Is this the coolest '68 Impala around? The odds are certainly in its favor. Not many full-size models receive the same extensive restorations as their smaller siblings. Even fewer receive a pro-touring package that enhances the driving experience by somewhere around 1000% This '68 Impala Custom Coupe is one of those rare full-sizes that got the total red carpet treatment. With a factory fresh 327 V8, a smooth-shifting TH350 and a look that will draw crowds every time the car sits still, this very well may be the ultimate '68 Impala. If you're in the market for something different from the muscle car era, take a closer look at this Chevy. It may be exactly what your garage is missing.
The 1968 model year marked the introduction of the Custom Coupe to the Impala family. Its squared roofline made it easily distinguishable from not only other Impalas but most other cars of the day. This '68 was formerly a factory restoration which claimed accolades at the 2006 Super Chevy Show. Part of its draw was the glossy coat of Bolero Red paint covering the laser straight panels. Finished to the highest standards, the car casts mirror-like reflections and looks awesome from every angle. Fit and finish is equally good with even panel gaps and doors that shut with ease. It's difficult to spray a bright color on this much sheet metal and not get attention, but this '68 definitely deserves it.
Accenting that paint is a long list of factory trim pieces that help balance out the car's pro-touring look. At the front, a full-width chrome grille features a grid pattern, broken up with a show-quality chrome bumper and two pairs of round headlights in brilliant chrome bezels. The forward-thrusting fenders are capped off by integrated turn signals with more excellent chrome work. At the sides, the front fenders feature 327-badging placed in front of the front fender wells. Those fender wells feature chrome eye molding with a chrome strip running along the rocker panel. That strip is paralleled by a black and chrome trim piece that runs the full width of the car. At the top, chrome mirrors extend out from the nearly flawless stainless trim that surrounds the cars spotless glass. At the rear of the car, an attractive chrome bumper runs the width of the car, housing three taillights on either side of the license plate frame. While it may sound like a lot, the overall look is just flashy enough to hold the attention drawn by the slick paintwork.
Pop open the hood and you'll be greeted by an era-correct 327 cubic inch V8 straight out of the GM catalog. Rebuilt to factory specifications, the engine sounds great and host a lengthy list of correct parts. Under the satin black single snorkel air cleaner, a Quadrajet four-barrel feeds fuel through a factory intake manifold wedged between stock cast iron heads. The block itself is a 3914660 casting sprayed in classic Chevy Orange for a showroom fresh look. The heads are topped by finned aluminum valve covers usually found on Corvettes or Camaro Z/28's of the era. At the front of the engine, a factory style radiator cools the block through reproduction GM hoses held in place by proper tower brackets. Behind that radiator, a fan, Frigidaire air conditioning compressor and alternator spin off engine power. The bay is filled out with lots of attractive pieces such as the zinc coated brake booster and master cylinder and tar top battery cover parked atop the new battery. Turn the key and the small block comes to life with ease, producing a mellow rumble through cast iron exhaust manifolds and Dynomax mufflers.
Flip the car over and a nicely detailed underside comes into view. The rock solid floorpans received a correct coat of red oxide while the suspension pieces were bathed in a coat of black paint. Every nut and bolt was refinished or replaced, and everything removable was painted or powder-coated for long life. All bushings, body mounts, steering, fuel and exhaust parts are new from stem to stern. At the center, a TH350 three-speed automatic takes cares of shifts before sending the power out to a painted 10-bolt rear end. The car received an altitude adjustment in the form of a two-inch drop thanks to drop spindles and lowering springs. Edelbrock IAS shocks support the fresh suspension while Hotchkis sway bars, tie rod sleeves and an adjustable Panhard rod finish off the slick setup. While the suspension is hard as work the driver won't have to be thanks to a rebuilt power steering setup and new power brakes. A call to Classic Performance Products netted huge 13" front and 12" rear discs that capable of reining in the 327 just as quickly as it gets the car going. At the corners, Coy's C5's in sizes 18x8 and 18x9.5 give the car a modernized look while Nitto NT555 Extreme rubber makes sure the car never loses its grip.
Slip inside the new black interior and notice a couple of very nice options at your disposal. Stare straight ahead at the restored rally cluster with the tachometer to the left that's an unusual option even on high performance variants of these cars. Changing out the standard cluster for the rally unit isn't just a plug-and-play change but corners were cut here. There's a new dash harness, a new forward lamp harness, a new engine harness and new sending units in the motor, installed at a cost of more than $2,000! Fresh gauges aren't any fun to look at in a dingy interior, though, and you won't be disappointed by this one. New from the bottom up, the interior is better than factory spec! New door panels, new seat covers over new foam, new carpeting, a new headliner, new armrests, door handles, vent window levers - you name it and it's here in better than new condition.
A no excuses show winner and a traffic stopping car, this Impala will bring enjoyment for decades. World class workmanship and excellent upgraded mechanicals will keep it running while the upgraded wheels and stance will keep lines of vision pointed in its direction. If you've thought of adding a bigger Chevy to your collection, don't miss the chance to bring this one home!
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