61 Convertible resto. Found in a ditch - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-20-2007, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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61 Convertible resto. Found in a ditch

Hi. just doing a google search and found the site. Im building a 61 Impala convertible from the ground up, so far doing it all myself. This is my first attempt at a car this bad since it was had been sitting in a ditch for the past 20 plus years.









this is about where Im at with it now 7 months later thanks to a donor 62 buick convertible and two 4 door 61 Bel Air donor cars.



Im about ready to start on the floors then I will have the car blasted.

Last edited by Skim; 06-17-2009 at 01:12 AM.
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post #2 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-20-2007, 11:36 AM
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Welcome to the board. Looks like you are making progress. Keep us updated.

1964 Impala 2 Dr HT 4 sp posi
1969 Camaro before and during http://rides.webshots.com/album/546302474IrnbEH

1969 Camaro almost done http://rides.webshots.com/album/553646077CLCZBu

1969 ElCamino SS http://rides.webshots.com/album/546349285mMtINq
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post #3 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-20-2007, 06:06 PM
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Scary stuff. You going to put a roll bar in it this time around?

Great workmanship. You must be daring to tackle such a project with only 4-doors and a different make for parts. You can certainly be proud of your efforts.

Big Dave
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post #4 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-20-2007, 07:57 PM
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Excellent job so far....was one of those donor cars a 4 door hardtop, by any chance? I need a couple of rear door glass channels.
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post #5 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-20-2007, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgwar View Post
Excellent job so far....was one of those donor cars a 4 door hardtop, by any chance? I need a couple of rear door glass channels.
Unfortunately they were 4 door post cars. I checked out your build page, that car looks super solid. Even your inner fender headlight mud shields look excellent and those are always rotted!

Last edited by Skim; 11-21-2007 at 03:45 AM.
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post #6 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1964 Impala Dude View Post
Welcome to the board. Looks like you are making progress. Keep us updated.

Thanks. heres a quick rundown of what Im doing.

I know some of my welding isnt the greatest due to lack of experience but Im getting better as I go. 61 Impalas are my favorite year and I always wanted a convertible but a descent driver runs 25 grand and up. I figured as long as it was a vert I will do whatever it takes to fix it.
As for the car itself, It was pulled from a ravine up in Lawton Oklahoma. It had another car drug over the top of it so basically it was bad. With a couple donor cars I am determined to fix it. Anyways heres some pics and I will post more as I go.
Heres some pics of the floor, once I cleaned it out.






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post #7 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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tore into that bashed front clip and started taking apart the 4 door parts car.


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post #8 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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This is the 4 door I picked up for $700. Buying a parts car is the best thing I could have ever done because it tells me how everything is put together and I have never tore into a 61 before. :0 Look at them solid *** rear quarters. This bitch is getting sawzalled for reals.







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post #9 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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converted the 4 door bel air trunk to an Impala trunk



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post #10 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Before:

Donor from the 62 buick rag:

Started removing the rusted out cowl.
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post #11 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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After cutting the donor out of that buick ragtop, I had to disassemble it. 10 million spotwelds it seemed like, took forever This was the hard part because since I was going to be using this part, it had to be really nice and I couldnt go crazy risking it getting all screwed up.

after a quick test fit, theres a couple edges I will grind down and it should drop right into place.

The next thing I will do is rust proof the rail and the back side of the panel with POR 15 to keep it from ever rusting.







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post #12 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
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Luckily all 61-62 GM made verts use the same exact vert parts so I found this 62 buick convertible on craigslist that I used for the vert ****, windows, top mechanism. It was on Craigs list for $1000, I talked him down to $500




The cool thing is I already sold **** I didnt need on ebay to the buick people and made $428 so its like I only paid $75 for all the stuff I needed.
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post #13 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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bought another 61 parts car for $400.




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post #14 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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post #15 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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post #16 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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wondering why I had to do this, this was the reason.



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post #17 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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post #18 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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about to work some rust holes.

last of the welding and finish grinding

have to cut the whole dash out for a new one. All day on the dash using the one from the 4 door.

gonna have the front quarters (brand new reproduction) on . This area was rusty

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post #19 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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more work...



getting ready to install the new dash.

got rid of the old rusty pedal assemblies and using the ones from the 4 door.

its coming along thank goodnes for parts cars.

since the back side of the passenger side of the dash and windshield channel were pretty rotten I had to go this route.


this was some serious stuff (for me anyways.) I was scared that it wasnt gonna work out.
This should give you an idea why.
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post #20 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
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This was the donor that is going in to replace that rusted out window channel and fire wall section. This is the bottom side of the windshield wiper cowl.

about to go in.

from the inside. remember this was all ate the hell up with rust.

while I was at it, I replaced this top corner. it was rusty.

This was the part I cut out. you can see the rust coming thru.

I havent welded that piece fully on yet but while it was open I got to clean all the shuff out that was down in there.

Prior to welding up the corners

after POR 15 treatment. Never rust again
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post #21 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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rust proofing inner quarter supports




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post #22 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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dash going in



its getting there. This is all practice for the barn door. Get ready its all do it yourself from now on.



got the dash completely welded in.
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post #23 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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some I took after I lined up the top mechanism



I wanted to make sure the windshield post still lined up square


header bow lines up okay but that is the OG header bow so its kinda messed up. plus it has some small rust issues. Hopefully I will find a nicer one. Me and my buddy John tried our best to straighten this one out.

finally before I called it quits.. Im going to dismantle the rack and have it powdercoated.
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post #24 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 03:03 AM Thread Starter
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started fitting and tack welding on the passenger replacement quarter panel.

I didnt really like how the repro quarters folded over into the door jamb. They didnt have a tight sharp curve so I cut them an inch back from the OG door jamb metal and butt welded everything up.


everything lined up tits.


also, by doing it this way (leaving and inch of original metal next to the door jamb) I was able to make sure the factory body line was consistently correct eithout the doors having to be on the car..

yeah man, so far so good until I ran out of welding wire
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post #25 of 937 (permalink) Old 11-21-2007, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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I bumped up from .025 wire to .30 gauge and bumped the heat up a little to make sure everything penetrated. Last thing I need is the windshield post to crack on me later down the road. No more Cold Welds!


same on the passenger side...

finally finished this...

also finished up on that quarter panel finally.

finished up the fire wall welding also. I will finish grinding this.

finally finished up the top of the drivers side quarter panel. Its been sitting there tack welded for weeks and I got sick of looking at it like that. I will start on the lower patch panel and that rusted out area tomorrow if Im lucky.

I also should have the trunk floor soon
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