Restore or not to restore? - Impala Tech
Restoration Corner Aimed at Originality

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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Restore or not to restore?

Hello everyone, I'm wondering about some opinions on my car and whether I should do some serious work or leave it alone. Here's the deal, I have a 1964 two door hardtop, 327, 3 speed manual, black with blue interior. My parents bought the car new in '64, drove it until 1979, then stored it until I purchased it last week. Over all, the original paint is very nice other than a few dings here and there, all very small. There is very little rust (50 cent piece size) on the lower front fenders. Other than the carpet being a little worn, the interior is MINT and original. Shoot, Dad put those slick clear plastic covers on the seats when it was new and they are still on it, although they are yellowed now and I plan to remove them. The engine and engine compartment is untouched, but not overly clean.

Here's where I'm asking opinions of fellow members. Keep in mind that sentimental value is priceless on this one. Do I leave everything alone and keep it as a survivor? Do I repair / repaint the bottom of the fenders? Detail the underhood? (repaint the motor, fender wells, etc) I know that a car is only original once. I am aware that certain things will have to be replaced since it has sat for so long, so there's no way around that. I'm more interested in opinons about the underhood and body.

THANKS for any input that you may have!!
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 09:37 AM
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Personally I would pull the motor and tranny and save them for when some one else wants an all original museum piece instead of a driver. Install a fresh 350 and TH350 or 200R4 overdrive and enjoy the car. I would definitely repaint the car and clean up the interior. Keeping in mind that even though the clear vinyl plastic seat covers protected the cloth it is still forty years old and subject to tearing if stretched from abuse (like lids). The plastic itself is going to be very brittle, but worth saving if possible.

Big Dave
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 11:11 AM
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With all respect to Big Dave, I'd lean towards leaving it alone. Unless you pound on the motor (and thereby damage one of the castings) I can't understand taking it out now. A little clean up under the hood might be in order, but I would hesitate to do anything else except enjoy it.
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate any and all suggestions, but at this point I'm with Mike on this one. Mostly due to wanting to keep it as close as possible in condition and appearance to the day that Mom and Dad brought it home in '64. I do agree that with the exterior being fairly nice and the interior being near perfect (other than the carpet) that it could use some freshening up under the hood to match the rest of the car.......
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 06:17 PM
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Hey Darrin,

What I suggest you do is clean up under the hood and maybe paint a little. That way the appearance looks like it is new, and keep any rusting in check. The fenders are showing rust through them??? Holes??? That is a hard call....I think I would get some Rust Converter and get it on the inside of the fenders to stop the rusting. Maybe even getting a small patch welded over them and paint just the repair. Crawl under the car 64's have a problem with rusting the "dogleg" area. I did see some outfit making plastic covers awhile ago...I just don't remember where. Besides, if you're not going to drive it everyday, you won't need seat covers. Your Parents put them on to protect the seats from YOU!!!!! Good Luck sounds like a real nice vehicle
Gary
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 09:35 PM
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i wanna see pics posts pics!!!!!
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-19-2009, 11:17 PM
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Yeah, we totally need pics.

I'm biased on this one but my vote is to leave it alone, drive it and enjoy the originality.

My gold 66 had 1 owner for 40 years and it was unused for the last 25 years. It's not as nice as yours, but, still in very original shape and has 125,000 miles.
I degreased the engine bay, put on new tires, exhaust, fuel pump, water pump, belts and re-cored the radiator and I'm driving it. I like it as being the opposite of a restored car, but it drives some of my friends NUTS that I won't even clean the chrome. Maybe one day.......

I believe in the saying you mentioned,....they're only original once. You can't go back.

HOW A NOVICE REBUILDS A 66 IMPALA CONVERTIBLE:
http://www.impalas.net/forums/blog.php?u=1432
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-20-2009, 01:16 AM
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I'm with Big Dave on this one. This way you get the best of both worlds. A cool car to drive and you keep the value by keeping the original drive train.

