348 Numbers Matching or LS3 - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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348 Numbers Matching or LS3

Just purchased a 1961 Impala Sport Coupe and had plans for an LS3 crate swap. Found out that it has a numbers matching 348 which possibly throws a small wrench in my plans for an LS3. Doing a full resto-mod on it and curious what would give the car more value?

348 numbers matching with tri-power intake versus connect and cruise LS3 crate engine
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 07:10 PM
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Welcome to the Team!

I would think the 348 tri power would win hands down.

Big full bodies are no where near as expensive as a Chevy II , first or now, even a second gen Camaro, and a 1965-'71 Chevelle is also prohibitedlly expensive; (luckily few know about the early Monte Carlo as of yet).

I would shop for another X frame car if that is what you want and hot rod that one (there are still a lot of 235 in line sixes with a three speed manual that are looking for love). I would look for a 1958 (the one year wonder) a 1964 (one of the most popular of all of the X-frame cars (which makes them more expensive), or a 1959 El Camino based upon a full size station wagon sans top.

Big Dave

Last edited by Big Dave; 10-10-2017 at 07:30 PM.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-10-2017, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by tunamanz View Post
Just purchased a 1961 Impala Sport Coupe and had plans for an LS3 crate swap. Found out that it has a numbers matching 348 which possibly throws a small wrench in my plans for an LS3. Doing a full resto-mod on it and curious what would give the car more value?

348 numbers matching with tri-power intake versus connect and cruise LS3 crate engine
You have a beautiful car there. That car is a high dollar original and well sought after by many car enthusiasts out there. It having a matching numbers 348 only makes it all the more valuable. Nothing would de-valuate the car more than to take it apart and resto-mod it. Glad to hear that you are at least having second thoughts on it.

-Parting Out over 75 '58 to '73 Full Size Chevy Cars-

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-13-2017, 05:59 AM
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Stay with the 348. Numbers matching is nice and more valuable and less expensive to build
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-13-2017, 10:50 AM
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Great looking car. I say stick with that 348 for sure. I'm not sure how finicky the old tri-power is, but maybe a 'carb-like' fuel-injection with standard 14" round air-cleaner keeps it looking stock but with more reliability and driveability if you need that.

HOW A NOVICE REBUILDS A 66 IMPALA CONVERTIBLE:
http://www.impalas.net/forums/blog.php?u=1432
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-13-2017, 11:32 AM
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For sure, go original with the 348.

1967 Chevrolet Impala SS convertible - Ermine White C1
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-06-2017, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Thanks for the input! My goal when I bought the car was a full Pro-Touring build. Maybe this is the wrong car to attempt that on and I should just sell it. Find another car to go down the Pro-Touring road with. Problem is anything that I chose will have a group that is more interested in keeping things on the original side and the other group that is more interested in a Pro-Touring build.

What is the ballpark value on this car if I keep it as is with numbers matching, some interior work, and paint or as is with doing nothing?
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-06-2017, 01:23 PM
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Thanks for the input! My goal when I bought the car was a full Pro-Touring build. Maybe this is the wrong car to attempt that on and I should just sell it. Find another car to go down the Pro-Touring road with. Problem is anything that I chose will have a group that is more interested in keeping things on the original side and the other group that is more interested in a Pro-Touring build.

What is the ballpark value on this car if I keep it as is with numbers matching, some interior work, and paint or as is with doing nothing?
That's totally true. You could find a $500 Fox body Mustang and and build a tubular frame to hold a 572 BBC dual fours on a tunnel ram.





Or a Pontiac Fiero with a blown 555 BBC:





If you like older cars how about a mid fifties Studebaker with a BBC?







Or a Morris Minor from the fifties with a blown and NOS injected motor?







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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-06-2017, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Any path I go down it will be GM. If I decide to go the LS3 route with this car what is the 348 motor worth?
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-06-2017, 02:54 PM
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Pro Street is supposed to be a drivable race car; and most race cars are light because of Newton's second law (F=ma, or rewriting it horsepower divided by weight equals acceleration). Because of this you should be looking for a light car such as those I cited above or for an all Chevy car with an LS motor how about a Chevy II with an LS-7?








Or if you are more interested in a sleeper than a Prop Street car, you can do what I did with a 1985 Impala with a two stage nitrous system on a 582 big block under the flat hood and a twin Nitrous bottle in the trunk.



Not exactly Pro Street since the object of a sleeper is to pass for something non-threatening: like a used old taxi cab with a 305 and burnt out glass packs (at least that is what I told my victims before I took them to the cleaners).

