10 Years of Free Stor­age

AF­TER A SHORT SEP­A­RA­TION, IT TURNED OUT TO BE THE BEST THING THAT EVER HAP­PENED. AN IN­TER­EST­ING STORY ABOUT SELL­ING AND BUY­ING YOUR OWN CAR BACK.

Low Rider - - CON­TENTS - STORY & PHO­TOS BY PHIL GOR­DON

An­dre Barde­las' '63 Chevy Im­pala

The old adage “If you love some­thing, set it free. If they come back, they’re yours” is some­thing that sets the tone for our next story be­cause An­dre Barde­las did just that. A cus­tom lowrider builder for over a decade, he’s built some phe­nom­e­nal rides, in­clud­ing the game-chang­ing '95 Cadil­lac named “Lev­els to the Game”—a ve­hi­cle that landed a fea­ture in our Mar. ’17 is­sue.

It was dur­ing that build that he be­gan run­ning out of space, so he had no other op­tion than to sell his '63 Im­pala that he orig­i­nally pur­chased from a seller in Florida. Ten years later, An­dre got word that the Im­pala was back up for sale by the owner, but there was one catch: the owner didn’t want to sell it back to him. Not phased or con­cerned by the terms of the sale, he was de­ter­mined to get his car back, so he gave cash to his friend, Jose. The seller asked if Jose was buy­ing it for An­dre, and we all know how the story goes from there. Jose said, “No it’s for me,” and the deal was done.

Upon its re­turn, An­dre was sur­prised to see that the Im­pala was in the ex­act same con­di­tion as when he sold it. Laugh­ing, An­dre refers to the sep­a­ra­tion as “10 years of free stor­age,” and he couldn’t be more right. He brought the car di­rectly to a ware­house owned by Clas­sic

An­gels. The stor­age fa­cil­ity is not only the rest­ing place for their club cars but a safe en­vi­ron­ment where new life is ush­ered into once-for­got­ten clas­sics. From there, the Chevy was com­pletely bro­ken down to nuts and bolts in what looked like a full­size Revel model that had fallen from its box.

From the start the Chevy had no mo­tor, so An­dre de­cided to drop in an LS1 mo­tor out of an '03 Corvette.

Prior to in­stal­la­tion, he had the block painted fac­tory cream while the com­po­nents were ei­ther pol­ished or chromed. Out­side, Clas­sic An­gels’ paint mas­ter, Craig Coon, painted the ex­te­rior. The high­light of this paintjob is his spe­cial­ized use of yel­lows, golds, and oranges for a cus­tom roof that sets it off. But the de­tails don’t stop there. In­side the trunk one will find a four-pump hy­draulic setup; get down low and you’ll find that the en­tire un­der­car­riage has been chrome plated.

With a build time of only a year and a half, An­dre would like to thank his club for help­ing him build his dream car. In­ter­est­ingly enough, his Im­pala has never seen or been to a “shop” in the ten­ure of his own­er­ship, and it’s a build that’s been es­tab­lished on pride, cul­ture, and the sup­port of his lov­ing wife, Melissa.

An­dre would like to send a spe­cial thanks to Jose, Pin­cho, Gringo, Eric, Oney, Sumo, Erock, and Isaac for all their help with the build. With his car built and ready to ride, he’s also got a '58 that’s well on its way to be­com­ing yet an­other show­stop­per wor­thy of his last name, so we’ll sit back and wait as his story con­tin­ues to un­fold.

1962 IM­PALA CON­VERT­IBLE BY CHEVRO­LET CAR MODEL

This '63 Clas­sic An­gel is in­flu­enced by an LS1 Vette mo­tor.

Corona Cream and a cus­tom mix of House of Kolor's multi-paint scheme ac­count for the roof on the clas­sic hard­top in beau­ti­ful Mi­ami.

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