Jack Brackett has always had an obsession with the '62 Impala. From the acres of chrome and stainless steel, the cavernous interior and smooth body lines, through the spacious engine bay, Jack's love for one of the most popular years of the iconic Impala is steadfast and resolute. When it came time to create his latest '62, all Jack could think of was a car built with modern technology but encased in the classic lines of 1962.
The project started with a rust-free desert car that had spent most of its life in California after being built at the Los Angeles plant. Jack discovered the car about 10 years ago, complete and corrosion free. When the Impala left the factory in '62 as an SS, it was black, but had a white paint job when Jack found it. After talking things over with the grandson of the car's original owner, a deal was struck and the Impala found a new home in Jack's garage.
The whole build took a total of seven years, the first two being dedicated totally to planning out the project so everything would be right the first time. Jack had always wanted a big-block powered convertible, and now that he had the right foundation he could have the ultimate '62 Impala of his dreams. Jack started by pulling the frame out from underneath the car, stripping it down, and having it powdercoated. After that, an Air Ride Technologies air suspension system was installed front and rear with the stock control arms to give the big Bow Tie an adjustable stance. The stock rearend was refreshed with 3.31 gears, and ABS disc brakes installed at all four corners for more stopping power.
The body was cleaned up and straightened by Mike Darling in preparation for Keni Whitlock at Palo Cedro Customs to re-spray the Impala in Ruby Slipper red paint from PPG. The stock grille, front and rear bumpers, and other trim were cleaned up and refurbished before being reinstalled. While massaging the body and erasing 35 years of driving and abuse, Mike made the modifications to add an extra brake light on each side to set the car apart from other '62 Impalas.
For motivation, Jack went with a 435hp 427 out of a '69 Corvette in place of the original 327, and topped it off with an Edelbrock Performer manifold and 750 cfm carb. A Pertronix ignition handles spark duties. The big-block was mated to a 700R4 overdrive transmission, then stuffed back into the Impala, along with a Holley electric fuel pump to make sure the 427 never goes thirsty. Sanderson headers connected to Borla mufflers with 3-inch pipe handle exhaust duties.
Inside, a Vintage Air climate system keeps driver and passengers comfortable, while a Kenwood audio system plays the necessary cruising tunes. For extra comfort, a set of Cadillac Eldorado buckets was installed up front, and covered in gray leather (as were the back seats) by Jerry's Upholstery. Keeping tabs on the big-block are Classic Instrument gauges set into a custom dash panel. Along with the custom dash, an ididit steering column and Billet Specialties steering wheel keep the car under control. Finishing the car off is a set of American Racing Hopster wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich G-Force rubber.
When Jack first spotted this Impala, it was tucked away in a shed covered with dust and worse. At first sight, he knew the car was destined to be stripped of all the abuse it had endured since new and turn heads once again on the street. Looking at the photos, it's easy to see that destiny has been fulfilled.