Tri-Power Project: 1960 Chevrolet Impala

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Based on the pedigree, I have to agree with the seller that this 1960 Chevrolet Impala is more than worth the effort it will take to get the car roadworthy again.  While there’s plenty of sheet metal that will require attention, this one’s said to be an all-original example, and the best news here is the drivetrain, which is still numbers-matching.  The Chevy is residing in Manassas, Virginia, and comes at an asking price of $14,500.  T.J., thanks for another excellent tip!

Under the hood is the born-with 348, with those mean-shaped valve covers and an even more intimidating trio of carburetors sitting on top of the manifold.  A 9.5:1 compression offering was one of the tri-power varieties, providing plenty of bang at 280 HP, or you could step up to the 11.25:1 version and get 335 horses.  The seller doesn’t specify which one is present here, but he gives us a clue in this photo that it’s the tamer of the two.  Whether or not the crank still turns is never addressed, but other than a few missing minor pieces, the bay looks to still be in decent order.  More good news is the transmission, as it’s the original stick-shift manual component.

The body is going to need lots of TLC before it’s ready for fresh paint, but it appears pretty much complete, and as the seller points out there are no signs of any prior accidents, except for one light tap on the rear bumper.  A new trunk pan will need to be sourced and installed, along with either some floor patches or a complete replacement here too.  The owner mentions that he has a lot of sheet metal and parts that will be included if the price is right, but he doesn’t go into detail about the specifics.

Nearly all of the interior will need to be redone, including the seats, headliner, and door panels.  However, the gauges all appear to still be present, and the dash itself may be salvageable.  This one needs someone with a strong set of skills, but dreams of driving a tri-power with a stick shift should help the future owner keep his eye on the prize throughout the endeavor.  If you’re up for restoring this 1960 Chevrolet Impala, it can be found here on Craigslist, and I’d sure attempt to negotiate those extra parts into the deal.  Is this one you’d consider taking on as a project?

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  1. Driveinstile DriveinstileMember

    If you need a good sprinkler installer…….
    Sorry just couldnt resist. But someone has some free advertising going on in the background here.
    If this is numbers matching…. This Deserves a high quality restoration. 348 Tripower with a manual. Absolutely would be such a blast to drive and enjoy.

    Like 8
    • Brian

      It was an automatic car. Someone removed the shift lever but the base is still there. With all that rust I would be a little worried about the frame.

      Like 0
  2. bobhess bobhessMember

    First 948 I got to ride behind was in a ’58 Impala hard top with 4 on the floor and it really moved. Agree this one would be a ball to get on the street with.

    Like 3
  3. gbvette62

    While it may have a stick shift in it now, a quick look at the steering column revels this car started life with a “three on the tree”, a three speed column shift. The seller doesn’t say what trans is in it, only calling it a “stick shift”, so I’d guess it still has the 3 speed and the floor shift was added by a previous owner. I’d restore it back with the column shift, just to make it more interesting, and a little different then all the other cars out there. When I was a kid in the 60’s my cousin had a three speed column shift 62 409 Impala, so this car’s not all that strange.

    1960 is one of my favorite years for old Chevy’s, I’ve had a couple. I also love “W” motors, but while I’ve had a 409, I’ve never owned a 348. The problem with 60 Chevy’s is that they do love to rot out, as this one shows. This would be a beautiful car done, but restoring one of these, especially one with the rust this one has, is going to be a project for someone with a lot of talent and deep pockets.

    Like 7
    • al

      my senior year in highschool I had a black 1958 Impala 3 on the tree 348 I converted it to 3 on the floor loved that car it was quick only problem the 1958 had was no positive traction that didn’t come out till the next year

      Like 0
    • patrick m Shanahan

      Back in the day a lot of 3 on the post were converted to the floor. My friend had a ’59 with the tri power 3 speed on the column and another had a ’58 with 4 on the floor. Both cars were very fast for the day, 15 sec quarter mile. Another guy put a 409 in his ’60 Impala but the real gear heads knew since the dip stick was on the wrong side of the engine.Those cars were fun and fast. Today’s 500+ HP cars don’t belong in the hands of some kid full of beer. They are factory race cars.

      Like 1
      • al

        yes best way to tell a 409 from a 348 is the side of the engine the dip stick is on

        Like 2
    • stillrunners stillrunnersMember

      Agree….seller sounds like he didn’t really want to mention that…..and whats with all these sellers ” tires/wheels do not come with car ” he also states “not dressing it up” gee……sell it like it is….neat car though.

      Like 1
  4. ACZ

    W motors rev like a small block. The problem is that the pistons are weighted to one side because of the shape of the dome and the flat cylinder heads. Some old time engine builders knew how to under cut the piston dome to achieve a better balance and allow the motor to live at high rpm.

    Like 2
  5. V12MECH

    A nice 348 , tri-power driver like this is what, $55-65k.!? With say a $13-14k buy in, add a quick $50k+ in quality resto costs, and this bucket needs everything, and a couple years in the shop, forget it. This is a project for a shop that can do it all and not end upside down when done, there’s better out there.

    Like 2
  6. joe bru

    Best to check out the engine in person, the block could be cracked due to weak anti-freeze & cold weather, could put the project under water money wise because the value here is the block stamped as a tri-power from factory.

    Like 0

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