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1961 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe

1961 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe

The term “bubble top” is defined as a plastic top to an automobile that is rounded in shape. It was coined due to cars of the early 1960 era having expansive rounded and curved front and rear glass, giving the visual that someone blew air into the interior and expanded the glass in an outward way. A bubble if you will!

For consignment, a former California car that has made the trek east back in 1991, was used a bit, and has sat in storage for the last 20 years. Painted in Fawn Beige, it is showing some effects of the storage on the paint with plenty of spotting and some slight surface rust peeking through where the paint was previously scratched or scraped. Chrome is in good condition and has weathered the storage storm much better than the paint. All correct badging, clean bubble glass, an interior that has a bit of wear, but a great example of this 1961 Impala Sport Coupe. A survivor that will require some TLC, but it can readily become a shower!

Exterior
Dual horizontal headlights, an egg crate grille, straight steel bathed in Fawn Beige with the aforementioned faults this car is all in for the original version. A white stainless trim spear runs the length of the sides and accents the rounded glass seen on the front and rear glass giving it its nickname. On back a styled V for the trunk line, and then the triple taillights, which was to become a permanent feature on Impalas to come. Our example has 15-inch rally wheels which are nice and shiny, and raised white letter Dunlop rubber. A bit of rust seen around the wheel wells and on the rockers but mostly straight steel.

Interior
Bleeding early 1960's styling the door swing yields some stitched and button upper beige vinyl panels. The mid-section of said doors is horizontal ribbed gray broadcloth with torn and tattered arm rests. The lower third is more smooth beige vinyl. Cranks and actuators are all working. Slipping inside we greet horizontal ribbed broadcloth in beige with darker stripes for the bench inserts, and light beige bolsters in vinyl. The condition of these seats is worn with some tears in the driver's seat that shows the inner padding. The rear bench shows wear on the passenger's seat. Simple jet age styling for the dash with a large angled dash top to shade the gauges which reside in the dash front that is covered in aluminum. An original two-tone steering wheel is fronting this dash. Gold carpeting somewhat faded and dirty floods the floors and the headliner is more light beige vinyl and tight but a bit soiled in the seams from age.

Drivetrain
Under the hood which is a bit surface rusted with no insulation remaining, we note an unrestored engine bay. Within this original looking and aged space is an original 283ci V8. It is topped with a single 2-barrel carburetor, and on back is a Powerglide 2-speed automatic transmission. The rear axle weighs in at 3.08 ratio.

Undercarriage
A finer coating of surface rust is encompassing all surfaces underneath. It remains structurally sound and no invasive rust is noted. Independent coil spring suspension is upfront, and a 4 link with more coil springs is on back. Drum brakes are provided on all 4 corners. A newer chambered dual exhaust has been recently put on.

Drive-Ability
Despite its time capsule storage the engine fired up and ran smoothly. It shifted smoothly and handled nicely. I noticed the brakes will need adjustment because the left rear locks up quickly. Also, the radio is not working, as well as the taillights, right rear brake light and rear turn signals are not functioning.

We may very well have a diamond in the rough with this car, with 20 years of storage under its belt, it has left it preserved, but time has taken a toll in that storage stint. Mostly cosmetic fixes, but then it will be ready to show as an interesting piece of GM history in the “Bubble Top”.

VIN DECODE
11837L204098
1-1961
18-Impala V8
37-2 Door Sport Coupe
L-Los Angeles, Assy Plant
204098-Sequential Unit Number

TRIM TAG
07B-2nd Week July Build
STYLE 61 1837-1961 Impala Sport Coupe
BODY VN26820-Los Angeles Body #
TRIM 865-Fawn Cloth & Vinyl Bench
PAINT 920A-Fawn Beige

Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special interest automobile showroom, featuring over 600 vehicles for sale with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the vehicle in person.