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 an era-correct Chevrolet V8, this impressive Impala SS 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 immaculate bodywork that simply glistens under our bright showroom lighting. A lot of time and effort was put into making sure this big cruiser was 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 correct Ermine White basecoat that’s been sealed in a rugged clearcoat and buffed to a smooth shine.
Chevrolet’s third generation Impala is a sleek and stylish piece that, with its absence of excessive chrome, suggests GM had officially left the tailfin-induced bender America enjoyed throughout the 50s. At the front of this showboat, a body-width grille hangs a broad “CHEVROLET” script and four halogen headlights between a classy hood crest, a wraparound bumper and clear parking lamps. At the sides of the car, traditional cross-flag emblems combine with quarter-mounted “Impala SS” scripts to break up a sea of clean paint while traditional door handles perfectly complement textured rocker guards and SS-specific side trim. At the top of the car, chrome fender fins lead the eye to like-new glass that’s flanked by chrome bowtie mirrors, cleared by bright stainless wipers and sealed by well-maintained stainless trim. And at the back of the car, a “CHEVROLET” branded valence hangs six tail lights between stainless antennas, a second crest, a small “IMPALA SS” emblem and a second wraparound bumper.
Powering this impressive sports coupe is a 327 cubic inch, era-correct Chevrolet V8. At the top of that famous mill, a heavy duty, single-snorkel air cleaner forces oxygen into a large Magneti Marelli carburetor. Fuel and air flow from that proven 4-barrel into a factory iron intake that’s bordered by factory Chevrolet heads and painted and decaled valve covers. Those valves send spent gases into correct, cast iron exhaust manifolds and a 2.5-inch, true-dual exhaust system that’s characterized by a deep, vintage roar. That roar is the product of sparks sequenced from a familiar points distributor to trusted SuperMax plug wires. Those sparks are generated by pliable V-belts, which spin a modern alternator, a factory power steering pump and familiar Frigidaire AC components behind a correct fan and factory radiator. And this B-Body’s entire engine compartment, from its Chevy Orange paint and Satin Black fenders to its Delco battery and glass washer bottle, is nicely detailed and ready to show.
One look under this sturdy cruiser reveals a solid X-frame chassis that’s every bit as road-ready as the stout 327. Power flows to the pavement through a familiar Muncie 4-speed, which spins a rebuilt GM rear end. Holding that virtually unbreakable transmission off the ground is a restored double A-arm front and 3-link rear suspension. That suspension’s handling is greatly enhanced by factory power steering and power drum brakes, which are piped to a fresh master cylinder and equally fresh brake booster. Exhaust flows from the aforementioned manifolds to glasspack-style mufflers. The body’s rust-free floors still feature a coat of bright Oxide Red primer, which was bestowed during their detailed restoration. And at the corners of those floors, 14-inch steelies spin 8.00-14 BF Goodrich Silvertown whitewalls around striking Chevy center caps.
Covered in a contrasting red sheen, this Chevy’s correct interior has been restored to factory-fresh condition in virtually every way. The SS-specific front bucket and rear bench seats feel newer than the car’s 52 years would suggest, and present just as well now as the day they rolled out of the upholstery shop. At the base of those seats, like-new carpet is protected by white-detailed floor mats. At the sides of that carpet, pleated panels hang small power window switches below chrome door handles and modernist armrests. At the front of those panels, a restored dash, which is chock full of rebuilt gauges, carries what appears to be an original Delco radio. At the base of that dash, a stylish, SS-specific console centers a chrome shifter in front of a small, lockable storage compartment. In front of the driver, a chrome-trimmed steering wheel spins around a classic, column-mounted Sun tach. And behind the passengers, a fully restored trunk seals a correct mat, a correct jack and a full-sized spare tire below a fresh decklid decal.
This fully sorted Super Sport is a wonderful car to drive, enjoy and haul three or four of your coolest friends in. It’s really no surprise that these Impalas are amazingly popular with almost everyone who sees them, as they have such a great combination of style, presence and performance. So, what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone, park this ’62 hardtop in your garage and get ready for years of care-free cruising!