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1961 Chevrolet Impala Convertible *SOLD*


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SOLD! I'm not often pleasantly surprised by old cars, but this pretty Imp was better in every way than I expected when it arrived. I acquired it from an estate with the only proviso being that I can't sell it to someone in the Erie, PA area because the family has just too many memories and they don't want to see it again. So, I'm sorry if you're an Eriean (Erieite?). When it was restored perhaps 15 years ago, it had to be insanely expensive because it has held up beautifully despite being a favorite car to drive to shows, parades, and other events. It has been refinished in its original colors, code 917 Seamist Turquoise over code 853 Turquoise vinyl, and I have to say that if you're going to have a car from this era, doing boring old black or red or white is a mistake--pastels are where it's at. It may show up as light blue or light green on your screen--it's really hard to get it just right on the computer, but it's neither light blue nor light green--it's definitely somewhere in-between. Bodywork is quite good and I see no evidence of wholesale panel replacement or botched bodywork underneath, although there are a few minor signs of use, mostly along the rockers where the tires have kicked up gravel. Chrome and stainless is quite nice and the car presents even better in person than in photos--it's really nice.

 

The interior looks almost untouched, including the driver's seat and unique black and turquoise carpets. Seat belts were added during the restoration and they look like they belong there. Options include an unusual power front seat, power steering, power brakes, and an AM radio (now a digital AM/FM unit). The two-tone steering wheel is just beautiful and the crisply rendered gauges have bright markings--they all work except the clock. The white power top powers up and down easily and the trunk is outfitted with a correct mat set and a full-sized spare.

 

It's powered by the "Super Turbo Fire" 283 cubic inch V8 topped by a Carter 4-barrel carburetor, which was rated at 230 horsepower. For smooth, usable, reliable power, it's hard to beat a small block Chevy and even though it stands in the shadow of the 409, I think this is one of those rare cases where I'd rather have the smaller engine. It's torquey, energetic, and runs beautifully. Turn the key and it fires easily and a reproduction dual exhaust system gives it a pleasing V8 burble that's suitably muted for the luxury-oriented convertible. The engine bay is neatly detailed with a few minor signs of use, but nothing that couldn't be erased on a Saturday afternoon. You'll note there's now an alternator in place of the original generator and a later Saginaw power steering pump, replacing the original generator/pump unit. Underneath, there's a TH350 3-speed automatic in place of the PowerGlide 2-speed, and I think that's a reasonable change that makes the car a bit more nimble in today's traffic and it's totally invisible. The floors appear to be entirely original with no patches, the X-frame isn't bent or tweaked in a way that would suggest previous accident damage, and it sits right on a set of fresh springs and shocks. Factory wheels and hubcaps give it the right look and G78-14 wide whites dress it up just right.

 

Nicely sorted and ready to enjoy, this is a striking car that works well in just about any environment. You'll always be the star of a 1-car parade and I have to admit the streamlined Chevy bodywork has grown on me. I like this car a lot. I also think it's priced quite attractively at $49,900. Cars like this have been the cornerstone of the hobby for quite a while and if you like the look, you'll love the drive. thanks for looking!

 

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Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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I don't make mistakes often, but it appears I under-priced this car by a good amount. We had five or six people fighting over it within hours of it going live on other sites and it sold in about 12 hours. Have I under-estimated the popularity of the 1961 Chevys?

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4 hours ago, mercer09 said:

funny, I thought 50k was high, but I dont know these cars at all.

It looked great with that color combo!  Old enough to be an “old” car and new enough to be a decent driver in today’s traffic environment. 

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