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Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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The Bel-Air’ed Impala – Remembering One Man’s Last – and His Grandson’s First – Car

Posted September 27, 2017 9:00 AM by dstrohl

Grandpa Andy heard a rumor back at the start of ’76: He’d read in the paper somewhere that Chevrolet was going to downsize their full-size cars for 1977. The Impala and Caprice would be diminished within the calendar year, and prices would likely rise to boot. This, Andy decided, would not stand, and once spring had sprung he popped down to the local Chevy dealer and traded his gold-and-black ’70 Impala Custom coupe for a shiny new ’76 Impala Custom coupe — bought off the lot at June Chevrolet in Fords, New Jersey. (Oh, the irony of a Chevy sold in a town called Fords!)

Despite a ’76 Impala being a lot of car, there wasn’t much to the one he bought: Dark Green Metallic paint with “buckskin plaid” interior (mostly tan but with nylon/burlap seating areas featuring a pattern that split the difference between Menzies and Campbell on your Scottish Clan Tartan chart). Automatic, of course, but they all were by then. Full hubcaps, no vinyl top, AM radio, and just the one side mirror — a chrome pedestal mirror at that. Those were all standard. Not even deluxe bumper guards or vanity mirrors. Air conditioning and tinted glass would have been about it. It couldn’t have cost much; it was $4,763 to start — a little more than a dollar a pound, a loss-leader in a year when Chevy’s big B-body wasn’t selling worth a crap in those post-OPEC days anyway, and when you buy your cars by the cubic yard, a new Impala must have seemed a sensible purchase for a recent retiree. The sales staff at June Chevrolet must have been relieved to see it leave the lot.

Andy had the foresight and motivation to purchase a future classic, but little did he know his grandson would have his own adventures in it.

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