1966 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe 283ci 4bbl from North America
Great car, I hope to have another one some day!
Idler arm needed replacing when I first obtained it.
This was a family car bought new by my Grandmother in 1966. She wanted the "highest horsepower engine" because of all the new freeways, and was afraid of driving on them with the '59 Impala with the 6 cylinder. My Uncle and her brother-in-law talked her out of the 427/425hp engine, and got her the 283/220hp engine with the powerglide. So I knew it was taken great care of its whole history.
When I bought the car from her in 1977, my Mom had run over an old mattress at the junkyard, and the springs wrapped around the transmission and drive line, but none of it needed to be replaced. I bought the car for $300, and my Grandma bought a new 1977 Impala. The only other problem after I started driving it was the steering was loose. A bad idler arm replacement, new shocks and tires, and the car ran like new!
I wanted to go quicker (it was my first car I drag raced too) and added an Edelbrock intake and Holley carb, and headers. The Holley carb needed rebuilding every 3500 miles, so I put the Rochester back on, and it ran perfectly for the rest of the time I had it. I did get rid of the Powerglide for a TH-350, and was glad I did. It was no drag racer, but a lot of fun to cruise around in, especially on long road trips. I'd average about 15 mpg, and up to 20 on the long roadies.
The only other complaint I'd have were those interiors they had with the mesh/vinyl combo. The cloth mesh only lasted a couple of years, then was ripped. My Grandma had it all covered in vinyl to cover it all up.
I kept it as a daily driver until a crash in 1984. I was hoping to restore it, but the neighbors complained, and I had to get rid of it. It had about 135,000 miles on it by then. No problems with it at all, other than the usual rust spots (front fenders right in front of the doors at the bottom, and rear bottom quarters). Also, the brakes were starting to fade, and felt so unsafe, that I was going to switch over to the discs on all four wheels.
But it was a great car overall, and hopefully I can get another one some day. It seems like you can still get a good car and parts for a lot cheaper than other more 'popular' models.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd May, 2012