64 Impala SS Convertible

I have a story to tell about this section of my website. It all started back in 1975.

My dad always wanted a 64 Impala SS convertible when they were new. But as a father of two boys that wasn’t a practical thing for him to have. By the time 1975 rolled around he was starting to think of retirement and his youngest son who is me, was now 21 years old and out on my own. So he began the quest of searching for his dream car.

Now my dad was a very conservative guy. He never paid big prices for anything. He would find a cheaper option even if it meant he would have to do the work on it himself. So he found a 64 SS convertible that one of his friends from work owned. It needed a full restoration. The car was at his friends farm about 4 hours away from where we lived. The caveat to the whole thing was that the guy also had a 66 mustang for sale too that needed to be wrapped up in the deal. Dad wasn’t much of a Ford guy. So I told dad that I would buy the mustang from him and restore it myself.

We took dad’s truck and our friend’s International Scout and headed for West Plains Missouri. We pulled both cars home with logging chains. 4 hours. The things we used to do…lol. I think we paid $400 for both cars.

That’s when the fun started. Dad never did like reproduction parts so the search was on through probably every salvage yard from St. Louis to Springfield to Hannibal. He could have still bought the parts from GM at that time but as I said earlier, he never paid full price for anything. After a year or so we were able to find all of the trim pieces and major parts that were needed to complete his shopping list. The car started out without even an engine. He bought another car just to have the engine.

He then turned the car over to a friend of ours who had recently graduated from trade school specializing in body work. We had seen some of his work from school and his talent was like none other. This would be his first big project. He had a full time body job in our home town but dad’s car was being done at his home.

It took Charlie several months to complete the car but dad was in no hurry. Dad rebuilt the 327 himself at his other friends Zephyr station. 

The car was painted with Honduras Maroon hand rubbed lacquer with a white top and black interior. The body was in bad disrepair when he bought it but the rust was actually minimal. It had 2 inches of bondo in some places. Charlie is a great metal worker so the original panels we used.

The car was totally complete in 1976. It was amazing to see the transformation that the car had gone through. It was straight as an arrow. You know how hard it is to get those long panels straight. Charlie is nothing short of a wizard.

Dad drove the car on weekends and washed it more than he drove it I think. He loved taking his grandkids for convertible rides. They stood in the seat beside him as they tooled all over town. Great memories for everyone.

The car was obviously well cared for. I don’t think it was ever driven on wet pavement. Eventually the lacquer paint started to crack along stress points in the body. The paint was still beautiful but he didn’t like the cracks. So in 2000 he had the car repainted by the same body man that originally restored the car 24 years earlier. He asked my son, who is obviously one of the grandkids that used to ride in the car with him, what color he should paint it. The Honduras Maroon lacquer was no longer available and the enamel Honduras Maroon was not a good enough match to suit him. My son said he would like black. So black it was. The new paint went on in December of 2000. He also had the engine professionally rebuilt at the same time. It was lacking the power that he thought it should have. Sorry to say that dad passed away in April of 2001. He really never got to enjoy the car after it was completed again. Dad passed the car on to my brother and me.

My family had moved to Oklahoma on business in 1995 but my brother still lived in dad’s home town. My mom passed away in November of the same year so my brother moved into their homestead where the car was located in dad’s shop building. My brother was still working full time so he didn’t have much time to devote to the car. It did however remain covered in the building.

Fast forward to 2007. My family had moved back to Missouri and didn’t live far from my brother. We decided to resurrect the old girl. We did some mods to the engine, put different wheels and tires on the car, put in a new clutch, rebuilt the brakes, put in pointless ignition, and had a supertune done to it.

It is now 2017 and she is continuing to turn heads. The Thumper cam and Flowmaster 40’s really make a nice sound flowing through the stainless steel block hugger headers. It has Dart heads on it with an Edelbrock dual plane intake and a new 650 Edelbrock carburetor.

This gem will never leave the family as far as we are all concerned. There are just too many memories attached to the car. It is a member of the family. CLICK HERE to hear the car after our supertune.