Volume III, Issue 2, Page 30

Finding an unmolested period car, especially a convertible, means checking all the latest at Google, Yahoo, Racing Junk, eBay, Auto Trader Online, and searching on regional Craig’s Lists. I also checked the traditional local newspapers, online classifieds, and area swap meets for likely candidates.

The Impala of the 60’s was built to reach a segment of the American car buying market calling for greater luxury and more power to better reach the destinations on the horizon, which were then becoming accessible with a better quality of roads and the era’s cheap gasoline. 

I live near Hollywood, and as part of my work a friend contacted me for a client who needed a ‘62 Impala convertible for a TV commercial.  The client hired me to find the car and get it into “picture car” condition with a short turn-around.  It had to look good for the camera’s eye, but really needed to be mechanically sound.  I had about two months to pull this off, so I scoured the usual sources.

Forty-five years after the fact, most early 60’s Impalas and especially convertibles have been butchered with hydraulics and suspension modifications (problematic in Southern California) that are completely the opposite direction for a resto project.  At swap meets I found overpriced, hacked-up half cars and low riders, Impalas that would require a ground-up, rotisserie resto. Remember, this car was intended to be a driver from the beginning.

I found worthy cars on Craig’s List daily that got snapped right up. Then I found a triple-black ’62 Impala convertible with original black license plates at a fair price in Northern California.  I flew to Sacramento to check out this new candidate. After crawling all over and under it, I bought the car right there.

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