1 GM Employee Owner, 14,534 Miles!

It’s pretty hard to argue about the condition of this one owner, 14,534 mile 1976 Chevrolet Impala Custom. Frankly, the car is one of the nicest looking survivors I’ve ever seen for sale on eBay. But what I’m wondering about is the desirability of the car in the first place. How many enthusiasts are there for cars of this type? I’m hoping Barn Finds readers will answer that one in the comments for this post. To examine the car more thoroughly, take a look at where it’s listed for sale here on eBay. It’s up to over $17,000 so far and has met the reserve!

Woodbury, New Jersey is the unlikely home for this rust free wonder. We’re told that apart from the broker/flipper, the car had one GM employee owner from new. It’s been garage kept (obviously, once you look the pictures over) and “runs and drives 100%”, whatever that means. Would 90% mean it breaks down one out of every ten trips?

The grin of this Impala is a little menacing. With 222.9 inches of car weighing 4,310 pounds, there’s beef to back that grin up. Note the nice and shiny chrome as well!

Although it’s plain vinyl as you might expect, the interior looks brand new, and the seller tells us the carpets have been covered since it left the showroom. Brownie points for using floor mats? I think there’s just a little bit of hype there, but nonetheless the condition of the interior is really, really good.

This shot puzzled me a bit. I have been trying to decide if this is decent rattle-can work or if the underside really is that clean. I ended up on the rattle-can side, but I could easily be swayed by your opinion. Regardless, it’s very clean and shows absolutely no signs of being exposed to salt on the roads.

One item that regularly lets down older survivor cars is the yellowing of underhood plastic reservoirs. Here, again, we have a dichotomy–the windshield fluid tank looks brand new and white, while the radiator overflow one has yellowed with age. Still, this is a very presentable engine compartment and I’d be proud to open the hood at a show. Before I bid, though, I’d be asking questions like does the air conditioning work, and what documentation is included. The Impala is obviously in great condition, but is it a great car for you? Let’s talk!

Fast Finds


  1. mark

    It is either a 1 owner car or it is not. If it was sold by the original owner to someone else (flipping it or not), it is no longer a 1 owner car. Just a minor annoyance of mine with these ads.

    • Dave mclathery

      I know where your coming from as far as a fliping “a one owner” , but when someone is fliping they arnt driving it just fliping.
      Tell me whats the differance between a car dealer takes in a “one owner” and he sells it as a one owner, verse a flipper, same differance!!!

  2. richard mitchell

    this Impala body style is known as a “Glass House” and quite desireable in the major urban cities across america.one in this condition is easily worth more than the current bid price.

  3. al8apex

    this is a huge land yacht

    Will “drive” as such

    for that price I’d rather have a “luxury” version, i.e. a Electra 225, Olds 98 or a Cadillac for the same or less money

    sweaty vinyl seats and hand crank windows will get old real fast

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Agreed, but…. I prefer the crank windows (less problems) and I would certainly be looking around for B or C body seats out of a Buick, Olds, etc…..
      My ’90 Brougham has leather seats and I hate them. It only has a little over 35k on the clock so I deal with it.

    • Wayne

      Please find me a one of those luxury cars you mentioned with this low miles for the same price….. Please hurry. I’ll wait.

  4. Warren

    17K already? What do you end up with? I guess to each their own…..

  5. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    My parents had this same car and while it was a very comfortable ride, the gas mileage was horrendous. I hope the new owner is not plagued with one leaking seal after another if they actually start putting miles on it.

    • Jerry HW Brentnell

      I had the misfortune to end up with one of these things to pay money owed me! it had a 307 v8 a gutless wonder! worst and last gm this boy would ever own! gave it to a church to haul kids to sunday school! good riddance to the heap!

      • Eric

        Jerry, you didn’t have a 76 with a 307 in it, if you did someone put it in as a 350 was the smallest engine you could get.

    • Wayne

      You act like who ever buys this is looking for a daily driver. Clearly it is not.

  6. Philip

    Isn’t this the same car that sold for $13K at the end of May. Am I the only one who’s tired of flippers?

    • Steve R

      There isn’t anything inherently wrong with flippers. It’s the lying employed as a sales tactic by many that is the problem.

      Steve R

      • Philip

        Fair enough.

      • Dave Wright

        That trait is not isolated to flippers either.

      • KEN TILLY Member

        Hi Steve R.

