1962 Chevrolet Impala: Classic Industries Helps Revive A 24-Year-Old Project

Back in 1994 Jake Brazille was 17 when he first laid eyes on this 1962 Chevy sitting in a farmer’s field, and it was love at first sight. Despite the fact that the rearend was missing, there was some rust and body damage here and there, the interior was trashed, and it hadn’t run for a while but Brazille had his mind made up—he wanted that Impala. A well-reasoned argument explaining how cool the car could be and a small amount of pleading worked to get his skeptical father to help tow the hardtop home. However, as it has happened to many, a healthy dose of youthful exuberance was trumped by lack of experience and finances, and after two years of collecting parts to fix the Chevy, Brazille’s attention, like many a young man, began to focus elsewhere—in this case her name was Becky and she would soon become his wife.

Marriage, kids, work, and eventually a career as a bodyman/painter and proprietor of Jake’s Place filled the next couple of decades, during which time two significant things took place: he now had the expertise to fix the hardtop and the all parts needed were readily available from Classic Industries.

Originally founded in 1976, Classic Industries came to prominence by selling small, hard-to-find items for early Camaros. From that modest beginning Classic Industries has grown to become a leading supplier of replacement parts, performance items, and accessories for GM cars and trucks, Mopars with Corvette and Ford products coming soon.

Brazille’s Chevy had several major issues. The trunk floor was badly rusted, as were both quarter-panels that also suffered from poorly done repairs in an attempt to cure rust and previous accident damage. Fortunately Classic Industries offers a long list of complete body and repair panels, doors, hoods, floor and trunk pans, and much more. Brazille thumbed through the Classic Industries catalog and found everything he needed.

This included:

  • 1961-1964 Chevrolet upper trunk floor panel. This reproduction piece covers the area from behind the rear seat back to the lower trunk floor between the wheelhouses. It’s available with EDP coating under PN B1740A or in bare metal as PN B1740B.
  • 1962-1964 Chevrolet full trunk floorpans with rear brace and side extensions. This replacement steel panel is manufactured with original gauge steel featuring side drop-off extensions and the rear crossbrace. They fit 1962-1964 fullsize models, except wagons. PN B6262A is EDP coated, PN B6262W is coated with Weld-Thru primer.
  • 1962 Chevy Impala quarter-panels. PN BM1001-1962 Impala (left side) fullsize two-door hardtop and convertible. Extends from doorjamb area to rear bumper (does not include roof sail panel or doorjamb). Chevy Impala quarter-panel (right side), PN BM1000.
  • 1962 Chevrolet taillamp mounting panel. These fit between the quarter-panel and the trunklid opening and fit all fullsize Chevrolet models. Left hand is PN 153317, right hand is PN 153318.

With all the parts on hand and unboxed it was obvious they were well made and formed from material that was the same gauge as the originals, so it was time to get to work.  Brazille went about removing the rusted floor and quarter-panels. It was determined the best way to proceed was to put the trunk floor in place, as it included two rear body mounts that would help keep everything located properly, however it would not be welded to the inner body structure until the quarter-panels were installed.

With the quarter-panels removed Brazille found the trunklid opening was flimsy, making the gaps inconsistent. So to maintain the proper fit the trunklid was centered on the body and tack welded in place. Next the side gaps were established and the opening was tack welded to the lid. That way the quarter-panels could then be installed and the gaps were already adjusted.

So far Brazille has removed all the rusted sheetmetal, positioned the floor panels, rebuilt the lips of the wheelhouses, and tack welded the quarter-panels in place. Next time we’ll show how to replace the taillight panels, finish the trunk floor installation, and begin bodywork. It’s taken a little over 20 years to get to Brazille’s Chevy to this point, but like we said, it’s better late than never.

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