Small-Block Sedan: 1963 Chevrolet Impala

Thanks to reader Clark B. for this super cheap find! Here’s a pretty affordable project- a 1963 Impala sedan for a whopping $650 with a small-block Chevy and a clean title. Yes, its a 4 door. Feel free to heckle me about being awed at the low price of this boat. You can find this boat here on craigslist in Harrison,¬†Michigan!

The owner says he was planning to paint it and make a “fun cruiser” out of it. It looks like, for the most part, the shell is pretty solid. I can’t see any lower quarter rust from here, but I have been wrong before. It also appears as though the doors and large panels are very straight with virtually no filler, which is a huge plus for any restorer. I think a few inches off of the ride height and some tastefully wrapped wheels and a nice candy-maroon paint job.

From the above picture and others in the ad, it appears as though the majority of the crucial trim is present and in useable condition. I believe I spot the four door sill covers with “Body by Fisher” tags on them. In another picture is a horn ring and what looks like the circular Impala badges, which are good to have. The taillights look like they’re useable, and the aluminum cove trim should polish up well.

From the passenger side, it doesn’t really look that beat either. I see no major dents or lower rust, and the glass looks good too. The front bumper looks good enough to polish or re-chrome. What would you do with this cheap boat?

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    James, I read the ad as saying “had a small-block Chevy in it.” “Had” is an important word here….

    This doesn’t get my blood stirring.

    • James K Member

      Ray, I believe you are right. I mis-read the ad.
      Either way, the price isn’t too bad for what I can find locally.

    • Blyndgesser

      An SBC is common as dirt. Anything from a $400 junkyard 350 to a factory-fresh ZZ383 will fit. This way you get to pick which one suits your build rather than being “stuck” with a 283 2-barrel and powerglide.

  2. KeithK

    Cool ride. Extra doors for the dogs. Add Vortec V8 from late model Tahoe and enjoy. No purist guilt here. 1500 bucks and your ridin to work in something infinitely cooler than a new Impala with a 30,000 dollar note.

  3. flmikey

    …worth every penny…cool project…

  4. Rocko

    Leave it ugly and raw so no one steals it, refresh the interior and install a big block , unless you drive alot!

  5. 68 custom

    after 62 the 63s are the best looking early 60s chevy .looks like a good deal on a fun cruiser, but I would worry about the Michigan part.

  6. JW

    I know it’s not a 64 but it has Cheech & Chong written all over it. Should come with a chain link steering wheel and a big stash in the glove box.

  7. David Montanbeau

    Make it a 409 sleeper. 62 shown with a 409-409 4 speed.

    • 68 custom

      not quite as cool but my neighbor has a 327- 300/hp 4speed 62 in white with a blue interior.

      • David montanbeau

        300hp was the highest hp for the small block in a big car for a while.

    • Jim Jimenez

      I, too lusted after this Impala-But it to make it rarer than those 4 Z-11 ’63’s that went through this auction, THIS Impala has a 3 on the tree!
      I’d bet they did not build 57 like this one!

      • David montanbeau

        That was standard back then.

  8. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Man, this brings back memories. One of my besties in high school had this car with the strong-like-bull 6 cylinder. We went EVERYWHERE in that old tank. In the end, the rust worm took over and the car sadly went off to its final resting ground…which was probably your mom’s new washing machine or something

  9. Cubs win

    Nice parts car

  10. Vin in NJ

    A 4 door Impala was good enough for Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever

  11. Howard A Member

    I know how that aluminum bumper insert gets dented. People used to put the bumper jack under those and bend the heck out of them, ’62 and ’64 as well. This may have been a 6 cylinder originally. Didn’t V8 cars have the little badge on the front fender?

    • Anthony

      Yes you could tell what engine was in a 63 by the emblem on the front fender, a “V” for a 283, a “V” with the crossed flags for a 327… same emblem with 409 over it for a 409 I know that the Biscaynes and Bel Airs also carried a “6” emblem on the fender but that was up front on the fender and the Impalas had those two chrome slats up there so i don’t recall if Impalas had the “6” emblem or not

      • Keith C

        Yes, the Impalas had the “6” emblem; they had it in the same place that the V8 Imps did.

