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Field Car No More: Ray Evernham Restored the ’58 Chevy Impala from American Graffiti
Topic Started: Nov 4 2016, 07:47 PM (1,366 Views)
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“When I was growing up, it was about that car,” said Ray Evernham of the 1958 Chevrolet Impala owned by graduating senior Steve Bolander [Ron Howard] and memorably driven by Charles Martin Smith’s Terry the Toad character in American Graffiti. “I don’t know if it’s that I see myself as more of a Steve or a Toad than a Bob Falfa [Harrison Ford] or a John Milner [Paul Le Mat], but there’s just something about it. In its 22 minutes of screen time, all the characters interact with it. Even Bob sits on the fender at the end of the movie.”

Evernham had pestered the car’s owner to sell the Impala to him for years, and when the Chevy was finally set to go up for auction in 2015, the NASCAR legend and TV host managed to acquire it through negotiations. Parked since 1974, when its owner enlisted in the Marine Corps, the Impala was in pretty sad shape when it was finally sold. The lacquer paint was literally falling off the car. The original 348-cubic-inch engine had been replaced by a 283 small-block with a four-barrel carb. The interior had faded appreciably. It was, as Milner said of Falfa’s ’55 Chevrolet in the movie, a field car.


I thought as I got older, I would learn wisdom and patience, but the only thing I have learned so far is that I don't give a damn.
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Beautiful and hot right out of the box. In the late 50s and early 60's a 348 with the Tri-power option ran in NHRA A/Stock, which was some pretty fast company in those days. I believe the 348 also gave birth to Chevy's 409 with production starting in late 1960, I think.

"We should not confuse populism with popularity" - R. Wolffe
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