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1/25 1961 Chevrolet Impala (circa 1964)

'70 Grande

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My first completed build for 2021.  Some of you may have seen some of my previous posts of this build in the WIP Nascar section awhile ago.  It was intended to be a fictitious, circa 1965 USAC Race car, but my USAC decals fell-apart in the application-process, so I used Nascar decals instead.  Here's the back-story:

"A moderate-sized Chevrolet dealership in the Midwest had two mechanics, (Bert & Frank), on-staff that owned and raced a dirt track jalopy on the regional, 1/4-mile dirt tracks, with some reasonable success.  Knowing of their local racing successes, and wanting to take the dealership into a more racing/performance image, the dealership owner offered a car for them to transform into a race car and take out on the Nascar race circuit for a few races each year.  In the early-summer of 1961, this Chevrolet Impala was pulled-off the dealer lot, and went into the Service/Repair Dept. to be torn-down and transformed into a Nascar race car.  Bert & Frank, (working late-nights after the dealership had closed), did most of the work, with help from others in that Service/Repair Dept.  By mid-August, 1961, the car was ready to attempt to qualify for the Grand National, (Nascar) 200-lap, 1/4-mile dirt track race held Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds in Spartanburg, S. Carolina, with Bert behind the wheel.  

Bert qualified the car to start 20th on the grid, and he worked his way all the way up to 7th place before falling back in finish 14th at the checkered flag.  The car took a few dents and dings, but held-up well throughout the event.  The car was patched-up and ran three more short-track, Grand National races to finish its 1961 season. When the 1962 Grand National, (Nascar) season started, hopes were high and the dealership owner found more funding to support this newfound, but limited racing effort.  

Bert drove the car in 18 Grand National races in 1962, with a best finish of 9th place and 5 DNF's.  There wasn't a lot of money won, but the dealership owner was willing to run a limited 1963 season with this same car and Bert behind the wheel.  Bert drove the car in 20 Grand National races in 1963, with a best finish of 7th place and 6 DNF's.  The plans were to continue on with virtually the same effort for the 1964 season, but when the first two races ended in DNF's and the best finish of the first 10 races run that year was a 17th, the dealership owner's hopes began to quickly fade.  By mid-summer, the owner announced to Bert and Frank that this would be their last year of racing this now-old 1961 Impala in Grand National races.  It finished 1964 running in 16 races, with 7 DNF's.  There was no funding left for replacing bent-up fenders and freshening-up the paintwork; the car was to be run with just the necessary mechanical work completed, and little else."

So I present to you the #31, 1961 Chevrolet Impala Grand National, (Nascar), Race Car at the end of the 1964 racing season, with a 58-race career under its belt.  



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