Joe L 1961 Chevrolet Impala 4dr Hardtop Sedan

Memories I'll take to My Grave!

In 1961, my dad bought a brand new 1961 Chevrolet Impala, 4 Dr HT, 283 2bbl, automatic in Fawn Beige. I had just turned 16. Since he worked only a few blocks from home, he let me drive the car to high school every day. I never drove alone! There was always a minimum of five guys. The record was eight. One of the thrills of driving was to run red lights. The rule was that the light preceding the intersection had to be yellow and the light following the intersection had to be red. I was even written up in the school newspaper. It read, "We hear Lichtenbert puts a notch in his dash board for every red light he runs. By now it's pretty scratched up!" I ran up a string of 66 of these things before I got my first ticket.

On many beautiful spring mornings, we would drive by a bus stop were several girls were waiting for a bus to go to their high school. While they were just standing there clutching their books, we would spray them with squirt guns.

My dad let me do pretty much anything I wanted to that car. I put naugahyde button tufting all over the place. The six void openings that spanned the front turn signals were filled with six identical lights so that there was a string of lights across the entire front. It looked like a space ship!. The first cop that stopped me said they were really cool. The second cop was not so nice. The tail lights were replaced with red plexiglass disks that had Playboy bunny insignias pasted on the inside. My mom said, "What are those rabbits?" My dad just sort of grinned. In mid-year 1961, Chevy came out with their first 409 with appropriate badging. These engines existed in bubble tops only. My dad's car was the only 4 Dr HT with that identifying badging.

My dad and that car are long gone. I can't replace him but I can replace the car. The quest goes on.........

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