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Customs Need advice, 1963 Chevy Impala 4 door, yes or no

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Oldmopars89, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. Oldmopars89
    Joined: Jan 12, 2021
    Posts: 10


    I was sent out of town for work this week and the business that I visited has a 1963 Chevy Impala 4 door out in a field. The car is all there, 327, Powerglide, no A/C, and complete. Due to its location is is rust free and it is straight. It has never been painted and has some really great patina.
    The bad, it has been sitting for an unknown amount of time, and the interior is shot. All 4 door panels, seats, carpet are all in bad shape.
    The owner has no interest in it other than it being a parts car and may be willing to sell it on to me for a decent price.
    I have looked at what it would cost for a new interior and its a lot. $1000 just for the door panels.
    The question is, would this be worth doing? It is a 4 door and 4 doors have never been popular or had much value, however 2 door cars are bringing prices completely out of my reality.
    Running and driving, clear coat over the patina and a new interior, would I spend more than it is really worth?
  2. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,372


    yes. find something else.
    exterminator and lothiandon1940 like this.
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,506


    You gotta get it running and the brakes and fuel system etc working first...

    then you have to figure out that putting clear coat over rust is a kind of silly thing to do....

    then you have to realize that spending big bucks on an interior for a car like that is also a kind of silly thing to do...

    but as for rescuing the car, getting it working so you can drive it around, and then driving it around looking as it does, that sounds to me like a really good idea.
  4. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,014


    Rust free is good. How's the glass?
    Like Jim said, you'd have to go through the vital systems, replace rubber hoses etc. Figure $1000 to buy everything, possibly a gas tank, too. DIY door panels with fiber board and Mexican blankets.
    Or buy it cheap to part out and put the $ toward something better.

  5. Having been there in a different time, this could easily be a project that will take a lot of effort and $$ to get it running and driving safely. I see a money pit here. Give it a lot of thought:rolleyes:
  6. You're 50 years old. Get over that "clear coat over patina" shit!
  7. 27 Tall T
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 316

    27 Tall T
    from Butler Pa.

  8. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 5,340


    Rust free and straight, why not if the price is right. A car doesn’t have to be fully restored, etc to enjoy

    Really depends on your abilities to do all mechanical things to make it a good, safe sound driver
    Paulz, lewk, Hnstray and 4 others like this.
  9. Whats wrong with a 4 door hard top?


    I would drive one in a heart beat

    Now a sedan makes good parts cars

    OIP (1).jpg
  10. 40FORDPU
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 2,976

    from Yelm, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    Will you be happy/satisfied with the end result?..Or, will in the back of your mind wish you'd held off for a 2 door.
    This would be an easy answer for's a parts car.
    X38, traffic61 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  11. Some people never experience the joy of owning and driving an old car because they can’t afford the car of their dreams and they can’t bring themselves to lower their standards based on what everyone else thinks is the right thing to do. An old 4 door Chevy can be a great car to cruise around in- and because it’s a crew cab there is no expectation of it being. A ‘show car’
    If it is rust free straight and complete that is half the battle. I’d say drag it home and enjoy a nice rescue project. Something you can have some fun with-there are used parts for these cars too!
    Hnstray, VANDENPLAS, slim38 and 10 others like this.
  12. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 5,226


    Ass-u-me budget is pointing you in this direction. This is an opinion poll so.......... IMO No ! But if this car will make you happy and fills a need you have, go for it, try not to overspend as 4 door cars are fine, just not as desirable. Always remember, Opinions are like A$$holes everyone has one, the only one that matters is yours. Good luck with whatever direction you go.
  13. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,606


  14. Frankie47
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,815

    from omaha ne.

    4 door Hardtop yes, 4 door post, no......whatever floats your boat, priceless.
    VANDENPLAS and Budget36 like this.
  15. 283john
    Joined: Nov 17, 2008
    Posts: 809


    throw some seat covers in there. Cut some new door panels out of aluminum or just leave them out. If it's cheap enough: a "beater" 4 door Impala is still hella cooler than a '96 Camry.
    williebill, scotty t, quick85 and 6 others like this.
  16. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,506


    I rescued a 63 corvair a few years ago, drove it for a little while, then sold it to my brother. It has what you'd call "patina", that is, it has very old paint with rust showing through, although the car is mostly solid underneath. The interior was shot. I got it to run and drive reasonably well, and my brother got the seats redone at a good shop, but never bothered with the headliner, door panels, or carpet, because...well, you don't sit on them, so it doesn't really matter what condition they're in. The seats, you sit on, so it's nice to have them in good condition. He's been driving it for several years, and enjoys the hell out of it.

    I've done similar things to a few other old cars, and it seems that most folks these days really enjoy seeing old cars out and about, whether or not they've been "fixed up" to look nice.

    Many of the folks on the HAMB have a different perspective, having spent most of their lives working so hard to make their cars look nice, because that's what car guys have traditionally done.