  12. David montanbeau

    The insert is in the middle of the bumper. Why would someone Jack the car up in the middle?
    Unless you wanted to jack the w
    hole front or the rear-end of the car. I had about 20 of these cars and have never seen this done, but then!! LOL

  13. Marty Wilke Marty Member

    Don’t overpay for the junkyard small block. Your local franchise yard (Pick n Pull, U Pick A Part, etc, etc,) many of them will sell engines for less than $200.

    The low rider guys will pay $800 for the X-frame from under this car, so at least it’s got that going for it if nothing else.

  14. Doug Towsley

    I had one of these briefly in the early 1980s and stole its motor for one of my Novas. Not a dang thing wrong with a 283 with a 2 barrell Rochester., Damn fine motors. I used it in several cars while building my hot rod motors. I learned a lot of humility with it. It had plenty of power, got great gas mileage, and its sweet spot with a Turbo350 and highway gears in my Nova it just PURRRRRED down the freeway right at 70 mph. I sold the powerglide to some drag racers but man,,,, Compared to my big cams, big valve heads and various other ill conceived ideas that little 283 was sweetheart. I had another one in my 64 Nova SS and in a small light car was a beast. Id happily take another and use in one of my rat rod projects. With an overdrive tranny you could give econoboxs a serious run for their money for fuel economy and be WAY Cooler!.
    Sure,,I got 350 sbc’s sitting here but It is tempting to use a newer power train, but Id finish the paint, do a basic interior, Rust treat and proof the hell out of it and enjoy for what it is. If you located a cheap donor car,,,, The budget could be insanely cheap. Save the old iron!

  15. Mr. Bond

    I used to ride on the back window ledge of my parents 63 impala 4 dr when I was 4 or 5. Must have looked funny seeing a kid lying there as the car drove by. Nowadays …..

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Mr. Bond, we did that too! And the old man would mash the brakes, and we’d go flyin’ into the back of the front seat. Safety advocates cringe, but we thought it was fun.
      It’s great when BF’s features a common car like this. The stories are priceless!

  16. Brad

    My brother had a 63 2dr imp that he taught me how to drive in that I put it in a shallow ditch on a dirt road, about 10 miles from Harrison MI – never forget the look on my bro’s face when I did that – we ended up laughing hard!!!

    Had Deep Purple in the added 8 track at the time…

  17. Bill Owens Bill O Staff

    My dad had a car just like this, white Impala 4 door sedan. Traded a white 1960 Bonneville 4 door hardtop for it. Remember him remarking that it was better on gas, where the Bonneville had a 389. Don’t remember what the Impala had. But he was tired of white cars and had it painted a dark grey and kept the top white. He only kept it about 10 months, trading it and a 1960 International pickup for a brand new 1966 Ford F100, the first new vehicle my father ever had.

  18. Woodie Man

    Heckle, heckle

  19. smittydog

    These look great in red!!

    • David Montanbeau

      Sure do!!

  20. Pete

    I have an Anniversary Gold 4 door with a 283 / 2 BBL/ 2 speed powerglide. It has had one respray and it is 2 shades of gold off. But still presentable. I bought this car because my Dad had a 62 Biscayne when I was a wee lad and he would drive us around the back roads of Alberta in it. One stretch had this one lane bridge that if you hit it fast enough you would float out of the seat all weightless for a few seconds. We all enjoyed that so much. Today I understand the physics behind that couple with the floating air ride quality of driving that thing. He sold his Biscayne to my Aunt for 200 bucks. I was heart broken about it as I wanted it to be my first car. So I bought this gold one 40 years later. I think the price of the one advertised isn’t bad at all. You sure couldn’t buy all those parts used for that money if you needed them.

    • David Montanbeau

      Here was mine. I bought it in Dallas Texas next door to the Southfork Ranch that was used in the series (Dallas) with JR. This was in 1980 when I was flipping cars. I was laid off from Ford Engineering.

  21. Melvin B.

    Like the tre better than the 62 or 64. My aunt had a 62 coupe.

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