For the long story see Impala Diary
The Short Story
When I was 14, in 1958, my mom's car was nearly identical to this car.
That car was the same color, same interior, but it had a 283 with
2-barrel, while this one has an 84 Corvette tuned-port 350 and 700-R4
trans. I used to sneak that car out at 3 AM in Hollywood, right below
the HOLLYWOOD sign, and drive to Toluca Lake to visit a friend right
down the street from Bob's Big Boy. It was harmless (although obviously
illegal) fun, and thank God we did not damage the car. My parents got
wise and started putting sand on the driveway, hiding the keys, etc.
Finally my mom confronted me one afternoon and just said, "tell me about
the car and your night rides…". No yelling, no punishment, no screaming,
nothing…… just acceptance and support and some curiosity. I have ALWAYS
had a very soft spot in my heart for this car. These cars are bringing HUGE
sums right now as they slip away from availability and are sought by
I feel fortunate to have found this good a car this close to home.
This Friday night I will have the first opportunity to LEGALLY drive my
heart-throb 58 Impala to Bob's Big Boy!
This one has a slightly different power train, one I would have killed
for in 1958. It is not blinding fast, but is VERY torquey, and just
cruises beautifully. The interior and exterior are stock, restored, and
correct. The entire car and undercarriage have been cleaned, painted,
and the 2 front floor pans replaced. The trunk under the mat is
rust-free and black. The chrome and all trim are nearly perfect, save
one small a rusted area on the front bumper, which I will cure. This car
as received was not mechanically perfect. The brakes had been twice
worked on by different people in the recent past, and were not right.
John and I both noticed a VERY tough pedal. But not having driven many
stock 58's, we had no recent comparisons. I bought the car, and sure
enough, the front brakes hung up about 30 miles from El Cajon. I pulled
off the freeway and while a couple looked lovingly at the car, they were
concerned about the smoke. I could only muster laughingly, "Hey, it's an
antique….." as I drove off in a cloud of smoke. I was worried there
might be some electrical problem, as the smell was odd. It turns out the
two front wheel cylinders were leaking fluid, and were so hot they were
smoking. John and I could not move the car, so I called AAA for my
once-a-year 200-mile tow. By the time the AAA flatbed arrived, the car
would push. But I was not about to take ANY chances with the new
darling, and it finished the trip in elegance atop the flatbed. It was
amusing to view it that way, and only fortified my pleasure at having
I immediately called the seller, who graciously said just send her the
bill on the brake repair. I could have taken it back to El Cajon, as the
second shop which worked on the brakes was next door to where I bought
it, but I felt it would cost more time and trouble than just getting it
home. In a wry twist, I had put it up on that shop's rack to inspect it
only an hour before!
There are some engine and trans fluid leaks, and a small drip at the
The car has quite a bit of documentation, a nearly complete uninstalled
AC system, a COUPLE of spare tires and rims, and a couple of nice
So the first items will be curing all fluid leaks, addressing the power
steering (a little noisy at start-up), and replacing the tires with
fresher-looking rubber. But make no mistake, the car is in overall
beautiful condition, and a THOROUGH delight to see.
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