Streetside Classics-Dallas/Fort Worth
5400 Sandshell Dr
Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX
There's no question that the popularity and values on the desirable 1966 Chevrolet Impalas have gone up, but that only means that now is the time to put one in your garage. And sitting right in the fat part of the affordability-versus-condition curve is this handsome 4-door hardtop, featuring low 'believed-actual' miles on the body, a strong-running 283 V8, and a classic White-over-Red color combination that is perfectly befitting a car of this vintage.
Ermine White was a popular color in the '60s, and it's the right choice for a big sedan like this that's not trying to be too flashy. If you're going to ante up for Chevy's top-of-the-line personal luxury sedan with a performance streak, a light color delivers a combination of presence and elegance that's tough to beat. And at a cruise-in where everyone else's Impala will be red or black, this one always stands out. Fortunately, this Imp has clearly lived an easy life by the looks of the sheetmetal, and with a believed actual mileage of just over 36K, it's obvious it was only driven on special occasions. It is a survivor finish though, so there's some light patina and minor surface rust to consider, but the finish still has a soft shine overall and certainly looks great for a 55-year-old car. Bottom line, it's a very solid driver quality presentation that is a definite head turner everywhere it goes, and it proudly where's the "It's only original once" moniker. The sheetmetal is still straight, with good gaps and body lines that tell a story of a car that's likely never been in an accident, and even the doors have that 'factory flush' shut to them, which is a big deal when you have four of them. All the correct brightwork and trim is still intact and in decent shape, including the spear molding on the profiles, as well as the all-important badges on the front fenders and decklid. The window trim, front grille, and massive chrome bumpers are all original too, and they still shine up great, bearing in mind again that this sedan is now over half a century old.
All Chevrolet Impala models got good-looking interiors, and the red vinyl-and-cloth upholstery inside is certainly long on style as well as comfort. Much like the exterior, this one is largely original, and once again when you consider the age of the vehicle the cabin is pretty darn impressive. The front bench seat cover was replaced at some point since it's all-vinyl, whereas the rear seat cover, door panels, headliner, and plush red carpets are all original Code 847 red cloth-and-vinyl spec. Most of the soft stuff is in great shape, and even though there are some signs of use, we'd have to think that a few minor repairs and a professional detail of this entire car would really kick things up a notch. The stylish original steering wheel with its two-spoke, dual ring design anchors the cabin dramatically, and the original dash with bright red paint and aluminum panels is a wonderful complement of the exterior theme. The wide instrument panel shows crisp markings on the gauges, a retro-style AM/FM/AUX stereo was installed in the factory slot, and the factory A/C system is still in place, although it could use a R134a refrigerant charge (it has been converted) to blow cold again. Open the big trunk lid and you'll find a solid set of original floors with nothing to hide, and a full-sized jack set and spare tire up on its own little shelf in the back.
The 283 V8 under the hood may very well be the car's original, but it's been covered with years of dirt and grime so pulling a VIN stamp has proved difficult. It is correctly coded with a GF suffix code, and it remains completely stock and presented in an honest way that's completely commensurate with mileage and age. There are still some remnants of the original Chevy Orange enamel on the block and valve covers, the ram's horn exhaust manifolds are in great shape, and the black snorkeled air cleaner is likely the original piece as well. Despite the survivor presentation, there are signs of maintenance and service throughout, including a newer alternator, upgraded connections for the A/C system, and neatly organized plumbing and electrical systems. As you might expect, the underside is very original and in very good condition as well, with lightly undercoated floors that have nothing to hide. The 2-speed PowerGlide automatic transmission feeds the original 10-bolt rear end, which carries highway-friendly rear gears so it's a fantastic cruiser, especially with the help of power steering. Original cars just drive better, and this car's suspension ignores bumps with nary a squeak or rattle coming from underneath. Wire hubcaps and spinner adorn the steel wheels and are wrapped with 205/75/14 blackwall radials all around to complete the look.
So, forget investments and instead focus on the fun you could be having with this lovely Impala. It's not perfect, but there's a ton of
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