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66 Impala SS
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Discussion Starter #1
G'Day everyone,

I thought I'd create this post as much for me to keep me going, as for fellow Impala lovers to follow.

As stated in my welcome post, I purchased this car last November. It was imported into Australia in 2017 by a fellow with his own panel shop. When we could travel (those were the days weren't they?), he used to go over to the States every now and then and purchase a few cars. He'd import them to Australia, fix them and sell them off. This one however, he was going to keep and drive it himself. Until I came along and said that I'd buy it. Everyone has their price, but after nearly 9 months of research, I'm pretty happy with the price I paid.

Anyway these are the details:
'66 Impala SS
California car
Last registered in 1979
Looks like it has never been resprayed
All rust repairs completed
Items removed prior to purchase: windscreens, some mouldings, rear seats, door cards, rear arm rests.....basically most of the interior.
No brakes
Motor runs
Most parts there but of course its always hard to tell since the previous owner started the dismantle process. Not an issue though since parts for these seem pretty easy to come by.

Anyway here's some photos of the process so far....

Tucked away in its new home:
29530

Interior:
29531

29532

29533

29534


And after a number of hours coaxing old bolts and screws, this is what I'm up to:
29535


I'm taking off the front end first and then will remove the motor and transmission.
For my benefit to see how much I get done: I'm aiming to have the frame off and chassis painted by the end of the year. Maybe some suspension work completed but that would be a bonus. Lets see if I can get that done.

Thanks to everyone who reads this and lets see how this goes.

Just for inspiration, this is the look that I'm aiming for (although I think the pic is of a '65 but you get the idea):
29536


cheers
Keith
 

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66 Impala SS
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks BA.
Yeah those seat covers were what sealed the deal :)

Caught up with an engine builder mate of mine this arvo. My car currently has a 327 in it that I will want to rebuild.......he’s steering me in the 427 direction. I gotta say that I’m really tempted. I don’t really care about keeping it matching numbers. This car is staying with me until I’m heals up and then it will get passed down to my daughter. There’s something about a big block that just has me excited. Oh man this is probably the first in a long list of very tempting things.
 

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Once you have the frame off and all of the scale and rust removed, prior to painting with POR 15 I would carefully strip off all of the brake lines and rubber hoses and replace with new rubber and stainless steel lines. Never have to worry about rust again and it should be your first step to getting working brakes again.

Big Dave
 

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It seems like you will have an interesting project this year. Make sure to keep us posted on the progress.
 

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Nice car!! BTW, the car you posted for inspiration IS a 1966. The smog pump, brackets and hoses are rare, don't throw them away. FYI, smog equipment was required for cars sold in California.
Frame refinishing --> I suggest powder-coating EVERYTHING you can. You make sure yo have a good powder-coater.
Please post a picture of the cowl tag. Check out this website: https://impalas.org/
 

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66 Impala SS
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Discussion Starter #7
@Calix Lee yep absolutely!!

@BigDogSS Thanks :) and thanks for confirming the year of my inspiration car as I wasn't sure (y)
Yeah I plan on keeping all parts no matter what. They all form part of the history of the car. As I go I'm taking photos and I'll print out various ones which will tell the story of the transformation and then put them up on a wall in my workshop. I've put the old number plates up there and it will look pretty cool. Thanks for the website reference too, I'll check it out.

@Big Dave yep I figure if I can do all those things (brake lines etc) while the body is off the chassis then that will make my life easier later on. There's only so much time you want to spend under a car as you get older because its harder getting up again :LOL:
 

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66 Impala SS
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Discussion Starter #8
Oh and @BigDogSS this is the photo of the cowl tag (I had to google what that was :LOL:). It's certainly seen better days!

29540
 

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You're welcome! Here is the break-down of your cowl tag:
04C - assembly date. 04 = April and C = 3rd week.
ST - Style. 66 = year, 16837 = Impala SS 2-door coupe w/V8 .
BC - assembly plant. BC = South Gate, California.
13957 - sequential number of the body style. 13,957 Impala SS 2 door w/V8 body style to roll off of the assembly line at South Gate.
TR - Trim. 862 = Impala SS buckets, color: Fawn.
TT - Lower/upper paint. T = Sandalwood Tan. Both lower and upper sections of the car are painted this color.

BTW 1, I live 22 miles away from this old GM plant.
BTW 2, I own a 1967 Impala SS built in South Gate.
So I have a particular interest in these cars built in South Gate.

The gentleman (Warren Leunig) who develops and runs https://impalas.org/ keeps a data base of full-size Chevrolets. He has been instrumental in providing data to decode these cowl tags. PM me your VIN and I will send it and the cowl tag picture to him.
 

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66 Impala SS
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
And this is why forums can be so cool. At the risk of repeating myself.......Thanks :)

I'll send you a pm

Edit: I'm about 7200 miles away from the plant, give or take a few miles

That's so cool that you're that close. Can you send me a photo of your 67?
 

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66 Impala SS
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Discussion Starter #11
Here's another question given the horrible state of my cowl tag: Am I able to get it remade? A google search indicates that I can here: TRIM TAGS - Home with a cost of about $US260

Has anyone had any experience with this?
 

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I'd keep the original on there. Aside from that bit of damage, it's not in bad shape and all the important info is visible. Looks like factory headrests under those seat covers? If so, 5,045 built with the strato type headrests in 66. I'd be interested in what's stamped on the engine pad. Neat it still has the original smog equipment intact!
 

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I agree, keep the original cowl tag. Yes, please pull off those sheepskin cover so we can see the the seats. And please snap a picture and post it here. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sheep skin covers off.......and no headrests so I'm not one of the 5045 unfortunately. Oh well it hasn't changed the fact that I'm a proud owner of an awesome vehicle!!

29546
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'd be interested in what's stamped on the engine pad.
My job these days off are to find the engine number. I have found a number on the front of the passenger side cylinder head which is FO330 but that's the only thing on there. I'll have more of a look around tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
YES!!!
I finally managed to get the front bumper off. Its starting to look like a work in progress now. My wife says it now looks like a wreck but I prefer my description 😃

29563
 

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If the frame is good and you are going to refinish, skip the POR and go full powder coat... you won't regret it.

Local guy did mine for $900 that was blast and coat. Time, wire wheels and Paint would have cost more than that.

Replaced the frame last year on my 66.

 

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Slats, now that you have easier access to the numbers on the front of the engine pad, please snap a picture.

You should see "HF" stamped somewhere in the area. "HF" designates --> 327cid V8 4bbl 275hp, Powerglide automatic w/AIR (smog pump), installed in a full-sized Chevrolet.

I agree with Ted! Powder coating is the way to go!
 
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66 Impala SS
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Discussion Starter #19
@brickwhite that frame looks sweet!! That looks like it might be the way I go. Have to see the $$$ though. I could easily go nuts on this car. There's only a limited amount of expenses that I can hide from the boss. She even works for the bank so I'm doubly screwed :LOL:

@BigDogSS yep, the jobs for today are to coax the front guards (fenders) off and look at the engine number. I'm pretty keen to know myself. Will pm you when I get it.
 
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