Owner-Built Beauty – Marty Bettis’ ’59 Impala
If you want proof that a mostly owner-built car can still vie for a Goodguys Top 12 award, check out this beautiful ’59 Impala belonging to Marty Bettis. Starting with a rusty relic from Texas, Marty crafted the Chevy into a stunning showpiece, tackling the chassis assembly, exhaust, wiring, most sheet metal work, plus design and construction tasks himself.
The build started with a Scott’s Hotrods chassis with air springs and AccuAir management, plus Wilwood disc brakes and 19×8- and 20×12-inch Schott wheels. To that, Marty added an LS3 crate engine with plenty of detail, including custom paint and coil covers to match the body. The engine was backed by a 4L70E overdrive automatic.
Plenty of metalwork went into the body, which not only needed rust repair, but also got subtle mods like deleted wipers, a filled cowl, stretched inner fenders to cover the A-arms, and a custom fuel tank. Marty handed things over to Gary’s Rods & Restorations for bodywork and paint, where they prepped an applied the beautiful House of Kolor Whiskey Brown finish.
Inside, Marty modified the dash, designed the double-hump package tray and custom console, and incorporated Dakota Digital gauges, an Ididit column, and Vintage Air. Finish Line Interiors stitched the supple leather over WiseGuys seats.
It’s refreshing to see enthusiasts tackling custom builds themselves like Gary did, especially when the results are Top Five caliber for the Goodguys 2021 BASF America’s Most Beautiful title like this stunning ’59 Impala!
Photos by Marc Gewertz & John Drummond