Blank Canvas: 1959 Chevrolet Impala

This 1959 Chevrolet Impala is a blank canvas just waiting for someone to weave their magic on it. With no engine or transmission to worry about and precious little interior trim, the new owner is free to decide whether they want to perform a sympathetic restoration, or whether it is a good base for a street rod. You will find the Impala listed for sale here on eBay. It is located in Independence, Kansas, and is being sold with a Bill of Sale. At the time of writing, bidding had reached $1,725.

This Impala really looks solid. There is some minor rust visible near the wheel arches, but it really appears to be clean. One of the shots indicates there may be some rust in the trunk floor, but it is hard to tell. There are a few dings here and there, the worst of these being in the passenger side front fender near the headlight. All of the trim is present, although some will need restoration or replacing, while it looks like all of the glass is present and in good condition.

The interior of the Impala is also a blank canvas and will need virtually everything. This is one of the areas that opens up the possibilities between a restoration and a street rod project. What this shot does show is just how solid the floors are. There looks to be a couple of small holes visible, but otherwise, they look good. The rear floors, if anything, are better than the front ones.

There’s no engine or transmission to deal with here, so there’s not a lot of point showing you an empty engine bay, so this is the shot of the damage that I was talking about earlier. As you can see, it’s not too bad. There are some odds and ends sitting in the trunk. These include the heater box, the air cleaner, and sill plates.

There are a lot of possibilities with this Impala, and the scope of them is only limited by your imagination. What would you do with it?

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  1. Neil

    When I saw the price i was on the way to get a bank wire. Then i saw the 2nd picture. Sorry 4 doors don’t work for me.
    But i have to say this body style with the rear wings and tail lights will never be surpassed. A simply unbeatable classic design.
    Do 4 doors wreck the whole idea or is it just me?

    • ken TILLY

      4 doors don’t wreck it for me.

    • Dovi65

      4 doors don’t ruin a deal for me; they sweeten the deal. A wagon will have me chomping at the bit!

    • al leonard

      4 doors RULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Big Len

    No Neil, wrecked it for me too.

    • Neil

      Okay maybe I’m thinking crazy but i am a welder as my job. I have the space in my garage and no wife to kick it out.
      Can a 4 door be made a 2 door with some welding?
      I am not looking for resale value as after all the work if possible has anyone done what I am thinking ?
      It’s probably very specific to what my idea is used on but I have always thought these cars are amazing.
      I was made 1972 so these cars pre date me but wow

      • Karguy James

        Some cars like a 1963 Plymouth B-Body, yes. Because the roof and front and rear glass is the same. Just get the longer coupe door and the front quarter panel sections and you are good to go. Cars like this, not without a LOT of work and it will still look awkward.

      • Bob S

        Yes, it can be done. I have seen a couple of 55-57 Chevys turned into 2dr cars, and they were done beautifully. To make it easier, you would need to find the doors and the B pillars out of a 2 dr car. You can extend the front doors, but that would make extra work for you.
        If you get really serious about doing this, I can provide a link to one car that was converted. It was beautifully done.

      • Bob S

        Here is a link to a 57 that was done. There is a lot of discussion stating why he made the decision to use the parts he did. He did state that he could have lengthened the 4 door skin, but it saved a ton of time using the doors from a 2 dr car.


      • dweezilaz

        Bob S: Cold War Motors on You Tube is putting a 60 Plymouth Fury 2 door hardtop body [roof, C pillars, rear fenders, trunk, etc ] on top of a rust free 60 four door Dart. It’s being turned into a 60 Plymouth as the fenders and doors from it have already been fitted to the Dodge body.

        Fascinating play by play showing what is being done to adapt the two to fit

    • Dave Forcey

      Me too. Just a parts car.

    • al leonard

      anyone can find a 2 door whatever…for lots of $$$$$$..but a clean 4 door…..affordable and easier to get your family in and out of…..just sayin…

  3. Bob C.

    Fix rust issues, new carpet, newer Chevy seats, 350 2 or 4 bbl, TH350, drive and enjoy, for starters.

  4. KO

    Baby got back!

  5. Neil

    Karguy james i had to cut the fork apart and reweld. I know it’s not a car but I am glad you responded. These are my treasures

  6. Neil

    My post of my motorcycle didn’t post but thanks Very much for the reply it can be done, but i will need the real 2 door pieces. I always thought a 4 door had the same front 2 doors.

  7. David

    These are really nice cars. 2or4 doors. Great fins! I think 2 and 4 door wagons were produced too. The 1960 galaxie had similar fins too , maybe nicer.

  8. LAB3

    Seven or eight years ago there wasn’t any interest in this car nor a lot of other models for that matter. Seems now anything built before the safety bumper era is like gold.

  9. stillrunners

    Actually a nice mordor style from 1959…..always going to be haters everywhere !

  10. AndyinMA

    Back in the day, if this thing got hit in the rear the bodywork must have been a nightmare.

  11. Miguel

    The 1959 Cadillac 6 window sedans still have a following and this has the same roofline.

