posted at the Cohort by John Lloyd
Always amazed me that these could be purchased all the way from a total base stripper to optioned-up as well as or better than a Cadillac.
And after this many years in Minnesota, this is one of the good ones!
Minnesota plates does help explain it.
This is perhaps my favorite full-sized Chevrolet passenger car. Well built, decent brakes, correct size tires, attractive, very customizable with options, and with a good variety of stout drivetrains to choose from. What more could a person want?
Styling wise, I’m partial to the ’68, but from what I’ve read on these pages, they finally got the performance right by the 1970 models.
Paul’s write-up on how scary the skinny tires and inadequate brakes on that ’65 Bel Air is quite telling.
I thought the proportions of the 67s and 68s were as close to perfect as these ever got, and were pretty perfect. I had 6 of them, and with a 69 convertible, steely blue with white top, I painted the midsection flat black below the rocker trim piece and voila’ – not tubby, not wasp-waisted, just perfect. Fleet. Like a greyhound.
“With a 68 convertible…”
I’ve said it here many times before… a 1968 Impala convertible in light blue metallic with a white top and white interior is my dream CC.
At 8 years old, when my Dad bought one as the new family car to replace the ’66 Impala fastback, I was smitten with all that chrome.
His ’68 was a Grecian Green Custom Coupe and I loved it.
Certainly not bad when compared to the whales that followed in 1971, but starting in 1967 these seemed to lose some of their athleticism. My favorite was the 1963, even more than the tri-fives.
1970 is among my favorite years for full-size GM cars, especially when compared to what came after them.
They’re comfortably large, but the space utilization seems better than the larger and heavier ‘71s to ‘76s. The interior materials were still of decent quality, and the exteriors seem to be spared the “biodegradable“ urethane body fillers at the front and rear. Build quality was also good, with these bodies being in their sixth and final year, and production being lower than in other years (maybe due to a mild recession and monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve). And finally, it was the last year for high compression engines.
“maybe due to a mild recession and monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve”
And a massive GM strike by the UAW.
“And a massive GM strike by the UAW.“
I once thought that, as well, until several years ago when someone on this site pointed out to me that the 67-day UAW strike of 1970 began on September 14th, and ended on November 23rd.
There likely would’ve been no effect on 1970 model year production.
An excellent point. You are right, that should have been all 1971 model production.
I think the strike may have effected 1971 model production. My uncle wanted to buy a ’71 Buick Electra. He had to wait until 1972. Also the Colonnade A-bodies were scheduled to come out in 1972. The Colonnades were pushed off until 1973.
I have a soft spot in my heart for these. I had one for my driver’s ed car, and it was the first time driving in a brand new car, as all of my previous illicit driving was with somewhat older cars. It felt so tight and smooth, and the 350/350 drive train was superb, much better than the 318 poly/TF in my family’s ’65 Coronet.
And then I drove a ’70 taxi cab in San Diego, in 1976. It must have had a half million miles on it, and had the six, PG and manual steering and drums. But I preferred it to a ’71 which I drove too, as it was significantly tighter still. That ’70 was the oldest car in the fleet, but it was still going strong until a ball joint gave out one day when I hit the brakes. Not worth fixing.
College GF’s Dad had one of these in the 80’s. Well optioned coupe with the 400, Auto , air and gold brocade seating. A real comfortable tank, with gobs of power, clean style and freezer power air conditioning, but boy did it rust! Fenders, quarters, doors all bitten hard by the bug.
One person’s rust bucket is another person’s candidate for restoration.
’70 was a standout year, probably the most driveable new full-size Chevy since 1957.
The fact that it is still driving despite total cosmetic collapse testifies to all the good qualities mentioned above!
To still be active (not a hobby car or garage queen) at 50 years old in Minnesota is amazing!
Reminds me of the beater Billy Bob Thornton drove in Bad Santa, though I think it was a ’69.
This reminds me of Murilee and his Hell Impala project
I have always regarded the 1970 Impala as a real high point in the evolution of the full-size GM model line and far more attractive than any of the 1971-76 bloatmobiles.
So the photo above surprises me, as there is a more than passing resemblance to the fat flanks of the 1971-73 Impala evident from the rear wheel on to the back bumper. Maybe it’s the general condition of this grizzled old veteran, but it’s not a flattering angle!
A high school friend’s mother had a ’70 Impala Convertible in “Light Green Poly” with black top and dark green interior. By ’85-ish it was still solid, but faded with a tattered interior. She loved it so much that she had it restored, now in a darker green metallic color with a white top, after her philandering husband went out and bought himself a new Z-28 with a stick shift, which she couldn’t drive. By 1989-ish (post divorce) she had to let it go due to frame rust. It was replaced by a used ’79 Cutlass Supreme. They’d bought the Impala new as newlyweds and she loved that car. I always though it was so sad she wasn’t able to hold onto it. It was really a beautiful ride.
Hard to believe that this is 50 years old now. Mine was turquoise with a black vinyl top. I loved having all 4 windows down with no B pillar. There’s nothing on the market like it now.
That’s a little too much patina for my taste.
It will buff right out.
My preference of the 1965-70 models is either the 65 or the 67, but I agree with others here that the 70 is mechanically the best, with standard 15-inch wheels and readily available front disk brakes. Also, the styling walks back some of the awkwardness, in my eyes, of the 69 model with its loop bumper.
Around 1990 or so (I realize 30 years ago!), there was a very nice light green one in daily use in my old neighborhood in northern VA. I believe it was a 2-door hardtop (Impala Sport Coupe or Custom Coupe).
Very nice. I like the styling of the 67/68 marginally better but my experience with these cars tell me that the 69/70 are better all around as drivers.
I’m going to go with that picture possibly being a few years old. That’s the old style license plates that were phased out a few years ago, and the blue registration sticker is not current. I can’t read the year but it’s not going to be 2018 (too new for the old style plate), but possibly 2013 or 2008.
Or it could just be the car doesn’t have current registration, or has old plates on the front.
I don’t know where exactly the picture the picture was taken, but the Southwest Transit buses in the background would place it almost certainly in one of the southwestern suburbs of the Twin Cities.
Still a cool snapshot and not something I see everyday. I see the occasional restored Chevy from that era, but most “just an old car” examples like this left the road some time ago.
Saw so many 1970 (mostly Biscaynes or Bel Airs) when I was in High School in the late ‘70’s – early ‘80’s, all were beaters, nearly all were blue 4 door sedans.
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