The Forgotten One? 1970 Chevrolet Impala

Chevrolet hit a grand slam in the second half of the sixties with their B-body full-size cars (Caprice, Impala, BelAir, and Biscayne trim lines). And the star of the show was the Impala. The fourth-gen Impala spanned the years 65-’70 but by ’70, things were moving in a more upscale direction and the full-size “sportiness” factor was on the way out – more on that later. As a result, the ’70 models get short shrift on coverage so today let’s rectify that and review a ’70 Impala Custom. It’s located in Pompano Beach, Florida and is available here on craigslist for $16,900.

Chevrolet offered six variations on the Impala in ’70, a two-door Sports Coupe, Custom (our subject car), and convertible, and then four-door sedans, hardtops, and a station wagon – those being badged as a Kingswood.  Impala sales were hot in ’70 with 612K units rolling off of one of ten different assembly lines. While a stout number no doubt, total Impala production was trending downwards – there were competitive options within Chevrolet, GM, and other manufacturers. As for performance variants, both the Super Sport (RPO Z03) and the SS427 (RPO Z24) options were gone for ’70 as was the four-speed manual transmission.

The Impala Custom first came to light with the ’68 model year and it was essentially an Impala two-door hardtop with a squared-off Caprice coupe roofline. By 1970, the Custom also included a standard V8 engine and front-power disc brakes. The biggest issue with a ’70 Impala, and its ’69 predecessor, is rust – particularly in the lower fender legs – a combination of trapped rain/snow, with a little road salt thrown in for good measure, will make a mess out of them in a few years. This example, however, presents beautifully with no sign of rust, crash damage, or faded paint. The only detractions noted are a dented hood trim piece, a very small missing grille “tooth”, and a slightly dented front roll pan. Rally wheels were, in fact, a ’70 option but they would have been 15×6 inch components, not the ones installed here which look more like the 15×8 inch versions found on Corvettes.

The interior is in equally nice condition and finished in green vinyl to work with the Forest Green exterior. It is said to be an OEM refurbishment but I imagine that it’s really a reproduction arrangement that is available in OEM style, grain, and color. It’s a bench seat environment as that’s all that was available in ’70, bucket seats and a center console went out the window with the SS and four-speed manual transmission. The rest of the interior shows as well as the upholstery – the carpet, door panels, and headliner need no attention. The steering wheel is obviously not original and as a choice in this application, it’s a matter of taste.

Under the hood is a 350 CI V8 engine connected to a Turbo-Hydramatic automatic transmission. Two flavors were available, 250 HP as standard equipment and a 300 HP optional variety. As to which one this is, it is not stated – and it may not even be the original engine. The obvious changes are the chrome-plated rocker covers, aluminum intake manifold, and open-element air cleaner. The seller adds, “car runs and drives fantastic..” It’s not stated that this Chevy is air-conditioned, and though it is, the compressor belt is missing which likely means the system is non-functioning.

So, three cheers for the often-overlooked ’70 Impala. I like this one though I think I’d ditch those exhaust boom tubes and come up with something more original in nature. The price doesn’t surprise me, it’s about what I usually encounter for a fourth-gen Impala – and those have become more popular as the Chevelle’s pricing has become stratospheric. They’re similar cars, just sized differently. What do you think, priced right, or not quite?

Comments

  1. Harvey Member

    Great looking car.The low hanging exhaust and the steering wheel don’t appeal to me.

    Like 92
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      Harvey, I will not be the last person here that was planning to say the exact same things you just did.

      Like 57
    • Bob C.

      I’m another one.

      Like 30
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Steering Wheel, Tips, and Air Cleaner make me think that a 16 year old owns it. Spend the supermarket job paycheck at Pep Boys.

      Like 9
  2. Classic Steel

    Nice !
    I had same color in convertible with the chrome from splash pan. 350 4 bolt and 12 bolt rear end sport edition.

    The windscreen on this boat is tremendous.
    I once drove up on a heavy rain storm and at 75-80 the rain was just lightly hitting top of rear seat. I kept driving snd cleared the rain in 20 minutes.

    Good luck on sale !

    Only downside is the length of this lNd yacht makes new gome garages tight.
    Its worth it…

    Like 7
  3. BA

    I personally would find a 396 & 4 speed to make it mine beyond that looks good except the already mentioned steering wheel & rocket launcher exhaust tips which gotta go

    Like 15
  4. Dan Johnson

    Ford guy here but objectively it’s a nice looking car. Sad Chevy did away with the SS package as bucket seats and a console would have helped. I like the wheels. Same feeling as above on that steering wheel and exhaust tips. Love that clean and simple looking engine bay though. If this is the 300 hp version…..I would enjoy owning it!

    Like 13
  5. TheOldRanger

    ditto on Harvey, et al My first car was a 65 Impala SS (just graduated from college) and I loved that car. A Chevy dealer wanted my 65 and he was trying hard to make a really good deal for a 70 Impala… but I just couldn’t let my 65 go just yet… lol….