Ape Out.

Make: Chevrolet
Model: Impala Custom
Year: 1969
Doors: 2
Engine: 327 V8
Trans: Powerglide
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-20-2009, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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I agree with degreasing the motor and maybe installing new carpet. As mentioned, some stuff will have to be replaced (brake and fuel systems). I'm pulling the car out of the barn on Monday and promise to get some pics then. I also have several from '64 and the next few years from my parents photo album, but will have to scan those first. I could take up many pages just telling stories about all this car has seen since new, everything from my Dad's last speeding ticket in the mid 60's to my Mom "rolling through" a stop sign in second gear, (her exact words) then quickly shooting down an alley to avoid the cop that she was certain was going to stop her HAHAHAHA!! You folks on this website ROCK!!!
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-20-2009, 07:31 PM
 
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yes, leave it alone, tidy it up as neccessary.
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-22-2009, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Got it!!

We pulled the '64 out this morning and took it to my buddies shop! Everything went perfectly, the best part being that my parents (the cars original owners) showed up and got to see it get loaded up, etc. I'm attempting to post some pics....................
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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-22-2009, 10:09 PM
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Sweet!
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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-22-2009, 11:08 PM
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that car looks dam good
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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-22-2009, 11:08 PM
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post more pics
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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 12:21 PM
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Leave it, you will regret doing anything but cleaning it up a bit.
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post #16 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 04:53 PM
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Wow!
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post #17 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 05:48 PM
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Hey Darrin,

THAT is one REALLY NICE PIECE!!!!! Just invest in tires that resemble the originals and make sure to leave the wheel covers on!!!!
Gary
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post #18 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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A few more pics

I can not say THANKS enough for everyone's compliments! As you can see, the carpet is shot, but otherwise things will clean up very well inside. Take a look at the back end of the car, my Dad did something to slightly customize the car as soon as he got it in '64. Can anyone tell what it is?
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post #19 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Gary! This car actually had "dog dishes" on it when it was delivered new, which I also have. Kind of torn between which ones to use...........

Last edited by 1owner64; 06-24-2009 at 06:28 AM.
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post #20 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 08:37 PM
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Did you switch out the reverse lights for red ones?

Too nice to mess with, clean it and drive it, & enjoy it. Engine pics please....
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post #21 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-24-2009, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, that is exactly what he did! I still have the reverse lenses in the GM boxes if I ever want to go back, but it's part of the car's history, so I will leave them as they are. Plus all three tail lights lighting up looks soooooo cool! I did not take any shots of the underhood, but give me a few days and I will.......
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post #22 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-24-2009, 11:09 AM
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Great lookin car Darrin! You a lucky guy!

HOW A NOVICE REBUILDS A 66 IMPALA CONVERTIBLE:
http://www.impalas.net/forums/blog.php?u=1432
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post #23 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-24-2009, 01:42 PM
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I like that look with the taillights, too - I'm thinking that some day, I might do that on the back of my '63, and buy an after-market sequential signal system.. which I've seen before on an old Chevy.. it looks pretty cool when it's blinking!

Weren't the '64 Station wagon reverse lights in that license plate panel? I'm wondering where and if I could re-locate them.. Don't wanna do without my back-up lights!

VERY nice ride, bud.. It's an awesome color combination, too. I love black cars w/blue interiors for some reason. Good luck with it!
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post #24 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-24-2009, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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THANKS!!! My parents deserve the credit for choosing the colors. They almost went with the real deep dark blue exterior color that was available that year, which would have been neat as well. She's no show car, but is a nicely preserved original......

'64 Impala 2 door, tuxedo black, blue interior
327, 3 speed manual. Original Paint, interior, etc.
Bought new in '64 by my parents!
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post #25 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 10:53 AM
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Beautiful survivor Impala,nice to see one so original.awesome car,like the dog dishcaps myself,would just do needed service and a little cleaning and drive it,very nice
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