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Classic Car Marketplace Values & Trends

Best Impala

What year and model of the Impala do you consider to be the best Impala ever made?

Hi Bayard,

First of all, we appreciate you taking the time to reach out to us to find the information you are looking for. We hope we can provide you with a suitable answer.

This question, as you know, is a very subjective question. You could ask 10 different people and more than likely you would get 10 different answers. However, I think for me personally, the earlier iterations of of the Impala are the “best”. As you stated in your question, the 1958 Impala was a game changer because it was the first version of the classic car. The ‘58 boasted chrome decoration with sculpted fenders, Chevy’s first dual headlamps, and triple tail-lamps. It was originally introduced as the top of the line Bel-Air with a few different engine options as well.

The ‘59 Impala is probably the most drastically different version of the car stylistically. That year it became it’s own standing model without the Bel Air tag. It was two inches longer in length, had a rear “bat-wing” lid and “cat eye” sideways teardrop tail lights that were only found on the 59. That year Chevy also added a four-dour hardtop and a four-door sedan. Take a look at some pictures of the ’59 online. They are a completely different car then the other versions of the Impala.

The 1961 Impala may be the most influential version (and possibly the answer to your question). That year Chevy introduced the SS (Super Sport) badge and the 409 engine, thus essentially making the first “muscle car”. The ’61 SS came with knock-off wheel covers, heavy-duty springs and shocks, metallic brake linings, a padded instrument panel, and a Sun 7,000-rpm tachometer. The SS came with either a 348 cubic inch V8 or the 409-cubic-inch V8 that could hit 60 mph in seven seconds and 360 hp.

I hope this answers your question or at least gives you some kind of background so that you can decide on which one you like best. As I stated before, I don’t think there is a wrong answer to this question but these are just my thoughts on it. Good luck on your project and again, thank you for consulting MyClassicGarage for your automotive history question.

over 1 year ago

1971 Ford Torino 429 cj

How many 1971 Ford Torino 429 cj convertibles were made?

I would say you have a pretty rare car then.

That 80 number is somewhat correct. Out of the 1,613 Convertibles for the ’71 model year there were less than 100 which had the 429 Cobra. Exact numbers are a guess because of prototypes, and some discrepancy in the built sheets.

Best way to find out rarity is to track down how many example were finished with that exact trim level. regardless of the engine.

My guess would be not many.

Got any pictures??

almost 2 years ago

Buying a 1954 Bel Air

I can’t find the vin number on the car. The owner does have a title that contains a title document number. How can I tell if I have the right title for car? Can you get a vehicle history report on these cars? What should I obtain from owner with purchase of car?

Without the VIN on either A. the car, or B. the title it’s going to be hard to tell.

Next best option would be to dig into the that specific model year transmission code, and engine stamp. These will at least tell you that the correct engine and trans are in place.

Make sure you at least get a bill of sale with the vehicle that clearly states the previous owners knowledge that the car was not stolen, and has not been modified in any way. This way you can not be held liable for anything once you purchase the car.

It’s a tough situation you have there. Good luck!

almost 2 years ago

1955 Tbird Y block search!!

How do you know what Y block engine casting number (code) im looking for to match a 1955 Tbird with a Ford-o-matic. Some search engines show there are a few castings in ’55, but how can I tell which is correct?

It all depend on where the car itself was manufactured. Each plant had a separate stamping code and placement. Check the VIN to figure out which plant it was made it, check the plants unique stamping code, and then check the casting number on your block.

almost 2 years ago

1967 cuda

few questions please ,
just bought a 1967 cuda convertible, has 340-s on the hood , and a round S on the back left rear,
it also has white seats with black suede seats not sure if factory
ok so doing a vin search its not showing a 340? say its a 273
I am not sure if car is really a S and does it have a 340? did some one put the 340 s on hood , car has 3 speed auto , no tack ?

Chuck,

Without being able to see the car for myself; There are a few things that stick out so far with what you’ve told me.

For the model year 1967 the 273 engine option was the most produced throughout all models. While that means your car most likely came with a 273; we can still check the VIN. If the 5th Digit in the VIN is a ‘D’ or ‘E’ , the car came from factory with a 273 (“D” is a 2-BBL, and “E” is 4-BBL).

