Worthwhile Project: 1964 Chevrolet Impala SS

When it was new, this Ermine White 1964 Chevrolet Impala SS would have been an imposing car. Those days are a long way in the past, but there is no reason why it couldn’t be returned to its former glory. It is going to take some work, but the end result should be well worth the effort. The Impala is located in Fort Worth, Texas, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding on the Impala has reached a mere $3,000, and at that price, I’m not surprised that the reserve hasn’t been met.

Okay, so there isn’t much of that original Ermine White paint left, because the Impala now has plenty of surface corrosion, which has been punctuated in places by actual rust. However, the rust issues in the panels seem to be confined to the vehicle’s passenger side and is most evident in the rear quarter panel, and in the rocker. I suspect that there may have been some in the passenger door, but this has been replaced at some point. It’s the rust that you can’t see that really tells the story, with the front floors and the trunk pan all in need of replacement. When you add that together, then the rust issues in this car aren’t even close to being the worst that we’ve seen in a project car here at Barn Finds.  It isn’t clear whether all of the side glass is present, but the tinted windshield and rear window seem to be in good condition. It’s also worth noting that the majority of the external trim that is present is definitely in a restorable state, although there are a few molding pieces, most notably the one from the front edge of the hood and the passenger door, that are missing and will require replacement.

Things don’t look pretty under the hood, and I suspect that the next owner is going to be faced with the prospect of splashing some cash before the Impala is capable of moving under its own power once again. The owner states that the car is equipped with the 327ci “HP” engine, which produced 300hp when new. However, I might be wrong, but the carburetor and intake don’t look right if that is the case. It will be interesting to see what our readers feel about that. The transmission is a 4-speed manual, and while this is present, it has actually been removed from the car. It isn’t clear whether the engine turns freely, but the sheer accumulation of corrosion on the engine itself does give me cause for some concern. Even so, with the sorts of products that are available today to aid in this area, there is a fair chance that the 327 can be made to turn freely once again…if it is actually locked.

The interior of the Impala is complete, but it is going to require a full restoration. The surprising aspect of the interior is the fact that the dash and pad look like they might be able to be restored without having to resort to any major replacement. Otherwise, it would appear that every upholstered surface is badly shredded, including the headliner. Looking around the interior does reveal a few very nice features. My absolute favorite without any doubt has to be the factory tachometer, perched up there above the steering column. That thing just has such a cool look to it. In addition, the fact that this car features bucket seats, a console, and air conditioning, are all real bonuses. There are a number of components missing from the A/C system, but sourcing replacement parts shouldn’t present a problem.

There is no doubt that it is going to take some work to return this ’64 Impala to its best, but it is by no means a lost cause. If that engine is the high-output 327, then that combined with a 4-speed manual transmission would make a very desirable combination. While values on the Impala SS haven’t been increasing in recent times, they have remained rock-solid. Once restored, this is a car that would provide a nice combination of style, performance, luxury, and presence. Those characteristics tick a lot of boxes for classic car enthusiasts, and I would love to see the Impala once it has actually been restored.

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Comments

  1. John M.

    It’s looks salvageable but it’s going to take lots of TLC and lots more cash to bring it back to it’s former glory.

    12
  2. Don Diego

    Ran when submerged.

    17
  3. Dangerous Dave

    When it’s done it’s going to be an Impala $$.

    28
  4. Steve H.

    They say rust never sleeps. Well it’s certainly not napping on this thing.

    10
  5. Gaspumpchas

    A shame to see this beauty in this condition, guess the seller couldn’t take the time to air up the tires. Hood hinges lunched from being manhandle without being freed up with some blaster. Tinted glass, factory tach, 4 speed 327, Hmm. No pics of the underbelly. It would need a good inspection to tell if you are brave enough to take this on. In its day this was a beauty. Good luck to the new owner!
    Cheers
    GPC

    9
  6. local_sheriff

    I instantly started to wonder were in Texas this Impala could’ve lived to become so rotten – turns out it’s built at the St Louis plant, so it probably spent many years in a FAR more hostile environment.

    At least it’s a legit SS and interestingly optioned. It’s a very late production as it’s VIN is close to 30.000 higher than my very similar Impala SS also built at this MO plant and my car was delivered in April ’64. 20 years ago this one would’ve been a parts car, luckily now everything it needs are available as repops. Whoever buys it will definately be a priced customer at one or more Impala-parts vendors…

    3
    • Paolo

      Anywhere on the Gulf coast, Brownsville to Galveston..Houston to Louisiana can be pretty swampy.

      2
  7. George Mattar

    Get your 401k cashed in; you’re gonna need it. I have a mint set of correct wheel covers for this. Took them off my 64 in 1982, put on shelf. Haven’t moved since.

    1
  8. David Mika

    2bbl, ya, no. And what’s up with the hood hinges? I can’t count how many of our customers over the years who were using brute force to shut their hoods, and we would go out there with an oil spout and say…”whoa, just a sec here…”

    5
    • ACZ

      Probably a 283 with a 2 barrel, and not original, but it is a factory A/C car. However the engine doesn’t have any signs that a compressor or the brackets were ever there.

      3
  9. Superdessucke

    LOL @ “usual rust areas.” Haha!

    3
    • Mountainwoodie

      Beat me to it. :) Its as if the seller is saying :
      ” Nothing to see here…move along”…..

