Unearthed: 1966 Chevrolet Impala Convertible

Classic Cars / Comments

This is the very definition of keeping something in the family.

First launched by General Motors in 1958, the Chevrolet Impala quickly became one of the best-selling cars in the U.S. The first generation's styling was partially inspired by the Corvette, especially in the front grille. More importantly, however, the Impala was a design departure from Chevrolet's more traditionally conservative styling into something that was lower, longer, and wider. The first generation was only built as a two-door convertible or hardtop only.

Beginning in the second generation that was launched in 1959, the body style lineup was expanded to include a sedan and a sedan hardtop. And by the time the third generation debuted in 1961, a station wagon variant was added. These options remained when Chevrolet launched the fourth generation in 1965. This Impala actually set an all-time industry annual sales record of more than 1 million units sold in the U.S - a record that remains in place to this day. There was a wide variety of engines to choose from, such as an inline-six and the always famous Chevrolet small- and big-blocks. Other choices included a 6.7-liter 409 V8 and the 6.5-liter 396 V8.

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Engines were mated to a two-range Powerglide transmission along with three- and four-speed manuals. For the owner of this 1966 Impala Convertible, it's more than just a car, but memories of his childhood and grandparents, as it was their car. He clearly remembers riding in the back seat as a kid and it's the car that began his love for GM cars. Before the restoration, his Impala originally had a 327 V8 with Powerglide. However, he transplanted a turbo 350 transmission from his '75 Firebird and a Small Block 350 from his '72 Camaro.

And although he was on a budget, the owner still managed to do a complete restoration that included that aforementioned transplants along with new exterior trim, bumpers, and emblems. He also rebuilt the entire front end, added a new suspension, and completed a power disc brake conversion. The final result looks fantastic and it's great to see how someone put so much heart and effort into restoring a car that's a family heirloom. Photos courtesy of Bick66

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