However, the part you might not want to here is that for 1967 the Barracuda did not come with the option for a 340. The Formula S packages came with a 383, either a 2 or 4 BBL.

Now here’s where things get tricky. If the 5th digit of the VIN is a “M” it means you have a special order 8-cylinder engine. That’s important because the 340 Small Block technically did come out in 1967, just very late in year. AND there are rumors of a few cars being ordered by Plymouth Insiders outfitted with the 340, but I do not think any of those cars were convertibles.

If you already ran a VIN check stick with what information that gave you.

almost 2 years ago

Matching VIN number to Engine

Hi,
I’m about to buy a 1959 Corvette, but I’m not sure if it still has the original engine.
VIN : J595103557 – the second “5” may be an “S”
Engine : 103557

Hi Mike, Here’s what I was able to find out.

According to the VIN your engine should be a 283 V8.

Here’s some more information that could be helpful though: Along with the 283 engine the transmission should be a 3-speed manual . Paint color should be Roman Red. Cove color and interior were both up to original buyer.

Unfortunately only having a VIN doesn’t give us a lot of option without the RPO sheet also.

almost 2 years ago

What to look for in a 1984 buick grand national

What are items to look & look out for when buying or selling a GN?

The most common mistake a buyer can make is not checking the build sticker. This is how you know if you are actually purchasing a true GN or a regal turbo clone.

If the car is indeed a manufactured Grand National the RPO line will start with option WE2.

Other than that first part here are my usual checks: (it gets a little lengthy)

BODY – Stock paint is a lacquer type and the ‘87 cars had a thin clear coat over the color which could fog using certain waxes. Any paint that looks “too good” for it’s age is suspect, since these cars had characteristically poor paint jobs from the factory. There was, in fact, an unofficial recall on late 80’s GM paint jobs. On 2dr coupes, look for cracks or waves by the top of the pillars which separate the front doors from the rear windows. These are caused by the body flexing from Buick torque! Rust is prevalent on the bottom of the passenger doors, in the bumpers, and under the rubber of the gas tank straps.

ECM – If you have access to a scan tool such as TurboLink™ , check for stored error codes. EPROM changes are very common in these cars, so ask the owner if the original is available. You will check for stored error codes again after your test drive. Jumper across the diagnostic pins and the following should activate- low speed fan, SES light, IAC motor, wastegate solenoid. The ECM itself is located behind the kick panel on the passenger side foot well. Abnormal wear, fit, or missing clips in this area can reveal frequent EPROM changes.

IGNITION – Examine the spark plug wires, since they tend to break down quickly from heat. Aftermarket wires aren’t always better. The coil pack and ignition module are also subject to thermal decay, and most people prefer genuine AC Delco replacements for these and most electrical components.

TURBO – The stock turbo is a Garrett AiResearch unit. Access the turbocharger inlet (compressor) side by removing the air intake (MAF) hose. Spin the compressor wheel shaft- it should move VERY easily. Examine it for any visible “play” and check the fins to see if they are damaged, shaved at the ends, or can touch the bell housing. Either is bad news.

Remove the intercooler hose from the turbo outlet (intake tube on non-intercooled models), and check for wet or caked oil in the outlet tube area and the intercooler. Buick placed a metal tube from the passenger valve cover to the turbo inlet, however many people cap the inlet and put a breather on the valve cover. If this “bypass” modification has been done, there should be no oil in the turbo outlet tube (unless it’s leaking from the turbo bearings!). If not, it is likely this area will be wet, because oil is inadvertently drawn in through the metal tube.

If you can, measure the wastegate actuator rod length. You must remove the rod end from the wastegate lever by releasing the c-clip. Be careful, since the clip tends to spring off suddenly. The stock rod is fixed in length at 5 1/4". Any shorter indicates the turbo is likely set for higher boost than stock.

Due to the excessive heat of the turbocharger, synthetic oil and/or frequent changes (<3000 miles) are recommended for these cars. Ask for documentation of this and all other service!

