Scott Chalk's 1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible - Faux Fuelie

Yes, They Did Build Injected '59 Impalas, But This Isn't One Of 'Em.

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Ultimately, it took him two years to find the correct model year parts and another 10 months to correctly convert the ragtop to look like a factory fuel-injected, four-speed Impala. So authentic is the recreation that even the nut that holds the airbox on behind the grille is correct. You think that was difficult to come by?

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Scott, who owns Scott's Performance & Restoration in Pasadena, Maryland, rebuilt the original 283 himself, boring it 0.030-inch over and keeping it real with a reproduction solid-lifter Duntov cam from Lunati. A Cloys double roller timing chain and Melling high-volume oil pump are the only real deviations from stock. The exhaust manifolds and distributor are factory and there's even an NOS A/C Delco air filter underhood.

A 1959 Borg-Warner T-10 assembled by the owner backs the 283 and sends the 290 hp to an 8.2-inch GM rear with 3.70 gears. The suspension, likewise, is completely stock all around, as are the brakes. Tires are BFGoodrich Silvertown models, size 14x8 at each corner.

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Don't go looking for a high-end sound system, unless you consider the stock AM radio fancy. The carpeting is reproduction, but the rest of the interior is a sea of 100 percent original, factory issue materials-yes, the car was that good when his father found it. The only non-stock item in here is a Hurst Competition Plus shifter moved by the factory handle.

Bobby Johns sprayed on the spectacular Dupont Roman Red lacquer, which is offset by miles of chrome and stainless trim (the chrome refinished by Keystone of Baltimore).

When Scott's father bought the '59, it was a 283 Power Pack car with a three-speed manual trans. The son's fondest memories as a young boy are riding around with his dad behind the wheel. It was this very car in which the baby Scott was brought home from the hospital. His parents enjoyed the sleek convertible for decades before deciding to give it to their son when he turned 25.

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He's happy to report that the Impala runs beautifully and drives like new. The secret to the mechanical fuel injection, he says, is simply finding someone who understands it and can tune it properly. This 283 fires instantly and has been quite dependable, according to the owner.

While it may not have been the most popular option in '59 (supposedly fewer than 1,000 full-size fuelies were made in three years of production), fuel injection makes an already unusual car that much more interesting-even if it was added 48 years after the fact.

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