        Let me assure you that the selling public is just as bad, if not worse, than the flippers. You won’t believe some of the stories that I have heard that upon investigation have proven to be downright lies! I ALWAYS made a point of describing the FAULTS that I knew about so that the customer knew exactly what was needed to be fixed before they parted with any cash. The only thing I needed was for the buyer to come back to buy another vehicle when needed, and I had many of them.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Philip, it’s not so much the flippers, this person came up with the $13g’s, and wants to make a couple grand. Not too much different than someone buying a case of Coke on sale for $6 bucks, and selling them for a buck ( or more) a can. My problem is, these nice cars keep getting passed around, and no one really gets to enjoy them, and by the time 2 or 3 flippers get their share,( I’d bet the 1st time we saw this car, it was flipped, someone probably paid 5 grand for it initially at an estate sale) the cost is beyond the means of someone that would enjoy it.

  7. Blyndgesser

    Much cleaner looking than the ones with the vinyl roof. But yeah, other than being the last of the super-sized Chevys, I don’t see the appeal.

  8. Ed P

    The rear side windows ruins the look on this car. It looks like a hole to see thru with no style.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Yep…needs a vinyl Landau or full roof treatment covering those sail panel windows, with interior panels. I’d live with the blind spots. It needs a size larger tires also.

  9. Mike

    So a GM employee only drove it 14k miles in all that time? Maybe the low miles is because he knew how it was put together and the people who did it during the malaise era. He wasn’t taking any chances.

    • RayT Member

      Lots of “gaposis” around doors, hood and trunk, which IIRC was par for the course on a lot of Detroit cars in those days. And I agree with Jamie that the flipper employed rattle-can detailing on the underside, and perhaps the firewall as well.

      Probably a (mostly) well-preserved original, though it wouldn’t surprise me if the actual mileage is much higher.

      I wouldn’t drive it much if it were mine. Wouldn’t pay $17K for it, either.

  10. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Oops, folks, Scotty had written this one up a month ago! My bad!

    • RayT Member

      At least you caught it, Jamie! Just imagine the abuse you would have had to endure if one of the Eagle Eyes in the audience discovered the repeat performance first….

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        Actually, Scotty was kind enough to politely let me know. :-)

  11. AndrewM

    Glass-house Chevy? Black interior? 2-door? One of those great cars that was lovingly preserved so that everyone could apparently malign it. Sad really. I personally love this vehicle.

  12. George

    So it is a low mileage clean car, I would have a hard time parting with $10K (I’d say $6 but I don’t want to hear the howling)particularly as al8 says there are nice Caddies, et. al around for the same asking price, I saw a completely knock-out ground-up 1957 Lincoln Convertible for an unbelievable $17K Even though I live in rainy wintered Oregon I would sna that up in a N.Y.minute had I the jack. I would hate to be the owner of this @$16K which I had tossed in as the ticket price to ride and this discovered the Lincoln as this at $10K on a fast sell might not be that fast

  13. Ken Carney

    I wouldn’t buy it for two reasons: it’s over priced, and second, I have a
    family and need two more doors. And third, why buy it if you aren’t
    even going to drive it? Myself, I’d rather buy a not so nice restovivor
    and get some enjoyment for my hard earned money.

    • Eric

      Your family can’t tilt a seat? You won’t find a 4 door car made today with more room than this 2 door

  14. Adam T45 Staff

    This car rings alarm bells with me. I know that GM were lacking in quality control during this era, but i really find some of the panel gaps quite inconsistent and disturbing. Added to this, it appears in the photos that the rear half of the car (quarter panels, etc.) are a different colour (Aussie spelling) to the rest of the car. Me thinks she’s been hit at some stage.

    • Blyndgesser

      GM paint, typical for the era, especially two colors–silver and “firethorn.”

      • Ed P

        Silver and gray seemed to fail badly in this era. A guy at work had a light and dark gray Chevy van. By the time it was 5 years old, it was heading back for its’ 2nd repaint.

      • Howard A Member

        I worked for an auto body supply and paint outfit in the 70’s. GM was known for it’s “base coat-top coat” paint jobs. ( actually all cars had pretty shoddy paint jobs then)

    • Wayne

      Doesn’t look like it was hit at all. Is just the typical old school body panel gap.

  15. Blyndgesser

    Check the bidding history. The recently cancelled $60,000 bid? I smell a shill.

    • Wayne

      I was just looking for the bid you mentioned, and don’t see it. But this did sell for 17.4k.

      • Adam T45 Staff

        It was ended by the seller at $17,400 and has now been relisted. Does anyone smell a rat?

