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Solid Daily Driver: 1966 Chevrolet Impala

The thought of using a classic car as a daily driver may be foreign to some people, but that is precisely what the owner of this 1966 Chevrolet Impala has been doing. The first thing that this tells us is that the car is in sound mechanical health, while the supplied photos indicate that the car is also free of significant rust issues. It would make a satisfying restoration project, although there’s no doubt that it would turn heads in its current form. If you want to give this classic a new home, you will find it located in Lenoir, North Carolina, and listed for sale here on eBay. With a BIN of $14,000 and the option to make an offer, it represents a lot of classic steel for your dollar.

If I could provide eBay and Craigslist sellers with one piece of advice, that would be that they should take as much time as possible to provide high-quality photos of their vehicles. Anything less is doing their classic a disservice. The pictures of this Impala aren’t bad, although they aren’t great. They reveal a remarkably straight car, with no evidence of bruises or panel damage. There is no visible external rust, although the owner admits that there is a 4″ section of rust in the trunk pan that requires attention. The supplied photo indicates that a simple patch should fix this rather than the buyer resorting to trunk pan replacement. Otherwise, this vehicle appears to be a rock-solid proposition. It isn’t easy to be 100% sure what color used to grace its panels, although I do believe that it may have been Regal Red. The car would look stunning returned to that shade, although this would be a perfect opportunity to apply a color of the buyer’s choice with the Impala in its current state. The external trim appears to be in good condition, as are the Rally wheels. With flawless glass, this seems to be a promising project.

This Impala’s interior sends us mixed signals. The dash and pad appear to be reasonable, while the owner has recently replaced the carpet and headliner. A few of the hard trim pieces on the dash show evidence of damage, but only an in-person inspection will confirm whether repair or replacement will be the most viable option. The seat upholstery is serviceable, but a new set of covers would not go astray. The remaining upholstered surfaces look good, although a few minor hardware pieces like window handles are missing. The owner has recently replaced all heater components, including the core, blower motor, and controls. That means that it should keep the occupants toasty warm on colder days. A set of aftermarket gauges occupy the spot where the radio used to be, but the interior appears to be otherwise unmolested. The overall impression seems to be that this interior will take more time than money to return to its best.

With the owner using this Impala as his daily driver, it is no surprise to learn that it is in excellent mechanical health. Lifting the hood reveals a 283ci V8 bolted to a TH350 automatic transmission. While there is no power assistance for the brakes, power steering should make light work of the driving experience. It appears that the motor has received a few performance upgrades and will probably produce more than the 195hp that was available when he rolled off the production line. The Impala may not be a genuine muscle car, but I can’t see why it couldn’t produce a sub-18-second ¼ mile ET in its current guise. The engine bay presents extremely nicely, with no evidence of long-term fluid leaks or other problems. The owner has recently installed an aluminum radiator, an alternator, and a water pump. Stopping this beast should be no problem because he has also replaced the entire braking system from the master cylinder to the drums. Nothing has escaped his attention, which should make hitting the middle pedal a reassuring experience. The car runs and drives exceptionally well and is ready to hit the road immediately.

The next owner of this 1966 Impala will have some decisions to make. There’s no doubt that it would sparkle with a fresh coat of paint, but its current appearance is nothing if not distinctive. I have never been a fan of matte paint finishes, so applying another coat would be tempting. That raises the question of whether the buyer will choose the original shade or something different. It seems that people like what they see because the listing has already attracted sixty-one watchers. You have to wonder whether one of them may be preparing to submit the offer or throw caution to the wind and hit the BIN button. Are you tempted to beat them to the punch?

Comments

  1. Taco

    Gots to be a Low Rider.

    Like 4
    • Laurito

      I be tripping on impala low rider myself

      Like 3
    • Mark396

      NO NO NO, Taco!

      Like 1
  2. Mikefromthehammer

    I thought the TH350 was first used in 1969. If so, the original transmission in this 1966 Chevy would have been the Powerglide.

    Like 4
  3. Rw

    Well built 283s rev like a 2stroke

    Like 5
  4. Jwzg

    Miss my ‘66. Even as a 4dr I left a lot on the table when I sold it. Should have just kept it and fixed the few dents and small rust around the glass. Would have run forever with the 283, PG combo

    Like 4
  5. JimT

    Huh?

    Like 3
  6. Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

    Looks like a nice car on the surface at a very good price. However, Lenoir is in the NC mountains; that trunk shows a lot of bubbling rust and not just a minor hole to patch…the whole floor needs replacing; the ‘dealer-like’ paper mat on the driver’s side floor pan is suspicious as “one’s daily driver”. I’d want to go over the car with a magnet, especially in the rockers and quarters. If it looks too good to be true…..

  7. Glenn C. Schwass Member

    Nice and clean. I wonder what the original color was?

  8. Stevieg Member

    Good looking car! I wonder how bad it really is in person.

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