A vast majority of the metal that comes through our RK Motors Charlotte showroom is either flawless, concours-level show fare or incredibly original, low-mileage garage fodder. But, as awesome as those rare and exclusive cars are, the foundation of this hobby has always been old school stalwarts that we can drive, build on, show off and enjoy. Think about it, when you were a kid, did you dream of towing a pristine factory-original car to a field where it would sit and look pretty? No way! You wanted a classy head turner that was striking, cool and expressed your individual tastes. Professionally restored and powered by a smooth LT1 V8, this impressive Impala convertible is the kind of fully sorted cruiser that you can fire up, press the go pedal and road trip across the country in!
Logging only weekend miles since its complete, frame-off restoration, this top-of-the-line Chevy displays excellent bodywork that simply glistens under our showroom lights. A lot of time and effort was put into making sure this big cruiser is extremely straight, which resulted in chiseled sheetmetal that’s completely wave-free. That time was well spent as better-than-factory panel gaps perfectly center hinged pieces which move freely and close with a solid thunk. And those thunks are bathed in a rich layer of familiar Onyx Black basecoat that’s been sealed in a rugged clearcoat shell and buffed to a spectacular shine.
Chevrolet’s third generation Impala is a sleek and stylish piece that, in its absence of excess, suggests GM had officially abandoned America’s tailfin-induced bender. At the front of this black showboat, a big stainless grille hangs a small “CHEVROLET” script and four halogen headlights between a classy hood crest, a broad chrome bumper and clear parking lamps. At the sides of that grille, familiar cross-flag emblems and quarter-mounted “IMPALA SS” scripts break up a sea of liquescent paint while traditional door handles perfectly complement SS-specific side trim. At the top of those handles, chrome fender ornaments lead the eye to stainless-trimmed glass that’s cleared by bright wipers, flanked by a chrome bowtie mirror and sealed with a fresh cloth roof. And at the back of that roof, a stainless-trimmed and “CHEVROLET” branded valence hangs six traditional tail lights between, a second crest, a small “IMPALA SS” emblem, a second wraparound bumper and stylish stainless exhaust tips.
Lift the car’s sculpted hood and you’ll find a fully detailed GM LT1 V8 that looks awesome and, with roughly 300 horsepower, offers solid, reliable motivation. Built to tear up the street and wow show goers alike, this fully-sorted package combines a sturdy iron block with lightweight aluminum heads and modern fuel injectors to create razor-sharp throttle response and a torque band that’s as wide as Texas. At the front of the body-matched mill, a GM serpentine system spins a chrome alternator at the side of a billet, “LT-1” branded air cleaner that’s sealed around a small re-usable filter element. Once air enters that filter, it flows through a Bowtie-branded throttle body into a factory LT1 intake which is bolted down over completely stock internals. High octane fossils are provided by a tuned port fuel injection system. Sparks are sequenced through high performance AC Delco Premium Silicone wires. Spent gases are whisked away by a slick pair factory GM manifolds. And cooling comes courtesy of a big aluminum radiator that’s complete with a quick-spinning electric puller fan. On the visual end of the spectrum, C4 injector covers and chrome “CHEVROLET” branded valve covers do a nice job of reflecting the car’s deep exterior paint while covering the less attractive part of GM’s block design. The glossy engine compartment has been completely sprayed, jammed and detailed to match that deep exterior paint. And niceties such as a chrome brake booster, a full assortment of finishing hardware and polished fluid tanks add the kind of flash and detail that pushes spectators right over the edge!
One look under this sturdy cruiser reveals a solid X-frame chassis that’s just as road worthy as that stout LT1 powerplant. Torque is twisted from a proven GM 700R4 4-speed to a rugged F4 Camaro differential. That virtually unbreakable drivetrain is suspended by a restored double A-arm front and 3-link rear suspension. That suspension’s handling is greatly enhanced by modern power steering, KYB Gas-A-Just shocks and four wheel power disc brakes. Exhaust rolls from the aforementioned manifolds to mean Flo Pro mufflers and bright stainless tips. The body’s rust-free floors still feature a mild layer of undercoating that was bestowed upon them during their detailed restoration. And at the corners of those floors, chrome ZR-1 wheels spin 245/50ZR16 front and 255/60ZR17 rear BF Goodrich Comp T/As around small C4 cross-flag emblems.
Covered in a vivid red sheen, this Impala’s great looking interior has been restored to a showroom-fresh appearance in virtually every way. The power front buckets, and manual rear bench, wear supple leather hides that feel much nicer than what the car left the factory with. In front of those seats, a restored and painted dash hangs Stewart Warner accessory gauges above a Custom Autosound head unit and controls for the car’s Sony CD changer. At the sides of that dash, custom door panels hang large “62 IMPALA SS” brandings between hidden speakers, chrome power window switches and stainless-trimmed armrests. At the base of those panels, like-new carpet, which displays hardly any wear at all, centers a stylish console between thick rubber floor mats. In front of the driver, a deluxe steering wheel spins around what appears to be a factory tilt column. And behind the passengers, a completely custom trunk hangs a bright red boot over Rockford Fosgate amplifiers and big Kicker subwoofers.
This fully sorted Chevy is a wonderful classic to drive, enjoy and haul three or four of your coolest friends in. It’s really no surprise that these cars are amazingly popular with almost everyone who sees them, because they have such a great combination of style, presence and performance. So, what are you waiting for? Grab the phone, park this ’62 drop-top in your garage and get ready for years of care-free cruising!