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 yet potent ZZ4 small block, this impressive Impala the kind of fully sorted cruiser that is ready to capture plenty of awards at local car shows, and be enjoyed to and from those events.
The beneficiary of a no expenses spared $160,000 restoration, this Impala presents new in nearly every way. The complete frame-off restoration was finished in December of 2010. This top-of-the-line, St. Louis produced Chevy displays immaculate bodywork that simply glistens under our bright showroom lighting. It’s obvious a lot of time and effort was put into making sure the car’s profile was extremely straight, which resulted in chiseled sheetmetal that’s completely wave-free. That time was well spent, as better-than-factory fit perfectly centers hinged pieces which move freely and close with a solid thunk. And those thunks are bathed in a rich shade of red that’s been sealed in a durable clearcoat and buffed to a spectacular shine.
The 1963 Impalas were sleek and stylish, with an absence of excessive chrome that suggested GM was coming out of its tailfin-induced hangover from the 1950s. At the front of the car, a body width stainless grille is stamped with black “Chevrolet” script and houses four clear headlights above centered parking lights. At the edge of the hood, a great looking chrome Chevrolet emblem features a traditional blue bowtie centered between red and white inlays. Below the grille, a wrap-around chrome bumper houses a cool ridged center section and displays a mirror-like showroom fresh shine. At the sides of the car, customized monochromatic Chevrolet crossed flag emblems combine with rear fender mounted “Fuel Injected" emblems to break up the sea of red paint, and chrome door handles sit above a white inlayed and “Impala” branded stainless body moldings to emphasize the car''s long body. At the top of the car, all new glass is flanked by well-maintained stainless trim, new chrome bowtie mirrors and bright stainless wipers. Out back, six traditional chrome Chevrolet tail lights sit inside a silver rear valence panel above another show worthy chrome bumper. On the trunk lid, a second chrome Chevrolet emblem houses the same blue bowtie along with the same pristine inlays as the hood emblem and sits above another stamped black “Chevrolet” script.
Lift the hood on this Antelope and you’ll be carried to a valley of chrome surrounded by a black engine bay. Under the bright work, a GM Performance ZZ4 crate motor cranks out over 400hp worth of motivation for this cruiser. Chrome valve covers that have been branded with ZZ4 lettering match the air cleaner cover perfectly, offering a cohesive look to the engine. The reflective theme is continued at the front of the engine where a polished alternator, power steering pump, and air conditioning compressor spin off of engine power. At the front, a polished aluminum radiator keeps the mill cool with some assistance from a chrome, electric fan setup. The firewall has been smoothed and remains largely accessory free with the exception of the polished master cylinder. Turn the key and the small block rumbles to life with a mellow exhaust note befitting of the car’s clean and classy look.
Bolted to the powerful ZZ4 is a Powerglide 2-speed automatic transmission that has been equipped with a 2500rpm B&M stall converter. But the real story under the car is the upgraded air-ride suspension that allows you to achieve the perfect look by simply adjusting the bags from within the ride. Bolted to the air-ride suspension in the front is Strong Arm Tubular front control arms and in the rear a Strong Arm Three-link rear suspension helps achieve the perfect stance. Dual exhaust runs the length of car and is equipped with Flowmaster mufflers to create a breathtaking rumble when the small block roars to life. Stopping power comes courtesy of four-wheel disc brakes, and in front of those brakes 17” and 18” Budnik rims have been wrapped in Sumitomo HTRZ rubber.
Adding to the appeal of this Impala is the completely custom two-tone leather interior that is absolutely stunning. The leather design is simple yet classy enough to grab everyone’s attention as they walk by. Up front you have two white and gold leather bucket seats separated by the middle console. Behind the front seats, two more rear bucket seats create a roomy and comfortable place for you and your 3 closest friends. In front of the driver is a Budnik, leather wrapped steering wheel that rests on a polished Ididit steering column. Beyond the steering wheel you’ll find a custom Dakota Digital dash cluster that keeps an eye on the power plant. Open the console between the front seats and you’ll reveal the controls for the Air-Ride technologies air suspension. Add on niceties like power windows, Billet Specialties window and door handles, Alpine stereo system, and a polished Vintage Air A/C unit and you have one incredible interior that has to be seen in person to really appreciate.
This could easily be one of the nicest ’63 Impalas on the planet. If you are in the market for a resto-mod that combines the elegance and simplicity of yesteryear with a modern powerful engine and a luxurious interior, then this is the Impala for you. It’s a wonderful car to drive, enjoy and even 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. To put this ’63 hardtop in your garage and enjoy years of care-free cruising, call now!