HomeCar CultureMy Classic Car: Teenage dreams of a 1959 Chevrolet Impala

My Classic Car: Teenage dreams of a 1959 Chevrolet Impala

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In 1959 I was 14 years old. It was the year when USSR and USA exchanged expositions to show achievements in their countries. I queued up for more than an hour to visit the show. There I saw color TV for the first time in my life. But what really struck me were the 1959 car models. They seemed to have come from outer space. The car that struck me most was Impala with its stretched out horizontal wings at the rear. I spent half an hour unable to take my eyes off the car, as it deeply penetrated in my mind. Years passed but it remained in my thoughts.

Images courtesy of Vladimir Biriulin

I grew up, years later I became a patent attorney and traveled around the world. During one of the business trips to the USA I made acquaintance with Jace Holman, also an attorney in Washington D.C.. It so happened that he was also a gearhead. He had a pack of photographs of his cars he took when him whenever and wherever he went. Naturally, we discussed cars. I asked him to find a 1959 Impala for me. He found one in good condition in Florida from a car collector and sent it to me in 2016.
I drove it the whole summer. In early autumn as I approached a crossing on the green light suddenly a taxi came from the left and hit my car in the left front fender. All the front was damaged. In fact, all the body parts up to the windshield suffered. The frame was even bent in five places. Small fragments of CAI flew into the engine and damaged two cylinders.

It took me five years to restore the car, mainly because of the difficulty to find body parts at junk yards. The front suspension was badly damaged, so I had to order a new rectangular frame from Schwartz Performance. This new frame came with adjustable suspension and Wilwood brakes. I decided to change the interior, which had been updated by the previous owner, to reproduce the original upholstery of 1959.

While my Impala is now a retromod car, on the outside it looks 100% original.
I am happy that teen dreams have been fulfilled.

-Vladimir B., Russia

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3 COMMENTS

  1. We had a 59 impala in Hawaii in 1967-69. We drove it tell it wouldn’t go anymore. Had a lot of fun in that car and fond memories

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