The last early Impala we featured was purchased within days of its debut by a well-known NBA star. The one before that, a convertible like this one, lasted about two weeks before someone grabbed it up and took it home. So that makes us wonder: how long will this one - a national first prize winning convertible with a numbers-matching 327 - last on the showroom floor. Summer's coming, and this is exactly the kind of car that you'll want to take with you to the next cruise night or show. And if you do, you should probably leave a space in the back seat for the trophy you'll bring home.
As the stack of awards this car has won will attest, the paint and bodywork are very well done. According to the original cowl tag, the code 912 Silver Blue is the original paint color, which goes extremely well with the code 836 medium blue bench seat. Someone definitely spent a lot of time on this big cruiser, with exceptionally straight lines throughout, and those massive quarter panels are completely wave-free. The original color has been nicely duplicated in two-stage urethane, which was cut and buffed to a beautiful, soft shine that is wholly appropriate on the vintage steel. The 1963 Impalas were sleek and stylish, with a chiseled look that makes them stand out today, and the lack of excessive chrome suggests that GM was coming out of its tailfin-induced hangover from the 1950s.
Speaking of chrome, the stuff that is used on this car has been expertly restored, including both bumpers. Stainless pieces, such as the side trim and moldings on both the hood and trunk, have all been straightened and polished professionally, because reproduction items are not commonly available. Emblems are sharp and crisp, including that timeless Impala logo on the rear quarter panels which is still used today. The Impala's trademark round taillight lenses - six in all - are in excellent condition, with the center taillamp on each side housing the back-up lights. Glass is a good combination of new and replacement pieces with no notable damage or scratches.
Powering this Impala is the original, matching numbers 327 cubic inch Chevy V8. Topped by a four-barrel carburetor and breathing through a stock-style dual exhaust system, it makes 250 horsepower, which is more than enough to move this relatively light ragtop with real authority. The entire engine compartment has been beautifully detailed and is ready to show and drive this summer. From the Chevy Orange on the engine, to the correct air cleaner, to the original “ram's horn” exhaust manifolds, it's correct and clean. Appropriate decals have been installed throughout, including the “327” and “250 horsepower” emblems on the valve covers, and there's a reproduction coolant tag on the radiator neck. Correct hoses and clamps, a single master cylinder on a correct booster, and a reproduction Delco battery round out this show-winning engine compartment.
Underneath, it's clean and ready for the road, and has been restored to show and drive. The engine is backed by its original 2-speed PowerGlide automatic, which is still the choice of many drag racers for its reliability and performance. There are a lot of new pieces underneath, including a new dual exhaust system with correct mufflers and resonators, new sway bar links, and relatively recent shock absorbers, all adding up to a new car ride and feel. The front suspension and brakes have been rebuilt, and it carries five new 215/75/14 Firestone radial tires on the original steel wheels with hubcaps.
Code 836 means a blue bench seat interior, and this one has been restored to factory-fresh condition in every way. The seat covers and door panels are new, and there's no sign that this car has been driven any significant distance - perhaps 50 miles since it was completed. The carpets are new, too, but the seat belts are original and should give you a pretty good idea of how well preserved this car was pre-restoration. The restored dash is full of rebuilt gauges, including a clock that has been converted to quartz movement so it keeps excellent time. There's quite a bit of chrome in there, and it has all be refinished to the same high standards as the trim on the exterior of the car. New handles, knobs, and floor mats ensure that the details are correct, and the original Delco AM radio is fully functional. Overhead, the Snowcrest white convertible top is beautifully installed and shows no wear, and is hidden under a matching top boot when it's stowed. The trunk has a correct mat, full-sized spare tire, and a complete jack assembly.
This car has the credentials to go with its status, including First Junior and Senior awards from the Vintage Chevrolet Club of America, Best of Show at the 2007 Car Club Jamboree, as well as a Palmetto award in Class 6A at the prestigious Hilton Head Concours d'Elegance in 2008. Documentation includes a reproduction window sticker, original registration, warranty booklet, service policy, shop manual, and a stack of receipts for a lot of recent work.
I'd wager that the clock is ticking on this one. Clearly it is one of the nicest '63 Impalas around, with a matching-numbers drivetrain and a lot of documentation behind it. This one isn't done winning trophies, and has been driven very few miles since it was completed, so everything remains in show condition. These are also some wonderful cars to drive, with good power and big car comfort on the highway for you and three or four other people. It's no surprise that these cars are amazingly popular with almost everyone who sees them, and this is one of the nicest we've seen in a long, long time. Call now!
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