Awakening sleeping beauty... - Impala Tech
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Awakening sleeping beauty...

Posted 02-06-2010 at 11:12 AM by medisalle

Typical old Chevy. That's all I could say.

This wasn't the first "heap" (his words - not mine) that I'd dragged via: a flatbed to my buddy Karl's shop for possible restoration. He's seen all kinds of hulks. Some good, some tragically unworthy parts cars - but this '63 Chevy was a bit of a (good) surprise!

I bought this car pretty much as-is. I didn't know if it ran, when it last ran, or what it might need again to be road-worthy. Hence: I offered $700 for it, thinking that the orig. fender skirts were worth at least a hundred bucks (sold 1st week on ebay for $150!) - and if nothing else, I could part it out. I was fair when telling the previous owner this - who wanted $2K for it. I said: unless that things got a famous history, or a 409 under the hood - you're dreaming.

Turns out - it DOES have a sort of interesting history, but no 409 sadly.

Still, when I got it up on the lift, my face lit up like a kid in a candy store! NO RUST! None. The floor pans, trunk pan, and the dog legs were all unbeleiveably solid. What a shame 90% of the cars we find on the East Coast aren't this nice. Turns out: "Madame" spent most of her life in California, before coming East in 1989 (from documents I found in the car). She also came with a 'reconstructed' title from California (i found a copy) - which I later found out was because she was stolen at some point in her past, and then recovered.

A quick oil change, trans fluid change, and a new battery later this old _itch fired RIGHT up. 7 cranks, and a tiny puff of blue smoke and she started. My mechanic couldn't beleive it, either! What luck. I haven't even tweaked the carb yet!

A full tune-up, new brakes all around, front wheel bearings (just for the sake of it, since she was sitting for 3+ years in one spot) and 4 slightly-used tires from the local scrap yard (from a Buick that had been t-boned) that looked brand new, and she went right through PA's tough safety inspection!

Rarely does one get this lucky. She's ugly at this point, but basically a good solid running car that I can scoot around town in.

I always like to bring my old cars 'back from the dead' slowly... This one couldn't WAIT to get back on the road, apparently! A week after towing her out of an alley, she was road-worthy!
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  1. Old Comment
    I forgot to mention the the Coker wide-whites that were on it were dry-rotted to hell, and beyond their service life. Pity. It seems like someone in the past put some money into her, too.
    Posted 02-06-2010 at 11:14 AM by medisalle medisalle is offline
  2. Old Comment
    I had a similar 'first fire-up' experience on my Ebay Impala.

    It's exciting and a great feeling to hear a motor come to life after having sat for SOOO long and not even knowing what's going to happen!

    Good times indeed!! :cheers:

    BTW - *excellent* news about the car being so solid!
    Posted 02-10-2010 at 02:56 PM by BA. BA. is offline
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