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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-06-2017, 05:54 PM
 
 
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Any path I go down it will be GM. If I decide to go the LS3 route with this car what is the 348 motor worth?
Probably would help a ton to post a few pictures of the car. Describing the condition and showing the condition are two completely polar opposites.

And do it soon before Big Dave turns this into a post only about Pro Street cars.

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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Have to do this in phases as it will only let me upload so many at a time.
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Here are the others
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 03:08 PM
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That is a 250 horse 335 pounds of torque at 2,800 RPM base 348 engine with an aftermarket manifold (or the cast iron manifold painted silver). It has small port heads (compared to the higher performance tri power 348, or the even bigger ports on the dual four 409).

It is still original, and worth more under the hood than an LS powered car would be to most potential buyers.

One thing besides weight (this car weighs 3,408 lbs; nearly a half ton more than the same year Chevy II [2,323 lbs], or the Corvair [2,612 ponds]) is the fact that it sits on a very flexible X-frame, and has a rear end that will not support much in the line of added power (the rear end was designed for a six cylinder because it came out four years before Chevy's first V8). Lots of tubing for a full cage, or an aftermarket frame can carry the added power by stiffening up the frame. But you are adding even more weight. If it is strictly show and no go that is acceptable but it won't win a race at the track.

Personally I would look for another body to build a Pro Street car if that is your desire, and you are looking for a home for your LS-x engine. Chevy made many light weight economy car styled bodies staring in 1959 with the Corvair, up through the eighties with the Chevy II, Camaro, Nova, Vega, Monza, Chevette, Cavlier being a compact or sub compact car (small and light). These cars are either wrong wheel drive or rear engine power and all will need a tube frame to take a LS power plant and make it safe for on the street driving.

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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 04:33 PM
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I don't want to put words in your mouth but by 'pro touring', I'm assuming you do not mean the racing class 'pro stock', and intend to replace/modernize basically everything except the frame and body parts. You have not mentioned the verified (by some one who knows) condition of these retained parts. What you have may be suitable for what you intend, it may not. You may be better off with a less original/valuable 'mule' car to modify.

Also, metamorphically speaking, I would not want to paint over the 'Mona Lisa' to create 'The Scream'. Both are valuable, and have their proponents, but destroying one to create the other would be a shame. Start with a clean, or scrap, canvas.

I'm NOT saying that car is the 'Mona Lisa' of 61 Bubble tops, but it looks rather clean and nice. Looks can be deceiving. It may be an original Harvey Smidlack for all I know.

Having said that, it's your car and your money. Do with it as you wish.
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 08:36 PM
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Pro Street was term dreamed up by one of the Peteresn car titles back in the Primedia days They have moved on to newer trends; but people liked the idea of driving a race car on the street (probably because they never have done so). In fact that '85 Impala I showed above I crushed it because of being such a pain in the tush to drive. I learned to crush my race cars unless sold to a racer who hauls it out of my shop on a dedicated race car trailer. This is because I have sold seven cars in the past that klilled the owner who bought them within six to eight weeks. Never again. These where all licensed street legal (even had windshield wipers that ran ten teens in the quarter at 115 to 130 mph. Doesn't sound like much with cars today running in the six second range; but when I sold these the national record for Pro Stock was 9.8 seconds.

You can put a door slammer in the high eights to low nines (my '85 ran the quarter with a best of 9.39) but it ain't cheap. I had over $36,400 in the motor alone. and had spent more than half of that again on suspension and frame work to get that power to the ground. But it wasn't NHRA legal and I was thrown off of more tracks due to lack of safety gear compliance (even on grudge match nights with a dark score board they still get the time and speed as well as who got there first in the tower).

Today I would assume (I am really not sure where this style morphed to), but you are trying to convert a street driven car into a Super Comp class car (akin to a Gas class dragster from the sixties). If you can not make it into the quick eight you have no chance of winning. By the way these cars run heads up unlimited mods to motor or power adder and minimum car weight is 1,350 pounds. I don't know how fast you want to go in the quarter, but the record is sitting around 8.90 seconds in the quarter. Of course I may be all wrong. It still considered sports man racing but it cost a bloody fortune to compete which is why I stopped class racing in the late eighties.

Just find a picture of the car you want in a car mag and I can pull it off the shelf and look at it. I have every car mag from a lot of publishers going back to the sixties.

