We all have a favorite car or truck in our past.
Some of these favorites are vehicles that we owned in our own pasts while others are vehicles that were- or are still owned by other people.
Rod Plato built his income around the automotive repair and tire business, but he built his favorite car interest around a buddy’s 1969 Chevy Impala.
The 1969 Chevy Impala in question was a muscled-out version that was large and in charge on the street, despite its size and reputation as a full size luxury car in ’69. The lean and sporty Impala SS of the early 60s had grown up by 1969 because most of the 1969 Impala owners were also a little older by the end of the 60s.
However the General still offered a factory-built hot rod heart for the 1969 Impala and the car of Rod’s dreams was a limited edition 427 cubic inch monster backed up by a 4-speed manual transmission. This version of the 1969 Chevy Impala was pure brute force in a big body and it could more than hold its own on the street.
Rod believes that the factory horsepower label was off by a mile because he is sure the Rat motor under the hood of his buddy’s ’69 Impala is on the south side of 600.
He recalled a time when he saw his buddy’s Impala for the first time and witnessed the front wheels bouncing off the ground when his buddy did a little “toe-tapping”(Rod’s words) on the gas pedal with his right foot. That was the exact moment that Rod found his favorite car, even though he has never actually driven the Impala.
His buddy still has the Impala and we hope to tell the car’s remarkable story from the owner’s point of view in a future feature, but right now it is all about Rod’s favorite car that just happens to belong to somebody else.
1969 Chevy Impalas with a factory big block 4 speed tranny package are a rare breed of car. Rod told us that there were only about 1200 of them that came with the monster engine and four speed in Canada.
There is something pretty cool about a late 60s full-size Impala in 2013 and some of it is likely due to the ripple effect from the 1967 Impala used in the ‘Supernatural’ TV series by the demon-fighting Winchester brothers.
But the ‘Supernatural‘ TV show was not even a concept when Rod saw his dream car all those years ago as a young mechanic. The happy ending is the fact that Rod’s favorite car is still alive and well after all of these years, even if he still does not own it. For Rod, the fact that the car still exists is enough for him.
Who knows, maybe one of these days Rod will spend some time behind the wheel of his favorite Heavy Chevy, but he does not need to drive it to know that the ’69 Impala is still number one in his world.