Richard Gray • Shelbyville, TN
Apparently the barns are better out in Tennessee. Richard Gray tells us this awesome Gothic Gold ’59 more-door Impy is a legit barn find with 62,000 original miles, made extra rare by the fact that it’s a seldom seen four-door hardtop. The body was so mint that Richard went right for the mods and dropped in a 383ci stoker backed by a 700-R4 transmission. The puny original drum brakes were no match for that combo, so SSBC disc brakes went in along with American Racing Torq-Thrust wheels to mount some fatter rubber. Other than that, a 100-amp alternator, new gas tank and gas lines, stainless dual exhaust, and a little help from a Painless wiring harness was all it took to get the Impala to better than new in short order. The interior, except for carpet, is all original, but it did get new weatherstripping, Auto Meter gauges, a Vintage Air system, and custom Autosound radio with a 10-disc changer. All the work was done by Richard, his two sons, his uncle, and his brother who handled the minor bodywork and a repaint to the original colors.
Despite the fact that it’s taken top honors at several car shows, Levi Fincher tells us he’s always dreamed of having his car in a magazine. Consider it fulfilled, Levi; you get top billing in Hometown Hot Rodding this month! It’s tough enough to build a cool Camaro when you’re a family man with two kids to be responsible for, but Levi had an additional setback when the engine being built for his LS conversion got tangled up in the bankruptcy of a shop. He didn’t let it get in the way for long though; after licking his wounds and finding a donor car, Levi got his ride back on the road. Now the ’68 sports a healthy LS1 with a 224 R Texas Speed Cam, Temple Transmission 4L60E with a 3,200-stall converter, and an Auburn posi with 3.73 gears to get it motivated. Getting the power to the pavement is a set of Centerline Convo Pro wheels shod with Nitto 555 tires. It’s not all about speed, though; Levi also upgraded the creature comforts with keyless entry, Auto Meter phantom gauges, and, of course, Vintage Air to keep the black-on-black Camaro bearable in the sweltering Texas summers.
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