Oh boy, what am I doing?? - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3
Oh boy, what am I doing??

Hi to everyone,

I have recentley inherrited myself a hearse. Yup, a hearse. From my best mate who I told I would get on the road if he never could.

He passed late last year and now, true to my word, I have a monster size vehicle I am going to rebuild. Thing being is, I need some serious help and am hoping the collective knowledge of this forum can help me.

I have had nothing to do with American cars (in Aus, we play with Holdens and Fords as a rule) and this is going to be the first car, ever, I have built. So, I'll tell you what I know.
  • The car has been converted to RHD (I think in Aus.), and was in service as a hearse from the early to mid 70's until 1993.
  • It has Impala badges, but obviously it has been modified, the front fender has had an 'extension' welded to it (don't know what they were thinking, 'cause by dams it is ugly!) and the bonnet lip has been 'bogged' to shape, along with the rear end tail. (see pics)
  • I can not find exactly where it has been 'lengthened' but assume in the rear door area as it is , I think, all fabricated.
  • The assumption is that it is a '63 Impala- I can't verify that, as I don't have and can't find the origional documentation from where/ who it was bought from. Not even the funeral home it worked for. A REVS check (registered/ recummbendt vehicles check) turns up no info either....at least there's no finance owing.
  • The only identification/ VIN/ cowl/ anything plate I can find reads: Body Identification Number 62-114-1171. Trim Identification Number 560-A88. Paint Identification Number 585 682. Thats it. One plate pop-rivetted on the firewall not far from the water pump.
  • The BIN will not run through any Chevrolet ID decoders I can find on the internet, though they are all VIN ID decoders??? Is there a difference and is there a BIN decoder floating around?
  • Given the shape of the fenders (additions removed), the runnels in the bonnet and the 1/4" bog peeled from the sides, I am thinking Biscayne and going from the BIN, it is either a 62 or a 71. I believe it more closely resembles the 62.
So. Can anyone please, please help me identify this car? Any thoughts, suggestions or ideas will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for bearing with me in my iggnorance, hope everyone has had a great new year,

Cheers, Beers and Regards,

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Ness is offline  
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 07:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,556
Looks like a 1962 Chevy Impala was the base but it has been customized with a new front end and rear end treatment. Looks like they welded on from the front tip of the fenders a piece going down to form the front end and to wrap around on the sides.

States side we use Cadillac Brougham coaches (which have six inches added to the rear of the "B" pillar in the middle of the foot pan to provide more leg room in the back seat) to make a hearse. Same body as the Impala just a tad longer to start with before they convert them from a sedan into a station wagon. Looks like yours car started life as a Chevy station wagon and was then customized to disguise the fact that it was originally a Chevy.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 09:21 AM
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Location: Galveston
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Wow that thing is special
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Lewisburg, Ohio
Posts: 2,909
Its defiantly a 62 Impala. Hard to tell if it was originally a 4 door or a 2 door. Also if the top was added to a 2 door. The back window kinda looks like a 4 door rear window. I never seen a hearse with a luggage rack. You didn't say what driveline was in it. Would be nice if it was a 409 with a 4 speed and posi out back. LOL.
Parts shouldn't be to hard to find. Lots of aftermarket stuff available for 62's.
Keep us informed on your progress and take lots of pictures.

http://www.impalas.net/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=521&dateline=14693626  69

Last edited by dadstoy; 01-29-2009 at 10:05 AM.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 12:52 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Miamisburg, Oh.
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409 4 speed posi-traction. Nice. :-D

That does look like a rare bird there, I kinda like it.

Good luck with it Aussie.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 11:39 AM
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Location: Fort Worth Texas
Posts: 1,273
I have never seen a Chevy hearse or ambulance. Most were cadillacs pontiacs and occasionally a buick. That is defineltly a 62 Chevy side but not front or back. I am sure you have a 1 of 1 car but where or how it was built I have no idea.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 01:27 PM
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Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 136
62 hearse

wild. might want to consider restoring exterior to original 62 style, quad lights, etc.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3
Talking Thank-you

To everyone who has posted a reply, I am extremely grateful, Thank-you very much.

I now have something to work with. The poor old girl has to take a trip closer to home, so not much will be happening for a little while. In the mean time, I need to get myself some panels. I am going to revert it back to the '62 that it it should be.

I have found a couple of sites 'specialising' in Chevy parts and spares but am not having much luck with the sheet metal side of things, plenty of floor wells etc but the floor throughout is in repairable condition.

Can anyone give me the names of businesses dealing with spares or give me a more informed idea of where to begin. Parts in Aus that I can find come from the States obviously, yet no-one will tell me the name's of their suppliers, I guess they don't want to loose their 200% mark up....

Once again, thanks to all. It will be pleasure to share this project with everyone. It's going to be interesting to see it fully stripped down and get a good look at the panel work down the sides and find whats joined where. Oh well, here's to hoping that the hood is the heaviest singular part on it...shoulda seen me get that off by myself LOL! Must have looked a treat I bet, but thats a story for another day.

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Ness is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 08:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,556
Almost all of the repop stuff comes from China. We also recycle cars that were towed out into the desert to die years ago, but due to desiccated conditions they just shed their plastic based paint and hang around. I doubt if you will find anything similar in your out back, but maybe outside of Perth.

I have no idea as to the number of 1962-'64 full size Chevys that were imported into Australia but your best bet would be the parts off of another car.

Big Dave
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 10:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Lewisburg, Ohio
Posts: 2,909
Try this website they have a fourm with people that would have a lot of info for you. (not that we wouldn't)

http://www.impalas.net/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=521&dateline=14693626  69
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