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hedotwo

'61 Impala 4 door

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Finally getting around to posting a WIP of a '61 Impala four door promo that is a tribute build to our family car in the early '60s.  Good memories of the Imp with the family taking long trips each summer in it.  Two especially memorable ones were in '63 and '64 when we did back to back trips out east, including New England in '63 and visiting Kennedy's grave in Arlington and the World's Fair in '64.  Those were the days,...  both summers were HOT and with no AC the hardtop was helpful.  Having no seatbelts today seems strange but back then my brother and I had unhindered run of the back seat.

I've been looking for an affordable four door for quite some time and one finally showed up and I was lucky to win it.  It needed TLC and bodywork but I was ok with that.  Full disclosure, I'm almost finished with the build so I'll be posting some build posts the next few days and then I'll post the final result in the Under Glass.

Me and my older brother, probably on our way to church.

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Numerous issues to be corrected, not the least of which is the right front fender.

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Front roll pan and driver's A pillar needed replacement and I had a perfect donor

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I had a second donor for the chassis

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Edited by hedotwo

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Looks like it but SO worth it to replicate that memory!

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I like your idea of building the family car. That body is truly rough looking. The metal chassis may have saved it with it's support through the years. I noticed in the photo with you and your brother what looks like the 348 engine emblem in the grill. 

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2 minutes ago, espo said:

I like your idea of building the family car. That body is truly rough looking. The metal chassis may have saved it with it's support through the years. I noticed in the photo with you and your brother what looks like the 348 engine emblem in the grill. 

No 348...  283 2 barrel.  

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Just now, hedotwo said:

No 348...  283 2 barrel.  

The photo sort of looked like the crossed flags that would denote the 348. I'll bet that the old reliable 283 was the most used engine. That would have had the Chevrolet emblem over a gold colored V and this was used on even the 327 engine as well. I have built a few models of previously owned cars and trucks and it has always brought a flood of great memories while working on them, I hope this does the same for you as it sounds like you had some good times ridding in this car. 

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I have a list of "memory" builds to do and you're right it is fun when it brings back memories.  I'm actually doing a simultaneous build of a '67 Impala four door hardtop along with this '61.  We kept the '61 until dad traded it in on the '67.  I took my driver license test with the '67 on my 16th birthday in 1968.

Other family cars on my list are a '53 Ford, '57 Ford, '70 and '78 Caprice.  Then I have my own cars that I've owned too.

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Sweet, I can't wait to see the progress on this one.😎

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The plastic is very brittle, eliminating any hope of simply bending the fender back into shape and gluing.  Add the fact that being a promo it had a stationary hood I chose to remove the hood and then the fender.

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I reinforced the joint with strip, which also made lining the fender back up much easier.

 

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After cutting the hood free, and losing some of the material on the fender, I needed to add some narrow strip to give support to the hood to keep it level with the fender.

 

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Roughed in the refit of the fender

 

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Edited by hedotwo

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Great job on the front fender. 

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Excellent work on the fender, this model is in good hands. Can't wait to see it finished.

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Expect a call from Humpty Dumpty. :) 

Great work seriously though!!  

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On 2/16/2021 at 5:23 PM, hedotwo said:

I have a list of "memory" builds to do and you're right it is fun when it brings back memories.  I'm actually doing a simultaneous build of a '67 Impala four door hardtop along with this '61.  We kept the '61 until dad traded it in on the '67.  I took my driver license test with the '67 on my 16th birthday in 1968.

Other family cars on my list are a '53 Ford, '57 Ford, '70 and '78 Caprice.  Then I have my own cars that I've owned too.

Nice to see you rescuing this one. My Dad had a ‘61 and a ‘63? both 4 doors. And he had a ‘68 Biscayne 4 door that I took my drivers test in back in ‘77.😁

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Next up is repairing the front valance. 

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Rich, thanks for post your 61, I wondered how you repaired your cars... nice work so far..

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A pillar repair.  Had a derelict 61 HT body to use as a donor.  Rather than replace the whole section, including the vent window, I chose to only replace the part of the pillar that was missing rather than cutting into the body.  The promo pillar was thinner than the annual donor pillar so it needed some massaging. 

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Great work! I love restoring sad old models back to glory!

I have a pretty clean version of that 61 hardtop. Someone had paint detailed it fairly well, ruining any mint promo value, but it’s a nice shelf piece I’m keeping as is.

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Some masterful looking body work on this promo restoration. 

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That is some really delicate repair work, how sturdy are the photo etched razor saw blades? 
 

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