1965 Impala tall person challenge - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 05:58 AM Thread Starter
 
 
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Question 1965 Impala tall person challenge

Hi All,

I am keen on purchasing a 1965 impala coupe but have run into somewhat of a challenge....

I am 6'6" and after sitting in one (and a 1960 coupe as well) I have discovered these cars were not built for the likes of me...Ideally I need about two inches more of headroom and 2 of legroom also... Although could get away with 1 more either way.

I still WANT one though so...

Does anyone know if the buckets are lower or can go further back than the front bench seat?
Does anyone know of anyone who has lowered or moved the standard bench or bucket seats?
Does anyone know of anyone who has had aftermarket or custom seats fitted to suit a taller person?
Is there a smaller steering wheel or tilt column option available?
Can anyone offer some helpful hints or advice...or put me in contact with someone?

Kind regards
Rob
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 09:36 AM
 
 
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Are you wanting to keep it stock/near stock in appearance? I'm about 6'2" with a bench seat in a 1964 impala, and I had to slide the bench as far back as I could to get in and out comfortably.

If you're not going to keep it stock, then sure, swap in an aftermarket column (I always recommend the safety ones that have a collapsible portion to them to keep you from being injured in a crash), smaller steering wheel, and if you feel the need for it, lower brackets for an aftermarket bucket seat.

If you intend to keep it stock...Dave would know better than me.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 09:48 AM
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I have a bench seat in my 67.
I bought some flat angle iron with holes, cut 4 pieces of them to about 5-6 inches each.
Took seat and attached the straps with nuts and bolts, and then mounted that to original spot in the floor.
It moved the seat back about 2 inches. I'm 6'2" , one of the best mods I've done.

Its my version of seat track SEAT TRACK EXTENDERS.

Will
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 10:07 AM
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I'm also 6'6" tall and I drove my mom's 1968 Caprice frequently enough. It had tons of room compared to my 1967, and my '68 Camaros and my many 1969, '70, and '71 model year Nova's; or my 1972 Camaro for that matter which I hardly drove as it was the worst to try and fit inside of.

I haven't gotten any taller but I have put on weight over the decades as a result I now drive a pick-up truck to find the comfort of room. I was still able to recently fit into my 1989 and 1985 B-bodies by ducking my head but their being Chevelle sized cars didn't help.

Aside from not being able to see stop lights or anything above 8 feet off the ground I think you will enjoy driving your 1966 without any mods.

Big Dave
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 12:49 PM
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I'm 6'7". Have driven my 65 Impala for over 15 years, and GM RWD vehicles for 25. I fit fine. While my 65 is a convertible, there is no issue of headroom in any of my others (71, 81, and a bunch of late 80s/90s). I find that the 65 is the second best for legroom, only bested by the 71.

Two doors, four doors, wagons, and ragtops.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-05-2014, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
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Thanks Will.....I've got a metal fabrication guy who can probably come up with something similar. Just have to be a little careful because any seat mods require engineer inspection and compliance sign-off before issuing a safety cert for the car.... (Here in New Zealand, anyway)

And Jason, the 66 I Sat in was a 4 door.... So maybe the 65 coupe is a little better....Here's hoping... I may just have to take a couple of days off to go down and visit the guy that's selling it, and see it up close and personal, on spec so to speak.

Thanks Dave, also...you might be right... i got a little worried because the two i did sit in were horribly small. Another question.. Tho... I am 280lbs also.... are these stock seats strong enough?

Obviously I would like to keep it stock... but to me having one is better than not having one... so ... will have to see.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 06:31 AM
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Hey Rob, I've got a 66 impala SS Coupe and I'm 6'4" tall. Not that far off your 6'6". I have no difficulty sitting in, getting into or out of my Impala. The SS does have bucket seats and not a bench. They don't appear to be that high, so maybe that's the difference. Just go for it, you'll enjoy the ride.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 08:43 AM
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Rob,

I don't have tilt steering on mine, so when getting in, I put my butt on the seat first and then swing legs in and under steering wheel.
I would do any changes after you get your safety cert.

I'll take pictures of the mod and send to you.

Will
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-06-2014, 08:49 AM
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I was 280 pounds back when I was driving my mom's car; though at that time I was bench pressing 420 and curling 380 pounds. I still had less that two percent body fat thanks to having run cross country and played foot ball in high school, and college.

Big Dave
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