INTERCOOLER – The 84/85 series TR’s were not factory-equipped with intercoolers, but the 86/87’s were. The stock location is between the radiator and the crank pulley. The stock connecting hoses were thin black hoses with stainless bands to hold them on. Most aftermarket replacements are blue or black, much thicker, and may have a stainless weave on the retainer rings. Look for a tag on top of the intercooler marked “Garrett” with a serial number. Common aftermarket upgrades include extending the stock intercooler or replacing it with a larger unit behind the front grille. Any aftermarket or home brew intercooler should be examined for workmanship.

EXHAUST – Stock design is 2 1/4" with one “crossflow” (one-piece with 2 pipes in/out) muffler and slant-cut tailpipe ends exiting the sides. The stock tailpipes never exited the back under the rear bumper. Check the driver’s side header for cracks, especially between cylinders 5 and 3.

TRANS – The stock transmission is the 4-speed Turbo Hydramatic 2004R. Check the TV valve adjustment at the engine throttle body- the throttle plate should be able to travel a full 90 degrees. If not, the shifts may be artificially firmed up by over tightening the TV adjustment. A healthy transmission with stock shift points allowed a firm (but not harsh) shift pattern. Any “slack” feel between shifts could indicate a problem. Remember this on your test drive.

REAR END – Check the travel of rear axle by examining the pinion snubber, a short rubber stopper above the differential. The stock snubber is about 1 inch long and should show very little evidence of contact. Aftermarket snubbers, however, can be a few inches long and are expected to contact the differential housing. Since the rear end gets the brunt of the torque, check carefully for cracks and broken welds. While you’re down here, also look for little rubbery fragments embedded under the bumper and wheel wells. They come from the local race track.

All TR’s came with 3.42:1 gearing stock. Positraction was available but not standard. For more info on codes, check the rear end code page. In spite of the RPO Codes, beware of foul play here- it’s possible for people to swap the GN rear end components for lessers. The 8 1/2" limited-slip differential is the most desirable

OIL – check oil level. When you wipe the dipstick, there shouldn’t be a metallic tint to the oil on the rag!! Stock oil filter is the AC Delco PF-47, however the taller PF-52 is acceptable and has greater area of filtration. Any other filter may lack the anti-drain back feature of these two AC Delco models.

FLUID LEAKS – Check under the car for leaks of any kind. Most TR’s leak some oil from the rear main seal area, which will show up as wetness on the flywheel cover. Leaks are also common around the oil filler tube on the driver’s side valve cover. This leak can run down the back of the engine and mimic a rear main leak. Note all existing leaks and dry them off well with a rag. After the test drive, you will re-examine them to get an idea of how bad they are leaking.

BRAKES – the 86/87 TR’s use the much-maligned Powermaster brake setup. Check for a gray switch on top of the master cylinder to make sure the brake recall was performed. The stock (and very dangerous) pressure switch was all black. The large round ball on the system is the accumulator. If there is a yellow warning tag on it, it was likely replaced at some time- this is common. See the technical article at for more information on Powermaster testing.

TIRES – Stock size for the Turbo Regal’s are 215/65/15 on 15 X 7 rims. Larger or smaller may affect gearing, rub on turns etc… Remember this on your drive test.

I realize that might have been a little more information than you were looking for, but these are great cars and I would hate for you to be looking at a dud.

Goodluck, and let us know how it goes!!
-Miles

almost 2 years ago

Can an original engine NOT be completely blue?

I have an early 1970 Mach1 351w2b w shaker. It was built in Metucheon NJ. I pulled my engine and found an engine whereas the intake and block are a gun metalish silver and the freeze plugs are brass NOT PAINTED and most everything else is blue with exception for some timing cover and brackets which is just shy of being gloss black. Could my engine be leftover parts and that is why it is all NOT blue like all the ones i see or a sure sign of a rebuild or built from stray parts?

Mike – I’m not 100% sure on this either. Might want to check with Bob Perkins.

almost 2 years ago

Is it a Landau

How can I tell if the 1973 Monte Carlo I’m looking at is a Landau or not? What are the differences to look for and how much does that change the value?

