1961 Chevrolet Impala - XXL Motor For A XXL Ride

And This Cruiser Ain't Just For Looks

Dakota Wentz Feb 12, 2007 0 Comment(s)
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You've got to love a guy who just lays it on the line, someone who calls it like he sees it. Clint Angelle is one of those guys. When it comes to Clint's big-block-powered '61 Impala, he'll be the first to tell you, "You can't worry about gas mileage with a big-block!"

A lot of guys get a car that once held some sentimental value. Clint's story is very much the same, yet his reasoning isn't quite like the rest. He and his cousin used to roll around in a '61 Impala, which was the first car in which Clint ever drove over 100 mph. After some intense eBay wars, Clint got his hands on a clean car for a little over $13K; but clean wasn't what he was looking for.

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Because the Impala ain't no puppy, it was going to take some muscle to get it up and running. True to Clint's philosophy, the last thing he was worried about was gas mileage, which meant he could go crazy, and he did so in the form of an XXL motor for an XXL car. Clint asked Schexnayder Racing to build him a 502. With the addition of JE 9.75:1 pistons, Edelbrock aluminum cylinder heads and an intake manifold, COMP Cams camshaft and lifters, and more, the XXL motor ripped off 530 hp at 5,500 rpm and 592 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. Clint also added a March Accessories pulley system and other dress-up items to the motor. With the motor all decked out, all that was left to do was drop her in-a challenge in itself. In order to have a 1/2-inch hood clearance above the air filter, the Impala's front crossmember had to be notched and boxed to drop the motor down. Clint also used a set of '71 Vette motor mounts to keep the motor close to the frame. To accommodate the power of the 502, Schexnayder Racing also put together a beefed-up Turbo 350 and rearend.

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Power wasn't all that was on Clint's mind. The car had to have the right look. Since the lines of the '61 Impala left their lasting impression on him, a little customizing wasn't really on the agenda. On the other hand, Clint figured there was no need for the Impala's ride height to reach for the sky. The idea was to get the Impala as slammed as possible, and what better way to do that than with a set of Air Ride Technologies air springs. With the bags completely deflated, the Boyd Coddington Rodder 18-inch rims wrapped in Sumitomo rubber and tucked up into the wheelwells draw even more attention to the ECI 12-inch drilled and slotted brakes.

Complementing the stance is the Bryan Romero black and white paint scheme laid over the sheetmetal. On the inside, the fresh paint is matched with a Classic Industries red/white vinyl interior. With the car all done, the only thing left to do is light 'em up. And you can tell by the spread that Clint isn't afraid to burn through a couple dollars' worth of gas just to get a good picture!

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