Juan Ramirez’s love of cars kept him out of trouble, led to his 1963 Chevy Impala | Why I Drive #23


(gentle guitar music) – This car is one of the things that I’ve always wanted since I was a teenager. My friend Mark’s older brother used to live right down the road from us. Everyday I’d see him drive back and forth in the black convertible. You know, I’d go over there and help him mess with it. I had to hold the wire because the battery wasn’t charged
and then he’d start it, “Cool, thank you” and then he’d take off. I loved that car. So that’s what brought the love for the ’63 Impala for me. I bought the ’63 based off of a few conversations, 20, 30 pictures over the internet. When I decided it was time to start working on it, that’s where you can start
seeing what was wrong with it. There was a panel, it
was riveted on top of the original sheet metal with
the silicon behind it, and as I took that off, there
was no bottom of the car. It was just straight rot and rust. There was an actual stop sign that was molded for the floor pan. I didn’t have money to send
it to a shop at the time. So, we had to fix it on our own. After we took all the
rust out that we could, I had half a car. Talk about an overwhelming feeling of “Holy smokes, what did I get into?” (car engine) I just wanted a clean, original look, but also add subtle touches to it. I was gonna put airbag suspension. I wanted her to lay
when I parked somewhere, and then just enough to raise her up, and be on my way. The vanity mirror has the
comb on there, you know flip down your visor and you
can slick your hair back. It has an old Dinsmore compass. Back in ’63 as well, that was a rare option back then. The older I get, the more my taste changed and I was like, “I don’t
want to go for flashy. Let’s go for classy. Let’s go for subtle.” I take this car out to relax, to clear my head. That’s my time to slow down. I’ll take her from here to the mountains, and I’ll just turn around and bring that same road right back. But on the way down there, I have all these people
giving me the thumbs up, saying “Hi, beautiful car,
can I take your picture? Can I take the cars picture?” It makes me feel good. (car engine) Growing up here in Albuquerque cars were a way to keep me out of trouble. We grew up on the west side of town. The gangs were bad up there. The car is what kept me away from drugs, and kept me out of trouble, and the same thing with my brother. It kept us at home, or it kept us with a group of guys that were into the same thing that weren’t into getting into trouble. They just wanted to work on their cars. If it wasn’t for cars I would probably have a
different life right now. I really think that it saved us from taking the wrong turn and heading in the wrong direction. (car engine stops) I do feel like I’m part
of a bigger tradition especially with this car here. The low rider lifestyle is more than cars, I believe its family because you see a car passed down from the grandfather to the father to the son. In the low riders, they hold true to that. A lot of these guys
work 9 to 5’s, you know they’re piecing these cars
together little by little but they’re doing it with the
help of family and friends. You’ll see a little boy out there, wrenching on his car with his dad. I have lots of pictures where I have my kids out there taking off bumpers and stuff like that. (car door shuts) (engine starts) We put the Ramirez plaque on the back of the car because this car is and was built by the family. It was me and my brother, my wife, my boys had their input on it. And so, this car is us. So when we made this Ramirez plaque it was the intention
of, “This is my family. This is what we’re about.
This is just a family affair.” (car engine) My little boy is into this car. He understands what it’s about. That probably is the most
rewarding part of the car. It has nothing to do with any kind of accolades or anything like that. It has to be that he has a goal now, and he strives for it. I’m hoping that he continues to keep it and that he’ll pass it on one day as well. My name is Juan Ramirez and this is why I drive. (car engine) (music and engine fade)

Michael Martin

100 Responses

  1. There is a 61 to 63 here in Darlington. Gonna be sold in a few days. Possibly a driver 08 14 19. Looks mostly stock. Could be a great buy.

  2. Beautiful car ,im very impressed about your story and the bond you have with your son beautiful.Tony from Canada 🇨🇦

  3. great story……but now to find one….. is getting impossible!

    I would love to have a 59 caddy coupe… but…..

  4. Great inspiring story! Really like the 62's , 63's, and 64's! Great classy touches, your car is rolling art! The lowriders are an integral part of the USA car culture, thanks for appreciating, and preserving it!!

  5. I feel ya brother! I bought a 60 Parkwood by pics an conversation. Car was 1500 miles away. What project! Your not building a car your building memories man!

  6. I I’m too Ramirez….
    And my favorite car is a 63 Impala
    And my son is named Juan…..
    God bless you and your/ our family…….

