The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Dick Stevens, Nov 15, 2014.
Mike, how about this one? It's almost stock. 350, 3 on the tree.
The missing “racy” look that was the goal of a teenager…
Recently, I was looking for some photos of a black 1958 Chevy Impala. Up pops this classic photo of the full force of the cool 2 door hardtop. Since our 58 Impala did not have A/C, this look was popular as we cruised around the Bixby Knolls stomping grounds. Even for those in the back seat, behind the rear sloping roof line, the air circulated and made everything cool, as well as comfortable. I was 5’10” as a junior and close to topping 6 feet as a senior, so I had the front bench seat back a comfortable distance. But, I never heard any complaints coming from the rear seat passengers.
With our limited teenage budgets, all we could afford was basic upkeep and usually gas money was provided by those I took to/from school on a daily basis. Sometimes, I made the run to Bixby Knolls to pick up some others, if there was room, too. One of the ideas in 1962 was to put on some American Racing Company 5 spoke mag wheels all around. In the photo above, it made the overall look just racy and it looked fast. That was the number 1 goal.
We could not just go out and emulate those drag racing cars that were at Lions, with the cool American Mags. It was expensive and out of reach of the normal teen budget. So, out came the spray cans and all sorts of colors were tried to see which would look the coolest. Our friend with his 34 Ford, 5 window had red rims, small hubcaps and beauty rings on white walls. We tried all sorts of colors to see which one would satisfy. We even turned the whitewalls inward to create a new all black look, with red rims, black rims and finally silver rims looked the best.
This internet photo was the ½ way look prior to switching to blackwalls.
But, in real life, the silver rims looked great and gave the small hubcaps a good base for the final high school look.
silver vs. black on black, including rear Bruce Slicks.
In 1962, The last high school look of the black 1958 Impala, was with the silver rims underneath. The look was the small Chevy hubcaps and chrome beauty rings on the painted wheels.
High School newspaper photograph spread...
2015 GNRS courtesy of www.spotlitekustomaccessories.com
That's a nice looking 58 Pontiac, not a Chevy.
Does anyone have an extra set of parking light buckets or can u guide me on a part number for them?
I just need the buckets..
Also do the taillights lenses fit the parking light buckets?
Left 3751047 -Right 3751048. I have a pair of pretty nice ones if interested.
I have a pair on a parts car that I haven't looked at for awhile and don't recall how good they are, if you want I can check them out and let you know.
Thanks guys keep me on the loop in the mean Time I'm also trying to buy a whole bezel/housing kit on eBay..
I need the passenger in old chrome...or just the buckets for a matching set that are getting painted.
Yes sir...very nice.
When are you gonna put a 348 (409) in it ?
No, I'm past that. It started with a 283 that didn't survive. It's now got a warmed over 350. A friend of mine had a 58 Nomad with a 348, but I don't know if he ever finished it; I left the area.
Oh well...had to ask.
I had a 61 Impala with a big 409 that I built. Very fun car.
I know in the last two years of high school, I had many choices to get different looks for my 58 black Impala. By the time the Spring of 1962 rolled around, we had a furious time spraying on different color paint on the rims for the chance that we would hit on the right combination for the best look. Of course, some guys had their chrome reversed wheels. But, those elusive 5 spoke American Racing Equipment Mags were still out of reach for most.
The only car that had them was from our Precision Racing Equipment Speed Shop purchase for an older brother of a girl that was part of our teenage group. He had the money, a new car and wanted to trade a classic old Dale Velzy Balsawood surfboard that was sitting in his garage. My brother said that surfboard was very valuable and that the trade should happen. So, we (he) bought the 4 American Racing Equipment, 5 spoke, Mags and traded them for the 9 foot long Velzy Balsawood board. Both sides were happy with the arrangement.
In our trial to see if the Balsawood board could ride well, picture a 9 foot Balsawood vintage surfboard sticking out of the trunk of the 1958 black Impala.
It was sight to see cruising down PCH to Huntington Beach Pier. We did get our share of “stares/looks” to and from the pier waves. The board was OK, but not the best we had used from our arsenal of surfboards. But, there was no lack of attention given to the Velzy Balsawood board over the black 58 Impala at the beach parking lot. The classic Dale Velzy Balsawood surfboard is still in possession of my brother’s family, somewhere in So Cal.
Impala beauty trim rings
One of my good friends from high school popped up in a recent perusal of our high school year book from 1962. I could not remember how I bought those small center hubcaps AND the beauty trim rings. Now, the case has been solved. We did some bartering with buying stuff from our Precision Racing Engines Shop discount program and in return, he gave me the beauty trim rings. But as teen episodes go, after high school, we never saw each other again. Some of our friends went to the far reaches of the USA , colleges, military, and future jobs. We even missed each other at those funky reunions. (20,30,40…you get the picture.)
“My rims were 14 inch stock Chevy and I could not get the look I wanted with what money was there, so I opted for just the center hubcaps from Chevy. Then I was able to get the beauty trim rings for a full chrome style wheel look. Since there was no money for actual chrome reversed wheels, this took its place.”
“But, because the costs always held back the teenage hot rod guy from doing the things we saw at those numerous car shows, it was make do with what you have. By the time I was the primary driver as a senior in high school, I finally found the combination of beauty trim rings and small Chevy hubcaps to give the Impala an extra look that no one else in So Cal had at the time. It was my version of a chromed wheel look, but far less in cost. Those were the hit of the day and stayed that way until I got a set of 15 inch Buick Skylark Wire Wheels for a complete makeover of my 58 Impala in 1964."
(forget the misprint information by a newbie reporter for the school newspaper.)
By the time we were still cruising around in the summer of 1962, these small Chevy center hubcaps and beauty trim rings were unusual in that there was not one person or hot rod that had them for their needs. We still had visions of chromed reversed rims and/or 5 spoke American Racing Equipment mags, but they were still too far out of reach.
1959 Chevy small center hubcap
“The small hub caps for the 1959 model year retained the cross flags in the center just like the previous year. Six radial fins extend out to the outer periphery. The space between the six fins was a blacked out area to further enhance the hub cap. All the cars in 1959 came with small hub caps as standard equipment.”
The trim rings or “beauty rings” were separate orders from the parts bin.
right hand drive bel air
I would sure be tickled if that white BelAir was parked in my garage! I like the looks of the BelAirs a little bit better than the Impalas. I screwed up and passed on a BelAir at a reasonable price because I was already started on doing my Biscayne.
working on this one
^ The clean sides on your Impala are beautiful, @j3harleys!
A long time friend who had it for 28 years MADE me buy it from him. I'm trying very hard to quit. I have acquired all the stainless and had it polished,Trying to decide if to put it on or not.
One vote for put it on
So clean and different without the trim on it. If it were mine after making it so slippery I would not put it back on.
Second vote for putting it on.
common trick back in the day on a custom was to shorten a set of quarter panel trim and put it on the front fender to eliminate that bulky factory front fender trim.. really cleans it up
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