1961 Chevrolet Swansong Is Revenge for All the Abandoned Impalas of the World

1961 Chevrolet Impala Swansong 15 photos
Photo: Mecum
1961 Chevrolet Impala Swansong1961 Chevrolet Impala Swansong1961 Chevrolet Impala Swansong1961 Chevrolet Impala Swansong1961 Chevrolet Impala Swansong1961 Chevrolet Impala Swansong1961 Chevrolet Impala Swansong1961 Chevrolet Impala Swansong1961 Chevrolet Impala Swansong1961 Chevrolet Impala Swansong1961 Chevrolet Impala Swansong1961 Chevrolet Impala Swansong1961 Chevrolet Impala Swansong1961 Chevrolet Impala Swansong
When production of the Chevrolet Impala ended in 2020, history books noted that about 16.8 million of them had been made in a little over six decades of production. That's impressive by any standards, and it's a number large enough that the model, although no longer around, still has a great impact on our world.
In the 62 years of production, the Impala burned through no less than ten generations. So many of them were made that American fields and barns are literally drowning in the ones that are no longer used and have been abandoned by their owners. You just have to look at the countless sales ads featuring barn find-state Impalas that are flooding the Internet on a daily basis.

Each of the ten Impala generations had something special to offer, but as far as design goes, only the first three or four will forever be remembered, cherished, modified, and continuously sold. Coincidentally (or rather not) it's examples of these exact generations that are constantly being dug up and sold.

The reason for that is simple: people like early Impalas so much they'd be capable of paying pretty much anything for a well-done one. Americans know this, and that's why any such car find could prove very lucrative. But because there are so many of them out there, not all get a shot at living a second time.

The 1961 Impala you're staring at is one of the lucky ones, and it kind of looks like the perfect revenge for all the abandoned cars of its breed out there. That's because it only goes to show what impressive and valuable vehicles some people walked out on.

1961 makes the car part of the family's third-gen, the one built with newer (and perhaps the most impressive) styling than before on the GM B platform and sporting under the hood a wide choice of engines, including the W-Series 409ci.

1961 Chevrolet Impala Swansong
Photo: Mecum
It's not known how the car spent its life, other than it's a California car, or if it too was abandoned for a while before being given a second chance. What we do know is that at one point in its life it crossed paths with a local custom garage that goes by the name Hot Rods & Custom Stuff, and the rest is history.

Born as a convertible, the Impala was given a makeover that left on few of the original tech but maintained the styling that has made the breed famous the world over.

The exterior lines of the car are the same as before, however softened by the installation of a custom trunk cover at the rear, the removal of the lettering on the side spear, and the shaving of the door handles. When all the visual work was completed, the panels were painted in a hue called Trojan Brandywine, supplied by House Of Kolor and enhanced with the deployment of chrome on the bumper, grille, and trim.

Underneath the carefully crafted body the shop hid an Art Morrison GT Sport chassis that made all the other mechanical changes to the car to be easier to perform. The chassis is equipped with an AccuAir / RideTech suspension system, features power rack-and-pinion steering, and has disc brakes.

Supporting both the body and the chassis on the ground are custom wheels made by Schott. They are sized differently front and rear, meaning 18 and 20 inches, respectively, and all four are shod in Pirelli tires.

1961 Chevrolet Impala Swansong
Photo: Mecum
The wheels are set in motion not by the car's original engine (it's unclear what that was) but by a custom LS3. We don't have info on the powerplant's performance levels, but at least visually it looks just as impressive as the rest of the build, polished, packed with chrome accessories, and protected by a modified firewall.

The engine's power is harnessed and properly distributed with the help of a 4L65e automatic overdrive transmission and a 9-inch Ford differential with 3.73 gearing.

Last but not least the interior of the Impala comes as the ultimate fine touch to a build that, we're told, has won many awards during its life: tan leather is to be seen all around, Dakota Digital gauges have been installed in the dashboard, and a center console now holds a gated floor shifter. The cherry on the cake is the Art of Sound custom audio system.

The Impala as you see it is known among connoisseurs as the Swansong, and it is currently on the lookout for a new owner. It will go under the hammer at the hands of Mecum in Glendale, Arizona, next week, and it has big plans from the sale.

Remember how well-baked Impalas tend to become real money-makers? Well, just consider the fact this one is gunning for a top bid of $325,000 in Glendale. It remains to be seen whether it succeeds or not, and rest assured we'll update this story as soon as we know which way the hammer fell.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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