22k Mile Original: 1964 Chevrolet Impala

Chevrolet General Manager Ed Cole once defined the Impala as “a prestige car within the reach of the average American citizen.” From 1958 and for more than 50 years until recently, the Impala would dominate much of Chevy’s production. This 1964 Impala is a basic model, with an inline-six and a three-on-the-tree manual transmission, and is a beautiful survivor with less than 22,000 miles. Offered by a third party here in El Paso, Texas, this Impala is available here on eBay for $20,000 (or you can make an offer).

More than 2.1 million Chevrolets were built in 1964, including 686,000 Impalas. A breakdown by body styles isn’t available, but the family-oriented 4-door sedan was probably the most popular version sold. While the Bel Air was slightly swankier than the Biscayne, the Impala had the division’s highest level of trim. A V8 engine was commonly ordered with the Impala, but the original owner of this sedan went with the basic 230 cubic-inch inline-6 which produced 120 hp. And they opted for a manual tranny over the Powerglide automatic.

We’re told this Impala wears its original black paint and blue interior and – from the look of things — this looks quite probable. There is no mention as to how many owners the car may have had, but at 21,872 miles, it may have been owned by a little old lady from El Paso who only drove it to church on Sundays. The list of options on this car must have been short because it was ordered without a radio and has “dog dish” hub caps. Warranty papers and the owner’s manual are in the glovebox.

To be roadworthy, the buyer is going to need to treat the car to a tune-up and carburetor rebuild since we’re told it’s been sitting for many years. We wish we knew the history of this car and how and where it’s been all this time, but that information isn’t offered. Most of the impalas from ’64 that you see for sale online are 2-door hardtops with V8 engines and can go for more than $30,000. This one won’t command that much money because it has too many doors for some collectors and the car also has too few cylinders.

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Comments

  1. nlpnt

    I wonder if this car was customer-ordered or if it was a dealer’s “own a new IMPALA for only $____” special.

    Like 17
    • Gary

      No, many cars came off the lot like this. Not unusual at all. The Chevy weighs quite a bit for a six, but it still moves along just fine to keep up with traffic. Of course, a 283 made more sense, but as noted, it could be a cost leader to draw in the crowds.

      Like 4
      • Chuck Dickinson

        Perhaps where you live, but it was very unusual to see any 6 cyl Impalas at all. Bel-Airs and Biscaynes, but not Impalas. I would agree with the previous post about it being a loss-leader ad special, rather than something ordered for regular dealer stock. Of course, it could’ve been a customer order. The only option I can see is the heater–not even 2 spd wipers/washers, let alone a radio or side mirror.

        Like 6
  2. Evan

    From memory, a ’64 Bel Air was less than $100 more than a Biscayne. That’s why very few Biscaynes were sold, mostly to cops and cabbies.

    I suspect the upgrade from Bel Air it Impala wasn’t much more than an additional hundred. And then you wouldn’t look like a cheapskate with a two-taillight Chevy.

    Like 4
  3. Chris In Australia

    Minister/Priest/Rabbi special?

    Like 11
  4. dw clausen

    Very nice car! Bought a 63 Impala Sedan about 20 yrs. ago from the original owner. Equipped nearly the same except had full wheel covers and a radio. With the 3 speed trans. it was very responsive. Still had the dealer installed clear plastic seat covers. Lost interest because it wasn’t a V-8. Sold it to an old school hotrodder. He converted it to a 409 with a 4 speed trans. It was a rust free turquoise original paint car.

    Like 5
  5. Howard A Member

    All you see today, are ’64 Chevy 409’s, as if that was the standard choice, but, are you sitting down? This, was grandpas car and probably a great percentage of the cars made were just like this, not smoking tire big block 4 speeds,,GASP, that’s right, you heard me. In the early 60’s, people hadn’t flocked to the suburbs yet, demanding 409’s, most travel, if not all for some, was from one side of town to the other. Cars like this only ventured outside city limits when the kid got it for the night. And not granny either, very, VERY few grandma cars were stick. Manual transmissions were a mans thing, women bought the powerglide. Before you race down to Jeggy for that replacement big block, there was nothing wrong with this setup. The 6 will cruise at 60, no problem, and get 20’s for mileage. I know, crickets on that one. Great find, AS IS!! And a giant middle finger to the current offerings in automobiles, when this was good enough.

