Unearthed: 1966 Chevrolet Impala Convertible

Classic Cars

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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