Hi All, Likely Buying a 1963 SS tomorrow, Advice - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Hi All, Likely Buying a 1963 SS tomorrow, Advice

Hi All,

I am new to the Impala scene. My son and I are going to look at a 1963 Impala 2 door coupe tomorrow and I wanted to ask if there are any particular problems areas that I should look out for? Also looking at the VIN this car comes up as an SS model, there is no trim or badges on the car so to look at it from the outside you would never know for sure. Are there other tell tale signs of an SS? What does an SS in this year even offer besides trim?

Here are a few images. Can we tell if it's an SS from the pics? Also what should I be paying for this sort of ride? It has a 350/TH350 (I know not original) and seller says body is super straight and paint is very nice. There are two holes in the passenger and drivers floor but besides that he says no rust. If all that checks out what do ya'll think?

Thanks in advance!!!






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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 12:24 PM
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You can quickly decode the cowl tag on your phone using this:

http://impalas.org/numbers/#vehicle

Use a fridge magnet in the obvious places (behind the front and rear tires, truck, etc.) to check for hidden rust. Obviously drive it. Price? Not sure - maybe someone else can chime in on that. If it's the one, you'll know it.

Happy hunting.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 12:40 PM
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Welcome to the Team Jeremy!

Price varies by where you are located in the country, so I can not comment on value. As mentioned new paint can hide a lot of rust which is the bane of a car over a half century old (when I was kid buying old cars it wasn't the Tin coated steel that was the issue but the wooden frame that held the body upright. Termites and wood rot reduced most tin lizzies to leaning piles of sheet metal.

The SS is a body style (sport Coupe) that was different from the other car bodies. It did have a lot of chrome bling as well on the outside of the car and in, but aside from the bucket seats and a rear eat speaker the SS is just a car. No performance advantage as it could be ordered with a six cylinder engine. To make a hot rod out of it you need to find the heavy duty parts that were used on a police car or a station wagon, then add the power train of your choice. So if your VIN says it is an SS and you have a two door sport coupe body it is a true SS.

In the sixties cars were designed to last only seven years, No factory undercoating or anti rust corrosion control (like the former bee's wax Z-Bart protection, or zinc-chromate paint used in the aircraft industry). So body rust is critical. It has to be cut out with new metal replacing the bad, not covered in body filler and painted. This is where the refrigerator comes in. It won't stick to plastic covered body panels.

Big Dave
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 02:32 PM
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At a quick glance, no Bucket Seats and an Auto Column Shifter. Both say not an SS. It would be hard to believe that someone would go through all that trouble to make an Impala out of an Impala SS but the real way, as mentioned above, is by the Cowl Tag, as long as it is the original.

My best guess would be not an original SS.

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

Member:

-National Impala Association
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Last edited by 62BillT; 05-24-2019 at 02:57 PM.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 03:40 PM
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We have a member that sells Trim Tags with any info you want stamped upon it . Another sells "original" window tags, once again stating any options on the window sticker that you want. This is perfectly legal.

What is highly illegal and will get you some quality time in a federal court is attempting to remove or modify a Vehicle Identification Number tag. Is it an SS. I haven't actually looked at the photos yet but a Sport Coupe body that the SS is built upon has a unique roof line. It is a different body style from the sedan, coupe, convertible, or wagon. Looking I would call that an SS.

Here is an original Chevy picture of a 1953 Impala body:

https://www.complex.com/sports/2012/...et-impala/1963

Aside from color looks like a match to me. It is basically a convertible car with a steel roof replacing the cloth one. It has a Convertible rear seat with a speaker in it (which a Convertible has because it doesn't have a rear deck lid to mount speakers because some fool folded a cloth top into the trunk at the rear deck. An SS has bucket seats (the principle reason for the car's appeal). Bucket seats are so popular that a previous owner probably sold the buckets to get a bench seat.

I am sure there exist a long laundry list of options that appear only on the SS, but I am not that familiar with an X-body SS car.

Big Dave
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Well we bought it. The VIN plate and trim tag look legit and the body is perfect!!! There are two small rust spots on the floor that I’ll deal with at some point but over all it’s a super solid starter project. I took a magnet to the whole car and couldn’t find any problem areas. Underside was pretty clean as well. Overall SS or not we are stoked on our new ride!!!
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 08:25 PM
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I'm sure you are going to enjoy it for years. There is a lot of info on line that has digitized (scanned) copies of original sales brochures, and specfications on your car. There are reproduction owner's manuals if your glove box doesn't have one in it that will be helpful as well.

You can look at the different trim levels offered (standard and deluxe) to build your car to. I am pretty sure you are going to be looking for a set of bucket seats to replace what where sold out of your car at some time; and possibly a console. I think they are reproduced now though I'm not sure. I'm sure that they will be eventually, as his body style becomes more popular, following in the foot steps of the Tri-Fives, Camaro, Rustang, and Dodge Charger that are fully reproduced today.

Big Dave
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 09:09 PM
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Nice!!!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 10:01 PM
 
 
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Hello sorry for the late input about your purchase. Overall car looks nice and clean. However I do believe you have a non SS. Someone touched base earlier on it with the bench seat and column shifter. What else I have noticed is that he trim on the dash has the horizontal lines not the swirl engine turned inserts. The rear cove where the brake lights would also have this type of trim swirl instead of a stainless steel look. The car appears to have a 64 steering wheel on it as well. If you haven’t already looked at the rear box braces those are notorious for rusting our. They are located behind the rear wheel where a bolt holds down the body. Also when you get around to pulling the carpet, a true SS would have floor braces for the bucket seats a standard sport coupe would just have holes in the floor for the bench to be bolted into. Lastly there should be a hole in the center hump to accommodate the floor shifter both standard and automatic and there should also be mounting brackets for he center counsel. I hope this info helps. Let me know if you want to see pictures of a SS floor.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 10:06 PM
 
 
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Also your padded dash doesn’t have a hole for the dash speaker looks to be a custom cover. Someone mentioned earlier hat he SS has a different body style but that’s untrue all 2 doors sport coups and convertibles had identical bodies. All impalas had rear speakers in the seats. I don’t think you have a convertible back seat fit to they are not as wide as a hardtop.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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Hey All,

Thanks for the input on our purchase, I have learned a lot in the last couple of weeks. So to clear things up, as most of you already knew, this is not an SS car. I was confused by the VIN spec where several models are listed, 2 door coupe, 2 door sport coupe, convertible, wagon... My VIN decodes to a 2 door sport coupe which I assumed compared to a "2 door coupe" was an SS. If I understand correctly an SS is simply a trim package which would be identified on the trim tag. Looking at mine, it's not an SS. That said, this car is actually for my 10 year old son, he picked it and he paid for half of it with his savings. It does not run but the body is pretty straight so we have about 6 years to make it a bad *** ride!!!
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 09:32 PM
 
 
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Nice looking car, congrats.
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