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Patina Paint Job: 1964 Chevrolet Impala SS

The Chevy Impala was always a top seller in the 1960s and would even set records, like topping one million units in 1965. The Super Sport was chosen by a lot of buyers, although it was more about appearance than performance at that time. But you could get both if you wanted. Many SS models in 1964 came equipped like this car, a 2-door hardtop with a 327 V-8 and a Powerglide. This car has a newer paint job, one that was customized with patina built right in! It’s located in Johnsonville, South Carolina and available here on eBay for $18,500. But it’s a reserve auction that will require busting through the minimum the seller has set.

The third generation of the Impala, Chevy’s top dog, ran between 1961-64. By the fourth year, the lines of the Impala would be smoother than its predecessors, although it looked a tad bulky sitting next to a ’63, for example. When you ordered an SS for 1964, which became a series of its own by then, you got SS badging inside and out, front bucket seats with anodized aluminum edging, “swirl-pattern” anodized aluminum inserts on bodyside moldings, and SS “spinner” wheel covers. You could any engine from a six-cylinder to a big 409 V-8, but the 327 (like in this car) was the popular choice.

This 1964 Impala SS is said to have been in a barn in North Carolina, but we don’t know how long it was in there or when it emerged. The seller tells us that the body is straight as an arrow and the photos support that. He also says there is no bondo to be found, which is almost a call to action to come over with a magnet and go hunting. The previous owner repainted the car and elected to go for the patina look, so what you see in the paint is intentional and looks kind of cool. The only metal that was patched is a small hole that was found in the trunk floor.

The interior of this Impala looks most encouraging with just two noticeable flaws, a worn spot on the driver’s door arm rest and a small slit in one of the seats. Naturally, the car comes with an AM radio, but it’s flanked by an 8-track player under the dash (original or aftermarket?). Surprisingly for a car of its size, this Impala has neither power steering nor brakes. The 327 paired with a 2-speed, floor-shifted automatic is said to run great and we assume numbers-matching. The seller indicates the mileage is less than 13,000 but that could be 113,000. Just how long was this car in that darned barn?

When the SS changes hands, so will the original build sheet that was stuffed under the back seat. The seller has the same problem as many collectors do, i.e. having too many toys and too little time, so this Impala must move on. Based on Hagerty, an SS in this kind of shape is worth north of $25,000 and the seller’s car is already approaching that. If you’re looking for one of these cars, fret not as there were nearly 120,000 Impala SS models built in 1964 out of more than 1.6 million full-size Chevies. They’re great cars, but not necessarily rare. Thanks, 348-409, for the production data.


  1. CCFisher

    Fauxtina (faux patina) is never the answer.

    Like 25
    • Steve R

      Faux patina screams “I’m desperate for attention”.

      Steve R

      Like 17
  2. JoeNYWF64

    Patina means u can also run errands with it & feel young & like it’s the 1960s everyday, if you want. Try that with a restored 409 convertible.
    The more patina the better – for that purpose. Maybe take off the wheel covers, throw on some ugly steering wheel & cheap seat covers(ez to find THOSE today), & avoid going down steep mountains with those brakes. lol
    & maybe take out the back seat & tape player.

    Like 3
    • Steve R

      Real patina opens up the door for worry free use. Faux patina says something entirely different.

      Steve R

      Like 9
    • Kern Buck

      You could also add fender skirts and Hollywood muffler. And the high end sound system of that time, with “reverb.” Important to have every detail correct.

      Like 0
  3. local_sheriff

    I really don’t get the replicated ‘petina’ finish done here. Yes, I’ll agree from an artistic view it looks nicely done, however with all the effort and $ put into this finish you could’ve just as well painted it properly and in the end have a nice ‘pala. And what if you get a scrape in your ‘petina’ paintwork; do you rush off to your local paint guy to remove that real-but-faux scratch…?

