In case you let Toad borrow your car, Nice Price or Crack Pipe is inviting Project Car Hell over for some beers, and to check out a 1958 Chevy Impala that's more American Grifter than American Graffiti.
Yesterday's thirty-five grand VW made 82% of you make a mad dash for door number two. Today; different car-same price. And if you thought the 8-mile Beetle was nose-bleed priced, wait until you get a load of this skinned knuckles Impala.
Fifty five through fifty seven were the model years of Chevy's popular "shoebox" cars, so called because of the squared-off rear fenders and boxy trunk. The tri-fives brought both this modern styling feature to the brand, as well as the nascent development of the tailfin, culminating in the sailfish-like flanks of the '57. In 1958 the models were larger, heavier, and more ornate than their predecessors, which was what it took to reclaim the sales crown from Ford that year, having been out-sold by the Blue Oval in 1957 for the first time in 22 years. Fifty eight also introduced a new higher-end trim package called the Impala, based on the Bel Air, and sporting 6 tail lights to differentiate it from its lesser kin.
Despite the increased initial popularity of the 1958 models, the '55-‘57s were much more sought-after in later years than either their preceding, or successor brethren. The desirability of any year increases when the top comes off, and today's candidate - a 1958 Impala - does have a top that goes down. Well, it doesn't actually have a top, but the frame is still there. It also doesn't have seats, but again, the frame is still there, and the less spoken about the rest of the interior the better. In a demonstration of solidarity, the exterior is worn and incomplete as well, however the complex-curve windscreen does appear to be intact. The seller doesn't give a clue about the mechanicals, but you can tell by the picture it has a V8 under the hood, which could be the original 283, or something else that has crawled in there to die.
Okay, so it's a project car, and one that's pretty rough. And it's not the best year for the marque. So what? That's no big deal, sometimes the only way you can afford to get into a classic car is to buy one cheap and in need of restoration, and then amortize the cost over years of of hard work. Which brings us to that price. The seller is asking $35,000 for a non-running, incomplete, less-than-desirable model year Chevy Impala. Oh, and it didn't come from the factory as a convertible, the seller claims it is a converted hardtop, which is just icing on the bondo-filled cake. Another hardtop '58, but one that didn't suffer the same beheading fate as rusty here, was the one owned by Ron Howard's character in American Graffiti. In case you were wondering what happened to that one, here it is:
Our Impala is a long way from helping Toad get into Debbie Durham's pants, or anybody else's for that matter, and Wolfman Jack is no longer around to keep you company on those late nights alone in the garage, should you choose to tackle this restoration.
So, are you going to pull the Nice Price lever for this basket case for a bundle? Or do you vote Crack Pipe for a project without a price break?
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