High Mileage Driver: 1966 Chevrolet Impala

When reader Aaron M posted this Impala in the BF Classifieds, I wasn’t too sure about whether it fit. It’s a frame on restoration with 182k miles on it, but as I was looking it over I decided we should take a closer look at it. It was traded to the dealership Aaron works at by the original owner, who claimed that the 327 V8 is not only original to the car but hasn’t ever been rebuilt. While it isn’t a low mileage survivor, clearly the original owner loved this car and took great care of it. And when you are shopping for a turn key classic car, you want one that the previous owner(s) actually took care of. To have reached that kind of mileage without a full rebuild, it had to have been regularly serviced and babied. So, if you have been on the hunt for a ’66 Impala that’s ready to go, you might want to take a closer look at this one here at Marlar Auto in Oneida, Tennesse.

Chevy’s 327 V8 is a great little motor and that’s almost as well loved as the 350. The one in this Impala looks to be an L30, which was rated at 275 horsepower. It might not be a big block, but it will get you down the road nicely. According to the seller, the bottom end may have had some work, but there seems to be some confusion as to whether just the rear main seal was replaced or if the main bearings were also done. At this kind of mileage, it wouldn’t be surprising if both were done. Supposedly, the rest of the engine is original and hasn’t been ever been opened up. I’d want to perform a compression and leak down test to see if the engine is going to need some top end work, but if it was cared for properly since new there’s a chance it will be good for many miles to come.

While most people want the SS trim level, with its bucket seats and center console, this bench seat looks inviting. The interior is in amazing condition, but it may have been restored at the same time the outside was. It looks ready to go and other than a set of OEM style floor mats, doesn’t need anything to look like brand new. The seller provided photos of the included documentation in their ad, so you can see the build sheet. It looks like this was a fairly low option car, but it did receive the tinted windshield, glovebox light, AM radio and a few other options. That’s alright though, not every Impala needs to be a fully optioned SS. Ones like this are a great flashback to what the average person drove on a daily basis in the late ’60s.

This really does look like a nice car that’s ready to be driven and enjoyed. It doesn’t come cheap though, with an asking price just under $23k. Being a dealership though, I’m sure there is room to negotiate. If it were a low mileage or high option car, I’m sure the asking would be considerably higher and that there would be lots of collectors willing to pay full price. So that leaves me wondering, is there interest in higher mileage classics that have been well cared for and are ready to drive? Personally, I’d rather have a well-sorted driver that I can enjoy than a low mileage survivor that I’d feel guilty even taking outside. How about you?

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  1. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    One thumbs up that you decided to list it!

  2. M.Balmer Member

    I agree with you, Josh. I’d rather have this one with the high mileage and enjoy driving it instead of a low mile queen that I’d be afraid of taking out.

  3. Dirtymax

    Love it. Good driver but the price seems high to me. For what it is 12 to 15 seems like a nice buy for this weekend cruiser

  4. ccrvtt

    One of the best-looking Chevrolets ever made. Hard to believe it has that kind of mileage, but UPS still flies DC 10s and L1011s that they just keep replacing the parts on.

    Nice find, hope it finds a good home and gets DRIVEN!

    • Max

      I am Not a pilot but classic car collector the Lockheed Tristar L-1011 is my favourite vintage aircraft!

  5. Poptheclutch

    SS or not I’d still be afraid of taking out
    That black beauty. Nice lmpala👈😎
    Passed a girl on the way home from work lookin at her cell driving. Imagine that!☠

  6. Fred W

    Average of 3500 miles per year is high mileage?

    • Dan in Tx

      For 52 years, yes.

  7. canadainmarkseh Member

    Very nice car the only way it could be better is if it were a 1967 impla. My dad had a 67 gold on gold 327 CID 350 trans. His was a SS model what an awsume car it was my 87 year old mom still talks about about how she could kick ass with that car at the traffic lights when see got up to the speed limit she’d roll back but by then the point was made. She was reminessing about it just on the last week end. It would be nice to have it now but it was soup cans many years ago. If I had this I’d drive to her house and we’d go driving.

  8. South Bound

    No more L1011s in the air. But what a find plane it was.

  9. 86 Vette Convertible

    An Uncle had a 67 Impala with a 327 and my folks had a 68 with IIRC a sbc in it. Both were great cars. This one looks incredible and someone will get a great car.

  10. Keith

    Nice car, a little too expensive though. If I had it I would install a 383 stroker with an overdrive transmission. Retain the original valve covers and air cleaner and original appearance, that would be a nice sleeper.

