Readers Rides

A Lifelong Obsession With Chevrolet Impalas

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When the muscle car bug bites, it doesn’t just become a hobby, it becomes a lifelong obsession.

In this case it is Don Rogers and his lifelong love for the Chevy Impala.
Don’s obsession was to take what he says was a rusty mess and turn it into the gorgeous vehicle you see before you.
Almost verging on an addiction, from the first rusty bolts to the final layer of wax and polish, it can verge on obsession, the route to turn something which is seemingly worthless, into a prized gem.

Just check out the short video on the wonderful work done Don has performed over the years on his amazing Impala.

‘“How can you spend 12 hours out there and work on those things all day?” Don Rogers’ wife will sometimes ask, to which he replies, “The day just flew by…I don’t know what happened.”

With a love for the iconic Chevrolet Impala, Rogers’ garage is filled with two, both ’64 models. One is a hardtop, the other a convertible. What makes Rogers a bit different from most enthusiasts, however, is that he does all of the work on his cars himself.

“When I got it, it was mostly all there,” Rogers says of his Impala Hardtop, “…but it was a rusty mess.” There’s a reason for that: the previous owner fell ill, and his family moved the car into the backyard, “so he could see it out the window,” Rogers says.

The Convertible was garage-stored, but not driven for more than three decades, and the rougher of the two, he says. With a lot of restoration work ahead of him, Rogers takes the opportunity to add a few small improvements, including air ride suspension, period-correct hop-up parts, and—in the case of the Convertible—an interior that borrows its color from a ’59 Impala. All of the modifications are tasteful and, apart from the wheels, are virtually invisible to all but the most trained of eyes.

After spending all day every day for months restoring his cars, you’d almost assume that Rogers would leave them both in the safety of the garage. Not so.
“I’d much rather drive around a car that I’ve completely built with my own two hands,” Rogers says. “Part of the fun, [is] taking it out and thrashing it.”

“My theory is: I made it the first time, I can do it again!”’


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