A ’75 Impala in front of a pub in Finland? Why not? LDeren caught this well-exhausted Chevy in Rovaniemi this summer. I can just hear it now.
A question for those who live in Finland or are have driven there: What sort of issues would this example from Chevrolet’s Biggest Generation present in driving? I’m curious about width and length, primarily.
I ask as my godfather moved to Europe in the early 1980s to teach on a U.S. Air Force base. He was able to take his car, a 1970s Mustang II, and he said it was terrible to drive in some countries due the smaller size of the infrastructure but a breeze in other countries. Not knowing how an Impala in Finland fit into such a spectrum triggered this question.
It’s great to see this old girl still being used. And, from my perspective, not seeing it sporting 22″ or larger wheels.
I’ve lived in Finland for a year and pretty much every day I saw a few American classics roaming around. Most of them very well maintained. Don’t remember seeing one with huge wheels there!
The size of the cars is not a big issue there; Finland is one of the least densely populated countries in Europe (even less than the US). And most cities developed in the mid 20th century. So don’t expect seeing the kind of urban landscape found in places like France or Italy; the city streets are usually much wider than in Southern Europe, and so are the parking spaces.
This is a parking lot in the city I lived:
My brother used to drive a Mustang II in London in the mid-’80s. The biggest problem* was entering/exiting car parks on his own as these were set up for RHD so he was on the wrong side of the car. In terms of size it was only slightly larger than a Ford Cortina, though on a shorter wheelbase, the latter making it surprisingly easy to park, at least once he got used to it. A full-size car like the Impala would be a quite different proposition though the extra length and width would make it a bugger to find a parking spot.
Curious that ‘Public House’ is in English only.
* apart from it not starting on cold, damp mornings.
I have been to Finland, but haven’t driven there. However, I’ve driven lots in Sweden and from what I saw Finland looked very similar. That is to say, completely different from continental Europe. With the exception of small areas in the centre of the larger cities, the road network, parking facilities etc are surprisingly similar to North America in design and scale. I can only deduce that much of the population growth and development in these two countries occured during the 20th century, concurrent with the automobile. So if you want to drive a big car in Europe, I’d say the Nordic countries are your best bet.
+1. I lived 8 years in Sweden and the conditions you mention are pretty similar. Driving an American car over there is not unusual the way it is in most of continental Europe, and so it has been for decades. And that applies both to daily drivers and classics (many of which are kept in a fantastic condition).
Once outside the cities the size of (older) US cars is never a problem. After all, 18.75 meter (61.5 feet) rigs and huge agricultural machinery also drive on very narrow roads with tight corners. And huge agricultural machinery is often driven by 16 to 20 year old boys and girls.
As long as you’re not in the center of an ancient village or city just step on it.
Just an example, the machinery is as wide as the road.
These answers all help me considerably.
We have similar here with tractors and combines being as wide as the road. I’ve even seen instances of locals taking the rails off narrow bridges so their equipment could cross.
Yep, sometimes the machinery is wider than the road. Like this sugar beet harvester.
(Photo courtesy: BouwmachineWeb.com)
In the mid 70s a co-worker was set to buy one of these Impalas when his newlywed wife put her foot down. I don’t know exactly what caused her opposition, but he bought it (because it was a “gas crisis bargain”) and things were very frosty between them for a few weeks.
I love these old barges although they’re too big for me to enjoy driving .
The dual exhaust solution is “so european”… 🙂 When I had sourced my former used Oldsmobile, it had something straight like this on the pic. Was far too loud and ugly. So very quickly I replaced it with an exhaust with factory alike configuartion…
I think that is the Impala’s best angle since the 1971(?)-1976 B-Bodies look too bloated in general compared to the previous or subsequent generation.
Ah cool to see a pic of my homeland on this fantastic website!
Yes, American cars are extremely popular as a hobby in Finland (I guess I’m biased though, got ’05 Mustang as daily driver and a self-restored ’70 Camaro…). If you’re ever in Helsinki on the 1st Friday of any of the (short) summer months, make sure to visit the seafront Market Square, it’s packed with old cars due to Helsinki Cruising, on its 30th-odd anniversary. Faces of the unassuming overseas tourists walking by: priceless
What comes to Impalas on local roads, there’s no issue, at least in the north… so few people and cars around anyway! 🙂
Finska raggare &Suomalaisia puliukkoja! my friend impala 😀
This is my friends 1975 Impala. Original Finlands car not imported afterwards. Car has been originally blue and original engine was 400 big block. Nowdays the car has 350 low emission. There is new engine on a rebuild at this very moment.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Enter your email address to subscribe to CC and receive notifications of new posts by email.
About Arras WordPress Theme
Copyright 2011 - 2016 Curbside Classics. All Rights Reserved.