    This is a fairly stripper ‘pala; apart from the 327/PG and radio/rear antenna setup I can only observe the 2spd wiper/washer and padded dash, which I believe together with a tinted windshield produce a ‘comfort and convenience group’ option. As for production figs 185.325 seems to be the number recognized as total ’64 SS cars made; that would include HTs/verts plus both V8s and L6.


    Like 8
    • Chuck Dickinson

      The C&C groups (Comfort and convenience) consisted of outside r/v mirror, day-night inside mirror and 2 spd wipers/washers. That’s all. Padded dash, tinted glass, etc. were all separate options.

      Like 4
      • local_sheriff

        Chuck; you’re right about the windshield and pad’d dash being separate options and as an Impala owner I feel somehow embarrassed to remember so wrong.😣

        I happen to have an SS in my garage very similarly,lowly optioned like the one in the write-up (W2MP3C4F). Since you’re familiar with the C&C groups you may know there were A and B types too? As you can see from my acc codes mine happens to have both, however I’ve never truly have it verified what the B-type consists of. Starting in ’67 the ‘F’ code in the 4th group would mean remote control mirror and mine is so equipped, but for ’64 ‘F’ only translates into C&C type B. So can you confirm whether C&C type B simply meant remote control mirror in ’64 too…?

        Like 0
  4. A.G.

    The whole incomplete patina thing mystifies me. To truly trompe l’oeil finish the job. Some faux rust painted on the door bottoms & rocker panels, and lower edge of the fenders & quarters would set both the car and the artist apart from the crowd. Otherwise don’t bother.

    Like 2
  5. Blue Alfa

    “We assume numbers-marching”

    Nope. The listing title clearly states “N.O.M”. The seller says this again in the listing description.

    “Non-original motor”

    Due to this and the poor paint choice, the sell price is topped out

    Like 12
  6. Bob

    I’m from the days when rust, dents and scrapes were exactly that and not desirable. We called them original. In fact, they lessened the value of a car. Now its called patina, just a lazy way of marketing a car that people are either too lazy, too cheap or can’t afford to paint properly. If you’re going to do anything with a car like this, it deserves a nice paint job.

    Like 14
  7. Moparman Moparman Member

    One of the things that I’ve found, is that a lot of people DON’T appreciate old cars, and to have one that LOOKS like you don’t care about it, means that they won’t either!

    Like 4
  8. sourpwr

    Love it even though it was painted by Pat Ina. I’m fine with manual steering/brakes/ no air. I wish it was a 4 speed. I could even justify paying more for this than I have for any car- new or used. It’s only money. Should that be a generator instead of alternator? Love it.

    Like 1
    • local_sheriff

      ’62 was last year for generator in fullsize Chev

      Like 5
  9. george mattar

    Lot of negative comments here about a great car. I had a turquoise 64 Impala two door hardtop. Being a college kid in 1981, when I got it from grandma, who died in Tampa, I bought a mint set of SS caps for $50 at Carlisle. Took them apart, used metal polish and put em on. No repo wheel cover parts available in 1981. Did tune up, the radiator took a dump and the exhaust rotted. New tires and drove that thing on Route 80 across PA at 75 mph all day. Never let me sit. Drove it until about 1984, sold it to an old guy in Erie, PA, who tracked me down by running my classic license plate. Those days are over. I was a broke just graduated college kid, so I sold it. I could fix that car. NO stupid ECMs, ICMS, MAP, or other garbage. Basic tools and I could fix anything. 1962 last year for generator on GM cars. And that PG was very reliable. And back then, they put in a transmission drain plug. What a joy to work on. Mine had 283 and power steering. No radio, no air, no pb, grandma was cheap.

    Like 6
  10. Swolf Member

    Always enjoyed a sunny Saturday afternoon washing and polishing rust. I mean “Patina”.

    Like 0
  11. Chuck Dickinson

    Interesting that you should ask. I bought a new Goldwood Yellow 64 SS which had C & C Group B, which included the remote left hand mirror. The first year of a factory installed remote, I believe. The 61 & 62 remote mirrors, which mounted on the front fender, were Pontiac mirrors with a bowtie emblem, and I believe that those were dealer installations only. Group A was with a manual mirror. When I ordered my 66, I ordered Group B as well, and got another remote mirror.

