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1964 Chevrolet Impala SS Hardtop

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This handsome Palomar Red 1964 Impala SS is one of those cars that kind of took me by surprise. It showed up last week on a flatbed and I wasn't even sure where it came from. The seller called me and said he was sending me a car and so there it was. It was dusty and streaked with rain (because, of course, it was raining) so we pulled it in and parked it. Michael, my shop manager, took a shine to it and started giving it a clean up including a deep buff on the paint, and suddenly there was this gorgeous car sitting there, and it was a lot nicer than we gave it credit for at first glance. The sheetmetal is very straight and I can find no traces of patches or rust repair anywhere--rockers, quarters, floors, everything looks OEM and totally solid. The finish shined up beautifully and the dark red works rather well on the upscale SS. Chrome and trim is likewise quite nice, including the engine-turned side trim that was unique to the SS. Three taillights always mean Impala, and the lenses and other plastic parts are in fantastic shape, surely reproductions but nice ones. The anodized grill looks great, too.


The interior has been restored using new seat covers, door panels, and carpets, and code 815 black vinyl buckets means this is a real SS because that's the only way you could get buckets. The dash is probably the least interesting part of the whole car, but everything works, including the lights that are supposed to tell you if the engine is cool or hot. There's more engine-turning on the dash and center console, and yes, that's a 4-speed shifter there in the middle. Nice! Everything is in very good shape with minimal wear and the trunk is correctly finished with a three-piece mat set and a matching spare tire with jack assmbly.


You could get half a dozen engines in your 1964 Impala, with this one carrying the L30 327 cubic inch V8 with a 4-barrel carburetor and 250 horsepower. It's quiet, torquey, and a lot of fun with the 4-speed, but not fussy or busy like the solid lifter engines. Rebuilt to stock specs, it starts easily, idles nicely, and just works the way you want a car to work--no fussing. The engine bay is nicely detailed with Chevy orange paint on the block, correct decals, and reproduction hoses and clamps, although I'm not quite certain the air cleaner is correct for an L30. Power steering and power brakes make this car very user-friendly and by 1964, Chevy was using alternators so no worries there. There's even a glass solvent bottle still on the inner fender. Underneath it's quite solid and clean, and this is one car where the flash on the camera makes the undercarriage look worse than it is, not better. There's surface scale on a few suspension and brake pieces, but everything else is solid and clean. There's a newer exhaust system with stainless mufflers, recent shocks, a new gas tank, and proper 8.50-14 BFGoodrich whitewall tires on standard steel wheels with SS hubcaps.


This is the kind of surprise I really like, and you wouldn't believe how rare it is for a car to be better than expected. Usually it's the other way around. This one just kept getting better and better the more we looked--that doesn't happen very often. It's also handsome, enjoyable to drive, and arguably an icon when it comes to '60s automobiles. Price is $39,900, and yes, it really is that nice. Thanks for looking!


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Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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