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Coupe, Convertible, Sedan
#271 of 320 '63 Impala SS convertible
Nov 25, 2007 (8:03 am)
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/FRESH-FRAME-OFF-RESTORATION-400HP-PDB-PS-CONVERTI- BLE_W0QQitemZ190174078633QQihZ009QQcategoryZ6169QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZVie- wItem
I'd be interested to get comments as to the value of this '63 Impala SS convertible. To be sure, it's not "stock" which makes wonder if it's even a real SS. I like the fact that it's a 409 4-speed. But, it doesn't appear the engine is the one the car was born with - which suggests that it may not have been an original 4-speed either. The upholstery and door panels are not stock - but they doesn't look bad either. Actually, the seats look more comfortable than stock and look pretty good to my eye.
I love the color, wheels and stance of this car. When you factor in that it's also a convertible, 4-speed, 409 then you have the whole package. Just not sure what "flavor". The car looks like its been detailed on top and on the bottom which should be worth something too.
Perhaps this car can best be described by the eventual owner as "Yeah, I know it's not stock, but it's cool and makes me happy". So, how do you put a price on that?
The seller wants $36,500, but given the "offer" format of this sale, he might take less. Since we don't know what we have here, how do you value it?
BTW, didn't know if this should be put in its own thread or not.
#272 of 320 Re: '63 Impala SS convertible [parm]
Nov 25, 2007 (9:28 am)
I'd be curious to see what that one goes for. My Dad had a '63 Impala SS back in the day. Bought it in 1965 I think. It was just a hardtop, but was black like that one. Had a 409/4-speed, but it had the high-output 425 hp 409.
Dad didn't have it long, because he got drafted soon after and ended up selling it!
#273 of 320 Re: '63 Impala SS convertible [parm]
Nov 25, 2007 (9:31 am)
1963 is my favorite year for the Impala. GM had finally gotten over the annus horribilis that were the 1958-61 models, 1962 was a bit awkward, '64 was bit too plain, and '65 and up devolved into bloated faux luxobarges. As for value, the ad seems to indicate that its a clone with some upgrades (better seats, dual master cylinder, disk brakes etc.), so I guess you ask yourself how much you're willing to spend for a brand-new '63 409, 4-speed convertible?
The wheels need to go; they belong on a '69 Camaro SS clone.
#274 of 320 Re: '63 Impala SS convertible [bumpy]
Nov 25, 2007 (10:34 am)
I agree totally with your styling assessment of the Impalas of the early to mid 60's. The 1963 is my favorite year too. Though, I have to admit, I am also rather partial to the '67-'70 body styles. And, I'm a sucker for American Racing Torque-Thrust wheels - which is what those are - or, they're very close.
The seller has provided the body ID tag numbers. Does anyone out there have their secret decoder ring handy? If so, I'd be interested to know what this car was when it rolled off the assembly line.
Also, if you wanted to add cruise control to a car like that, is there a slick way to do it? The only cruise control systems I've seen for a car not originally fitted with CC is one where the interior control is a dorky looking thing that fits on the turn signal stalk - right out of the JC Whitney catalog. Looks totally lame. I doubt if CC was even an option on a '63 Impala. But, even if it was and you could find one in a salvage yard (or Ebay), I don't think I'd trust it today. Surely, there has to be a reliable CC system available today with an inconspicuous control.
#275 of 320 Re: '63 Impala SS convertible [parm]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Nov 25, 2007 (11:04 am)
I didn't see any body ID tags, only the VIN number, which really doesn't tell you very much.
It's definitely not a real SS and the underside photos might show some problems.
It's a car you have to see to evaluate. Being a fake, the value is heavily contingent on the quality of the workmanship. It could be worth $35K, it could be worth $20K.
#276 of 320 Re: '63 Impala SS convertible [parm]
Nov 25, 2007 (11:19 am)
My tastes on 60's big Chevies run a bit different, I guess. Loved the '59, hated the '59. Liked the '60. LOVE the '61 and '62. '63 is okay, but I just don't care for the front-end, and the way they started creasing it up, it just didn't come off as sporty to me. And the '64 is just too flat-faced IMO. I guess I just like that gentle forward thrust of the '62 better.
I also love the '65 Chevy, but there was just something about the '66 I didn't care for quite as much. Rear end is actually improved, but the front just seems a bit heavy-handed, compared to the '65. IMO, 1967 was when they really started trading the sport for wanna-be luxury, and even though the rooflines got sleeker, which you would think should equate with sportiness, they just got TOO fat looking. I do kinda like the '68, though. And the '69-70.
As for cruise control, my '69 Bonneville had it. The only real difference that I could tell, as far as looks go, was that the turn signal stalk had a little button on the end, and there was the word "CRUISE" printed on the stalk, with an arrow pointing toward the button. I dunno how it worked though, as it wasn't functioing when I bought the car. I guess you just pressed the button and it would hold whatever speed you were at, and then if you braked it would disengage, and you'd have to re-set it. No resume, accelerate, or any of that other stuff we take for granted today. If you wanted cruise on a 60's car, maybe you could just find the setup on a more luxurious car that had it, and get it to fit? You wouldn't get all the functions of a modern system, but it's better than nothing, I guess.
#277 of 320 Re: '63 Impala SS convertible [andre1969]
Nov 26, 2007 (8:47 am)
Actually, the non-factory cruise controls I've seen look like little plastic boxes that are attached to the turn signal stalk. Surely, there has to be a way to install a modern CC system on an older car with a dash-mounted engagement button. Custom/hot rodders do it all the time.
Regarding that black 1963 SS clone, while there's a lot about that car I like, in the long run, I think an actual SS with a nice 327 would be a better investment. That way, at least you know what you've got - and so would everyone else when it comes time to sell. IMO, the 409 isn't worth the extra money when you're just crusing around. And, if you're foolish enough to compete in a stoplight race behind the wheel of a 40+ year old car, an "actual" real deal 409 still won't beat many modern performance cars.
#278 of 320 Re: '63 Impala SS convertible [parm]
Nov 26, 2007 (8:54 am)
BTW, it would appear, based on the comments, that the black '63 Impala convertible is not an SS. But, I just happened to notice that the seller posted the VIN number in the body of the ad. Here it is. VIN: 31867J161876
Does this clear up the mystery?
#279 of 320 Re: '63 Impala SS convertible [parm]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Nov 26, 2007 (9:28 am)
No that just tells you it's an Impala 8 cylinder built in Wisconsin.
It's really not a mystery---it's not an SS. It's missing lots of the parts.
The 409 isn't all that great an engine---IIRC it's just a bored out 348 truck engine. If it was so great, they would have used it more---it had a very limited production and was dropped in favor of the 396.
At least it has power steering. Driving a manual steering Chevy from the early 60s is a lot like pushing a shopping cart down a hill.
#280 of 320 Re: '63 Impala SS convertible [Mr_Shiftright]
Nov 26, 2007 (10:19 am)
For this car's expected use, cruising and showing, the Beach Boy connection trumps practicality for many...