Artesian Turquoise
Turquoise
396 V8
2 Speed Automatic

You may not know it at first glance, but what you're looking at is unquestionably the world's finest 1966 Impala convertible. Subject to not one, but TWO complete restorations in the past ten years simply because the owner wanted the best and was willing to spend BIG to get it. How big? How does $175,000 worth of receipts sound—and that's not counting the cost of the fully restored Impala! Oh, and it's also a matching-numbers big block SS in a very unusual color. By now, I'm guessing you've looked at the price tag and that's no joke, either. This car is a SCREAMING bargain.

The color is Artesian Turquoise, and in a sea of black and red Impalas, this one truly stands out. The current owner purchased this car fully restored and it was a high-point car at the time, but as dreams go, it simply wasn't nice enough. That meant it was completely disassembled, the body was stripped, and it was all rebuilt from there. The guys at Custom Cars Unlimited in LaGrange, Illinois were tapped to do the work, and I can say with confidence that this car is put together like the finest customs and rods with astounding attention to detail. Panel fit and alignment is as good as it gets on a big GM convertible, and every piece of sheetmetal on the car is original, not a replacement piece. There are no waves, ripples, or imperfections in the surface, and the two-stage urethane gives the Artesian Turquoise a deep, shiny luster that nobody could have imagined in 1966. The final color sand and buff brought out the shine and has resulted in a car that will take home the big trophy just about anywhere it goes.

It probably goes without saying that the chrome is spectacular, but I'll say it anyway—the already nice stuff on the car was refinished to better-than-new standards that would be appropriate on a V16 Cadillac or Duesenberg. The badges are unbelievably crisp and detailed, particularly the crossed-flag emblems on the front fenders—if reproductions are that good, I'm amazed. The bright rub strip that runs the length of the body has never been called upon to do its job protecting the paint and is unmarked, correct Impala SS badges were installed fore and aft, and the three-element tail lights that are an Impala trademark are crystal clear.

This beautiful Impala carries its original, numbers-matching L35 396/325 V8 under the hood, and it has been restored, rebuilt, and detailed to show condition. We've seen similar engines in Chevelles and Camaros, but it's a treat to see such a finely detailed big block in a luxury cruiser like the Impala—truly a wolf in sheep's clothing. It rumbles to life almost as quickly as you can turn the key, and idles with a muscular hum that's not quite racy, but definitely more than you'd expect from a big cruiser with whitewalls. The Chevy Orange block is as nicely finished as the exterior, with no signs of being driven even the 243 miles showing on the odometer. The Impala engines got the full treatment, however, including a chrome air cleaner lid with Turbo Jet decals, chrome valve covers like their siblings, and a positively massive radiator that will keep this car cool in Death Valley. Those appear to be the original exhaust manifolds, and they wear a special coating that will keep them looking like new forever, and all the belts, hoses, and markings are correct. Power steering and power brakes are probably a good idea on a big car like this, and this one wheels down the road effortlessly. Even the reproduction Delco battery looks better than new.

Those $175,000 worth of receipts practically guarantee a show-winning undercarriage, and this car delivers. The transmission is a Powerglide 2-speed automatic, which is ideally suited to both the car's luxury mission and the big block's torque curve. It floats along with effortless ease and the fewer shifts, the fewer times you'll feel the car working. Out back there's a beefy 12-bolt with Positraction and highway-oriented 3.07 gears that make this car the perfect vehicle for, say, cruising across the plains of Texas at high speeds, which is undoubtedly what many were used for. The suspension and brakes have been completely rebuilt and the car rides and stops like a brand new vehicle. Satin black covers the frame and it's as nicely finished as the bodywork—other cars might have pitted suspension members, but not this one. A correct reproduction dual exhaust system fits well and sounds right, tucking up out of sight behind the rear bumper. It rides on the original steel wheels with correct SS hubcaps and new 235/75/14 Cooper whitewall radials.

Bucket seats and a console give this big cruiser a whole new personality, and this definitely isn't your average luxury car. By now you know that everything is new throughout the interior, and the detailing is crisp with exceptional attention to detail. The seams on the seat covers line up like they should, the door panels fit snugly with no gaps, and the carpets lay flat with no bunching. Crystal clear lenses frame the rebuilt gauges, and even the clock keeps pretty good time. A rear speaker lets passengers enjoy the AM radio as they stretch out in the massive back seat area. The white vinyl convertible top folds easily into the well, and seals tightly when it's up. A matching turquoise vinyl boot hides it when it's folded, giving the car a very polished, finished look.

It's not often that I can say with confidence that cars are the best, but this one certainly qualifies. It has the receipts to back up all the work, and any inspection will show that this one is just about as good as any car can get. The fanatical owner's pursuit of perfection comes at a price, and this car is available for a third of the price of the restoration, never mind the price to acquire this car shortly after its FIRST restoration. If you only accept the best, this is it. Call now!

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