    Like 7
  6. Dean Miller

    My very 1st car ! Identical! Same color, same interior & motor…only I had a set of slotted mags on it…miss that car !!

    Like 7
  7. Jay McCarthy

    For less than the cost of that hideous steering wheel those exhaust tips could have been mandrel bent to come out the side… just sayin

    Like 5
  8. Rw

    Those are shin getter exhaust, needs slash cut to be most effective.

    Like 7
  9. Alex

    It really is an awesome Impala, I love the style ! I personally owned a 1969 Caprice with the hideaway headlights, bucket seats console with the high performance Tonawanda New York 450 engine, when I lived In Honolulu Hawaii. I wish I still had it . I have no idea where it is now!

    Like 5
  10. Alex

    On my post I meant a 350 engine not 450. My big fingers made the mistake and I had no idea how to edit it.

    Like 7
  11. Joe Haska

    Its funny how 2 small things can turn you off a car. Like exhaust and a steering wheel.

    Like 11
    • Richard

      If I were to buy this car the first thing I would do is stop at a hardware store, buy a hacksaw and cut those exhaust tips off in the parking lot before driving it home. the steering wheel would be next.

      Like 6
  12. Fred

    Base model had a 3 on the tree, easily converted to a 4 speed like my father did with my mothers car. It was a boat, but road great

    Great styling

    Like 4
  13. Civileyes Civileyes Member

    70 impala is one of the most beautiful models GM made- certainly underrated, particularly in drop top form.

    Like 1
  14. wcshook

    Do you have a long handled, flat blade screwdriver? It looks like you would need one to open the trunk. Unless it has been blacked out, truck key latch is missing. It would be the same key as the door key.

    Like 6
    • 19sixty5 Member

      The original square headed key opens the door locks and is also used for the ignition, the round headed key opens the trunk, as well as locks/unlocks the glove box, and the console storage compartment if equipped. I couldn’t agree more with the steering wheel and exhaust tailpipes/tips.

      Like 2
  15. Sam

    Those quarter panels are 96 inches long, How do I know, I replace them on my 70 Impala that was given to me as a gift after DESERT STORM. It was already rebuilt drive line, I did the body work. Mine had a GLIDE in it but it was worked over nicely. Yo much cam to put the A/C back in it, And when the Bride got pregnant it had to go, To hot in Florida for the baby. Still miss it and this being in Florida might be worth looking into. And a Heads Up Those Quarters fit the Chevelle also

    Like 2
  16. wcshook

    Mom bought a 4 door ’70 Impala, blue with blue interior. Window sticker, badging all said Impala. It was equipped like a very basic Biscayne. Six banger, powerglide transmission, no power anything. Rode well, but the fastest I ever saw it was 95 mph, which probably wasn’t all that bad for a big car so underpowered.

    Like 2
  17. Henry

    Yrs. Ago I had a70 impala convertible. I got a 454, disc brakes and springs from a 70 caprice. Then got the stick shift parts from a 70 wagon. Sourced buckets and console from a 70 Monte carlo. Then added ss emblems from a 69. That big block 4spd. Was fun. A nice one of none. Wished I kept it.

    Like 5
  18. nlpnt

    Not forgotten by scale modelers, the 1/25 scale AMT annual kit of the 1970 Impala Custom Coupe (previous years’ had been Impala SS but that went away so…) just like this one has been reissued many times over the years and is in the current catalog.

    Like 1
  19. John Oliveri

    Nice car, steering wheel and exhaust would be replaced immediately, I mean before it hit the shippers truck, I mean I’d pay to have them run over, like a hit

  20. Rico

    My second wife, Good ol’ Janet had this identical car, except for the ugly exhaust tips and steering wheel. We called it DC for Desert Cruiser.
    One morning we heard a loud crash out front and looked in time to see a street sweeper backing off the rear of the car and driving away.
    I chased the guy down the street and he wouldn’t stop.
    I got the plate number and the number off the sweeper and called the city to report the guy.
    I was told that “If he didn’t stop, that means he didn’t hit your car.
    DC still rode nice even with a half sized trunk.
    The best DC story though was when Janet got home and informed me that I needed to oil her brakes because they were squeaking.
    I told her that I’d oil the brakes right after I got life insurance on her.
    I fixed the brakes, she sold the car to my cousin, divorced me and bought a brand new Chevette.
    40 years later and that’s all I remember about her and DC.
    I’m not sure if that’s good or not.

    Like 1
  21. DON

    These really were one of the best looking Impala and at one time, they seemed to be everywhere. The bad thing about these and the 69 models were that they were real rusters ; I dont know if the wide wheel arches had something to do with it or not , but earlier and later Impalas didnt seem to have that issue as much. Being a Florida car, I’d want to check it out well, but this looks to be a sweet looking ride ( minus the steering wheel and exhaust tips !)

    Like 1
  22. Joe

    Sketchy

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