1961 Chevy Impala SS Clone - Impressive Impala
Charlie Freeland's '61 Bubbletop Is Clone-Tastic.
By James Handy, Photography by James Handy
The transmission is a 1991 Chevrolet 700R4, rebuilt by Charlie. The converter is a D&P Products 2000 stall speed unit with a custom valve body. The rear end is a Chevrolet 12-bolt, narrowed 2 inches and carrying 3.70 gears. The running gear is complete with American Torque Thrust II wheels and Toyo Proxis tires. The fronts are 17x7 shod with 215/50 rubber, while the rears are 18x8 with 275/40 shoes. The driveline and dual exhaust system was built by Kenny at ADCO Muffler and Driveline.
The interior was next on the list.A set of '63 Impala bucket seats and the '61 rear bench seat were covered by Charlie, with help from Justin at West Coast Customs in Snowstorm White pleather, while the door and side panels are matching white vinyl. The carpet is grey loop. All of the glass is new, from Breaker Glass. The gauges are Auto Meter Ultra-Lite units and the steering wheel is from Billet Specialties. Tunes are generated through an Alpine 9820XM head unit and Alpine amp.
Charlie says that one of his biggest problems was getting the original stainless steel trim straight and dingless. All of the chrome work was done by Sherm's Plating in Sacramento.
Charlie Freeland's '61 SS clone is definitely one of a kind and, although it is not an original SS, it sure fools a lot of folks at car shows and rod runs. It is truly a vehicle that reflects the owner's passion for early '60s Impala's. Charlie and his wife Cynthia truly have a ride to be proud of.
By James Handy
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