      If this thing didn’t sit under water I’ll drink Por 15. I dont think they make enough of that stuff to even begin. I mean come on

      No one in their right mind would do anything but strip this for what’s left. To even put this on Ebay and sell it with a straight face er (type) shows you where we are today in the hobby.

      They are cool cars though. Super super cool

      3
  10. JOHN Member

    Anything is restorable… with a substantial bank account. This was a beautiful car when new, several nice options, maybe it will be again. One thing that immediately jumps out to me is the 64 GTO console, 1 year only with the shifter tunnel or bucket is cast with the console top. The 65 and later, the tunnel, or the piece that the shifter is set in is a separate part. 54’s also were painted a blueish metallic between the ribs, the 65 up were black.

    1
  11. Purple sky

    The Love Machine LOL

    • Stan Marks

      I believe it was the ’65 Rambler classic 660, that was the true love machine.

  12. Del

    Needs crushing

    1
    • Stan Marks

      I totally agree, Del. When I first saw this, I was thinking the same thing. I don’t think there’s anything to salvage.
      Put this rust bucket out of its misery.
      RIP

      1
  13. John S

    Having a special place in my heart for the ’64 Impala SS, this is sad to see… but it still exists… for the most part. I built a blue ’64 SS back in the mid 70’s. I scored a 454 & 4-speed from a wrecked ’70 Chevelle SS & replaced the 327 & Powerglide… With a 3.08 gear and L/60/15’s out back that tank would fly down the highway with the best of them. I drove it to Boston to visit a friend, then crossed the country to Long Beach Ca. and up the coast road 1/101 to Portland, Or. where it was stolen. I’ll never forget that summer…

    7
  14. The one

    I live near San Jose CA and I know many low rider Impala Guys that would have this car up and running bagged and all for very little out of pocket expense. These fans work together as a team and go through cars in minute detail. They come out perfect Not deep pocket guys, just your average Joe with a passion, and love like all of us that visit this site for the for the automobile. Just yesterday my wife and I passed an obvious child’s birthday party and y’all should have seen the collection of slammed very old and new pick’em up trucks Perfect, beautiful examples of customs and stock appearing automobiles. Talent, talent, talent. No, I didn’t have my camera… A ’64 4 speed SS? I can almost bet someone out there has their tongue hanging out down to their belly button. Kinda like Rat Fink.

    6
    • local_sheriff

      The lowrider crowd is responsible for saving many an X-frame Chevy when everone else found them to be junk! Though I’m not necessarily the biggest fan of their craziest paintwork I can’t omit the fact there’s some serious talent there and they are true car guys! 👍

      6
      • Stan Marks

        Head down to South Central L.A., on a Friday/Sat. night, to see works of art. Just make sure you have plenty of armed guards with you.
        ;^)

        1
      • Kurt

        Right on. When I first saw this car I thought of how it would look about two inches lower, with a paint job by House of Kolor.

        1
  15. Andrew Franks

    I am on the Left coast as well and The one has it right. We have some talent out here who could make this into the beauty it once was. I would take this seriously even though it would be a large number to resurrect but I have no room.

    2
    • Kurt

      Just the paint job for a decent low rider would be 10k.

  16. TimM

    A 327 with a 4 speed is a great combination for this car!! The rust work needing to be done is pretty extreme!! If you did a frame off and were to soda blast it there might not be much car left!! It would be nice to see the frame!!!

    2
  17. MIke Adams

    It took 12 years, but my ’64 is better than a new one. Did everything myself except the paint, so I am sure someone can get this up and running, but it will take a while to save, save, save, and then spend it all in 10 minutes at the parts site!

    2
  18. Steve P

    In 1967-69, I had the same car in high school in Tulsa, though with a black interior, loved that car and wish I had it today.

  19. Stan Marks

    We’re all kicking ourselves for getting rid of former cars, Steve. If only we had a crystal ball back then. I’m still kicking myself for selling my ’65 red GTO, in ’69. I originally ordered the car, sight unseen, when I was 20, in Sept.’64. They didn’t have any brochures available. My salesman said, if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t have to take it. I paid a total of $3200 OTD.
    Shoulda put it in storage for 50 years. You see what they’re going for, on Mecum & Barrett~Jackson? When I tune in to their auctions, I sit & cry.

    2
    • The one

      I believe they(who ever they are) call that 20/20 hindsight.. Bada bing bada boom..
      fagetabadit

  20. jimmy the orphan

    This car has never sat under water. I’m sure it was pulled out of that junk yard in the back ground of the first pic. Never the less it wouldn’t look so scary if still had white paint on it. It just depends on how much work you can do yourself but its restorable. If the frames to shot, get another one. And so on. Also depends on how much you love this year chevy SS. 3k or so is a fair buy Later JIMMY.

    2
  21. Bob

    The 300HP 327 had camel hump heads and a Carter AFB 4 barrel carb.

  22. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended:Dec 15, 2019 , 11:44PM
    Current bid:US $3,350.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 20 bids ]

  23. Steve H.

    The market has spoken.

    3
    • TimM

      So has the quality of the vehicle or lack there of!!!

      2
  24. the one

    Yup.

    1
  25. Miguel Member

    With that mis-matched door this car screams Cheech and Chong.

    1
  26. bone

    These cars didnt have dash pads – that dash is all steel !

  27. John S

    The SS DID have a dash pad. (Over the steel dashboard)

  28. Steve P

    Thought mine did as well, but that was 50 years ago, I could be wrong

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