Shark of the Month October 13
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Was northern Maine, now gulf coast of Florida
1965 Impala resto-mod build
One of my bucket list items was to have another performance oriented car before I got too old to work on it or enjoy it. I started off looking at the new muscle cars currently available (Camaros, Vettes, Mustangs, and Challengers). I keep up with what's going on in the 4 wheeled world by reading a lot of car mags plus watching too many hot rod shows on TV. My dad was always a Chevy guy and I followed in his foot steps on that, so about 14 months ago I test drove a new Corvette Gran Sport and a Camaro SS. Imagine my horror when I discovered that they had shrunk those models to the point where it was very difficult for me to get in or out. (It couldn't possibly be the roughly 50 lb weight increase I've had since owning my last Z-28 back in the '90s!)
I'd always admired the mid-'60s full size Chevy's (Biscayne, Bel Air, Impala, Caprice) that you could actually buy with big block motors, 4 speeds, and 12 bolt rear ends. So off I went in a nearly year long search for a 1965 Impala. '65s were the first of the 'coke bottle' styling and I was always a sucker for those double chrome rings on the tail lights. It took about 10 months of looking all over Florida as well as scanning EBAY Motors and Hemings (and several other car enthusiast websites) multiple times a day before I finally found the right car for me.
My Impala was manufactured in the old Los Angeles plant and was purchased new by a guy who lived in the high dessert out east of LA. When I bought the car it had not been registered for 19 years. The original owner parked it in his carport when he became unable to drive. Upon his death, the second owner bought the car and had it repainted, and dropped a mostly all new drive train into it. 19 years in a car port was plenty long enough for the mice to destroy every inch of the interior and all the trim was still off it with some pieces missing. Then owner #2 had a major life change and moved to northern most Maine and decided to buy a B&B. Having sold his house and moved to Maine with his wife, his Impala was in storage in his friend's machine shed back in SoCal and he put it on Ebay. We went back and forth and it was obvious he was anxious to sell so I made him an offer that was well below market value and he accepted it. In fact, he also offered to pay half the shipping costs which was a nice bonus.
I'll tell you about the drive train and overall condition in an upcoming post here in a day or so.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” - HST
Last edited by Uncle Fuzzy; 08-21-2018 at 11:49 PM.