Curbside Classics: 1967 Cheverolet Impalas – A Study In Off-Color Contrast

The 1967-68 Chevrolet Impala hardtop coupe is easily my favorite automotive body design of all time. I love the semi-fastback roof line, and the saucy kick-up at the bottom of the rear passenger windows, and how that kick-up matches the rear hip line. It’s the classic car I’ve always wanted to own. I almost owned one once, in the late 1990s, except that while I was gathering funds it was badly damaged in an accident. They are (unsurprisingly) far less common now than they were 25 years ago, so I was happy to come upon this one while visiting my hometown of South Bend, Indiana, last year. I hadn’t seen one on the street in at least a decade!

A few months later, incredibly I came upon another one while passing through Logansport, Indiana. This is probably the kind of condition the first one was in before its owner restored it.

I’m thrilled that the time and effort was put into refreshing this Impala, but I don’t think this shade of red works on this car. Chevy offered a red paint in 1967, Bolero Red, that was deeper and slightly brownish. It’s a better fit, I think. But only if you like red cars. I don’t.

That said, this shade of green isn’t exactly stunning. Chevrolet called this color Granada Gold, but it always reminded me of my mom’s split-pea soup. I don’t like split-pea soup. This was the color of that Impala I wanted to buy, and it was the car’s only demerit in my mind.

I think these look best in blue, actually. Assuming this is an original paint color, it’s probably Nantucket Blue or Marina Blue. In 1968, Chevrolet offered Tripoli Turquoise on the Impala, and it was stunning. My mom’s best friend had a ’68 Impala hardtop sedan in that color and it was positively arresting. I had designs on painting that Impala-that-got-away in that 1968 color, purists be damned.

Paint preferences being entirely subjective, let’s turn to something less so, namely engines. Assuming this Impala still has its original engine underhood, the 327 was the workaday V8. I’m pretty sure the one I almost bought all those years ago had its original 327 in it. On my test drive, I found its power to be adequate for around-town driving, but nothing about it said “fire breathing.”

Who knows what engine is inside the red Impala. There’s a V badge on the fender’s leading edge, but after a restoration that’s essentially meaningless. Perhaps there’s a crate 350 inside. Or maybe a roaring 427, not called out with badging for an owner who knows what he has but doesn’t need to advertise.

Sidebar: I’d forgotten all about the stick-on blue tail light dots that were sort of popular 25 years ago. Weren’t they supposed to have some sort of benefit?

The red Impala is a Michigan car with a year-of-issue license plate. The gold Impala is not plated. It was parked in front of a repair garage, so perhaps it is about to get some love and attention. Here’s hoping so, even if in the end it does retain that sickly goldish green.

What’s the car design that has always captured your attention? What about it makes your heart go pitter-pat?

We haven’t featured many 1967 Chevrolets on CC. Here’s an Impala hardtop sedan with loads of patina, and here’s a Caprice Estate that needs some love. Here also is a Caprice hardtop sedan in that split-pea green, and here’s a Caprice coupe that was GM’s 100 millionth vehicle.