By on May 5, 2012

GM made immense quantities of full-sized Chevrolets in 1969. How many? According to the Standard Catalog, the total production of ’69 Biscaynes, Bel Airs, Impalas, and Caprices was 1,168,300 cars. Well into the early 1980s, these things were as commonplace on American streets as mid-2000s Camrys are today. Given that nobody with the money to restore a ’69 big Chevy is going to waste time on a non-hardtop four-door (what with the large quantities of restorable coupes and convertibles still extant) we can assume that the few remaining sedans will be flushed out by $250/ton scrap-steel prices and crushed during the next few years.
This one is fairly rough, though not rusty, and it looks like many of its pieces have been grabbed for other cars.
I can’t decode Fisher cowl tags by heart, but I believe the “JAN” means this car was built in the Janesville, Wisconsin plant.
As a former 60s Impala sedan owner, it makes me a little sad to see another one get eaten by The Crusher. However, there’s no way I’d pay even scrap value for a beat example like this, so I can’t be too sad.

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30 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1969 Chevrolet Impala...”


  • avatar
    Zackman

    Murilee, welcome to your next project!

    Give me a four-door hardtop any day. Perhaps a two-door sedan, but four-door sedans? Clearly in those years, sedans were an afterthought, as the hardtops received all the glory, and deservedly so.

    Dad owned two Impala sports sedans and I fell in love with his 1966 model.

    It is sad to see how far the General (Ford and Chrysler, too) has fallen in the styling department, as they were the gold standard for sure!

  • avatar
    Carlsberg1966

    Memories. After having 4 kids, surviving a couple recessions, layoffs and job swaps, and driving various beaters including a plane Jane 57 Chevy and a horrible Rambler Ambassador, my father bought a 4 door , champagne gold, black interior, 327 V-8 from a dealer in Royal Oak, MI. Always frugal, it was a demo model, no air. In the summer of 70, we took that car in the middle of summer down to Florida for a 2 week vacation, and it was a brutally hot ride. 75 wasn’t quite finished, so it was a mix of interstate and 2 lane state highways. The vent system was called “Astro Ventilation”, but Dad called it “Asshole Ventilation”. Interestingly, every year in the 60′s boasted a different exterior design, and new year roll outs were a big deal, there is no way car companies could pull off a model change every year. He finally replaced it with a 76 Impala coupe and he stepped out of his frugal zone just a bit: white exterior, red vinyl landau (sic) aftermarket roof, red interior – to reflect the red and white Polish flag, with air, but of course,just an AM radio. And that was his first ever really new car. The 69 tricked down to my older brother who was up at Michigan State. But to this day, my Dad, at 83 and no longer able to drive, considers this his favorite car.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    The old “Body by Fisher” seems to have outlasted everything else on this Impala.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Actually it would be a good starting point for a “cop car” clone. I highly doubt too many government cars were hardtops.

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    At first, I misread the title of this entry as this being a 1966 Chevy Impala, not as a ’69 and immediately thought, hey, here’s a car like MM’s! Even thought it was primered, but in looking at the photos, I realized it was actually white, but a very flat white from age and weathering.

    Looked to have been a nice one, though without the power windows/locks. It may well have had AC as it appears to have had the end vents, maybe the 2 in the middle.

    I remember many compacts/midsized cars of this era without AC didn’t get 4 dash vents, often just the 2 center ones, or simply the 2 outboard ones, but not all four that’d been available with the AC option (built in that is).

    I know this from experience, my 74 Chevy Nova didn’t have AC and it only had the two outboard vents. My ’68 Newport only had the 2 vents in the middle, but now on the ends of the dash. It HAD AC, but an under-dash AirTemp unit installed at the dealer when new. Brother of good friends had a ’68 Chrysler 300 4 door hardtop that he bought new and it had the factory AC as it had the 2 additional vents at the ends of the dash.

    I agree this one’s a bit rough, as it’s a bit sun baked, judging by the dash top’s condition and the steering wheel with its cracks around the rim, plus it’s been well picked over for any of the good parts. Body still looks decent enough though, no major dents or anything like that and may well have been a complete car when junked.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    Personally, I prefer the post on any car. Hardtops tend to rattle and leak. I made it a point to buy the post cars and my 57 chevy is a two door post.

    Just a little trivia. The world would still turn if it was a hardtop.

    • 0 avatar
      Johnster

      Agreed. Hardtops also let more dust into the interior. And I’ve always heard that hardtops were less safe than a sedan with it’s center post in the event of a rollover.

