Cheap SS: 1963 Chevrolet Impala SS

How many times have you come across a car that didn’t seem to be much at first, but the more you looked at it, the more you realized what a great car it was? Well that is how this 1963 Chevrolet Impala SS is. Although it looks original and a bit forgotten, this Impala is an awesome project car, with a ton of spares. Although there is no engine, this Impala project with its restored frame and engine compartment is offered for a mere $2,000! Be sure to check this one out here on craigslist out of Ellsworth, Maine. A big shout out to bill walters for submitting this great project ready Impala!

So for $2,000 you are getting a mint condition frame that looks to have been sand blasted and painted, and the fire wall section has also been cleaned up and painted.

Put back together it is easy to see that the seller has a great eye for detail. Notice how nicely the wiring harness is laid out. I would guess that the seller had an engine swap planned out for this car and boy was it going to be clean under the hood of this unrestored classic. Another cool fact about this car is that it is a factory stick shift car, so it is equipped with a clutch pedal for all you gear jammers.

The exterior is weathered, and there is some rust, but the seller reports that the floors in the car are great. Several spares come with this Impala, including a set of almost rust free doors. Also a set of quarters are included as the quarters could use a little work. With a lot of work already competed, and a cheap buy in price this Chevrolet has a lot of potential! What would you do with this Impala SS?

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  1. Billy 007

    40+ years ago in high school, my best friend had one of these. Perfect shiny red with a 327 4 speed, two perfect red and white bucket seats to ride in. His only lament was that he sometimes wished he had a bench seat like I did because it was better for the ladies. My point is that he paid less then the ask here, even adjusted for inflation, and it was an almost new looking car, even though it was ten years old at the time. These cars have gotten too expensive.

    • Andre

      I’d be curious to understand your inflation adjustment… $2k seems very reasonable for the car.

      • Billy 007

        I should have been more clear, you are right. Adjusted for inflation, the price does seem fair, but this will take tens of thousands to get it anywhere near the shape his was in, mind you, forty years ago. For the price of this restored, you could have a new Camaro that will eat this thing for lunch and ask for seconds, plus be far more comfortable, handle better, get awesome mileage, and have a warranty to boot. I do not understand the mentality of such purchases. The only way this makes sense is if you had one in your youth and it brings back warm fuzzy memories, or you are handy and can do the work yourself and then sell it to someone with more cash then common sense. Just my opinion of course.

      • Randy Farabee

        In 1972 you could buy a full size 1/2ton Chevrolet pickup right off the showroom floor for $1995.00..sure it was the stripped down version ie,three on the tree , vinyl floor mats , etc but still for less than this “shell” of a car

  2. JamestownMike

    WOW! At $2,000 that shouldn’t last!……especially in Maine! LS with 6 speed would be the way to go!

  3. Tom Carmicheal

    I would not call that a restored engine compartment just badly panted one

    • Jason

      Really? I think it looks nice. How about you post some pics of your wonderful paint work?

      • Bill McCoskey

        Everything on the firewall and chassis was simply cleaned and painted black. Not even the correct semi-gloss. The master cylinder, brake lines, suspension bushings, throttle linkage, and more, are not supposed to be painted black. There is no value there, as it all has to be done over. I know, I’ve been restoring cars for 30+ years, to national award winning levels.

  4. Gregory J Mason

    Finally a car that can be restored at a sensible price. Great buy !

  5. Classic Steel

    Good price !

    Set it up with a vette engine to make this bad boy fly !

    1995 Chevrolet C4 Corvette LT1 Complete Engine Assembly and Transmission 124k *

  6. On and On On and On Member

    In high school I had a girlfriend who’s brother had a 1963 SS maroon just like this. He was quite a good mechanic and would drive his up to the drag strip on the Wisconsin border north of Chicago, take off the stock intake manifold on the 327 and put on a dual quad set-up and do 14 second quarter mile times. That was 1967. After racing he would switch back, getting 20mpg and drive back to Chicago and go to Superdog at Milwaukee and Devon.

    • JW

      Would that have been Great Lakes Dragstrip ???

      • On and On On and On Member

        Yes it was, JW. Good times.

    • John B.

      Sure you can buy a new Camaro that does all sorts of things better but you are comparing a “new” car to a 46 year old car (it’s like comparing apples and oranges)! I love Camaros and yes, I own one-but it’s not a fair comparison. Not only is the “wow” factor not there but open the trunk and the spare tire isn’t there either!

  7. Chuck Dahl

    No interior, no thanks. The bucket seats are what made it an SS!

  8. Chuck Dahl

    Sorry, poor , gramer, should have been made (a SS)


    While it would be expensive to fix it up properly, I would go with a 409 and Doug Nash 5 speed, or a 4 speed with a gear vendors O.D.
    Checked ebay several 409,s for sale but cost 8000-20,000.But IF cost no object would be a cool ride

  10. Butter

    Find a 396 with closed chambered heads and spice it up

  11. ccrvtt

    1963 was the best year for Impala SS of the early ’60’s, at least until the ’65’s came along. Agree that bucket seats with the wide chrome band around the seatback made the classic interior along with the horizontal door handles. This car demands a 327 and a 4-speed. Keep your LS motors and 6-speeds for a later and lesser car. This one’s too good not to be restored. Nice find.

