Sunday, February 21, 2010

Before They Were Beaters: 1973 Chevrolet Impala

1971-76 Impalas are the automotive equivalent of the buffalo. All of their parts can be found useful (350, Turbo 400, 12 bolt, etc goes well with anything) and although once found in great abundance throughout the plains of the US, most have been killed off for fun by now.

The 71-76 Impalas, Caprices, and Kingswoods were the last of the leaf sprung big Chevrolets and as a result make fantastic demolition derby cars. They were essentially designed with this spectacular end in mind with bulletproof mechanicals, invertable exhaust manifolds, and a propensity to always bend upwards in the rear. This advertisement even shows the exact points on the bumper that need to be welded or stuffed full of rocks in order to properly slam that pussy coil-sprung Crown Vic over the concrete barrier.

By my very quick and dirty estimate, there were enough of these cars made so that we can continue to derby them at a rate of 250 per year for the next 4,935 years. However, due to reasons outside of intentional destruction, these cars are becoming increasingly rare and valuable in both the derby and Dub scenes, which oddly rarely cross paths.

For more info on these cars and to see one in action, check out this enthusiastic owner's site

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