APRIL 2024: A 1960 CHEVY IMPALA 4-DOOR FLAT TOP CONNECTS A CAR GUY AND HIS FATHER

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Tim Reynolds accompanied his father when the man bought a 1960 Chevy Impala 4-door flattop during the mid-1980s.

Some of our younger MyStarCollectorCar readers may not be familiar with the “flattop” term, but it refers to the unique flat roof design of various GM models built during the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Jim Sutherland

Tim’s dad was clearly a fan of the flattop style-even long after the last flattop left the factory and made the retro design even more radical in the 1980s. Consequently, Tim’s father’s ’60 Chevy Impala flattop became the man’s signature car over the years.

Unfortunately, Tim’s dad encountered serious health issues and was unable to drive his beloved Impala, while Tim had moved cross-country and had to plan around his trips back home to make a schedule that included the car. However, the car was “never really off the road”, according to Tim, mainly because he stayed actively involved in the Impala’s maintenance and operation.   

Tim’s father passed away and the car became estate property so Tim bought the Impala from the estate to ensure it would remain in his family.

Tim’s dad was a major influence on him because he was a dyed-in-the-wool car guy and included Tim in his world when it came to racing or restoring cars.

Not surprisingly, Tim became a mechanic and used his skills to endure the Impala was in excellent shape when he purchased the car. It still has its original 283 small block engine coupled to GM’s equally famous 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission.

Tim’s legacy Impala still has its original interior, but the stylish 4-door flattop got a paint job over the years.

Tim loves to get behind the wheel and drive his family heirloom Impala whenever he has the opportunity. In fact, Tim has put over 50,000 miles on the car since he became its full-time driver and envisions many more miles on its odometer in the future.

According to Tim, the car is a solid performer on the road and has little trouble running at a 70-75 mph (roughly110-125 km/h) pace in today’s highway traffic, a speed that undoubtedly surprises other drivers in modern vehicles.

Sharp-eyed MyStarCollectorCar readers may notice the “sex lights” in the Impala’s interior, a 1950s-60s aftermarket blue light feature that was essentially designed to add a romantic atmosphere for the car passengers-or diminish the glare from oncoming headlights for some sex light buyers.

Either way, Tim left the sex lights in his 1960 Impala because his father added the 1950-60s novelty automotive feature in the 1980s and they became a part of its legacy within Tim’s family.

Tim wants to ensure the 1960 Impala flattop remains within his family and presented the idea to his daughter, although she has some concerns about its sheer size. The good news is Tim installed a child seat in the back of the Impala to include his grandson in the road experience, so the little guy will undoubtedly become attached to a family legacy car with roots that extend back to his late great grandfather.

A lot of fond memories ride shotgun down the road with Tim every time he gets behind the wheel of his very cool 1960 Chevy Impala flattop. His goal is to build even more memories with his car. 

Jim Sutherland

BY: Jim Sutherland

Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section. 

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