Nothing against the vaunted LS platform that has transformed the custom car building world, mind you. Sometimes you just need to see a vintage Chevy Impala powered by a traditional Small Block making joyous sounds, laying waste to rubber, making great white clouds of tire smoke. If that Chevy Impala happens to be beautifully restored, so much the better.
Our featured Chevy Impala is a 1963 vintage two-door. With the windows down, we are treated to the clean look of the pillarless design. The lines of this sled are enhanced by the glossy dark blue metallic paint. The bumpers look to have been re-plated recently. All the exterior brightwork glistens and shines.
The interior of this Chevy Impala is blissfully, beautifully simple. Done in Bright Blue vinyl, it has bucket seats, and loop-style carpet. It has been converted from a bench seat/column shift car. The stock-style center console is only a half-length unit. The shifter has been moved to the floor, but it wears a color-matched shift boot. The steering wheel is a polished billet unit, but not so garish as to take away from the otherwise stock appearance of the rest of the interior. The trim is all bright and shiny.
The fairly stock looking engine bay of the Chevy Impala is home to a Small Block that is clearly not stock. The intake, heads, alternator, and headers give it away. The Chevy 350 cubic-inch block is bored .030 over, which makes it a 355 cube mill. It sports a Weiand intake, Edelbrock heads and a flat tappet cam. It makes about 425 horsepower and 425 pound-feet of torque. Owner Rich says, “We ran it up to 6,000 RPM, but it never really fell over. I don’t want to run it any harder than that. It might have a little more in it, but it’s plenty for what it is. I grew up in the 1980s. If we could make 300, 350 horsepower, it was something big.”