Courtesy of Mecum Auctions
  • 427-ci V8 engine
  • 425-hp and 460 ft-lb of torque
  • Muncie M21 4-speed transmission
  • Moroso Positraction differential
  • Power steering
  • Drum brakes
  • Emerald Turquoise paint with black vinyl top
  • Black interior
  • Frame-off restoration in 2010
  • MCACN Gold award winner

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1967 Chevrolet Impala SS 427
Years Produced:1967
Number Produced:11 (all L72 Chevrolet passenger cars)
Original List Price:$3,003 (base)
SCM Valuation:$46,500
Tune Up Cost:$250
Chassis Number Location:Driver’s door jamb
Engine Number Location:Pad on engine block, ahead of passenger’s side cylinder head
Alternatives:1965 Ford Galaxie 500 Cammer, 1966 Chevrolet Impala SS 427, 1966 Dodge Polara Hemi
Investment Grade:B

This car, Lot S139, sold for $118,250, including buyer’s premium, at the Mecum Las Vegas auction on October 12, 2019.

In the days before Pony cars and muscle cars, big American sleds with big V8 engines ruled. Roomy enough to hold up to six people inside, and fast enough to scare your friends, they were exactly right for the days of cheap gas, the Swinging ’60s, and the cultural revolution.

This Impala brought impressive money at the Sin City auction, owing to its award-winning restoration and equipment list. Of the hundreds of thousands of family-oriented Impalas built during the time, with both 6-cylinder and V8 engines, very few L72 427s were made, and even fewer are still around today.

Let’s walk through the options list on this car, starting with the L72 427 engine. GM made it possible for a family man to be able to equip a daily-driver hard top with an engine just like the one their bachelor friend had in his Corvette. But the hard top could serve double duty as a family hauler, grocery-getter, vacation cruiser and go-to-church-on-Sunday machine. The Corvette? Not so much.

Upsides to this car include terrific performance for a big boat, a high degree of exclusivity thanks to that hallowed 427 mill, and admirable comfort… as long as you don’t hook it into any sharp turns. Hardly a slight car, a period Impala quickly reaches its dynamic limits when the road turns curvy. That by no means diminishes the value of this car, because it simply is what it is: the highest expression of performance available in a family hard top from Chevrolet in the day.

It’s all about the V8

With Mustangs and Camaros, GTOs and Corvettes already duking it out for superiority at stoplights all across America, a Big Bertha like the ’67 Impala needed something special under its hood to earn respect.

This one has it. Rated at 425 hp, the L72 427-ci V8 in this car is said to also develop 460 ft-lb of torque. Atop its iron block (cast in December 1966, by the way, but auction materials did not say it’s original to this car) are square-port cylinder heads, and inside are a forged-steel crankshaft, aluminum pistons and solid lifters. Lurking above is an aluminum intake manifold fed by a 780-cfm Holley 4-barrel inhaling through a twin-snorkel air cleaner, and spent gasses are offed by cast-iron manifolds and dual exhausts. The driver can keep tabs on all seven liters via a 7,000-rpm tachometer.

$118k is a big price for a big car, and it all comes down to that engine. Chevrolet By the Numbers shows that for 1967, only 11 L72 engines were assembled for passenger cars such as the Impala — and yet some 66,510 1967 Impala SS 2-door hard tops were built. The auction information leaves it way open for interpretation whether this car was originally so equipped, but it had been owned in its current configuration by a prior owner since the early 1980s, before cars like this were worth swapping into reality. Still, absolute, concrete proof of this car’s originality would be big news in the Chevy community.

Below decks is a Muncie M21 4-speed transmission, and out back is a short 4.56:1 Moroso Power Brute Positraction axle — just right for claiming ownership of an equally short section of road outside of town. Although the Corvette was in its third year of 4-wheel disc brakes by ’67, the Impala has drums all around (yikes!), but at least there’s power steering to help turn the beast.

Nice and quirky

All the right stuff’s there on this SS, including understated turquoise paint over a black interior, bucket seats, three pedals, full wheel covers over steel wheels and bias-ply tires, and those famous big ol’ Rat motor orange valve covers. And yet there are some oddities and “misses” in the presentation too. They’re small. One is a slightly peeling “Turbo-Jet” decal on the air-cleaner housing; another is a misaligned “427” script on one of the front fenders.

For what it’s worth, the entire package was good enough to earn a Gold Award at the 2011 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN) in Chicago, a year after its restoration. That’s a decade in the rear-view mirror now, but does it really matter? Not particularly, in that a showboat of this sort isn’t likely to get enough use — nor robust enough use — to require expensive replacement of perishable items such as tires, brake cylinders and the like.

What value hugeness?

Since this Impala 427 sold in the low-six-figure range, I thought it would be interesting to see what other options exist for the magic “427” power of the same era.

Referencing the American Car Collector Pocket Price guide, here’s a list of attainable Corvettes and their median values: 1966 Corvette coupe 425-hp L72, $84,500; 1967 Corvette coupe 435-hp L71, $159,500; 1968 Corvette coupe 435-hp L89, $79,500; and 1969 Corvette coupe 435-hp L71, $105,500.

So as you can see, the Impala detailed here is premium priced, both for an Impala SS and for most 427-ci ’Vettes of the era. But there’s a lot to be said for rarity, as well as having Corvette power with seating for five. Call this one well sold — but for a big-block Impala fanatic, it was probably well bought, too.

(Introductory description courtesy of Mecum Auctions.)



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