My 61' "Barn Find" - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: ATLanta, Ga
Posts: 7
Red face My 61' "Barn Find"

How's it going fellas? When my Grandpa passed he left me one thing..... a 1961 Impala. I flippin love the car! I've been wanting to get started on it for years but now I'm finally able to. He bought it from a neighbor who drove it to church and into town maybe once a week. So miles are fairly low at 61,000. It has a 283 and powerglide.

My question for yall is where to start? When I was younger I had/still do have some custom trucks. Most of which are on air ride, so im ok with that.

Well enough with my babblin.... on to the pics


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 10:27 PM
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Location: North Dakota
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Sorry about your Grandfather. To honor him I would start by cleaning it up, get it running and stopping. Then enjoy as is. Very nice car from what I can see, Love 61 Chevys.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 10:45 PM
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In my opinion the car is the most beautiful thing to ever grace the pavement. Another vote for enjoy it the way it is.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 08:09 AM
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It looks like that car will clean up very well with a little buffing.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 09:52 AM
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You are a very fortunate man to have such a family heirloom. It's purdy too.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 10:37 AM
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Welcome to the Team Eric!

Please note the condition of the tire. it is not only flat but rotten. All things organic turn to dust (or ashes if burnt) so don't be surprised that your natural gum rubber tires, hoses and belts are rotten and need replacing. All tires regardless of physical appearance or wear need to be replaced every seven years to be safe.

Selling used tires to poor people that don't know any better should be illegal in my opinion as they not only kill themselves but risk killing others when a tire blows at speed.

I replaced all six of the tires off my motor home and as they were mounting new tires on my Winnie they were mounting my old tires on a poor black guys pick-up truck because they had only 12,000 miles on them and looked brand new. I wished him luck, but didn't feel too bad as they were rated at 14 tons per tire.

Big Dave
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 10:50 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
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I'd wash it, buff, wax. Fresh tires, go through brakes. Fresh gas, oil, coolant. Start it up, tune... then drive and smile. Fix leaks as they show up. Full tune up eventually. Check front end/suspension. Great car.

Two doors, four doors, wagons, and ragtops.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: ATLanta, Ga
Posts: 7
Thanks guys... The car was spose to be our project together but it didn't turn out that way; so now I have a memorial build. The tires in the pics are long gone and it sits on new rubber till I find some wheels I can make my mind up on. I pulled it out of my grandpa's old barn and brought it to my house now the fun begins! It's just a little overwhelming starting from how she sits now. This will definitely be a NEW and rewarding experience.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2014, 10:33 PM
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Take your time and take a lot of pictures (movies also help, but that requires a camera person to keep you in focus and close enough to the mic to be able to understand your conversation later as you talk your self through some disassembly procedure or other). A game plan including budget and time line for completion is a good idea, as is a hand full of original shop manuals.

They can be had as a license product by GM, but sold through third parties showing the assembly procedure (the aptly named Assembly manual), and a body shop look at hanging virgin panels: if you ever find any (every year the Chinese expand their collection of old car parts that they stamp out of their recycled steel cold roll sheet metal). That book is the Fisher Body Repair manual. There is another book dedicated to just the frame and chassis called the Chassis Service manual, and of course the original shop manual every one thinks of when I say shop manual the Chevrolet Service manual for your year car, or an earlier year car with an addendum updating any changes from the published book for the earlier year car.

All of these paper manuals have been scanned and are for sale as a digitized copy of the original manual (you have to pay for a copy of a book you don't have, and you get the honor of printing out the pages one at time as you need them). The copies generally go for around $20 to $25 dollars per title except the 1946-'75 Illustrated Chevrolet Parts manual, that tips the scale at about $75 for my copy. Occasionally the actual original paper shop manuals come up for sale on e-Bay as some retired service technician dies and his wife sells off his junk to a collector who resells the books for their weight in gold.

Big Dave
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-02-2014, 10:20 AM
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That's quite a time-capsule, I love it!

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-02-2014, 05:26 PM
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Bloomington, IL
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Great you got the car and able to keep and enjoy it. I've had my share of old chevy's found this way. Like everyone has already said, that...LOL....and drive it!!! I purchased a '67 36,000 mile 283 glide Impala from the son of a old lady that passed. It had been sitting for 10+ yrs. I pulled drive-train and re-gasket everything, went through brakes and used car for a daily driver and sold it with about 88,000 miles. This was about 15 yrs ago.. My wife and our 3 grade school kid's at the time went on a few 2-3 state away family trips. I wish I could keep my "Garage Find" '61 348 Impala but can only afford so much.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-02-2014, 10:55 PM
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Yeah, on those tires, I had some 20 year old tires that I used for a bit as I worked on my restoration. After I took them off and put them on the side of the house for a week, one of them did this:
And just a couple weeks before that I had been driving my '64 on the freeway

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1964 Impala 4 door sedan

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-05-2014, 08:56 AM
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Fine example of a nice original Bubble Top car.

Hope you keep it basically stock.

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