Axalta Coating Systems is partnering with three-time NASCAR Cup champion crew chief and 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Ray Evernham to display the beloved 1958 Chevrolet Impala from the movie “American Graffiti” at select automotive shows this summer.
The Impala is featured in Axalta’s exhibit space during the NHRA Hot Rod Reunion in Bowling Green, Ky., June 15-17; Goodguys Columbus in Columbus, Ohio, July 7-9; and NSRA Nationals in Louisville, Ky., Aug. 3-6.
For Evernham, the 1958 Impala and the movie “American Graffiti” inspired his lifelong passion for American car culture. After pursuing this iconic car for most of his adult life, Evernham finally acquired it from the gentleman who purchased the car directly from Lucasfilm after the movie was produced in 1972.
Upon arriving at his shop, it was clear the car needed work to protect it from deteriorating. Evernham and his team set out to preserve the car and restore it to the exact specifications as it appeared in the film.
When it came time to restore the most visible part of the car, the finish, Evernham turned to Axalta. With the help of Axalta’s color experts and Cromax refinish products, the vehicle’s finish was completely restored to its original paint scheme, including the iconic hand-painted red striping.
“The paint was more than 40 years old and hadn’t been maintained,” Evernham said. “If it was left unprotected for much longer, the car would have just been bare metal. My long-standing relationship with Axalta allowed me to call on the industry’s best paint experts to evaluate the car, get recommendations and subsequently restore a vehicle that was originally coated in obsolete lacquer material. Axalta’s color-match ability played a primary role in making the car look just as it did in the movie.”
See the iconic car and learn more about Axalta’s products, services and color matching tools for the refinish industry by visiting Axalta experts at the shows.