    Whatever you decide, remember, it's up to you, not us.
  17. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,713


    How is the floor and the underside? Sitting on the ground can rust everything you cant see.
    lothiandon1940 and squirrel like this.
  18. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,347


    According to your username, it's the wrong brand of car for you to invest in.
    Carlmac 369 likes this.
  19. Moondog13
    Joined: Sep 7, 2006
    Posts: 761


    I had a ‘63 4 door post Impala. Bought it at 1500 sold it for 6k when things got tough. Enjoyed the hell out of it and wish I still had it. Sure as hell got more looks than the Pacifica I’m driving now.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  20. Unique Rustorations
    Joined: Nov 15, 2018
    Posts: 574

    Unique Rustorations

    I’m with Squirrel on this one, rescue it, get it running and drive it or sell it to someone that will. I’m not much on parting it out. We’ve done that for the last 50 years and as you said what’s left is sometimes priced much higher than it’s worth. Randy

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  21. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,199

    from Nicasio Ca

    There are some 4 doors whose styling doesn't depart much from their sleek 2 door counterparts. Some even share the same roof line.

    Some don't...
  22. I think there is already lots of good advice here. It just all depends on what you are looking for and what you would be happy driving. You could easily spend way more on it than it is worth, but it might also be a fun driver depending on what all is acceptable. I helped a co-worker sell basically this same car you are describing a couple days ago although it was a 63 w/A/C. It sold for $1000 and I am not sure what the buyer bought it for (parts or to build). In my experience, that is way more than I would want to pay for a 4 door in that condition. I bought this 4 door (6 cylinder 3-speed) for $2000 a few years back that still had original paint and the original plastic on the seats and had a ton of fun with tires and hubcaps is all I did and was able to sell it for $4500 a few years later.

  23. My dad had a 63 4 door that was a factory 409. Turns out it was sold new to the Arizona Highway Patrol.

    Like Jim said, get it running and stopping and drive it. Don't restore it. Despite the hate on 4 doors here, there is a market for them. Young guys under 40 don't seem to care as much if it's a 4 door, they like that they are cheaper. I sold a 4 door two years ago, and everyone told me I was out of my mind on the price, but a young dude in his 30's bought it and he loves it.
    lothiandon1940 and guthriesmith like this.
  24. For reference, this is the 63 that sold for $1000.

    lewk, VANDENPLAS and lothiandon1940 like this.
  25. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,409

    Rusty O'Toole

    I could see buying it under certain circumstances. If you can get it free or for the price of scrap metal which is all it is worth. If you can get it home. If you like working on cars and have plenty of time on your hands. And if you really like the car.
    The bad, it is a heap, and will never be worth very much money, it needs a crazy amount of work.
    The good, you say it is rust free, you can get it dirt cheap, it is a Chevy which means parts are available cheap.

    You know now, most guys wouldn't want it except as a parts car. But if you like it and the price is right....
    If you at least get it running and driving, without spending much, and you change your mind you can always sell it and maybe even make a few bucks.

    To put it another way, I wouldn't buy it although there were times I would have been happy to. But, if you like it and if you get it cheap you might have some fun and not spend a lot of money.
  26. I remember that car, it was neat! Also remember the super clean 58 4 door Jimmy had? I seriously thought about that car because it was so nice.

    lothiandon1940 and guthriesmith like this.
  27. Oldmopars89
    Joined: Jan 12, 2021
    Posts: 10


    Well let me add a little more to the story. Yes I am 50, and I do like the look of an old car with faded paint and the rust showing through. I know it may be a fad, but I like it.
    I have a 1965 Chevy C10 currently, about the same condition when I got it. I went through it and redid all the brakes, new shocks, fluids, hoses, etc. So I have been down this road before.
    Unfortunately that truck is going to my son.
    I have 2 motorcycles, but due to a fused right wrist I can not longer twist the throttle. So, the bikes are going down the road.
    I want another project and I don't mind the 4 door cars. I had a 1967 Belair 4 door back in the late 80's early 90's and I loved it.
    I am not afraid of the mechanicals, I am a mechanic by trade. My father was a body man.
    I was thinking about building a T bucket and at first I thought this car would make a great donor car for the bucket, but the more I look at it, the more I like it. Also, lack of indoor storage for the bucket is an issue. This car could sit outside, I have land.
    It is a post car. Seems odd a 4 door post, with a 327 and Impala trim, but I guess any combo was possible then.
    So, it sounds like for me it is really down to the price. if its cheap enough, it could be a fun project.
    Oh, and Oldmopars is a name from when I was really into A-Body Mopars, Valiants, Darts, yes 2 and 4 doors. I have moved on, but I have used the handle for so long I just stick with it.
  28. I was a 4-dr hater for many years, but gotta admit - I enjoy seeing an old car most any place, any time. There was a turquois 4-dr '63 Belair w/ chrome steel wheels in my neighborhood (until recently) that I would see on my daily walk. Just an honest survivor that was a little tired looking - I enjoyed seeing it.
  29. One more comparison...I bought this 63 a few years back for $400 that was an original 46k mile car. I bought it because I thought it could be a fun and cheap beater. I never did anything with it, but sold it to a buddy for $500 because I was moving and couldn’t store it. He spent quite a bit on it and now has a great cruiser that he enjoys. He spent way more than I would on it, but is also having a blast with it.

  30. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,037

    from Burton, MI

    That's a cool car! I'd roll around in that with pride.

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