      • Blyndgesser

        Click on “show automatic bids”

  16. Wayne

    Definitely not the most sought after car from that era, but still an amazingly preserved car. Looks great, and will be a nice piece for someone to add to thier collection. Low miles and beautiful. Everyone else that mentioned they would buy something else with 17k, post a link. I would most certainly be willing to bet it will need work, not have as low of miles, and look as nice inside, outside, and underneath. Thank you all for your entering posts. I needed a good laugh today.

  17. RoselandPete

    I think it’s a nice car but not $17k nice for a car that’s not even a Caprice.


    Wife had a ’75 Caprice Classic with a 400 cu. It was slow and burned gas like a school bus. The Impala is not quite as fancy but I don’t think it’s worth 17k even in this condition with the low miles.

  19. Paul

    If anybody thinks these cars were not well built maybe they should buy one of the Pinto’s that came across the BF lately. I have first hand experience on the poor quality of that plant! I like ford and lots of ford cars. However most were lower quality then the GM cars of that time.

  20. Martin

    Who would pay 17 for that boat ,maybe one of the brothers .

  21. Rock On Member

    Hi Wayne. Any city with a population of a million or more will have a few low mile luxury cars for sale. For the money spent on this Impala I would prefer to drive this Cadillac. Link is included for you.

  22. Dave

    Another great example of the harm hyped television shows have done to the classis car market.

    Everyone with an old car in decent shape thinks they’re worth thousands.

    If there’s no collector market, it’s just an old car.

    This one will likely end up in the hands of some kid who doesn’t know any better and who will “dress it up” with giant tires and a loud stereo.

    Lots of suspicious aspects in the pictures. The underside shouldn’t be painted. The tank should be galvanized and the straps plain. Whoever painted it didn’t even take the time to hit the brake dust shields.

    There’s a strange mix of old & new under the hood, too.

    Squirting paint all over the bottom certainly removes some of the “original” status.

    While it’s a nice looking relic, it’s not anything I would consider a classic or worth that price. Personally, having owned many cars from that era, most obtained for $100 or less, I wouldn’t want it.

  23. Utes

    A welching eBay bidder has necessitated a re-listing.

  24. Utes

    @ Jerry HW Brentnell….

    Your Chevy had a 305.

    Olds’ 307’s weren’t part of Chevrolet’s engine arsenal in ’76.

    • Eric

      305 wasn’t an option in 76, so it either had a 350, 400, or 454.

  25. rando

    My grandfather bought a 75 Impala in 76 or 77 to replace his 64 impala sedan. This https://www.pinterest.com/pin/208291551493311735/ is identical. My mom drove it for a while when one of her cars went belly up. I’d still drive it. This one for sale will go to a lowrider or Donker (Donkey?) Might be ugly when done. I’d about bet on it.

  26. Eric

    I’ve owned quite a few of these cars and to those who say that they got horrible gas mileage they obviously have no clue how to tune a car. My 76 Landau with virtually all of the options available would pull 21mpg if you kept the economy gauge in the green.

    This Impala has a few odd options on it, no tilt string, no cruise, but it has dual mirrors and the 4 speaker radio. The seat belts are off too, I’ve never seen black around the latch part as every one I’ve owned and seen were brushed chrome.

    This will probably be sold to a lowrider, they are about the only ones who appreciate this style.

    • Cory

      People say they didnt get good gas mileage because they didnt have one and they also say old cars are slow dont handle again because they didnt have one or ever drive one..

      OR if they owned one it was a 350,000 mile car that was worn out…

      5 digit odometer after 99,999 it goes to 00,000..

      And some have at the end in a different color a readout for 1/10th of a mile…so 99,999.9 then goes to 00,000.0 .

      • KEN TILLY Member

        Well said and the same goes for the Alfa Romeo naysayers.

  27. Ken Carney

    Of course they can Eric. But since we have family members with disabilities, it just makes sense for us to own 4-doors.
    We also like the extra trunk space they provide to carry wheelchairs, walkers
    and the like.

  28. Ed P

    Right on Eric. Everybody’s needs are not the same.

  29. Rex Kahrs Member

    Do I recall correctly that in 1976, many Novas were mis-aligned due to a factory defect, and thus the damn things looked like they were drifiting head-on into your lane?

    I remember seeing a bunch of those crooked cars, the bodies about 5 degrees off the line of the wheels. Couldn’t believe even then that GM would let those out of the factory.

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