Forty-one years ago Jim George was a second lieutenant in the Air Force. The young officer was assisgned to Mather Air Force Base near Sacramento, Calif., where he flew as a navigator.
In that environment, he says, "I saw a lot of muscle cars." He remembers a lot of them ended up wrapped around trees and telephone poles.
"Still," he says, "there's some of that excitement lurking around in the back of my mind."
It was May 2007 when a 1967 Chevrolet Impala SS 427 convertible belatedly entered Mr. George's life. When new, the car had a base price of $3,254.
He first saw the triple black car while he was surfing the Internet, not looking for any particular car.
The 3,650-pound car was located near Oshkosh, Wis., and it wasn't long before it was in the trailer of a car transporter on the way to Mr. George's home in Haymarket, Va.
Mr. George learned that only 2,124 Chevrolet Impala SS 427 models were built in 1967, coupes and convertibles combined.
He said he belives that his car was manufactured at the Gerneral Motors factory in Janesville, Wis. The 427-cubic-inch V-8 engine develops a muscular 385 horsepower.
When it was delivered to his home, the car recently had undergone a total restoration. Originally, it was painted yellow and had black interior. Now, the paint, upholstery and top are all black.
The domed engine hood is decorated with three fake air intakes. Some of the extra cost options include:
- Air conditioning $356
- 427 cid V-8 engine $316
- 4-speed floor shifter $184
- AM/FM radio $147
- Power windows $100
- Power steering $95
- Special guages $79
- 4-way power seat $70
- Headrests $53
- Power drum brakes $42
- Tilt steering wheel $42
- Tinted glass $37
- Wood steering wheel $32
- Left remote mirror $10
- Deluxe seat belts $6
The big Impala rides on a 119-inch wheelbase supported by a set of 8.15x15-inch tires.
Upon delivery, Mr. George was pleased when he turned the ignition key and the big V-8 roared to life.
An unexpected bonus for the new owner is that his wife, Brenda, also likes the rumbling sound that tumbles out of the exhaust pipes.
He says she admires the clean, uncluttered lines of the car as he does.
The 5,600 rpm tachometer has never been tested to its limit since Mr. George took possession of his Chevrolet convertible.
The same philosopy applies to the Positraction rear end. There was a time when those features were useful, but that time has passed.
Although the Impala SS 427 is a car he has long desired, Mr. George admits, "I'm still trying to figure why I bought it."
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.