1964 Chevy Impala - Employee Rides: Pat Orth
Pat Orth is a Supervisor in the Customer Experience Center at Speedway Motors. You may have talked to him on the phone. You may have seen one of his how-to videos on the Toolbox. You may not have known that he has this slick Impala sitting in his garage at home. Here's the story in his own words:
I’ve always liked cars. I wasn’t the kid who went to the book fair to pick up a book. No, I was the one checking out the cool car posters. I remember growing up with a poster of a Lamborghini Countach on the wall. I also grew up with a dad that liked cars. So much in fact, he was a car dealer! To this day, I still remember him picking me up in a brand new, red 3rd gen Camaro. Funny thing is, I don’t remember anyone have a mullet.
When I was younger, I remember taking a short trip and looking at a rusted out 55 Ford F100. Twenty-five years later, I can somewhat still remember the truck in all of it’s rusted glory. That same day we took that truck home, for what was the beginning of a ground up restoration. Over time, I got to see a truck that looked like it was meant for the crusher, turn into a thing of beauty. I remember it having a Ford 302, a velour bench seat, black cherry paint and the memory of my dad muscle that manual steering equipped pickup in and out of the driveway. How in the world can I forget the time he laid 2 black stripes all the way up the street in our neighborhood! To this day, I still get the same feeling of excitement just sitting in a V8 equipped car or truck.
I can honestly say I’m a fan of all cars and trucks. I can appreciate anything from an Acura NSX to a 70s muscle car. When I was a teenager, I got my first taste of owning a classic car. Or was it a truck? It was both! A 1973 El Camino, with a 350SBC topped with a wind sucking Rochester carburetor. It was one mean 200 horse car/truck.
Unfortunately, after I graduated from high school, the car had an electrical fire. It was truly one of the worst feelings, as I watched 10 ft flames pour out from the cab. After a month had gone by, I was on the rebound for another car. My father ran across a 1964 Impala that was in need of a complete restoration. The car had once lived its life as a drag car. The car had a Big Block Chevy and a 9” Ford rear end with 4.86 gears. Now this was a car! It only took an hour to realize this car was to be mine. I purchased the car and slowly worked on tearing the car down to bare metal in it’s first year. The following 10 years it sat in primer, as I acquire the funds necessary to get it painted and source all the parts for final assembly.
Ten years ago, I envisioned having a clean cruiser that I could hit the streets with on a Friday night. I was fortunate enough to have friends and family help me make that vision come true. I’m proud to say that I’ve built the car just the way I wanted. In fact, the car has come out better than I could have ever imagined.
This 1964 Impala is dressed in Cadillac Diamond white paint, powered down the road by a 6.0 LS engine, 4L60E transmission, cooled by Vintage Air and rides on air suspension. It’s truly a blessing to work with so many knowledgeable people that have helped me along the way.
Much of what I’ve learned about cars can be attributed to working on my own cars and working with a bunch of knowledgeable and talented people. I’ve worked at Speedway Motors for 14 years and one of my current titles is Muscle Car tech. This means I speak with folks on a daily basis that need assistance with anything from sourcing brake fittings, to helping them figure out what components they need to finish the air suspension on their project.