    Like 2
    • local_sheriff

      You know, details like these – they bring out the autistic car geek in me…! And Goldwood Yellow is one of my favorite ’64 colors and apparently not available on every Chevy.

      So you’re saying the remote control mirror was part of C&C type B for ’64 and factory installed? When I bought my SS some period paperwork came along – sadly not the build sheet. However the fold-out ‘Chevrolet custom features accessories’ (see link)https://www.autopaper.com/1964-chevrolet-custom-feature-accessories-chevelle-chevy-ii-corvair-brochure.php was in the glove compartment, and one of the available items is the remote control mirror. I’ve always assumed the items in this fold-out were available – and also intended to be – DEALER installed accessories? Details perhaps, but I’d really like to find out exactly what a buyer received when paying for C&C type B !

      As for the SS in the write-up I contacted the seller to have me email a pic of its cowl tag. It was originally single color 912 Silver Blue with 831B Blue bucket interior. It’s a Wilmington car and tag is somehow ‘messy’ to decode compared to other ‘palas. There are actually no factory options imprinted which I find hard to believe

      Like 0
      • Chuck Dickinson

        Yes, the only difference between C&C A and C&C B was the manual vs. remote mirror. Many of the items in the accy booklet were available as either factory or dealer (like radios), and a dealer could’ve installed the remote mirror if the car had no mirror or even to replace the manual one. As a point of interest, there were two different remote mirrors in 64. Early ones were ‘plain’; the later ones had a bowtie stamped in the vertical ‘arm’ just above the base (kinda’ like having the bowtie on the head of the manual ones. The second design had re-designed cables which ‘locked’ in place. The cables on the first design would slip and the mirror was very difficult to adjust. I know this since my 64 was an early build (bought new in Oct 63), and the remote mirror did not work properly (it had the early ‘plain’ back). Shortly thereafter it was replaced with the updated design which had the bowtie on the back and cables which didn’t slip.

        Like 0
      • Chuck Dickinson

        Goldwood Yellow was only available with a black interior, so it was limited to Impala, Impala SS, Malibu SS, Nova SS and Monza.

        Like 0
      • local_sheriff

        Thanks alot for clearing that one up for me – mine has the later style with the Bowtie and car is a fairly late build delivered in Apr ’64. That remote mirror is indeed a sweet design; it’s just so frikkin’ sad there wasn’t made a RH version of it!

        I’ve owned my SS since ’96 however I keep learning more about it and other 60s GM cars constantly and enjoy it. IMHO ’64 was a mighty fine year for GM design-wise!

        Like 0
  12. Chuck Dickinson

    Remote mirrors on 64s were quite rare. I would bet most guys had never seen one. 65s, 66s and 67s were quite uncommon as well.

    Like 0
    • local_sheriff

      Well I’ve figured the wire-operated mirror would be a fairly rare option. Of all the six fours I’ve seen at car shows after I got mine only one had this mirror – an Impala longroof with most every available option, including the 340hp 409. And this wagon’s color…? Goldwood Yellow!

      Like 0
  13. JoeNYWF64

    I don’t think areas of patina are supposed to shine – the wax & paint would be gone! Right?
    That floor hinged gas pedal limits 1 on floor mat selection, especially today’s carpeted ones. Can a later suspended off the carpet pedal be adapted?
    Original spare tire from ’64? I wonder if it’s crack free & will hold air. No steel belts to separate & pierce through the tire. Remember, these could be recapped & the sidewalls had a VERY long life, unlike today’s tires.

    Like 0
  14. Chuck Dickinson

    Reproductions of the original accy rubber Chevy floor mats are available.

    Like 0
  15. Charles Turner

    The ’61 thru ’64 Impalas were so nice……no wonder my Pop still misses only 2 of the cars he owned years ago: a Roman red ’63 Impala spt. coupe & a black ’50 Olds 88 fastback! That’s a no brainer, for sure!!

    Like 0

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