The average car guy probably couldn’t tell the difference between a 1965 and 1966 Impala, but ask an Impala enthusiast and they could spot all the differences in just a few seconds. For those not in the know, one of the main differences are the rectangular taillights. In addition, the 1966 Impala flossed a whole lot more chrome as well as wheelwell moldings and a body molding that ran the length of the car.
But ask Christopher Garcia to spot the differences and he’ll give you the full breakdown. Growing up, the 1966 was his favorite car. When a friend mentioned to him that he had one in storage in Espanola, he bought the car sight unseen. After taking a road trip to Espanola with his brother, Eric, they were a bit taken back by the condition of the car. For starters, the car had been stripped down to bare metal. To add to it, it was showing signs of surface rust, had a blown motor, and, if that weren’t enough to make you sad, it was also missing the trim, bumpers, and full interior.
Regardless of its condition, Christopher saw hope in the long-neglected project and it wasn’t too long after that the chassis was rebuilt and a fresh 327 was installed. From there it was shipped to Joseph at the Blast Factory where he aligned all the panels, prepped the body, and sprayed down a liquid blue from House of Kolor. With Christopher not having luck locating some of the trim, he decided to have Blast silver leaf most of the trim and emblems, followed by a few more coats of clear to give it a deep, illustrious finish. The next stop was to a fellow club member’s shop, Straight Street Automotive. It was there that Sean and the crew installed two Black Magic pumps and four batteries to handle the altitude of his ride, followed up by a visit to his Uncle Victor Garcia to get the interior revamped.
Featured here is the final product, and while it’s come a long way from its once-neglected self, Christopher is more than content cruising it around like the good ol’ days, but he’s still got plenty more plans, so we’re excited to see what he does next.
1966 Chevrolet Impala
327 with a 700-R4 transmission
House of Kolor Liquid Blue with silver leaf emblems
Two pumps, four batteries, chrome rearend and control arms
Custom white leather with blue piping
13×7 Daytons/Uniroyal 155/80R13
Wife Ann, son Gabriel, brother Gato, and Eric