Original And Unrestored: 1969 Chevrolet Impala

For some enthusiasts, practicality is a major consideration when choosing a classic to park in their garage. For those with teenagers, they realize that accommodating their ever-lengthening legs in the back seats of some cars is impossible. However, vehicles like this 1969 Chevrolet Impala could offer the perfect solution. It features a healthy V8 under the hood and enough room for the tallest teen. Adding to its appeal is the fact that it is a tidy and essentially rust-free survivor. You will find it listed here on Craigslist in Sacramento, California. It could be yours for $20,000, although the seller might entertain a trade for the right vehicle. I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Pat L. for spotting this wonderful survivor.

The history of this Impala is unclear, but if it has spent its life in its current location, that will be good news for potential buyers. Its Dover White paint has accumulated scratches and chips, but the presentation remains acceptable for a survivor-grade classic. There are no dings or dents, but I can see what appears to be corrosion emerging from under a couple of the fender moldings. If that is correct, the new owner should tackle it before a small problem becomes a big one. We don’t get a peak underneath this Chevy, but if the trunk pan is an accurate guide, this car is as solid as a rock. The trim is in good order, including the damage-prone hubcaps. The tinted glass looks excellent, and it seems this Impala has no pressing panel or paint needs.

I was pretty taken aback when I saw this Impala’s interior. If it is as unmolested and original as the owner claims, the condition of its Blue vinyl and cloth trim is astounding. There is no wear or marks, and even the carpet looks quite good. You must search carefully to find any defects, with a crack on the wheel rim being the only apparent problem. The dash and pad are spotless, and there are no aftermarket additions. Due to its age, there is one change worth considering. Fitting a cover over the dash pad would cost less than $100, and the protection from damaging UV rays justifies the expense. Since a replacement pad retails for $400 if the original cracks, it could be money well spent.

Chevrolet introduced its 350ci V8 to the Impala range in 1969, and that’s what this car’s original owner chose. It sends 255hp to the rear wheels via an automatic transmission, although it is unclear whether it is a Powerglide or Hydramatic unit. The two-speed saps performance slightly, but on the open road and when filling the tank, there’s little to separate them. Teaming the drivetrain with power steering should provide the new owner with an effortless driving experience. This Impala’s engine bay presents well for its age and doesn’t flatter to deceive. The seller says it runs and drives well, meaning the new owner can turn the key and drive away into a life of classic motoring pleasure.

One attraction of cars like this 1969 Impala Custom Coupe is that they offer buyers a world of options. Leaving it untouched as a proud survivor would be the obvious solution, although I would still address the corrosion appearing under the fender moldings to prevent further deterioration. A complete repaint would help it stand out, while some wider aftermarket wheels and tires would be a reversible change that should improve handling and safety. If I found it in my garage, I would fix the corrosion and enjoy all it offers in its current form. Would you do the same?

Comments

  1. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    I would opine that this is pretty much the last Chevrolet of quality built.

    By ’71, the metal got thinner, and the interiors got cheaper and more plastic-y. Sure, Chrysler suffered the same malady, (Ford not as bad), but by ’75, the Detroit cars all seemed to be basically disposable.

    As a classic car consumer, I generally do not go later than 1971, and I’m beginning to think I should cut off at 1967.

    Like 6
  2. George Mattar

    Rex is pretty much correct, but Ford had some really cheap seat covers and lousy carpet in the so called good old days. GM quality started to slide in 1970. This car is low option and I like that. Less to break. Less to fix.

    Like 2
  3. Gord

    I don’t think it spent it’s life at it’s current location as it has Washington license plates.

    Like 4
  4. Rw

    To bad no a/c.

    Like 6
  5. MathieuB

    I’m surprised that it had manual brake, Custom Coupe like this one should get standard front disc brake setup and I don’t think that it was available in manual form.
    Anyway, sublime interior, a great buy!

    Like 4
  6. John W Kriegshauser

    Add power front disc brakes, maybe a Vintage Air kit, detail the engine compartment and Chevy rally wheels and that’s all she needs.

    Like 7
  7. Karl

    The 69 should have a hydramatic trans it should not be a power glide.

    Like 3
  8. Big Art

    Karl is Right , We had one when I was a kid and I could of sworn it had a 350 turbo 3 speed automatic.

    Like 1
  9. Pnuts

    A 69 Impala 350 300 horse with manual brakes and no air? This was a special order car. No power steering was probably not an option or I suspect they’d have clicked that too.

    • bone

      Nobody special ordered a stripper model car , there would be a few at every dealership to get customers on the lot . They are generally a hard sell , because its plain jane looks and lack of options would steer buyers into something better. in 1970 there were still plenty of full size cars with no A/C , though I’m sure in the hot states it sold well. it was looked on as an expensive option, by many people

      • Pnuts

        Was actually quite common where I’m from. Your correct that there were still a lot of factory no A/C cars thru 70. However this particular car would have gotten it more times than not. The bigger issue is no power brakes on this particular car. I grew up in the farm lands of Ky and vast majority would not want A/C. They didn’t have it in their house or churches, schools, place of work even in a lot of places so why would you want it in a vehicle? I can see several different ones I remember walking past the A/C, power brake vehicle to one without and yes, ordering it if there wasn’t one on the lot. They thought they were gas consumers. I’ve also seen them pull in the driveway with a new or new to them used car that had A/C and before going inside raise the hood and cut the Belt off. “That’ll just make it burn more gas”

        Like 1
  10. ACZ

    A price leader when new. This car is nice but a real cheapie. Take it and a highly optioned turd car, and you could make a really nice one.

  11. John Phillips

    69 was the last year for the powerglide and it only came bolted to the six or 327. If you opted for the 350 or better, you got the three speed auto.

    • Bob C.

      Actually, a buddy of mine from high school had a 1970 with a 350 and a Powerglide. Lots of miles on that car.

      • Pnuts

        Yep, 70 was probably the last year but 350 2 barrel power glide Biscaynes were fairly common in 70.

  12. firemedic2714

    I’m going to agree with everyone by saying Vintage Air, power brakes with a disc brake conversion (rear and front, if needed), fix or mitigate any rust, and send it. But, I’ll be “that guy” and add a set of chrome Dayton wire wheels instead of Chevy Rallys.

  13. bone

    I’m thinking its not as original as its stated – there’s a little blue overspray on the right door jam (maybe repainted the dash ?) and the hood rod/catch has been painted over, something that would have been black or unpainted. It may be the trick of the light, but the pic with the hood up looks like a different shade of white too.
    And if there’s any rust bubbling in the wheel arches, they better get to it fast – the 69s and 70s Chevies were real rusters; the odd wheel arches seemed to collect water in them

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