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General Information

Year
1972
Make
Chevrolet
Model
Impala Coupe
Color
Black
Packages
Custom
History
This was my grandpa’s very first brand-new car in 1972, having taken him years of saving up the meager police wages and mediocre Army pension checks you could get back then. He was so proud of this giant, comfortable yacht of a car, which was basically his dream car. He, my grandma, my dad, and my uncle used to take this old girl 1,000 miles to Daytona Beach every summer, and cruise another 1,000 back home.

The whole family had a decade and a half of cherished memories in this car before my grandpa gave it to my dad as a college graduation present. Compared to the rustbuckets my dad was used to driving, driving this Impala was like sitting in the lap of luxury, and he continued the tradition of taking it to Daytona every summer, except with his own family he had just started (with me!).

My mom always hated the car, though, so when it inevitably broke down one day (my lead-foot dad blew up the engine), she told him to either junk it or put it in storage until he could fix it. He couldn’t bear to part with it, so he put it in storage. But with it not in our own driveway anymore, with a young kid, and with a recent promotion at work with more responsibilities, he just never found the time to work on it. And it sat. And sat. And sat.

Fast forward through the next twenty years or so and the poor old girl’s not fared well after two decades of sitting outside in the weather. Under pressure from my mom to stop paying the storage fees, not wanting to junk it, knowing that he’d never get around to fixing it himself and not knowing a thing about body work or rust repair, and knowing that I not only am ASE certified in body work (money and time are instead my obstacle), but that I would finally one day be able to give it the love and attention it deserves, he finally decided to turn over the title to me.

After over fifteen years of begging him to let me save this car, it’s finally mine. But it’s really become quite a heap. The roof’s completely shot and looks like Swiss cheese; the floors are probably pretty bad, too, with all that water leaking down through the roof. There’s no way this old girl’s ever going back to stock. It’d take a lot of time and money to even make it road-worthy again. But the frame’s still solid and, while it might be tempting to do so in its current condition, I could never forgive myself if I gave in and junked it. But, given its terrible condition (and the general lack of collectability of this vintage of Impala), I would feel no guilt in getting really creative and hacking it up into some kind of hot rod. Since it needs a whole new roof anyway, maybe I’ll do like a 3” chop for an aggressive, unique look. Nobody chops the tops on these and I’d kind of like to see it :)
1972 Chevrolet Impala Coupe (Black)

Modifications

Drivetrain
The engine isn't original, but it's a stock 350 my dad pulled out of my mom's '74 Nova before sending it to the junkyard. Not sure of the transmission, carb, or rear end.
Interior
My dad had installed a whole custom gauge cluster and center console with a digital speedo and a nineties-tastic travel computer, but the interior's had a good amount of water leaking into it over the years, so I'm not sure how much of it still works, plus the wood he used is all swollen and ruined, and I'm not a big fan of the look, anyway. I'll probably keep most or some of the individual analog gauges he has, but I'd like to replace his digital dash with a factory (or factory-looking) one instead.

It does have a bit of moss growing inside for added style.
Exterior
Rust!
Audio
Is moss entertaining? How about mold spores?
Wheel and Tire
The rustiest 15" steelies ever. I do still have the factory original hubcaps, though, which are in decent shape and look kind of cool. I may just get new steelies and put the original hubcaps back on it once it's back up and running again.

Gallery

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