Hello from Florida - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-05-2015, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 14
Hello from Florida

Hello from Florida, and thanks for having me;

After a lot of research and saving and working hard at odd jobs, my son decided he was ready for his first car; He wanted something that we could work on together as a project, as well as something that was simple enough that he could work on it himself without a lot of electronic gear or specialty tools; he wanted something that was classic, and American, that he would have a for a long time.

He settled on a mid-1960's Chevrolet Impala as the platform he wanted, in no small part because he is a fan of the show Supernatural (If you like the X -files you will love it, it has a similar sort of feel, and the soundtrack is great, all classic rock) ....

He haunted CraigsList for 6 months searching for the right car, and after going through a bunch that were either already restored and wayyyyy out out of his prices range, and a bunch that were in need of a total restoration- no engine, not drivable, serious rot issues-, we found a very nice 1 owner (I kid you not) 1966 Impala with a 327 and a Powerglide and factory A/C (which was a huge deal of an option in 1966) that runs and drives pretty well; We took a trip to a dew hours away to see it, bringing along a tool bag and a magnet and some coveralls, and we decided that it was a legit find; It came home with us Monday, and we have started on all the little things it needs- last night we did 4 new shocks (the old ones were complete toast) and tomorrow it's a new power steering hose and a few other small odds and ends; once the mechanical stuff (and there's not that much of it) is done, we will be doing (or having done) the paint and body work; it has a little rust here and there, but overall it won't need much work, and he plans to finish it with a nice black paint job and some type of 1960's correct wheels to set it off...

I tried to think of every dad-reason there was to talk him out of this car, but in all honesty, I couldn't find any that were strong enough to veto the project (and after all, it's his money, and his car) and he had me at the "we can work on it together part.....because that's EXACTLY how it was with my dad (except the year was 1985 and the car was a '70 Chevelle with a hell of a dent in the left rear quarter) Those memories of working on the car with my father are priceless, and to have the chance to be on the other end of that equation...I couldn't pass it up.....

In any event, thanks for having me, and please forgive me for the numerous dumb Impala-specific questions I will have...

KidsFirstCar is offline  
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 04:02 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Cranbury, NJ
Posts: 225
Welcome to the forum and congrats on your purchase! It looks great, your son made a perfect choice! Good luck with future upgrades! Keep us updated with the mods and post some more pictures of it! Can't wait to read your build thread guys!

If you ever have any questions, please be sure to reach out.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 07:27 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth Texas
Posts: 1,273
Welcome aboard. The car looks pretty good from that one pic. Putting a 350 transmission in that car will pick it up a lot.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,456
Welcomed to the Team Drew!

A TH350 would be a tremendous improvement. as would a 200R4 transmission which adds an over drive to the lower gears. Right now the PowserGlide is just a broken TH350 as your Low is about the same gear ratio as Second in a TH350 which adds a first gear with a lower ratio to get the car rolling faster and easier.

Big Dave
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Florida
Posts: 14
Thanks for the welcome, guys;

Intersting you guys should mention putting in a TH350, I actually have one laying around (it's out of a Chevy van) that may go into the 66; I'm not sure how that will work with the gear indicator on the column, but we will work something out...

This car is a pretty good find; it has new brakes- like the whole system, including the lines, and the front has been upgraded to discs; the a/c will need some parts, and we are replacing the body mounts/bushings and some front end stuff, but other than that, it's pretty sound, mechanically; we have had it for about a month, and we have replaced all of the belts/hoses, etc....

He really doesn't want to do much to it, other than the color change and to clean up the interior with some new carpet (we are going to recoat the floor pan and Dynamat it as well) , a new headliner, and seat covers (cloth slip-ons for now, he is going to save up for a re-upholster on the seats) ....

About the only "non-stock look" interior changes planned will be 3-point belts in the front ( Mom's orders) and volt/temp/oil pressure gauges....

The only exterior change will be the paint/body work (it has a spot of two of rust in the usual places ) and the change from the 14's to a 15 inch rim; he wants to go for sort of a tough, "industrial " look, with a black rim and some type of dog-dish center cap......

Were it my car (and I keep reminding my self that it's not) I would probably swap in an HEI igntition (most likely an MSD) and a set of old-school Cragar SST's, but that's me....

I love it that we work on the car together, and that he has a genuine interest in learning it; we are a family that tends to keep our cars for a very long time, and I see this one sticking around a while....

We lucked into this car, between it 's condition and it being a one-owner; in the glove box I found the original owner's manual and the delivery slip and warranty paperwork- the car was delivered to a place called Hunter Chevrolet on January 11, 1966......
KidsFirstCar is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 09:46 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Miamisburg, Oh.
Posts: 3,165
Blog Entries: 15
Nice story, that's a good read.

Glad to hear your son picked a classic ride, it's great that you 2 will work on it together!
You should keep trying to convince him about going to HEI! (or at a minimum, Pertronix)

BA. is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-07-2015, 06:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Lewisburg, Ohio
Posts: 2,909
Welcome, Enjoy your project. HEI and later alternator to do away with the external regulator are 2 of the best up grades you can do for reliability.
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