Fawn Memory- 61 Impala bubble top with a stroked 409

Damn, I guess I found another thread that got ruined by Photobucket....
Well, here is what I’ve got. I recently found a disc of pictures I took during the restoration process, I’ll load those on here once I can get them copied off the disc and onto my phone.


Do you let your dad drive it?????:D
Last year my Dad was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia, so there has been few conversations about me inheriting the car as his condition progresses. He still talks about upgrades he would like to tackle, like better steering, suspension, and brakes, and I would like to help him see some of these upgrades done, since it would get him out in the shop and keep him busy(I’ve been trying to make it up once or twice a month to help him clean/wax the car, service it, etc, just to get him out of the house), and I’m finally in a situation where I can help chip in some money to get him the upgrades he wants.
We’ve discussed things like upgrading to a rack and pinion steering rack, tubular control arms, and 20” “full profile” Deluxe Wheels (http://www.deluxewheels.com/the-wheels/) to clear bigger brakes. He has mentioned on multiple occasions he would like a Roadster Shop Spec Chassis, but I think his wife keeps putting the hammer down on him spending any of his money on it(she bitched a bunch when he built the 409, and I’m guessing that’s why he hasn’t really put any money into it since). In the end I think the Roaster Shop chassis would be the best investment, as there’s no question if the steering, suspension, and brakes would all play well together, but I’d need to call and ask about how much of his current engine/transmission/exhaust will be able to carry over.
I have heard very bad things about rack and pinion steering from at least 2 guys on the 61 to 64 Chevy forum when they had them installed on their 60’s Chevy’s. They removed them....from the cars.....
Any specific complaints about it? Right now it’s got the 605 steering box, and has the turning radius of a school bus


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Supporting Member 2
Mate, real sorry to hear about your father. When you first posted about your car i thought it was just awesome and the rim an tyre combo you had set the car off perfectly i thought, so much so that i purchased a set of spider caps to go on the solid rims and white walls i will be running on my 62. Although my rims are going to be painted black.

Yeah be careful on the R & P.

Read this post from 61 to 64 Chevy forum on rack and pinion "it made mine unsafe to drive" from 1963SBHD
Note the post on the first page from member --- 1963SBHD --Gold supporting member from South Carolina


Well, glad I decided to mention that then. Sounds like if we don’t do the Roadster Shop chassis, the Global West conversion is the way we need to go, and hope the aluminum radiator he bought a couple years ago will clear the box.
Thanks for the heads up!

Mate, real sorry to hear about your father. When you first posted about your car i thought it was just awesome and the rim an tyre combo you had set the car off perfectly i thought, so much so that i purchased a set of spider caps to go on the solid rims and white walls i will be running on my 62. Although my rims are going to be painted black.

Yeah be careful on the R & P.

Thank you, it’s been difficult for everyone(especially him), but we at least had some warning ahead of time, since both of his parents were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, though they were in their 80’s before it started to develop. Greatfully last week, my sister and I were able to make a trip with our children and Dad to Disney World, we didn’t get to spend the whole week with him because his wife was being a pain, but at least we were able to spend a couple days with him, and got a picture of the whole family.

Yeah, I love the look too, which is why I got really excited when I found Deluxe Wheels, since we could keep the look, but now be able to clear much larger brakes. I’ve been emailing them trying to find out the feasibility/cost of having them polished instead of painted(chrome is apparently not possible because of the painted white wall).


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Supporting Member 2
Regarding Rack & Pinion thoughts. Here is a link to one of my prior threads where bump steer and Rack & Pinion were discussed, also included is an article on dealing with bump steer:
It seems to me any mods to the steering which does not get an alignment is asking for trouble. But an alignment alone won't solve bump steer.
Another popular kit with better reviews than Rack & Pinion is the Global West Kit:
Yesterday Dad was trying to back the car off of his 4 post lift and per my step mother “backed the 61 off lift yesterday & front tire went off lift . Damaged the quarter panel” and “part of panel was bent back”. I haven’t seen the damage yet, but will be heading up there tomorrow to look at it, I’ll post pictures then.
My Dad was always the go-to guy for paint and body work, and have no clue who does good work around here anymore. I’m looking for recommendations for HIGH quality paint and body/body repair guys in central Indiana that specializes in classic cars.
Guess it's time for my yearly update lol. The damage from the car falling g off the lift wasn't as bad as my step-mother made it out to be, very minor damage to the chrome rocker strip and pinch seam, barely noticeable unless you are looking for flaws in the car, and the rear passenger valance took a hit.
We went to fix it a few months back, ran into a few problems trying to repaint it that was exasperated by my Dads condition, it wasn't a great fix, but it will work for now. Luckily the color hides flaws. I'll come back to it at a later date and fix it right.
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On to the big news.

Me and my Dad have talked about going on the Hot Rod Power Tour for 20 years now, and we've never done it. I was in the Navy, car wasn't ready, he had a different trip planned, I couldn't get away from work...... Life. Given my Dads condition, and the issues we've had with the brakes on the car, I had given up the idea of getting to do the tour with my Dad. We just didn't feel comfortable taking it on such a long trip with the brakes being as bad as they were, and the cost to make it right put them low on the list of priority's. Luck have it, in April we found out the last 4 stops this year were close to home(KY, 2 in IN, and OH), so we decided this was going to be the best we'd get. Less than 2 months to get the car ready and get hotels booked. One thing lead to another and we decided to invite my nephew who lives near Raleigh NC, and would meet us in Bristol. Then, in light of the situation, and since the tour starts in Charlotte NC, and my nephew lives a couple hours away, I decided to take some money out of investments to foot the bill for the needed upgrades(I'm going to benefit from them in the long run anyway). New hydro boost system, 200A alternator, Optima Red Top battery, and some upgraded battery cables(2 gauge welding wire), and some small suspension repairs later...... Me, my Dad, and my nephew will be doing the entire Hot Rod Power Tour together. We leave on Thursday the 6th of June(a week from tomorrow).

It's been stressful, trying to find the money for the upgrades, making sure parts were going to get here with enough time to accommodate for the curve balls that always happen, when will we find the time to get the parts installed or will we have someone else do the work? Of course the first alternator didn't work, and the hydro boost was missing the power steering lines when it got here(they aren't supposed to get here till Friday(May 29th). The car is at a shop, getting what did ship of the booster installed right now. Maybe, if we are lucky, there won't be any problems installing the booster, and I'll get it back Saturday. Then it's just drive it as much as we can till we have to leave the morning of the 6th. IMG_0604.JPG