  7. Thanks Juan and family (and Hagerty ), for a very special story. I've been a car/truck guy (30+) and motorcyclist (50+) since the late 60's. I understand the passion and spirit you (all) have. More people would benefit if they had the same as you, your family and myself.
    cheers
    Boots Langley
    La Mesa, ca

  8. My love for cars got me in trouble. Before I was 16 I had rolled 3 cars 1 on purpose, had 2 major traffic accidents(not my fault), hit some wild life that caused my friend to have permanent damage(not too bad he is not mad at me) and been in cop station for over 2 weeks. Fun eeh. Then I went offroad and now I only injure myself🤣🤣

  9. Very well done Juan Ramirez on a great car, keeping out of trouble and showing your family a real life style and something to strive for. Thumbs up from me brother

  10. What a beautiful job you did, as a kid my dad had more than one, maybe one day I will take the plunge and get one

  11. мечта каждого автолюбителя сохранить члена семьи, мужик молодец

  12. I had a 63 impala also.Original 283 and took that out and put a 327 cu in 365 hp in her.She was a joy to drive.The only thing I didn't like about it was the two piece drive shaft and that drive shaft support bracket.Amost every time I popped the clutch it would break that bracket .

  13. You find one, you fix it up, & you get your son interested/involved in it…that's the ultimate allure of the classic car. Box stock or low rider, they have a place in a lot of people's hearts the modern, computer car just can't fit. You have my respect, Mr. Ramirez – for your service to America and your beautiful Impala.

  14. When I was first starting to drive in the early 70s you could buy these in perfect condition for a few hundred bucks. Nobody wanted them they were too big, they wanted Mustangs and Camaros and chevelles. The SS models were pretty cool, single speaker in the middle of the back seat. I had a couple way back when in Denver….great story! Good Luck…

  15. Mr. Ramirez , I just you’re video and I wanna say that if we had more MEN !!!
    Like you in our barrios maybe our streets would be safer . Keep doing what you do sir 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽🇲🇽🇲🇽🇲🇽🇲🇽

  16. I love it . The car is more than transportation. A Father passing down something really great to his son. I wonder if he painted it that color to show brown pride…anyway it's an awesome video about a great people

  17. I really loved the 63 impala since I was a kid and like your dream as well I plan on getting me one, this is my favorite car ever. It's good to know that there's someone out there that have the same passion and dream as mine.

  18. Besides the car story, the family part of it is what makes it more memorable for your family to ours. If you come out to vegas with it look us up ,BROCHACHOS we're all about familia carnal.

  19. I feel you brother, there is nothing like rolling a ragtop! My son is 18 months old and pulls me to the garage so he can sit in our 64 Impala SS and play with the steering wheel with the top down😁. Your 63 Impala is beautiful! My family and I enjoyed your video.
    Take care,
    AG

  20. Beautiful 63 and story Juan, I got the same car SS 4 speed manual ragtop, been working on it for last 6 years off and on. I've gotten input from my daughter on color and what not. We designed a plaque that says MI Familia Morales, because we as well are building it at home. You gave me more hope to finish it, again beautiful car.

  21. Beautiful Car Juan just Becareful with Hagerty Insurance. They will not Hesitate to drop you over pictures of your car. Make sure your car is always clean and your garage has no fire hazards.👍

  22. Really weird. When he said I drive to the mountain and take the same road back just to clear his head and relax. That’s exactly what I did 20 minutes ago before coming across this video. I love cars

  23. Mi historia es similar ala de Juan y igual que el cuando tuve oportunidad me ise de un hermoso 1963 impala ss con muchas opciones de fabrica que aún lo hacen mas raro.

  24. Beautiful car and story.. this El Camino is willed to my grandson.. gets his license in 2031.. car will be 45 years old.. Pop Pops car..

  25. Well I decided to keep my van I was going to scrap it out but I never had the experience of fixing something like changing the brakes or the calibers there's a new piece of technology called a blue driver OBD2 is there really good review on chrisfix I don't know he's got about 3 million people on this channel so it's really great to be able to fix something in America and then if you have children or you adopt children you can teach them about great things. It sure does keep you out of trouble when you learn about something that is so classic and so well it just makes you know that you have accomplished it you start purchasing other types of equipment a torque wrench special tools and most of all stay away from your ex dumb friends who are bad cheerleaders. And don't allow anybody to borrow your tools.

  26. Low rider culture represent! It's not my taste but there's so much of it here in Los Angeles that I have every respect for those passionate drivers and beautiful cars. This Impala is stellar.

  27. Is that your daily driver or your cruiser? That’s my favorite and in my opinion, the best impala. Really enjoyed your story, my next car is a low rider. I gotta get rid of my Jag

  28. Congratulations I jus got my dream truck 65 c10 long bed working on it with my son lil by lil and man I'm in no rush to fix it only cuz I love the bond it brings between me and my son when we work on it. again congratulations brotha

  29. In Pueblo Co. where I'm at, lowriders come out of the woodwork like cockroaches in the summer. There are too many classic cars over here, it's overwhelming and beautiful to see so many bad ass cars on the streets at all times of the day or night. I love my sleepy little city.

  30. Nice car man my dream is to get a low rider 63 impala just like this one everything exact same just different color great story and wow 😮 fire car classic nun better than this 💪🏻💯👍🏻🤝

  31. My neighbour here in the UK has a 62 and 65 Impala both SS’, I always wanted an Impala. Don’t think I can run it in this country though.

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