Parked for 40 Years: 1963 Chevrolet Impala SS

After spending the last 40-years hidden away in a barn, this 1963 Chevrolet Impala SS has once again emerged into the light of day, and what the light reveals is that bringing this classic back to life will represent a major restoration project. However, the Impala is complete, and with a solid frame, it still might be worth considering. The Impala is located in Endicott, New York, and is listed for sale here on eBay. With a BIN price of $5,900, or the option available to make an offer, let’s take a closer look at this classic Chevrolet.

The Impala may have spent 40-years in a barn, but by the owner’s own admission, the barn was somewhat less than weatherproof. As a result, the rain was able to flow through the roof and down the driver’s side of the vehicle. This means that the worst of the visible rust issues have impacted that side of the car, along with the section below the rear glass. When you see a car like this that is in this state, you always have to wonder what you can’t see. In this case, the frame does look to be solid. The front floors are pretty bad, and the floor brace has also succumbed to the tin worm. It is certainly able to be restored, but this isn’t going to be an easy job.

Under the hood of the SS, you will find a 283ci V8, while the transmission is a Powerglide. Making life that bit easier, the Impala is also fitted with power steering. Actually, when I used the term “under the hood,” this wasn’t necessarily that accurate. The car hasn’t run since it was parked in the barn, and since this photo was taken, the owner has pulled the motor from the car and dismantled it. He doesn’t reveal what he has found inside the engine, but he does assure us that he does have all of the parts. Personally, I wish that he’d left the engine where it was because now the next owner can not only not be 100% sure that all of the parts are there, but the dismantled engine just adds a layer of complication into transporting the car to its new home.

The Impala’s interior is a bit of a surprise. I’m not surprised by the fact that the carpet is beyond help, but I am surprised by how good the door trims, along with the rear seat and rear trims actually look. It also looks like the headliner might be okay with a clean, while the dash and console also look surprisingly good. When you add up what is going to be needed inside the Impala, it really doesn’t seem too bad. The car is also fitted with a tilt wheel, but my favorite bit is the power windows. After four decades of inactivity and exposure to moisture, they still work perfectly.

I’m not going to pretend that restoring this Impala SS is going to be an easy job, because it does represent a lot of work. We also know how popular and desirable the SS is, so it definitely has that working in its favor. Parts are also quite readily available, so would you take it on?


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  1. Butch

    Guess this is ok to post. A link to an auction a friend sent me. Lots of old iron on this one some gear heads on here might be interested in. Some good looking tin on here. Looks like something for everyone!

  2. local_sheriff

    I was watching this ad on ebay a few days back too, but didn’t submit it to BF when I realized how comprehensive that rust is. Especially the roof concerns me as I wonder whether it could ever be smooth again…? Seems it’s gone to a point when a donor body might the best way to fix it.

    It does seem to be complete though (bumper guards are definately not OE) and given it’s been parked for 40 years chances are good no one cloned it into an SS. WAY out of my skill level, however considering the non-SS 62 ‘vert some days back sold for 12k I’m sure it will sell to some dreamer. Better resto objects are still out there

    Like 2
  3. Gaspumpchas

    man this is one dirty bird- where to start-the roof and high rust is troubling..wonder if it was subject to some kind of bird or varmint crap or urine to do that much damage. Door jamb on drivers side looks real rusty. Rusty driveshaft sitting on the passenger seat could ruin what looks like a nice seat, and all the crap in the trunk gives you no idea how the truck is, guess you have to assume its bad. Driver side hood hinge collapsed from rust. I see rust underneath has gotten one of the body supports next to a blown out muffler. You would need an expert to look at this to see if its up your alley. Good luck to the new owner.

    Like 5
  4. Del

    No. Its a rust bucket, parts car

    Like 5
  5. Anthony in R I

    They should have just sold it back in 1980 instead of letting it rust for 40 years. It was probably a decent car in 1980. Power windows too. Not a lot of 63 Chevies with power windows. What a shame

    Like 4
  6. Tempo Matador Ray

    With a “make offer” contingency, I think this is a good one to practice your skills on. Addressing the structural integrity issues first and then moving on from there, a cool cruising SS could be had. I’ve seen worse, and am personally resurrecting a very unique project purchased out of Uruguay, S.A. that makes this car look like a gem. Based on the photos provided, I believe this to be a true SS model (machined swirl pattern and all). I know because I own and drive a 1963 SS Impala convertible. As mentioned by local sheriff, the bumper over riders are not correct, and take away from the rest of the cool styling (easy fix). And as Adam also mentioned, almost every part for this car is available, making sheet metal repair much more stream-lined. Over the years I’ve incorporated the use of oxalic, and phosphoric acid for rust removal. In addition, utilizing the Eastwood leading kit to fill in the voids, I also find that this method produces nice results. The parts alone on this car are worth a few dollars. If one takes this project on and isn’t concerned with the maximum $$ amount that they can turn around and sell it for, I think you will truly have a daily cruiser you can have fun with. As always “continue to innovate not duplicate”

    Like 3
  7. John S

    This is a typical east coast “rot-bomb”. The body & floors are basically gone. Even the hood hinges are so badly rusted, they were weakened and folded when they attempted to close the hood finally after ? years of being left open to the elements. The X-frame on these cars are notorious for rusting out and with the body & floors reduced to swiss cheese, the water can obviously continue to the frame. When I lived near Boston, I owned a ’63 Impala 4 door hard-top that bent in half do to a rotted frame. We couldn’t open the doors without jacking the center up!
    Though I’m a huge fan of ’63 Impalas, I wouldn’t touch this one! (even if I had a tetanus shot!)

    Like 3
  8. Joe Machado

    Hurricane Sandy comes to mind. Second fav year for me, 63. 59 is my fav Chev.
    Good candidate for a learner doing sheet metal.
    Plastic on cars will do this too.
    Will be at Monterey auction Wednesday. Taking Ridler award winning car from 1991. See ya

  9. KKW

    la bomba!!! lol!

  10. John Oliveri

    Rust bucket parts car, power windows etc, 500.00 anybody?

    Like 4

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