stranger to the process, Toney knew the first thing you notice on a car is its paintjob. So to kick if off, he took a trip to Imperial Beach Autobody where the team stripped the car down to its bare bones. After a little finessing the car was ready for the application of a two-stage Midnight Black with layer after layer of clearcoat finish. During this time, all the vehicle’s metalwork was receiving a fresh bath of chrome. Ciadella Upholstery replicated the original black interior, complete with seat inserts and original stitching. The extensive Alpine stereo system contains a multitude of mids, tweeters, and subwoofers.

The original 283 small-block was given a once-over and then upgraded with a chrome dress-up kit as well as a special-order Flowmaster exhaust system. The brand-new original Zenith 72-spoke cross-laced wire wheels couldn’t arrive fast enough. “I had been waiting a long time for this car,” Tony says. Not wanting to wait a minute longer and as soon as the whitewalls were cleaned, Tony was off for the mandatory cruise past Chicano Park and up Kliquer alley.

1962 Chevy Impala

Vehicle Nickname
The Side Piece

Tony “SD Tone” Martinez

San Diego, CA


Original 283 with chrome dress-up kit and Flowmaster exhaust

Two-stage Midnight Nlack by Imperial Beach Autobody

Wrapped X-frame with two pumps and Adex dumps all powered by Interstate batteries

Ciadella interior kit, featuring original factory stitching and Alpine stereo sound system

Original Zenith 13×7 straight-lace 72-spoke wire wheels