Red Bluff car enthusiast won first place on Feb. 28 at the 24th Annual Winter National Chevrolet Convention and Classic Car Show in Orlando, Florida with his classic 1958 Chevrolet Impala.
Placing first in a Chevrolet car show is not uncommon for Gary Murray, owner and operator of Gary’s Auto Body and 24-hour Towing on Antelope Boulevard in Red Bluff, as he’s won first place at every car competition he’s entered.
“The only time I didn’t place first is when I placed first, second and third at the 2002 Ventura show,” Murray joked as he recalled the time he brought three Chevrolets to a show and took the top three places.
Murray’s love for 1958 Chevrolet Impalas began when he was 12 years old and saw his first ‘58 Impala while with his mother one day.
“I said to myself, wow that is the most beautiful car I’ve ever seen,” Murray said.
Murray has owned his shop since 1971, a year after he moved to Red Bluff from Ohio. Since then he has restored six ‘58 Impalas and has sold two, with his first restoration being in 1995.
Some of his fondest memories involve his time working and restoring ‘58 Impalas to the exact condition as they were made, Murray said.
“Making a living doing what you love...I just really have no bad memories,” Murray said. He has had a lot of great times competing and restoring classic car of all kinds at his shop.
Winning to Murray means a great deal, he said. The car is certified as being completely authentic and winning competitions like this shows that the craftsman work that goes into restoring such a rare vehicle is not going unnoticed.
Judges at these competitions go over every detail of the vehicle to ensure it is the exact same as in 1958, Murray said. He even mentioned that the few points he got taken off his score, which his score was 986 out of 1,000, was because of the small stamp on the window of the Impala not being 100 percent accurate.
Murray’s ‘58 Impala was featured in a calendar by the Classic American Muscle car club and has been featured on a variety of newspaper and magazine articles and television programs.
Murray plans to continue restoring Chevrolet Impalas in the future and may compete again in June at the Summer National Chevrolet Classic show in Indiana.
We would like to thank Red Bluff Daily News for reprint permission.