Named Imposter, this 1965 Chevrolet Impala is not the original cruiser it once was. The Impala, owned by Don and Elma Voth, became a project taken on by none other than Chip Foose, the Overhaulin’ man himself, in an effort to design a car that Chevrolet’s Corvette Division may have built. Imposter is stretched 7-5/8 inches and wrapped up in a 14 inch shorter body. The car underwent numerous other alterations that allowed Imposter to claim the 2015 Detroit Autorama Ridler Honors.
Much of this hot rod is handmade, starting with the bumpers that are tucked neatly into the body. The roof is 1-1/4 inches lower and 8 inches shorter and in doing so the windshield is laidback 2-1/2 inches while the decklid is 7 inches shorter. The twin round taillights are distinctive of a second generation Corvette. The Impala-Corvette taillights feature custom-built bezels to hold the lenses in place.
Onto one of the many sheet metal mods: The rear wheel wells are raised 2 inches and pulled forward 7 inches. This necessitated handmade steel quarter panel extensions that are welded in place eliminating the original pot metal pieces. Finishing out the rear sheet metal, the factory decklid now extends down an additional 2 inches to fit the bumper, eliminating the stock aluminum trim above the bumper. The rear bumper is much narrower and handmade to feel more like mid-year Corvette styling.
The lower, rear body extends under the bumper all the way to the wheel arches for a continued bellypan across the bottom of the car. While they are called waste gates, sometimes these openings are referred to as “ducts” that were added to the front fender to pick up Corvette styling cues. Mesh and chrome accents add to the styling details.
The side glass is prototyped and built with curves to fit its new application and tempered to last in the real world when the time comes to cruise down the highway. Individual compartments allow storage trays behind the twin Corvette bucket seats and hold the removable quarter glass for an open-hard-top theme.
The interior, while using numerous items from a C6, still was hand sculpted in clay mold with carbon fiber and epoxy parts and leather wrapped to fit inside the custom body. The new interior maintains a few of the cool details of the Impala interior for a nice blend of both cars and eras. The front end mimics the egg crate grills of mid-year Corvettes and carries the headlamps and custom built aluminum buckets that are bolted to a hand fabricated core support.
All of this fabrication paid off with Don and Elma taking home the Don Ridler Memorial Award from the 2015 Detroit Autorama.