Big Dave
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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I am not looking to do Pro-Street or Pro-Stock or Drag the car. The Pro-Touring build I am looking to do is modern amenities on the inside (power windows, power locks, power steering, A/C, new interior, etc), modern amenities on the drivetrain (new SRG or RS chassis/frame, coilovers, 4-wheel disc brakes, IFS, wheels/tires, etc), modern amenities on the power train (LS376/525HP Connect & Cruise Crate, T56 6-speed MT, etc) and custom paint. Figuring an $80K build once I am done.

My plan with the Pro-Touring car I build is SEMA, major/local car shows, possible road course/track, Power Tour, Drive anywhere, etc. Not interested in quarter miles and track days would just be for my enjoyment not necessarily to win anything. I have a 2015 Camaro 1LE with extra suspension work and twin turbos so any of the crazy race/speed stuff will come from that car.

So I guess the question again now that my intent is hopefully more understood - 348 VS LS3 and with this clean car or another car? I mean I paid $14K for this car as it sits so I am by no means in it too deep. There are three options I have: (1) Sell it as is for what maybe $20-$25K? (2) Restore it to original and have $40K in it for what maybe $40K-$50K, or (3) Pro-Touring build and have $80K in it for unknown value. Although, I am not building a car to sell unless the number is too good to pass up as every car has "A" number.
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 10:42 AM
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Now we are all on the same page.

First caveat you won't make money by putting more than it is worth into the car. If you expect to make a profit on your investment and labor I suggest looking at similar cars that have sold on line to establish a build budget. If you are building it as a hobby you discount your labor and try to recoup most but not all of your investment in parts (look at Philip's builds on Team Chevelle and Team Nova for an example of what you are wanting to do and how much he was able to get back when it sold.

If you abandon any hope of getting even a fraction of your money back I say go for a your pro touring car I call that a restification where you completely rebuild the car from frame up replacing all of the old technology to build a comfortable better performing car with all of the amenities that were never offered on a car of this age. I might add there are very few buyers for these types of cars (those who can afford it look to buy a new BMW or Mercedes or maybe even a Bentley).

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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Now we are all on the same page.

First caveat you won't make money by putting more than it is worth into the car. If you expect to make a profit on your investment and labor I suggest looking at similar cars that have sold on line to establish a build budget. If you are building it as a hobby you discount your labor and try to recoup most but not all of your investment in parts (look at Philip's builds on Team Chevelle and Team Nova for an example of what you are wanting to do and how much he was able to get back when it sold.

If you abandon any hope of getting even a fraction of your money back I say go for a your pro touring car I call that a restification where you completely rebuild the car from frame up replacing all of the old technology to build a comfortable better performing car with all of the amenities that were never offered on a car of this age. I might add there are very few buyers for these types of cars (those who can afford it look to buy a new BMW or Mercedes or maybe even a Bentley).

Big Dave
I originally was going to put my $80K into a new car until I went to the Dream Cruise/Back To The Bricks in Michigan and had old car fever after that. I thought with new it is going to go from $80K to $30-40K in 5 years. I figured I could put that same $80K in an old car and have a one of a kind that will not depreciate anywhere what a new car will. I am not really looking to make money on the car, as that is very hard to do with any car, but more not looking to lose $40K-$50K on a car. If I can enjoy it and come close to breaking even then that is a successful build to me.

As far as very few buyers at this level: I think there are very few buyers for restored original stuff at $45K-$50K and probably an equal amount at Pro-Touring $80K range. The largest buyer pool is at the $20K-$35K range which I will not fall into with either direction I go.!
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 01:25 PM
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Wish you luck with your decision. I just glad that you are entering into it with a clear head, and not biased with emotional investment that could lead to disappointment.

The 1950 Studebaker Champion Starlight Coupe above is an example of this and it has a BBC under the hood because it was built decades before the LS-x came on strong as a replacement engine.

The 1967 Chevy II is more Pro Street than Pro Touring car because unlike a full size car it was made to be cheap. As such it has suspension issues; no frame to support that level of power, and is small inside the cabin. Great for Pro Street but sucks if you want to take your family cross country. The Morris Minor and Fox body Mustang are first and foremost drag cars and are even more cramped and uncomfortable. Neither can turn corners, in their current straight line configuration.

My suggestion of a Corvair is based upon building a tube frame, installing your LS-3 in the trunk (up front, and converting the car to rear wheel drive). The Corvair is a spacious comfortable roomy car as Chevy built it, and has a unique look.

Big Dave
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post #21 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 04:09 PM
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I originally was going to put my $80K into a new car until I went to the Dream Cruise/Back To The Bricks in Michigan and had old car fever after that. I thought with new it is going to go from $80K to $30-40K in 5 years. I figured I could put that same $80K in an old car and have a one of a kind that will not depreciate anywhere what a new car will. I am not really looking to make money on the car, as that is very hard to do with any car, but more not looking to lose $40K-$50K on a car. If I can enjoy it and come close to breaking even then that is a successful build to me.

