Cars from different regions of the world were made to suit the people which they served. This led to the existence of the kei jidosha for the Japanese, the autobahn runners for the Germans, the fashionable ones by the French and the muscles by the Americans. The thing about the American muscle cars is that during their glorious era of existences, fuel price in America was dirt cheap to the extent that most of the car manufacturers opt for the huge V configured engines. These V8 engines were such a hit that it spawned families of this muscle car breed. Even the American favourite race, the NASCAR was born from it amongst others.
So what does all these information about the muscle car got to do with us in the land of the favourable 1.6 litre in-line four cylinder engined rides? Simple, we just don’t see any on our roads but thankfully, but a few of us are lucky enough to be able to get one on the streets on Kuala Lumpur and drive them like a boss. Meet the one of its kind Chevrolet Impala Sport Sedan right here in our country.
This Southern African antelope was spotted by the owner who hails from Sabah in the shipyards. Apparently someone brought it in and had problems clearing it for road use. Talk after talks, negotiation after negotiations, he managed to free the Impala and brought it back to Kuala Lumpur. And this is where the car started to flex its muscles but before that, a little bit on the history.
Originally, this fourth generation 1969 Chevy Impala was manufactured in Canada for export to some countries such as Australia and the UK. They used a version of the 1965 Impala dash panel – without provision for a radio and installed in a dash moulding made of fibreglass, not metal back then. Radios (centrally mounted) and heaters were locally sourced and wipers are parked in the centre of the screen. Australian models were assembled in Australia from kits as this lessened tax on the cars. The Australian cars had locally-sourced amber flashing rear indicators replacing the clear reversing lenses as red flashers were banned there. For New Zealand assembly, the bodies were supplied from Canada already welded, painted and trimmed. And that is why, this American car is a right hand drive to begin with.
Talking about the engine which is the heart of any American muscle, the Impala started as the 327 with Chevy’s 5.7 litre Turbo Fire engine, the owner swapped the old engine with the Chevy’s small block 400 with Chevy’s 6.6 litre also a Turbo Fire engine, just to go mad with all things muscle. Turbo Fire engines are what Chevy call the high revving carburettor V8 engines, unless, if you have a Turbo Jet engines, those are fuel injected ones with brains.
This slab sided body Impala is one of the big hits from the Impala series over the years and it just looks mean in comparison to the other generations of Impala. The owner made it meaner in black with a long list of mods that you can see here. Made to perfection with bits and pieces from names such Edelbrock, Holley, Hedman, Comp, TransGo in the performance department. The interior had its fair share of MoonEyes and Hurst bits here and there.
Stance is never a problem for the Impala as it is fitted with BOSS air suspension systems to slam the ride, again, like a boss! Even without the lowered look, the car’s 119″ wheelbase and wide as hell presence could scare many puny boys and girls and send them shivering with the roar of the V8 engine. Made to look like the Super Sports or SS for short, the car had made many appearances on hot rod shows and in classic car gatherings around Kuala Lumpur. If you want to see this mean machine, all black, pillar-less windows and its roaring V8, head down to Citta Mall this 7th to 8th June for the Art of Speed show. It will be there in its blackest and meanest form.
’69 Impala’s Technical Specification:
Chevrolet Small Block 400ci oversize .30, ARP engine bolt kit, Holley 4-Barrel carburettor, Professional Products “Hurricane” intake manifold, Edelbrock Performance aluminum heads, Edelbrock Classic Series air cleaner, So-Cal ribbed aluminium head covers, Edelbrock Performance water pump, COMP Cams Xtreme Energy cam and lifter kits, COMP Cams Magnum rocker arm kits, Holley Blue Electric fuel pump, March Performance Style Track Serpentine system, TCI Breakaway torque converter, TransGo performance shift kit, Hedman Hedders 4-1 exhaust manifold, custom stainless steel ‘X’ pipe with underside exit, MSD Ignition system, ACCEL U-Groove Performance spark plugs, Hurst Pro-Matic Shifters
20″ Hamann wheels, BOSS air-suspension system, LCD air-suspension gauge, 6way air-suspension wired controller, wireless remote controller, custom 4pot caliper disc brake
MOONEYES gauge cluster, MOONEYES ‘Tiki’ door pins, CD player & 3way speakers, keyless Start/Stop button
words: Jeo pix: Faiz Zakariah & Syafril Ismail