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1961 Chevrolet Impala convertible, factory A/C! *SOLD*


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SOLD! I'm pretty jaded these days. Most cars disappoint me and almost none impress me. So here's what is easily one of the finest cars I've ever seen, never mind had in  my shop. It is superb in every possible way. Finish quality is exceptional, everything works including the A/C and the clock, and it's loaded with options: A/C, power windows, power seat, power brakes, power steering, power top, and a 348 cubic inch V8 with a 4-barrel carburetor. The SS package wasn't available when this car was built, so it's not an SS, but it wears stunning Honduras Maroon paint with a Fawn Beige interior, a great combination. The restoration was finished in 2009 and it wears an AACA National First Prize emblem from 2011, and with just over 1500 miles on the restoration, it remains in spectacular condition. I'm picky, so I won't call it a #1 car, but it isn't far off. Even the little stuff is right, from the T3 headlights to the restored stainless and chrome trim to the triple taillights that have become an Impala trademark.

 

The Fawn Beige interior is a nice choice, giving the car a grown-up look that's a bit out of the ordinary. It's entirely new from the carpets on up and the reproduction upholstery is beautifully done. The trimmer in charge of this job did his homework, because there are no wrinkles, no over-stuffed feeling in the seats, and crisp door panels with those cool jet-exhaust armrests. As I mentioned, this car has rare factory A/C, which is mounted under the dash with vents on either end. Of note, the system works independently of the heater/defroster and includes a hand throttle to fine-tune the engine under load. Primitive but effective. It also features a power bench seat, power windows, and an AM radio, all of which are fully operational. In fact, the only flaw on the entire car is that the rear windows go up when you push the master switches down (the rear seat switches work correctly). The white power top folds quickly and easily and stows under a matching Fawn boot. There's also a fully detailed trunk with a correct mat set, full-sized spare, plus a jack assembly. 

 

The 4-barrel 348 was a popular upgrade in 1961, and with 9.5:1 compression, it was rated at a rather modest 250 horsepower. On the other hand, it starts easily, idles smoothly, and acts like a luxury car engine should. It's not high-strung like the Tri-Power cars or the 409s, and I think that suits its personality just fine.  The engine bay is highly detailed with correct finishes, hardware, and decals used throughout. Even the factory A/C equipment is correct. Underneath, the chassis is equally detailed with red oxide primer on the floors, satin black hardware, and all-new hardware. Brakes, suspension, and axle are rebuilt, the 2-speed PowerGlide automatic transmission shifts cleanly, and the beautiful dual exhaust system has been ceramic coated (not stainless) so it'll last forever and sounds right. It also sits right on steel wheels with factory hubcaps and bias-ply 14-inch tires. 

 

Cars just don't come much nicer than this. Someone spent an insane amount of money on the restoration and finished the job, because it starts, runs, and drives like it should. Everything works, it's loaded with options, and it's just gorgeous to look at. A heavy-hitting Chevy that can still score at shows. Price is a not-unreasonable $79,900, and I challenge you to find a better one. Thanks for looking!

 

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Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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