  11. Nick

    I had one, gold with black brocade interior, 283 2bbl with a powerglide. AM radio, power steering, no other options. Basic car. It was my first car, given to me by an Aunt. Plenty of rot and dings, it was a Bronx car. It had an old fashioned alarm, a siren and was turned on and off by a round key. If you went over 75, the front end floated, felt like it was taking off. I’d have kept it if it had AC.

  12. 68custom

    May have disc brakes judging by the master cylinder nice looking car!

  13. Bob C.

    I would think that if the bottom end of the engine had work done, very likely the top would have. Chevy small blocks from this era were notorious for valve jobs at around 100,000. Also it would be a good idea to replace the piston rings as well because they usually blow once the compression is raised. My father owned many Chevys during his lifetime and it happened to him every time.

    • George

      Probably all cars from that era needed a rebuild by the time you hit 100K. Engines are much better built today. I’ve only changed oil on my minivan and it has 200K. That’s why most are under 100K even now. Back then, most people traded in every 2-4 years.

  14. Big Mike

    I have to agree with Bob C., I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but the car does look beautiful, but 184K and that engine looks that good, I have seen older cars with less miles on it and the motor shows a little burned off paint in some areas, and having been born and raised on Chevy’s I have taken apart so many I can’t count that high. Did the previous owner have a bottle of touch up paint? I am not doubting the mileage, at least the current owner is not trying to blow smoke up our butt saying it has only 82K, but folks, everybody know that a Chevy engine of this era, would have to have been overhauled some where around 75 to 80K, heck the timing chain would need replaced by 100K, valves, piston oil rings, Don’t get me wrong, I love and own 28 GM products, but 182K and never been touched, that guy must have been using a super special kind of oil for it to running good with that many miles!!!

    • George

      I highly doubt it too.

    • Keruth

      Yup, those plastic timing gears, 80k tops for gears and chain.
      Dad had a ’68 fastback, 6 banger, power slip, pulled many sports cars home on a tow bar with that car. Liked the tail lights in the bumper.
      You could probably wave 15k at them, auction wouldn’t bring much different!

  15. wuzjeepnowsaab

    327 moved these cars down the road very nicely. Love this listing!

  16. George

    The 65-67 two door Impalas have always been the best looking years to me. I’ve always wanted one. Or a boat tail Riviera. Okay, so I know I’m weird. I still want to put a flying bridge on a Riviera…

  17. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    It’s one of the best looking 4-doors ever.

  18. PatrickM

    Glad owner cleaned it nicely, though. A bit high for me. But, if I got it, I would have to swap out the Power Glide for a TH350. Other than that that, leave it alone…and park it on the far end of the parking lot when out, make plenty of car runs and ice cream runs. Hows that?

    • Nick

      I’d leave the powerglide, and go for ice cream runs.

      • On and On On and On Member

        Smart man.

    • Ken Member

      As an old automatic transmission mechanic, IMO the only thing a 350 is good for is to keep your boat from drifting away on you. Turbo 400, Powerglide or GTFO.

  19. Camaro guy

    I think what everyone is missing here is the car was traded in to a dealership the 1st thing they do is send it to the detail shop probably got buffed out engine washed and painted interior detailed in spite of being well cared for I’ll bet it didn’t look that good when it came in I had one of these back in the 70’s same motor swapped the glide for a TH350 ,headers,intake,and a Holley carb ,was my daily driver and doubled as a tow car for my 69 SS Chevelle I love the styling of the 65-66 imps

    • Aaron

      Hi. Actually, all we did to this car after it was traded in was wash it. The way you see it in the pictures is the way it came to us.

  20. Earl

    Great car……my Dad had a beautiful ’65 Impala 4 door hardtop in dark blue…..comfortable automobile…..took to Canada fishing annualy. Could carry as much as a pickup…..loaded trunk with luggage for 4, food, outboard motor, tackle boxes, & inflatable boat….Wish we had kept it.

  21. Tom Farabee

    My cousin was given the family 65 2dr hd top when he was 14. I was 15. It had about 100k on it.327 4bbl. Power glide. We added headers, edelbrock torker intake, Holly dbl pumper. And muncie 4 speed. Was a real sleeper. We blew the doors of many unsuspecting cars of the 70s era. With the auto it ran 110 in low one night!! Would spin 6500 rpm no problem. We actually had a half fender length on a 70 454 ss chevelle in 2nd gear one night before the troopers started chasing us!! Great car and bullet proof motor!

  22. Jose Martin

    High Mileage on an old car with a motor that anyone could work on? Sounds like a plan! I sure wouldn’t be afraid of it.

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