Words and pix by Aden Rush
These days, a lot of guys that are into cars look back at the ‘60’s and determine that the factory designers were correct – stock appearing cars are awesome. While that may be true to some, other guys feel like they shouldn’t follow, like sheep.
Case-in-point, Dan Jetter’s ’64 Impala Super Sport. Dan bought the Impala a few years ago, had a mis-matched brown front clip on the silver blue body and a stock 327 engine. Powerglide, black interior and of course, since it was a ColoRODo car – zero rust. Dan simply wanted to repaint it and drive it.
“Not so fast,” brother Roger said. Not one to leave anything stock, he continued, “Every ’64 out there is stone stock. Why would you want to drive a car exactly like everyone else’s?”
When asked what he had in mind, Roger said, “Improve it.”
The massive front and rear bumpers were the first to come off, then the grille came out and a trip to the local bone yard netted a ’59 Chevy bumper, pan and brackets, albeit a bit too wide. The bumper and pan was narrowed 6 inches and fitted to the ’64. “A straight bar grille would look good above that bumper.”
Roger stated. “3/8 inch bar would be about right.” The headlight buckets had to be moved back 2 inches for the grille to “work,” three uprights were built to hold the bars and to allow the bars across the headlights to be removable –headlights eventually burn out, ya know!
New door “buttons” were made and installed in the “stock” location to give the car the shaved look and the rest of the SuperSport and Chevrolet emblems were removed.
Around back, the bumper had to be changed to conform to the front mods. What to use? Back to the boneyard. “Hmmmm, ’72 Maverick has the right shape, but it’s short.” No prob, buy two! Two bumpers were split and lengthened, the outer ends molded to match the ‘64’s trunk trim contours and ‘molded’ to continue the upper trim into the bumper. A pan was built below the bumper to house the license plate and a light set into the top of it.
In the meantime, the 327” was pulled to overhaul and so was the Powerglide. The engine compartment was cleaned and painted the new body color- 1992 Saturn silver blue. While the engine was out, an Oldsmobile tilt/tele column was installed and with the body in primer, the buckets were pulled and sent to Ed Banes Upholstery in Lakewood, ColoRODo. Two-tones of material were picked out and Ed started sewing.
The bodywork finished, engine and tranny back in, Tom Turnquist got the nod to handle the paint work. When completed, the car was driven to Ed Banes for new headliner, door panels and console. In less than a year, the car was back on the streets and Dan has never regretted going from ‘following like sheep’ to ‘leading the pack.’