Chevy had its Impala in its lineup for quite some time, but the original models date back to 1959. At the time, General Motors redesigned the Impala to look more like other models and then gave it a line of its own.
One particular unit underwent a detailed and comprehensive restoration some ten years ago which largely restored its original appearance, albeit with some interior modifications, thanks to many custom made parts. Read on to find out just how personalized this 1959 Chevy Impala can be.
A fairly complete restoration has been carried out on this Impala
This particular Impala has undergone a very detailed and comprehensive facelift performed in several places over the past few years. Admittedly, it was already kept in very good condition when it was purchased in 2010, and many features and options were still present in factory condition. This included air conditioning, power windows, power steering, power top and power brakes.
However, the owners decided that a restoration was still needed despite all these intact options. Consequently, the Impala was shipped to Steve Cooley Motor in Homosassa, Florida for an extensive two-year restoration that was completed in 2012. This facility was air-conditioned to ensure no heat or weather damage. cold weather would affect the restoration.
Alabama Graves Plating Co. took care of all chrome items, including finishing and casting, while the bodywork was finished with DuPont products that were period accurate, including Inca Silver paint. That said, new components have also been added, such as hydraulics. To top it off, the car was painted in semi-gloss black. The restoration was so detailed that the entire frame had to be removed.
Showing on the customized 1950 Chevy Impala exterior
The exterior has been redone to strongly resemble the vehicle’s original appearance. Items that were not left intact have been replaced with vintage parts in superior condition. Diamondback 215/65R15 whitewall radial tires with custom replica 15×8-inch machined-aluminum wheels were part of the exterior restoration, as was a handmade convertible top, which used Mercedes-Benz materials Sonnenland under construction.
Granted, the exterior body and chassis were deliberately avoided during the retrofit portion of the restoration process to preserve the Impala’s original look as much as possible. Therefore, no changes were made during this restore step.
This Impala Convertible Custom Gets Lots Of Powertrain Mods
However, the restoration does not stop there. Under the hood, many alterations and modifications have also been made to the engine and the interior, even to a greater degree than the exterior. To improve stability without sacrificing ride quality, custom coil springs from Coil Spring Specialties and RideTech adjustable shocks were incorporated into the restoration.
Coil springs also ensured the car had the correct ride height, and front and rear stabilizer bars were added as well. Additionally, Wilwood Engineering four-wheel disc brakes helped improve the braking system, with a repainted master cylinder tucked into the engine bay, along with custom brake lines that match factory specs.
The steering also got a few custom upgrades including a Saginaw 600 series power steering gearbox which also had custom designed original style hoses and a period correct pump. On the fuel side, many features were custom including a stock mechanical fuel pump fitted to the engine, custom machined factory fuel injection emblems, custom fuel cap and fuel lines. custom fuel. The Holley EFI electronics are responsible for controlling the fuel injection and ignition system, and the electrical system has a Maxi fuse fitted to ensure the system as a whole is properly protected.
The American four-core radiator is also a custom creation designed to fit its given space, and a custom-built Hughes Performance torque converter provides power to the factory differential from the engine. The interior retained its silver appearance, with the gauges working as original and calibrated to remain accurate. The power seat frames have been completely restored and even the floors have been finished to match their original look.
A Brief About the Chevy Impala
The Impala brand started life as a spin-off from one of Chevrolet’s other models. It was even exported to other countries. In 1959, General Motors, Chevrolet’s parent company, had the Impala’s body redesigned, so that it would be identical to those used by low-end Buicks, Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs.
This was combined with an X-Frame chassis, but with some minor changes, such as a lower roofline, longer wheelbase, increased curb weight and wider bodywork. As a result, the Impala then drifted into its lineup, and that was its series. The Impala was offered in sedan, coupe and convertible styles, each with their distinctive attributes.
The base engine was a 4.6 L V8 that could develop 185 HP. An optional engine was a more powerful 5.7L V8 that could produce 335 hp. These Impalas debuted the new six-way power seat option, and they also had a needle that could be set to a particular speed called “Speedminder”.
Cruise control also debuted among the options, and some exports saw the design modified to be right-hand drive cars for places like New Zealand, Australia and South Africa that drive on the left side of the road.