    Like 19
    • Dave

      Well…around Pittsburgh the move to the suburbs began after WW2. My house was built in 1955, and there are historical aerial photography maps from pre-war that show woodlands where homes are now. That said, it was common for Dad to drive a “stripper” to work in the mill and, if work was good (the steel strike of 1959 ruined a lot of families!) Mom had “the good car”, oftentimes a B-O-P or Mercury or Plymouth. They bought these cars but with the 283 to get up the hills.
      My father was a bricklayer by trade. He built his home in 1957 (he did all of the work except for plumbing and electrical, as codes required) and paid it off before the strike. He took an course in TV and radio repair during the strike and picked up a few trade-related jobs along the way and we never suffered like some others did. God bless him!

      Like 19
      • Psychofish2

        Correct. The move to the suburbs started after WWII.

        I do agree with Howard on this: Great find, AS IS!! And a giant middle finger to the current offerings in automobiles, when this was good enough.

        Even today, this would be my choice, if I wanted to splurge above a Bel-Air

        Like 3
  6. Vance

    OK, who pissed in Howard’s coffee this morning? Take it easy man, life is too short. I thought maybe you were mad because the floormats were dirty. This car reminds me of the FBI’s vehicles in Mississippi Burning, plain jane.

    Like 5
  7. Abi

    Bottom of the barrel – sedan, 6cyl, manual, no radio, no PS, no PB – if this car was a few years older I’d expect it to be missing the heater too. Add to that the left rear corner and rear bumper pushed in. Those pedals look like more than 20k wear on them. Without serious documentation I’d be weary of the seller’s mileage claim. Worth 1/2 what he’s asking.

  8. Ken Carney

    Great car the way it is– just add Syrius
    XM radio and call it done. Would love to have this one as my MILs house was built
    in ’64. Park it under the carport and boom!
    you’d see what life was like back then. As Howard said, they don’t all have to be big
    block screamers to be special.

    Like 1
  9. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking car. I’ve never seen an Impala 4 door sedan. I’ve seen plenty of Impala and Impala SS 2 doors and convertibles. My aunt and uncle had a 64 Impala 2 door hardtop. But for some reason, I’ve never seen a 4 door.

    Like 1
    • cyclemikey

      That’s just what Howard was talking about. More Impala 4-doors were produced than any other body style, but you’d never know it now. Everyone thinks the production was all coupes and convertibles.

      Like 5
  10. Bob C.

    I found most 4 door Impalas from this era to be hardtops. The post sedans were usually Belairs or Biscaynes. BTW the 230 six should be producing 140 hp. The smaller 194 had 120.

    Like 2
    • cyclemikey

      Not true. Impala post 4-door sedans produced outnumbered the 4-door hardtop style by over 2 to 1. 536,000 to 200,000.

      Like 1
  11. Steve Clinton

    An Impala with a Biscayne greenhouse?

  12. Steve Weiman

    I love cars like this! Bring it Home make a short list of things to bring all of the original components optimal and safe, and hit the road with only a few weekends a wrench turning and cleaning.

    And hit the road indeed!

    I wouldn’t feel guilty driving this old girl as regular transportation every day weather permits. shut your phone off completely and go, The driving experience as it would’ve been in ‘64. No radio, alone with your thoughts, OR actually engaged with your passengers for the trip. And you’ll be paying attention to your actual driving instead of the half a dozen other things we seem to be doing in a car while motoring these days. Taking in the moving scenery too without other distractions.

    Thanking about it, this is exactly the type of vehicle that made me fall in love with the automobile and motoring in the first place. This is the every families transportation piece of the times. Nothing fancy or exciting, just a reliable horse. Nothing exciting about the CAR was happening, but every time I got into one as a kid there was some form of experience: that could be The ever differing view through the window, any journey to anywhere. The excitement of new things and new places the car would take us to, The rituals of church, family events and social time, ball games……

    By ‘64, American auto makers were really hitting that sweet spot with technology with simplicity and comfort while still being connective. The six and three speed will do everything you need to even in 2021. What a great time machine this Impala will be for someone……. :)

    Like 3
  13. Bob S Member

    Most American cars of this era with high trim levels were offered in both hardtop and sedan configurations. I have no idea what the percentage rate would be, but not every car was customer ordered. Dealerships still had plenty of vehicles delivered without being ordered, and yes, they all had high trim levels without being all loaded up. Back then to a lot of folks, every penny mattered. One comment was made about not ordering a heater. That was actually standard fare in the 60’s, but you could order it heater delete to save a few bucks. And one other note, you could order a Chevy SS in 64 with the 6 popper. This car is fantastic for what it is.

