Blank Canvas Project: 1966 Chevrolet Impala SS Convertible

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There are days when I only need to look at my reflection in the mirror to gain a clear insight into how cruel the march of time can be. Alternatively, examining this 1966 Impala SS Convertible tells a similar story. This SS would’ve been a stunning classic when new that couldn’t help but attract a crowd. Those days are a long way behind it, but it also makes it a prime candidate for the right person searching for a blank canvas project. If you feel up for that challenge, you will find the Impala located in El Paso, Texas, and listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN of $7,500, but he leaves the option open to make an offer.

Decoding the Trim Tag reveals that the Impala rolled off the production line wearing Ermine White paint with a White soft-top. Combine that with an interior trimmed in Turquoise, and the car would’ve been a stunner. Those days are a long way behind it now, and the buyer will be facing a fairly steep mountain if they wish to return it to its former glory. There is some of the usual rust that we’ve come to expect in the lower body panels, although it is surprisingly light and could be addressed with simple patches. I wish the same were true of the floors, but they have rotted beyond the point of no return. The buyer will need to replace the lot, along with the trunk pan. The frame sports a heavy covering of surface corrosion, but with no evidence of penetrating rust, the car could be structurally sound. While the panels show only minor rust, they have accumulated a fair collection of minor dings and dents that the owner will need to tackle. The paint is also badly crazed, so sending the car to a media blaster might be a smart first step. The trim shows some noticeable deterioration, while the windshield is cracked to add to the woes.

When you look at the interior, you can spot some evidence of the former Turquoise on the dash. It is far from complete because only a driver’s seat and some minor trim pieces are included in the sale. A trim kit will cost the buyer around $2,000, and it would address the upholstery shortcomings. However, the buyer would need to source a passenger and a back seat before tackling its installation. They will also need to refinish the painted surfaces, and some of the missing dash components like the radio will have to be found. The list is a long one, but the interior would be pretty classy once complete. It appears that the original owner ordered the SS with air conditioning but, once again, there are plenty of missing pieces. The owner will need to assess what’s there and add those components to their shopping list.

Apart from the original 12-bolt rear end, the Impala has no drivetrain. It seems that it started its life with an automatic transmission, but it isn’t clear what sort of motor used to call this engine bay home. We know that it was a V8, which means it could’ve been anything from 283 to 427. That is what makes this car a blank canvas project. Establishing which V8 the original owner ordered would not be difficult, and the buyer could then search for a date-coded replacement. Alternatively, they could throw caution to the wind and bolt in whatever they wanted. It also offers the opportunity to create a restomod that would combine the charm of a classic Impala with a more modern drivetrain combination. For potential buyers, the world will be their oyster.

There’s no doubt that returning this 1966 Impala SS Convertible to its former glory will represent a significant undertaking. However, the fact that its rust problems seem to be confined mainly to the floors is a positive that potential buyers must consider. Its lack of an engine and transmission will add to the costs, but if the right buyer just happens to have a suitable engine laying around in their workshop, that would alleviate that problem. With all that you’ve seen, is it a project build that you might consider tackling?

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  1. Miguelito Loveless

    Impala !
    Low rider !

    Like 9
    • TimS

      You and that Charles Atlas guy need to go low-ride his Escort off a cliff.

      Like 12
    • Jack

      Is that the only comment that you are capable of making??? In this case go right ahead and buy it and make your low rider. Be sure to send us photos when you have it completed

      Like 4
  2. Terrry

    Blank canvas? There isn’t even a canvas here, just a few overpriced parts and a whole lot of rust..

    Like 12
  3. Dan August

    I wonder if Miguelito would like to make Charles’ Escort a Low rider?

    Like 8
  4. Jwzg

    Low rider?! If you mean dragging your butt on the pavement, you have a winner. A $2k trim kit? Nothing to attach it to. HARD pass.

    Like 2
  5. Bing

    $7500 bucks! Are you kidding me? Just a pile of rolling rust..

    Like 1

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