1963 Chevy Impala - A 750-Horse Family Heirloom

If only Aunt Emma Could See Her Impala Now!

Everything was sandblasted and painted. Brian credits his friend Anthony "Bud" Larsen with giving him pointers on how to prepare each piece, then letting him use his facility and equipment to get it ready to paint. Bud allowed Brian to use a corner of his bodyshop to get the Impala up to snuff—not that there was a ton work to do. The body was rust free. Brian smoothed out a bunch of door dings, lined up and hung the doors, hood, and trunk, blocked the body, etc. Then Bud applied the basecoat/clearcoat Ermine White paint. Every piece of rubber, door and window gaskets, dash, headliner and upholstery was replaced by Brian.

Once Brian and his wife, Lise, realized the car wouldn't be their son's driver, it was decided to put something with a little more oats under the hood. To that end, Brian contacted Nelson Racing for a full-on, tire-destroying Rat. The Brodix aluminum 10.2-inch deck height block has both a 4.50-inch bore and stroke. The 9.8:1 compression makes it pump-gas friendly and a solid roller with 0.678-inch intake and 0.688 exhaust lift opens the valves in the CNC-ported Brodix aluminum heads. A Holley 1050 Progressive Dominator sits atop a Brodix single plane intake. On the pump, the output was 752 hp at 6,100 rpm and 700 lb-ft of torque at 4,900. It makes 665 lb-ft at 3,600. Oof.

The biggest hurdle was finding headers that would fit with the tall-deck block and the factory frame. Stainless Headers Inc. of Fargo, North Dakota, supplied Brian with flanges and collectors. Using these, he designed and built the tubes with PVC tubing and sent Stainless Headers the model. The folks there built a set of 21/8-inch 304 stainless headers that fit perfectly in the car. A set of Doug's Headers electric cutouts supplies lots of noise (but only when it's really wanted). Performance Muffler of Las Vegas fabricated the 3-inch aluminized exhaust, which uses Magnaflow mufflers and an X-shaped crossover.

Sucp 1304 08 1963 Chevy Impala Brodix 5/9

Backing the 572 is a Jake's Performance-built 4L80-E with with paddle shifters. A Denny's 3-inch aluminum driveshaft sends the power to a Moser Engineering 9-inch with a Trac Loc diff and 4.11 gears (assembled by the owner).

Brian reupholstered the front and rear seats himself with OE replacement covers. The biggest deviation is the Billet Specialties 15.5-inch steering wheel, Twist Machine shifter paddles, and Auto Meter Ultra Lite gauges. There's a modern stereo/CD player hidden in the glovebox.

A Ride Tech air suspension gives Brian infinite height adjustability for the Impala. Ride Tech Shockwave shocks and tubular control arms up front are aided by a Hotchkis 1.25-inch sway bar. Out back are Ride Tech black series shocks, air bag and a 1 inch Hotchkis sway bar. Stopping this magnificent giant are Baer 13-inch brakes (four-piston calipers in front and two-piston calipers in the rear. Tires are Michelin Pilot Sports (225/45ZR18 and 275/35ZR20) on Boyd Coddington Genesis wheels (18x7 with 5 inches of backspacing front, 20x10 with 6 inches of backspacing out back.

For now, all that's left for Brian to do is put the screws to the Impala at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He's anxious to see what it'll do, but has had to put this off because of a broken right ankle.

As for his son, Alan? He got a used Crown Victoria instead.

Sucp 1304 07 1963 Chevy Impala Passenger Side 6/9




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