      1969 was notable for being the last year that Chevrolet offered a 2-door sedan bodystyle in the BelAir and Biscayne lines. (At least until the new pillared coupe bodystyle of 1974.)

      As was previously mentioned 1969 was the last year the “Super Sport” option was available on the Impala and it was the last year that the full-sized Chevy featured concealed headlamps (on the Caprice and Kingswood Estate station wagons).

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Rattle and leak? Not the ones dad owned.

      • 0 avatar
        Moparman426W

        Not sure whether or not it was only a problem with cars in places like here in Ohio where they salt the roadways, but GM products always had problems with the rear window leaking and rotting out the trunk, and the windshields leaked. It started with the 65 models, the year they came out with the flush mounted glass. It affected the 65-70 fullsize models and carried on into the 71-76 models. The 67-81 F bodies, 68-77 A bodies and 68-79 X bodies all had the problem.

  • avatar
    John

    I’d check the tubes in that radio. Guitarists will pay ridiculous prices for old U.S. made 12AX7′s, even if they are worn out. The only countries still making vacuum tubes today are China and Russia, and their quality is far below 1960′s American and German tubes.

  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    I remember our elderly neighbor was still rocking a blue example in about 1980…with curb feelers and everything.

  • avatar

    Funny how what is desirable to restorers and collectors today makes the rarer models more common than the mundane ones. OTOH, it’s possible that the mundane sedans are more likely to reach survivor status and right now it seems as though the collector marker is starting to value (perhaps overvalue) those survivors.

    • 0 avatar
      Neb

      It’s a good point I’ve thought about myself. I honestly believe that thirty years from now the coolest collector cars will be old minivans and completely boring Japanese sedans from the early 90s.

  • avatar
    tiredoldmechanic

    I used to love to see a ’69 Chevy appear in our local junkyard, because all but the most pedestrian of them had something a backyard hot rodder could use. For some reason virtually every ’69 with a 350 had a 4 bolt main block, and if you got lucky and found a 300 horse 350 the heads were a valuable score as well. 307s and 327s had the crank you needed to build a big journal 327, and lots of them had TH350 transmissions, perfect for replacing the wretched powerglide in older more desireable Chevys. I was not the only guy out there looking for all this stuff and ’69s got picked clean pretty quick back in the day. These photos bring back memories for sure!

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    I love, love 69′s! Even though the purists think its too big.
    There were tons of post sedans all over Chicago, not just the cop cars. Many adults preferred the solid B piller.

    The 69 had the last ‘muscle era’ Impala SS427, and the last time to get a manual trans V8 [I think]. For my 70′s teen generation, the ’69 was the last ‘hot rod-ible’ or sporty big Chevy. 1970 was the transition to the 71-76 ‘tuna boats’. [Though I like them too]

    And good for MM for pointing out all the trim names [B,B,I,C] and not just calling them all ‘Impalas’.

    • 0 avatar
      Johnster

      Well, not all of the trim names. The station wagon trim names were:

      Brookwood (equivalent to the Biscayne)
      Townsman (equivalent to the BelAir)
      Kingswood (equivalent to the Impala)
      Kingswood Estate (equivalent to the Caprice)

      (As someone who learned to drive in the family ’69 Townsman, I wouldn’t forget details like that.)

  • avatar
    Jeff Semenak

    I had a ’69 Chevelle Malibu 4-door with 307 and Powerglide. Owners manual said ” Warning! Do not shift to low gear above 55 m.p.h.” , good times.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    That is one picked over carcass.

  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    I’m surprised somone hasn’t taken the highly prized ram’s horn exhaust manifolds.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    There’s a 86-89 vintage Caprice besides it.

    And is it that a 1BBL carb?

    • 0 avatar
      texan01

      That’s a Rochester 2-jet. Two barrel carb design of decent performance with the later ones with the larger barrels, originally debuted in Chevrolet in 1955, last appeared in 1978 and was replaced by the primaries of a Quadrajet.

      I know I’ve got 4 of them in various states of repair, two complete, and two parts carbs for my ’77 Chevelle. They aren’t much of a restriction till about the 250hp level, and mine gets 15-20mpg,

      If I were to put a Q-jet on it, economy would increase and horsepower would stay about the same due to the smaller primaryies of the Q-jet and lack of air-flow with the stock heads and cam.

  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    The engine isn’t very grimy for a small block chevy. Either it has fairly low mileage or it was cleaned a few times over it’s lifespan.

  • avatar
    GoesLikeStink

    The wagons go for stupid money here in so-cal. I really do not get the Impala love down here. 3k for a crapped out project? I dont think so. Give me a mopar or even a ford instead.


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