December 1, 2022

Vintage-Nitro

Still car-crazy after all these years

1963 Impala drag car, Maximum Performance Chevrolet

Maximum Performance Chevrolet: 1963 Impala

The earliest photos in my automotive collection date to 1965. I shot this photo at a long-forgotten car show I conned my parents into taking me to. The car is a 1963 Chevy Impala and it apparently had a 327 small block under the hood
1963 Impala drag car, Maximum Performance Chevrolet
1963 Impala drag car, Maximum Performance Chevrolet
They you should start at the beginning, so I that is what I will do. The earliest photos in my automotive collection date to 1965. They were taken at a long-forgotten car show I conned my parents into taking me to.
I’m not actually sure where the show took place. I think it might have been the old Light-Guard Armory on Eight Mile, but I can’t say for sure. I know the show was not at Cobo Hall, because the lighting in Cobo leaves distinctive reflections on highly polished vehicles.

They say you should start at the beginning, so I that is what I intend to do. The earliest photos in my automotive collection date to 1965. They were taken at a long-forgotten car show I conned my parents into taking me to.

I’m not actually sure where the show took place. I think it might have been the old Light-Guard Armory on Eight Mile (in Detroit), but I can’t say for sure. I know the show was not at Cobo Hall, because the lighting in Cobo leaves distinctive reflections on highly polished vehicles.

I know nothing about this car, except that it is 1963 Chevy Impala and it apparently had a 327 small block under the hood. I think there may be a driver’s name on the roof, but I can’t make it out.

First off, since this photo was taken in 1965, the car must have been almost new when it was converted into a race car. And it is definitely a racer. It is somewhat difficult to see, but if you look you can see a tow bar fastened to the front of the car. No trailer or car hauler for this machine; it was towed to and from the race rack,

Note the tear-drop hood scoop. This style of scoop was popularized by Ford and was used on the factory Ford Thunderbolts and Mustangs in the early sixties. The tear-drop on this Chevy indicates it didn’t take aftermarket suppliers very long to make the scoop available for other makes.

I have no idea what class it ran. Back in ’65 there was no bracket racing, or at least not in the Detroit area. They would handicap cars based on the NHRA national average for a particular class. The modifications on this Impala take it beyond the Super Stock ranks. It probably ran some sort of Modified class.

Anyone remember this Chevy? I think it may have been  maroon in color.

This was taken with my trusty Kodak Instamatic — the camera that took a drop-in 126mm film cartridge. It would take me another seven years to get around to getting a real SLR camera.

Tom Bonner