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Mod or Restore: 1963 Chevrolet Impala


There is just something exhilarating when you spot a classic peeking out of a garage. Even when it’s a sedate or common classic, it’s still exciting to see. Take this 1963 Chevrolet Impala Coupe, it’s a base model, but the sight of it just gets us thinking about all the possibilities. While it isn’t an SS car, it does have a 327 cui V8 and could be an interesting project. If you would like to take a closer look, it can be found here on eBay.


Now that we can see this Impala better, it’s obvious that it is going to need a full restoration. There is a lot of rust throughout the car and it is going to be a big task to repair all of it. Thankfully, the seller has a donor car that is included with the sale. It is a ’63 Impala four door, but should have all the necessary sheet metal to fix this one.


This project is going to be a lot of work, but it is one of the best years for the Impala. There aren’t many left out there that haven’t been modified, so it would be refreshing to see one that’s original. I’m sure there are those of you out there who disagree with me on this subject, so feel free to share what you would do to this Impala?


  1. David Reeves

    DO NOT MOD THIS CAR!!!!!! I hate it when people do this, it ruins the originality of the car. It also decreases the value of the car, as in about 20-30 years, it will be worth a pretty penny to people who want the original,stunning thing.

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  2. shawnmcgill

    I agree… There’s only one way to go with this one, and that’s original. It simply has two too many doors for a hot rod.

    And you better be doing it for the love of it, because it’s going to be a very long time before this has the big-buck collector appeal. There are just too many hardtops and convertibles out there. Then you got the Super Sports, etc.

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    • shawnmcgill

      Oh, ok… I just saw that it is a donor car that’s the 4-door. Never mind…

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  3. Webby

    Restore. Although I’d be fitting a power steering & a faster ratio box. 5 turns lock to lock is
    a PITA, even if it’s finger light!

    I had a ’63 Belair back in the ’80s as towcar. The Aussie assembled Bel Airs were virtually an Impala. Came with the 283, Powerglide, heater, Power brakes & steering, carpet, leather seats andhe 6 tail lights as standard.

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  4. rich

    Like the 2500 in the windshield and a starting bid of 3500

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  5. Clay

    Wonder what the 409 emblems were doing on the side of the car?

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    • paul

      looks to me like it says what it is 327.

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      • Matt

        FWIW… 327 emblems in 1963 didn’t have any numbers… just the V emblem with the flag above it. 409 emblems had numbers above the flag.

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  6. Jeff

    As a kid, my Dad had a 63′ Impala SS283, white/blk int (buckets), I remember the radio speaker (?) in the back seat center and the cool dash. Dad was a motor head and started me early, we were at the slot car track place every free minute lol. Dads parents were Cadillac freaks so when he got a big promotion he traded it for a 66′ Coupe De Ville in 67′. The dealership owner gave him good money for the SS because his kid was whiney crazy for it, we learned his kid blew up the motor in a week, boy was Dad pissed. The dealer wanted the caddy back tried to blame it all on Dad. I think that was the first time I heard some cuss words I didnt know about lol

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    • Webby

      You did well. My parents had a 1963 HIllman…………

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  7. J. Pickett

    Did anyone else notice that the sign on the car window says $2500 but it is bid up to $3250?

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  8. Utesman

    I wonder what necessitated mounting those incorrect fender call-outs. There were no numbers above the flags for 327’s in ’62 or ’63. They weren’t so designated as such until 1965.

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    • paul

      The 62 I had way back in 68 bought from a cousin & not modified, had 327 on the side, these are correct for that year.

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  9. braktrcr

    My first car was a 62 Impala a 4 dr 327 Power steering AM radio and a heater. Such a nice car.It drove nice, was very comfortable, just a nice car in 1971 for a 16 year old Wish I still had it… and 99% of the rest of the cars I have had since : )

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  10. Anthony

    How about a 60’s super stock look with a new stroker W motor in it! Looks stock -hauls ass.

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  11. Bernie H

    The donor car isnt going to help in the sheet metal department, too many differences in a 4dr car body, and it looks like no engine either. I had one of these years ago, great with Continential Walker glass-paks (before Flowmasters), great sounds!!. The X frame usually has some rust issues-rear dog legs. $2500 w/donor is the max $$ here.

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  12. Dolphin Member

    Very little of value here.
    No bids on an offer of $3,250.
    Looks like the market agrees.

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  13. Matt

    if it was a numbers matching 300HP or 409, maybe it would be worth saving, but 250HPs are dime a dozen, and there are plenty of rust free ones still around… so why bother. Being in Oregon, this one probably has a LOT LESS rust… and it’s an SS…

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  14. Karl

    The nose clip and instrument panel should be the same from 2-door to 4-door, also the running gear and the rear trim, if not the trunklid itself. Chevrolet would have done their best to utilize the maximum number of parts across all body styles.
    My personal way to restore this car would be a restomod: repaint and reupholster as original as possible (maybe better fabric on the seats), but upgrade the drivetrain (at least a turbo 350 to replace whatever horrendous slushbox is underneath), power disc brakes, power steering, and A/C. And then I would drive it. All my cars have to work. No trailer queens.

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  15. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    Relisted twice without a single bid.

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  16. Utesman

    @ Paul…..
    You need to pay attention. You’re OWN literature easily points out the error of your ways. Click the 2nd image from the left (the brown Impala SS)…BINGO..NO numbers above the flags…like I told you. Those are ‘327’ call-outs…just like they were in ’62.
    Return to the original page & click the green station wagon…again…..BINGO…THOSE fender call-outs are ‘283’ emblems…just the chrome chevron with red, white, & blue small escutcheon at the apex of the ‘V’. The ONLY actual cubic inch fender call-outs in ’63 were on 6-cylinder & ‘409’ cars. In ’62, NONE were found on 6-cylnder cars. In ’62 the ‘409’ script was BELOW the flags, where in ’63 it was mounted ABOVE. NO cubic inch numbers for 283’s or 327’s EITHER year, like I said. The engine size script for the small blocks began in 1965.

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    • paul

      @ Utesman What literature did I post?As for the brown car that you are talking about this is a restored car maybe they left the badging off the nasty 63 in the picture says 327 as did my car, way back in 68 when I owned it.

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  17. Utesman

    @ paul & matt…..

    This was ‘matt’s’ link..it makes my point.

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  18. Utesman

    @ paul….
    Click ‘matt’s’ link & follow the directions in the 1st paragraph, 2nd sentence of my reply posting.

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  19. paul

    Yes I have seen this as well the 283 just had the crossed flags so I am guessing these drawings which are not exact could all be 283’s.

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  20. paul

    Again I will say for the last time the 63 in the picture that is for sale says what it is 327.

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  21. Utesman

    What ?????
    That link depicts factory sales literature. They’re NOT “drawings”.
    Did you follow my directions in navigating the link?! It doesn’t appear you have. NO cubic inch numbers for 283′s or 327′s EITHER year. The engine size script for the small blocks began in 1965. 283’s NEVER had crossed flags & weren’t designated as such ABOVE ANY FLAGS until 1965 ! LOOK @ that link again.

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  22. Utesman

    @ paul…..

    That fender emblem on the Aqua ’63 convertible in the 2nd image here @ the top of the page is BOGUS. That’s a ’65-’67 ‘327’ call-out, it’s NOT a ’63 ‘327’ emblem.

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