Thursday, August 4, 2011
I had a 1966 Chevrolet Impala when I started teaching 40 years ago this month. It's no wonder, grandpa and dad were fairly devoted to their Chevrolet's. They were popular cars in those days and Chevy sold a million of them in 65.
Mine was white with red interior and looked like a state patrol car. One night we got a flashing light from the fire department and pulled over our friends. Now they would lock you up for those antics.
It had the famous 283 cubic inch V8 engine and 3 on the tree as we called it, a manual 3 speed transmission with the shifter on the steering wheel post. I remember buying it from Barry Chevrolet in West Union, Ohio, they have been out of business for several years now.
It turned out the car had been wrecked and repaired and that was why it was such a "bargain." It would head for the ditch and it took two hands to keep it on the road. You would have thought we would have noticed that before we signed the papers?We found a frame shop to straighten the frame and after that man got done with it, it drove as well as any car I ever owned.
I ended up selling it to one of my former students, he always liked that car when he was in my class and he drove it for years and years after I was done with it.
Chevy still sells the Impala and we will get one for a rental sometimes. Of course you would hardly recognize the car after 45 years of changes. I guess after selling 7 million of them it's a hard nameplate to drop.
That 55 Chevy Bel Aire two door post or sedan was still one of my favorites.