1967 SS427 Chevrolet Convertible owned by Bob Brody
Just one of 2124 Z24 built
Having owned a car that was just one of 6 built as a Teenager could of influenced Bob Brody`s choice of what car to restore, but to restore such a rare car would take more than just patience and determination…it would take deep pockets. This is a tale of how a 1967 SS 427 `Z24`Chevrolet came to be owned and restored by someone in Canada where the 1967 `Z 24`package was never offered new from Canadian Dealers.
In October of 1966 his brother originally ordered a new 1967 Impala SS convertible with the L36 385 Horse 427 and Muncie M-20 wide ratio 4 speed. He picked it up from Colliers GM on Georgia Street in Vancouver in Feb 1967 and with a new marriage coming along decided to get a Buick Ragtop and little brother Bob Brody got the Impala SS.
He drove the car and looked after it carefully until he traded it in for a new 1972 Charger. Year later and many cars later another special car came along and after full restoration his 1969 Hemi 4 speed Charger went across the auction block at the Barrett Jackson California Auctions. With a fistful of dollars it was time to restore his old Impala SS if he could find it.
Interestingly the L36 385 Horse(in Canada) was only used in 43 Impala SS convertibles but to muddy the waters this number also includes Pontiac Parisiennes 2+2 models. So manual transmission or automatic this is one rare beast.
Finding out it was a rare beast was turning out to be a big problem as he did not want to go to the expense of restoring just a clone of the original car and he started to look at cars in the states. The car his brother ordered was available in greater numbers than just 6 but he also found an extremely rare car that was never offered to Canadians back in the Day.
While searching for a car he came across the SS427 website and started to learn about the “Z24” package and found one for sale by it’s third owner in Indiana. With a VIN number identifier of “4D” the 427 SS Chevrolet of 1967 has no indication of it being an Impala. The 4D package included a SS427 badge on the centre of the front grille and on each front fender ahead of the front tire. The hood gets a very distinctive hood with a single row of 3 chrome “boxes” affectionately known as a “Cyclops” hood. The rear of the car has the name Chevrolet but nothing about it’s obvious Impala lineage.
All 4D cars come with heavier 11/16” front sway bars and an optional heavier rear sway-bar and a distinct side moulding. Oddly Front Disc brakes were still optional and the choice of wheels and hubcaps were at the buyer’s request.
The car from Indiana offered at $3000 seemed too good to pass up so after an additional $2000 shipping it was at Gary Grant’s shop in Maple Ridge. The car was rough and had been mostly dismantled with most of it’s Z-24 parts going to a create a Z24 clone out of a 1967 Belair by the previous owner.
The second owner had removed the 427 and 4 speed and sold them to a hot rod guy on the East coast. Armed with the Hot Rodders name and the internet Brody found out the Hot Rod project had failed and the engine and tranny were sitting in his shop unused. A deal was struck and another piece of the puzzle came into place.
The body of the car was a mess and needed full restoration with as many NOS(New Old Stock) parts as were available. Brody wanted to use as many NOS parts as available as opposed to used or worse reproduction parts so he spent a lot of time on the internet finding the right parts. One fellow in Maryland has a huge amount of Impala NOS parts so a shipping `POD`was sent to his location. Brody flew to Maryland to buy about 200 parts and load the shipping container.
Shipped to Bellingham and then loaded into a trailer to come to Canada. New front fenders, inner fenders, mirrors, trim, grille and all sorts of parts were being stockpiled. Some parts were also bought from another fellow in Wisconsin and of all the NOS parts the cheapest was the screw used to hold the rear view mirror in place (standard to most 1967 Impalas) and $2500 for the lower rocker moulding only used on the SS427 4D models. About $40,000 of NOS parts were used on this car.
Meanwhile the engine and transmission were rebuilt and the rear end that was still in the rear of the frame was hauled off for a full rebuild as well. The frame was salvageable and garnet blasted and repaired and hand sanded and then painted not powder coated to be more authentic.
Interestingly both very desirable S40 15/16”front sway S41 rear sway were still attached to the frame and in good shape. The car was mostly dismantled but the all important cowl tag was present. When the front fender was removed on the driver’s side there was a white chalk marking of “SRD” indicating that it was a “4D’ car with the optional rear antenna this told the assembly line crew where to drill the holes on the body for the correct badges and antenna placement.
The body was restored to perfection with all door gaps aligning perfectly and many hours were spent restoring the firewall and top of firewall cowl as no NOS parts were available. The original paint code was N for Madiera Maroon and a base coat clear coat of the correct colour was used. The power roof mechanism had many pieces donated off of a parts car Gary Grant had on hand from a previous 1967 Impala project and were hand sanded and restored to perfection. The N1 white convertible top was sourced from the original suppliers of roofs to GM back in the day that is still in operation.
The interior is faithfully replicated to match the original and the push button AM radio has the optional rear speaker and rear Antenna. There is a “Super Sport” badge on the right side of the dashboard. Rally Sport wheels with the correct date codes were NOS as well as the NOS Firestone G70 x 15 Redwall Bias ply tires.
Immediately after finishing the car in October 2012 it participated in the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals in Chicago. Along with winning the Floyd Garret Museum award for Best of Show it got a Gold Certificate and received 985 points out of a possible 1000 points. Of course NOS parts are great but they have to be the correct ones and the wrong Rally Wheel “rings” cost 4 points. 2 points were deducted for 2 bolts under the car being unpainted, as well as 2 points each for marks on the original 427SS centre grille badge, a buff mark on a piece of trim, missing sparkplug wire hold down clips and 1 point for dust on the engine.
Now that those glaring imperfections have been sorted, it is time to drive her right? Wrong. She has only 8 miles on her from a trip to a gas station and is probably destined for a couple of years of car shows before tearing it up on the road. Do not despair…having bucket loads of spare parts not quite perfect for the show car has lead to a new project. Finding a 1967 Impala SS in Calgary that was originally sold at Courtesy Motor Sales in Winnipeg that has a very decent body a restoration is proceeding on it and it will be a driver.
To top it all off it is nearly Identical to his original car but will get the Red interior and black roof of his first car and it is a 4 speed putting Brody in the rare position of owning 2 of the 6 427 4 speed convertible Impala SS produced in Canada. Topping it off it’s build date is Jan 17 1967 so it may have been produced at the same time as his first car.
With Summer approaching and his “Road” car almost done the only bad thing that could possible happen is for the Original car he and his brother owned were to show up with a for sale sign….or is it a bad thing? One can never have too much of a rare thing!!!