Like any good scientist, Goldilocks famously sampled all three options before settling consistently for the middle of the road choice. With its 327 and pillarless four door body today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Impala also stakes out the middle ground, but is its price fair to middling?
So there's this crap movie that came out a few months back called Project X about three high school d-bags that throw the armageddon of all parents-out-of-town house parties only to see it get way out of hand. Phew, I can still smell that turd. I bring that up as a point of reference to the party hardy turbo 1.8 Ford Festiva we had here yesterday. Its seller claimed that it too required adult supervision, while 58% of you felt that - at his asking price - the seller must be kidding.
Today, in celebration that it's almost time to go back to school, we're going to go back to old school with a sweet survivor from the wonder years. This 1966 Chevy Impala hardtop may be beige in color, but with its 275-bhp 327 V8 underhood, orgy-worthy double bench interior and pillarless greenhouse, it provides a throw back experience that's anything but vapid.
Just compare this Impala with its Corvette aping rear fenderline against the pale pretender that is its modern iteration. Oh sure, this model was built two years prior to Federal safety standards started making cars sold in states something less than total death traps, but it more than makes up for that in sheer presence. I mean yeah, if this doesn't literally scare the crap out of you then you're probably that dude that jumps out of space balloons, but truth be told, more of us survived that era than went out during it in accordion-shaped coffins.
This Impala looks to be series 64 hardtop meaning it comes with a V8 and no B-pillar. The venerated 327 is painted a traditional Chevy orange and is claimed by the seller to sport the famous double hump heads. What's so great about the Double Humps? Well as anyone outside of a eunuch will tell you, when it comes to humping, doubles are the way to go. And when it come to Chevy V8s stock heads, those with the lovely lady humps embossed on the end, are the feline's sleepwear.
Double hump heads - sometimes also called Fuelie heads for one version's use on the FI 327 - are venerated for their small chambers which worked well with the high octane fuel that was available at the time. Here, they're little more than bragging rights or something to initiate small talk at a car meet, but still they're cool to have. Plus, hump jokes!
Amazingly the 1966 Impala offered 7 transmission choices, including close and wide ratio 4-speeds, floor or column shifts and the popular Turbo-Hydra-Matic. With all those from which to choose, whoever was in charge of checking off the option boxes on this one fell down on the job ordering the two-speed Powerglide. That's a box that's about as exciting as CSPAN After Dark, but is at least a popular choice for quarter milers.
The rest of the car looks to be in reasonably decent and original shape, maintaining all its admittedly limited brightwork and vinyl upholstery and rubber floor mat interior - again making this car perfect for group sexytime. The dashboard is dominated by a wonderful horizontal speedometer and phalanx of idiot lights while behind that sits a steering wheel that is thinner than a politician's alibi. The only mellow harshers being a seat cover that looks like the orgy has already begun, and a modern CD head unit incongruously hanging under dash and standing out like a female gym teacher's scrotum.
The fourth generation Impala is emblematic of the second half of the Viet Nam decade, and represents the initial split of the Caprice name from trim-level to separate model and eventually platform making this a notable edition. It's also, like Goldilocks' favored choice; a middle of the road example sporting a V8 and automatic as well as the desirable pillarless roof, but also maintaining the modest accoutrements of an all-vinyl interior and a transmission that's parsimonious with with its gear offerings.
But is this survivor worth $3,500? It's now time for you to put on your Goldilocks dress and pigtails - seriously I'm giving you carte blanche to cross-dress - and determine if this Impala's price is too high, too low, or just right.
H/T to Aaron for the hookup!
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