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1960 Chevy Impala - The Bayou Brawler

Earl And Barbara Guidry's Big-Block Impala Is A Dream Come True.

Bob McClurg Sep 1, 2009
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Louisiana Bow Tie lovers Earl and Barbara Guidry own this beautiful land yacht. "It's a dream come true," says Earl Guidry. "I've always wanted to own a red and white '60 Chevy Impala. Of course, my son-in-law Shane Thibadeaux and the guys down at my shop, Sid's Auto Repair, helped make that dream a reality."

Purchased from a friend in 2005 for $5,000, Guidry's half disassembled Impala had been stored in a barn for quite a few years. All told, the car's restification represents two years time, built in stages at an investment of around $38,000. First came the engine.

Powering this beauty is a Bumper-To-Bumper Auto Parts & Machine/Brian's Machine Shop-prepared '97 496 big-block-equipped with a Lunati 496 stroker kit, a set of ARP-equipped Lunati forged-steel connecting rods and 10:1 compression JE forged pistons. Cam choice is a Crane hydraulic roller (290-degrees duration and 0.460 max valve lift), along with a Cloyes multiple index timing chain. Lubrication duties are handled by a GM Performance Parts high volume oil pump and six quart pan.

Up top is a set of GM cylinder heads using ARP studs with Billet Specialties valve covers and carbon-fiber breathers. Bolted in between is an 850cfm Holley-equipped Edelbrock Air Gap intake with a K&N air cleaner. A complete MSD ignition system fires things up. A set of Sanderson headers draw the exhaust into a Streamline Powder Coating Company/Custom Muffler thermal coated 2.5-inch system with twin Flowmaster mufflers.

Backing it all up is an Acadiana Transmissions-prepared GM 700R4 using a B&M kit, and 2,400 rpm stall speed torque converter. Sending the power back to the Impala's 3.36:1-geared rear is a USA Machine custom-fabricated driveshaft.

Next, came the car's suspension. The Guidrys' Impala makes use of an Air Ride Technologies Cool Ride suspension kit and its Shockwave air shocks. Other items include a GM "605" power steering box, Master Power Brakes Co. front and rear late-model GM discs, and a set of 18x8-inch front and 20x10-inch rear Boyd Coddington "Fury" wheels. Tires are P245/50x18-inch Nitto high performance radials (fore) and P275/30x20-inch (rear).

Credit for the excellent paint and bodywork goes to Chris Swear, who sprayed the finned Chevy in PPG Fire Engine Red and Frost White. Inside, the Impala uses YearOne red and white houndstooth reproduction seatcovers.

Other items include Classic Auto Air climate control and vintage Sun gauges. Out back in the trunk you'll find gray tweed carpeting and a vintage Coke cooler, where all the cleaning supplies are kept. Since completion, Guidry's Impala has won numerous awards, including top 10 finishes and a number of first-place trophies at local southeastern shows.



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