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Bubble Top Barn Find: 1960 Chevrolet Impala

Got some time on your hands and some mud clothes to put on? Then this 1960 Chevy Impala might be a good clean-up project for you. It’ll take you a hard weekend to uncover the car from its current state of griminess, and then you’ll have more work to do, but if you’ve been wanting a car with jet-age styling, this one is waiting. It’s just begun its journey here on eBay with bids in the $2,800 range. You could end the mystery by ponying up the asking price of $21,500, or bid less and hope you’re the last person standing. Then get yourself to Morgantown, PA, and collect your winnings.

The Impala was released to the public in 1958, a full-sized offering. The car immediately entered its second generation in model year two, 1959, as was the way when “planned obsolescence” was not something manufacturers were embarrassed to practice. Despite the size, the car was not necessarily a speed demon, as models like the one for sale lodged six-cylinder engines under their hoods. This one is a 235-CID inline-six rated under 150-hp. It’s backed up by a less-than-fun three-speed manual gearbox, shifted on the column. On the bright side, the engine ran when the car was stored four decades ago. Is that an encouragement?

This one. Yeah, that reminds us—there’s as much sizzle as steak being sold in this deal. The car is presented as an authentic barn find, patina fully intact. And looking at the coating of gunk on every exterior surface, that’s pretty much a slam-dunk to authenticate. But what will you have when you take a hose to this thing?

A handsome body style, and a bunch of rust repair in the offing. There’s “rust, body filler, dings and dents” according to the listing. And it’s not surface rust, but “invasive rust in most areas of the lower body panels.” Someone has partially installed half a quarter panel on one side. Oh Lord, can this get worse? Sure. Look at the interior, which is shredded, or, as the seller says, “the shambles of what once was a black interior.” The door panels are gone, but likely easy to replace. The radio—absent. Other parts and trim are in decrepit condition. As with the exterior, you’re being asked to buy what will later be there, once you’ve spent more than this car is worth to get it that way. This one is a project, the extent of which will only be clear once the mud, and the romance, are wiped away.


  1. Avatar photo Harvey Member

    When selling something I would seem to be a good idea to make it as presentable as possible.

    Like 47
    • Avatar photo V

      i think he might be hoping someone will buy it and shoot a coat of clear on it to give it a shine. this way only the glass needs washing…

      Like 3
    • Avatar photo Rick

      And dropping the price about $20K might help.

      Like 10
  2. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    Welcome to an opening edition of Crusty Ramblings,,,( hmm, so far, so good),,
    While Harvey makes an obvious point, to us, the irony is, the seller is banking on the fact, a dirty, haggard, what one might expect to see classic, is the appeal, not the neat 1960 Chevy Impala beneath it. Some may think, an Impala with a 6? Oh yeah, while the V8 got all the thunder, a huge portion of the buying public grew up with 6 cylinders, and would have nothing but. Performance was obviously, not an issue. The 235 was the “standard” motor offered. I can’t find a breakdown of engines ordered, but over 500,000 Impalas were made in 1960, a good portion, I’m sure had 6 cylinders. “Ramblings” aside, we can all agree, cars like this don’t have a prayer in the future for any price.
    How’d I do? WOW, the offers are POURING in,,,JAY LENO!!! :)

    Like 20
    • Avatar photo Big_Fun Member

      Crusty Ramblings, or Rusty Crumblings?

      Like 15
    • Avatar photo 370zpp Member

      “Crusty Ramblings”. Wasn’t that the title of an early Dylan album?

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo Howard A Member

        Can’t find any.

        Like 0
      • Avatar photo Big C

        I think that one was “Crusty Mumblings.”

        Like 1
    • Avatar photo Howard A Member

      Newsflash!!!,,I just sold the rights for “Crusty Ramblings” to an entertainment consortium in Hollywood for $14 MILLION DOLLARS,,,who’s stupid now, eh?
      Nah, that probably won’t happen, although I bet it has,, but if it did, here’s what I’d do. 50 of my BarnFind friends,( even “Dave”) could have any car of their choice,, $50grand limit. No cash deals, and if you can’t find a classic for $50grand, no deal. That’s $2.5 mil, and plenty left over for me and Scotty to have some fun. BTW, not the ’66 Grand Prix,,,that one is mine, (POOF, cartoon dream cloud vanishes)

      Like 6
      • Avatar photo CCFisher

        Sorry, Howard. I had that trademarked long before I posted it.