As far as very few buyers at this level: I think there are very few buyers for restored original stuff at $45K-$50K and probably an equal amount at Pro-Touring $80K range. The largest buyer pool is at the $20K-$35K range which I will not fall into with either direction I go.!


One alternative you have not mentioned is buying a 'pro touring' classic already completed for your $80k. In my opinion, that's the ONLY way you'll get an $80k car for $80k.

I'm NOT trying to talk you out of building the car. But, 'breaking even' building a car, as you define it, is unrealistic.

Unless you have:

a fully outfitted garage (including paint/body/welding capabilities).

you are knowledgeable and capable of doing the labor yourself.

you have experience building cars so you may accurately assess the scope of work (parts and labor) required to complete your mods.

you will end up spending ALOT more building the car than it will sell for. I believe that to be true regardless of if the car is built as 'pro touring', or restored original.

Just my opinion, and just trying to be helpful. It's your money and your car. NO ONE knows what's best for you better than you.
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post #22 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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One alternative you have not mentioned is buying a 'pro touring' classic already completed for your $80k. In my opinion, that's the ONLY way you'll get an $80k car for $80k.

I'm NOT trying to talk you out of building the car. But, 'breaking even' building a car, as you define it, is unrealistic.

Unless you have:

a fully outfitted garage (including paint/body/welding capabilities).

you are knowledgeable and capable of doing the labor yourself.

you have experience building cars so you may accurately assess the scope of work (parts and labor) required to complete your mods.

you will end up spending ALOT more building the car than it will sell for. I believe that to be true regardless of if the car is built as 'pro touring', or restored original.

Just my opinion, and just trying to be helpful. It's your money and your car. NO ONE knows what's best for you better than you.

This is being built in my good friends custom shop in NY. A shop that I will becoming partners in and probably moving it to Florida. This build is going to be as much for me as it is for displaying the work that the shop can do. With that said labor will be minimal. Here is my vision with whatever car I decide to go with:

Fully Roller Chassis: $20K
LS376/525 Crate with 6-Speed MT: $14K
Interior: $20K
Paint: $10K
Misc: $5K

Problem I have found with buying on complete is most have no idea how it was built or what it was built with. I spent two months trying to find a complete build and that is what I constantly ran into. Which is what led me down the path of doing my own build.
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post #23 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2017, 10:11 AM
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This is being built in my good friends custom shop in NY. A shop that I will becoming partners in and probably moving it to Florida. This build is going to be as much for me as it is for displaying the work that the shop can do. With that said labor will be minimal. Here is my vision with whatever car I decide to go with:

Fully Roller Chassis: $20K
LS376/525 Crate with 6-Speed MT: $14K
Interior: $20K
Paint: $10K
Misc: $5K

Problem I have found with buying on complete is most have no idea how it was built or what it was built with. I spent two months trying to find a complete build and that is what I constantly ran into. Which is what led me down the path of doing my own build.


Basically, in the 'shop', the 'labor', and other costs (overhead, etc), are there AND costing money (other money earning business is displaced). Whether you 'add' that to you 'bill', or not, does not change that. I think your 'accounting' is 'optimistic' and self serving.

But, as I said before, it's your money and your car. Do as you wish. I wish you success.
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post #24 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-10-2017, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Basically, in the 'shop', the 'labor', and other costs (overhead, etc), are there AND costing money (other money earning business is displaced). Whether you 'add' that to you 'bill', or not, does not change that. I think your 'accounting' is 'optimistic' and self serving.

But, as I said before, it's your money and your car. Do as you wish. I wish you success.
Not charging for labor doesn't cost money it costs someones time. It is no different if you help a friend with a project and don't charge him. It did not cost any money it only cost you your time!

I have spent two months gathering quotes and planning a build. I already have quotes for everything so how is that "Optimistic" and "Self Serving"? Seems pretty damn accurate to me and regardless of what car I build those are the costs!
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post #25 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 01:42 PM
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With all of the details you have I would do this build with the 1961. The only hard part with Impala's other than 1964's is there is not much for custom parts. Sure 65 or 66 might have some but it's not like looking for a custom crossmember or rear end setup on a Camaro or Chevelle. If you have the skills to fab things up great, this would be my only reason for looking at a different car. I think the desire for pro touring cars will only increase with younger generations having the money to spend.
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