    I am sure somebody will pick it up and put it back on the road.

    The no title may hinder the work though.

  12. Rustytech

    1959 Chevy Impala 4 door with 283 ci and power glide was my first car. I don’t have a problem with 4 doors, but I’d want to start with a better example. Unfortunately this is an upside down project from the start.

  13. Rex Kahrs Member

    Neil, you’ve got a great idea. And considering the state of this car, I say “Why not?”. The resulting elongated rear portion of the car would be interesting (I think), and certainly unique. Do it!

  14. ccrvtt

    These fins are the most over-the-top fins ever, including the Cadillac of the same year. What’s even more remarkable is that this was stodgy old GeneralFreakinMotors’s bread and butter car – the Chevrolet.

    I was only 8 when these came out and I remember thinking how big a mistake it was. They sold a ton of them. Shows what I knew.

    That opinionated 8-year-old lives on, passing judgement on the Korean imports. Turns out those Hyundais & Kias are pretty good cars and they sell a ton of them. Shows what I know.

    • Miguel

      ccrvtt, I just went to the Kia dealer with my wife to look at a Sportage for her.

      You can’t beat the warranty on it. They offer, here in Mexico, 5 years bumper to bumper and 7 years total on the drivetrain.

      Nobody comes close to that at any other brand.

      Since most of the vehicles these days are about the same, you have to buy for the warranty.

      I also asked the salesman to find me a Stinger in blue, which will be close to impossible in Mexico.

    • scottymac

      Other than the freaky, early Sixties Mopars, this has to be one of the ugliest cars ever built.

  15. Rex Kahrs Member

    Now there’s the most honest, insightful, well-written and funny comment in a long time. Well done, ccrvtt.

  16. Mark Evans

    Make an El Camino out of it. It’s a 4 door sedan. Not even a hardtop. So why not?

  17. Kenneth Carney

    Hi Miguel! Here in the ‘states, the KIA and
    Hyundai brands are covered by a 10 year
    100K mile warranty. This warranty program was imposed on them by a large
    number of lenders who got screwed over
    due to the poor build quality that existed
    in these cars in the late ’90’s. Sticking
    accelerators, electrical issues, and poorly
    made engines were just some of the
    problems that cunsumers faced if they
    bought either one of these cars. Throw
    in a spotty dealer network and the inability of vehicle owners to find parts
    and service for their rolling lemons and
    you had a damned good recipe for
    disaster. It was so bad here in Central
    Florida that both cars were called Japanese Yugos by members of the press after a large number of owners
    defaulted on their car loans because
    the cars simply wore out before the
    owners could pay them off. A banker
    friend of mine told me over lunch that
    he, himself had to buy back 13 KIA
    Sephias in one day under Florida’s
    Lemon Law and the bamk he worked for
    was forced to buy back nearly 2K of
    them in one month! Even as I ride around
    in my ’15 Hyundai Santa Fe, I still wonder
    when it’s going to crap out and leave us
    stranded somewhere. Hope I can trade
    it off before the warranty expires!

  18. nrg8

    Just Mad Max it up a bit. Flames, 8 horns out the hood. Mags. And dingle balks with like polar bear seat covers

  19. Tort Member

    Glad there are people.that like four doors but the styling of 2door hard top Impalas and 4dr. sedans are not even close except the grill and fins.

  20. Del



  21. BOP_GUY Member

    When it comes to my classic cars, it’s always been convertibles for me. Nothing else. But after dealing with them for the last six years or so, I’m beginning to get to the point where I think they’re more trouble than they’re worth! Always some kind of problem with the pumps, hydraulic lines, electricals, seals, pads, moldings, and so much more. I have always loved the style of these cars, and today I would say that a hardtop 4 door isn’t a problem at all to me. If I were to buy it, I’d restore the body and interior to stock looking, with a few upgrades to stereo and a/c. But the engine and transmission would be brand new, out-of-the-box, if I could afford it. Disc power brakes, new suspension, etc. Would really make for a fun ride with a lot of style!

  22. newfieldscarnut

    el Camino maybe …

  23. ken TILLY

    @dweezilaz I look forward to the next episode. I wonder how they are going to get the rusty parts cut out. (Or are they going to Bondo over them?)

  24. James Martin

    My friend just sold his mother’s 58 brook wood wagon 20000 miles sold it to a sweed fir 17000 Damn sweeds

  25. James Martin

    Check this car out in garage for fourty years

  26. James Martin

    Awsome car just didn’t have that much

  27. James Martin


  28. James Martin

    Love those wings

  29. Johnny Calabro

    It looks like it’s riding pretty high, like the wrong springs were used as replacements. Is it just me who thinks it’s way up there?

  30. Stanley Raymon Gunter

    These carcasses are a disgrace. It almost make me cry when I look at them. I remember owning an Impala like this one in the early seventies. Just like brand new. With a 348 engine. Hydromatic transmission.A twodoor hard top. Original everything, and it would fly. Those were the days. Chief

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