Everybody wants their car to be just a little bit different from everyone else’s. The goal is to not go to a car show and park next to 100 other cars that are identical in make, model, paint color, interior design, and drivetrain setup — where is the fun in that?
Tony Albanese of Wasilla, Alaska, started to feel that way when he found out how many other people in his area owned ’65 and ’66 Impalas. “There are something like 15 or so,” Tony explained. “I decided that I didn’t want to do the same thing as everyone else.” Tony felt the urge to be just a little bit different, and he is not the kind of guy that is going to be subtle about it.
“I’ve always made an attempt to have something other than the norm,” Tony continued. “I had thought about going bare metal, but when my October issue of Hot Rod arrived showcasing a 1939 Plymouth pickup in bare metal, my mind was made up.” Tony is building a bare metal car, and he lives in the state of Alaska. A million questions come to mind: What is he going to do about the bodywork? What about rust? Where do you even start on a project like this? For every question that we had, Tony had an answer. He has obviously thought this through.
Tony bought the car in August of 2015, and has worked on it every day for the last year. The project started as a driver-quality car that appeared in decent, original condition. When he started the bodywork, he unfortunately found mountains of body filler, and evidence of a previous wreck.
Currently, the body is stripped and heading to a friend’s garage for the rest of the very specialized bodywork. Tony’s friend, Carl Vallee, is somewhat of a magician when it comes to metalwork, and Tony is confident that the final project will be amazing. “His work is flawless,” Tony explained. Not only that, but Carl is really excited about what Tony is doing, and is looking forward to working on Tony’s Impala.
The finish work on the metal will be achieved by using five levels of sandpaper, ranging from 100 to 1,500 grit. After the sanding is done, the guys are going to polish the metal and apply Gibbs Lubricant to all of the exposed body panels. “That will prevent rust and corrosion for up to five years,” Tony detailed. “It doesn’t require a clearcoat, you just wipe this stiff on and it’s good.”
Under the hood of this unique build will be a 383 cubic-inch stroker motor. “If I am going to do something radical, I need an engine that is going to match the body,” Tony said. The engine is being built in Spokane, Washington, at Washington Performance Engines. At this point it’s still a toss-up whether the engine will be painted red or black. We like the idea of black.
Tony has already accumulated the headers, brakes, coilovers, steering components, and a nice set of Cragar wheels. The rest of the build will feature a Muncie four-speed, saddle leather interior with a bare metal dash, Wilwood front disc-brakes, a 12-bolt rearend with Yukon positraction and gearing, and tubular control arms in the front.
We cannot wait to see this thing when it’s finished. What do you think of Tony’s Impala– does it inspire you to work on your own project car? Let us know in the comments below, and if you have a project of your own that you’ve been slaving away at, share it with us! Send us an email, and yours could be the next Chevy project featured in our Reader’s Hardcore Projects.