    • SquareLeft

      ccrvtt wrote:
      “This car demands a 327 and a 4-speed. Keep your LS motors and 6-speeds for a later and lesser car. This one’s too good not to be restored. Nice find.”

      My thoughts exactly! There are enough 409 clones out there. A 327 would be perfect. Having owned a ’63 Impala, I can vouch for the fact that these are wonderful cars. Most of the bright trim and body parts for this one seem to be there, but the interior would definitely be the most expensive part of the restoration.

      If I had to choose between sinking $30k into this car or buying a new Camaro, the choice would take all of 2 seconds. The Impala would win hands down!

  12. Big Mike

    If somebody decided to buy this and would want to put a 327 in it, I have one sitting in a crate, the motor has less than 15K on it following a complete over haul. I took it out of a totaled 68 Chevelle back in 2015. Bought the car for a good price and was able to salvage the front clip and other useable parts. I knew the car and the owner very well so I know the engine was taken care of, I also know the man that over hauled the engine.

  13. Madmatt

    This Impala doesn’t look like a SS…,
    I would want to look it over very carefully,too
    many SS items missing/not shown in pics…?
    This can be a great buy even for a non SS Impala,
    although the rusty doors/rocker areas look kinda may not be too bad!Nice to see
    something affordable! , especially for the young people out there..,
    alot of them would love to take this on I’am sure..!!

  14. Maestro1

    I’d try it at $1000.00 for openers and then look at what parts the Seller has which would reflect an increase in purchase price. And I agree with those on a 327, make it a nice driver, you’ll get a lot of joy out of it. And parts as well as mods are everywhere.


    Found a ’63 SS 283 auto for $150 about 1971. It wasn’t cherry but all there and not rusty. My little brother’s first car. He’s a good wrench and drove that thing for a long time before upgrading to a ’66 Impala 327 4-speed.

  16. Gus

    Back around 1973 74 I stopped at the White Hen Pantry for cigs ( when I smoked) and there was a small sign on the cash register advertising a car for a hundred bucks. I asked the girl working if she knew who’s car it was and yes it was hers. She told me it was a Chevy and it was around back. It had dented finder but ran good. So I went and took a look and here was this 1963 SS Impala black with black interior, 327 with pg. Couldn’t get it bought fasr enough. Drove that car 3 years. One of the besr cars I’ve evef had. As luck would have I have 355 sbc with a 4 speed in an 80 ElCamino. Humm

  17. sluggo

    This seems to be a great deal, and depends on parts available but would not be hard or too expensive for a DIY resto, or more likely a resto mod.
    Personally, I would go period style and 283 and those old scripted valve covers. (But an overdrive trans for affordable mileage),
    This body style was not very popular with most people I knew in the 70s & 80s, But now is highly sought after, FPI needed of course but thats why I say this appears a awesome deal, especially a right coast car.
    Of course if you wanted top dollar, restyle it slightly urrrmmm,,, “Urban” lets just call it that. White walls, thumpin stereo, air ride suspension and lots of chrome and a Candy paint job, Take it to SoCal during one of the shows or swap meets and would be counting mad stacks o’ cash yo!,,
    I (Sheepishly) parted a few of these out in early 1980s and LOVED the sweet little 283s out of these. I ran one with a powerglide in 64 Nova SS for a while and robbed another 283 and ran it in multiple cars a few years later.

  18. stillrunners LAWRENCE Member

    Still reasonable price…but what others have said….and it’s way up in the far east.

  19. Gray Wolf

    Yeah you could buy a new Camaro and have a warranty Billy, but you would not get the satisfaction of building the car and displaying your skills. Let’s see if that Camaro would draw attention at a car show? Just went to one with my ’66 Impala S/W and a friend with his new Camaro. Guess who got the attention, not the Camaro! Don’t get me wrong, his car is awesome and I would like to have it, alongside my wagon my s/w!!

  20. sluggo

    Some people have skills, talent and a compulsion to create art on wheels, Others are destined to drive a minivan, Live in the suburbs and be miserable wondering what life could have been like.

  21. John

    Am I the only one who wonders whether this was in a serious front collision? The front of the frame looks like it’s been welded in, and quite unevenly- tacked in on the left side and heavily overdone (unless it’s seam sealer) on the right. The faded front clip leans toward that in my eyes, too. And though I don’t know a lot about these cars, the firewall has some very odd- looking lines on it too. Anybody here who has knowledge to go with their “back- in-the-day” stories?

  22. tommy

    Kills me, I bought one in 1977 for $80. it was green with buckets, powerglide with the soup spoon shifter. power windows. curbed it and ripped some exhaust off, pulled the engine and trans and sold it to a guy for his vette for $200. Junked the rest and it was a clean car, what the hell was I thinking?!

  23. Pete

    Seller removed ad, Most have sold already at that price. Not bad for all the work done on that Trey.

  24. Tyler

    Mid to late 80’s, bought one of these with a 327 & powerglide for $200. It was a nice complete rust free car. All I wanted was the engine & tranny, gave the rest of the car to a junk yard to come get it. Dumb dumb dumb!

  25. PatrickM

    Once again, how can folks allow these classic cars get into such disrepair??? Plus, no drive train. $50.00, it’s mine. Yeah, $50.00

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