    Like 1
    • Bob S Member

      Of one other note, things were a lot different than in the 50’s when new technology was coming out, but you still had folks set in their ways that they didn’t embrace such things as power steering and/or brakes, and automatics. Some still felt they were not safe and/or reliable.

      Like 1
    • Abi

      @bob – I have nothing against the car or the way it was (not) optioned, but my reference is the guy still wants $20k for it.
      If I’m shelling out that much for a car it will be one where I wont get calluses on my hands trying to steer it :)

  14. George Mattar

    In 1981, I inherited my grandmothers 64 Impala two door hardtop. Turquoise in and out. 283 PG. Ps. No radio. Add on air since she lived in Tampa. She bought it new at Ferman Chevrolet. Traded in her 57 full of dents. My dad flew down from NY and drove the 64 home to NE PA where we lived. I was attending PSU at the time at main campus. Got a ride home and wow what a car. Zero rust it grandma dents galore. She was a terrible driver but was 90 when she stopped driving. All original car. I had to replace radiator. Easy job. The carpets were stained so I ordered new carpet from Pete Ciadellla. Another simple task. Drove it everywhere until graduation in 1983. It had 122,000 miles on the 283. It burned oil and was going to need ball joints. All big 60s Chevys ate lower ball joints like candy. I was starting a new job. Someone saw the car parked in town. Had my classic plate run and contacted me. This was all before the stupid Internet. I needed the money and sold a rust free running car with all new exhaust and tires for $1,500. Dumbest thing I ever did. I drove that car back and forth to PSU, 500 mile round trip, and had five passengers, fellow students, and all their luggage. Charged them I think $5 for gas. With just two speeds it ate gas at 70 mph. It never left me sit, was far more reliable than today’s computerized garbage cars and was beautiful and that bench seat was cozy. To find one almost 40 years later in that condition is quite difficult. Miss that car.

    Like 2
  15. Dave

    My father’s quote was “one more thing to go wrong.” His 67 F100 was a 352, manual brakes and steering, and heater. No radio.

    Like 2
  16. Sidejob53 Member

    I learned to drive the same yr but it was Bel Air! No power steering and to learn to parallel park here in the DC area! Boy , that was good times! Nice car! RIP Uncle Daddy Green!

  17. Haynes

    Does anybody seriously think this would be a “cool” car to drive around “as-is”…I understand that the point to having a 60 year old car like this is not to be “cool” but more the satisfaction of having a car from one’s youth that celebrates an era of unprecedented economic stability when the American dream was a healthy reality, when locking your front door was something you did on your way out the door to a good old fashioned driving vacation. Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns…Gettysburg… the works. Hamburgers cost a quarter for Jiminy Cricket’s sake. Gas was almost free. Mom,Dad,cute cousins and football in the front yard. Elvis was still the King. Yep, cute cousins in the front yard! This car can take you there, if only for an hour or two. But for the other twenty some-odd hours this car needs to be a sweet-ass slammed-to-the-floor low rider or your buddies are going to be laughing at you behind your back.

  18. HC

    It’s a clean survivor but overpriced for what it is. I like the 4 door hardtop way better than this sedan version with a six. Looks like a $10-$12 car to me..It took me some time getting in the high $20s for a 2 door Impala HT SS that I restored. Supposedy sold it 3 times in the $30s range on ebay,, but they never panned out into an actual sale

  19. joenywf64

    I don’t think grandma would like 3 on the tree & no power steering or brakes. lol
    Even tho it’s a 4 door, i would think a 350 goes in there soon after sold, rather than “tuning the 6 up”.
    & maybe a 4 speed manual or 700r4.

  20. Eugene W.

    Kudos to the guy who referred to today’s cars as “computerized garbage cans”. To build a new car like this today would cost upward of $20,000. Rock solid engineering and reliability, low cost of replacement parts, and you can work on it yourself. Imagine that.

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