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Factory 396: 1965 Chevrolet Impala Station Wagon

This 1965 Chevrolet Impala Station Wagon has been parked for the past 30-years. However, it has been dragged out of hiding and returned to a driving state. With a big-block V8 hiding under the hood, this promises to be rapid family transport. It has just been listed for sale here on Facebook and could represent a rewarding restoration project. The wagon is located in Canton, Texas, and is being offered for sale for $10,800.

The appearance of the Impala is pretty typical of a Texas classic. The Mist Blue paint is now baked, and there is surface corrosion visible. However, there is no visible penetrating rust. The owner makes no mention of any issues below the surface, and if the vehicle has spent its life in its current location, this is no real surprise. The panels are looking relatively straight, with no significant dings or dents. The trim and chrome is all present, and anything that is beyond a simple polish should be able to be restored by a trip to the plasters. The wider steel wheels and moon hubcaps are a nice touch, and these appear to be wrapped in a fresh set of whitewall tires. I can spot no issues with the tinted glass, and when you add all of this together, it looks like this could be a straightforward restoration project.

If you fancy the idea of rapid family transport, then you might have come to the right place. The Impala comes equipped with a 396ci V8, which is backed by an automatic transmission. This combination should be delivering 325hp and offer the potential of a 16.5-second ¼ mile ET. After sitting for three decades, the Impala did require some resuscitative work. As well as getting the big block back up and running, the braking system has been rebuilt. The front end was given the same treatment, and it looks like some of the hoses and the distributor cap have been replaced. The result of this work is a classic wagon that is now said to run and drive well.

One area of the Impala that will require some significant work will be the interior. It is showing plenty of wear-and-tear, and all of the upholstery will need to be replaced. The carpet is looking tired, but we can’t see the dash, pad, or headliner state. The reality is that an interior trim kit is probably going to be the most cost-effective option for returning the interior to its former glory. This still isn’t going to be a cheap exercise, because a kit will generally sell for around the $2,500 mark. However, if the buyer wants this wagon to sparkle, it might be an essential investment.

It doesn’t seem like it was that many years ago when a seller would struggle to give away a classic station wagon. However, the lack of new alternatives has seen vehicles like this grow in both popularity and value. This looks like it could be a real beauty that would combine style with impressive performance. It isn’t a cheap project car, but it is a desirable one. I suspect that a buyer could be just around the corner. Is this one that you’d like to park in your workshop?


  1. Avatar photo Big_Fun Member

    These are great vehicles. I see California blue plates, and the reciever hitch. I’m thinking at least a 3:07 rear gear, maybe lower.
    What i don’t see is the A/C compresser and brackets.
    Those 14×6 wheels are standard on the wagons. They look great with the hubcaps, even better with the factory style with the little black bowties and the ribs.
    The picture above is of a ’66, with the year correct red bowties, and the body color rims. Mist blue rims with either color bowties would look great!

    Like 14
  2. Avatar photo mackey4cars

    i love the old dog dish hubcaps on the car and i’m a stationwagon lover too

    Like 16
  3. Avatar photo Matt

    If I had the cash (and garage space) I’d be bringing that wagon back to CA right now! With the big block and a trailer hitch that rig would be the perfect “tow vehicle” to put in front of a trailer loaded with a gasser or mid-year Vette.

    Like 2
  4. Avatar photo Mr Dave

    I would rock this one in a heartbeat!

    Like 9
  5. Avatar photo local_sheriff

    Big fan of fullsize longroofs and being what many consider THE best-looking fullsize Chev ever this one has everything going for it except its condition and price.

    These era Chevs have a massive repop support. My 1st stop would be Ciadella to see what they could offer; ’65 is the last year they make upholstery for. As a long-time Chevy guy I’ll admit it has LOTS of potential however one can still locate less common longroofs in better condition for far less $, but those will lof course be more difficult and expensive to locate parts for

    Like 7
  6. Avatar photo piston poney

    dang that was good

    Like 5
  7. Avatar photo K. R. V.

    This car is the spitting image of the wagon an Army buddy’s dad had when he came up from Texas with the family to see his son, my friend at Ft. Carson, CO. That I thought was awesome, seeing as how I grew up in a family that had a hot long roof. My Dad had bought a 68 Chrysler Town&Country Beach Wagon with a 440! So the Chevy Impala with a big block was cool! They had driven up, the whole family with their 24’ Airstream! That the wagon towed with ease his dad said. The wagon had been bought with the factory tow package, including a HD TH trans with engine an trans coolers and a 3:42 Posi rear axle! That was a very nice wagon!

    Like 4
  8. Avatar photo Gray Wolf

    I have a ‘66 Impala S/W with # matching 396 drive train. It is a blast to drive and it shocks people how fast it is!! Most of these wagons turned into chicken coops after the front clip and drive train was pulled! This wagon will take some 💵 dollars to get her back and looking good. It took me two years to find a nice wagon and I live in Ca. not far from the coast! Thought I would find one sooner, but I am extremely pleased with mine!

    Like 5
  9. Avatar photo Roy Blankenship

    16.5? Maybe with 6 kids in it. My first car was a ’66 Caprice, same drive train, 2.73 open rear, it went 15.34 first time out on 8.25 x 14 Hercules whitewalls.. With G70 Polyglas and thrush mufflers, it went 14.96 at an NHRA track (14.76 at an outlaw track) and won a lot of street races. It would bog, chirp the tires and leave when I opened the secondaries on the Q-Jet while the guy in the other lane was freaking out frying his tires as I drove off. I would LOVE to have this car, perfect nostalgia and usefulness….

    Like 5
  10. Avatar photo Vince H

    I think it is a bit high for what you get. The 396 is the only thing special about it .needs better pictures. Very poor ad.

    Like 1

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