We all have that one dream car we want to build. It’s a car we can visualize, and it becomes that same car that keeps us up at night scouring the net in search of the perfect platform. That same car becomes a life goal, and for most of us it becomes part of the family, which we plan to pass on from one generation to the next. But ask Pete Tavares about his plans for building a car and things get complicated. You see, Pete got into the game looking to not only build himself a lowrider, but to build one for each of his five sons before they got their driver’s licenses.

To start, he bought a 1964 Impala, and once the hardtop was complete he set out to find a 1963. During his search, he got sidetracked and ran across a 1947 Fleetline, so he took a trip to Coachella to kick the tires and give it a once-over. Upon his arrival, he found the car to be in fair condition. The vehicle had its original 215 engine, the car was pretty much intact, so they chopped up some numbers and struck a deal. “The car ran, but once it went over 25 mph it began shaking, so the minute I got it back we tore it apart and began working on it,” Pete says.

To start the makeover, the Fleetline was dropped off at Ted Ugala’s shop and where they removed and fixed all the rust on the car. All the lines were cleaned up, rusted panels replaced or repaired, and when it came time to choose the color, Pete knew exactly what he was going to do. “I live close to where they host the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance show and on the weekend of the show a purple Dodge Viper passed me. After doing some research, I found the exact color but reformulated it to be a slightly darker version.” Pete laid the paintjob himself and shipped off various accessories for chrome and engraving by Speedy’s Metal Finish and Krazy Kuttings. The undercarriage was fine-tuned by the Jimenez Bros. and Total Performance Motorsports while Mobile Audio Electronics hooked up the beat.

The final product is a bomb that is worthy of its achievements and accolades. Since its introduction into the scene, the “Bombita” has taken First Place trophies at all the shows he’s entered, but he takes even greater pride in using his vehicle as a showpiece for local community events and charities. In the end, he wants to share the fruit of his labor and motivate other car customizers to chase their dreams. And for those wondering what happened to his original plan on buying a 1963 Impala, well, let’s just say that he’s already got it and it’s currently undergoing a frame-off restoration, and if all goes according to plan, Pete will be debuting it in 2018 and getting one step (and one car) closer to achieving his dreams.

1947 Chevrolet Fleetline

Vehicle Nickname
La Gorda ’47

Pete Tavares

Salinas, CA

Tavares Family

235ci six-cylinder, beehive oil filter, PerTronix coil/ignition system, Marshall fuel gauge, dual Super7 Stromberg carb, Jones dual exhaust, Offenhauser dual-carb intake, Carter fuel pump, Powermaster alternator, and stainless steel hard line hoses

Special mix of House of Kolor candy purples

Slam Specialties airbags, AccuAir e-Level air controls and three air tanks

Seats wrapped in black leather

Pioneer stereo, Orion subwoofer, and Phoenix Gold subwoofers

13-inch, 100-spoke Daytons with Premium Sportway 5.20 tires