        Like 2
      • Avatar photo Gray Wolf

        That’s my name! How dare you!! Ha,ha! I’ll stick with Gray Wolf!!

        Like 0
  3. Avatar photo misterlou Member

    Somewhere, a sponge and a bucket are holding their breath.

    Like 25
  4. Avatar photo Gsuffa Member

    Yes, wash the damn thing and let’s see what we have.

    Like 21
  5. Avatar photo Rex Kahrs Member

    Yes, it’s filthy and trashed, but it’s only 21,500.

    Like 31
  6. Avatar photo gaspumpchas

    I can see a shot or 2 of this crusty stovebolt, then pressure wash it to show what the car is really like. Unless it will look worse when cleaned off. SMFH.
    If the car was decent, I still think thats too much coin at 21.5 large. When done this is a beauty, drop in a 283 4 speed and go! Good luck.

    Like 5
  7. Avatar photo JimmyJ

    i woulda took the $2950 and ran
    what a POS 21.5k must be a joke?

    Like 16
  8. Avatar photo Joe Haska

    I am not sure it might already been washed of,and this is whats left.

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo Howard A Member

      Ha! Good one, Joe. You know, power washers have their limits too. Gonna need the “Binford 9000” for this. Speaking of which, I have a friend( yeah, I do) that was a truck driver , now a dispatcher, for a trucking company that had to have the best of everything. They had a “Binford 9000” power washer, it took the paint off the plastic bumpers,,,

      Like 11
  9. Avatar photo normadesmond

    At first glance made me think of a certain ’57 Belvedere from Tulsa.

    Like 17
  10. Avatar photo Bill W.

    Some years back, I traded one better than this for a rebuilt 350 engine and thought I got a deal.
    Talk about undesirable, rusty, 6 cyl, stick. Take the current bid and run, run far, far away.
    BTW, I don’t think this model was considered a bubble top. I may be wrong, but I think the first bubble top was in 61.

    Like 12
    • Avatar photo Thomas Handzik Member

      Are people crazy!!???

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo Howard A Member

        See “Crusty Ramblings”,,

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo Kevin Kendall

        No,just suffering from Mecumitis or Barrett-Jackson Syndrome

        Like 0
    • Avatar photo T. Mann Member

      No, the First Bubble Top year is 1959.
      We all know that.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo T. Mann Member

        1959 was the LAST year Bubble Top

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo Joe Bru

        not true, if you look close at side of a 61 2 door hardtop, the rear glass is bubbled out a bit at the top, not a smooth curve down off the metal. I owned both a 60 & a 61 back in the day & folks noticed the difference on the 61 & would call it a Bubbletop. In 57 Mopar did the rounded top thing on their 2 dr h-top’s similar to the 59 & 60 Impala 2 dr Ht’s & ford did same on the 60 Starliner, none of these cars were called Bubbletops back then.

        Like 1
    • Avatar photo Camaro guy

      You’re absolutely right Bill the bubble top name wasn’t coined until 1961, for Impala, and the other GM makes Pontiac, Buick, etc.the top was probably made most famous on the 62 Bel-Aire in drag racing, and nascar, etc.

      Like 2
    • Avatar photo Hugh Johns

      You’re correct on the bubble top🎩

      Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Marcos Navarrete

    I wonder how much the photo shoot cost is that added into the value of the dust

    Like 0
  12. Avatar photo DEAN JARVIS

    It’s always good to see the dirt hiding something

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Little_Cars Member

      Hiding something, or HOLDING something?

      Like 0
  13. Avatar photo John M Stecz

    It might not withstand a pressure wash !

    Like 10
  14. Avatar photo RalphP

    Looks like bidding closed with no takers – good thing.

