Live Auctions

No Reserve SS: 1996 Chevy Impala

There’s not much time left in the auction for a Chevy Impala SS suffering from a blown headgasket, and bidding is low at just under $3K. Offered at no reserve, the SS is for sale by a group that takes in donated vehicles and otherwise homeless cars and trucks, and you can find it here on eBay near Anaheim, California. 

Showing what looks like a clean body with just some clearcoat fade to point out as defects, this Impala SS looks surprisingly good for a donated  vehicle. The five-spoke alloy wheels – unique to the SS – look shockingly clean here, a possible indication this Impala was loved before a headgasket issue sent it to the sidelines.

On a personal note, a blown headgasket is what took my 1995 M3 out of my loving hands (and now has me searching for another one). While it’s rarely cheap to remedy, sometimes the leak is external and a straightforward fix. If there is indeed coolant mixing with the oil and leaking into the combustion chamber, it typically requires far more labor to correct.

Which is really too bad in this case, as it doesn’t appear this Impala SS was sorely neglected. The vehicle’s true mileage is unknown, but the wear on the seemingly-collapsed driver’s seat indicates this Impala spent a lot of time with a solitary owner, as the rest of the interior looks far better. Does this blown-headgasket Impala SS deserve a second chance at life?


  1. BRAKTRCR Member

    These were always love em or hate em looks. I always thought they looked like what a 96 Nash would look like. They were fast for then, and handled well. This would be a fun car, and their looks are growing on me… slowly

  2. Solosolo KEN TILLY Member

    Another so called BARN FIND. Put it in a barn for the next 30 years or so and let somebody discover it covered in cra* and then it could be called a BARN FIND! As it is now it’s not even an OLD car.

    • Jeff Lavery Staff

      Hi Ken – as much as wish there were enough live auctions and photos of dusty, barn-hidden specimens to fill every hour of the day, there simply aren’t. Therefore, we have to look at the modern classics, survivors, wonky imports and more – all of which tend to land on the side of unrestored / preserved specimens. You’ll note we don’t ever feature restored vehicles on the site. However, if you have access to cars hiding in barns, ready for featuring on the site – well, we’d love to talk!

      • Mark-A

        Jeff sorry for jumping into this Comment section but (maybe UNLUCKY for you, you’re the first Staff member I came across, my Question is what’s the Significance of the 156 TPA option on a 1966 Chevrolet Nova? Tried googling it but not able to find anything, might b coz I’m in the U.K. Thanks to anyone who can give me a straight answer (in Advance!)

      • Solosolo KEN TILLY Member

        Hi Jeff. Thanks for the explanation. Unfortunately I no longer live in South Africa, where I used to come across Barn Finds on a weekly basis, otherwise I would love to post some of the finds on this site. Now is the time for USA buyers to check out the SA websites as the Dollar to the Rand is definitely on your side, i.e. ONE US Dollar equals FOURTEEN SA Rand. There are hundreds of American cars in SA, plenty of which come up for sale on a fairly regular basis.

  3. JohnT

    SOLD for $2655, Seller is probably happy … Good Luck to the Buyer fixing the blown head gasket and getting the car running as well as dealing with the title issues.

  4. mike D

    sold, as of 320 ET might have been a good find!

    • Jeff Lavery Staff

      $2,665. That’s a bargain, in my opinion, for a straightforward headgasket repair. Esp. with a clean title.

  5. Steve

    1996, the only year with buckets and console. This most certainly is not just an old car. If that was the case, no one would have paid 3k for it. If it were just an old car, say a 1996 Cavalier or Volvo, it would be in the crusher.

    • Chris H

      94-96 all had consoles and buckets…96 was the only with a floor shifter and analog gauges.

  6. Doug

    I always thought the Caprice version looked like a Crown Vic with the roof of a 53-54 Kaiser Manhattan grafted on top…. The change to the C pillar made the Impala work. The local fuzz used to call their Caprices ” Scuds”…..

  7. JRATT 1956
  8. T Mel

    I almost/want to like them but struggle with the dopey body shape.

  9. Mat G

    JRATT the one in your link is an SS clone- it says in the description and I don’t think the SS came in that color. The SS was technically an appearance package- you could get the same drivetrain in any Caprice or Roadmaster- but I expect it nonetheless adds value. I currently have a 1994 Roadmaster too and it is just waiting paitently in the garage for me to come up with the time and $$ to replace the transmission…

    • JRATT 1956

      Sorry about the SS clone. I just hope the only thing wrong with the engine is a blown headgasket. If it is a cracked block or head, it may cost big bucks to fix. There are some crazy prices out there for these, really not worth it. The Roadmaster has much better lines vs the Impala.

  10. ccrvtt

    This is the car that G. Gordon Liddy endorsed wholeheartedly on his radio program years ago. For that reason alone it’s worth a look. While I think Liddy was just a raving a**hole his opinion contributes to the historical provenance of the SS Impalas. This would be a fun car to make the 110-mile jaunt from Louisville to Indy. Swap out the LT-1 for an LS from a late model GM product and enjoy.

  11. Mark S

    Changing out the head gasket is no more than ten hours work so even at $100.00 per hour plus parts you should be rolling for about $1400.00 Including parts. So for $5000.00 including the purchase this car could be on the road again, a fair price for a car like this.

  12. Troy S.

    It’s got a KnN high performance air cleaner so I am wondering if any other performance upgrades have been done and how hard the car was driven. I don’t recall the performance stats on these but they did move out pretty good.

  13. bill smith

    I have three of these cars.. all sitting in the garage. One has 13000 miles, paid $12k for it. I have been offered $25k for it.

  14. Jason

    If i seen in time i would have bid on it. Have the same car in Caprice form. Nice factory sleeper

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