Might have that info here: https://myclassicgarage.com/marketplace/knowledge_base/1973-chevrolet-monte-carlo

almost 2 years ago

Seats

Im gettin ready to buy a 1965 impala coupe, but not sure if the seats it has are for the coupe model, was wondering if they are bench seats or 2 seperate seates?

Take a look at the brochure here: https://myclassicgarage.com/marketplace/knowledge_base/1965-chevrolet-impala

almost 2 years ago

Mustang History

I am restoring a 1970 mustang which was built for export and shipped here in the uk, i was told that this car was specially built for henry Ford 11 for use whilst taking a vacation in uk, his trip was cancelled and the car was sold here. Could you please tell me where would be the best place i could contact to see wether this was in fact the case. I am trying to obtain as much history as i can for the car.
Many Thanks

Hey Paul – unfortunately we don’t know this info, good luck!

almost 2 years ago

Production Info for 1965 Ford Fairlane

I am interested in finding production numbers for a 1965 Ford Fairlane.
My father had a 500 Hardtop coupe, Single 2 Barrel 289 v8, C4 3-speed automatic, Rangoon Red exterior, white top, red interior, with red roof liner, bucket seats in the rear. I am trying to help him get a clear idea of production numbers but Marti only goes back to 67. Because of the awkwardness of this color combo (Rangoon red with white top and a red interior), he feels their would be few produced – but I am unsure.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank ou so much!

Hey Dustin, take a look here: https://myclassicgarage.com/marketplace/knowledge_base/1962-ford-fairlane

almost 2 years ago
PhatBoyCaddies Restoration 1976-1976 Cadillac - Sedan DeVille

1976 Cadillac Sedan Deville de Elegance

Want to change original color to another Deville color on a 60,000 mile original. Needs paint but otherwise great project

Yes, it will affect the value of the car. That being said, a 60,000 mile example of this car is not going to be considered a prime, investment grade car. Rather, it’s a car that you purchase to drive and enjoy. With that in mind, the fresh paint probably outweighs and reduction in value for the color change.

almost 3 years ago
hotrods an harleys General 1967-1967 Buick

67 buick speacial

Hi Joe I have a 67 Buick Speacial V6 according to my vin # that starts with a 433 # . All the badging on the car is gs . 455 with 400 3 spd auto , floor shift with console , 12 bolt posie . Nothing looks like its been fabricated to fit . My question is .Can this car be a gs option car ? Thank you in advance … Vinny

It sounds like someone has modified the car in the past. Regardless, the great thing is that the Sloan Museum should have the original build record for your Buick. Check them out at www.sloan-longway.org

almost 3 years ago
Sinji's Toy Box Historical 1968-1968 Buick - GS400

1968 Buick GS 400

Can you tell me how many of these were convertible with a 3 speed manual trans. I am looking at buying one and it is an original owner car with all original drive train.

Also any ideas on a value.

I believe I answered the production number question in a prior post. Value on a completely original, numbers matching, one owner car would be $30-35K, depending on color combination & options. As always, the devil is in the details. Sounds like a very cool car (and rare).

almost 3 years ago
Shark Den My Car 1968-1968 Chevrolet - Impala

1968 Chev. Impala Convertable

Hey Joseph
I’ve just taken my Impala out of the garage where it sat for 15 years immobile
I am trying to get it to a reliable driver
It is not original but it is a beautiful art form and I would like to get it back on the road.
My question is trying to get a set of tires on it that resemble the look and smooth drive it came of the factory with. I know it came with G70 but I would like to get some radial on it. I’m running in to a size conflict and whitewall issue. I’m being told that a comperable radial would be a 225/75/15 with a 3/4" strip. What in your opinion was the car intended to sit like by design. It has 205’s on it now and they don’t look right. Others suggest 215"s.
I’m just trying to get the car to the right look and smoothest ride.
I hope this all makes sense and I look forward to your insight so I can get them ordered. Looks like Coker might be the only source since that large size is impossible to locate.
Thank you

Alan, sorry to pass the buck here, but the right guy for this question would be Jerry MacNeish on this Expert Panel. He probably has a set of NOS tires for your car! Thanks for the question.

almost 3 years ago
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