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66 Chevy Impala SS


bluestringer

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I graduated high school in 1969, went to work with my Father in the logging business and bought my first car, a 1966 Impala SS 396, Muncie 4-speed. I am going to try and replicate it with this kit. I don't remember too much about it, and I have no pictures. If I remember correctly it was Aztec Bronze color. I have that ordered from MCW Finishes. I do remember installing chrome reverse wheels, which were the thing then, got some ordered from Pegasus. I also installed a chrome open filter air cleaner, that was the thing then also. You could buy them from Gibson's dept. stores back then. Found one in my parts box. I have finished the engine, working on the chassis now and doing some cleanup on the body and other parts while I wait on the paint. All comments welcome, thanks for looking.

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Got the engine installed, front suspension done. Working on the rear. Getting the rear end/ upper control arms straight and level is a pain in the neck. It's ironic that I had problems with the upper control arms on my 1:1 also. I broke them loose twice, granted I was doing burn outs at the time, but hey it's a 396 4 speed. Still waiting on the paint for the body, it has been delayed getting here.

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Edited by bluestringer
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Loving your build James, and the story that goes with it! When I met my wife in 1984, she was driving a '65 Impala SS in Tahitian Turquoise with white vinyl interior. I love telling people I married her for that car! (That's only partially true :))

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3 hours ago, Zippi said:

Looking good James.  My first car was a 57 Studebaker that was my Grandfathers.   Never did like it but my Grandfather gave it to me.

Thanks Bob.

 

3 hours ago, ea0863 said:

Loving your build James, and the story that goes with it! When I met my wife in 1984, she was driving a '65 Impala SS in Tahitian Turquoise with white vinyl interior. I love telling people I married her for that car! (That's only partially true :))

Thank you.

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For the wheels, can you drill the wheel backs mounting hole larger to fit the kits axles or are the wheel backs mountings to long? I also had a '66 Impala SS with the 396 and 4-speed. Always liked the lines of this and the '65 as well. 

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On 4/25/2023 at 11:33 AM, bluestringer said:

I also installed a chrome open filter air cleaner, that was the thing then also.

Oh yeah, those quadrajets sure made a beautiful moaning sound when the throttle was opened.  Looking forward to updates on this one.  My first was a '56 150 Chevy with a 6 and three.

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4 hours ago, TransAmMike said:

Coming along nicely James, good luck with the remainder of the build👌

Thanks Mike.

 

3 hours ago, espo said:

For the wheels, can you drill the wheel backs mounting hole larger to fit the kits axles or are the wheel backs mountings to long? I also had a '66 Impala SS with the 396 and 4-speed. Always liked the lines of this and the '65 as well. 

Not sure yet, I haven't had a chance to try them, but I thought I may be able to drill them out. I'm not sure if I want to use those tires that came with the wheels, think maybe the kit tires look better.

 

3 hours ago, TarheelRick said:

Oh yeah, those quadrajets sure made a beautiful moaning sound when the throttle was opened.  Looking forward to updates on this one.  My first was a '56 150 Chevy with a 6 and three.

Thanks. Yea, I remember that sound when that 4 barrel was opened up, sweet.

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I never built this kit, but does it use wheel backs? If so, can you slice off the inner part of the Pegasus rim and mate it to the kit's wheel back?

In 1975, my friend Tim bought a 66 Impala 4-door, 283/P-glide with factory A/C. With headers and some careful tuning, it ran low 18s in the 1/4 mile. Could never get it in the 17s, LOL. He bought it with some Torq-Thrust like wheels (forgot the actual brand) and Cooper radials. It was interesting to drive, especially since I didn't get my license until 1976.

Another friend Greg repurchased his parents' 66 SS 2-door 327-275HP also with P-glide from some family members. Much nicer car, but also tragically slow.

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21 hours ago, bluestringer said:

Got my wheels. Now to figure out how I'm going to mount them to the kits suspension. Looks like I'll need to do some surgery.

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Just a thought on the wheels. You mentioned that you preferred the kits tires. Would the wheel backs from the kit fit inside the chrome wheels? My thought is that the back edge of the chrome wheels could be sawed off and the kits inner wheel could be used on the back side. This should make the mounting on the axels easer as well as mounting the kits tires. The other part would be the offset of the wheel should keep your tire inside the wheel wells and prevent any tire/body rubbing. 

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Coming along nicely. My first car was a 1969 Ford Falcon Futura with a 200 cubic inch 6 inline cylinder with automatic tranny. I purchased the car in 1973 for $400 bucks. Both fenders were rusted out and the truck floor was just about gone from rust. Purchased two new fenders and my uncle put in a new trunk floor and painted the car. It was gold in color. Loved the car but got bored with it and wanted something more sporty and replaced it with a 1974 Toyota Celica GT with 5 speed.

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I was unable to use the kit tires because the Pegasus wheels and tires are a little bigger than the kits. You can see the difference in the second photo. I was able to cut the center post out of the wheels and the kit wheels backs fit right in. (first photo) Although they are bigger I think they will look ok.

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I'm a big fan of the '65-'68 body styles. I learned to drive on a '65 (the family car was a '65 ragtop/283/P-glide/Tahitian Turquoise.)  I had a few of these mid-60s full size Chevys and they were great cars that could be had cheaply back then. When you needed wheels, you could always find one for a few hundred bucks. I have the '65 convertible kit waiting for paint at the moment and I'm watching your '66 build, James. Looks great so far 👍

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4 hours ago, customline said:

I'm a big fan of the '65-'68 body styles. I learned to drive on a '65 (the family car was a '65 ragtop/283/P-glide/Tahitian Turquoise.)  I had a few of these mid-60s full size Chevys and they were great cars that could be had cheaply back then. When you needed wheels, you could always find one for a few hundred bucks. I have the '65 convertible kit waiting for paint at the moment and I'm watching your '66 build, James. Looks great so far 👍

Thanks Jim. Our family car at the time I bought the 66 was a 61 Impala with the 348 engine. I drove it some for about year after I got my license at age 16. I got my first ticket in it, which was for loud mufflers. My Dad had replaced the mufflers with glass packs because they were cheaper. When I showed him the ticket he took straight to the Sheriff, whom he knew, and ask him why do they sell glass packs if they are illegal. The Sheriff tore up the ticket.

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On 5/1/2023 at 2:43 PM, Slotto said:

Nice job on the interior bits

Thanks.

 

On 5/1/2023 at 6:46 PM, KWT said:

Sweet interior pieces

Thanks.

 

On 5/2/2023 at 9:43 AM, customline said:

Great story about the glass-paks, James. Interior looks super!

Thanks Jim.

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