    Like 1
  15. Avatar photo OldsMan

    If I had to choose between this car and the clean running 66 Chrysler 300 440 … currently at $7200…( in today’s BF).. I’m picking the Chrysler 10 times out 10

    Like 5
  16. Avatar photo Bj

    Looks like it was found under a barn

    Like 4
  17. Avatar photo Mark

    I’d say that unless you’re part of the road crew in a remake of Cool Hand Luke
    all that dirt is useless……

    Like 3
  18. Avatar photo Robert E Garrett Member

    Too bad it had to get to this. It should have gone to the junk yard years ago. This was a great car when new and I drooled all over it when it came out.

    Like 0
  19. Avatar photo gaspumpchas

    What we got here….is failure to communicate.

    You might be right, Mark!

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo CaCarDude

      I would just love to watch Lucille wash this dirty old Impala! Washing it off here boss…

      Like 2
  20. Avatar photo Jack Quantrill

    Interesting to see one of these in “ as found” condition. Like finding King Tut’s tomb!

    Like 1
  21. Avatar photo Dr Ron

    That’s the most expensive boat anchor I’ve ever seen!

    Like 1
  22. Avatar photo Carbob Member

    OldsMan: my thoughts exactly. I’m for the Chrysler!! BTW I believe the seller is a consignment dealer. The asking price is ludicrous. If you had something to work with I personally would be OK with the six cylinder and three on the tree. But that’s not the case here. Hey Howard glad you’re keeping it Crusty. You should check with the seller and offer to use this one as your logo. LOL.

    Like 1
  23. Avatar photo Brad

    My cars start to look close to this in a couple weeks of dirt road driving and scattered rain. Even if I don’t use them other traffic going past can be worse. It drives me crazy trying to keep up 3 vehicles.

    Like 1
  24. Avatar photo Dana Humbert

    This is 15 minutes up the road from me. Maybe I will take a ride with 3 grand cash in my pocket and see if they bite. Hasn’t run in 40 years? 21k? I hope they are growing whatever it is they are smoking. If it’s been a Pa car all it’s life, and was EVER driven on the roads in winter, the rust may be extraordinary. Maybe the dirt is what is holding it together.

    Like 1
  25. Avatar photo Robt

    Ha ha, $21,500.
    Auction ended, bidding didn’t even reach 3k. What a mess.
    In the late 80’s/ early 90’s I had the same basic thing but a 4 door BelAir. Straight 6, 3 on the tree. Great car, bought it for $500. cause front passenger fender was bent up, which was fine by me.
    No speed demon by any stretch but with the 3spd you could push it hard with the motor in it’s power band. Served me fine for a few years. And with all those doors you could really load it up with friends, etc.
    Who wouldn’t want to cruise around with those big old wings?

    Like 2
  26. Avatar photo Brian K Staff

    They were selling a story, romance, but you guys are too smart for that, as were the buyers. Maybe a wash and buff and we’ll see it again. Tipsters, please be on your toes and get this one next time it appears in an ad somewhere.

    Like 0
  27. Avatar photo Jay McCarthy

    $21,500? Really

    Like 1
  28. Avatar photo Sal

    Man that car is a beauty

    Like 0
  29. Avatar photo KennyBoy

    To me it looks like a car that been in a flood .. from top to bottom

    Like 0
  30. Avatar photo Pete

    Yeah there is 500 lbs of dirt on that thing. You would have to wash it before you drug it up on a trailer just so you wouldn’t exceed your weight limit. That price, can you say shill bidders? I was trying to buy a 68 Lemans Vert. I realized I was bidding against the owner who had a friend list it for him. I backed off and he had to relist it a month later. He tried it again the next time I fell asleep before the auction ended. Guy beat me out by a 100 bucks. 2 days later he calls me and says the buyer couldn’t get a loan to buy the car. Do I still want it? Yeah I want it but I just bought a 69 Chevelle Vert. Maybe I will buy it next spring. LOL. People just trying to be slick. I have no problem with someone trying to make money. But trying to make all the profit when you still have to resto the thing. Yeah No.

    Like 1

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